Vertical farms are one of our favorite future-forward concepts for creating sustainable cities. Providing locally-grown produce and food will not only help us reduce our carbon emissions significantly, but also help us become healthier. Romses Architects recently came up with an amazing concept for a vertical farm in Vancouver as part of the City’s 2030 Challenge. Complete with a tower for growing fruits and vegetables, a livestock grazing plane, a boutique dairy farm, commercial space, transit lines, renewable energy and more, the Harvest Green Tower has the potential to be a food growing, energy producing, living, breathing sustainable transit hub.
The City of Vancouver has ambitious plans to become the most sustainable city in the world. This spring they held the FormShift Vancouver Competition to develop and improve the city’s livability through greener, denser developments. The Harvest Green Tower received an honorable mention in the Primary category for a mixed use primary (arterial) site along a major Vancouver street that includes a rapid transit station. Their vertical farm concept is centered around sustainable food production as well as the creation of a multi-purpose space that can house, transport, feed and entertain people.
The tower consists of interlocking tubes that grow various fruits and vegetables, house chickens and contain an aquaponic fish farm. On top of the vertical growing tower is a rainwater cistern to collect and help water all the plants and animals. At the base of the tower is a livestock grazing plain, as well as a bird habitat and boutique sheep and goat dairy facility. Underneath that is a grocery store, farmer’s market and Harvest Tower Restaurant. Renewable energy is produced from rooftop mounted wind turbines and photovoltaic glazing on the building with the additional help of geothermal heat pumps and methane generation from composting.
Not only would the tower produce local, organic food, but it would also support people with live/work units off to the side of the tower, an educational center, and a seed lab. The base of the tower features a transit hub along with an underground parking lot and shared car co-op. The tower would play an important role in the production of locally grown foods, provide urban employment opportunities and contribute sustainable density to Vancouver.