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Vertical Farm Beijing shows off different cultivation methods

China's innovation center for urban food production has been delivered by Van Bergen Kolpa Architects in collaboration with AgriGrden and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences CAAS. The interior design has been done by AgriGarden.

The project is named Vertical Farm Beijing. With its reuse of water, passive heat recovery, and natural cooling, the building shows how food can be produced sustainably in the city.

The Vertical Farm is built on the campus of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. The transparent three-story building forms the prominent entrance to the campus' research facilities. "Together with our client AgriGarden, we have realized an ambitious building with many types of innovating aspects. Different vertical cultivation types in one building, sustainable water and climate management, intensive land use, accessibility for professionals and the general public, all brought together in a powerful architectural icon for urban horticulture," said Jago van Bergen from van Bergen Kolpa Architects.

Building for innovation and education
The 3,500 m2 building is spread over three floors and accommodates different vertical cultivation methods. An educational route through the building leads visitors past fruit trees in the open ground, automated vertical lettuce cultivation, fruit cultivation under LED light, and a roof greenhouse with tomato and cucumber cultivation under daylight. "One of the challenges was to bring together the light conditions for different types of cultivation in one building so that both vegetable and fruit cultivation can be done in one environment," explained Jago van Bergen, van Bergen Kolpa Architects.

"Vertical farming is an answer to cities that can both produce and consume food. In this way, logistics costs are saved, and residents can eat fresh greens," said Ms. Wei Lingling, Founder and CEO of Beijing AgriGarden.

Sustainable water and energy use
Not a drop of water is wasted in this building. When irrigating the plants, the residual water is recycled and reused. Natural ventilation and evaporative cooling are used for the climate management of the building. Passive heat extraction from the sun and residual heat from LED lighting are used for heating. "Vertical Farm Beijing makes it possible to grow plants sustainably in nutrient-rich water, where the daylight they need is supplemented by artificial sources. Some resources that are considered useless in the city can be reused in vertical horticulture, such as nutrients from sewage and carbon dioxide in the air," pointed out Mr. Marco Chang, deputy manager of Beijing AgriGarden.

Vertical farm Beijing is made out of steel and glass which underlines its agricultural and public function. The building consists of a slender steel structure that stands out against the Beijing sky with a series of transparent windows. These allow unobstructed views in and out throughout the day. In the evening, the building, with its different types of LED light, appears as a beacon in the city. "For Vertical Farm Beijing, we further perfected the standard wide-span greenhouse and applied it to an exceptional height, which enabled an efficient and column-free span," said Michel La Crois, CEO of Ammerlaan Constructions.

For more information:
Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten
Ms. Xinrui Li
Tel.: +31(0)104782266

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