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    Against the predominant background of global warming, rapidly diminishing energy resources, exponential population growth, increasing geopolitical instabilities resulting from the uncertainty of the future energy supply situation together with the fact that buildings are responsible for at least 40% of the world's energy consumption, good architecture is not possible without a good energy concept. Buildings represent a large part of what is probably one of the biggest problems of our society - namely the fair distribution of the resources available to us. Architecture can therefore be a major part of the solution. Never before has this discipline been offered a comparable opportunity to play such a central role in the history of mankind. Good architecture is always a concrete expression of the cultural values, priorities and hopes of a society. But now it can also provide the physical answer to this existential challenge. By definition, sustainable development cannot be accompanied by a simultaneous loss of architectural quality in our built environment. A building with little architectural quality and a good energy concept therefore makes no real contribution to a sustainable future. Research and teaching at the IGE focuses on maximizing the energy performance of buildings and cities and developing architectural and urban design projects that are inherently highly energy efficient by optimizing their shape and structure. 

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    Head of Institute

    Consultation hour acc. to agreement

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    Consultation hour: Wednesday, 11:00 - 12:00

    alexander.eberl@tugraz.at

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    hc@energydesign-cody.com

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    martin.schneebacher@tugraz.at

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    lilli.koher@tugraz.at

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    doris.damm@tugraz.at

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    aleksandar.tepavcevic@tugraz.at

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    sautter@tugraz.at

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    pejic@tugraz.at

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    Consultation hour: Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:00

    christiane.wermke@tugraz.at

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    minoru.suzuki@tugraz.at

    Student assistant

    predrag.jovanovic@tugraz.at

  • ABOUT

    Architecture is not only responsible for a large proportion of the world's energy consumption - architecture is energy. A line on paper that represents an architectural intention often implies decades or centuries of associated energy and material flows. At the Institute for Buildings and Energy (IGE),  energy-efficient architecture is understood as a triad of minimized energy consumption, optimal indoor climate and excellent spatial qualities - both at the urban and individual building level.

     

    The experience and the accumulated know-how from the practice of the consulting firm Energy Design Cody through collaborations with architectural offices such as Coop Himmelb(l)au, OMA, Miralles Tagliabue, Delugan Meissl, MVRDV, to name but a few, flow back into basic research but also into the teaching activities at the institute via lectures and impulse lectures, so that students benefit directly from this experience and knowledge.

     

    Since 2010, the concept has been to prepare a special topic of focus for the coming academic year with the aim of focussing attention in teaching and research on a specific topic for a limited period of time and to exploit synergies between the various activities. At the end of the year, the results of the teaching and research activities are summarized in a brochure and presented to all members of the faculty together with the chosen topic for the coming academic year.

     

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    Technical University of Graz

    Institute of Buildings and Energy

    Rechbauerstrasse 12 / II

    8010 Graz

     

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    Institut für Gebäude und Energie

    Rechbauerstrasse 12/II

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Vertical Farming

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Determination of the requirements for the development of a vertical farm prototype for crop production

 

 

Synopsis

The focus is on research into the foundations of a new building typology, the vertical farm. Urban vertical food production can contribute to increasing the energy efficiency of and reducing land consumption by cities. Essential factors influencing the achievement of these goals are to be revealed by this basic research.

 

Initial situation/motivation

Increasing urbanization and the strong growth of the population with rising demands for sufficiently fresh and high-quality food, produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner, requires new solutions in crop cultivation and an increase in programmatic densification of urban areas. One of these innovative solutions is a resilient and liveable design of cities through intensive urban agriculture, which, among other things, should lead to a strong reduction of land consumption for urban food production and an increase in the overall energy efficiency of cities.

 

The Institute of Building and Energy of the Graz University of Technology together with the vertical farm institute in Vienna has established a multidisciplinary consortium partnership with the Department of Crop Sciences - Horticulture Department at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and SIEMENS as industrial partner.

 

Contents and objectives

The exploratory project is intended as preparation for the development of a prototype vertical farm for Vienna. The main focus of the exploratory project is to explore the basic principles necessary to develop a Vertical Farm for the urban environment within the framework of a cooperative R&D project. Essential plant-physiological and architectural-typological considerations, potential analyses of climatic conditions, conceptualisation of necessary building services engineering as well as communication and control technology comprise the content-related examination.

 

Methodical approach

Based on a specially created crop catalogue, cultivation conditions are determined, which are added to the building simulation software as target value directories to evaluate the energy performance of the vertical farm. Based on plant-physiological investigations, typological principles are developed to derive a building typology. This model will be examined for its energy demand.

The building concept includes conceptual considerations regarding construction, fire protection, building physics, energy performance and building services engineering. A building services engineering concept is developed which takes into account heat and, if necessary, cooling supply, ventilation, lighting, power supply, elevator technology, sanitary engineering, communication and control technology.

The data and figures obtained from this will enable potentials to be revealed in order to quantify the contribution of food production using vertical farming. Resource efficiency and sustainability under ecological, economic and social aspects are examined.

 

Expected results

The concentration on vertical farming in the exploration is justified by the fact that the consortium has set itself the goal of aiming for a realization beyond a subsequent cooperative R&D project. Vertical Farming will therefore be expanded with housing and offices. The main idea is to reveal the synergetic interaction of vertical farming, residential and office use.

 

Potentials for increasing the overall energy efficiency of urban decentralized food production will be investigated by means of a hybrid building to be developed, the hyperbuilding has been identified. In particular, the question is examined to what extent the energy flows of the three functions can complement each other and how high the resulting synergies are.

Through plant physiological research activities to determine ideal cultivation conditions on the one hand and architectural and energetic investigations on the other hand, the present research project offers a significant contribution to the investigation of the potential for improving energy efficiency in food production by integrating vertical farming into the city.

 

Project Management

Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Sautter, Mag.arch. Dr.techn. Daniel Podmirseg, Institute for Buildings and Energy, Graz University of Technology

 

Project or cooperation partners

vertical farm institute, Vienna

Department of Crop Sciences (DNW), Division of Vegetables and Ornamentals, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

SIEMENS AG, Vienna

 

Duration

01 April 2017 - 31 March 2018

 

Publications

Podmirseg.D.: „Contribution of Vertical Farms to increase the overall Energy Efficiency of Cities“ Internationales Symposium „High Density and Living Comfort, TU Graz, Graz, Österreich, 2013, Best PhD-paper.

PDF

Baustädter, B.: "Vertical Farming: Mein Salat vom Hochhaus nebenan", in: Planet Research, www.tugraz.at

Link

Laufer N.: „Wie vertikale Beete Versorgungsprobleme in Städten lösen sollen“, in: Der Standard, Newspaper, www.derstandard.at

Link

 

Contact address

www.ige.tugraz.at

www.verticalfarminstitute.org

 

 

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