Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Billion Dollar Home Employs Hydroponics for Energy Efficiency

Mukesh Ambani, the Indian billionaire ranked 5th on the Forbes list of richest men, is devoting part of he and his family's 27-story home in Mumbai to growing hydroponics crops.  You might wonder, Why?  Well, unfortunately, it's not because Ambani is actively endorsing vertical farming, like some other well-known men.  No, instead, it's primarily an economic concern:
Hanging vertical gardens dot the exterior. While they make for good decoration, their key function has to do with energy efficiency: The hydroponic plants, grown in liquid nutrient solutions instead of soil, lower the energy footprint of the home by absorbing heat and sunlight and providing shade that helps keep it cool.
The architecture firms of Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates are responsible for the design of this $2 billion skyscraper home, so I think we can safely assume that hydroponics is catching on as a financially viable design element within the architecture community.  We'll take it.

This massive complex won't be considered a vertical farm, not even close.  But it certainly will add to the growing body of work demonstrating that the ideas we've been promoting for the past decade are, in fact, the ideas for our cities' future.  With each 27-story billionaire's home that integrates any element of what a vertical farm will perform, the chorus of support grows louder and louder.  


Do you know of any similar developments that we should share with our readers?  Let us know via email--theverticalfarm@gmail.com.  


(Check out the full story (and pictures!) here)

5 comments:

  1. Today's on-line paper Cyberpresse.ca from Montréal, QC reports on a company called Les Fermes Lufa and "the first of its kind" urban commercial greenhouse. Having read the book, A Vertical Farm, I was intrigued by the challenge presented to the urban planning profession, to ensure that zoning laws change to allow progressive ideas to flourish and become reality.

    I quote from the on-line article "Un tel projet nécessite un changement de zonage, pour inclure l'activité agricole. Mais les villes sont ouvertes, croit le promoteur, car elles appuient l'agriculture urbaine." First Montréal, next Québec?

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