Students design a hydroponic solar greenhouse for energy production and self-sufficient cultivation in a local environment

A team of students and researchers from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have designed a prototype solar greenhouse in Barcelona, ​​for electricity generation and food production with a zero kilometer philosophy.

The students, led by Vicente Guallard and Daniel Ibáñez, directors of the IAAC Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities (MAEBB), designed and built a two-storey greenhouse in just two months.

The structure, built in the Serra de Collserola natural park in Barcelona, ​​aims to demonstrate how our most basic needs could be met in a more ecological way, in line with the EU’s goal of reaching zero here 2050.

It is designed to be scalable and adaptable to various environments, such as downtown building rooftops. The goal was to design and build a system that could be replicated both in rural areas and on the rooftops of urban buildings.

The greenhouse can be installed both in rural areas and on the roofs of urban buildings.

The 12 m2 structure is built with Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) which has been crushed, dried, processed and pressed into glued laminated timber elements on site in Valldaura.

The glass roof, carefully arranged in the shape of a heliomorphic “diamond”, allows total solar capture both by the plants inside and by the semi-transparent solar panels integrated into the glass to power the entire structure.

The greenhouse only uses about 50% of the energy it produces, leaving the other half to the nearby Valldura Labs facility.

This solar powered greenhouse also includes a fully functional nutrient supply system made up of storage tanks, nutrient inlets, tubes to feed plants directly and an array of LED light strips to aid in nutrient cycles. longer growth. .

The ground floor will be used for the germination of seedlings to be planted in the gardens, while the upper level will generate a large harvest through advanced hydroponic techniques. All the planting beds will use a sawdust substrate, a former waste product from the Valldaura Green Fab Lab repurposed in an imaginative way.

The next solar greenhouse will be 150 m2 and 9 m high, more than 10 times larger than this prototype. The ultimate goal is to build communities capable of growing their own food and producing their own energy.

The solar greenhouse represents the next bold step towards transforming the lessons of this local condition into a greener agricultural solution for the larger urban context.


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