Farming in a Skyscraper

Farming in a Skyscraper

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
This is Tim Hammerich of the Ag Information Network with your Farm of the Future Report.

Agricultural innovations have enabled food production in a number of environments, but you’ve probably never heard anyone attempt commercial production in a downtown skyscraper.

Houston… “Because you'd be crazy. You'd be an absolute nutball to try and go and put a vertical farm in a skyscraper. Thankfully, I'm a nutball and so is my team. We're all a bunch of crazy people and we enjoy going, yeah, we did that.”

That’s AgriPlay’s Dan Houston, whose team will begin operation of a vertical farm in the Calgary Tower next month. He says he sees a lot of vertical farming opportunities in vacant commercial real estate.

Houston… “Landlords downtown have a real issue because they don't have any ability to basically, in some of these buildings, there is no opportunity for them to capture a tenant, a regular tenant at all. And banks, in some cases are saying, we're just not gonna finance your building at all, period.”

So with some innovation, Houston believes they can provide needed revenue for commercial landlords and fresh local produce for customers.

Houston… “So, what we had to do was create the technology stack that allowed us to effectively be just a different kind of tenant. So our system snaps in and then it snaps out when they're done and all they're left when we're done is upgraded base building space, which they traditionally want and use anyway.”

AgriPlay plans to expand after this first pilot in the Calgary Tower.

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