GE Current, a Daintree company, has joined forces with Green Build Systems Ltd (GBS) to help make vertical farming a more sustainable, productive and profitable opportunity for growers and other businesses who may wish to produce their own year-round crops such as herbs and leafy greens. Current’s latest-generation, high-efficiency Arize Life 2 horticultural LEDs will be a crucial element in GBS’s innovative vertical farm builds, designed from the ground-up to solve the key challenges facing the widespread adoption of vertical farming today, most notably: energy consumption.
The GBS vertical farm design has been created in consultation with engineers, plant scientists and other experts to be as low-energy as possible, starting with the physical building “envelope” that meets stringent Passive House standards for heat conservation. As lighting and HVAC systems tend to place the greatest energy burden on vertical farms, by reducing the requirement for active heating and cooling, whilst employing tailored horticultural lighting that maximises yields whilst minimising energy consumption, growers can maximise profit from their crops and even run their farm off-grid using solar panels.
Alexander Pearce, Founder and CEO Green Build Systems, commented: ”For many growers, vertical farming has only been considered commercially viable at huge scale. Our goal is to make it accessible to anyone who wants a hyper-local supply of fresh, premium-quality ingredients, from hotels and restaurants, to schools and colleges, to growers supplying local shops. Our approach will allow more widespread pursuit of productive urban farming leading to greater food security and a lower environmental footprint. To achieve this vision, we have to work with the very best likeminded partners and not only do Current’s values align perfectly with our own, but when we put the Arize Life2 through its paces, it stood head and shoulders above the competition.”
Low-energy, high-performance lighting for next-generation vertical farms
Designed for multi-layer, indoor vertical farming of herbs, leafy greens and microgreens, the Ge Current Arize Life 2 features a long, 54,000-hour lifespan to L90, backed by Current’s market-leading five-year warranty. The fixtures themselves are also designed to reduce landfill waste, using recyclable materials and minimal silicon to further reduce the Arize Life 2’s carbon footprint.
Growers can select one of nine tailored spectra, including two new broad spectrum options that simulate natural sunlight to create a more comfortable working environment for those on site. With an energy efficiency rating of up to 3.2µmol/J, 0-10V dimming and a larger light-emitting surface area than the previous generation, thus requiring fewer luminaires to cover the same growing area, the GE Current Arize Life 2 is up to 15% more efficient than the first generation Arize Life, ideal for operations where sustainability and productivity are paramount.
Fast, sustainable, accessible urban farming
GBS’ modular vertical farm system has been designed in multiple sizes, with a fully-operational 20ft demonstration farm located in Doncaster, which has a similar capacity to that of a 40ft shipping container. Two additional farms are also planned for Kent in early 2022. Thanks to the flexibility of the modular design, a fully-operational farm can be built off-line or on-site in approximately two weeks. Elements of the build can also be delivered in sections to accommodate tighter spaces such as underground car parks or crowded cities, making it easier for vertical farming to fit into evolving urban planning.
Farmers who are looking to repurpose old buildings and diversify their operations can also take advantage of GBS’ bespoke design and build services, helping them boost the profitability of their farms by continuing to supply high-quality produce for the local community.
Malcom Yare, Current, commented: “Vertical farming is gathering global momentum as the world calls for greater food security and more focus is on factors like quality, taste and food miles. GBS has addressed some of the critical challenges facing the widespread adoption of urban farming: creating an insulated “envelope” that prevents heat loss and reduces the need for proactive cooling, and also creating a modular design that quick and easy to construct, with high-performance growing systems to maximise the productivity of the space. We’re proud to bring our lighting expertise to this partnership and will continue to work hard to make urban farming a sustainable and effective part of the future of food production.”
For more information about Green Build Systems Limited, please visit https://greenbuildsystems.co.uk/
About GE Current, a Daintree company:
Current enhances commercial, industrial, city and specialty applications with advanced lighting and intelligent controls. Working with our partners, we deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers. Current harnesses the power of light to enable never-before-possible methods of farming, ushering in a new era of agriculture. We aim to build a world where growers can produce higher yields, cultivate with greater precision, and grow sustainably, locally and year-round to fuel a brighter future. For more information, visit https://www.gecurrent.com/eu-en