Finland: Residential buildings go green with mobile growing modules

In June, the iFarm Cropper mobile modules were installed in the public area of the apartment building in Vantaa, Finland, and are now ready to use. With two compact vertical farms on-site, tenants are able to grow edible plants on their own.

Residents who wanted to learn how to get fresh greens from vertical farms were taught how mobile iFarm Cropper® modules work and the concept of city farming in general. Additionally, residents were also taught how to follow the growth process with the help of the iFarm Growtune platform. Those that volunteered to take part in the experiment learned how to sow the seeds and place pots in such a way that every plant receives sufficient light and nutrition.

"The iFarm Cropper module operates in much the same way as a full-scale vertical farm,” says Alexander Monikainen, an engineer with iFarm Europe. “The climate conditions and plant nutrition are monitored by the artificial intelligence (AI), and, were any errors to occur, the system would immediately notify iFarm specialists. They can connect to the cameras monitoring the vertical farm and visit the site for a service check if the situation demands it. As far as I know, this is the first time in Europe that the vertical farm yield will be grown and tended to by tenants."

The iFarm Croppe compact farms were ordered by 6Aika: CircularHoodFood, a social research project that aims to create a stable environment and promote the idea of a sustainable economy. The social and economic impact of these green modules within a residential building will be observed by the University of Helsinki and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

“"Residents are very enthusiastic about the project,” says Hanna Rekola, member of the Board of Directors of the housing maintenance company, “and, in my opinion, allowing residents to grow their own food is a very reasonable thing to do in a multi-story apartment building. This not only increases the real estate value, but it also improves the quality of life and provides a fun activity that tenants can share. It will be interesting to see how the concept of growing greens in residential areas actually works in practice," says Hanna Rekola, member of the Board of Directors of the housing maintenance company.

"This is all part of our strategy, our vision for the future. We firmly believe that one day, every apartment building in the world will have a vertical farm, and its residents will be able to harvest fresh produce whenever they need to. I’m glad that our equipment was chosen for a social research project that aims to implement this concept in real life. With iFarm Cropper modules installed, the apartment building itself is an example of green architecture and circular economy," says Kirill Zelenski, CEO of iFarm Europe.

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