Vertical Urban Farm

Vertical Urban Farm Building


Urban farming construction models focus on the vertical building envelope.
It is a major technical aspect of green building that will support the efforts in vertical farming processes.
Thus, a reduction in horizontal ground space with vertical space on the building envelope.
It advances wall or building roof features and construction methods.
The urban farming construction method also contributes to productive agricultural activities.
Additionally it supports urban vegetation as well as reducing agricultural land issues.
The urban fanning construction model of the vertical building façade includes the urban fanning construction on the roof, wall, and balcony.

Green roofs, walls and facades are turning into common in many cities across the world.
The growing numbers of urbanism are realizing the potential of these living systems to increase the quality of their built environment to provide social, aesthetic, environmental and economic benefits.
The building envelope constitutes all the building elements that separate the indoors from the outdoors. Building envelopes components include the walls, foundations, roof, windows and doors.

Urban Farming Construction Strategies

Urban Farming Construction

The urban farming in the building façade will refer to the green façade approach.
A green façade contains growing climbing plants up and across the façade of a building, either from plants grown in garden beds at its base or by container planting installed at different levels across the building those are roof and wall elements.

Green roof constitutes a vegetated landscape built up from a series of layers that are installed on a roof surface as ‘loose laid’ or modular installed layer by layer on the roof or as pre-prepared layers in trays. Vegetation on green roofs is established  in a growing medium that may range in depth from 50 mm to more than a meter depending upon the weight capacity of the building’s roof and the aims of the design. Green roofs are built up as a series of layers, each of which performs a specific function.
The most typical build-up is shown.

Urban farming – substrate typology and green roof layers

Green wall construction

A green wall consists of plants grown in vertical system supports that attach to an internal or external wall, although in some cases can be freestanding.
Like many green roofs, green walls incorporate vegetation, growing medium, irrigation and drainage into  a  single  system. 
The construction model and scheme of urban farming as per images below.

Urban farming typology of green wall and green facades construction methods

Green Façade Construction

A green façade consists of growing climbing plants up and across the façade of a building, either from plants grown in garden beds at its base or by container planting installed at different levels across the  building.
Climbing plants attach directly to the surface of a building, or become the supports on an independent structure of the building.
The use of anchor climbers attach to a structure by twisting stems or tendrils.
Thus, the installation of green façades in front of solid walls or other structures is applicable.
This creates create partitions, privacy screen or sunshade.
The façade coverage density matches the required function.

Green Roof of Urban Farming Construction

The 15 degree roof pitch opens roof spaces with stepped planting, vegetation treatment until harvesting.
The simple construction uses the frame as a place to put the plant pots on the roof with fiber cement as roof materials.
The space for plant use includes circulation for the plant harvesting as well as plant treatment.
The irrigation system on the roof uses electrically automatic system by applying the sprinkler.

Urban Farming installation construction on the roof

Urban farming on the wall and façade construction model

Plain walls convert to green walls with a simple construction so that it saves the cost and structure.
Additionally, walls integrate with pots by using welded iron construction.
It applies as a cantilever media of the pot with harvesting or treatment as additional processes.
Ladders integrate in the access towards planted roof spaces.
Lettuce and basil in this case are the recommended plants.
Moreover, the distance between plants in the construction below adjusts to the flexibility of the plant size.

The irrigation system in the wall uses an automatic watering with timer and pump.
Water circulates through a pipeline and distributes to every row of the plant.
Plastic pots with many small holes allows water flow to the rock wool plant media and to every plant.

The use of balconies as a plant space and for making use of less productive room is further effective.
Those are the urban farming application on the balcony.
Equal to the planting in the roof, planting in the railing uses NFT irrigation model arranged vertically and horizontally.
The size adjusts with the building length, while the building façade is complete with decorated vegetation plants.
The other alternative of balcony utilization is giving crawled plants on the shading.
Therefore, the applicable plant types can be spreading vine-growth plants.
A flexible and controllable harvesting system proves useful in balcony spaces.
Furthermore, the lower pot location enables reasonable access by anyone.
The recommendation is to use spreading plants which can also be used as sun screen.

Urban Farming – Balcony, balcony section and section of pot placing on the balcony


The application of urban farming extends beyond roofs or balconies.
It also applies vertically or on similar vertical wall surfaces or spatial configurations.
The construction is simple as it is applicable on building roof, wall, and façade.
The model of urban farming are the selected form and materials in accordance to the space provided. With more research focus on urban farming construction models should prevail in academic, administrative and the agricultural community contexts.
This will encourage more urban agricultures in our cities and regions.

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