Urban Food Growth: Designing for Vertical Building Surfaces
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This thesis attempts to determine if food-producing plant growth can be incorporated within a building envelope to create an ideal plant growth environment while simultaneously enhancing the thermal properties of the building envelope. A window system was designed as a means of bringing food production into the built environment in an easily accessible fashion from the interior of a high-rise apartment complex. The Ya-Po-Ah Terrace in Eugene, Oregon, was chosen as a case study site for research on how a window could promote health, provide nutrition, and enhance the thermal comfort of the inhabitants. The design of the window unit is founded in precedent research on methods of plant growth in urban environments and systems for growing food in small and efficient ways. The design found that it is possible to create an ideal plant growth environment within a building assembly for use as a food production method for building inhabitants.