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Implementing Vertical Farming at University Scale to Promote Sustainable Communities: A Feasibility Analysis

by 1, 1,* and 2
1
M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32603, USA
2
School of Statistics, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4429; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124429
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
The issue of food security has affected the well-being of the people for centuries. Academic and industry experts have been constantly developing alternate and better ways to address this issue. One of such innovations is the concept of vertical and zero acreage farming for providing food security and ensuring environmental sustainability. However, this concept has been in its nascent stage, and its development has been sporadic for many years. This paper uses a comprehensive framework to conduct a feasibility analysis of initiating vertical farming on university campuses, which could set an example for using this technique on a large scale. A case study was conducted on a set of 24 canteens across a university in Wuhan, China for accessing the return on investment and food sufficiency using this technique. By using the central limit theorem, a model was developed after investing in 24 canteens in the university, and various scenarios were analyzed. The breakeven on implementing these farms was about 10 to 20 years, with annual profits reaching $92,000 (592,000 RMB). View Full-Text
Keywords: vertical farming; zero acreage farming; university; sustainability; economics; climate change vertical farming; zero acreage farming; university; sustainability; economics; climate change
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Zhang, H.; Asutosh, A.; Hu, W. Implementing Vertical Farming at University Scale to Promote Sustainable Communities: A Feasibility Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4429.

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