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Redesigning Hydroponic
Production for Vertical
Farming & Urban Markets
The State of
Vertical Farming
A Growth Industry
Traditional Techniques
in Vertical Farming
Redesigning Vertical Growing: Bright
Agrotech and ZipGrow Towers
Problems with Traditional
Growing Techniques:
• Ventilation Challenges and Stratification of Air
Layers
Problems with
Traditional
Growing
Techniques:
• Labor and Use
Challenges
Problems with Traditional
Growing Techniques:
• Space and Materials Use
Efficiency
• Production Type Space Use
Efficiency ...
Problems with Traditional
Growing Techniques:
• Market Access
• Product Distribution
• Cost of Labor
Problems with
Traditional Growing
Techniques:
• Plant Health and
Productivity
– Humidity Removal
– Pathogens
– Pests
– CO2...
Eliminating Problems with Design
• Working with
Heat and Air
Movement
• Designing
ventilation
solutions for
enclosed
envir...
Eliminating Problems with Design
• Designing for Worker Safety
and Ease of Use
– Minimizing bottlenecks in
workflow
– Perf...
Eliminating Problems with Design
• Designing for Space and
Materials Use Efficiency
• Reconfiguration and
upgrades
• Produ...
Eliminating Problems with Design
• Designing for Distribution
– Maintaining as many options as
possible
– Live Sales
– Tra...
Eliminating Problems with Design
• Designing for Productivity
and Plant Health
– Ventilation
– CO2 Exchange
– Inter-tower ...
Other Variables:
Growing as Manufacturing
• Scalability and Standardization
• Designing systems that scale into any space
...
Other Variables:
Growing as Manufacturing
• Mobility and Work Flow
– Traditional growing operations move the line to
the p...
Other Variables:
Growing as Manufacturing
• Product Flow
– All products and workers flow in the same
direction
– Reduce di...
Other Variables:
Growing as Manufacturing
• Production Automation
– Automation plays a major role in the future of
vertica...
Growing High Quality Products
• Consumer Safety
– Indoor growing can be much more safe than field
production
– High qualit...
Growing High Quality Products
• Transparency
– Transparency in production adds value to product
– Consumer trust leads to ...
Growing High Quality Products
• Quality, Freshness and Flavor
– Vertical growing close to markets can result in
unparallel...
Near-Term Vertical Farming
ZipGrow and ZipGrow Systems for China
Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets
Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets
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Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets

Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets is a presentation Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech gave to attendees at the 2015 Vertical Farming Summit in Beijing. This summit was held at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Agricultural Science & Technology Demonstration Park.

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Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets

  1. 1. Redesigning Hydroponic Production for Vertical Farming & Urban Markets
  2. 2. The State of Vertical Farming
  3. 3. A Growth Industry
  4. 4. Traditional Techniques in Vertical Farming
  5. 5. Redesigning Vertical Growing: Bright Agrotech and ZipGrow Towers
  6. 6. Problems with Traditional Growing Techniques: • Ventilation Challenges and Stratification of Air Layers
  7. 7. Problems with Traditional Growing Techniques: • Labor and Use Challenges
  8. 8. Problems with Traditional Growing Techniques: • Space and Materials Use Efficiency • Production Type Space Use Efficiency Ratio (AP/Afl ) – 5 Layer Horizontal Rack (4'x8') 2.50 – 4 Layer Horizontal Rack (8'x8') 2.67
  9. 9. Problems with Traditional Growing Techniques: • Market Access • Product Distribution • Cost of Labor
  10. 10. Problems with Traditional Growing Techniques: • Plant Health and Productivity – Humidity Removal – Pathogens – Pests – CO2 Depletion
  11. 11. Eliminating Problems with Design • Working with Heat and Air Movement • Designing ventilation solutions for enclosed environments
  12. 12. Eliminating Problems with Design • Designing for Worker Safety and Ease of Use – Minimizing bottlenecks in workflow – Perform all tasks from ground level- eliminate scissor lifts – Make all equipment modular
  13. 13. Eliminating Problems with Design • Designing for Space and Materials Use Efficiency • Reconfiguration and upgrades • Production Type Space Use Efficiency Ratio (AP/AFl) – 7' Vertical Racks 2.73
  14. 14. Eliminating Problems with Design • Designing for Distribution – Maintaining as many options as possible – Live Sales – Traditional sales and distribution – Home CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) models – Green Wall service models
  15. 15. Eliminating Problems with Design • Designing for Productivity and Plant Health – Ventilation – CO2 Exchange – Inter-tower disease communication – Plant and tower removal – Maximizing O2 exchange (atmosphere to root zone)
  16. 16. Other Variables: Growing as Manufacturing • Scalability and Standardization • Designing systems that scale into any space • Designing systems with work flow and product flow in mind – Always in a single direction – Minimize obstacles and bottlenecks
  17. 17. Other Variables: Growing as Manufacturing • Mobility and Work Flow – Traditional growing operations move the line to the product – Successful indoor growers move the product down the line • Transport the product in the containers that it is grown in • Allow workers to easily access and remove product. • Product moves from planting to harvesting through the facility
  18. 18. Other Variables: Growing as Manufacturing • Product Flow – All products and workers flow in the same direction – Reduce disease and pest spread – Optimize production line
  19. 19. Other Variables: Growing as Manufacturing • Production Automation – Automation plays a major role in the future of vertical farming • Low cost of development and implementation is key • Minimize automation work by designing tasks to reduce articulation and complexity • Focus on off-the-shelf solutions that can be modified
  20. 20. Growing High Quality Products • Consumer Safety – Indoor growing can be much more safe than field production – High quality inputs results in high quality outputs – The importance of Good Agricultural Practices – Consumer trust results in consumer loyalty
  21. 21. Growing High Quality Products • Transparency – Transparency in production adds value to product – Consumer trust leads to consumer loyalty – Design systems to maximize transparency and communicate this to the customer – Design systems and distribution models that maximize freshness, flavor and value
  22. 22. Growing High Quality Products • Quality, Freshness and Flavor – Vertical growing close to markets can result in unparalleled freshness for consumers – Fast to market products will dominate the future of produce sales
  23. 23. Near-Term Vertical Farming ZipGrow and ZipGrow Systems for China

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