Click for larger image. Courtesy of Mithun Architects.
We face a lot of challenges, complex and sometimes overwhelming challenges. There are no Single Shot / Silver Bullet solutions out there. But, in some ways, there are solution sets that could be considered a Silver BB.
Our challenges include Peak Oil, Global Warming, clean water constraints, food supply challenges (including every increasing food miles, how far food is traveling to the dinner table), poor urban infrastructure, urban heat islands, housing challenges, etc ...
Vertical urban agriculture offers a potential silver BB in this domain ... with a new concept from Seattle offering one of the most integrated and interesting approaches that I've seen to date.
Mithun won a best of show prize (Cascadia Region Green Building Council's Living Building Challenge) for their urban farm design that to integrate farming (vegetables, chickens) and housing to a high-rise in downtown Seattle.
The Living Building Challenge is a competition that encourages building owners, architects, engineers, and design professionals to build in a way that advances knowledge and innovation in the sustainable building industry. The term "living building" comes from the idea that it is possible to create a structure that functions like a living organism - able to survive using only the natural environment around it.Some features of the "Center for Urban Agriculture" (CUA):
- Fully self-sufficient building: in energy and water.
- 31,000 sq ft rooftop water rainwater collection
- Recycling of gray water (including an ability to handle some of the surrounding area's waste water up to "20 times its own discharge potential")
- 34,000+ sq ft of solar PV cells with hydrogen gas backup
- "Agricultural features include fields for growing veggies and grains, greenhouses, rooftop gardens and even a chicken farm."
- Local produced food is critical for changing energy patterns as "40 percent of an individual's ecological footprint is generated by the embodied energy in food."
- 318 apartments (studio, 1 & 2 bedroom units)
- Restaurant & Cafe (The "Greenhouse" using building grown food.
Images from Mithun's PDF entry found at the Cascadia Regional Green Building Council
Hat tip to Jetson Green.More pictures below.
written by Jeremy, September 19, 2007
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written by Scott Newell, October 23, 2009
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