A wood-structured windowless greenhouse consumes only half as much energy as a traditional glass greenhouse. In addition to producing food, Pasi Herranen’s invention could generate electricity and excess heat in the future.
The Future of Vertical Farming
According to our vision, the vertical farming industry has great potential significantly change plant cultivation practices and sustainability of food production. Vertical farming can produce fresh food with minimised CO2 emissions: These facilities could be constructed mainly from wood, and only renewable electricity could be consumed in the cultivation process. In addition, vertical farming would reduce the need for transport of products to consumers close to zero miles, and cultivated products could have even longer shelf life, resulting in less food waste.
In such systems, irrigation water could be recycled close to 100%, so the only water escaping the facility would be the amount of water stored inside the cultivated plants. Concomitantly, fertilisers can be recycled, thus preventing nutrients runoff to oceans. The irrigation system enables vertical farming operations to thrive even in extremely dry and hot areas wherein other plant cultivation practices are not applicable. This means more options to expand our food production system and can also offer possibilities to reforestation of land areas reserved for open field cultivation.
- Arttu Mäkinen, Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki
- Henri Jaatinen, Cultivation expert, Novarbo Oy
- Harri Juntunen, Business Developer, Yield Systems
Niko Kivioja, CEO, Netled Oy
Panu Miettinen (Aalto University) and Titta Kotilainen (Natural Resources Institute of Finland, Luke) are leading the panel discussion.
This project springs from the R2B project (funded mainly by Business Finland) called VIS at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems in the School of Chemical Engineering at Aalto. VIS has continued as a research project that is part of project called TREFORM funded by the Academy of Finland in a collaboration between Aalto University and Natural Resources Institute of Finland.
Pasi Herranen, Doctoral candidate, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Panu Miettinen, Commercializing expert, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Vahid Arabzadeh, Postdoctoral researcher (Energy Systems of Vertical farming)
Lauri Rautkari, Professor of Wood Material Science
Matti Kummu, Professor of Global Water and Food Issues
Alp Karakoc, Research Fellow, Department of Communications and Networking
External research partners:
Titta Kotilainen, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute of Finland
A wooden greenhouse with no windows or separate heat source consumes significantly less energy and water than conventional alternatives, declares a project team at Aalto University.
Enabling bio and circular economy
Water resources, spatial data, sustainable asset management and safe transportation.
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Designs for a Cooler Planet is a five-week-long festival celebrating experiments in planet-friendly materials, fashion, and food.