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farm follows function A SOLUTION FOR FUTURE URBAN FARMING

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FARM FOLLOWS FUNCTION a solution for future urban farming Benjamen Buglovky

Submitted in Partial FulďŹ llment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Architecture at The Savannah College of Art and Design Š May 2012, Benjamen Buglovsky

The author hereby grants SCAD permission to reproduce and to distribute publicly paper and electronic thesis copies of document in whole or in part in any medium now known or hereafter created.

Signature of Author and Date _________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________/___/___ (Sign here) (Date here) (Judith Reno, Professor of Architecture) Committee Chair _____________________________________________________________________/___/___ (Amy Wynne, Professor of Architecture) (Sign here) (Date here)

Committee Member _____________________________________________________________________/___/___ (Ursula Tischner, Program Coordinator (Sign here) (Date here) Design for Sustainability )

Committee Member


FARM FOLLOWS FUNCTION a solution for future urban farming

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Architecture Department in Partial FulďŹ llment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture Savannah College of Art and Design

By

Benjamen Buglovsky Savannah, GA May 2012


This thesis is dedicated to my wife Kaitie, for standing beside me throughout our educations at SCAD. And to my parents Ellyn and Bruce, for always showing me love and support, even if you never imagined the day you’d see me reading architecture books.


I would like thank my thesis committee: Judith Reno, Amy Wynne, and Ursula Tischner for all their support, input and critique. Thank you for letting me float in the clouds!


contents


01_thesis abstract 02_the city 20_food knowledge 44_(agri)tecture 54_new york new york 64_newtown creek 80_program development 96_schematic design 130_design development 146_thesis conclusion


FARM FOLLOWS FUNCTION a solution for future urban farming

Benjamen Buglovsky

May 2012

Farming harnesses the efficiency of collectivity and community. Whether cultivating land, harvesting resources, extracting energy or delegating labor, farming reveals the interdependencies of our globalized world. Simultaneously, farming represents the local gesture, the productive landscape, and the alternative economy. Farming is the modification of infrastructure, urbanisms, architectures, and landscapes toward a privileging of production.1 Disregarding natural cycles, however, has caused our collective to exceed the earth’s ability to provide abundant resources. Efficiency has been traded for ease and, in short time, our landscapes will no longer produce the necessary nutrients to sustain human life. We have no other choice but to conclude that farming on soil is not a long-term sustainable solution to meeting our populations energy needs, period.2 If the natural environment is not capable of sustaining current farming practices, where will our future food come from? The answer lies within the symbiotic potential of our growing urban centers. Why not grow where we consume? In this, can architecture support a sustainable farming in a densely populated urban context? This thesis will explore the current food supply and infrastructure of cities and the potential future of agricultural production within our urban centers. Questioning, if it is possible to feed a city of eight million with a network of vertical urban farms?

1


THE


CITY


for the first time in history, more than half of the world's population lives in cities. by 2050. . .

4

THE CITY

IMAGE 1.01


: AN ECOSYSTEM “The City is much more than the sum of its buildings: It includes infrastructure, waste management, transportation, synergy among buildings and possibly smart energy grids.”3 The latter two, however, rarely exist in it’s current conditions. Rather, they are a vision for the future of our cities. Today, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Consequently, most cities have grown out of control and “with disregard for the countryside, which must somehow supply food, water, air, and degrade huge quantities of wastes.”4 And, an increasing population, estimated to reach nine billion by 2050, will place even more pressure on our resources. Population growth for the next fifty years will challenge the city’s ability to provide livable means. This is not to say that cities are incapable of self-sufficiency, but in order to achieve such a balance, we must begin to think differently; think holistically. Although “to the general observer it seems that the city is the problem, in fact, its inherent nature is the potential solution.”5 It’s density reduces land use, requires less energy input, and increases productivity. Exploiting this, natural environments thrive in a way unlike that of any of our man-made cities.

When a mixed group of plant species, all with similar tolerances for temperature and humidity, grow in a given geographic region, their very presence attracts animals of different species to co-inhabit that region. The result is the eventual establishment of mutually dependent relationships, in which all the life forms in that zone, including the microbes, join to share in the flow of energy provided by the sun. This is the bare- bones definition of a functional eco system. . . The one characteristic they all share is that primary productivity (the total mass of plants produced over a year in a given geographically defined region) is limited by the total amount of energy received and processed. In fact, the amount of available energy actually determines the very nature of each ecosystem.”6 Despite this understanding of ecosystems, the human species has collectively decided that our role is an exception to the rule. But, our needs do not outweigh any other’s, nor do our actions have any less impact. As such, we must abide by the same laws as every other organism. And our cities must be held accountable.The city must become an ecosystem. Like nature, producing its own energy, supplying its own water, growing its own food and recycling its own waste, the city will be able to adapt to varying energy inputs and survive independent of outside sources.7

5


GREEN CITIES

6

THE CITY

IMAGE 1.02


NOT GREEN BUILDINGS

7


: FEEDING THE FUTURE “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if it is broken. “Our national food system evolved to support a rapidly growing population, and it has allowed us to feed more people than ever before. Yet, that evolution [has] had unintended consequences. Our current system is characterized by high energy usage and waste throughout all phases; an aging farming population; loss of farmland to development and degradation; and an obesity epidemic that threatens to reverse generations of public health progress. Because of these challenges, the very system that is meant to sustain and nourish us imposes costs to our health, our economy, and our environment.”8 As man transitioned from huntergatherers to an agrarian society, communities were first established followed by the necessary farming to support them. Since then, we have established cities, complex and enormous communities. Still they do not produce their own food. They are dependent on an uncontrolled outside source. By this, they should and could fail. It is time for a new, innovative approach to the way we produce food. “The radical challenges we will face in the future will drive the development of urban agriculture making it a viable economic strategy.”9 Instead of transporting the

8

THE CITY

food to the city, let’s transport the farm to the city. WATER, WATER NOWHERE “The UN World Development Report declared water as mankind’s most serious challenge of the 21st century.”10 While many go thirsty, nearly 70% of available fresh water is used for irrigation. Even worse, after the plants absorb the needed nutrients and the crop is harvested, runoff carries the chemicals from commercial fertilizers and pesticides and deposits them in our surface water, lakes, and oceans. This can have adverse effects for both humans and ocean life. In fact runoff causes more ecosystem disruption than any other single form of pollution. If we cannot cut back our water use, there will be both human and environmental consiquences. Since, food is such a vital part of human survival and agriculture is a major consumer of water, it is only time before one outweighs the other. However since this is such a vital intersection of the two neccesary resources, even a small change will have a great impact. If we can redesign our agricultural system not only will we impact the food industry but we can reduce water and energy, resulting significantly positive environmental yields.


IMAGE 1.03

9


domestic use industrial use

food sector

8%

30%

22%

70%

agricultural use

water use worldwide

energy use worldwide

The UN World Development Report declared water as mankind’s most serious challenge of the 21st century.

The food sector currently accounts for around 30 percent of the world’s total energy consumption. High-GDP countries use a greater portion of this energy for processing and transport. In low-GDP countries, cooking consumes the highest share.

agricultural energy use worldwide high-GDP Cropping production Processing & distribution

8 10 THE CITY

Livestock production Fisheries production Retail, preparation & cooking

:

calories of energy

1 calorie of food


3900

27%

percent of the prepared food consumers discard, which nationally costs approximately $1 billion in disposal.

the number of calories per person per day, produced by the US national food system.

preventing just 10% of this food from being discarded would be enough to feed all of New York City

TOTAL ENERGY RECEIVED

+

TOTAL ENERGY PROCESSED

12,000 [ tons of trash / day

=

PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY

New York City produces 12,000 tons of trash per day, this is equivalent to the weight of 300 tractor trailors. Although most of it ends up in landfills, the city’s trash is made up of 41% compostable and 36% recyclable materials.

]

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12 THE CITY

IMAGE 1.04


ENERGY: THE ABILITY OF A SYSTEM TO DO WORK Agricultural production is an energy intensive process. From growing to harvesting, processing to distribution, consumption to disposal, almost every aspect of the process requires large amounts of non-renewable energy. In fact, at our current efficiency--or lack thereof--it takes 8 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. Likewise, “80 percent of the increase in energy flows in the United States between 1997 and 2002 were related to the food system, in large part due to increased consumption of processed foods.”11 Our energy use is out of control and wasteful. We have forgone efficiency in lieu of comfort and convenience; and this is no more obvious than in our food system.

greenhouse gases. Moreover, this may result in an increase in food cost for the consumer. This said, we face an energy crisis. Our systems are dependent on a dwindling supply of fossil fuels and will cease to do work without them. These finite resources, oil, coal, and natural gas, have built up beneath the earth’s surface over millions of year. In turn, it is only a matter of time before supplies run dry. Most recently, the public is being persuaded of the saving grace that could be found in renewable energies. But, this does not solve the issue at its core. Despite the necessity for an alternative, we must first reduce our energy demand before supplementing it.

“Ideally the mouth of the consumer should be as close to the growing ingredients as possible,”12 but this is far from the case. As cities extend their limits, suburbs continue to consume what once was farmland. In turn, food continues to be produced further and further from urban centers. “From 1997 to 2002, transportation of several major types of food products averaged an increase of 5 to 15 miles annually. This rate increased from 2002 to 2007 to between 10 and 16 miles annually.”13 This not only places a larger demand for fuel, but contributes to increased amounts of

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WASTE DOES NOT

14 THE CITY

IMAGE 1.06


EXIST IN NATURE

15


THE WASTE OF WASTE It may be becoming easier, today, to eat only organic foods, to buy locally grown produce, or to practice a vegan diet. But, our “cities are not only consuming food, they are also digesting and disposing it.”14 The issues of our food system exceed the needs of supply and extend beyond consumption. Unfortunately our agricultural productions create waste at every phase of the food system. In consequence, the city is left with a mound of garbage--not including sewage--the volume of one city block filled one foot high every day. The shear quantity, more than 3000 tons per day,15 is cause enough to question our current waste solutions. When the field is prepared, and a crop is planted, farmers seldom consider a plant’s ‘end of life.’ The concern is ignored until it reaches the consumer and becomes the burden of the municipalities, in which they live. In turn, supplying our needs is quickly outweighed by the issue of what to do with it all when we’re done; what happens to the food scraps, leftovers, spoils, packaging and digested food? For many the answer is simple, “just throw it away.” Despite the idiom, “out of sight, out of mind”, ‘away’ does not exist. Instead, the majority of our waste builds up in landfills, requiring hundreds--if not thousands-- of years to decompose. A small amount of waste

16 THE CITY

is incinerated, reducing its volume, and an even lesser amount is recycled. Moreover, these solutions are temporary and only postpone the effects of our waste. To rethink the issue at hand, consider “there are different types of waste: there’s a waste of time, there’s a waste of space, there’s a waste of energy and there’s a waste of waste.”16 In our cities, the waste stream “happens in a one way direction: in agriculture, [nutrients] are taken from the soil and absorbed by plants. When they are consumed in cities, they get flushed away without recycling and are often disposed in the sea. As a consequence, agricultural grounds are in constant need of fertilizers”17 and the extracted nutrients are lost. Based on an understanding of the First Law of Thermodynamics (energy is neither created, nor destroyed, it can only change from one form to another), we may recognize that our waste, both solid and liquid, still contains energy. In other words, we are wasting waste.

IMAGE 1.04


IMAGE 1.05

17


FOOTNOTES 13 F  oodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC’s Food System, page 27-28 03 Maas, Winy, Ulf Hackauf, and Pirjo Haikola. Green dream: how future cities can outsmart nature. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2010. 04 Odum, Eugene P., and Gary W. Barrett. Fundamentals of ecology. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2005. 05 Maas , Green Dreams, 120. 06 Despommier, The Vertical Farm, 46. 07 Despommier, The Vertical Farm, 76. 08 N  ew York State. The New York City Council. FoodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC’s Food System. New York City, 2011. Print 09 2  7th, September 2010 | No Comments. “Hyper Island IAD11 .” Hyper Island IAD11 . http:// www.hi11.se/page/2 (accessed November 16, 2011). 10 Lim, C. J., and Ed. Liu. Smartcities + eco-warriors. Abingdon [England: Routledge, 2010. 11 F  oodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC’s Food System, pg 21 12 “Foodprint Manhattan.” T?F. http:// www.thewhyfactory.com/?page= project&project=29&type=future (accessed November 16, 2011).

18 THE CITY

14 “ Food City.” T?F. http://www. thewhyfactory.com/?page=project& project=46&type=future (accessed November 16, 2011). 15 White, On Farming, pg 211 16 “ Arthur Potts Dawson: A vision for sustainable restaurants | Video on TED.com.” TED: Ideas worth spreading. http://www.ted.com/ talks arthur_potts_dawson_a_ vision_for_sustainable_restaurants. html (accessed November 16, 2011). 17 “ Food City.” The Why Factory. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2011. <http:// www.thewhyfactory.com/?page=pr oject&project=46&type=future>.


IMAGE NOTES 1.01 h  ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/ static/in_depth/world/2002/ disposable_planet/slideshow/ default.stm 1.02 h  ttp://www.squidoo.com/newyork-city-wallpapers 1.03 h  ttp://idahofarmbureau.blogspot. com/2008_06_01_archive.html 1.04 h  ttp://www.thewhyfactory.com/? page=project&project=18&type= future 1.05 h  ttp://damxuanthanh.files. wordpress.com/2011/09/landfill. jpg 1.06 h  ttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ GV0k3zq1xyg/TQfemXOV0qI/ AAAAAAAAALc/RBP-cElhoZ8/ s1600/snap-shot-of-thenature-397-2.jpg, http://3. bp.blogspot.com/_GV0k3zq1xyg/ TQfemXOV0qI/AAAAAAAAALc/ RBP-cElhoZ8/s1600/snap-shotof-the-nature-397-2.jpg

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FOOD


KNOW LEDGE


food is something we all experience on a day-to-day basis, but few people actually have the knowledge or care to think critically about its production and potentials.

22 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

IMAGE 2.01


COUNTING CALORIES Food nutrition is essential to maintaining one’s health. But, this is simpler said than done. Today we are bombarded with an abundance of conflicting nutrition information. “From diet books to newspaper articles, everyone seems to have an opinion about what [we] should be eating.”20 Meanwhile, many organizations exist to support and protect the health of the public, our farmers, and our food and to promote healthy diets. Within the United States these include: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Today, these organization collectively recommend a healthy and balanced diet of 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. And an expansion of the basic 4 food groups now includes: grains; fruits; vegetable; fat-free or lowfat milk and milk products; lean meats, poultry, and fish; and nuts seeds and legumes.21 Having access to nutritious food is the right of every human being and “in 1996, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wrote that ‘food security’ occurs when food systems operate so that ‘all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet

their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle.’”22 Still, many city residents lack access to fresh food retail in their neighborhood, having to either travel a far distance or choose to eat less nutritious alternatives. If the countryside already cannot supply the city with enough food, what will become of the future city? Foodprint Manhattan, a 2009 collaborative study on food consumption patterns and production capacities, visualized the spacial requirements to feeding a city.23 Their research, based on average per capita food consumption, proves the issue is far more complex than just growing food in the city. With a diet made up of approximately only 15 food types, the average American consumes 2,600lbs of food per year; in turn, this requires 26,910ft2 of land per person.24 At 1.8 million in population and 23 square miles of land, the island of Manhattan would need 150 times its land area to produce enough food (28 times the land area, if accounting for all of New York City). This said, it is impossible to feed a city within its own boundaries if we continue to think horizontally. To feed the city of the future, an alternative to traditional agriculture will be necessary. Thinking vertically, the possibility of entire buildings devoted to urban farming, is not all that far fetched. “Experts claim

23


PHOTO SYTHESIS

24 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

IMAGE 2.02


WATER + SUNLIGHT + CARBON DIOXIDE + MINERAL NUTRIENTS 25


that a single 49 story skyscraper can produce as much food as 1,700 acres of farmland, enough to feed 50,000 people without logging a single food mile.”25 Moreover, Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor at Columbia University and author of The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century, estimates that approximately 150 such buildings could feed the entire city of New York. Although the idea seems ambitious, the need may be inevitable. THE SEED AND THE SOIL It’s simple. Plants require water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and mineral nutrients. Through a process called photosynthesis, plants are able to convert carbon dioxide, water and light into sugars, used to grow, and produce oxygen, balancing the earth’s atmosphere. “The photosynthesis process requires that the plant has access to certain minerals, especially nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. . . [which] can be naturally occurring in soil and are found in most commercial fertilizers.”26 Soil, however, is not actually necessary for plant grown, merely a medium through which roots absorb nutrients. Despite this, current agricultural practices depend on the arable soil that “comprises [only] 3 percent of the Earth’s surface”27 to provide food for 7 billion people. Needless to say, soil is vital to our agrarian

26 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

society. Unfortunately, farmland is being rapidly lost to development and environmental degradation, which puts increasing pressure on the farmland that remains. For years, farmers and scientists alike, have been testing the limits of our soil. We have gone as far as to pump the earth full of commercial fertilizers and pesticides, in hopes to squeeze out every last drop of production. However, this has only accelerated the problem and “the U.S. is losing topsoil approximately ten times faster than it can be replaced. By some estimates, roughly one inch of topsoil is lost every 34 years, which could take over 200 years to replenish. To many [living in the city], the loss of topsoil may seem a distant concern;”28 but, the city population will only continue to increase, while the land available for crop and food production will decline. GOING SOILLESS Across the globe, arable farmland is quickly disappearing and many regions face significant water shortages. But, what if these were no longer concerns for our food growth; “what if plants [didn’t] need soil anymore and [used] less water?”29 In fact, plants don’t need soil to grow and we can use less water. Soilless culture, a high-tech branch of agriculture where plants are grown without soil, uses artificial means to provide plants


IMAGE 2.03

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Brazil x 10 hectares

?

9

Current agricultural practices rely on the arable soil that comprises only 3% of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface, equivilent to the land area of South America. In order to feed the projected world population of 9.5 billion by year 2050, an additional land area the size of Brazil would be necessary. This land, however, does not exist.

hydroponics

water + nutrients

pump

return

aeroponics

water + nutrients

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions dissolved in water, without the need for soil. Since the water is continuously cycled and recycled through the system the amount of water needed to produce the same amount of crops as traditional agriculture is significantly less. Hydroponics uses as much as 90% less than traditional agriculture and aeroponics uses up to 65% less than hydroponics.

pump

28 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

IMAGE 2.04


of the food that we eat:

10% 20% 70%

1.23

hrs

time spent each day, by americans, eating and drinking

used to consume, digest & absorb food

.25 preparing hrs

food

converted to mechanical energy

consumed to support basic functions

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

In the case of the vertical farm, solar gain is actually desired. It is estimated that a given area would need approximately 200 days of sunshine in order to qualify sunlight as its main light source, otherwise artificial light must be supplemented. Including â&#x20AC;&#x153;partly sunny daysâ&#x20AC;?, NYC recieves 234 days of sun annualy.

29


30 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

IMAGE 2.05


with physical support and the necessary nutrients to grow. The most common of methods, hydroponics, either suspends or floods the pant’s roots in a solution of nutrients dissolved in water. Without the need for soil, we are able to grow plants-- specifically food--indoors and on rooftops in area’s where land is at a premium, and “in places where traditional agriculture simply isn’t possible.”30 Since hydroponics systems are set within controlled environments, we are better abled to manage the resources required to grow plants. The recycling and reuse of the water and nutrient solutions drastically decreases the amount needed; “hydroponics require only around 10 percent of the water that soil-based agriculture requires.”31 Furthermore, aeroponics uses the nutrient solution and applies it by misting the the suspended roots; this “drastically cuts down on water consumption by as much as 98 percent”32 Significantly benefiting the environment, “hydroponics requires little or no pesticides and only around 25 percent of the nutrients and fertilizers required of soil-based plants.” Additionally, growing indoors in urban areas would provide locally grown food for the city’s residents, while nearly eliminating the impacts of transportation. No longer would chemicals pollute our air, soil and waterways as a result of our food production.

However, a large scale hydroponic application—enough to feed a city— would require a significant upfront investment. Even so, over time hydroponics is typically cheaper, and yields more crops that traditional agriculture. Since “plants grown in this manner have direct access to water and nutrients and therefore, are not forced to develop extensive root systems to allow them to find the nutrients they need,”33 hydroponic plants have a shorter growth time. This results in multiple harvests and the possibility of year round growing. Still, some are skeptical of a real-world application of hydroponic farming. Energy demands, commercial viability, quality, and our willingness to accept artificially grown food are all valid concerns. But, we do not have to look far to find examples of success. During World War II, hydroponic farming provided a vital source of food for soldiers occupying barren Pacific Islands and other war torn areas. At NASA, scientists have extensively researched the application of hydroponics for the future of life on earth and space travel alike. Utilizing the technology, they have made it possible for astronauts to grow their own food in space.34 Despite their difference, hydroponic farming is very similar to traditional farming and the skills of the farmer will easily be transplanted into the city.

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CASE STUDIES

32 FOOD KNOWLEDGE

IMAGE 2.06


HYDROPONIC FARMING

33


34

IMAGE 2.07


the science barge The Science Barge is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff. From May to October 2007, the Science Barge hosted over 3,000 schoolchildren from all five New York boroughs as well as surrounding counties as part of our environmental education program.35

During my visit to the science barge I was able to witness first hand the benefits of growing food within an urban context. More importantly though, was the educational impact that this project has. Not only was I able to learn the workings of a hydroponic garden but during my visit there were several young children who were volunteering on a regular basis. Their interest and excitement in caring for the plants and the facility was inspiring. Passing on the knowledge of growing food and preparing the next generation to be able to support themselves sustainably is by far the most admirable aspect of the Science Barge.

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36

IMAGE 2.08


vertical farm korea Although this is not as large scale of a project as most vertical farms are imagined, this is one of—if not the only— hydroponic farm employing the principles set forth my Dr. Dickson Depomier in his book “The Vertical Farm”. Fabian Kretschmer and Malte E. Kollenberg write in Spiegel Online, “Every person who steps foot in the Suwon vertical farm must first pass through an “air shower” to keep outside germs and bacteria from influencing the scientific experiment.....Heads of lettuce are lined up in stacked layers. At the very bottom, small seedlings are

thriving while, further up, there are riper plants almost ready to be picked. Unlike in conventional greenhouses, the one in Suwon uses no pesticides between the sowing and harvest periods, and all water is recycled. This makes the facility completely organic. It is also far more productive than a conventional greenhouse.”36

37


38

IMAGE 2.09


gotham greens On top of an old bowling alley in industrial northern Brooklyn sits an expansive translucent greenhouse. Inside, a bounty of produce thrives under the supervision of a computer-controlled network of sensors, motors and plumbing. The 15,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse facility, called Gotham Greens, is reputedly the first commercialscale urban operation of its kind in the United States. Thousands of lettuce and basil seedlings were plopped into a soil-less farming system in May. Since then, three local entrepreneurs say their operation is on track to deliver 100 tons

of produce by the one-year mark.37

Gotham Greens is a perfect example of the feasibility of urban farming. Although on a â&#x20AC;&#x153;small scaleâ&#x20AC;? compared to industrial agriculture, this hydroponic farm is able to produce organic produce and fill a growing demand in the commercial food market. Just imagine farms just like gotham greens scattered across a landscape of city roofs. The possibility is there.

39


producing food for the 1.8 million residents that of the 23 square mile island, equivilent 40

IMAGE 2.10


ius

sq

0 ,45

i.)

33

ad i. r

m

m

(3

of manhattan requires a land area 150 times to a 33 mile radius surrounding the city. 41


FOOTNOTES 20 “ Nutrition for Everyone | DNPAO | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc. gov/nutrition/everyone/index.html (accessed November 16, 2011). 21 “ Nutrition for Everyone: Basics: Food Groups | DNPAO | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc. gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/ foodgroups.html (accessed November 16, 2011).  oodWorks: A Vision to Improve 22 F NYC’s Food System, pg 4  tudy produced by T?F, MVRDV, 23 S Stroom and animations by Wieland Gouwens 24 T  his estimation includes a required 50% of that land area for livestock grazing and production of animal feed. Changing our diets, in this regard, would significantly reduce the required amount of land. “The Vertical Farm” and this study, does not attempt to supplement man’s taste for meat. 25 “ Ecopolis : Science Channel.” Science Channel: Space, Technology, Engineering, Earth Science. http://science.discovery. com/tv/ecopolis/ecopolis. html?ewrd=1 (accessed November 16, 2011). 26 T  urner, Bambi. “HowStuffWorks “Hydroponics Growing Future”.” HowStuffWorks “Home

42

and Garden”. http://home. howstuffworks.com/lawn-garden/ professional-landscaping/alternativemethods/hydroponics7.htm (accessed November 16, 2011). 27 Bambi, How Stuff Works 28 FoodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC’s Food System, pg 19-20 29 T?F, Foodprint Manhattan 30 Bambi, How Stuff Works, 2 31 Bambi, How Stuff Works, 2 32 Bambi, How Stuff Works, 4 33 Bambi, How Stuff Works, 4 34 “ NASA - Farming for the Future.” NASA - Home. http://www.nasa. gov/vision/earth/livingthings/ biofarming.html (accessed November 16, 2011).  York Sun Works: The Science 35 “New Barge.” New York Sun Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http:// nysunworks.org/thesciencebarge>. 36 h  ttp://www.spiegel.de/international/ zeitgeist/vertical-farming-canurban-agriculture-feed-a-hungryworld-a-775754.html  osher, Dave. “High-Tech 37 M Hydroponic Farm Transforms Abandoned Bowling Alley.” Wired Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2011. <www.wired.com/ wiredscience/2011/10/gothamgreens-hydroponic-farm/>.


IMAGE NOTES 2.01 Image by author 2.02 h  ttp://www. hispanicallyspeakingnews. com/health-blog/details/lackof-sunlight-may-raise-strokerisk/13738/ 2.03 h  ttp://rootsofchangecoop.org/upcycle/sowing-seeds-our-way/ 2.04 Image by author 2.05 h  ttp://www.plantpropagation. homehydroponics.info/wpcontent/uploads/2009/10/lettucein-hydroponic-system.JPG, http://www.plantpropagation. homehydroponics.info/wpcontent/uploads/2009/10/lettucein-hydroponic-system.JPG 2.06 h  ttp://youngagropreneur. wordpress.com/2011/09/29/ hydroponics-aquaponics-andaeroponics/ 2.07 h  ttp://www.pushpullbar.com/ forums/showthread.php?11893Looking-for-examples-ofFarming-Concepts-and-FloatingArchitecture 2.08 h  ttp://thedailyeater.com/2011/08/ south-korean-working-verticalfarm.html 2.09 h  ttp://gothamgreens.com/ourfarm/ 2.10 Image by author

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(agri)


tecture


The concept of indoor farming is nothing new, hydroponics and other soilless methods have allowed us to grow indoors for some time. “What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people,”38 while reducing our environmental footprint. “An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented.” Take the greenhouse, a compacted version of our horizontal farm, and stack one upon another, upon another. This is the simplest understanding of the vertical farm. Employing cutting edge technologies, the vertical farm is an efficient, multi-story agricultural production facility located in the center of our cities. The vertical farm has many advantages over traditional agriculture. By moving food production into the city, we can remove the burden we have placed on the countryside. In turn, we no longer will need to worry about arable soil, and the damaged ecosystems will be allowed to repair themselves. This serves multiple benefits, including the regrowth of forested areas, which would sequester carbon from our atmosphere. Having control over the climate of these indoor farms allows us to grow crops year round without concern of adverse weather, nor changing of seasons. In addition, due to the monitored climate and carefully sealed exterior, the vertical farm reduces concerns of insects or parasites, resulting

46 (AGRI) TECTURE

in no need for pesticides. The vertical farm brings the production of food within direct proximity to the user demand. Because production, transportation, consumption and disposal are all within a small distance of each other, our agricultural system converges on a closing the loop. “In a major city like New York City, where almost all food must be flown or trucked in from miles away, the difference is tremendous. Vertical farming would largely eliminate the pollution generated as food is trucked, shipped and flown across countries to reach its desired markets.”39 Although most vertical farm proposals are depicted as futuristic, high-tech, ultra-modern skyscrapers in the urban landscape, the principles are simple and could be implemented in nearly any vertical structure. Each floor would contain a variety of crops being grown through hydroponic technologies. Water would be filled with the necessary nutrients and then distributed to the plants. Rainwater collection and natural bioremediation would create a closed loop water cycle. In addition to the already reduced water used by hydroponics, this system of collecting and recycling water would further reducing the demand for what will be a vital and scarce resource in the future.


IMAGE 3.01

47


ADVANTAGES 40 01.  Year-round crop production 02.  No weather-related crop failures 03. No agricultural runoff 04.  Allowance for ecosystem restoration 05.  No use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers 06.  Use of 70-95 percent less water 48 (AGRI) TECTURE

IMAGE 3.02


07.  Greatly reduced food miles 08.  More control of food safety an security 09. New employment opportunities 10. Purification of grey water to drinking water 11. Animal feed from postharvest plant material 49


hydrostackers

omega garden 50

IMAGE 3.03 & 3.04


nutrient film technology

hydroponic raft system IMAGE 3.05 & 3.06

51


FOOTNOTES 38 Despommier, The Vertical Farm, pg 22 39 S  ilverman, Jacob. “HowStuffWorks “Will there be farms in New York City’s skyscrapers?”.” HowStuffWorks “Science”. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2012. <http://science.howstuffworks. com/environmental/conservation/ issues/vertical-farming.htm>.

52


IMAGE NOTES 3.01 Images a result from a Google search for “Vertical Farm”. 3.02 h  ttp://cdn.greenprophet.com/ wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ vertical-farm-dicksondespommier-560x373.jpg 3.03 h  ttp://api.ning.com/files/ LBEuLLXX0LgazRLWJp-dY 7T9wfddtauGD*yhGeoJAw k8JCrLHFBs8YD4VdAZ9y VwGLsmhhQN9QeKTeQlUuzck49QvLa5V8U/100_6293. JPG 3.04 h  ttp://www.myspace.com/ omegagarden/photos/43388 3.05 http://www.flickr.com/  photos/62433987@ N05/5684200426/sizes/l/in/ photostream/ 3.06 h  ttp://www. hydroponicsequipment. co/2010/08/27/hydroponiclettuce/

53


NEW YORK


NEW YORK


56 NEW YORK NEW YORK

IMAGE 4.01


57


m

an ha tta n

the bronx

queens

newtown creek

brooklyn

buroughs

proposed site

green markets

community gardens

food deserts

adult obesity

58 NEW YORK NEW YORK

IMAGE 4.03


59


$30 billion

The New York City food market consists of over 8 million residents, $30 billion in food spending and a budget for institutional meals second only to the Unites States military.5

$600 million annual surplus demand for regional products that could be captured

$1 billion

addition potential NYC grocery store sales each year, for fresh food retail alone

With such vast purchasing power, New York City is uniquely positioned to stimulate the food economy, strengthen our regional food system, and drive local and regional business activity.

60 NEW YORK NEW YORK

IMAGE 4.04


24,000

5,445

restaurants

grocery stores

1,730

1,500

food wholesalers

public schools

1,000

1,000

emergency feeding prog.

food & beverage manufacturers

445

120

green carts

farmers markets 61


FOOTNOTES

62


IMAGE NOTES 4.01 h  ttp://static.theurbn.com/ wp-content/uploads/2011/04/ Screen-shot-2011-04-20at-12.13.18.png, http://static. theurbn.com/wp-content/ uploads/2011/04/Screen-shot2011-04-20-at-12.13.18.png 4.02 4.03 h  ttp://momaps1.org/images/ exhibition/large/2008/ YAP08/080622-223.JPG, http:// momaps1.org/images/exhibition/ large/2008/YAP08/080622-223. JPG 4.04 Image by author

63


NEW TOWN


CREEK


queens hunters point

sunnyside

blissville

greenpoint

maspeth

east williamsburg

brooklyn NEWTOWN CREEK

IMAGE 5.01


desired undesirable Newtown Creek is a 3.5 mi estuary that divides the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, in New York City, New York, United States. The creek begins near the intersection of 47th Street and Grand Avenue on the Brooklyn-Queens border and empties into the East River at 2nd Street and 54th Avenue in Long Island City. Its waterfront, and tributaries Dutch Kills, Whale Creek, Maspeth Creek and English Kills, are heavily industrialized. The creek has no natural waterflows. Its outgoing flow of 14,000 million US gallons/year consists of combined sewer overflow, urban runoff, raw domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater. Being estuarine, the creek is largely stagnant. Channelization made it one of the most heavily used bodies of water in the Port of New York and New Jersey and thus one of the most polluted industrial sites in America, containing years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million US gallons of spilled oil, and raw sewage from New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sewer system. Newtown Creek was

proposed as a potential Superfund site in September 2009, and received that designation on September 27, 2010.41 Not all is bad though. Currently the creek is being investigated for potential future remediation and development. Architecture firm Perkins+Will has envisioned a core of sustainable energy production and recreational uses for the Newtown Creek area. In addition the existing resources and infrastructures are and ideal context for the creation of an urban farm. The project can benefit from the water treatment and waste management facilities, existing transportation infrastructure, proximity to residential neighborhoods, reduced real-estate costs, as well as the plan for future development at hunters point south and the Newtown Creek waterfront. What may be considered an undesirable location for any other project, is actually a site the urban farm can thrive in.

67


68 NEWTOWN CREEK

IMAGE 5.02


69


street networks & lots

figure ground

underutilized sites

bridge connections

70 NEWTOWN CREEK

IMAGE 5.03


10’

10’

flood zone a flood zone b

50’

flood zone c 50’

storm surge zones

topography

hunters point (residences) LIC green market proposed site fresh direct distribution

sewage treatment plant

dept. sanitation (waste)

infrastructure

proposed site 71


72

NEWTOWN CREEK

IMAGE 5.04


The character of the built environment within the Newtown Creek are is diverse yet narrow. Industrial warehouse after industrial warehouse line its banks. Nine bridges intersect the river allowing vehicular and boat traffic to travel without interfering one another. Thick masonry walls, brick facades, concrete structures and steel and sheet metal warehouses are commonplace.

But there are also unique interjections within the harsh landscape, like the bulbous form of the Newtown Creek wastewater treatment facility. In one word, the character of Newtown Creak is: production.

73


opportunities residential

LIC green market

fresh direct distribution

site hunters point south

sewage treatment plant

residential

dept. sanitation

74

NEWTOWN CREEK

IMAGE 5.05


transportation

site

highway subway train (LIRR) water taxi / boats 1/2 mile radius

IMAGE 5.06

pb C ilo d aP rageNumber


perkins + will Perkins+Will has been selected to provide urban design and planning services for the nearly 1,000-acre Newtown Creek waterfront in Brooklyn. This largely industrial area has over the years been exposed to extensive contamination from its many former industrial uses. A number of ongoing environmental initiatives are attempting to return this underutilized swath of land to productive uses. This current master planning effort is being shepherded by the GMDC, Riverkeeper, and the Newtown Creek Alliance through grants made available by the New York State Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program. The Newtown Creek design team

76

NEWTOWN CREEK

which includes Gannett Fleming and Perkins+Will, will provide land use and urban design recommendations in order to prepare a BOA Nomination Work Plan and Report. These recommendations will include an analysis of area-wide existing conditions and opportunities, reuse potential, and conceptual redevelopment recommendations for revitalization and reuse of priority catalytic sites. A visionary development framework for Newtown Creek will be prepared that balances conservation and development, with recommendations for open space and ecological networks, including access and recreational use opportunities, habitat areas and trails, and sustainable stormwater networks.42


IMAGE 5.07

77


FOOTNOTES 41 “ Newtown Creek Alliance » About.” Newtown Creek Alliance . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2011. <http://www. newtowncreekalliance.org/about/>. 42 P  erkins+Will NYO. Newtown Creek BOA: Urban Design Draft. New York City, 2011. Print

78


IMAGE NOTES 5.01 Image by author 5.02 Images by Perkins+Will, New York Office 5.03 Image by author 5.04 Images by Perkins+Will, New York Office 5.05 Image by author 5.06 Image by author 5.07 Images  by Perkins+Will, New York Office 5.08 

79


PRO GRAM


DEVEL OPMENT


qualitative The vertical farm: a waste consuming, water filtering, carbon sequestering, sun absorbing factory farm of the future producing crops to sustain life, food culture and local economies. Its diverse and extensive program is a product of its integration into the surrounding urban infrastructure. Still, its main purpose remains to produce plants for human consumption, and all other spaces are to support this effort. Unlike the typical

82

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT

high-rise -or perhaps architecture as a whole- the “human user” is not the vertical farm’s primary concern. Instead, “the plant” becomes the user informing the design. The program has therefore been compiled from the research of industrial agricultural processes, hydroponic farming, energy and resource flows, ecological cycles, local context, and educational opportunities.


Plant Production: At its core, the vertical farm is a plant producing factory. Its multistory structure consists of successive floor plates filled with hydroponic plants. These â&#x20AC;&#x153;growing floorsâ&#x20AC;? include various types of hydroponic technologies and account for the vast majority of program space. At the start of the growing process a plant nursery is used for the selection and germination of seeds. Following this the plant will visit several different growing zones. Each of these programmed spaces may be separated by an air-lock to guarantee the integrity of the crops. Once fully grown and ripe, the plants will be harvested and stored or transported. Post-Harvest includes cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing. This process largely determines the final quality of the crop and thus care and concern must be given to the design of this aspect of the program.

Workforce Space: Like the traditional farm, although more diverse, a workforce of varying skills will support the daily operations of the vertical farm. Positions include: managers, engineers, agronomists, accountants, sales people, waste-to-energy personnel, laboratory personnel, and a large unskilled labor force. Necessary spaces related to the business aspects of the farm include offices and conference rooms, a breakroom, locker-room, bathrooms, a private entry, and storage. These spaces should be design out of necessity but integrated with the rest of the program as to support the production of plants.

83


Systems Monitoring: One of the major benefits of the vertical farm is the ability to grow crops year-round. This is in part due to the ability to control the indoor climate, including the humidity, light, and temperature. A central climate monitoring center will control and balance these systems according to the growing needs of each crop type. A research lab will allow scientist to study and improve the existing processes and design new growing technologies. The quality control lab will examine crops throughout their growth and before shipment or sale to monitor quality and integrity. Improving efficiencies will streamline the production of the vertical farm, further increasing its market viability.

84

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Crop Yield: The output of crop production supplies food both onsite and off. An onsite restaurant and cafe provide the farm with an additional source of revenue and showcase the culinary excellence of the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products. The green market supplies a dedicated space for farm-to-table sale of produce from the vertical farm, as well as other local farmers.Benefiting from the existing transportation infrastructure with the Newtown Creek area, all other production will be packaged and shipped to nearby points-of-sale via truck and barge.


Eco Education Center: As a prototype, this vertical farm is envisioned to be replicable throughout the city to provide food for all its inhabitants. However, as a first of its kind, this site will include an educational component. A main lobby will welcome guests to the farm and orient them to the various opportunities within. An exhibition space will teach visitors the principals of sustainable food production and consumption. Rotating exhibits would cover such topics as hydroponic technologies, agricultural practices, food selection and preparation, nutrition, and more. A lecture hall and classroom space support hands on learning and the constant flow of new and evolving knowledge. In addition, a large space for community gardens provides nearby residence the opportunity to grow their own food and continues the transfer of knowledge of traditional agriculture.

Infrastructure Integration: The urban farm will be fully integrated into the cities infrastructure, taking in waste and producing food, energy and clean water. Infrastrucural component will include the following: geothermal heat pumps for energy production, anaerobic digesters for waste management and energy production, wastewater treatment of both internal use and city water, electric generators, mechanical spaces, energy storage, photovoltaic solar collection, and winde energy collection.

85


vertical conveyance for crops seed storage

sys

GROWING FLOORS nursery for selection and germinating of seeds

nutrien solution

air lock pla n

t pr

quality control lab

odu ctio

n

harvesting

loading area for recieving and distribution

restaurant lobby ORGANIC GREEN MARKET

cafe

c

ro

86

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT

p

yi e

ld

IMAGE 6.01

E C

communi gardens f traditiona farming


in fr a s

EV panels for solar energy collection

tr u c

tur e

int e

n

INFRASTRUCTURE / MECHANICAL SPACE electric generator

temp. light

CLIMATE CONTROL / MONITORING CENTER

ti o

geothermal heat pumps

o stems m nitoring

nt ns

g ra

anerobic digesters for organic matter

dehumidification humidity

bathrooms offices for management

wastewater treatment

rainwater collection

locker rooms

rc e

breakroom

rk

fo

wo

ECO-EDUCATION CENTER

tio

n

ity for al

e d u c a ti

on

/

r i nf o

m

a

PROGRAM DIAGRAM

87


i n fr a

str

uc

tu re

inte g r a ti o n

syste m s m

on it o ri n

g

pl a n

f

or

on

w ork cro

ld

ed

en

p

yie

ter

ro

c ti

ce

tp

du

u c a ti o n

c

dehumidification vertical conveyance for crops

electric community generator gardens for traditional farming

GROWING FLOORS air lock

anerobic digesters for rainwater organic matter collection

temp.

INFRASTRUCTURE / MECHANICAL SPACE harvesting nursery for selection and germinating of seeds

seed storage

wastewater treatment

quality control lab light

88

ECO-EDUCATION CENTER

humidity CLIMATE CONTROL / nutrient MONITORING CENTER solutions

geothermal heat pumps

locker rooms loading area for recieving and distribution

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT

vertical conveyance for crops

breakroom

lobby EV panels for solar energy collection

ORGANIC GREEN MARKET restaurant

cafe

offices for management

bathrooms

IMAGE 6.02


designing for crops Unlike any typical architectural project, the vertical farm is not designed for the human inhabitant. Instead the main â&#x20AC;&#x153;userâ&#x20AC;? that impacts the design of the vertical farm is the crop. The following are 4 themes to guide the design of the vertical farm: capture sunlight and disperse it evenly among the crops; capture passive energy for supplying a reliable source of electricity; employ good barrier design for plant protection; maximize the amount of space devoted to growing crops.

The diagram on the previous spread depicts the relationship of the various program spaces. Importance is signified through scale and color and the flow of recources is indicated with directional arrows. The diagrams to the right explain the more general groupings that result from the relationship between spaces: (Top) Major Sectors (Bottom) Spaces for Plants vs. Spaces for Human Users

89


lettuce

spinach

broccoli

summer squash

melon

berries

strawberries

brussles sprouts

mushrooms

grapes

cucumbers

90

bok choy

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT

IMAGE 6.03


snow & snap peas

beans

herbs

tomato

egg plant

sweet peppers

carrots

radishes

hot peppers

When planning the vertical farm, architects and engineers must be driven by this critical concept [form follows function], since the vertical will be built to satisfy the needs of the crops and not necessarily ours.â&#x20AC;?43 The goal being to maximize the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s yield of quality crops. Plant selection has thus been based on several factors including: the capability to grow with hydroponics, maximum nutritional value, popular consumption, and market value. 91


growing floors 1,000,000 sf 92

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

IMAGE 6.04


circulation 50,000 sf

post-harvest & storage 50,000 sf

air lock 50 sf

harvesting 10,000 sf

nursery 10,000 sf

lecture hall 4,000 sf

lobby 3,000 sf

exhibition space 10,000 sf

community garden 25,000 sf

class rooms 1,950 sf

restaurant 4,000 sf

w.c. 1,400 sf

loading 2,500 sf

circulation 4,000 sf

circulation 4,000 sf

cafe 1,200 sf

green market 10,000 sf

bathrooms 3,500 sf

quality control lab 2,500 sf

large offices 1,000 sf

experimental lab 2,500 sf

conference 1,200 sf

locker rm 1,200 sf

offices 2,250 sf

circulation 1,100 sf

break rm 1,000 sf

storage 750 sf

entry 100 sf

Climate Monitoring 1,000 sf

QUANTATATIVE PROGRAM

93


FOOTNOTES 43 Despommier, The Vertical Farm, 181.

94

PORGRAM DEVELOPMENT


IMAGE NOTES 6.01 Image by author 6.02 Image by author 6.03 Image by author 6.04 Image by author  

95


SCHE MATIC


DESIGN


98

SCHEMATIC DESIGN


the gesture â&#x20AC;&#x153;One must try to design a thing in order to find out what the thing isâ&#x20AC;?44. In other words, throughout the design process, particularly at the onset, the designer has to trust their instinct. Leaving it to intuition, the initial ideation becomes a gesture. Through research/ investigation, ideation, development, and implementation, layers of exactitude are built upon the original gesture, resulting in a unique design.

The following gestures were born out of the idea of almost weightless hydroponic growing spaces. Small inflated balloons were used to signify theses growing areas and other programmed spaces, while metal wire provided a minimal structure and vertical conveyance.

99


the tree

Supported by a trunk like structure, large bulbs, filled with hydroponic growing mediums, extend upward and outward like the canopy of a forest. Circulation, conveyance, and structural support come from the trunk, which connects the growing areas to the grounds. 100 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.01


the vine

Situated within a light-infrastructure of woven members, varying sizes of â&#x20AC;&#x153;growing podsâ&#x20AC;? contain unique climates dependent upon the plants within. Interspersed with water-storage pods and other support spaces, the structure becomes reminiscent of grapes on a vine. IMAGE 7.02

101


102 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.03


the cloud cluster Floating like clouds high in the sky, structural tethers and â&#x20AC;&#x153;life support linesâ&#x20AC;? dangle from growing spheres. Free to move with the wind and react to other weather conditions, the dynamic cluster of spheres is always preforming for an audience.

103


like greenhouses in the sky 104 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.04


the future's floating farms IMAGE 7.05

105


NEW YORK CITY

106 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.05


HEARTS BALLOONS

107


the balloon

108 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.07


surface to volume

larger = stronger

In comparison to the common rectilinear forms of architecture, the sphere, uniquely, has the greatest volume to surface area ratio. A design as such, allows the â&#x20AC;&#x153;growing areasâ&#x20AC;? to be maximized while maintaining the least amount of built form. Making the case for such a mega-structure can easily become daunting. However, unlike traditional forms of building, geodesic domes grow proportionally stronger as their size increases. 109


360° sunlight

wind energy

Utilizing the spherical form, the floating farm will rotate 360 degrees in the wind. By eliminating the static qualities of the typical “facade”, the farm increases its solar intake across one continuous “south facade”. Likewise, energy can be generated by harnessing the power of the wind. Acting like a piston, the upward and downward movement of the floating farm will pull on its tether, spinning a generator to create electricity. 110 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.08


no obstructions

increased rainwater collection

In a city as tall as New York, the buildings around the farm become concerns when they begin to block sunlight. Floating high above the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even the cloudsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the farm is now free of any obstruction. Although the sphere has the least surface area to volume ratio, in comparison to the rectangle, the sphere is able to collect rain-water across half of its surface as opposed to just one sixth. 111


heat differential = lift

75° 76°+

HE

Buckminster Fuller was no idiot! In his “Cloud 9” project, Fuller imagined floating cities inhabiting large spheres, a mile in diameter. He believed, at that scale, a temperature difference of just one degree would enable the spherical cities to float above the earth. In addition to heat-differential creating lift, like a hot air balloon, the farm can employ helium to stay high in the sky. Although it is not commonplace today, helium technology has been used for decades in blimps and other dirigibles 112 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.09


umbilical cord

reel in & dock for harvesting

nu.

CO2

Since the floating farm will be substantially disconnected from the rest of the program, its physical connection will be made through an â&#x20AC;&#x153;umbilical cordâ&#x20AC;?. This connection will supply the farm with all its necessities, including: water, nutrients, CO2, and electricity. When the plants are ready for harvest, the farm will be reeled in and docked. The sphere can then be entered & the plants can be tended to. Docking may be necessary throughout the growth period as well, to perform maintenance on the plants. 113


GIANT SPHERES

114


FLOATING OVER NYC ?

115


WHY NOT?

116 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.10


Fuller and Shoji Sadao’s dome over Manhattan. “[Fuller] envisioned cutting people off from the elements entirely by building domed cities, which, he claimed, would offer free climate control, winter and summer,” Kolbert writes. “‘A two-mile-diameter dome has been calculated to cover Mid-Manhattan Island, spanning west to east at 42nd Street,’ he observed. ‘The cost saving in ten years would pay for the dome.’”45

117


118 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.11


SITE PLAN_FROM ABOVE THE CLOUDS

119


solar energy sunlight (growing)

o2

food food co2

fertilizer

industrial

living system anaerobic digester methane to biogas to fuel transport trucks

120 SCHEMATIC DESIGN

IMAGE 7.12


wind energy

rain water

co2

residential sewage grey water food scraps

RESOUCRE FLOWS & INFRASTRUCTURE INTEGRATION

121


122

IMAGE 7.13


geodesic dome A geodesic dome is a sphere-like structure or partial-spherical shell structure of a complex network of triangles based on a network of great circles (geodesics) on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that gives structural strength while using a minimum of material. Typically a geodesic dome design begins with an icosahedron inscribed in a hypothetical sphere, tiling each triangular face with smaller

triangles, then projecting the vertices of each tile to the sphere.46 Advantages to the this structural type include: The geodesic dome requires only 3% the weight in materials required by any other engineering alternative for enclosing wide spaces, and welding makes the strength of the dome unparalleled, withstanding gale-force winds and heavy snow loads.47

123


volcano

nest

globe 124

IMAGE 7.14


the dock Tethered to the ground, the large growing spheres will float up in the sky why the plants develop and grow. Every six weeks the crops within the spheres will need to be harvested. The tether will then be reeled with a winch and the growing sphere will be harvested. The uplift created by the growing spheres moving in the wind is an entirely new structural challenge for architecture. The three docking types (opposite page) address this by allowing the sphere to be tethered to the ground while

wrapping the building around the sphere when it is docked. Inside the docking area is a very pragmatic industrial/ structural system that allows circulation around the growing sphere to allow access at various points and to preform maintenance on the sphere. When the sphere is out to float during the growing sequence the void acts as a giant lightwell allowing sunlight to penetrate the adjacent spaces. When docked, the void is eclipsed by the sphere indicating it is time to harvest.

125


126

IMAGE 7.15


127


FOOTNOTES 44 Woods, Timothy. Email interview. 26 May 2012. 45 “ Weird Science : The New Yorker.” The New Yorker. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2012. <http://www. newyorker.com/online/2008/06/09/ slideshow_080609_ fuller?slide=7#slide=7>. 46 C  raven, Jackie. “Geodesic Dome - Definition of Geodesic Dome and Resources for Geodesic Domes.” Architecture and House Styles and Building Design. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2012. <http://architecture. about.com/od/domes/g/geodesic. htm>.  isionary, Troy Ohios former 47 V resident. “Bucky Fuller and the Troy Model.” HEARTCOM Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.heartcom.org/ TroyModel.htm>.

128 SCHEMATIC DESIGN


IMAGE NOTES 7.01 Image by author 7.02 Image by author 7.03 Image by author 7.04 h  ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ pavementpieces/5225017857/ 7.05 Image by author 7.06 Image by author 7.07 Image by author 7.08 Image by author 7.09 Image by author 7.10 h  ttp://artblart.files.wordpress. com/2010/07/fuller_ domeovermanhattan.jpg 7.11 Image by author 7.12 Image by author 7.13 h  ttp://www.dexigner.com/ news/24296 7.14 Image by author 7.15 Image by author

129


DESIGN 130


DEVEL OPMENT 131


132

IMAGE 8.01


CONCEPTUAL RENDERING OF GROWING SPHERES FLOATING

133


water & nutrients hydrogen solar film

SECTION_GROWING SPHERE

134

IMAGE 8.02


the growing sphere Giant spheres floating above the clouds. From the inside out: the skin of the spheres is made up of a layer of ETFE cushions, containing hydrogen they help the sphere float while creating a positive pressure, maintaining the interior environment and keeping out anything unwanted. The spheres structure is made up of three layers creating a large geodesic sphere 250’ in diameter. On the interior a structural core extended through the center which supports the growing arms. Each layer of growing arms is made up of 16 radiating arms which are filled with hydroponic crops.

IMAGE 8.03

Each layer is rotated off the one bellow it allowing no obstruction of sunlight. Robotic arms located at each level tend to and maintain the crops while they are floating. In addition gantry cranes are located at various levels and are used to lift sections of crops and lower them to the access level for harvesting, At the bottom of the sphere an access level for humans and bellow this a “mechanical belly”. The mechanical space include water/nutrient systems, air handling units, hydrogen storage, and electrical systems.

135


ETFE Cushions (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene)

Inner Shell 32-frequency, class II icosahedron tessellation

In-Between Struts connecting the inner and outer shells

Outer Shell 16-frequency, class I tessellation of the icosahedron

ETFE Cushions containing hydrogen for lift

EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC_EXTERIOR SKIN

PLAN VIEW_GROWING SPHERE

136

PLAN VIEW_GROWING ARMS

IMAGE 8.03


FRONT FACE_ GROWING ARM NTF: NUTRIENT FILM TECHNOLOGY

PROFILE_ GROWING ARM NTF: NUTRIENT FILM TECHNOLOGY

SUNLIGHT DIAGRAM

IMAGE 8.04

137


INTERIOR PERSPECTIVE_GROWING SPHERE 138

IMAGE 8.05


ER T RIV EAS

HUNTERS POINT SOUTH

EK

N

E CR

W TO

W

NE

SITE PLAN_FROM ABOVE CLOUDS

IMAGE 8.06

139


Lobby Restaurant/Cafe Farmers Market Community Gardens Education Center Offices

140

Infrastructure/Mechanical Storage/Delivery/Pick-up Harvesting Laboratories Systems Monitoring Circulation

IMAGE 8.07


SECTION _DOCKING STATION_GROWING

SECTION _DOCKING STATION_HARVEST

IMAGE 8.08

141


WHERE AND WHEN Current industrial agricultural practices are simply unsustainable. And after years of neglect and overuse, America’s once productive landscapes have become infertile. Despite great advances in technology, cities all across the country struggle to provide their inhabitants with basic necessities: food and water. New York City is no different. However, an uprising of citizens, a movement towards holistic urban living, has proposed a new way to farm. A way unlike anything before, unlike anything possible before now.

farm follows function

BASIC CONDITIONS Farm Follows Function is based on the assumption of several technological advances. The First and most obvious is the ability of the “growing spheres” to float. Advances in stabilizing hydrogen as well as the development of super-lightweight materials contribute greatly to the ability to achieve lift. In addition to the efficiency of hydroponic farming, extreme increases in food prices due to loss of farmland and transportation costs provide substantial reason to rethink the farming process.

A SOLUTION FOR FUTURE URBAN FARMING

KEY PRINCIPLES Farm Follows Function proposes a novel & imaginative solution for future farming needs. In this scenario, urban food production takes to the skies. In contrast to conventional approaches to typical architecture, this proposal imagines a future where horizontal land has become scarce and in turn extremely valuable. Insert, the growing spheres, waste consuming, water filtering, carbon sequestering, sun absorbing factory farms of the future producing crops to sustain life, food culture and local economies. Its diverse and extensive program is a product of its integration into the surrounding urban infrastructure. Still, its main purpose remains to produce plants for human consumption, and all other spaces are to support this effort. Unlike architecture as a whole- the “human user” is not the vertical farm’s primary concern. Instead, “the plant” becomes the user informing the design. Farm Follows Function is the result of research in industrial agricultural processes, hydroponic farming, energy and resource flows, ecological cycles, local context, and educational opportunities.

Benjamen Buglovsky_Arch 799 _Professor Reno_Spring 2012_1 of 4

NEWTOWN CREEK_QUEENS NY Located near the East River, the project’s site runs along the Newtown Creek. Currently an area full of light industrial and manufacturing, a city intuitive is in place to reimagine the area as a core of sustainable technology and energy production. Situating a highly productive urban farm within Newtown Creek, the project benefits from the surrounding context: existing and planned residential, wastewater treatment, energy production facilities, solid waste management, transportation infrastructure, and various choices of public transportation. macy’s thanksgiving day parade

conceptual image

conceptual model

EAS

T RIV

ER

buckminster fuller’s dome over manhattan

SECTION _DOCKIN

SECTION _DOCK HUNTERS POINT SOUTH solar energy sunlight (growing)

wind energy

K EE

W

N

TO

W NE

CR

o2

r food

Lobby Restaurant/Cafe Farmers Market Community Gardens Education Center Offices

Infrastructure/Mechanical Storage/Delivery/Pick-up Harvesting Laboratories Systems Monitoring Circulation

food co2

fertilizer

co2

industrial

living system anaerobic digester methane to biogas to fuel transport trucks

RESOURCE FLOWS & Benjamen Buglovsky_Arch 799 _Professor Reno_Spring 2012_3 of 4

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Benjamen Buglovsky_Arch 799 _Professor Reno_Spring 201

IMAGE 8.09


EXTERIOR SKIN A lightweight geodesic structure sandwiched between ETFE cushions & filled with hydrogen to create lift.

TRANSPARENT SOLAR FILM Printed on the exterior skin, the film collects solar energy without blocking sunlight.

GANTRY CRANE Used to vertically convey sections of the NFT channels between growing levels & entry/ harvest level.

ROBOTIC ARMS Monitor, maintain & tend to crops while “floating spheres” are the in growing stage.

HYDROPONIC FARMING Using the Nutrient Film Technology (NFT), crops are grown without the need for soil.

MECHANICAL BELLY Maintains controlled indoor environment. Water & nutrients, air quality, hydrogen lift, & energy use.

SECTION THROUGH GROWING SPHERE water & nutrients hydrogen solar film

Benjamen Buglovsky_Arch 799 _Professor Reno_Spring 2012_2 of 4

THE GEODESIC SPHERE >> Ranging from structural integrity to aerodynamics, to solar access, to creating lift, there are many benefits to the design of a sphere compared to the traditional rectilinear architecture.

surface to volume

360° sunlight

larger = stronger

wind energy

no obstructions

increased rainwater collection

umbilical cord

heat differential = lift

75° 76°+

HE

reel in & dock for harvesting

nu.

CO2

NG STATION_GROWING

PLAN VIEW_GROWING SPHERE

ETFE Cushions (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene)

Inner Shell 32-frequency, class II icosahedron tessellation

In-Between Struts connecting the inner and outer shells

Outer Shell 16-frequency, class I tessellation of the icosahedron

ETFE Cushions containing hydrogen for lift

EXTERIOR SKIN_GROWING SPHERE

KING STATION_HARVEST

PLAN VIEW_GROWING ARMS SUNLIGHT DIAGRAM

rain water

residential sewage grey water food scraps

INFRASTRUCTURE INTEGRATION

FRONT FACE_ GROWING ARM NTF: NUTRIENT FILM TECHNOLOGY

12_4 of 4

FINAL THESIS BOARDS

PROFILE_ GROWING ARM

NTF: NUTRIENT FILM TECHNOLOGY

INTERIOR PERSPECTIVE GROWING SPHERE

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FOOTNOTES

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IMAGE NOTES 8.01 Image by author 8.02 Image by author 8.03 Image by author 8.04 Image by author 8.05 Image by author 8.06 Image by author 8.07 Image by author 8.08 Image by author 8.09 Image by author

145


THESIS


CON CLU SION


in hindsight

148


At the initial onset of this thesis, I had investigated several texts that revealed an intriguing relationship between agriculture and architecture, hence the title of my (agri)tecture chapter. The text varied in scale and purpose, ranging from high-tech hydroponic farming to community building to farmhouse design. The orientation my my thoughts were particularly affected by the Dr. Dickson Depomier’s book The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century. In his book he describes the broad concepts and the details of the vertical farm, skyscrapers filled with hydroponic crops growing on floor after floor. I took the idea to heart as he lays out his argument for the necessity to redesign our agricultural systems. He explains, our current system will not be able to support the additional 3 billion people that will inhabit this earth within the next 40 years. This alone is cause for concern despite that our agricultural processes over use, are inefficient, wasteful, destructive and unsustainable. After finishing his book it was my intent to design a vertical farm based on his principle.

my mind of practicality and allow myself ti imagine “what could be”, rather than “what is”. The divergence from “the vertical farm” concept began with the gestural concept models. What began as a playful experiment using small balloons to create these models soon became a major design driver. During a critical conversation between a fellow student and myself the question arose, “why can’t they float? Why not?”. In that simple challenge was born the core concept behind the entire project. As the project progressed forward, the ideas of flotation and shear scale pushed the envelope of reality. Meanwhile, with the guidance of my thesis committee, the design of the interior of the growing spheres and the docking station grounded the project with possibility. Despite the deviation from the initial concept, I believe in its entirety the design of these futuristic floating farms, address the core values of the original thesis statement: to design a solution to feeding an urban population on a large scale within the proximity of its boundaries.

However, Depomier’s argues that the vertical farm is a practical idea with real world application, today, yet an idea lingered in the back of my mind that as part of my thesis I wanted to design a futuristic object. I had the desire to free

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Farm Follows Function: A Solution for Future Urban Farming  

An architecture thesis that explores the current food supply and infrastructure of cities and the potential future of agricultural productio...

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