The Newton Conover

This SunCatcher was assembled by students at the Newton-Conover High School in central North Carolina, and is used to teach many subjects.


This 18’ x 46’ SunCatcher is the largest structure to date, and uses structural insulated panel construction (SIPS) , and an underground, passive ventilation system.

FEBRUARY 2011… RED TOMATOES! There was some concern that they wouldn’t ripen well without grow lights to lengthen the winter day. These tomatoes actually took less time to grow and mature, we believe due to extra sunlight and CO2 provided by the SunCatcher design! With NO grow lights! There is no phototropism.

Special and unique features of the Newton Conover Model

  • Largest model to date
  • Ideal for schools or communities
  • Concrete floor
  • Larger aperture to allow more sunlight into the structure
  • Glazing and roof angles reflect sunlight down on the plants from all directions
  • Unique experimental venting system to better control humidity and provide increased CO2 levels
  • Uses underground pipes to warm cold winter air before it enters the structure

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