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Floating chicken farm addresses land availability issues in Rotterdam

Floating chicken farm addresses land availability issues in Rotterdam

The Dutch architecture firm Goldsmiths has designed a floating poultry farm, which will be placed in the Merwehaven harbour area of Rotterdam. The farm becomes a solution, which designed to combine different functions in a really small city’s space.

In the Netherlands, the lack of available land is no longer a barrier to raising poultry. Even larger farm animals could be situated in Rotterdam as long as there is water nearby. The untraditional farm on the water was designed with sustainability at the forefront, Goldsmiths says.

The Floating Farm Poultry will house up to 7,000 hens on a top floor above the water’s surface and use LED lights to grow cress in a submerged basement. Egg processing will take place on the “ground” level.

The farm includes a publicly accessible walkway around the above-water levels of the building, which allow visitors to see how every aspect of the farm operates.

The farm is designed along the lines of circular economy models; in addition to the eggs and cress, the chicken manure will be dried into fertiliser granules for sale to consumers.

According to Goldsmiths, “Technologies that minimize the ecological footprint and are based on circular principles are aimed for on all levels of the farm. The mostly submerged level of crop production keeps a constant temperature and recirculates warm humid air. An efficient air-and energy system greatly reduces emissions of poultry dust and nitrogen.”

In fact, the area holding the chickens will be covered in a translucent polycarbonate skin and glass windows, to let in natural light for the birds. A steel frame supporting photovoltaic panels will provide both powers for the farm and shade for the chickens.

Floating chicken farm smoothly integrates into urban life

The floating chicken farm is innovative in a number of ways. While farms tend to be larger and focus on a single crop or product, Rotterdam farm combines egg production with other products, creating a vertical system.

The Goldsmiths floating chicken farm is emblematic of the growth in urban farming and is just one of many that we have seen recently.

In addition, education is another key element of this farm’s location in Rotterdam. Frankly, many people do not realise where their food comes from, and the farm has been deliberately designed so that visitors can see every aspect, including areas such as waste management.