The Future Of Greenhouse Structures

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Plantagon Greenhouse Building

Photo courtesy of Plantagon

Urban Structures Offer Vertical Farming Solutions

We’re a little more than 30 years away from the Earth’s population reaching 9 billion people, which means more urban sprawl, less available land and an extra 2 billion mouths to feed. With greenhouses already making their appearances on city rooftops and lighting technology advancing by leaps and bounds, perhaps the next step is building up instead of out.

Swedish-American company Plantagon has drafted a solution for building a high-rise model for urban agriculture. The helix-shaped greenhouse offers the possibility for clean and sustainable food production in urban areas. In addition to standalone greenhouses, Plantagon creates commercial buildings, such as offices and hotels, with functional greenhouse area built into the facade. Growing area can also be retrofitted onto existing high-rise buildings. The structures provide the buildings with shade, but let through enough sunlight for office activity.

By expanding the greenhouse vertically, Plantagon claims its patented technology will increase the amount of crops produced considerably compared to the land area used, permitting multiple harvests for the same growth period.

”Urban agriculture is exciting and challenging in many ways,” says Eva Nygren, CEO of Sweco Sweden, Plantagon’s partner company. “The Plantagon greenhouse has attracted a lot of attention all over the world, and we believe that the new generation of greenhouses — combining a sustainable building with function and great design — will be even more attractive to cities.”

Laura Drotleff is editor of Greenhouse Grower. Richard Jones is the group editor for Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center magazines.

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