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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 5:09 PM
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Vertical Farms

Smarter Cities: Vertical Farming Could Ease World’s Agricultural Woes

http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/13/...cultural-woes/









By 2050, the world’s population will have increased by 3 billion people, requiring an additional chunk of arable land the size of Brazil in order to grow enough food. Add to that the potential loss of coastal property from rising sea levels, crop loss from drastic weather related incidents, and the need to reforest large swaths of land to sequester CO2. What we’re left with is a global mess that could be helped by a new agricultural technique – vertical farming. Located in an urban setting, the vertical farm is a win-win idea that automates the production of food in a more sustainable manner, by reducing waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

By the time 2050 rolls around, 80% of the world’s population will dwell in an urban setting. With more and more people focused on healthy, organic food bought locally, the demand is even greater to bring food production closer to the city. Vertical farms are not meant to eliminate traditional rural farming, but merely to reduce the strain put on the land and allow some of it to return to nature and forest. For every indoor acre farmed, 10 to 20 outdoor acres of farmland could return to their natural ecological state, which in most cases is hardwood forest.

Local and urban vertical farms have many eco-benefits for both the surrounding region and the planet. Vertical farms will rely solely on hydroponic organic farming techniques, which means no pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and no pollution injected into waterways. Vertical farms will be highly efficient and densely built, eliminating heavy machinery and farming equipment responsible for a significant amount of agricultural emissions. Water for irrigation will likely come from treated rainwater, grey or blackwater. And water use can be significantly reduced by recycling water and through the efficient use and reuse of water inside the farm.

Located in the city center, shipping and its associated environmental impact will be practically eliminated. Crops themselves will be monitored closely and provided with the exact growing conditions necessary to each species, thereby improving yields. Indoor controlled growth eliminates crop loss due to weather and natural disasters such as flood, drought or hurricanes. On top of that, a boom of urban, green-tech jobs will become available for growers, researchers, technicians, vendors and more.

In order to create such a high tech growing machine, a number of sustainable technologies will be integrated into one building. All of these technologies are currently available, but not all have been combined into one site yet. Gray and blackwater, along with rainwater will be treated for irrigation use, which will be combined with water recovery systems to collect unused water for use in aeroponic and hydroponic growing. Environmental conditions will be tightly controlled for each crop, maximizing growth, while minimizing the use of water and nutrients. Waste from plants will be either composted for fertilizer or will be combined with animal waste and used as a fuel within the building. Energy will be generated from renewable resources like the sun and wind, while energy efficient building technologies will minimize energy needs. Ideally the building could create more energy than it needs and feed the excess back onto the grid.

Crop production would become a year round activity and makes one acre of indoor growing area equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more. Inside the farm will grow and care for all sorts of edibles, like vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, poultry, fish, pigs. A leading researcher on vertical farms, Dickson Despommier from Columbia University, estimates one vertical farm is enough to feed 50,000 people.

While some may argue that treating the farm like an industrialized factory is moving too far away from nature, the concept has too many benefits to be ignored. Both people and the planet would benefit by such treatment of agriculture and location of some farms in closer proximity to the city centers. Vertical farms could never replace traditional agriculture, but it would certainly take the pressure off the arable land to produce all the food we will need and hopefully eliminate the need to resort to genetically modified crops, strife over water, or food shortages.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 5:13 PM
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Could vertical farming be the future?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21154137/



Farm able to feed 50,000 people could 'fit comfortably within a city block'

By Bryn Nelson
msnbc.com contributor
updated 6:04 p.m. ET, Wed., Dec . 12, 2007

Rice on the seventh floor. Wheat on the twelfth. And enough food within an 18-story tower to feed a small city of 50,000.

Vertical farms, where staple crops could be grown in environmentally friendly skyscrapers, exist today only in futuristic designs and on optimistic Web sites. Despite concerns over sky-high costs, however, an environmental health expert in New York is convinced the world has the know-how to make the concept a reality — and the imperative to do so quickly.

With a raft of studies suggesting farmers will be hard-pressed to feed the extra 3 billion people swelling the world’s ranks by the year 2050, Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier believes a new model of agriculture is vital to avoid an impending catastrophe.

CONT'D IN LINK
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 5:17 PM
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This render used one of my images from my dubai model

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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 6:42 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
While some may argue that treating the farm like an industrialized factory is moving too far away from nature
You know what's really moving far away from nature? Paving over millions of acres of woodlands with farms.

I like the idea of vertical farming. Doing it in an enclosed space would eliminate the pest problem and would make our food a lot healthier. The only problem is energy. It takes a lot of power to provide the artificial sunlight needed for those plants.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 7:12 PM
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They are all designed to let alot of natural light in.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 7:26 PM
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oh god



Although of course the idea sounds great.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 8:12 PM
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While the idea sounds initially appealing, I have to wonder about some things. As mentioned, it would take a lot of energy for one of these, even with natural sunlight and the use of solar/wind and the like. What about pollination? Would there be hives indoors, and if so, would there need to be one or several colonies on every floor, or would the levels be open to one another? Would this be economically viable? Who would tend the crops, scientists or farmers? And I don't know, dairy? I see crops and fish, maybe poultry, but pigs and cattle, that may be a bit too much.

I don't want to be a pessimist, but I just would like to know some more information. I definitely see the need- more people, the need for more natural space, polluting foodmiles, dead zones in the oceans and gulfs from fertilizer, water conservation, etc. And I think this should be looked into, though possibly on several smaller scales (ie on the sides of buildings with residential in the interior, conversion of abandoned buildings, or on rooftops) rather than in mega-monoprojects.
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Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 4:23 PM
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This looks like a multi-use version.


OASIS-EMBLEM TOWER-DUBAI


SPECIFICATONS


CORE DETAILS
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Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 4:55 PM
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Lovely towers, specially the butterfly one...
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Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 5:05 PM
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The problem isn't faming, the problem is the world population out of control. Population caps of max 2 children should be implemented throughout the entre world, especially India, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

China has managed to do if successfully, so too should these countries.
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Old Posted Oct 22, 2009, 2:30 PM
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Future Vertical Farms Concept

http://snegidhi.com/2009/5-8/future-...s-concept.html



The basic premise, as you see in this image, is to be able to grow food in urban areas by creating tall buildings where, instead of each floor having offices, each floor is in essence its own super greenhouse, where different crops can be grown to feed people within its own community. The idea is to not only be able to feed the community, but to protect the land that’s being damaged by over-farming and making sure that there will still be enough food for an ever growing population.



This model of a design is for the city of Seattle, which helps us to see how it would work. It’s integrated into a city plan so that it fits in, and has areas where people can go inside to not only tend to the plants, but could actually buy their produce at the same time.



To highlight how power might be created for all the energy needed to grow crops in urban areas, as the designs for vertical farming wouldn’t be able to provide natural light for all of the crops, so they’d need enhancement from artificial lighting. It’s one of the major criticisms of trying to have vertical farms.



As you can see from this image of what the inside of the vertical farm in Seattle might look like, not only are there people who tend to the plants, and in some cases can pick their own produce, but it’s a place of beauty and tranquility that many in urban areas have to leave the city to enjoy.



In a city like New York, for instance, one could see a design like this in either lower or upper Manhattan, where they have dense populations and no land areas to grow their own products, making it expensive to get produce into the city.



This is another design for the Roosevelt Island area of New York City, built not only to be productive, and not only to help generate its own energy with a combination of solar and wind power, but can also be a popular meeting place in the city, with a supermarket, restaurant, and even kind of a virtual indoor park in the middle of the city.



This design was made for the city of Toronto, and was estimated to be able to feed around 35,000 people a year. It would be a 58 stories high, becoming the fourth highest building in the city if made, but it’s design is still sleek enough to fit in with the culture of the city. And, this gives us an idea of how the builders see different products being produced on the different levels.



Not all urban areas are the same around the world. However, Vertical can still take up a lot of area, and as this image shows, it can be a planned community where everything is self contained and the farm can be a mixture of internal and external, as well as retaining certain elements of a culture.

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Old Posted Nov 7, 2009, 3:57 AM
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if you need X hectares to produce Y tons of food, why would it change so much to take it to vertical structures? Wouldnt you STILL NEED X hectares to produce Y tons of food?

and how big and how many of these buildings you would need to have X hectares in vertical structures?
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2009, 7:20 AM
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if you need X hectares to produce Y tons of food, why would it change so much to take it to vertical structures? Wouldnt you STILL NEED X hectares to produce Y tons of food?

and how big and how many of these buildings you would need to have X hectares in vertical structures?
Well it takes about 1.2 acres (or around 53,000 square feet) to maintain the diet of the average American. If I did my math right, a million square feet of farmland would only feed 18 Americans. If the entire square footage of the SEARS tower were converted to agriculture, it would only feed 84 people.

Sounds bad eh? Well think about some other factors. For starters, this is an ultra controlled environment. Pests and plagues can be far more easily contained and the plants are all growing under ideal conditions. Year round. That efficiency would cut into the amount of acreage needed for each person. Another factor is that we are discussing plants here. They don't need high ceilings so what a square foot really is in a vertical farm is different compared to a regular office building.

If you could cut the acreage per person needed by maybe half and triple the square footage by stacking farms closer together, one could maybe feed around 500 people with a building the size of the Sears tower.

I don't think vertical farms will ever be able to feed a whole cities populace AND blend into the city itself. They will be able to offset food consumption from farms outside the city though.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2009, 8:38 PM
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@Krases: while plants in THEORY dont need high ceilings, remember that they need light, so low ceilings would prevent them from receiving enough light.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2009, 5:27 AM
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^^^ Also, I think the height would have to remain standard for the scientists/farmers/people tending and studying and harversting the plants.

And 1.2 acres for one American? I really think that could be lessened, especially with a more hands on approach in addition to the controlled, artificial environment and lack of poisoned, depleated, abused soils. Every tried growing your own veggies or fruits? Even a few square feet can provide significant amounts of produce- which I know isn't everything you need and doesn't include things like grain and cotton.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2009, 6:56 AM
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^^^ Also, I think the height would have to remain standard for the scientists/farmers/people tending and studying and harversting the plants.

And 1.2 acres for one American? I really think that could be lessened, especially with a more hands on approach in addition to the controlled, artificial environment and lack of poisoned, depleated, abused soils. Every tried growing your own veggies or fruits? Even a few square feet can provide significant amounts of produce- which I know isn't everything you need and doesn't include things like grain and cotton.
This may sound like a cop-out, but I think agriculture will be one of those things that robots can do. Especially if the industrialization of agriculture is any clue. Instead of having 500 people picking produce from a farm of 10,000 acres, we now have 15 people and one combine doing it. In near future I can see 2 white collar workers managing the same amount with robots doing all the manual labor.


Enough produce to feed yourself year round? Most of that farmland isn't directly feeding you. It is feeding cattle. Something like 80% of our agricultural production goes towards fattening up cattle. Cutting down meat consumption would be the easiest way to lower the amount of acres needed to feed somebody.

Aeroponics, a sealed environment and other advances would definitely increase density and crop yields. Plus if done correctly, no pesticides would be needed! You just need to have a seed vault and a backup plan if a large agricultural building becomes infected with insects/biological agents.

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@Krases: while plants in THEORY dont need high ceilings, remember that they need light, so low ceilings would prevent them from receiving enough light.
Well they only need high cielings because they grow towards the light (which is usually high in the sky). I think a sort of fiber optic mesh can scatter light from all sides of the plants. Not only would they be able to grow non-stop in endless light (thus increasing crop yields) but I don't think the plants would grow as vertically. In a 12 foot tall floor, I think plant growing areas can be divided up into 4 foot sections with aeroponic and fiber optic meshes dividing them.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2009, 9:57 PM
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Inner-city, multi-storey farming: Genius or dubious?


10/19/09

By Timon Singh

http://www.euinfrastructure.com/news...torey-farming/

Quote:
The food industry is one of the great silent polluters on the planet. Whilst oil, chemical and transport industries get blamed for destroying the planet, our ever-growing need for more food is destroying our planet at a far great rate than people think.

- Now, I'm not just talking about the meat industry here which, with its masses of livestock, represents 18 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and uses 30 percent of the Earth's land surface, I'm talking about the more mundane things like transporting the food.

- With that in mind, multi-storey farms located in the heart of cities have been touted as a wall to minimise land use, reduce emissions from transport and make regions self-sustainable. In recent years, floods, droughts, wildfires and pollution have devastated traditional harvests and in many cases, it is expected to get worse. India's agricultural output for example, is predicted to diminished by 30 percent by the end of the century due to changing rain patterns. Not just that, but mankind is rapidly running out of land to grow crops due to a rapidly growing population. According to the United Nations, the amount of arable land per person decreased from about an acre in 1970 to roughly half an acre in 2000 and is projected to decline to about a third of an acre by 2050.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2009, 6:03 PM
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Old Posted Dec 26, 2009, 8:24 PM
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New London Bridge Features Self-Sufficient Vertical Farm and Commercial Center


16 Jul, 2009

Read More: http://www.infoniac.com/environment/...al-center.html

Quote:
This amazing design of this London Bridge was recently presented by Chetwood Architects. In the middle of the Thames river the bridge include a towering vertical farm. The spires of the futuristic bridge exploit solar power and feature wind turbines. They also include a green organic farm along with a commercial center that uses renewable energy, solar heating, natural ventilation and is water efficient.



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Old Posted Jan 4, 2010, 11:36 PM
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The Locavore Fantasia


http://nymag.com/realestate/vu/2008/...63/index1.html

Quote:
It would be a total departure if Work AC’s utopian vision were ever to bear fruit—and we do mean fruit, because it’s an apartment building topped with a working farm. “We thought we’d bring the farm back to the city and stretch it vertically,” says Work AC co-principal Dan Wood. “We are interested in urban farming and the notion of trying to make our cities more sustainable by cutting the miles [food travels],” adds his co-principal (and wife) Amale Andraos. The cheerful if slightly mad design, riffing on a concept they came up with to win the P.S. 1 Young Architects Program, would have different crops on each floor; land laying fallow would be used for play (putting greens, say). Four large water tanks would collect rainwater for irrigation. “Sculpture structures” commissioned from artists would act as columns supporting the building, which leans back to face the crops toward the sun. “We show a Brancusi, but it could be anyone,” says Wood.



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