Choose Glass or Polycarbonate

Arcadia glass and polycarbonate greenhouses are designed to create the perfect growing environment.

One of the biggest challenges for any home or garden greenhouse is keeping it cool summer and warm in winter. That’s why Arcadia greenhouses are designed with several different glazing options to meet your individual needs for appearance, energy efficiency and budget concerns.

  • 3/16″ single-pane glass with EPDM rubber seal (50% thicker than other greenhouse manufacturers)
  • 7/8″ argon-filled, double-pane glass with low-E options
  • 8mm clear, triple-wall polycarbonate sidewalls
  • 8mm tinted, double-wall polycarbonate roof (50% shade)
  • 16mm clear, 5-wall polycarbonate sidewalls
  • 16mm tinted, 5-wall polycarbonate roof (50% shade)

Arcadia GlassHouse models come standard with sidewall options that include single-pane glass, 8mm clear triple-wall polycarbonate, or 16mm 5-wall polycarbonate. Roof options include 8mm or 16mm tinted polycarbonate for optimum shading and insulation. We put our best insulating material in the roof where heat rises and tries to escape.

Polycarbonate reflects the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, while allowing the Photo-synthetically Active Rays (PAR) to come through, providing your plants with the spectrum of light they need to thrive. Our clear polycarbonate sidewalls diffuse the light better than glass and prevent leaf burn, while allowing 84% light transmission.

Multi-wall polycarbonate provides ultimate energy efficiency.

Multi-wall polycarbonate provides ultimate energy efficiency.


This ten-year old polycarbonate still looks great!

This ten-year old polycarbonate still looks great!


Advantage of Glass

  • Glass is beautiful and last a lifetime
  • Provides maximum light transmission
  • Double-pane, Low-E glass is the best insulator

Disadvantages of Glass

  • Glass is breakable
  • Single pane glass is not energy efficient
  • Single pane glass will require a shade cloth

Advantage of Polycarbonate

  • Less expensive than glass
  • 200 times stronger than glass and unbreakable
  • Triple-wall and 5-wall designs are energy efficient
  • Tinted polycarbonate on the roof eliminates shade cloth

Disadvantage of Polycarbonate

  • Not as visually attractive as glass
  • 10-year warranty against fading and cracking (Typically lasts 15-20 years)

R-Value Comparisons

Single Page Glass 1.0
8mm Double-wall Polycarbonate 1.7
8mm Triplewall Polycarbonate 2.0
16mm 5-wall Polycarbonate 3.0
7/8” Clear Double-pane Glass 2.3
7/8” Low-E Double-pane Glass 4.0


Light Transmission

Single Page Glass 92%
7/8” Clear Double-pane Glass 81%
7/8” Low-E Double-pane Glass 70%
8mm Clear Polycarbonate 84%
8mm Tinted Polycarbonate 50%
16mm Clear Polycarbonate 72%
16mm Tinted Polycarbonate 42%


Call Us and We’ll Send You a Sample Pack of Our Materials

Custom Greenhouses and Conservatories