US: Vacant industrial sites proven to be attractive for indoor ag

Buildings and properties that have long been vacant are finding new life as cannabis cultivation, processing, or retail facilities. Many municipalities that have struggled to maintain traditional industries are embracing this new market and the jobs and tax revenue that come with it.

Vacant industrial sites have proven to be attractive areas for indoor agriculture facilities. Typically, these locations offer favorable zoning, large footprints, and industrial-grade electrical services which are needed for the high-power demand. New facilities are being constructed as well, but often require a larger initial investment.

Building a successful indoor agriculture facility for any vegetation starts with proper design and engineering. Having the tacit knowledge to account for the unique design and construction criteria is imperative for a successful, compliant, and efficient facility.

Sophisticated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems allow for the temperature, humidity, lighting, CO2, and irrigation all to be controlled to precise parameters. Indoor agriculture facilities typically draw three to five times more electrical and HVAC demand than a traditional use building of the same size.

The large demand for electrical power has challenged investors and designers alike to implement creative energy solutions to maximize efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness. Right-sized HVAC equipment often utilizes additional energy recovery and conservation methods. These methods can include a variety of heat exchangers, geothermal wells, central utility plants, combined heat and power (cogeneration), solar arrays, and automated building controls.

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