10 Good Questions to Ask When Planning an Indoor Agricultural Grow House

As you might know, there is a big growth in Indoor Agriculture in Colorado. If you’re planning one, these are the top ten questions that you’ll want to ask:

  1. Are there any existing drawings of your facility?  You will almost certainly need a building permit of some kind and they will want to see documentation that you meet their safety standards.  They will not be lenient.  But if you follow the rules your chances of success will increase dramatically.
  2. How much parking do you have?  Part of the permitting process involves zoning. There are exceptions for existing uses and grow houses typically have low demand for parking.  You will most likely need to do some kind of change of use and this will involve proving you have enough parking with a site plan. (see Question 1, do you have an existing site plan or survey?)
  3. How big is the overall building, F1 uses are limited to 12,000 sf for a fire area before sprinkler is required.  If your building is sprinklered now then that is a big plus!  Remember this isn’t just your part of the building.  An F1 use in any part of the building can trigger this requirement.
  4. What use is this building currently permitted for?  F1?… if not you are looking at a change of use.  Please confirm that with the municipality.
  5. Are you going to be changing the current air conditioning demands?   This might require structural modifications if we have to add units to the roof.
  6. This is an important one, what is your available electrical service? These facilities are incredibly power hungry.
  7. What is currently available in terms of restrooms, if we do a change of use then we will probably need to upgrade the restrooms.
  8. What security measures are required by legislation and regulation specific to this industry.  They are spelled out in great detail and you will need to know and implement them.
  9. Are you going to be using CO2 and if so how will you monitor it to make sure the concentrations are held below the maximum amount permitted?
  10. In the absence of adequate power supply have you considered solar power?  How will you balance solar power supply with the need for consistent growing periods?


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