RESEARCH AND CONSULTANCY
Our fundamental research examines all issues related to the well-being of people and plants in an urban environment. In addition, we study the greatest challenges for vertical farming: How can arable land and energy consumption be reduced and sustained? How can we close the flow cycle of materials and masses within the context of a recycling economy? What can we do to slow down climate change?
We create concepts and feasibility studies for vertical farming in different climate zones in our practical research work. This includes exploring the buildings and architectural features of an area with their energy related potential in mind, their light availability, and the spatial suitability for vertical farm expansions, while taking into account the various production methods. Socio-economic considerations also enter the picture at this time and we create eco-social business model suggestions for integration into the local environment.
PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
The vertical farm institute, together with all stakeholders and with the support of a broad, professional partner network, will be in an advising and planning function from the project evaluation stage and feasibility studies (as described above), on to the actual design of the vertical farm, or the corresponding vertical farm elements, and finally to the construction of the plant. This will hold true for existing buildings, which are to be converted, as well as newly built structures.
Design and architecture not only encompass all spatial planning and socio-cultural factors, but especially the optimization of particular technical possibilities. We rely on our extensive know-how in the areas of different production methods and can always adapt these to the local conditions. The economic planning of the project includes energy and cost calculations on to calculating the costs for personnel, operations and maintenance of the plant.
We use dynamic simulation software for the design and development of energy efficient and economically sustainable vertical farms. Adapted simulation models make it possible for us to calculate energy consumption with great accuracy. Parametric designs, in combination with thermal simulations, spectral daylight simulations (tailored to the needs of the plant) and light flow simulations, all lead to perfectly coordinated, individual and location-specific solutions of sustainable and economical vertical farms.
Our simulation software has been developed in-house and is able to represent light availability in the building’s interior. Unlike other common solutions, we do not think just in Lux – meaning light for people, but we simulate sun energy in the building in Joule – as in energy. And of course the precise lighted areas that are actually in the building, depending on the materials used for windows and facades. Taking into account these and other data like environment, climate zone, season and more, we can make precise statements about the well-being of plants in specific architectures and thus dramatically reduce future energy needs for artificial light. For us 24/7 LED lighting is a thing of the past.
We are always ready to take on new projects or research assignments. Do not hesitate to contact us should you have further questions.
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