Belgium: Fruit and leafy vegetables in REO Veiling rooftop greenhouse

The definitive design of the REO Veiling rooftop greenhouse has to be ready at the beginning of December in order to open in 2018. Inagro lifts the veil about the design.

The rooftop greenhouse will be placed on top of the boxed warehouse of the REO Veiling, on the ring road to Roeselare, Belgium. The frontside greenhouse will certainly become a beacon along the ring road with its height of 21 metres. It will rest on five cylinders, which will serve as a rainwater reservoir (approximately 2,000 m3). In the 12-metre high cultivation space, vegetables will be continuously accessible for the general public, Inagro can already reveal.



“The entire greenhouse will be provided with diffuse glass, except for the frontside greenhouse and the side of the entrance hall. Although cultivators indicated negative experiences with diffuse glass a few years ago, current materials have been significantly improved, both in the amount of light that penetrates the glass and its sensitivity to dust. In order to prevent illumination nuisance to the environment, all cultivation compartments are provided with an illumination-proof screen.”

Inner furnishings
Within the greenhouse, about 6,000 to 8,000 m2 will be divided into cultivation compartments. A row of compartments for leafy vegetables (green rectangle in the diagram) will be separated from a row of fruit (red rectangle) by means of a technical corridor with mostly day stocks for food solutions. At the request of the cultivators, some large compartments are provided with about 700 m2, representative of practice, besides some smaller compartments.

Hydroponic cultivation
At 8 metres altitude and on a concrete surface, all cultivation will be done without soil, in the form of hydroponic cultivation in gutters (NFT) and cultivation on floats (DFT). For heating, the rooftop greenhouse can count on the heat of REO Veiling’s WKK, and on the heat produced by the nearby waste incinerator of MIROM. Through a European project, it is now also being researched whether the smoke gases of MIROM can be used for CO2 provision as well.



Competition
The rooftop greenhouse is being designed by the research institution Inagro, REO Veiling, and the winners of the design competition: META Architects from Antwerp and Van Bergen Kolpa Architects from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, engineering firm Tractebel, advisor on greenhouse technology Smiemans Projecten, and a team from the University of Wageningen (WUR). The concept is currently being completed and then recorded in a specification book. This will then serve as the basis for the public tender of the project.

Please click here to read more about the plans for knowledge exchange and demonstration of new techniques.

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