New York Supermarket Grows Food On The Rooftop

As cities look to decrease their consumption of resources from outside the city, one solution can be found in urban farming. A supermarket in New York is doing this with a greenhouse on its roof.

Greenhouse on US supermarket

Growing tubes in the greenhouse. Photo flickr: vidarjorgensen611

A large greenhouse was built on top of the Whole Foods Market supermarket in Brooklyn, New York, which sells the produce in store.

Whole Foods Market teamed up with urban agricultural specialists Gotham Greens to build an 1,860 square metre greenhouse on the roof of the store, which opened in late 2013.

The greenhouse is thought to be the first commercial-sized greenhouse integrated with a supermarket and was designed, built and will be operated by Gotham Greens.

Using hydroponics, the growing method is soil-free, and mineral nutrient solutions are pumped through pillars to grow the plants. The greenhouse will produce over 200 tonnes of fresh vegetables per year, including leafy greens and tomatoes. All the products are free of any harmful chemical pesticides, insecticides or herbicides, since the greenhouse is fully enclosed and safe from pests.

The greenhouse aims to conserve resources by having a recirculating irrigation system that captures water for re-use. Sink and drain water from the building is treated and reused for toilet flushing.

To supply energy to the greenhouse, the setup also features a 157 kW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and a 325 kW solar photovoltaic system located in the parking lot.

If this is not enough, both the greenhouse and supermarket have implemented a high efficiency, zero ozone depletion, HFC-free commercial refrigeration system, which makes it the first HFC-free supermarket in the United States.

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Last updated Friday, January 31, 2014