Research & Development   Modular Aquaponics

This is a joint initiative by Flanagan Lawrence, Expedition, LettUs Grow and the Bristol Fish Project to develop an integrated modular vertical agricultural system to wrap onto the south facades of industrial sheds in suburban areas. The system is based on a spatial assembly of low impact modular units housing both a de-coupled aquaponic based monoculture, and waterless air driven systems. Closed loop design principles share a host structure’s resources; power water and the recovery of waste heat. The proposal relies on a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between a host structure and the agricultural system.

Aspirations: The project seeks to answer the question of how food can be sustainably grown in an urban context, with minimum use of land, close to its place of consumption, in a financially viable way, with a negative whole life carbon footprint, whilst greening-up the suburban landscape and enhancing biodiversity.

Background: Modular soilless (water centric) growing systems are touted to use 10% of the normal water to grow the same amount of plants. Soilless growing provides an excellent intervention into urban metabolism to reduce losses of urban wastewater, recapturing and recycling heat, nutrients and using waste streams as an input for more productive processes (circular economics).  The key limitation to the widespread uptake of modular soilless growing is gaps in what can be automated / outsourced and how can this be integrated into the architectural module? Drainage, irrigation, environmental control, solenoids, harvesting, seeding, packing, processing – every part must be refined, integrated to some extent if this is to be the future of our integrated urban food systems as visionaries predict.

Low cost low impact system: The scheme utilises modular construction techniques to generate the structure for the project. Modules are to be sufficiently repeatable, but with a degree of flexibility for differing site conditions. Translucent polycarbonate sheets are preferred to glass cladding, to reduce construction costs and the embodied carbon footprint whilst achieving good levels of thermal insulation.

The modular units and growing beds provide an innovative green cladding solution for industrial and commercial sheds in suburban areas.

Client    N/A
Location    Various
Status    Planning

Architect    Flanagan Lawrence
Engineer    Expedition
Aquaponics Consultant    Bristol Fish Project
Indoor Agriculture Consultant    LettUs Grow
Awards Shortlisted    World Architecture Festival Future Projects - Experimental

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