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Fruits 42%

Vacant Parcels An urban agricultural movement is growing in Detroit as a response to the increase in vacant lots. Research on the production potential of these lots shows there is enough land to fulfill 76% and 42% of the city’s vegetable and fruit consumption.

Location: 7968 Kercheval St., Detroit, MI Project: Adaptive Reuse / Urban Design Installation Intent: The purpose of this project is to harness latent potentials within greenhouses to support healthy food accessibility, sustainable practices (lowering building energy use), and community gathering, to develop and strengthen the neighborhood and city’s identity, because there is an opportunity to investigate and experiment with new urban solutions within Detroit’s failed industrial framework.

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1/2 mile Intersecting Axis Proximity to major streets offers an opportunity for the dispersal of knowledge and resources into the community.

Density of Vacant Lots Gradient map identifying densities of vacant lots within the immediate community.

Centers of Density Identification of best locations to seed community gardens.

In Detroit, “hoop houses” are commonly used to extend the growing season. This project sought to improve this ubiquitous design by using their thermal properties to minimize building energy use, as well as to better express the organic beauty of a garden. Through an experimentally driven process a final 1/4” model was built by welding lasercut steel covered with vacuuformed PETG. An algorithm was written to easily produce geometries based on specific plant sizes, and to solve the geometric complexity for rapid fabrication.

Projected Energy Consumption of Existing Building and Energy Strategies Based on data from the Energy Information Administration. Yearly energy consumption of 819,628 kBtu can largely be met through passive and solar strategies.


Water Heating Ventilation


Office Equipment Other




Passive Heating and Ventilation

Photovoltaic Panels and Daylighting

Heating Strategies Greenhouse Heat Retention, Storage, and Distribution



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Field of Greenhouses, pre-heats air Supplemental Air Intake Transfer Fan Solar Room, further heats air Thermal Wall, collects and stores heat within the mass Exterior Operable Insulated Shades, drawn at sunset to minimize heat loss.


7. Building Massive Floor Slab, collects and stores heat within the mass 8. Supply Air,warm air rises from the floor 9. Return 10. Heat Exchange Ventilator, transfer heat to supply flow 11. Exhaust Air 11. Photovoltaic Panels Existing Food Market

Site Plan Solar Dining Patio Urban Farm

Community Space

50 ft.

Multivalent Plant

By Max Moriyama Fall 2012 Prof. Speranza

Multivalent Plant  
Multivalent Plant  

Work Sample for Travel Scholarship