Lufa Farms has announced the construction of their fourth commercial rooftop greenhouse, soon to be completed in the borough of Saint-Laurent, Montreal. The greenhouse will measure 163,800 square feet (about 3 football fields), making it the largest rooftop farm in the world. Construction began in September of this year and is expected to be finished by March 2020. This milestone also coincides with the tenth anniversary of Lufa Farms' founding in 2009.
This greenhouse repurposes an existing industrial rooftop to further Lufa's vision of growing food where people live and doing so sustainably. "With each greenhouse, we hold ourselves to an ever-higher standard for sustainable design. Our new farm will be the most energy efficient to date and integrate all our learnings from the last ten years to responsibly grow more vegetables year-round," says Lauren Rathmell, Co-Founder and Greenhouse Director.
Responsible agriculture meets innovative greenhouse technology
The greenhouse will feature double-paned glass and two sets of energy-saving screens for improved insulation, and its integration with the building below provides additional thermal benefit to both structures. The greenhouse will also capture rainwater to be used in the closed-loop irrigation system, as well as offset waste with an on-site composting system. At this fourth and largest site, Lufa Farms will be growing eggplants and more than ten unique tomato varieties without the use of synthetic crop protection.
Scaling urban agriculture to feed Montreal
Lufa Farms' most recent greenhouse will have a greater surface area than their three current greenhouses combined. "This rooftop greenhouse will double our growing capacity and allow us to feed 2% of Montreal with fresh, local vegetables. It's an unbelievable step forward for hyper-local, sustainable urban farming," says Mohamed Hage, Co-Founder and CEO.
Saint-Laurent's Mayor, Alan DeSousa, further stated that "as a sustainable municipal territory, Saint-Laurent is proud to welcome the fourth greenhouse for Lufa Farms. Located in the heart of Saint-Laurent's biodiversity corridor, this greenhouse will facilitate residents' access to local, sustainably-grown products and further promote healthy habits. It will also make it possible to fight against heat islands in our district, where more than 70% of the surface area is devoted to industrial and commercial activities. And lastly, it confirms Saint-Laurent's position at the forefront of the new 4.0, particularly innovative green technologies."
Lufa Farms' mission is to create a better food system by growing food sustainably on city rooftops and partnering with hundreds of farmers and food makers, to provide customers with fresh, local, responsible food via their online Marketplace.
See one of Lufa Farms' other rooftop greenhouses in action in the video below.