Daniel Podmirseg

Daniel Podmirseg (2015), UP! Contribution of Vertical Farms to Increase the Overall Energy Efficiency of Cities, Institute of Buildings and Energy; 1st reviewer: Brian Cody, 2nd reviewer: Nirmal Kishnani; 430 pages, English.

Vertical Farming has been an issue of controversial discussion since the publication of the manifesto by Dickson Despommier . This doctoral thesis with the search for a raison d‘être for Vertical Farming by sketching the current situation of world agriculture in terms of energy consumption, land use, potential and the consequences in increasing productivity on the actual agricultural land in use and also the potential increase of natural land conversion into agricultural land, exploiting the total biocapacity of the world. Typologies and the cultivation- and production methods currently in use on existing Vertical Farms are compared, before proceeding to the development and analysis of the lighting- and heating demand for three specific Vertical Farm building types. World total primary energy supply (TPES) in 2014 was around 550 Exajoule (EJ) . A third of this is consumed by the food sector. For every calorie we need to cover our daily energy requirement, we consume nearly six calories of total primary energy. One percent of the global landmass is defined as built-up land, where with the exception of a small percentage of indigenous populations, more than 7 billion people live. The area required to supply the world population with food is ten times higher. A food production network has been required for emerging and developed countries over the past few, which is completely dependent on hydrocarbon energy on a global scale. The world population will continue to grow over the next decades, reaching a plateau in 2075 at 9.22 billion people before it starts to decline. This work intends to contribute to the discussion on urban and Vertical Farming, aiming to find indicators for answering the question of to what extent Vertical Farming could actually increase the overall energy efficiency of cities.