Smart Green Cube 2.0
Following up on the previous theoretical version of the Smart Green Cube (see here), in this iteration we respond to the needs of a plot in the Technology Park of Almería, (PITA) in Spain. We provide a mixed use facility that integrates indoor farming, education and a strong vocation for the public space. All design decisions are driven by the need to produce in the building’s skin the electricity required for the farming and all other uses.
By the year 2050, The Earth is expected to be populated by 9.000 million people. Food production should increase by 60% to be able to feed them, according to experts. The ground area dedicated to this purpose should increase by 12% but this becomes a huge problem that needs to be dealt with if we do not want to further affect environmentally sensitive areas while fighting starvation.
Currently half the world’s population lives in cities. This proportion rises exponentially.
In the search for solutions to all these issues combined, R&D around the globe is paving the way towards a better and larger food production. Vertical, urban and indoor farming projects are being developed in America, Europe and Asia. In Spain, BATCh is helping develop “Smart Green Cube”.
Smart Green Cube: vertical urban farming.
The latest R&D we have shows that we can grow 1 harvest of lettuce every 2 weeks. And it all can be done on LED lighting and hydroponics/aeroponics alone. This means that, already with today’s technology, we can design buildings that self produce all the energy needed for vegetable growing inside of them. The “skin” of the building will host the energy production (solar, wind, thermal) and the correct water treatment will do the rest.
Imagine how many problems can be solved if we integrate facilities like this in our cities.
BATCh’s orientation to all things Smart City pushes us to shape the project in terms of architecture, design and implantation in both the urban and social fabric of the city.
Three different strategies for Smart Green Cube
We are currently developing a tool to design all the features one of these buildings must have based on the inputs we feed it.
These inputs will go from environmental to material; from local regulations to social data; from landscaping to number of harvests needed.
This is the largest approach possible. To take a vacant urban ground and build a highly functional, sustainable and both socially and economically profitable piece of architecture in it. This construction should relate perfectly with its urban surroundings. It should blend in and help any kind of neighborhood whether if it’s degraded or socially articulated.
On a smaller scale the benefits can also be huge. Articulating solutions for out-of-use buildings or areas of them will make for a much smaller, yet very profitable investment. Our cities today are full of smaller and not-so-expensive places, such as unused flat rooftops or abandoned basements that we can implement Smart Green Cube in.
Pop-up Smart Green Cube:
Disaster relief, refugee camps or famine areas are situations in desperate need of solutions to grow fast and quality harvests of vegetables. This is where a pop-up version of the Smart Green Cube comes in handy. BATCh’s expertise in modular architecture is helping us rethink the way we approach these problems. For instance, we should be able to land at a refugee camp and start picking our first viable harvest just 2 weeks after the display of 6 modules of Pop-up Smart Green Cube.
Typical organizational scheme
Zone A: Reception
-Raw materials reception
-Fertilizers and substrate storage
Zone B: Handling
Zone C: Conservation
-Exit pre-cooling chamber
-Shipping dock 1
-Shipping dock 2
1. Elevator: harvest
2. Water treatment and pumping
3. Crop area
4. Low enthalpy geothermal
5. Photovoltaic panels
6. Garden wall
7. Roof: climate control