Benches versus ErfGoedFloor: the 7 main differences

Benches versus ErfGoedFloor: the 7 main differences

Benches versus ErfGoedFloor: the 7 main differences

Mar 9, 2023 11:54:00 AM

Are you searching for a new surface for your greenhouse or outdoor field? Then you're looking for information not only about the price but also about the different functionalities. This blog compares a growing bench with an ErfGoedFloor Excellent and lists the main differences.

  1. Automation and Logistics
  2. Space utilization
  3. Working conditions
  4. Water reuse and ebb and flow system
  5. Sustainability
  6. Microclimate control
  7. Investment Amount

Definitions of bench and ErfGoedFloor

Fixed benches: These are aluminum/wood/wire grow tables that are not mobile and are not equipped with an ebb and flow system.

ErfGoedFloor Excellent: This is the most extensive variant of the different ErfGoedFloors. This floor is equipped with an ebb and flow system, can heat and cool, and there are current field trials to create air circulation from below that look positive.

1.    Automation and Logistics

Automating processes is difficult - if not impossible - with benches. The tables are not movable. This is a disadvantage, especially since labor is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. The ErfGoedFloor Excellent offers more possibilities for automation, such as forklifts with wide pneumatic tires, trolley tracks, and conveyor belts.

2.    Use of space

ErfGoedFloor is very efficient in terms of the use of space. With the very narrow frame along the edges of the floor, almost every inch can be used for growing. This is different with benches, where the edges often take up more space. In addition, with benches, the walkways take up a relatively large amount of cultivable space.

3.    Working conditions

With benches, it is possible to work at waist height. This is an advantage when employees have to perform repetitive work for long periods of time, such as sticking cuttings into trays or pots.

4. Water reuse and ebb and flow system

Most benches are not equipped with an ebb and flow system. Sometimes a bench system is combined with an ErfGoedFloor Basic to capture and reuse water.

The ErfGoedFloor is suitable as an ebb and flow system, and the water and nutrients can be reused. The water rises evenly through a layer of rock and also drains evenly, then is returned to a silo and can be reused.

5. Sustainability

The subject of sustainability, in this case, relates to emissions, the production process of the required materials, and the possibility of reusing materials. The ErfGoedFloor Excellent scores best in this regard, as almost all materials, can be reused. Growing benches can also be reused. Only the process of producing aluminum is less sustainable.

 6. Microclimate control

HubSpot Video

With benches, it is difficult to influence the microclimate around the plant. However, airflow from below does make a positive contribution to the climate. The disadvantage is that the plants at the edge of the table react more to this, making uniformity less optimal. With benches, heating can be provided under the table.

With the ErfGoedFloor Excellent, there is less of this airflow. Through the rock, air does come from underneath, but minimally. Trials are underway to see how we can create air supply from underneath. The ErfGoedFloor has underfloor heating, and it is possible to cool it in the summer by leaving a layer of water in the rock. You can read how this works here.

7. Investment amount

The cost of benches is higher than an ErfGoedFloor. The payback period depends heavily on the labor savings that can be realized. The payback period for an ErfGoedFloor comes out to three to five years, while the floor lasts fifteen years plus.

Equal scores (benches and ErfGoedFloor)

Both types of cultivation floors have a flat surface, no puddles, and allow for flexible cultivation. By the latter, we mean that different types of plants of various sizes can be grown on them.

Want to know more about cultivation floors and substrates?

Our white paper "Ranking the substrate for plants" compares eight different types of floors - including the ErfGoedFloor and benches - on various points. The goal is to help you choose the right cultivation floor for your operation and ongoing success.

Whitepaper compare surfaces