Key Ideas

Controlled Environment High Rise Farms (CEHRFs) are structures that allow for the growth of plants over a small area of land. The CEHRF buildings contain multiple stories of rooms that are suitable for plant growth and germination. CEHRF structures are the foundation for urban agriculture, allowing for sustainable growth of plants in cities where farmland is inaccessible and land is expensive. The controlled environment enables suitable temperature, humidity and light levels to optimize plant growth. Through growing plants in a CEHRF, organic, local produce is a reality in urban environments, and regions with cold or arid climates or poor agricultural soils

Aeroponic farming is the act of growing plants without submersing the roots in soil or water. The roots are suspended in the air and are regularly sprayed with an aqueous nutrient solution. Doing this limits water use and effluent waste water, and conserves soil resources.

Greenhouse gas emissions are products of industrial, personal and natural processes that lead to the increase of the Earth’s temperature. Common gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. The greenhouse effect is necessary to life on Earth, but changing the extent of its effect can be detrimental.

Food miles are the distance that food travels from the producer to the consumer. As the distance between producer and consumer increases, the quality of the food decreases and the carbon footprint of the process increases. CEHRFs look to minimize the distance food travels by providing local produce.

Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, corporation, or government entity.

Energy Cabins are heating systems that combine a mix of solar and wood pellet energy to heat a building. This limits the consumption of fossil fuel resources in the CEHRF.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is used to provide the necessary photons to spur photosynthesis. For optimization of the system, only the red and blue wave lengths used in photosynthesis are provided by the LEDs. Allowing for a light-transmissive south wall allows for more natural daylight to reduce the need for electric lighting.

Sensor technologies have been employed in order to monitor environmental factors such as temperature, light intensity, water and nutrient levels in the CEHRF and control them at optimal levels for plant growth.

P3: People, Prosperity, Planet is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that provides funding for student-driven sustainability projects. The projects that receive funding are committed to improve the lives of people and the quality of the earth without ending the progress of humankind.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are the source of insulation that is used in the design of the CEHRF. By having a strong structural integrity and superb insulation properties, the use of these panels lowers the carbon footprint of the project.