Icon for: Chelsea Webster

CHELSEA WEBSTER

Chelsea
11th Grade
Judges’
Choice

Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Janet Barclay

    Janet Barclay

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 10:33 a.m.

    You’ve done a great job thinking through many components of this very complex system. Nice work! What do you think the barriers are to implementing your idea?

  • Icon for: Chelsea Webster

    Chelsea Webster

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:19 a.m.

    I believe that the only “barriers” to implementing this idea is the short-sighted beliefs of governments and companies wanting quick financial returns. The money needed requires government backing and due to the low margins of profit that farms make, payback would take time. In most business cases, investors want a return in 5 years and at most 10 years. These farms may require long-term investment and so the return could take at least 20 years. However, as costs of fossil fuels rise and environmental issues become more frontline these farms will become the way forward.

  • Icon for: Gillian Puttick

    Gillian Puttick

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 12:43 p.m.

    Great explanation of the advantages of using vertical space in this way. At the beginning of your paper, you claim that such systems “can no longer be considered too expensive or impracticable.” Can you explain what you meant?

  • Icon for: Chelsea Webster

    Chelsea Webster

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:27 a.m.

    15 years ago the cost of renewable energy was too much of a burden compared to its return. Now these energies are becoming a common place in our power supply. As the cost of land rises and the demand to expand our cities increases we need to produce more food from less space. Also, the ever expanding population also demands we produce more from less. These items above and the need to consider how we can service our growing population means that cost Vs profit, renewables Vs fossil fuels and environmental issues means we need these feasible and practical answers.

  • Icon for: Constance Roco

    Constance Roco

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 03:22 p.m.

    Very cool idea! This seems quite complex. If you think about the holistic, life-cycle analysis of what it would take to build such a farm, do you think it would still be sustainable?

  • Icon for: Chelsea Webster

    Chelsea Webster

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:33 a.m.

    Animal husbandry, care and welfare, environmental impact and quality of life has to be one of the main driving forces in design and construction of this farm. By implementing this along with sustainable design and operation, we can not only offer environmental change but also offer a higher standard of life to our animals.

  • June 10, 2015 | 03:45 a.m.

    This is wonderfully detailed and thought out. I love it. I’m intrigued at the potential social ramifications of such close, isolated living. You discuss the family dynamics of certain aspects, but I’m curious to know more re: your thoughts on how inter-tower communication and socialization will operate. How do you foresee systems of control working within these miniature societies?

  • Icon for: Chelsea Webster

    Chelsea Webster

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 11:54 p.m.

    In my design, I have allocated the top third of the building to Human habitat which would include all living accommodation, commercial centres, educational centres, medical facilities, open space and community gathering points. This type of living would mimic normal village life in any rural community.

    These vertical farms can exist both as a self-sufficient entity, when placed hours from a major city, or form part of a major city when placed on the outskirts, in areas such as industrial parks. Normal farm operation is intended to be the central operation and as such farming community socialization would form the major communal hub. Along with this certain other social aspects would evolve due to other community input i.e. scientific, energy generation and commercial hubs.

    The towers themselves would attract outside interest and visits from the public would form part of the overall theme park effect like petting zoos and museums do in our cities now. Inter-tower connection has not been studied at this time as it is assumed that each Vertical Farm would be positioned many miles apart. However data transfer and solutions would be shared as it is done now.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion
  • Icon for: Matthew Feng

    Matthew Feng

    June 8, 2015 | 09:54 a.m.

    Controlling the climate indoors will use a lot of energy, which could counteract the benefits of such an idea. How can you modify your idea to accommodate this fact? Also, what is the cost of building and maintaining such a building? The energy generated from the solar panels will not generate enough for the building to be self-sustaining.

  • Icon for: Callie Cook

    Callie Cook

    June 8, 2015 | 03:18 p.m.

    I agree that controlling the climate indoors will use a lot of energy. There are some effective ways to generate power while still being environmentally conscious. Some ways to generate energy you may want to consider include wind turbines, thermal energy, and hydroelectric energy.

  • Icon for: Chelsea Webster

    Chelsea Webster

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:47 a.m.

    Indoor climates do use higher energy but by use of the 5 different renewables plus the 6 other energies/reclaims the farm will produce more energy than it uses and use fewer resources to produce more food. This is explained in my paper above.
    Solar energy will only account for 20% of the energy load. other renewables already included in the design are; Wind, Biomass, Thermal, Waste and methane gas. All of these form the design and construction of this farm.
    The cost estimate for this project would be around 1 billion US dollars to construct each farm. However compared to its size and production this works out at about the same cost per square meter as a normal commercial farm. However, the vertical farm would require a tenth of the space and a fifth of the energy consumption of a normal commercial farm.

  • Icon for: Callie Cook

    Callie Cook

    June 10, 2015 | 08:32 p.m.

    How many vertical farms will be built and how close in proximity will they be too each other? When you say 1 billion USD is that per farm or does that account for several farms?

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.