Plantagon, a Swedish food technology company, has published an office building called “Plant Building” and plans to build the first such magnificent indoor farm + office building in Linkoping, Sweden . Thanks to the farm's unique operating model, the urban farmers who cultivated here do not need to pay any gross rent, because the heat generated by the farm is sufficient to pay off the amount.
Plantagon underground farms, like other indoor farms, plant plants in the building with LED lighting. However, Plantagon is different in that the heat generated by the lighting in the original room is usually discharged from the room to prevent the plants from overheating, but Plantagon directly collects the heat and stores it in the building's thermal energy storage system to assist in the office building. People keep warm in the winter.
The method of collecting heat energy in this underground farm is to use the water pipes above the LED lights to save the heat energy in the water and then lead it to the heat pump system. This thermal energy storage system will allow the building to save 700,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year, which is equivalent to saving 3 times the rent of the basement. In addition, the carbon dioxide produced in the office will be discharged to the farm and the fresh oxygen produced by the farm's fruits and vegetables will be sent back to the office workers.
“The builders agreed to let us rent for three years without paying a rent, so we don't need to pay any Swedish Kron for this basement at the moment,” Hans Hassle, co-founder of Plantagon, said, “for urban farmers, if you really want to To grow fruits and vegetables in the city, we must find new business models to make the food that is produced less expensive.”
The company plans to sell fruits and vegetables directly to office workers in the same building and two restaurants in the same building; about one-third of the production will be sold to nearby grocery stores, and the transportation process is near, without any need to consume any petroleum fuel. Another 1/3 of the output will be sold at the shops in the building.
“In Sweden, people have a higher interest in food grown on the ground than organic foods,”Hassle said.“People often want to know where food comes from.”
Hassle added that if an organic lettuce is shipped to a store from hundreds of miles or even thousands of miles away, its environmental footprint may be higher than lettuce produced on a local indoor farm.
Plantagon plans to open 10 underground farms in Stockholm in the next 3 years, starting with the building where the underground heat pump system has been installed. The preparatory team is also discussing with local energy companies about the possibility of selling the remaining heat to other buildings in the area.
In the city of Linkoping, which is a 2-hour drive from Stockholm, the company is planning to expand its underground farms into a 16-story “plant skyscraper”. In addition to the entire building will produce fruits and vegetables, there are 2/3 of the space will be rented for office use, in order to maintain operating stability. This plan is expected to be implemented in 2020 or 2021.
Plantagon's other similar indoor farm plan will also be implemented in Singapore. In this country that lacks land for cultivation, most of the crops are imported from neighboring countries, like Malaysia, and when Malaysia and other countries have fewer and more irrigable lands and more and more people, Singapore is starting to be able to Plantagon urban farms growing food are interested. Similarly, in some cities in China where it is difficult to obtain sufficient food, they also started to negotiate with Plantagon.
The company is raising funds at the crowdfunding platform FundedByMe to build its first farm. Hassle hopes that the plan will involve as many people as possible, not only because of financial factors, but also because he believes that every citizen needs to actively become a shareholder of urban agriculture.
“For us, food production is different from other businesses. Food is like water and it is part of human rights,” Hassle said. “So we have greater social responsibility and responsibility for the environment. This is also what we are actively inviting people to. The reason for owning some of the shares, because everyone should contribute.”
Dalian Xinghai Technology Co., Ltd.