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The Vertical Farm

CATEGORY: architecture + sustainability + ⚐ EN


The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people. An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.

It took humans 10,000 years to learn how to grow most of the crops we now take for granted. Along the way, we despoiled most of the land we worked, often turning verdant, natural ecozones into semi-arid deserts. Within that same time frame, we evolved into an urban species, in which 60% of the human population now lives vertically in cities. This means that, for the majority, we humans are protected against the elements, yet we subject our food-bearing plants to the rigors of the great outdoors and can do no more than hope for a good weather year. However, more often than not now, due to a rapidly changing climate regime, that is not what follows. Massive floods, protracted droughts, class 4-5 hurricanes, and severe monsoons take their toll each year, destroying millions of tons of valuable crops. Don’t our harvestable plants deserve the same level of comfort and protection that we now enjoy? The time is at hand for us to learn how to safely grow our food inside environmentally controlled multistory buildings within urban centers. If we do not, then in just another 50 years, the next 3 billion people will surely go hungry, and the world will become a much more unpleasant place in which to live.

Advantages of Vertical Farming
– Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres);
– No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests;
– All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers;
– VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water;
– VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services;
– VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface;
– VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of evapotranspiration;
– VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible parts of plants and animals;
– VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.);
– VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers;
– VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers;
– VF creates new employment opportunities;
– We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on earth;
– VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps;
– VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production;
– VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water and land for agriculture.

One of the first designs of its kind, the compelling vertical farm project above was undertaken by Chris Jacobs in cooperation with the grandfather of skyscraper farm concepts: Dr. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University. His ideal: all-in-one eco-towers would be actually produce more energy, water (via condensation/purification) and food than their occupants would consume. His mission: to gather architects, engineers, economists and urban planners to develop a sustainable and high-tech wonder of ecological engineering.

Architect Pierre Sartoux of Atelier SOA has gone a step further and put some serious design talent behind his proposal for a vertical farming skyscraper. A light-shading skin wraps around the structure and opens to admit sunlight at particular locations for various functional (and aesthetic) purposes. The building’s air, heating and cooling systems are wind-driven and circulate oxygen and carbon dioxide between growing and living spaces. The simple but reinforced structure is designed to handle additional dead loads from the weight of growing floors and also serve to make the entire building more durable (and thus sustainable).

source: http://weburbanist.com
Chris Jacobs:Chris Jacobs
Dickson D. Despommier: www.cumc.columbia.edu
SOA Architects: www.ateliersoa.fr, www.eco-tower.fr/
web: www.verticalfarm.com

Comments (22)

Cada vez que leo estas cosas me horrorizo, creo que nos estamos volviendo locos….. acabaremos encapsulados todos en burbujas, con tubos que recojan nuestra mierda y la bioaprovechen para cualquier cosa….. alguien ha pensado en lo que supone tener encerrado un ser vivo desde que nace hasta que muere en un ambiente artificial???

Cada vez que leo estas cosas me horrorizo, creo que nos estamos volviendo locos….. acabaremos encapsulados todos en burbujas, con tubos que recojan nuestra mierda y la bioaprovechen para cualquier cosa….. alguien ha pensado en lo que supone tener encerrado un ser vivo desde que nace hasta que muere en un ambiente artificial???

eso te pasara si no se contrullen asi las cosas donde cries a tus hijos con la polucion y el tema invernadero del clima la cosa del calentamiento y eso despues viviras peor que esto. es una opcion bastante buena para no llegar a eso tonto ignorante que te criaste gastando y comprando a destajo……piensa antes de opinar ocupa tu grasa que consumes a diaro en algo ocuapa esas calorias.

eso te pasara si no se contrullen asi las cosas donde cries a tus hijos con la polucion y el tema invernadero del clima la cosa del calentamiento y eso despues viviras peor que esto. es una opcion bastante buena para no llegar a eso tonto ignorante que te criaste gastando y comprando a destajo……piensa antes de opinar ocupa tu grasa que consumes a diaro en algo ocuapa esas calorias.

Has read with the pleasure, very interesting post, write still, good luck to you!

Has read with the pleasure, very interesting post, write still, good luck to you!

This is just too damn insane what will we think up next? Vertical farmS?? hoovering farms next where they hoover above water?air?

This is just too damn insane what will we think up next? Vertical farmS?? hoovering farms next where they hoover above water?air?

Thank you so much for this article on vertical farming. It is so important to turn as much attention to this subject matter in hopes of helping local communities with self sustainability and local health!
Please come to Valcent's blog (http://blog.valcent.net) and/or site to see what we're doing in our vertical farming facilities. We are vertically growing today in commercially sized facility and research center based out of El Paso, Texas.
Skyscraper agriculture has yet to be proved successful in a full size model. Vertical farming is successfully being produced realistically in large greenhouses. These are the steps toward locally grown produce which will help our economies stay self sufficient, economically stable, as well as healthy!
Also, please be sure to check out our recent feature in TIME magazine.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1865974,00.html

http://blog.valcent.net
Jessica Brock
Valcent

Thank you so much for this article on vertical farming. It is so important to turn as much attention to this subject matter in hopes of helping local communities with self sustainability and local health!
Please come to Valcent's blog (http://blog.valcent.net) and/or site to see what we're doing in our vertical farming facilities. We are vertically growing today in commercially sized facility and research center based out of El Paso, Texas.
Skyscraper agriculture has yet to be proved successful in a full size model. Vertical farming is successfully being produced realistically in large greenhouses. These are the steps toward locally grown produce which will help our economies stay self sufficient, economically stable, as well as healthy!
Also, please be sure to check out our recent feature in TIME magazine.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1865974,00.html

http://blog.valcent.net
Jessica Brock
Valcent

Very nice post. Thank you!

Very nice post. Thank you!

Thank you for sharing this information.
Reverse Access Livedoor

Thank you for sharing this information.
Reverse Access Livedoor

Very nice post. Thank you!

Very nice post. Thank you!

a este proyecto le faltó el cable a tierra…mucho gasto de energía, es la energía del sol la necesaria para las plantas, no la artificial, gran paradoja….las fachadas son todas iguales, es decir, se proyecta del "no lugar" ???? felicitaciones por la maqueta virtual, pero sólo se queda en eso, maqueta, la arquitectura es vida y para eso sirve, para servir a la vida, a las personas, no para alimentar el ombligo de quien la hace.

Hola Rover,
seguramente este proyecto puede criticarse por muchas razones, sin emabrgo no entiendo muy bien que es lo que quieres decir.
Por lo que entiendo la critica es por el hecho de ser un proyecto, una idea, algo irrealizable??? o te refieres a otra cosa?

http://www.asar-architectes.com le site d'une agence d'architecture installée à Paris

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