The world population will reach 9600 million people by 2050, with about 66% of them living in urban areas. How can you feed all these people? Sweden has an answer: buildings that can accommodate greenhouses and houses at the same time.
A company called Plantagon is moving forward with the construction of The World Food Building in Linköping, about 160 kilometers from Stockholm. The building, which will have to be completed by 2020 (at a cost of US $ 40 million), will have 16 floors, about 60 meters high, will occupy an area of 430 m² and will have a covered area of 24,985 m². Of that total, 4335 m² will be dedicated to cultivation and 8513 m² to offices, which could well be homes.
The World Food Building will produce 550 tons of vegetables per year, enough to feed about 5500 people annually. The crops will be hydroponic, meaning they will grow without soil, in a solution based on water rich in nutrients.
Compared to another greenhouse of the same size, the World Food Building will generate more food and use less space and water. This will save 1100 tons of CO2 emissions and 50 million liters of water per year.
Plantagon designed a similar urban farm with a cylindrical shape, but there are no plans to build it at the moment. Yes, on the other hand, he is in talks with developers in Singapore, the US, Hong Kong and China to implement similar structures to the World Food Building.
The front of the building is glass, slightly inclined. The crops will be in front, leaving the office space towards the interior of the construction
In addition to the greater amount of sunlight that will be used, there will be specially calibrated LEDs to maximize the production
The crops will be made in a special type of pot, capable of expanding as they grow and need more space to develop
Additionally, the production line will be moving by a kind of spiral staircase, from bottom to top. Crops will be made approximately every 30 days
A series of robots will be responsible for production, keeping operating costs low
The building will have restaurants for employees and the general public, which can also access a market to buy vegetables
The location of the current construction is not a coincidence: it was located near several Swedish companies, including one that obtains biogas from organic waste.
The excess heat, CO2 and nutrients will be used by the Plantagon greenhouse, which in turn will send its waste to the plant to be used to produce biogas.