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Agriculture in the City:

Spring 2013

Phoenix, Arizona

Michael Joseph


Contents

Essays.......................................................................................................................................................................................1-5 Art Installation......................................................................................................................................................................5 Why Phoenix?............................................................................................................................................................................6 Project Goals...........................................................................................................................................................................7 Site..........................................................................................................................................................................................8-10 Height Restrictions...............................................................................................................................................................11 Site Setbacks..........................................................................................................................................................................12 Site Transportation.............................................................................................................................................................13 Precedent Studies...........................................................................................................................................................14-15 Program..............................................................................................................................................................................16-17 Client..........................................................................................................................................................................................18 Energy........................................................................................................................................................................................19 Starting design...............................................................................................................................................................20-21 Phase 1................................................................................................................................................................................22-29 Phase 2...............................................................................................................................................................................30-35 Phase 3................................................................................................................................................................................36-39 Final Design......................................................................................................................................................................40-75

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Bibliography...........................................................................................................................................................................76


http://progressivetimes.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/indoor-farming-may-be-organics-only-hope/

At the beginning of this semester, we were assigned a set of readings that were intended to help guide our thesis project through the end of the year. The essays Modernity: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Marshall Berman, Anthropological Time Zones by Jeremy Rifkin, Machines as the Measure of Men by Michael Adas, and Art & Discontent: On the Manner of Addressing Clouds by Thomas McEvilley. Response to Modernity Essay:

Design in the twenty-first century has become something that could only have been imagined in the past. Designers use to primarily work with unsophisticated tools and for centuries, these tolls didn't really change. Today on the other hand is a completely different story. It seems like every year, our tools get more advanced and we move more to a field based on parametric design. We have

design is in the notion that everyone and anyone can now become a designer and do so without investing years of their life to learning the trade. If parametric design has made our job easier, it has most defiantly started to also make it obsolete. All it takes is a computer and some free software from the internet and your average Joe now considers himself a designer. From his living room, he is able to design a building that in the past an office of designers would have collaborated on. He has a continuously growing library of ready to go materials, fixtures and furniture that he didn't design, but is able to thoughtlessly add them to his building with a careless click of the mouse. Architects start to lose their relevance because now anyone can do their job. Slowly, our profession is become less relevant due to the advancements we are making in technology. If things continue and architects do become less desired to design something, our world will surely be filled with copied and pasted buildings constructed without a thought or process. In closing, I believe that if used the correct way, parametric design is a wonderful tool that can help us build great things. But we need to learn to separate ourselves from it and understand the process of the design and the reasoning's behind them. Parametric design should never be looked at as a crutch, but as something that can help

Essays

gotten to a point where practically anyone can design a building on a computer and do so with little thought. But is this moral? Should we be able to just plug something into a computer and get a design out of it? According to the modernist's, the answer is no, parametric design is not a moral approach to solving a design issue. Their argument is that technology now gives us the answers to problems that we no longer have to solve or think about. It takes the human mind and touch out of the equation and replaces it with an automated response that can be duplicated an infinite number of times with a click of a button. I think in the eyes of most people, this would not be a moral approach to any form of design. Looking at architecture specifically, parametric design gives us tremendous advantages that can be very helpful. Never before in the history of design have we been able to do our job with such sophistication and quickness. Parametric design gives us the tools to understand endless amounts of knowledge about our building and does so in a matter of seconds. We have a never ending supply of ever flowing information that in the past would require large amounts of time, and in today's world, time is money. By being able to do our trade with more speed we save our clients money, which can be argued as being a moral thing. Where I start to fear parametric

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as an aid to guide the process. Technology isn't going away and it most certainly isn't a bad thing, we just need to learn to use it appropriately and morally, otherwise we end up with a humanless, or cyberpunked designed world. Relating the essay to my thesis project with urban agriculture in mind, I immediately started thinking about the moral implications of the structure. Right now, the average meal travels over 1,500 miles before being consumed. We also use about 70% of our water usage on agriculture and we pump the produce we grow full of pesticides and hormones. Our food supply is no where near natural or healthy. Another issue is that currently, only 1% of the United States’ population produces food. Because of this, the majority of the population doesn’t know where their food comes from. How is this moral? My thesis project looks to bring morality back to the food industry through the use of vertical farming. The goal is to produce and sell products locally and do so at a higher quality.

2. http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/buy.local.asp

Response to Time Essay:

In the United States, time is the controlling factor above all other things. It seems that we are always in a rush to do something or get somewhere. Because of this, past generations had neglected to think about the affects their actions would cause in the future. In their eyes, time was too valuable to waste to stop and think about something that wasn't going to affect their lives. This became a huge problem, especially when how quickly you can do something started to define how much profit you would make. By turning a blind eye to the future and refusing to stop and consider the affects their decisions would have on today's population, past generations have undoubtedly reshaped the world that we now inherit in a negative way. It is now the job of today's designers to use technology to try and fix the problems caused by the past and to also consider outcomes of the future, while at the same time, learning from the past. The notion of temporal perspective is and always has been changing. During the twentieth century, our culture was vastly different and was shaped by the manufacturing economy. We were a country that was reliant on producing and manufacturing our own goods. If we couldn't make something, there wasn't a market for it. Yes, we still traded our goods overseas and imported things from other countries, but for the

most part items sold in the United States were typically made here too. Around this time period, possibly some years before, the idea that time was a precious commodity started to take shape. We started looking for ways to cut costs, increase production, maximize profit and most importantly, do so in a more timely manner. And when we could no longer produce things quickly by hand, we moved to a machine made world, where everything started to become automated. We took the human out of the product and replaced it with a machine that could produce an infinite number of goods and do so around the clock. Production was king and everything started to take a back seat, including the environment. It wasn't an uncommon thing to see factories in the United States during the early to mid part of twentieth century and in some places, they actually shaped the landscape and skylines of a city. These places were rugged, dangerous but extremely profitable. They were built quick and cheap, without a thought of future use. No one knew that in the decades to come, these factories would become obsolete and either bulldozed or left to decay. They weren't designed to be used by future generations or to be used for any other purpose other than manufacturing goods. When it became clear that these factories were no longer profitable and that imported goods saved time and


money, they were all abandoned. The damage had been done. We were so blinded that we didn't take the time to think about how our actions were going to affect future generations. We moved from a manufacturing country to one based almost solely on consumption in a matter of decades, all because it was more efficient to have other countries produce our goods. Landscapes were left barren with empty buildings that were falling apart because they were only meant to be a temporary solution to our consumption addiction. It was really only during the beginning of the twenty-first century that we started to see the affects of our past ignorance. During this time, we started to see changes in the environment. Seasons felt different than those of past. Winter came later and felt more harsh while summer blazed us with record setting heat. For the first time, we started to understand the affects of the decisions made from past generations. Everything from the environment to the economy could be linked in some way, shape or form to the irresponsible choices that had been made in the past. We hide behind a blanket of ignorance and say things like "well we didn't know any better" or "we didn't understand" when had we just taken the time to think through our decisions, we would have been able to see the problem before it smacked us in the face. Today, it is now the current

generation's problem to fix the mistakes of the past. Thankfully, I believe that we are starting to understand that the decisions we make can and will affect the lives of future generations. This is evident in the field of design, where we now have sophisticated technology that can help us build structures that are more permanent and less dependent on energy. The field is also starting to understand that a structure will not be used for its intended purpose forever and that thinking otherwise is neglectful. So to account for this, buildings are being designed to be more flexible so that future generations can use them for their own needs, without having to rip them down. In the years to come, I think we will be more aware of our surroundings and will take the time to fully understand our decisions. And with the ever growing technological advances, we really don't have a reason to not learn from the past and think about the future. Technology has made it too easy to ignore with innovations in BIM software, which now allows us to accurately predict how a building will respond and hold up to its surroundings. In regards to a graduate project topic, I think that it is essential to design for the future. We need to understand that the needs of future generations will vary from our own. If you don't design for the future, the structures that you create will sooner than later become obsolete and will no longer serve a

purpose. They will be as permanent and functional as the abandon factories of the past. To design without thinking about the future, and without learning from the past is neglect and has no place in today's world.

http://www.economist.com/node/17647627

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Response to Machines Essay:

In the United States, we are obsessed with the allusion of time. Everything we do is based around the notion of passing time. At six in the morning we wake up and eat breakfast. At eight we go to work. At noon we get a lunch break. At five in the evening we go home and eat dinner. At eleven we go to bed. The process never ends and continues to repeat itself every day. We are a very punctual society that is enslaved by an invisible force that we have all agreed should run our lives. Because of our notion of time, we have become rhythmic, repetitive and almost machine like. Time is our currency and to us, only a fool would waste it. Western culture has vigorously tried to set a world standard for the measurement of time, but is our idea of time really correct? Looking at our society from the outside, one would see a group of people constantly looking at their watches and always in a hurry to get somewhere. It would be hard to understand what was going on and why these people were always in a rush. We would look crazed to an outsider who had never experienced our addiction to time. They wouldn't be able to comprehend the importance that we place on time, an abstract measurement that we made up to "better our lives". Just because an outsider wouldn't understand our notion of time 4.

doesn't mean they are ignorant. In the reading, there are several descriptions made by western people trying to colonize the "undeveloped world" of Africa and Asia. The descriptions are nothing short of raciest, but at the time were seen by western society as fact. Because Africans and Asians couldn't fully comprehend our notion of time, we felt that they were inferior and stupid. It was our job as the privileged, more advanced culture to teach these "savages" the correct way to live their lives, by the clock. In doing so, we shoved our views and lifestyles down their throats in order to "help" them live a more fulfilling life. Why is our notion of time better than any other culture's? We base our lives around the clock, a mechanical instrument that continuously repeats itself. Other cultures could care less about machine made time and focus their lives around natural cycles. Instead of looking at a clock every hour, other cultures look to the natural environment that surrounds them, thus making them more related to their surroundings. In our society, the clock has taken the place of nature and we have become more like the clock, repeating the same actions everyday and doing them at the same time. There is no right or wrong way to preserve time, but how you do it heavily determines how you live your life. For instance someone in western culture

that lives around the clock will be vary punctual and will do things because of what time it is. On the other hand, someone basing their life around natural cycles will be connected to nature and will do things based on what the environment allows them to. Neither way is wrong, rather they are just another way of doing things. Looking at the assignment, spending twenty-four hours away from information technology was relatively complicated. I went camping which allowed me to escape the temptations of my house, like the computer, television and internet. It was nice being out in the woods, away from civilization, relying on nature to tell me what time it was. At night we had a fire to stay warm and converse. In the morning we got up when the light woke us. Nature was the one controlling factor that we relied on. But even though I was separated from the temptations at home, I don't think I was really ever disconnected because I still thought about them. I still wanted to check my phone to see if I had service. I still wanted to check my Facebook and send a text message. Even though I was separated, I don't think we can ever really disconnect ourselves from information technology once we've been raised in a culture that demands that we are somehow connected because we will always be thinking about it. This essay was more complicated to relate to my graduate project. After


Art Installation

In the United States, food consumption has become a thoughtless process. When we get hungry, we simply find something to eat to satisfy our craving. But where does this food really come from? The average American meal travels over 1,500 miles from point of production to consumption. This is a huge problem that is putting a large strain on not only the environment, but our health too. Most Americans don't realize they are contributing to this

problem every time they visit the grocery store. What can be done about this growing problem? Simple, buy and produce food locally! Food that is sold closer to its source is usually healthier (doesn't require as many preservatives) for consumption and doesn't have as large of a carbon footprint on the environment. What if we took this concept one step further? What if large Cities actually started producing their own food supply instead of importing everything? The surveys hanging from the ceiling were given out at random to people in the community. They were asked ten questions about their food purchasing habits and then were asked to point out on a map where they believed their food comes from. This data was taken and then plotted as a layer on the map. A second layer was then elevated above the map showing where the United States imports most of its food from. Each point is different in size representing the carbon footprint of the food being transported. Red wire emerges through this layer and connects each food production point to Moscow, Idaho, where the food is consumed. The final layer of the map shows what local could really mean if Cities started to

produce their own food. The point of the project was to get people to think about their food consumption habits and make them more aware of the environmental impact they are contributing to by not buying local.

Art Installation

some thought, and a few more reads, I started to see some relation to my project. Granted, the relations I did make seemed to be a little off topic from the essay, I still feel that they are important because it got me thinking about my project in a different light. After reading the essay, I started thinking about the current farming methods that we use and how “outdated” they really are. We have the technology to better our farming methods, but we choose to not change anything. We are stuck in a mind set that says “well thats how we’ve always done it”. My graduate project looks to smash the mold of traditional farming and branch out into the new technology that I believe will produce not only a higher quality product, but a larger quantity too. There are other ways to do things, like telling time, we just haven't branched out and done them.

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Why Phoenix http://www.cosmeticsurgerytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/phoenix-az.jpg

City Selection

When it came time to picking a site, I had a few criteria in mind that I wanted it to the site to have. First off, I wanted the site to be located in an area where agriculture is currently being practiced. Arizona, even through it is in the desert, has a large agriculture system. The reason Arizona has such a large agriculture system is because the weather is warm all year round. Farmers are able to get a longer grow season then they would in a place like Colorado. The second criteria that I wanted my site to have was it’s climate. I wanted the site to be located in an area that shouldn’t really be practicing agriculture due to its geographic location. As mention, Phoenix sits in the middle of the desert where scorching temperatures make growing crops near impossible. Crops in Arizona need massive amounts of water, which is something that Arizona doesn’t have enough of. Even though Phoenix is located in the desert 6.

it’s population has exploded in the last few decades. This shouldn’t be happening. Phoenix should not exist, or at least be a large city because of its geographic location. Because it does exist and it is such a large city, it uses huge amounts of resources. That gave me my third criteria. I wanted my site to be located in an area that was short on resources. Arizona uses approximately 6.9 million acre-feet (roughly 2.3 trillion gallons) of water annually. 43% of the State’s water comes from Groundwater, which is a depleting source. 21% comes from the Colorado River and 36% comes from Surface water. 70% of Arizona’s water use goes to agriculture (1,433,744,400,000 gallons). The reason Arizona uses so much water for agriculture is because the crops dry out very fast due to the heat. The majority of water used for agriculture is actually lost to evaporation before it can even be used. My final criteria for picking a site was that I wanted it to be in a large city. I wanted to be able to pick a site that was Municipal (488,776,500,000 Gallons)

Industrial (162,925,500,000 Gallons)

22%

8%

70% Agriculture (1,433,744,400,000 Gallons)

surrounded by existing infrastructure such as light rail lines, bus routs, parking, etc... Phoenix currently has the 6th largest population in the United States with 1,469,471 citizens. The Phoenix Metro Area is currently ranks 14th in the United States with 4,263,236 people. Even though Phoenix has one of the largest populations in the country, it currently has a very low density, 2,797.8 people per square mile. Compared to the rest of the top ten most populated cities Phoenix comes in last in density. Philadelphia, which has roughly the same population as Phoenix currently has a density of 11,379 people per square mile. The reason Phoenix has such a low density is because it has a huge land mass. Instead of building up its density, the city continues to move outward and sprawl. This has created a problem because the downtown area has become all but abandoned during certain times of the day. In most large cities, you would expect to see the streets filled during the majority of the


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Project Goals

day. Phoenix is a different story. It’s sprawl has killed its downtown’s importance leaving the city without a core. After looking at all the criteria that I wanted in a site, I started making a list of possible cities. The list included cities like L.A., Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas and Houston. After looking into every city, I felt that Phoenix would be a more challenging and fulfilling site for my graduate project.

211 Sunny Days a Year 3,872 Sunny Hours 85% Sunny

Project Goals

My graduate project is going to based around three goals. The first goal is create public space downtown that brings people together. To do this I will design an outdoor area that consists of retail, markets and restaurants that gives people a reason to be downtown. Secondly, I am looking to cut down on water use for agriculture needs. Arizona is expected to be one of the hardest hit places in the United States when the water shortage gets worse. I plan on achieving this by designing a building that will use a hydroponic system to produce food. And finally, I am wanting to produce food locally in an urban environment. This will create a healthy and “truly” local food source for the population.

http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/tell-me-a-story-urbanized/31008/

http://hotwater911.com/how-much-water-are-you-wasting/

http://www.southcountyhydro.com/

Re-densify the downtown phoenix area

Cut down on water use

Produce food locally

and break away from the current suburban lifestyle that has consumed Phoenix. Encouraging density by bringing people in and building up the downtown area

for agriculture needs in the area by using hydroponic systems. The City has the opportunity to be a catalyst for other cities in desert regions where water is scarce.

in the urban environment and create a healthy food source for the people living in the city.

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Site

Site Selection Site Pictures

325 ft.

105,625 sq. ft. 325 ft.

2.4 Acres

Site

Hotels Government Parking Structure Sports Venue Education & Music Convention Center Historic Building Residential Commercial / Mixed Use

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After selecting a city, I began the tedious work of narrowing down a site that would fit my program’s needs. After looking at several sites around the City of Phoenix, I decided on the city block of Washington Street and 2nd Street just north of the US Airways Center. The site is currently a parking lot with surface and underground parking. The parking structure is used by the US Airways Center for event parking, like basketball games. It is also used by the Collier Center and the Bank of America Tower to the east of the site. It also provides parking for buildings to the north and west and is in use during most days of the week. On both the north and south sides of the site is a light rail line that services the City of Phoenix. This is a very valuable asset to the site because it brings people within a block of its location. There are two stops, one on either side, that stop within a block from the site. Each line heads in the opposite direction of each other, which makes the location of the site more valuable because it gets traffic coming from both directions.


Site Context

Looking at the surrounding context of the site, there are several important buildings within walking distance. South of the site, the US Airways Center is home to the Phoenix Suns. It is also a concert venue. To the East sits the Collier Center and the Bank of America Tower. The Collier Center houses 4 restaurants and leasable office and meeting space. The Phoenix Symphony Hall is to the Northeast. It holds concerts year round and holds over 2,312 people. Directly to the West is “CitySpace�, a development project designed to bring people back to the downtown area. Cityspace currently has

Car Traffic

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15 restaurants, four of which are open at night. Cityspace also has three entertainment venues (1, bowling alley, 1 stand up comedy club, and 1 athletic gym) and a hotel (Hotel Palomar) where the average room costs $250 per night. The Collier Center, US Airways Center and Cityspace are the main buildings that currently use the site for parking.

Spill out from other sites

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Site

Cityspace

Sport Venues

Cityspace 10.

Bank Of America Tower

Collier Center

Luhrs Center

Phelps Dodge Center

Cityspace Stairs

Phoenix Symphony Hall


http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/BuildingDetail/311.php

Building Heights

Downtown Phoenix doesn’t have any amazingly tall buildings. The tallest building is Chase Tower (483 ft tall). Eight of the ten tallest buildings in Phoenix are located within a four block radius of my site selection. The two tallest buildings were constructed in the early to mid 1970s. The newest building out of the ten is Cityspace, which was completed in 2010. Cityspace sits directly to the west of my site and is 375 feet tall. Phoenix 1972

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Area 1: 1,275’ Area 2: 1,300’ Area 3:1,325’ Area 4: 1,350’ Area 5: 1,375’ Area 6: 1,400’ Area 7: 1,500’ Area 8: 1,525’ Area 9: 1,550’ Area 10: 1,575‘ Area 11: 1,600’ Area 12: 1,625’ Area 13: 1,650’ Area 14: 1,675’ Area 15: 1,700’

Restrictions

averages roughly two tall buildings every decade. The majority of the tall structures in Phoenix are used for office space. Some have high rise apartments or condos, but the most common is some type of commercial use. The ground level almost always has retail shops and or restaurants. Not every building offers its own parking structure, but the majority of them do making parking in the Downtown area fairly easy to find. Part of the reason Phoenix doesn’t have a super skyscraper like most large cities in the United States is because of the location of it’s international airport, Sky Harbor. Sky Harbor sits Southeast of the downtown area and forces a strict height restriction on the city. The further away from the airport, the more lax the height restrictions are. The height restriction is fairly simple to follow. The map to the right shows how the City is broken up into 15

Provided by: City of Phoenix

different areas. Each area has its own height restrictions. My site, highlighted in red on the map, shows that my building can reach up to 1,575 feet. This includes the ground elevation For example, my site currently sits at an elevation of 950 feet above sea level. This means that the height of my structure can not exceed 625 feet.

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Vaid Tower

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Bank of America Tower

ft: 483 floors: (40)

US Bank Center

Chase Tower

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407 (31)

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http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/BuildingDetail/2733.php

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Setbacks in the City of Phoenix are forced upon any structure over four stories or fourty-eight feet in height. Any building over these height limits classify as “High Rise” buildings and are required to follow setback regulations. The Building Code states that “The purposes of this ordinance are: to assure adequate light, air, open space, visibility for pedestrian and vehicular traffic; to prevent traffic and civil disorders; to reduce dust and other air pollution; to preserve a healthful environment; and to maintain and enhance values for commercial property in the City.” The code requires a setback of no less than 35 feet for the “front yard” of

the building and states that “A landscaped area of not less than five times the width of the front yard, measured in square feet, shall be provided”. This setback can be reduced to 22 feet if the following is implemented: underground parking (5ft), pedestrian mall or plaza (5 ft), transit access facility (2.5 ft), landscaped parking (2.5 ft), open space (2 ft), separation of pedestrian and vehicle (2 ft), off-street passenger loading (1ft), direct access to off-street parking (1 ft), and covered pedestrian ways (1 ft). What this means for my site

My site currently takes up an entire city block. Below are some examples of possible setback options for my site. I am choosing to use larger then

325 ft.

325 ft.

40 ft. setback

325 ft.

50 ft. setback 285’

255’

275 x 275 = 75,625 sqft

325 ft.

75,625 sqft x 50 floors

255 x 255 = 65,025 sqft

65,025 sqft x 50 floors

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275’

285’

255’

81,225 sqft x 50 floors

70 ft. setback 275’

285 x 285 = 81225 sqft 325 ft.

35 foot setbacks in the examples below because I feel that my structure will not need as big of a footprint as the code allows. If I were to use a 40 foot setback, my building’s footprint would be roughly 81,225 square feet. Depending on the height of the building, that gives me a max square footage of over 4,000,000. A 50 foot setback gives me a max of 3,781,250 square feet. A 70 foot setback gives me a max square footage of 3,251,250. Lookng at these square footages, I don’t think my building will have setbacks any smaller then 50 feet. Any smaller setback gives me a max square footage that is to large for my building type.

325 ft.

Site Setbacks

Building Setbacks


Site

http://www.worldworkplace.org/2011/destination/getting-around.htm

Site Transportation

The City of Phoenix has a pretty elaborate metro system. People can get to just about any part of the City via the bus or light rail line. The metro routes link the connecting areas to the Downtown and beyond. It is fairly simple to get from one part of the Metro area to the other. The light rail line is currently more exclusive to the Downtown area. It feeds people from some of the more

dense suburbs into the City where they either work or shop. The line has 32 stations / stops, some of which have “Park and Ride” parking. The Park and Ride feature is great because it allows people to use the line to get to work and even the airport without having to commute the entire way by car. The light rail line in Phoenix has been a huge success. So much so that the City is planning on extending the line through the rest of the Metro area.

Site Transportation

This is a very important key to Phoenix’s future because it will help tremendously to clear up some of the congestion on the surface streets and highways. Extending the rail line will also increase both property value and density in the Downtown. More people will be able to access the area and utilize the buildings, shops, restaurants, convention center and sport venues without having to use their car. This will also free up more real estate in Downtown that is currently being used for parking. The more people use the transit to commute to work, the less amount of parking is needed. The parking Downtown takes up huge amounts of space which sit on very valuable real estate. Parking lots will be able to turn from “lost space” into new “found space” and could be used for other structures to help densify the area.

http://www.rentcafe.com/blog/cities/phoenix-az/west-side-light-rail-project-gets-a-green-light/

13.


Precedents

Precedent Studies

After deciding on a project type, I started looking up percent studies. I found some interesting companies that currently practice some form of agriculture. Three companies stood out, Eurofresh Farms, Gotham Greens and Hortiplan. All three companies grow food indoors using a form of hydroponic systems. The largest of the three is Eurofresh Farms. Eurofresh Farms is located in Willcox, AZ which is not an urban area, but I felt that they were relevant because they use hydroponics to produce huge amounts of food. The facility currently takes up 318 acres and produces over 200,000,000 pounds of tomatoes annually. Their goods are shipped all over the world and they do not use a stacked growing layout. Because of their indoor growing operation they are able to

produce food year round, unlike other farmers in the same area. The second company, Hortiplan located in Belgium is equally impressive. They are more advanced and use automated robots to plant and harvest their crops. They too are able to produce food year round in a climate that otherwise wouldn’t allow them to do so. The third company is Gotham Greens from New York City. It is a smaller company that actually rents out rooftop space (usually not being uses) from building owners. They then construct green houses with hydroponic systems on the rooftops and grow produce all year long. The really cool thing about Gotham Greens is that they only sell their goods locally. They deliver their products to local grocery stores and small shops where they are sold to people in the community. Everything they grow stays local.

http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=51981

14.

http://www.eurofresh.com/company.asp


All three precedent studies are very relevant to my graduate project and they all offer very different ideas. Hortiplan has found a way to maximize both their growing area and their profit margin. Because most of the labor is done by machine, they have less employees to pay. Their robots are also programmed to space plants exactly the same distance apart, so they are able to grow more food in a smaller area. And they don’t have to worry about adding isles to the grow area because human employees never touch the produce while it is being grown. They have also created an environment where the transmittance of disease is very limited (humans do not come into contact with the food as much). Gotham Greens has found a way to keep their product 100% local. They don’t have to worry about transportation costs as much because their goods are only going a few blocks away from

where they were grown. Their operation costs are also relatively cheap because they rent space that would otherwise go unused. After looking at these studies, I have decided that I am going to be using hydroponics as my system. Hydroponics have been around for decades, but has only become popular in the last ten or so years. The interesting thing about the system is that it does not require any soil. The roots of the plant are submerged in a closed water system that feeds the plant 24 hours a day. Because they watering system is closed, 0% of the water is lost to evaporation. Several studies show that hydroponics use up to 70% less water then traditional farming methods. So not only are farmers able to grow crops year round, they are also able to do so with less water. The list to the right are all the foods that can currently be grown with hydroponics.

Berries: Blackcurrant Blueberry Cranberry Huckleberry Loganberries Raspberry Strawberry Bush Vegetables Green Bean Tomato-- beefsteak, campari, plum, cherry, globe Specialty Crops Coffee Grapes Luffa Sponge Olives Sunflower Wheat Grass Vine Vegetables Cucumber Eggplant Okra Squash Sweet Bell Pepper Zucchini

Legumes Soybeans Peanuts

Leafy Greens Asparagus Butterhead Lettuce Broccoli Brussels Melons Sprout Cauliflower Cantaloupe Celery Muskamelon Charita Lettuce Pumpkin Chinese Cabbage Watermelon Collared Greens Estelle Lettuce Root Vegetables Garlic Chives Beet Green Oak Leaf Belgian Endive Green Coral Lettuce Carrot Green Oak Leaf Onions Lettuce Potato Kale Radish Kuala Lettuce Sweet Potato Mizuna Mustard Peas Grains Red Coral Lettuce Barley Red Oak Leaf Lettuce Romaine Lettuce Corn Roxy Lettuce Wheat Spinach Rice Swiss Chard Upland Cress

Herbs & Spices Arugula Banana Pepper Bay Leaves Chile Peppers Chervil Chives Cilantro Cinnamon Basil Coriander Curry Leaf Dill Fennel French Tarragon Green Basil Lavender Lemon Basil Lemon Thyme Marjoram Mint Opal Basil Oregano Parsley Rocket Rosemary Sage Sakura Cress Thai Basil Watercress Yellow Pea Shoots

Possible Food Production http://cleantechauthority.com/hydroponics-gardens-to-the-rescue/gotham-greens-rooftops-nyc/

15.


Program

Grow: 3,000,000 sqft Digester: 100,000 sqft Market: 15,500 sqft Restaurant: 10,000 sqft Retail: 25,000 sqft Outdoor space: 60,000 sqft Labs: 160,000 sqft Community Gardens: 75,000 sqft 325 ft. 50 ft. setback 275’

325 ft.

Project Base

275’

275 x 275 = 75,625 sqft

16.


Program

The program for my project is fairly large. It is roughly 3,700,000 square feet and includes an on site energy source, market, restaurant, and labs. The reason I need such a large amount of space is because I want to be able to grow food to feed a large number of people in the City of Phoenix. The largest program in the building is going to be the grow area. This area will have around 2,250,000 square feet of space dedicated to it. The space will be taken up by the hydroponic system, planting stations, storage rooms, isles (about 6 feet wide to fit a cart down them) and a computer system that will run the entire grow operation. A large space is required to house all of these things and the larger the area, the more food you are able to produce. A rough estimate is that the building will produce food for about 2,000 people in the area. 15%, or 550,000 square feet of

the building’s program will go to an on site anaerobic digester. The digester will take food that has been collected from around the City of Phoenix and turn it into a methane gas. This gas is then burned to produce energy. Having a large digester on site that produces electricity will greatly help cut down the operational cost of the building. 60,500 square feet will be dedicated to an on site market that will sell products grown in the building. This will help keep the majority of the products local to the area. The program will be further split up to house storage, rest rooms, offices and other things that markets need to operate. 10,000 square feet will go to an on site restaurant. The restaurant will help bring in money for the building and give it more cash flow. It will also be used to add to and maintain the Downtown’s night life by giving people another reason to be in the area after

Tomatoes:

1 per sq. ft.

Cucumbers:

1 per sq. ft.

Melons:

1 per sq. ft.

Peppers:

hours. There should be enough traffic to keep the restaurant viable with the US Airways Center right across the street. The program will be split between a kitchen, storage, rest rooms, bar, wait stations, an office and eating area. 20,000 square feet will go to a sorting and transportation facility. The sorting facility will be in charge of sorting both grown products and unplanted seeds. From there, the grown products will go to the market, restaurant and transportation facility. The transportation facility will be in charge of transporting goods to local stores around the area. Finally, 160,000 square feet will be given to Arizona State University as lab space. ASU will use this area to conduct agriculture research in an urban environment. They will also be in charge of quality control and making sure food is up to FDA standards before being sold.

1.5 per sq. ft.

Strawberries:

2 per sq. ft.

Lettuce:

4 per sq. ft.

Wheat:

?

17.


Client

+ Green Jobs The city of Phoenix will provide the land and a percentage of the total building cost. They will also provide tax incentives for people and or companies that invest in the project. The City will see profit in terms of economic growth and by preserving water that would normally be used on agriculture.

18.

+ Lab & Agriculture Research

Arizona State University will occupy and operate 160,000 square feet of lab space in the building. There they will conduct agriculture research in an urban environment. This will allow for hands on experience for students and faculty. The labs will help the school further its spread of knowledge throughout the State and give them a leading edge above other schools.

$ Private investors and or companies will provide the initial investment and the operation cost of the building. They will see a return of their investment paid by the restaurant and profit from the market. They will also see money from any electricity sold back to the grid from the anaerobic digester. Investors will be the first money in and the first money out.


Doing some rough math, I’ve calculated that a digester that collects 80 tons of food waste a day will produce around 27,000,000 kWh. This is enough energy to offset the power needs of the buildings 29,000 grow lamps. There would still be an excess of about 10,000,000 kWh that could go towards other systems in the building. Any energy left over could be fed directly back into the grid, creating a situation where the building not only powers itself, but would also start to produce energy for other buildings in the area. The second option that I’ve looked into is solar. Solar has been around for a fairly long time but has gotten more popular in the last decade. Phoenix is hands down the best place in the United States to collect electricity through solar. Phoenix is the sunniest City in the United States with 85% sunny days. This means that, depending on how many collecting sources you had, a

fairly large percentage of the buildings energy could come from solar. The only problem with this method is that it is extremely expensive. But with solar becoming more efficient every year, implementing some form of collection would continue to add to offsetting energy needs. The project will allocate roughly 50,000 sqft. to solar collection. This area will be located above the plaza area and will shade the outdoor areas so that people will feel comfortable habituating the space during the summer months.

Energy Schedule

On Site Energy

One of the issues with having a large building that grows food is that the amount of energy it needs will undoubtedly make the food extremely expensive. This could absolutely kill the project before it even got off the ground. Fortunately, there are some options that can help produce energy on site and help cut down or eliminate the need to pull electricity from the grid. The first option is the addition of an on site anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digesters turn food waste into methane gas, which is then burned to produce energy. Food can be collected at the city level and then transported to the site where it would be dumped into a closed system that would process the waste. Seeing that Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the United States, there is more then enough food waste to go around to feed the digester. On average Americans toss out 40% of the food they purchase.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/30/technology/solar_power/index.htm

19.


Design Phase

starting design...

20.


Quick site analisys

feet meters

1000 300

21.


Design Phase 1 22.

Starting out, I originally pictured the project being a large high rise that dominated the skyline. My first design sketches illustrate a single building taking up most of the site. Around the base would be retail shops and restaurants and a plaza area would be located on the south side of the site. The intent of the design was to create a building that mass produced food. The main idea was to make as much floor space as possible in order to grow as much food as possible. All the spaces would be oriented around the axis coming from CitySpace. I learned very quickly that this design did not push the envelope enough and created some significant site issues that I had originally over looked. The design would have allowed me to produce more food, but in the end would have created an unusable space that would be deserted by most city goers.


At this point in the design spacial issues in plan and sections were not clearly worked out. One of the main issues almost immediately was with the building’s core. The core of the building, which holds most of its circulation and structural needs was extremely underdeveloped. At the time I had little to no understanding on what a buildings core needed in order to function correctly. I figured all that was needed was a few elevator shafts wrapped by a stair system. Functionally the spaces did not work together. Spaces felt forced and again, very under developed. But in order begin to understand the spacial breakdown of the building’s program, I needed to start somewhere.

23.


A quick section of the design shows how under developed the project was at this point. I had no idea how the different programs were going to work together, which is blatantly obvious by the massings illustrated in the section. All of the programs were separated and did not have any real connection with each other. The grow area dominated the building and created an emptiness in the project. How were people suppose to experience the space and structure if they were limited to only the ground level? During the first critique, the issue of program separation was brought to my attention. I was clear that spaces needed to be worked out in order to fully understand how they were going to function together.

24.


25.


After the first group critique it was clear that my project needed to head in a different direction. The first thing that needed to happen was some simple massing sketches of what the exterior of the building should start to look like. This took some time to figure out and I spent a large portion of time trying to break through and get something that not only looked interesting, but was functional as well. All of the sketches are exploring different ideas relating to site conditions, building layout, spacial organization, solar orientation and several other design issues relating to the project.

26.


27.


28.


29.


Design Phase 2

The massing sketches lead me to a design that I felt better organized the programs and started to allow for more interesting things to happen at the base of the building. Instead of having one huge building that took up the entire block, the mass was broken up to create a plaza that was surrounded by retail on three sides. This is where the development of the plaza really started to take shape. It would change and develop more in future iterations, but this is where the idea truly started to form. The Issue with this design was that it still was not doing anything super interesting. The form hinted at the possibility of an interesting structure wrapping around the exterior but it needed more development. Another critique was that the entire building looked to much a like. There was no real way of differentiating parts of the building from others. Each floor looked the same from the street even though they would in theory be doing something completely different systematically.

30.

East Elevation


31.

South Elevation


One thing that this design had that started to work better then the last was the development of the core. More attention was paid to the core element of the building creating a much more functional circulation pattern up the building. The design implemented two sets of elevator cores, a series of service elevators and two core stair cases. A third staircase was located off the core in order to comply with fire code (this was later eliminated when the building became thinner). One of the issues with the plan was the amount of space the core started to take up. I grossly over estimated how many elevators I needed which was part of the reason the core started to consume the building. There were still also issues with the layout and placement of some programmatic elements. The program massing section clearly shows the core engulfing the majority of the building. But it also starts to show how spaces can be broken up to work together. Instead of having a building that people couldn’t use, the spaces began to stagger so that programs were mixed, allowing more people to interact with the building.

32.


33.


In order to create a visual separation of the different spaces from the street level, I started playing around with breaking up the mass of the building. The idea turned out to be a critical design element for the final project. The idea allowed me to cantilever and shift parts of the building in order to create outdoor spaces within the building. The idea was furthered by the re-design of the building core. I eliminated some of the extra elevators from the last design and streamlined the design. Structurally this seemed to make more sense so that the main structure of the building would have two cores to tie into instead of one.

34.


35.


Design Phase 3 36.

During the mid critiques, my project started to become more developed. I felt that the design was really starting to take shape. But there were issues still that needed to be taken care of. The first issue was the structure of the building. During mid crits, the structure of the building did not look like it really worked and the facade was just stuck onto the side of the building not offering any real structural support. Another issue brought to my attention was the lack of detail and development in the outdoor spaces on the exterior of the building. The spaces were an interesting idea, but probably wouldn't be used as much as I originally thought they would And the third issue was the under development of the plaza area in front of the building. As a whole, I think I was in a decent place during mid crits. Yes more development would have been nice, but what I had influenced the final design greatly.


37.


38.


39.


Final Design 40.

All the work shown (and a lot not shown) to this point was the process leading to the final design and critique of the project. Everything shown played a role in some way shape or form in the final product... The final design went a lot more in depth with the elements talked about earlier. The structure for one changed significantly. It went from an unbelievable structure to a detailed system that I believe has reality to it. The new structure changed the way the exterior of the building looked and worked. Before, the exterior consisted of a diamond pattern that didn’t add anything to the design. Taking the pattern off the facade of the building allowed more light to enter the grow areas. The new structure became lite, consisting of bands of heavy steal that wrapped around the building, like an arm attaching the building to the core. It created a very industrial feel. Originally the project was intended to mass produce food, but after re-thinking it, I decided that the building should be more research based. Being a research facility allowed the building to be more flexible with its plans. The intent was to create spaces that could transform or adjust into whatever the facility needed. This would allow the facility to test whatever they wanted, generating breakthrough technology and studies in the field of agriculture.

Even though the building was no longer intended to mass produce food, it would still be able to grow food to support roughly 655 people per floor, or about 5,000 people total. This food would be sold and used all on site through the market and local restaurants. 75,000 sqft of outdoor community garden space was added when the building was “broken up”. The gardens were placed on top of the shifting masses of the grow areas. These gardens could be used by people living in the area that don’t have any suitable land to grow produce in. The plaza space at the base of the building was flanked by retail and restaurants on three sides. The area was designed to transform. During the day it would be a shaded space where people can socialize. At night, the shading device glows and changes colors, making it ideal for outdoor events, like concerts. The intent of the project stayed fairly consistent all the way through the project. Small things changed, but the main idea changed. Looking back, its really interesting seeing the transformation of the project from start to finish.

All work past this point is from the final design...


41.


Plans

42.


Lab / Grow

Ground Level

43.


Section Cut 1

44.


45.


Section Cut 2

46.


47.


South Elevation

48.


49.


Structure Detail

50.


51.


Adjustable Floor Detail

52.


Part of the floor system is adjustable so that the grow area can be adjusted to create several different conditions.

53.


Lab Facility

54.


55.


Plaza Area at Night

56.


57.


Plaza Area During Day

58.


59.


Corner Street View

60.


61.


Grow Area

62.


63.


Grow Area

64.


65.


Corner Street View at Night

66.


67.


Community Gardens

68.


69.


Birds Eye View

70.


71.


Market

72.


73.


74.


75.


Final Review

The final crit brought a lot to my attention. After listening to what my reviewers had to say, there are some changes that I think could have occurred earlier that would have made a stronger project. First off the outdoor plaza area could have used another layer of shading to protect the people below from the sun. I don’t think my idea of the space was presented well enough in the perspective. Adding another layer that clearly showed more shade would have made a more convincing space. Second, the grow area still had some issues, not so much in layout, rather with the glass facade. The facade for the grow areas also could have benefited from another layer or two of shading. Something that I will look to add is the addition of a double facade. The double facade will help with cooling the space in a more passive way. This will make the building less reliant on an air conditioned environment, resulting in energy savings. The addition of a green wall inside the grow area was another good idea that I will look into adding. The green wall would create another layer to the facade, but will be apart of the growing system. The vegetation of the green wall will help cool the space while at the same time produce food. Using vegetation as a shading device would have a nice contrast to the double

facade. Structurally, I think the drawings could have showed a little more on how things went together. My structure was well developed, but the images that I showed of it made it confusing. Part of the reason this happened was because my Axon was not very clear. Instead of showing an axon of the entire building, I should have showed one just of a single part of the building. That would have made it more clear and would have allowed the viewer to understand what was going on better. Besides these ideas and additions that the reviewers would have liked to seen, I believe that the critique went fairly well. I am still proud of what I pinned up and I am happy with the evolution of my design from the very beginning to the end.


Cockrall-King, J. Food and the city. Amherest, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012. Print. Despommier, D. The verƟcal farm, feeding the world in the 21st century. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2010. Print. Pearce, F. When the rivers run dry, water, the deĮning crisis of the twenty-Įrst century. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. Print. Troy, A. The very hungry city: Urban energy eĸciency and the economic fate of ciƟes. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. Print.

Bibliography

Berners-Lee, Mike. How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything. 1st. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2011. Print.

Thesis Design Book  

My final thesis project in book form. From start to finish.

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