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Old February 1st, 2016, 08:40 AM   #1
RandomDude01
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Your thoughts on farmscrapers?

What are your thoughts on farmscrapers? I noticed that vertical farming is becoming more popular and I like the idea of growing food in skyscrapers. I would like to know what do you think about farmscrapers and will they be commonplace in the near future?
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Old February 1st, 2016, 11:14 AM   #2
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Farmscrapers are absolutely essential in meeting the challenges posed by an increasingly urban population. To an extent we have them in London , however a first step would be to have mini-farms in towers instead of vanity gardens.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 03:03 PM   #3
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I saw a documentary about bees and according to it, bees don't have a problem with the car-generated pollution of cities, compared to the huge problem they have in the countryside because of the pesticides used in agriculture. City-grown honey is clean, hence rooftop hives are becoming more and more popular in Paris. There's a leading restaurant in this movement, they cook with honey exclusively of their own production.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 06:39 PM   #4
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It's the first time I heard about them and I want to inform myself. IMO farmscaper would be an good solution. In facts in Italy (and I think also all over the world) fields are threatened by cities building. And people don't understand the importance of farming. For example, the italian law allows cities buildings are located a few tens metres from farms, but farms have to be located handreds meters by cities buildings: it's nonsense. Farms are so damaged by law.

A new skyscraper is just been built in Milan: "Bosco Verticale" (Vertical Forest)
by Stefano Boeri. I can imagine it full of vegetable gardens .
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Old February 4th, 2016, 04:28 AM   #5
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Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest or Upright Forest)
Milan (Porta Nuova district), Italy


DESCRIPTION
Bosco Verticale is a model for a sustainable residential building, a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory. It is a model of vertical densification of nature within the city that operates in relation to policies for reforestation and naturalization of large urban and metropolitan borders.

It's composed of two residential towers (111 m and 78 m height), host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 meters tall) and over 2,000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants that are distributed in relation to the façade’s position to towards the sun. On flat land, each Vertical forest equals, in amount of trees, an area equal o 7,000 sqm of forest. In terms of urban densification the equivalent of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 75,000 sqm. The vegetal system of the Bosco Verticale aids in the construction of a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen.

AWARDS
* Best Tall Building 2015 - Europe (by CTBUH - The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

* International Highrise Award 2014 (by Frankfurt Museum of Architecture)
On November 19, 2014, the international jury for the prestigious “International Highrise Award”, promoted by the Frankfurt Museum of Architecture, has announced that Bosco Verticale of Milan is the winner of the prize that every two years is assigned to the most beautiful and innovative highrise in the world.

The president Christoph Ingenhoven said: “Bosco Verticale is an expression of the human need for contact with nature. It is a radical and daring idea for the cities of tomorrow, and without a doubt represents a model for the development of densely populated urban areas in other European countries”.

Its creator, Italian architect Stefano Boeri declared: “Bosco Verticale represents a new approach to the highrise building, where trees and humans share their living space. It is the first example worldwide of a tower that enhances the hosting city with plant and fauna biodiversity.”





See more pics, info:
1) http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=867790
2) http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1816028
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Old February 4th, 2016, 04:36 AM   #6
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Here a proposed project designed by Proger, Systematica, ABDR, FOA and other consultants.
Milan’s Fruit Wholesale Market is one of the biggest in Italy. Currently there is the need for a renovation plan, aiming to reposition its facilities, services and, at a broader sense, its role at international level.

The vertical farm


The masterplan (490,000 sqm)
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Old February 4th, 2016, 08:55 AM   #7
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^That looks really cool and I hope that it will be built someday.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 03:49 AM   #8
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I think they are interesting. But, I don't see them as really viable for the future. For actual agriculture, it is really a waste in many ways. Structurally you have huge loads - you have to get all that soil and plant up there, and then back down when it dies off (nature is a cycle, not stagnant). Plus you are not going to have animal and insects living up their successfully- not enough space to support them, and the interactions with them and large populations is not healthy. Have you ever smelt a farm? They look bucolic in pictures - but what happens when it comes time to fertilize the garden?

I am all for the idea of green roofs and integrating more nature into our urban areas. But I think urban farms is really more capitalizing on romantic notions than practical means - I am worried it will have a negative effect - environmental issues with gardens high up in the air with high winds, stagnant crops and caged wildlife to support them, and drawing attention away from rural farming.

Overall, there are lots of sparsely populated areas on the planet, that can sustain life. The problem is we are trying to all squeeze into these cities. I think we need to address the issue with responsible farming, getting big business out of farming, and better crops and a holistic approach to farming.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 06:38 AM   #9
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"Farmscrapers" and vertical gardens are never going work. High altitude in combination with low temperature and inadequate lighting (half of your usable area remains in perpetual shadow!) create unfavorable conditions for any sort of commercially-viable crops. Developing agricultural technology makes it possible to get greater and greater yields out of existing land, so it is not like we are running out of farmland anytime soon.

Last edited by Major Deegan; February 6th, 2016 at 06:47 AM.
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Old February 8th, 2016, 11:44 AM   #10
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The plants create moisture harming the solid structure of the building and hence weakening the pillars which may result in frequent algae and requirement for painting the walls.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 02:19 PM   #11
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Re: difficult building of farmscrapers.

However, would it be possible to design the lowest high-rises with some levels totally hosting small crops, as for example vegetable gardens? IMO, yes. These buildings have to have particular features in order to avoid harming of the structure (features similar to green roofs), the best microclimate for the chosen plants, ect. A natural ventilation system can take away humidity and bad smells. I think there's a wide plants variety, hence it's possible choose the best plant for every level, every heigh, ect. A correct planning is clearly essencial.

It's difficult actually get on skyscrapers big crops, but IMO only the smaller ones. But this's a big success and progress.
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Old March 12th, 2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
I think they are interesting. But, I don't see them as really viable for the future. For actual agriculture, it is really a waste in many ways. Structurally you have huge loads - you have to get all that soil and plant up there, and then back down when it dies off (nature is a cycle, not stagnant). Plus you are not going to have animal and insects living up their successfully- not enough space to support them, and the interactions with them and large populations is not healthy. Have you ever smelt a farm? They look bucolic in pictures - but what happens when it comes time to fertilize the garden?
Hydroponics doesn't use soil. Furthermore, an automated system would require less flooring, which would mean you could get many floors of crops for each floor of humans.

Hyroponics have been used for agronomic crops since the 1970s and the only reason it isn't bigger than it is is because of government farm subsidies. Petroleum is still cheap, which is a factor but one day sooner or later it won't be cheap to transport a load of wheat thousands of miles.
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Old March 14th, 2016, 06:10 PM   #13
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@IThomas that is stunning!

I love the design, it looks like a very relaxing environment.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IThomas View Post
DOSSIER: Is Milan ready to build a vertical farm?

After the international success of Bosco Verticale -the two residential towers with trees and shrubs on the facades, designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri- replied in different places around the world, the City of Milan has in mind a new challenge: the Skyfarm.


Eco-sustainability, self-production food, absence of land use come together in an iconic tower bearing signature of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, in collaboration with Arup.

The project of Skyfarm was submitted to Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, and has already found a number of important followers like landscape architect Andreas Kipar: "It's a wonderful project that fits perfectly into the debate on the productive, fertile and resilient city".


Skyfarm was initiated as a research project in response to the 2015 Milan Expo theme ‘feed the world’. It is said that by the year 2050 nearly 80 per cent of the earth’s population will reside in urban centres. Over the same period of time, the earth’s population is expected to grow by an additional 3 billion people. If we continue to use traditional farming practises, it is believed that an area of land larger than Brazil will be needed to feed these additional people.

Skyfarm proposes an alternative to the typical land-intensive farming systems. A vertical farm, it is designed to produce crops in multi-storey structures within high density urban areas or where there is insufficient land or poor quality soil. The multi-storey tensegrity structure (isolated components in compression delineated by prestressed tension members) is made of light bamboo to create a rigid circular frame and maximise sun exposure onto the farm. These towers support several layers of agricultural cultivation and an aquaponics system that enables the growth of crops and fish together in a re-circulating system; nutrients derived from fish waste are fed to the plants and the plants provide filters for the fish to thrive in.


The structure is zoned to make the best use of water and nutrients, and to spread the weight of water efficiently across the tower. At ground level there is space for a market or restaurant to encourage the public into the farm and act as an education space or social hub, where all the growing parts of the tower are visible. Above this is a large transparent tank where freshwater fish such as bass, tilapia and barramundi are farmed. In the middle of the structure, plants are grown hydroponically in water rather than soil. Above this, an aeroponic system, where plants are grown in a misty environment using minimal water and no soil, is used. The top of the tower houses water tanks and wind turbines.

The hyperboloid form of the tower enables it to be easily scaled. A 80-metre farm can be built in a larger urban area for example. Its geometry can also be adapted depending on the earth’s latitude and the amount of sunlight available. In cooler climates, a double skinned enclosure and heating could be added to create optimum growing conditions.

While the upfront costs of Skyfarm are higher than standard industrial scale agriculture, the ability to grow produce with a short shelf life, such as strawberries, spinach and lettuce, around the year and close to market without costly air-freighting, makes it an attractive, sustainable proposition.


Now Milan must find an investor who accept the challenge and a place to build it.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:45 PM   #15
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I will reserve my opinion until one is actually built. I love the Vertical Forest towers but no farms have been built.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #16
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The main problem now is how finance the project. A 80-100 meters farm-tower would be a great addition to 'green architecture' for sure. We'll see
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Old November 8th, 2016, 12:43 AM   #17
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Another problem farmscrapers face, which hasn't been touched upon here: Heat.

Crops, or for that matter all plants on Earth, have evolved to grow in conditions representing natural sunlight. Ideal growth conditions are achieved at a solar incidence of roughly 1000 W/m2.

The main drive behind farmscrapers is area efficiency. You should, ideally, get many square metres of plants per square metre of building footprint. But the sun will only supply those 1000 Watts per m2 of building footprint. Put more plants in the building than the footprint suggests, and at least some of them will have to make do with less than what the sun gives. The sun alone will not be enough to give light to more crops than you could plant within the walls of its ground floor.

Okay, fair enough, then you have to supply your own light. Rig up some lamps, turn them on, and watch those crops bloom. Except that you're now blasting your building with 1000 Watts per square metre of crops - which translates to thousands of Watts per square metre of floor area, if you stack plants. And your electricity bill will not be the biggest problem yet. That would be to get rid of all the heat. Watts of power is transferred to air with a heat capacity of watts per cubic metre per Kelvin, resulting in increased temperature. So now you'll have to supply cooling. Now, the electricity bill is your biggest problem. Compared to just ploughing up some idle land outside town, or at least just take your entire farm to one level on the rooftop, the farmscraper endeavour would be a costly affair.

Of course, there are workarounds. The plants will only make use of certain wavelengths in the solar spectrum to grow (otherwise, the plants would have been all black). You could cut all the artificial light from the non-essential wavelengths to save energy, that ought to save a couple dozen percent of the energy (this is why that big indoor lettuce farm in Singapore is lit with purple light).

You could also make use of a synergy effect. There are some buildings which would love to make use of some waste heat - most notably, swimming pools, since keeping so many cubic metres of water so high above room temperature is rather costly. With an efficient heat pump, you could also use the farm's waste heat to heat water for a nearby hotel or gym or sports center, whose showers tend to chug hot water like it's going out of fashion.

Or you could put the farmscraper somewhere cold, and let the cold outside air supply the required cooling. Of course, the trade-off is that you get less sunlight if you plan to make use of that, and you're not going to get most of your Watts back for any useful purposes, but at least you can use passive cooling.


But yeah, in a hot country whose energy supply mostly relies on fossil fuels, the energy consumption of a farmscraper would be a major problem, both cost-wise and environmentally. For such places, you might be better off farming traditionally, or at least not as intensive as a farmscraper typically does.
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