Every gardener dreams of owning a greenhouse – their own Kew Royal Botanic Gardens – with large windows and rows of carefully cultivated plants and starts. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a greenhouse is a wonderful way to extend your growing season or cultivate hard-to-grow plants.  

A greenhouse doesn’t have to be a distant dream. With the right materials, you can make one on your own. At the RE Store, we have a very specific material that makes building greenhouses that much easier – solar glass.  

Solar glass is a very special sort of glass that is used in the production of solar panels by local manufacturers. With anti-glare properties and a prismatic sub-surface texture, this ultra-clear, low iron tempered glass is engineered for high performance in both diffuse and low light conditions.  

Solar glass is the reason that light and heat is trapped in solar panels. The rough sub-surface texture (referred to as “prismatic”) on one side of the glass is designed to trap light, repeatedly forcing the light energy into the solar cells, instead of allowing it to reflect back out.  

Sometimes the manufacturing process results in imperfect glass. Glass that does not pass strict quality standards is sent to us thanks to the Manufacturing Waste Diversion program at the RE Store. The Manufacturing Waste Diversion program works with local manufacturers to identify materials that can be saved from the landfill. In the past two years, we’ve worked with partners to keep 90 pallets of glass, totaling over 215,050 pounds to the RE Store. For perspective, 90 pallets of solar glass weighs as much as 19 Asian elephants and takes up slightly more square footage than a doubles tennis court.  

Glass greenhouses and cold frames are a perfect way to re-purpose solar panel glass. The light and heat trapping properties of the glass mean that your plants are sure to thrive. Before you head to Google to seek out plans to build your own greenhouse, stop by the RE Store.  

We’ve got all the materials you need to bring your greenhouse to life, from the solar glass to the lumber, hardware and plastic plant pots We’ve even got a construction guide for sale, designed by our staff to help take the guesswork out of building your own greenhouse.  Our easy-to-read guide will walk you step-by-step through the build process, from preparing the ground, to cutting each piece of wood and assembly.

 RE Store, 2309 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360.647.5921