This particular vertical farming project may not be particularly pleasing to the eye, but it does implement some incredibly smart and sensible design solutions worthy of attention. The Newark Vertical Farm integrates stacked greenhouse farms into the structure in a way that uses the optimal south sunlight to generate heat in the greenhouse and then uses that heat for the north facing (cooler) side of the building. I think that the future of sustainable architecture is integrating the benefits of greenhouse systems in order to improve energy and water efficiency. This is what AGRITECTURE is all about!
The most interesting images here are those at the end of this post that are diagrams of the water use and energy transfer aspects of the building (click on them for larger, higher quality images). This case is an excellent example of how building-integrated agriculture can prove to work for the building to reduce its energy and water use, as well as improve its self-reliance.
The Newark Vertical Farm represents not only the next generation for Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming but also an approach to design which incorporates integrated and overlapping sustainable design features. More than just a Vertical Farm, it is a research and development program for sustainable design in an urban context. It is an open system designed to attract any number of features for both demonstration and research into the best ideas for sustainable design of our cities. Both a demonstration project and a laboratory, NVF is envisioned to be a flexible armature for uses relating to vertical farming, urban agriculture, sustainable design and energy efficiency. The main building contains the vertical greenhouse, and research labs separated by a full height atrium for light and ventilation. The greenhouse space contains high intensity soilless growing systems and is designed to be flexible and adaptable. The ground floor showcases a demonstration green house for public interaction while the upper floors serve as an agricultural laboratory. The purpose of the building is to develop, test, and educate with the ultimate goal of a commercially viable building type.
Source: The Vertical Farming Blog
On the left of the above image you can see the greenhouse structures on the south face. In the middle is an atrium and common area than is uses to gather and transfer heat to the north side occupancy area which you can see the walkway for on the right.
The above image is a detailed explanation of how the water is used in the building. Click on the image for a larger version.
The above image details the energy system of the structure. Notice how heat is transfer from the warm south side to the north side with the atrium within serving the important purpose of releasing excess heat. For a larger version please click on the image.