Plantagon’s crowdfunded plantscraper aims to produce 500 metric tons of food a year

November 3, 2017 by  
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Swedish company Plantagon believes that ‘plantscrapers’ are the way of the future—and part of solution to the global food crisis. Part urban farm, part skyscraper, these vertical greenhouses could provide large-scale organic food production in cities, with a much smaller energy and carbon footprint than industrial agriculture. After years of research and development, Plantagon is now ready to embark on their first landmark plantscraper, called The World Food Building, and is crowdfunding their way to success . A pioneer in the fields of urban agriculture and food technology, Plantagon has set their sights on solving the food crisis as cities grow larger and arable land shrinks. Thus, the company created The World Food Building, a 60-meter-tall vertical farm and 16-story office building proposed for Linköping, Sweden that, if built, would serve as an international model for vertical industrial urban farming. The innovative ‘plantscraper’ would use Plantagon’s patented technology to produce 500 metric tons of organic food annually in a closed, clean, and climate-controlled environment. At least half of the energy used in food production would be recaptured and reused as floor heat in the office building. Plantagon estimates that The World Food Building could save 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 50 million liters of water as compared to traditional industrial farming systems. To turn their first plantscraper into reality, Plantagon has turned to crowdfunding and asked the community to join them as allies. “We are reaching out to people everywhere who feel that commercial organizations should also be the driving force of change,” said Hans Hassle, Plantagon’s Co-founder and Secretary-General. “People are sick and tired of businesses being shortsighted and just-for-profit driven. We believe it’s time for this to change and the time for ‘business as usual’ is over. With potentially 100,000 allies all over the world supporting Plantagon, we will show that the power of the crowd gets the job done.” + Plantagon

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Plantagon’s crowdfunded plantscraper aims to produce 500 metric tons of food a year

Chinas new futuristic library is unlike any weve seen before

November 3, 2017 by  
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MVRDV just completed the Tianjin Binhai Public Library, a spectacular cultural center that’s unlike any library we’ve ever seen. Created in collaboration with local architects TUPDI, the 33,800-square-meter library features floor-to-ceiling bookcases that cascade in curves around a luminous spherical auditorium. The undulating bookshelves and layered ceiling gives the cavernous library a distinctive sci-fi feel accentuated by the giant illusion of an eye visible from the outside. Built in record-breaking time of just three years, the Tianjin Binhai Library was constructed as part of a cluster of five cultural buildings in the Binhai district all connected by a glass-roofed public corridor. The library design is centered on the massive ball-shaped auditorium behind the information desk. Bookshelves are arranged on either side of the auditorium and ripple outwards and double as seating and stairs. These undulating contours continue to the ceiling where they’re embedded with lighting to create “illuminated topography,” and are echoed on the glass facade as curved louvers . “The Tianjin Binhai Library interior is almost cave-like, a continuous bookshelf. Not being able to touch the building’s volume we ‘rolled’ the ball shaped auditorium demanded by the brief into the building and the building simply made space for it, as a ‘hug’ between media and knowledge” says Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “We opened the building by creating a beautiful public space inside; a new urban living room is its centre. The bookshelves are great spaces to sit and at the same time allow for access to the upper floors. The angles and curves are meant to stimulate different uses of the space, such as reading, walking, meeting and discussing. Together they form the ‘eye’ of the building: to see and be seen.” Related: Energy-conscious library that doubles as a “living room” breaks ground in Shanghai The library’s first two floors comprise reading rooms, books, and lounge areas, while the upper floors house meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms, and two rooftop patios . Although MVRDV designed for access to the upper bookshelves, the client decided to go against the original design due to the construction timeline. Instead, perforated aluminum plates printed to represent books were installed on the inaccessible upper shelves. Cleaning is down with ropes and movable scaffolding. While the upper reaches of the library are out of reach, visitors don’t seem to mind; the Tianjin Binhai Library has been a massive hit with the public who have been coming to visit in droves. + MVRDV All photos (c) Ossip van Duivenbode

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This garden house grows enough food for three generations of one family

April 14, 2017 by  
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Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nhia Architects are no strangers to bringing green space indoors, but their new Binh House can actually grow enough food for three generations of one large family. The architects were charged with creating a comfortable home with greenery on every level, and they responded with a lush design that balances communal family areas with individual spaces, all right in the middle of a busy neighborhood. The concrete home, which is located in a high density neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City , is a large space that houses a family of three generations. Further challenging was the fact that many heavily populated cities in Vietnam are destroying natural tropical green spaces to meet the needs of the population . As part of the architect’s ongoing “House for Trees” series, Vo Trong Nhia Architects used the Binh House design to reconnect the family space with nature, creating a veritable jungle inside the home. Related: Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees The home is a multi-level design stacked lush green spaces on every floor. Large sliding glass doors allow for optimal natural light throughout the home. The glass separations also help create an open space at the inner core of the home where family members can easily interact between the rooms. The home is filled with green plants and large trees that shade the interior spaces, providing a nice, even temperature throughout the home. Additionally, the green spaces, many already vertical, offer flexible growing options for the large family. To further reduce energy consumption , the service areas including the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and hallways are located on the west side of the home. This strategy blocks the family areas from excessive heat radiation, helping cool the home during the hot summer months and reducing the need for air conditioning. Along with the greenery and specific layout strategies, building with sustainable materials such as natural stone, wood, and exposed concrete also help create the home’s pleasant microclimate. + Vo Trong Nhia Architects Via Archdaily Photography via Hiroyuki Oki, Quang Dam

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This garden house grows enough food for three generations of one family

LEED for vertical farms? Defining high-tech sustainable food

August 15, 2016 by  
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The Association for Vertical Farming aims to create the first sustainability standard for towering indoor food systems.

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Wind-powered vertical Skyfarms look to a more sustainable future for farming

April 11, 2016 by  
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Syrian refugee inventor builds an electric bike to get around camp

April 11, 2016 by  
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Even in a refugee camp , this man is working to build a better life. Safwan Harb fled Syria with two family members, and they settled in Zaatari , a refugee camp monitored by the United Nations and government of Jordan. Yet Harb and his family are all disabled, and it was difficult for them to get around on Zaatari’s uneven dirt streets. So Harb designed a creative electric bicycle . Read the rest of Syrian refugee inventor builds an electric bike to get around camp

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Bernie Sanders invited to Vatican City for social justice conference

April 11, 2016 by  
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Environmental and social justice will be the topics at an upcoming meeting at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences , and one US presidential hopeful has been invited to speak: Senator Bernie Sanders . The visit could be an important moment for the Senator to convey his ideas about the economy on a global scale. Read the rest of Bernie Sanders invited to Vatican City for social justice conference

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Urban farming utopia in India produces more energy than it uses

February 22, 2016 by  
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Record high Arctic temperatures are becoming the new normal

February 22, 2016 by  
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2015 was officially the hottest year on record , and 2016 is already shaping up to be quite the contender. New data reveals that last month saw the most pronounced disparity between historical averages and actual temperatures, particularly in the Arctic. Not only that, but the sea ice on the top of the world has reached record low numbers. Read the rest of Record high Arctic temperatures are becoming the new normal

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Ziggurat-like vertical farming tower would soak up the sun in Paris

February 17, 2016 by  
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