Resource consumption of outdoor cultivation environments is driven by water usage, which has its own impact on energy usage. Additionally, starting plants in protected environments has associated energy impacts. Learn best practices for lighting and environmental controls for hardy starts before bringing plants to the field. Understand how to maximize productivity while minimizing water and energy consumption.
Topical areas include:
Best Practices for Hardy Starts
Cannabis Water Benchmarks for California
Resource Benchmarking for Water Efficiency and Productivity
Operations & Facility Staff
Design & Construction Partners
Utility & Government Representatives
|Efficient Yields Tri-County: Sungrown Efficiency - Optimizing the Energy-Water Nexus (30.8 MB)||Download|
Chris is the Director of IPM and Plant Health at Central Coast Agriculture, Inc., which is a leading California cannabis cultivator in Santa Barbara County. He attended Cal Poly and acquired a B.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science with a concentration in Fruit Science and a Minor in Plant Protection. He started his agricultural career as a Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist focused on the irrigation of Citrus, Avocado, Stone Fruit, Blueberries, Kiwi, and Olives. He then progressed to becoming a CDPR licensed Pest Control Advisor and Qualified Applicator in California’s viticulture industry before transitioning to cannabis cultivation. Chris currently is responsible for the IPM and Nutrient Management Programs for almost 100 acres of outdoor cannabis production.
Gretchen is a professional engineer who has spent the past five years optimizing controlled environment agriculture operations for resource efficiency and productivity. Schimelpfenig earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. in Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction with a concentration in energy from Stanford University. Her diverse professional experience includes time spent commissioning commercial buildings, designing utility energy efficiency programs, and helping businesses like the University of Vermont and the City of Burlington benchmark their resource consumption. She specializes in analyzing the operation of building systems for cultivation facilities and helps the members of RII’s Utility Working Group reach cultivators with their financial incentives and technical assistance.
She has consulted across the U.S. on efficiency program design for controlled environment agriculture (CEA), and has published papers on benchmarking and high-performance technologies with ACEEE, ASABE, and USGBC. Gretchen has presented at conferences for industry organizations including ACEEE, AESP, ASHRAE, EUCI, MEEA, and IES.
She works directly with the DesignLights Consortium to increase the adoption of third-party certification of horticultural building systems. Gretchen also represents RII on several industry committees developing standards for CEA including the ASABE PAFS-30 (Plant Systems Group), ES-300 (Electrical Utilization & Energy Group), and ES-310 (Agricultural Lighting Group), ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.2 (Plant and Animal Environments), ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis, IES Horticultural Lighting Subcommittee, and Task Group 1 of the UL 3600 Scorecard for Measuring and Reporting Circular Economy Aspects of Products, Sites and Organizations.
Gretchen raises houseplants and cats in her Vermont farmhouse and enjoys foraging for ramps, fiddleheads, and mushrooms when she isn’t skiing, biking, or knitting.
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