Solar Greenhouse by IAAC Researchers developed for the generation of energy and self-sufficient cultivation of food

Solar Greenhouse by IAAC Researchers developed for the generation of energy and self-sufficient cultivation of food

6 abr. 2022 Notícia

Located on the outskirts of Barcelona in the Natural Park of Collserola, the Solar Greenhouse project is a model greenhouse developed for the generation of energy and the self-sufficient cultivation of food. Designed to be replicated in both rural and urban areas, the project was carried out by a team of students, professionals and experts in the Masters programme in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities (MAEBB) of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Valldaura Labs.

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Central to the project is the creation of a space for self-sufficient cultivation as a solution to future food and energy crises and making progress towards the zero-emission city model as proposed by the EU in 2050.

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The team explain that the impact of food production, processing and ultimate distribution can be minimised by employing new solutions in line with ‘zero-kilometer’ cultivation and agrological techniques. In this way, the Solar Greenhouse can be seen as the next step toward a new and more efficient agricultural format that can be used in rural areas or in any city in the world.

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The construction of the greenhouse itself also subscribes to the ‘zero-kilometre’ philosophy with the necessary water, substrate and building materials obtained from the immediate vicinity. The structure here was built with pine time, sustainably collected and processed in the area of Valldaura.

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The greenhouse is fueled by a system of nutrients, which are distributed from storage tanks and nutrient inlets, through pipes that feed the plants. In addition, a matrix of LED strip lights makes growth cycles easier, with the help of Black Light.

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The diamond shape of the structure allows for optimal capture of sunlight, which enters into the solar panels and allows plants grown indoors to receive direct sunlight.

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 A germination area is located on the ground floor, while cultivation is dedicated to the upper floor. Here, the substrate in the planting beds comprises recycled sawdust, which is a waste product of Green Fab Lab – another of the IAAC laboratories located in Valldaura. A considerable amount of the harvest comes using hydroponic techniques, which allow plants to grow without the need for agricultural soil.

The team explain that their ultimate goal is for the systems of the Solar Greenhouse to be ultimately applied on a global scale.

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