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Building Integrated Agriculture

Integrating farms in buildings


Building Integrated Agriculture

Integrating farms in buildings

Unused parts of buildings could host farms

Rooftops or basements are often overlooked spaces in which we can grow food, and actually make both the building and the farm more efficient. This is how:

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On Cold Weather

  • When weather is cold, it would recirculate the warm (and CO2 rich) air from the building into the greenhouse, so the farm saves on heating bills

  • The farm provides an extra layer of insulation, reducing heat loss and extending the life of its roof

BIA in Summer


On hot weather

  • When the weather is hot, it would recirculate the fresh and humidified (and O2 rich) air from the greenhouse into the building, so it saves on air conditioning bills, while the inhabitants get fresh and healthy air

  • As an extra insulation, the rooftop farm reduces the solar gain

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Gas recirculation

  • There would be an exchange of CO2 and O2 between the building and the greenhouse, so plants get growth and the humans get a healthier environments through cooler and oxygen rich air

  • Buildings with boilers or machinery that produce CO2 would be able to feed it to the farm, as plants will grow better as they absorb it


Water Management


  • Both Grey waters and Rainwater can be treated and harvested to feed the plants

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Urban Metabolism

The city as an Ecosystem

Urban Metabolism

The city as an Ecosystem

     The gains from implementing BIA can improve the efficiency of the entire city when seen as a whole.

      And that is what Urban Metabolism does: it studies the whole of the city as an ecosystem full of independent organisms, and builds new connections between them, so the waste from one becomes the food for the next



     This is a simplified example of a Closed loop found in nature:


      If we find the flows of resources like water, energy or materials in the cities, we can connect them, so we stop just letting heat disappear into the universe, dirty water go to the ocean, or food waste go to landfills. 

Mushroom Project

      Another example of this can be our project for mushrooms:

  • Local Coffee shops give us their used coffee grounds (when you make a coffee you only use 20% of the grounds on it)
  • We take them on our bicycle to our local farm, where we mix them with mycelium
  • Fungi will start spreading, and in 1-6 months edible MUSHROOMS will sprout
  • Again by bicycle, these mushrooms get delivered to local people, supermarkets and restaurants

     A London with plenty of farms on it would:

City flows
  • Reduce its carbon footprint as a whole:

    • Less food would need to be imported, so less traffic on its roads and less nasty gasses

    • Plants in the farms would absorb CO2, making for low carbon buildings and a healthier city

    • Energy efficient buildings

    • Reduced Heat Island Effect, and its related effects on human health

  • create fertilizer for food out of food waste

  • Reduce pollution


Controlled Environment Agriculture

Smart Farming

Controlled Environment Agriculture

Smart Farming

Controlled Environment Agriculture

Controlled Environment Agriculture

     A mixture between an engineering and scientific approach, CEA enables farmers to maintain the ideal conditions for a crop inside a greenhouse

     A management system controls all those variables to give the crop the ideal conditions, securing a predictable yield

     It can also incorporate a hydroponic system or other variants (aquaponics, aeroponics) to maximise the output, while minimising the inputs

     In this carefully maintained environment, the appearance of pests or disease that could damage the crops becomes rare, while the external weather won't impact the production



     Hydroponics is the art of growing plants without soil, relying on a mineral nutrient solution.

     Thus, in hydroponics, plants may be grown with their roots directly into the nutrient solutions with some help to support themselves or in an inert substrate such as perlite, rock-wool, clay or coconut fibre acting as an anchor.




Hydroponics offer a range of benefits over traditional farming which makes it more sustainable:

  • It requires up to 90% less water.
  • Yields can be 2 to 10 times higher, and are more stable.
  • Vegetables grow in a shorter amount of time.
  • Vegetables use half the amount of space (using vertical systems, this can be increased to up to 10 times less space)
  • If the environment is well controlled, the vegetables can have better flavour and more vitamins and antioxidants.
  • It can produce all-year-round.
  • It protects vegetables from the damaging excess of excess UV radiation.
  • No nutrition is released into the environment.
  • Ease of harvesting.
  • Less problems with bug infestations, fungi or diseases, which means no need for pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.