Innovation That Matters

The chicken farm has no outdoor space, but plenty of natural light | Photo source Goldsmiths

Floating chicken farm addresses land availability issues in Rotterdam

Agriculture & Energy

A Dutch architecture firm has designed a floating urban chicken farm that will provide eggs and other products, as well as educate visitors


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Spotted: A lack of available land is no longer a barrier to raising poultry, or even larger farm animals, in the city – as long as there is water nearby. Dutch architecture firm Goldsmiths has designed a floating poultry farm, which will be placed in the Merwehaven harbour area of Rotterdam. The farm is designed to combine different functions in a relatively small space.

The Floating Farm Poultry will house up to 7,000 hens on a top floor above the water’s surface and use LED lights to grow cress in a submerged basement. Egg processing will take place on the “ground” level. The farm includes a publicly accessible walkway around the above-water levels of the building, which allow visitors to see how every aspect of the farm operates.

The area holding the chickens will be covered in a translucent polycarbonate skin and glass windows, to let in natural light for the birds. A steel frame supporting photovoltaic panels will provide both power for the farm and shade for the chickens. The farm is designed along the lines of circular economy models;  in addition to the eggs and cress, the chicken manure will be dried into fertiliser granules for sale to consumers.

According to Goldsmiths, the farm was designed with sustainability at the forefront. “Technologies that minimize the ecological footprint and are based on circular principles are aimed for on all levels of the farm. The mostly submerged level of crop production keeps a constant temperature and recirculates warm humid air. An efficient air-and energy system greatly reduces emissions of poultry dust and nitrogen.”

The Goldsmiths floating chicken farm is emblematic of the growth in urban farming and is just one of many that we have seen recently. Some other urban farming innovations covered here on Springwise include a rooftop farm and a mobile farm that can be transported by bike.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Agriculture & Energy Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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