It is well known that the world population has increased exponentially during the last decade. Furthermore we all are aware of the rising amount of CO2 in our atmosphere and our changing climate. So, that’s not what I’m going to get in detail about. In this article I do not want to repeat how important it is to make changes, as we all hear that in the media. I want to tell you about innovations and solutions that get me excited and the opportunities for making a change in the world.I hope you like this idea and are open to new insights about how we can improve our world.
I want to discuss with you something amazing, which you may have already heard about: Vertical Farming. A lot of research today is about how to improve biomass production in greenhouse horticulture and reduce energy use by using technical solutions. A few of the biggest electronic companies are already accelerating in this business, namely Toshiba, Panasonic and Fujitsu. One way of increasing biomass production is by using LED lighting. I make this statement so promptly because I just wrote a thesis about this subject, so I have done my research. LED lighting reduces energy use in comparison to the traditional lights used in greenhouses (HPS lights). Furthermore they bring the opportunity to change their wavelength output, so that is: the colors they sent out, in order to create the best spectrum for plants to grow. A last advantage that I would like to mention is the fact that LEDs can be placed near plants because they produce less heat and thus cause no damage to the canopy. Another trend in horticulture is hydroponics and aquaponics: growing crops without the need for soil. These techniques in combination with the advantages of LED lighting gives rise to Vertical farming. Growing crops on top of each other, with LED lights on every level, in a controlled environment. The vertical farm can actually be seen as some sort of sky-scraper for plants! So there you have one of the biggest advantages: effective area use, as the same amount of area can be used multiple times by every layer that’s in the farm! This advantage can be added to the other benefits of the techniques which are mentioned before.
However, what I like most about the Vertical farm is the opportunity to integrate it with buildings that are also used for working and living. A lot of architects have already put their creative ideas on paper and came up with these type of buildings: