Spanish students have developed a greenhouse that produces more energy than it uses. The inventors are now planning a large-scale deployment to combine sustainability and efficiency across the board.

An increasingly visible change is currently taking place in agriculture. For far too long we have not been really sustainable with the resources available to us. As a result, the proportion of sealed floors continues to increase.

In order to be able to supply food according to our needs and become less dependent on the weather, greenhouses have therefore been an interesting alternative for some time. But mostly a greenhouse is not really sustainable.

Because these require more energy in everyday operation than conventional agriculture. As a result, the ecological balance of fruit and vegetables is not exactly positive. One reason why architecture students from Barcelona have taken on the problem.

A sustainable greenhouse as a master’s thesis

The result was a wooden greenhouse that generates more energy than it needs to run. The pine wood required for the 130 square meter construction comes from local sources. The prototype is in nature. However, the principle should be easy to adapt to any environment.

The greenhouse also extends over two floors. Plants can thrive in the basement and receive optimum sunlight during the day through the glass construction. To increase efficiency on overcast days or at night, provide LED and UV lamps also at this time for the optimal conditions for the fruit or vegetables.

Greenhouse generates larger harvest with low energy consumption

This way, the strains grown spread across both tiers fairly quickly. Solar panels are installed on the roof to ensure that there is sufficient energy for the lamps. In the prototype, this ensures more than sufficient electricity generation, the greenhouse itself only needs about 50 percent of the generated yield.

This value could even be increased. The team said if more panels could be installed, about 75 percent of the electricity generated would be fed into the grid. All in all, a very sustainable idea, which is made even more environmentally friendly by many small elements.

An example is the soil for the plants: This is hardly needed, because the sawdust produced during construction is easily sufficient as soil. No wonder, then, that two larger greenhouses will soon be built in Barcelona and outside of Beijing.

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