Singapore: vertical farms go commercial

Vertical farms have long been on the agenda of green building leaders around the world. The appeal of such farms centres on three main components – sustainable urban food production, carbon reductions through reduced produce importing and the ability to maintain these environments in dense urban spaces.

Singapore’s newest vertical farm has finally opened for business and has the distinction of being the World’s First Commercial Farm. Developed by Sky Greens, work began on the nine-acre site back in 2009 and, now completed, expands to stretch over 120 vertical towers.

Each of the towers is made of aluminium and reaches nine metres in height. Known as A-Go-Gro vertical systems, the towers are housed in a number of greenhouses, allowing for the positive development of three types of leafy green vegetables in each tower.

“We are always looking for ways to increase our sources of food supply,” says Singapore Senior Minister of State Lee Yi Shyan. “Our vegetables are mostly imported so if you can produce some in Singapore then that can go some way to meet a demand.”

The farm is expected to revolutionise the Singaporean market, with over half a tonne of fresh vegetable available for sale at local markets daily. The locally-grown organic food comes at a small premium, typically around 10 to 20 cents, but locals are keen to stimulate the economy.

Prices are expected to drop as the developers plan to expand the farm to encompass as many as 300 towers. This will also aid in a diversification of plant life and help to meet Singapore’s vegetable demand.

The development of the world’s first commercial vertical farm is yet another win for global green building efforts. The international industry has overseen a number of major green developments this year, with ideas that were originally marked as ‘concepts’ making into the built spectrum.

Source: Design Build Source

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