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Surbana Jurong explores vertical farming to boost Singapore’s food security

by Futures Centre, Oct 19
1 minute read

Surbana Jurong, one of the largest Asia-based urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firms, has developed a ‘Food Tower’ concept as a direct response to the growing pressure on sustainable food supply in Singapore – where currently the vast majority of food is imported.

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In the concept, vegetable growing areas are stacked in open, sunlight flooded high rise towers. Growing yields across the 1 hectare site are boosted to some 400 times that of traditional farming.

It’s a whole system: vegetables are grown on towers using the water and nutrients from a system of tanks in which Red Tilapia fish are reared. The vegetable towers are located on “wings” on higher floors that spiral upwards to maximise sunlight exposure; the fish farms are located at the lower floors where there is more shade. A closed loop energy system, with onsite photovoltaics generating power, rainwater harvesting and wetland reed beds to purify and recycle waste water on-site. The wetlands can also act as part of a garden for the larger community.

It is estimated that a 100-storey food tower on 1 hectare of land can provide sufficient meat and vegetables for just over 11,000 people per year.

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