For our second installment of six architectural projects dedicated to vertical farming, renewable energies, and the construction of a better, greener 21st century, s.a.johnson discusses the Sky Farm project by Gordon Graff.
While a Masters of Architecture student at Waterloo University, Gordon Graff developed the concept for a 58-story agricultural tower called the Sky Farm. Its 8 million square feet of growing area, equal to over 180 acres, has the potential to provide enough food for 35,000 citizens per year. Because of the building’s large floor plates plants will be grown primarily with artificial lighting which in turn uses nearly 82 million kilowatts of power per year, equivalent to 8,000 households. However, about 50% of this need will be supplanted by burning the large amounts of methane found in plant waste which produces much less carbon dioxide than other fuels, making it a cleaner option.
The placement of this tower in Toronto, a northern city removed from the primary sources of much of its food, is ideal for an agricultural tower. Furthermore, its lakefront access to the freshwater of Lake Ontario is perfect for feeding the large hydroponic system in its growing facilities. Considering the incredible water resources provided by the Great Lakes, numerous other cities on the waters including Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Duluth could be prime candidates for establishing Sky Farms.
For information on GROW, another exciting urban farming concept by Graff, please download the available pdf here.