Vertical urban farm for Sydney's CBD

Thursday, 26 November, 2020

Vertical urban farm for Sydney's CBD

Charter Hall Group has partnered with Urban Green Sydney to incorporate a large vertical urban farm at its 1 Shelley Street office tower, which is home to Macquarie Group.

Installed in the building’s 1000 m2 basement space, the vertical farm will produce over 30 different varieties and 4000 punnets of microgreens a week. At approximately 20 g per punnet, this will result in around 80 kg of microgreens being grown per week (or 4160 kg/yr). Furthermore, it uses up to 95% less water than traditional farms.

Charter Hall’s Managing Director and Group CEO, David Harrison, said: “It’s fantastic to partner with such an inventive and forward-thinking business like Urban Green Sydney, and I’m excited to have them join our tenant customer community at 1 Shelley Street.

“What was previously an under-utilised space is now reimagined and a prime example of not only the evolving nature of our workplaces, but how innovative business partnerships can bring sustainability and social benefits to our CBDs.”

Urban Green’s mission is to supply the local marketplace with sustainable, affordable and nutritious food, without use of the damaging pesticides and herbicides that are often used in traditional agriculture. It also strives to educate Sydneysiders on sustainable farming methods and how easy it is to grow their own nutrient-dense food.

Noah Verin, Director of Urban Green Sydney, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has of course presented us with some challenges over the past few months; however, Charter Hall have been very supportive and it’s only encouraged us to make our offering more diverse. For example, we’ve now started an online store where customers can order and collect straight from the CBD or receive home delivery in certain postcodes. We’ll soon also be offering ‘grow it yourself’ kits for people to have fun with at home, following a successful trial period.

“We’re looking forward to when more workers are able to return to offices and we can begin running the exciting educational workshops on urban farming that we have planned in the new space. It’s important for more Australians to understand the future of food production and the benefits that vertical farming brings to the table,” said Verin.

Although a relatively new industry in Australia, vertical farming can play a crucial role in preparing for increased food demand as the population grows. Through advanced technology, vertical farms are not hindered by natural disasters or formidable weather conditions. Instead, crops can comfortably grow year-round.

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