From an innovative company called Forward Thinking Architecture comes an incredible design for a sustainable farm that floats in the ocean. The vision for the Smart Floating Farms (SFF) project is “a world with minimal agricultural imports, less land consumption and to promote food self–sufficiency in as many countries as possible.”
How Does It Work?
The SFF is configured as a modular-expandable Multi Layer Floating Farming system, which combines some sustainable energy production systems such as Solar energy, Hydroponics green growing, and Aquaponics. These systems have already seen great success in cities and alongside other farming methods, but the SFF is designed to be used on the ocean, saving valuable land mass and utilizing a huge untapped resource – the oceans take up 71% of the Earth’s surface. Considering the world’s growing population, this project is coming at the perfect time.
The shape of the rectangular SFF is modelled on the traditional grid configuration already being used for many floating fish farms in Asia. Each module will be very lightweight and measure 200 by 350 meters, equalling a total footprint of 70,000 square meters. The modules will have the capability to connect to other modules, forming clusters and built-in walkways. The SFF will consist of 3 main levels: the ground level, used for aquaculture (fish) and desalination technologies (allowing for water management efficiency and autonomy); the first floor, used for hydroponic crop cultivation; and the rooftop, covered in solar panels, skylights, and rainwater collectors. These are being designed to be fully automated, but will also have the capability to accommodate a human workforce.
Each module is estimated to produce 8,152 tons of vegetables and 1,703 tons of fish a year.
The modules will be made from well-tested materials that are already being used around the globe, which will speed up the production process significantly – they will not need to invent new materials or spend time testing them before getting things off the ground. The main structure is made out of a lightweight configuration formed from beams and columns that can withstand the marine environment.
Cutting Edge In Sustainable Development
The SFF is extremely efficient in its use of resources. It uses a smaller area for growing and yields a larger quantity per square meter of the hydroponic system. This design consumes less water than traditional farming methods, and sustainable water management practices will be fully utilized. All organic waste that is produced will be converted using a bio digester into safe, high quality fertilizers.
Another amazing advantage to the SFF systems is that typical farming issues such as droughts, floods, and pests will be irrelevant, thanks to the use of greenhouses and hydroponics. There are so many advantages to this system that it almost seems too good to be true!
And there’s more, so bear with me. The SSF returns farming back to the “centers” of consumption, dramatically reducing fossil fuels because no tractors, plows, or shipping methods are required. This also means fewer miles travelled and fewer carbon emissions. Most of the need for storage and preservation is also reduced. The SFF increases local production, which in turn results in less dependence on imports and increases self-sufficiency.