Clepsydra Urban Farming

SUMMARY: Clepsydra is a new building type - actually an accessory building- a vertical greenhouse that can be linked to existing or new buildings. Within the framework of answering urgent environmental and ecological challenges, Clepsydra serves as a multi-faceted urban development tool to provide food security and community life.

PROBLEM SPACE: The concept of vertical farming is not something new, but we still seem to be a bit lethargic in adopting this practice. One of the major challenges facing vertical farming designers, is that once you build more than one floor of greenhouse, you must put systems in place to ensure that each level of the farm has the equal potential to grow food. This means either designing rotation systems that move the crop to share the daylight needed for growth, or the installation of high cost, high energy consuming lights that simulate natural sunlight. Clepsydra has multiple floors but addresses these challenges through passive design (utilizing the most light through the cylindrical shape of the building) as well as solar PV panels to assist in producing the energy needed to light the crops.

SOLUTION: The idea behind the design of the Clepsydra is to ensure that you do not go through much of a hassle to put up your own greenhouse structure. That hopefully will encourage more people to take up the feature. The Clepsydra can be joined to any existing home or other buildings like hospitals, schools or even commercial malls. The basic framework is put together rather quickly using industrial steel rods and avoiding welding time.

The 10-Story Clepsydra can produce food that is equivalent to 6 acres of farmland, on an average. With farmland shrinking each day thanks to our industrial and housing needs, options like these could provide a viable alternative. That said, the main intention of the Clepsydra is to eliminate the carbon emissions and resource wastage that is involved in food supply, transportation, storing, packaging and sales- from the farm to your home.

CONTACT: Bruno Viganò & Florencia Costa

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