[Market-farming] New Cooler Construction

Aaron Brower aaronbrower at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 19 19:43:22 EST 2012

The coolbot site is full of help with these issues. I'm pretty sure they recommend 4-6" of rigid foam board for the floor. Unlike a house where the ceiling gets the most insulation to hold in heat, in a cooler the floor gets the most insulation to hold in cold. As Todd suggests, fit your foam boards tight, spray foam any gaps, tape seams and let your plywood float on top. Although the rigid foam board is relatively expensive, it will pay for itself very quickly. Your goal should be to basically create a vacuum. You want no outside forces to influence your cooler temperature. This means insulating well and sealing it tight. 

On a side note, for your winter storage, alliums, potatoes, squash and roots have very different storage needs.

Bluestem Farm

 From: Todd Lister <toddlister1 at gmail.com>
To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] New Cooler Construction

I'm on slab in  stone house with 1" foam sheets T&G and taped on joints. Cut to be skin tight to walls. Then 3/4" T&G subfloor plywood  also cut skin tight to the walls with construction adhesive in the T&G joints.Trim at the wall and it's basically a floating floor. This is kinda from the coolbot site if I'm not mistaken. It's been a few years. 

On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM, Andy Fellenz <artisanfarms at gmail.com> wrote:

>I picked up a 10X20 used walk-in cooler shell - walls, roof and one door that I am considering using with a coolbot for tomatoes and cucurbits in the summer and storage crops in the winter.  
>I'll need to construct some new space either for the cooler or if the cooler goes in the existing packshed, a new wash area.  My packshed sits at the top of a small hill so my options for low cost construction are to build a pole barn style addition ~24" below the existing floor with a poured slab. This will require 3 steps to go between the old space, which could be either wash space or cooler space and the existing packshed,  Or, keep to one level and build a deck with an insulated floor for the cooler to sit on and cut a door into the current shed. The final option would be to erect the cooler on it's own slab as a stand-alone and run power to it - kind of like how many restaurants have their walk-in cooler behind the restaurant.  The final option is the cheapest, but seems to be the least friendly from a working standpoint.  
>This cooler will provide a third conditioned space for me.  I have a 4X5 Walk-in that I use for tomatoes and a 9X11 that is used for everything else. In the summer we end up either running out of space, or have things packed so tightly that we need to move multiple items to get to the one we need.  I'm also looking to sell more in the winter and would like a third conditioned and rodent proof storage space so that I can keep alliums, potatoes, squash and roots in closer to optimum conditions.  
>Any suggestions, or experience, especially with construction of an insulated floor will be appreciated.  
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