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29.09.2014
This paper describes learning and evidence from CARE's work in Tanzania to support sustainable, productive, equitable and resilient agriculture systems for small-scale producers.
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The world's food system is beginning to strain under a global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, by which time the planet's arable land is projected to be half of what it was in the 1970s. Moreover, the average item of food travels approximately 1,500 miles before it reaches our plates, resulting in wasted food and more greenhouse gas emissions. Vertical farminga€”the growing of crops (up rather than out) in a closed stacked systema€” is one promising solution to the drawbacks of traditional agriculture. There are many kinds of vertical farms, differing in the type and square footage of buildings or rooftops they occupy and the mode of light used (daylight or LEDs).
The 44-member, New York City-based Association for Vertical Farming challenged a group of students in Columbia University's Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, who must work in teams with real clients for their final capstone projects, to come up with a certification system to assess the sustainability of vertical farms. Henry Gordon-Smith, vice chair of The Association for Vertical Farming and an alumnus of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, said that because vertical farming is a rapidly growing and young industry, it is important to develop a strategy capable of defining its impacts early on.
Susanne DesRoches, the capstone's instructor, who is deputy director of Infrastructure Policy at the New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, divided her 14 students into two teams.
One farm that particularly impressed the students was Sky Vegetables in the Bronx, which is building sustainable, commercial-scale hydroponic farms on urban rooftops across the country.
Based in a LEED building, the Bronx farm grows fresh, chemical-free produce, which it provides to local residents and restaurants, and creates jobs and educational opportunities. After researching other certification systems to understand the types of systems and frameworks that exist, the students broke them down into various principles and criteria. The big challenge they faced was gathering the systems performance data necessary to establish a baseline of best practices and benchmarking numbers. The students' final recommendation is that the association set up its own certification system, phasing in a framework based on the 50 metrics related to the nine key principles. Phase 1 would collect data for 24 metrics, for example on energy use intensity, total growing area and growing medium.
Farms would be scored based on the total number of metrics for which they submit data, starting immediately with a simple score derived from data some farms can provide now. The $2.36 billion invested into the AgTech sector in 2014 is an indication that agriculture is undergoing a transformation as new technologies are being integrated.
With the fast growth of these new technologies, Gordon-Smith is pondering a larger question: "How do we set standards for emerging technologies to balance business and sustainability? The 21st century has seen rapid urbanisation and the global population is now expected to grow to more than 8.3 billion by 2050. Fish farming, or aquaculture, began in Malaysia as early as the 1920s, with the 1990s ushering in intensive commercial production. Intensive farming practices such as larger herd size, maize growth, fewer hedgerows and the use of silage have been linked to higher risk of bovine TB, new research has concluded. The amount of sea level rise in the Pacific Ocean can be used to estimate future global surface temperatures, according to a new report led by University of Arizona geoscientists. A team of British climate scientists comparing today's environment with the warm period before the last ice age has discovered a 65% reduction of Antarctic sea ice around 128,000 years ago. A Purdue University research team has found that the center of tornado activity in the United States has shifted in recent decades, and this shift is possibly influenced by climate change.
A trio of researchers has found evidence to suggest that a very large gorge in an eastern part of the Himalayas is moving slowly northward due to pressure from tectonic lift.
Based in a LEED building, the Bronx farm grows fresh, chemical-free produce, which it provides to local residents and restaurants Chemical-free?
Bathhouses, spas and saunas have long been part of cleansing and health rituals around the world and a startup in San Francisco wants to bring the same tradition to up-and-coming areas in need an of healthy kickstart.


Spas are a luxurious place to relax and heal, but that doesn’t mean they need to be wasteful power hogs flushing water down the drain.
The spa includes a sauna, hot tubs, cold water plunges, a lounge, a changing area, a garden, and a rooftop deck. The spa can operate totally off grid and makes use of solar thermal collectors to heat water for the tubs, and photovoltaics to provide energy for the energy efficient sauna, lighting and other energy needs. CLICK HERE to Visit Our Blog– for a Wealth of JoJo water tank & Rainharvesting info!
The Clean Energy Water Clock is a sleek digital clock that uses only water as a power source. The coolest part of this clock is that it is so efficient that it can create energy from moist soil, thus allowing you to grow small plants in the allotted chambers.
Here is just another example of how important water is and will be in the future.  Water and energy are closely linked and both should be conserved for a sustainable future. If you live in South Africa and need environmentally friendly water conservation and solar energy solutions, contact us for a free quote.  Our WWF award winning water systems include, rainwater harvesting systems, grey water irrigation systems, grey water recycling systems, swimming pool backwash recycling systems, toilet flush mechanisms and other water-saving devices (see product demo). The Olympic Village (aka Millenium Water) is one of the greenest communities in the world, making Vancouver a leader in sustainable development.
The site is about seven hectares in size and consists of over 20 buildings, with approximately 1.2 million square feet of multi-unit residential and mixed-use development.
Recollective was responsible for providing green building consulting to the design team to help determine how the project’s sustainability goals could be met, and for the overall LEED project management for SEFC. Recollective would like to acknowledge the fact that the original contract for SEFC was held by Thornley BKG Consultants (TBKG), with Recollective and Eco-Integration as sub-consultants.
The paper concludes that these projects demonstrate that rights-based approaches are critical for building resilience among the most vulnerable agricultural livelihoods. We know stucco , water proofing , and restoration products , we are out in the field to answer your questions.We care about each customer and each project .
And as climate change threatens long-term food security, agriculture will need to produce 70 percent more food to feed an increasingly crowded world. Compared to traditional agriculture, vertical farming uses 70 to 95 percent less water and over 90 percent less land, while harvesting 80 percent more per unit of area. Ideally, the certification system would be able to define the criteria for a credits-based sustainability rating of farms, recognize farms operating sustainably, and provide a best practices guide for existing and new farms to become more sustainable. While the benefits of vertical farming seem obvious, its real effects are complex and need to be quantified since they might be subject to greenwashing. One team was tasked with investigating other certification systems such as LEED, Energy Star and USDA Organic to figure out how established systems do their benchmarking.
They considered the feedback from the vertical farms and the main indicators the farms said were important to measure for systems performance. The students then tried to figure out how to relate these to the certification systems they had studied to determine what kind of system would work best for the farms. 8, Glen Halperin presented the team's findings to The Association for Vertical Farming at the final briefing of the Capstone Workshop. Phase 2 would introduce more metrics measuring total annual waste, pesticide usage and packaging. In a few years, with data collection ongoing, The Association for Vertical Farming will be able to analyze industry trends and establish minimum performance standards for vertical farms. SOAK was designed by Rebar Art & Design as a pop-up spa built from reclaimed shipping containers to fit into any urban spot. San Francisco startup SOAK wants to bring healthy and sustainable hedonism to the city while boosting urban areas that need a little support.
To minimize impact from energy and water use, Rebar designed the spa to harvest rainwater and generate its own power.
Used water is filtered and processed through the gardens before being discharged into the ground. The clock creates electrical energy through an electrochemical reaction between the water and electrodes in the device, similar to a science fair potato clock. The Clean Energy Water Clock is an attractive timepiece that doubles as a carbon sink, both reducing your impact and increasing your punctuality.


In keeping with Vancouver’s Greenest City targets, the Olympic Village uses innovative energy efficiency and sustainability systems like solar heating and green roofs. All SEFC buildings have achieved LEED-NC Gold certification, with the Community Centre and the Net-zero Energy Senior’s Housing project achieving LEED Platinum. We were also responsible for providing architectural design support for meeting a net-zero energy goal for the senior’s housing project, designed by GBL Architects.
The untimely death of green building superstar Andy Kesteloo of TBKG on January 15, 2007 resulted in the contract being transferred completely to Recollective.
This system has a reinforced base coat applied to the insulation prior to application of the finish coat. The Association for Vertical Farming, a two-year-old nonprofit focused on advancing the industry, says that vertical farming allows farmers to produce crops all year round because all environmental factors are controlled. For example, "They might be growing a big yield in a small space, but be using a lot of energy to do it and not talking about that," he said. The other team researched vertical farms in the New York and New Jersey area, visiting nine farms and conducting 17 interviews with growers. They also looked at what the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations determined were key indicators for a sustainability assessment of food and agriculture systems.
There is not yet enough data available to be able to determine what metrics can or should be considered sustainablea€”for example, to say definitively that X number of kilowatt-hours of electricity use is considered sustainable for a farm of a particular type or size. But he felt it would be valuable to have the students dive in and do the research from scratch, taking a fresh look at what the association might do. Phase 3 would include the remaining metrics on annual water use, average food miles and community education.
The design comes with its own solar hot water, photovoltaic, rainwater collection and grey water filtration systems to minimize its hedonistic impact.
The pop-up and temporary shipping container spa can be installed in any urban spot and act as a destination and reason for people to remain in an up-and-coming area while redevelopment occurs. Of the four shipping containers, one is used to store collected rainwater, which provides 22,500 gallons annually or 50% of the water needed for the hot tubs. In this way, only black water from toilets makes its way into the city’s system and all grey water is recharged into the aquifer. Located in Southeast False Creek, the Olympic Village was built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, to house athletes and Olympic officials coming from across the world. We worked with the City of Vancouver and the developer to both interpret the City’s Green Building Strategy, and to determine how compliance will be documented for the permitting process. It produces healthier and higher yields faster than traditional agriculture, and is resilient to climate change.
Finally, the students settled on nine key principles by which to assess the sustainability of vertical farms. When is the market big enough?" He believes it's essential to find answers so that the people investing money and resources into these new technologies are motivated to develop them in socially and environmentally sustainable ways.
The container spa comes with all its own infrastructure and works to improve the site and the area until enough growth has occurred and the spa can move on to another area in need of support. Low flow fixtures, energy efficient systems and heat exchangers further improve water and energy efficiency.
The system that Recollective collaboratively developed was intended to be the blueprint for the City for other developers of the SEFC lands. To honour Andy, the Canada Green Building Council has created a student project award to recognize a student project that demonstrates leadership, innovation, inspiration and a creative vision for the future of sustainable design in the field of green building and communities.
Moreover as the global population becomes more urbanized, vertical farms can help meet the rising demand for fresh local produce.
The development aligns with the City’s goals, addressing environmental, economic, and social issues. The Olympic Village is a mixed-use community, with approximately 1,100 residential units, area parks, and a growing number of retail and service outlets.



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