Feeding the World With Vertical Farming Technology

Feeding the World With Vertical Farming Technology

As global populations increase and resources become scarce, Plantagon, a Swedish food-tech company, is proposing the idea of  “ plantscrapers .” This creative solution could allow office buildings to feed thousands of people every year.

By Karen Graham    

With global warming and the migration of the world's growing population into urban areas, it has been known for a long time that we would have to develop the technologies for the food crisis that was sure to follow. In 2008, Plantagon International AB and the Plantagon International Association were founded.Plantagon then purchased the right to a concept for a vertical greenhouse from the Swedish innovator Åke Olsson, a dedicated organic farmer with a bent for technically simple but effective innovations. Olsson designed a rack transport system that slowly moves planting boxes from the floor to the ceiling of a vertical greenhouse, eliminating the need for artificial light.

Interior of the World Food Building

Interior of the World Food Building. Plantagon

The vertical greenhouses, or "plantscrapers," are incorporated into the design of high-rise office buildings, but with the functionality of hydroponic farming on steroids. The first such building is currently under construction in Linköping, Sweden. At a cost of $40 million, the 16-story building is set to open in 2020. 

The World Food Building  

Called the World Food Building, it is expected to produce 550 tons of vegetables annually, enough to feed over 5,000 people. All the produce will be grown in a nutrient-rich, water-based solution. To help keep costs down, leading-edge automation will be used to maintain the plants and harvest produce.

By expanding the greenhouse vertically the crops produced through Plantagon’s patented technology...

By expanding the greenhouse vertically, the crops produced through Plantagon’s patented technology, in relation to the land area used, will increase considerably permitting multiple harvests for the same growth period.

Everything, from water to nutrition, sunlight, temperature, and air quality will be measured and controlled autonomously through a complex system. In turn, the plantscraper will provide a sustainable and local solution to feeding the community while cutting transportation costs and saving energy. Additionally, there will be a savings of 1000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and 50 million liters of water annually.Plantagon is currently in talks to develop plantscrapers in Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. We will have to wait and see if this new concept will succeed.