Summer 2019 – 497-237: Minimum Input Vertical Farming

Meeting Day/Time
Session B (6/3 to 7/27) on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 1:50 to 4:15 pm
Co-Instructor Information: Blake Davis (INTM) ( and Ali Khounsary (PHYS) (
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome.

Vertical Farming (Indoor, Controlled Environment Agriculture) is very resource intensive.  Energy is used for air circulation, lighting, heating, cooling, dehumidifying, and pumping at each step.  This makes most vertical farms only minimally profitable and prevents the widespread adoption of this form of agriculture.

Objective:  This IPRO will look at much less resource intensive ways of managing vertical farms.   This will include modifications to lighting and environmental systems.  It will look at ways of growing food in less space utilizing less material and energy resources.

Approach:  Several types of growing systems will be analyzed as part of this research.  Mushroom growing will be one such system.  The questions that will be researched will include methods to minimize space (such as stacking beds), minimizing water use and optimizing the lighting needed.

The goal is to develop a system that will be virtually impossible to improve upon in terms of resource use efficiency.

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