Solar Greenhouse: A Self-Sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Barcelona’s Serra de Collserola Natural Park is setting up for a prototype Solar Greenhouse project, which is carried out by a team of researchers and students of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) at Valldaura Labs. The project aims to create an energy generation and self-sufficient food cultivation system. This will be their sustainable step toward an ecological agricultural transformation while tackling the food and energy crisis amid climate change.

The greenhouse intends to demonstrate an ecological way to fulfill the basic needs of food and energy. It is set up in response to the EU’s zero-emission city model by 2050. While the prototype nestles in a natural landscape, the aim is to be adaptable and scalable to various rural and urban areas. For instance, it’s easy to set up on the rooftops of urban buildings.

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

Design of the Solar Greenhouse

The greenhouse boasts a two-level timber structure that’s topped by solar panels and glass panels. Enveloped in glass louvers, the diamond-shaped roof of the greenhouse gets ample light and ventilation. Facing south, the glass panels on the rooftop enable you to fully or partially leave it open for sunlight.

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

Its ground floor works as a laboratory for plants and seedbeds. On the other hand, the upper level is for growing plants in height with the help of three different technologies. The entire interior of this structure will include the latest technology for controlled nutrition supply to the plants.

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

There is a network of pipes within the whole greenhouse to carry sufficient nutrients for the proper plant growth cycles. Thanks to the hydroponics system, plants can grow easily without the need for agricultural soil and using LED strip lighting to aid plant growth.

A Zero-Kilometer Concept

According to a team of IAAC, they have reduced the impact of food processing, production, and distribution by following a zero-kilometer concept. This concept intends to imply agrological and cultivation techniques to produce and distribute food locally within zero kilometers of distance.

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

This philosophy is not only applicable to greenhouse food production but even to its construction. The construction materials are also sourced locally and sustainably from Valldaura.

This advanced greenhouse brilliantly utilizes sustainable materials, solar energy, and the latest cultivation technology. This solar greenhouse concept is not just applicable to a specific region but on a global scale. People in the countryside and urban areas can make an effective contribution to food self-sufficiency by using the greenhouse.

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

Solar Greenhouse - Self-sufficient Food Cultivation System by IAAC

Image: Adrià Goula

Via: Archello

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