Rooftop greenhouse enables research for future food production

A new project was started last week in Berlin, where a fully F-Clean-covered greenhouse is being built for the University of Berlin. The greenhouse will be used for research on future food production in urban spaces called Cubes Circle.



"On a wooden substructure, we are building a Venlo-type poly greenhouse with a double-sided continuous butterfly ventilation," shares Bernardus van der Heide with AgrowSer - VDH Foliekassen. "The roof will be equipped with a single layer diffused F-Clean, and the walls with a double layer diffused F-Clean."

F-clean is a high-end greenhouse covering material that was developed in Japan, specially for horticultural purposes. The ETFE film has a very high light transmission and a long life span. 

Custom made
VDH will also provide and install a double-layer screening installation and many more special parts, such as a railing in the outer walls and a secondary load-bearing system for installing further special parts that will be needed for research. "Everything is custom made based on the vision and special requirements of our customer, and of course, considering the strict German norms," Bernardus shows.

Standardized production units
In the greenhouse, a closed food production system called CUBES Circle will be established that, according to the initiators, overcomes the weaknesses of earlier agricultural production systems and that integrates easily into the urban future. "Our vision of agricultural systems of the future is based on the idea that food will be produced in connected, mutually communicating, and standardized production units, the so-called CUBES. Those CUBES are the basis for a closed food production system, which overcomes the weaknesses of earlier agricultural production systems by using ISO standards, stackable units, and a bio-cybernetic regulation approach," the team with CUBES Circle explains.

They say the system integrates easily into the urban future. "Due to its mobile nature, adaptability to a changing environment, and inherent scalability, the CUBES can be implemented in urban, rural, and even desertified sites. Principles of closed cultivation methods will be integrated into a new process chain, and the individual elements of the chain will be intelligently connected and regulated. Thereby, synergies like the Triple Zero® concept can be used, enabling a production without additives and avoiding emissions and waste."

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