Another day, another vertical farm concept, except this one is set out on the water to avoid taking up valuable land. This food-producing eco skyscraper by Australian architect Ruwan Fernando was one of the entries for the eVolo Skyscraper competition and has a number of direct advantages over a land based farm including access to water, minerals, more sunlight, and wind and waves to generate renewable energy. Sure we have a long ways to go before vertical farms become reality, but Fernando might be onto something.
Fernando’s design features five levels of U-shaped structures built on a platform in the middle of open (preferably low-depth) water. Each u-shaped structure functions for specialized purposes, like sustainable food production, factories, or even residential space. The lower portion of the tower serves as public space with commercial areas, restaurants, museums or open space. A network of bridges connects towers to each other as well as to the mainland.
Photovoltaic cells are installed on the exterior of the structure, tidal power systems harness energy from the waves, and vertical axis wind turbines at the base of the structure capture wind, all in order to provide the tower with renewable energy. The u-shaped sections are placed in order to leave space between them so more light can reach the interior. Fresh water can be desalinated from the surrounding ocean and minerals are filtered for help with food production. If vertical farms were actually cost effective and had proven technology, being directly on the water would make a lot of sense.