Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Implementing Vertical Farming at University Scale to Promote Sustainable Communities: A Feasibility Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 10 October 2018 / Approved: 11 October 2018 / Online: 11 October 2018 (04:05:17 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Zhang, H.; Asutosh, A.; Hu, W. Implementing Vertical Farming at University Scale to Promote Sustainable Communities: A Feasibility Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4429. Zhang, H.; Asutosh, A.; Hu, W. Implementing Vertical Farming at University Scale to Promote Sustainable Communities: A Feasibility Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4429.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2018, 10, 4429
DOI: 10.3390/su10124429

Abstract

The world is facing several global issues such as food and energy crisis, climate change and greenhouse gases emissions. To subdue these issues, many entities from academia and industries have innovated alternate techniques of performing regular activities which cause such problems. One of these innovations is the introduction of vertical and zero acreage farming in the field of sustainability. These carry the potential to solve one of the most important affairs of food security in most countries of the world. But, this technology has been in its nascent stage for many years. This paper uses a comprehensive framework proving the feasibility of initiating vertical farming on university campuses to feed the staff and students, which could also set an example to the rest of the world into using this technique on a wider scale. The study chose Huazhong University of science and technology (HUST) in Wuhan city, China for accessing the return on investment and food sufficiency if vertical farming is implemented. Using Central Limit Theorem, a statistical model was developed, and various scenarios were analyzed. The results indicated that if a separate vertical farm is constructed, the breakeven can be achieved in a range of 10-20 depending on parameters such as type of operation, number of floors and amount of vegetation. The study has shown that the use of vertical farming cannot only bring in revenue for the campus but also aid in mitigating climate change.

Subject Areas

vertical farming; zero acreage farming; university; sustainability; economics; climate change

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