New York Sun Works teamed with Arup and The Vertical Farm Project to create an interesting and architecturally well thought out entry for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. the Vertically Integrated Greenhouse solves two problems at once: by creating a facade system that incorporates agriculture into the skin food is grown within a building which reduces energy associated with transporting produce and solar heat gain is mitigated by the plants themselves. it’s an interesting idea, and creates a techy third option to the two methods of integrating agriculture into buildings, the rooftop garden and the enclosed agricultural zone.

while it’s a very interesting idea, I think it’s an idea that merits a 30 page essay of explanation as opposed to several paragraphs. some issues, like the crop-curtain wall integration, are very well thought out but the VIG is such a radical concept it almost poses more questions than it answers- while you might be able to put a $50 per square meter per year benefit to human productivity because of cleaner air, wouldn’t that cost be mitigated by the distraction of having agricultural workers maintaining the crops? would you really want farm integrated with your office? how does the energy reduction of the crops compare to energy costs of a hydroponic system of that scale and that inefficient layout?

the Vertically Integrated Greenhouse is a provocative project and an important one in how it could change the typical perception of agriculture and architecture. my suspicion is that farmers, architects, and others more directly involved with these fields are curious about v2.0

from ::cityfarmer.