Ariel Schwartz

Plantagon: A Massive Geodesic Dome Farm for the Future

by , 03/16/11

plantagon, sustainable design, green design, vertical farm, urban farming, sustainable agriculture, geodesic farm

According to Plantagon, the farm “will dramatically change the way we produce organic and functional food. It allows us to produce ecological [resources] with clean air and water inside urban environments, even major cities, cutting costs and environmental damage by eliminating transportation and deliver directly to consumers. This is due to the efficiency and productivity of the Plantagon® greenhouse which makes it economically possible to finance each greenhouse from its own sales.”

No word on how exactly the Plantagon system works, but the company says that consulting engineering firm Sweco has helped untangle the technical kinks of the project. Plantagon hopes to have its first vertical farm up and running within three years.

+ Plantagon

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10 Comments

  1. nature calling October 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    listen i have been lately working on the vertical farming concepts and i reallly feel that this thing can come…..its reallly innovative….true its conceptual and all but if you see all countries have started the green way of living but 99% of them have proposed he vertical farming concept but havent been able to do it because its expensive construction wise….how can people comment on its working if it hasnt been built and working anywhere in the world…that is what bothers me……just think….how cool it will be to buy vegetables which are grown infront of you……..how about the food security you are getting it …how about the carbon emisssiiionss….how about the cost cutting factors,,,,guys chage ur mindset …..do you want to be the same old guys blogging in a negative manner….please guys,,,,,,think about it…..cause the nature is calling

  2. le_canetton June 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Did you know that you can join plantagon’s non-profit association and support their work for a sustainable society, with their work with their green houses, but also in their strive for a business with a human face. The Association has 50% power in the company, electing 50 % of it’s management. Join! Value change for survival!
    http://www.join.plantagon.com

  3. lazyreader March 17, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Vertical farming was easily discredited when the proposal lacked proof to back their claims. You are talking about putting up a highrise in the middle of a city, where real estate is expensive. A detailed cost analysis of start-up costs, operation costs, and revenue has not been done. The extra cost of having to light, heat, and power the vertical farm may negate any of the cost benefits received by the decrease in transportation expenses. The eco benefits of vertical farming rest partly on the concept of minimizing food miles. I disagree with food miles. Their a marketing fad.

    Transportation only accounts for a small portion to the economic and environmental costs of supplying food to urban residents. Gas guzzling plays a huge role in local food systems. But those farmer’s markets and vegetable stands involve a huge amount of driving on lightly loaded fleets of vehicles. Have any of you ever been to a farmer’s market and have seen the fleets of Land Rovers, Volvo’s, and Porsche’s heading home with their cargo that all can fit in a glove box. 18 wheel trucks are far more efficient, since their filled to the brim with goodies. Since most of us typically go to supermarkets for more than one item. We’re much more efficient picking up a plethora of groceries. We don’t need food-miles, we need pounds traveled per unit of fuel, or Pound-Gallons. Every semi truck we fill to capacity is another truck partially empty, we don’t need on the road.

  4. FEEDER: An Elevated Hig... October 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    [...] Chicago as an urban habitat.” In addition to filtering the polluted highway air, the farms will educate the public and students, giving them a new understanding and a stronger connection to [...]

  5. RealChange October 30, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Survival Acres, you write that you cannot produce an ecosystem like this, but it’s really nothing new. It’s not even that hard to do anymore. A lot of modern greenhouses today have artificial ecosystems. They all uses the natural sunlight, but not the natural rain or climate of it’s location. We know how to do this. This makes it possible to grow produce where it’s normally not possible, say in a dessert or in northern Sweden. Or anywhere there the land is cheap, basically. This has been done for a long time. But these greenhouses are always just one story high.

    The only really new thing about this greenhouse seems to be the shape and technical structure, which solves the problem of giving the produce enough natural sunlight when growing vertically. And by using a lot less land, it also solves the problem of growing in urban areas. It uses ten times less space for the same worth of produce! Not bad!

    Vertical farming is by many visionaries the best way to grow crops in the future, since it uses the land more efficiently. But as far as I know no one has yet come up with something that is actually working. Columbia University (www.verticalfarm.com) has many concept greenhouses that are based on the same vision. I have no doubt that growing vertically will work in the future, it’s just a matter of who will be the first to succeed. And Plantagon seems to have come a long way towards something that is actually working. Well… the future will tell.

  6. Survival Acres July 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    It won’t work as claimed. This is a highly resource dependent design. Absolutely everything would have to be imported into the dome, soil, water, air, electricity (pumping water), even the light is impacted by the higher levels. And then food products would have to be manually harvested, which limits the actual production.

    It’s just a concept, but poorly executed. This thing doesn’t even take advantage of the natural rain.

    You cannot “create” an ecosystem like this in an artificial environment and expect it to outproduce the natural ability of the land (without massive levels of imported materials). It will outproduce (temporarily) – and only as long as all those requirements of soil, water, air, fertilizers and (even possibly herbicides and insecticides) and energy to keep eveyrthing moving (including pumping water) are constantly brought into the dome. And how will that be done? By an oil-free magic carpet?

    Any possible (highly doubtful) cost-savings of co-locating a dome near the city would be instantly lost due to the need for imported supplies, plus the actual cost and raw materials to build the thing.

    It would be far cheaper to simply convert vacant lots / land found in the dead zones of the cities and use Earth Boxes or some other raised box / recycle water design, which would require none of the high-tech techno-wizardy gadgetry (multiple points of failure) that this thing proposes.

    This is somebody’s idea of a greenhouse wet dream (with no practical grounding in horticulture). And absolutely useless.

  7. alexjameslowe July 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Really neat- and I think this is part of a larger trend of an ‘evening out’ of population centers. Just as the internet is making telecommuting more popular, urban food production will make cities less dependent on shipping lines from agricultural producers hundreds or thousands of miles away.

    So things will be mixed up in an interesting way- people living in rural areas will work for companies in New York (2 people in my department telecommute from California), and people in cities will enjoy farmer’s markets stocked with produce grown just down the street- next to a skyscraper.

    Each side will have the best the other side has to offer, and it will be done with dramatically less fossil fuel.

  8. Bjornmeansbear July 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    The “Moving to the City” stat is based on developing countries where most of the poor from the country-side are moving to slums surrounding large city centers. Remember, there are over 5 billion people that live outside of Europe and the US. So the % of Europeans and US residents leaving cities is basically nil compared to those moving into cities elsewhere.

  9. StructureHub July 13, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Well done. Even though the geodesic dome is anything but new, the firm’s farm concept is perfectly melded to its shape. The spiral solution is quite simple, but in a way, that makes the Swedes even more clever. In this case, as rarely happens in such charrettes, good design coexists on an equal footing with practical, sustainable goals.

  10. modular buildings July 13, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I do not understand about the fact that 80% of people will move in to cities by 2050!

    Within the UK more and more people are moving to the countryside due to the clean air and better living standards.
    So i cannot see people moving to cities in the near future – unless something major happens!

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