Farming in a Skyscraper – WEST AG INFORMATION NETWORK

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Agriculture in a skyscraper

Tim Hammerich
Journalist

This is Tim Hammerich from the Ag Information Network with your Farm of the Future report.

Agricultural innovations have enabled food production in a number of environments, but you’ve probably never heard of someone attempting commercial production in a downtown high-rise.

Houston… “Because you would be crazy. You’d be crazy trying to install a vertical truss in a skyscraper. Luckily, I’m a weirdo and so is my team. We are all a bunch of crazy people and we like to go there, yes we did.

It’s Dan Houston of AgriPlay, whose team will begin operating a vertical farm in the Calgary Tower next month. He says he sees a lot of vertical farming opportunities in vacant commercial real estate.

Houston… “Downtown landlords have a real problem because they have no ability to basically, in some of these buildings, there’s no opportunity for them to capture a tenant, a regular tenant at all . And the banks, in some cases, say, we’re just not going to finance your building at all, period.

So, with a few innovations, Houston believes it can provide much-needed revenue to business owners and fresh, local produce to customers.

Houston…” So what we needed to do was create the technology stack that allowed us to effectively be a different type of tenant. So our system would go on and then go off when they were done and whatever their remains when we’re done is an upgraded base building space, which they traditionally want and use anyway.

AgriPlay plans to expand after this first pilot project in the Calgary tower.

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