Seawater Vertical Farm

Enabling urban agriculture in a desertic area


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AE United Arab Emirates

In development

About the project Edit

The Seawater Vertical Farm uses seawater to cool and humidify greenhouses and to convert sufficient humidity back into fresh water to irrigate the crops.

The project is developed by Studio Mobile that specializes in art and technology for architecture and urban research.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The design of the Seawater Vertical Farm is quite simple. It provides five cocoon-greenhouses fixed to five branches that also transport and nebulize the seawater creating a humid and cool flow, ideal for many plants. In these conditions crops need very little water as they are not stressed by excessive transpiration.

As the air leaves the growing area it passes through the second evaporator which has seawater flowing over it. During this phase the humid air mixes with the warm dry air of the ceiling interspace and becomes hotter and more humid.
No fans are required: the warm air is forced by the stack effect to flow upward through the central chimney. The air will condense when in contact with plastic tubes where cool sea water is pumped. In the surface of the condensers drops of fresh water will appear, ready to be recollected in a tank to water the cocoon-greenhouses and for other uses.

The greenhouses are composed by light steel structure and polyethylene covering. It is specially treated to incorporate ultraviolet-reflecting and infrared-absorbing properties and can be 100% recycled at the end of their useful life.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

In Dubai, there's a lack of fresh water and of local vegetables, awful urban traffic, transport problems and a high soil value. Seawater vertical farms make it possible for a city in the middle of the desert like Dubai to cultivate something and generate agriculture in urban areas.

It helps the citizens have better access to fruits and vegetables, helping alimentation, and adds a greener aspect to the city.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

The growth in demand for water and increasing shortages of supply are two of the most certain scenarios of the 21st century. Agriculture, accounting for some 70% of all water used, is a major pressure point. Fortunately, the world is not short of water, it is just in the wrong place.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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