Designing the world’s largest vertical farm

21st December 2018
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Designing the world’s largest vertical farm

As part of a joint venture between Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering, Bradbrook Consulting, part of the Hurley Palmer Flatt Group, has been appointed to provide a full suite of services for a complete turnkey design for what is reportedly the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai. Construction is due to start early 2019.

The group will provide this high-tech, low-water agricultural phenomenon with architectural, mechanical and electrical engineering services, as well as structural and civil engineering.

The facility will begin by supplying food for Emirates Airline, revered for its dedication to offering an exemplary customer experience, from its base at Dubai International Airport.

Emirates Flight Catering and Crop One say the facility will use 99% less water than outdoor fields, with the ambition to harvest 6,000 pounds of leafy greens daily, which will find their way into both in-flight meals and airport lounges from December next year.

It is estimated the UAE imports as much as 85% of its food needs and only a small percentage of land is considered arable. Hyper-productive indoor vertical farming built close to the consumer is therefore an appealing concept on paper.

The process is ‘season-less’ and grows produce 365 days a year. Plants feed on a nutrient solution instead of soil, and variables including temperature and humidity are tightly controlled in modular rooms to generate maximum yield. The facility will use ‘a mix of renewable and utility source’ electricity, and is targeting solar energy, to power the LED lighting. 

Paul Flatt, the Group Chairman and CEO at Hurley Palmer Flatt Group, said: “Adding value to complex projects whilst providing a multi-discipline design solution with Architecture, MEP, Structures and Civil allows the group to demonstrate what it does best. We are pleased to be working with Emirates and Crop One on the world’s largest vertical farm”.

Grant Verster, the Director at Bradbrook consulting responsible for delivering this scheme, added: “This is an incredibly exciting project to be part of, offering a smart approach to tackling the water scarcity in the UAE, by lending design principles from various sectors we are able to ensure the facility has a relatively low carbon footprint with a high focus on renewables and reuse of water which allows the production of a fresh local produce throughout the year.”

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