Now one can imagine high-rise apartments with its own integrated greenhouses enabling residents to grow variety of vegetables for self-consumption and sufficient left over to generate additional income.
Two lecturers of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tagit Klimor and David Knafo have developed the design for such a structure, and also won the Second Annual Living Steel International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Design.
The team's design will be used to construct a building in Wuhan, China. Chinese officials say it will be a prototype for buildings in additional neighborhoods.
Groundbreaking on the new building is expected to begin in early 2008.
Each apartment has its personal trellised greenhouse space measuring approximately 100 square feet.
These climate-controlled areas were designed in consultation with internationally recognized Tel Aviv-based irrigation firm Netafim
They will be employing a system that utilizes soilless growing media (such as coconut, peat and other organic mixtures), a liquid fertilization system and an advanced drip irrigation system.
Water recycled from the apartment units and rainwater harvested on the building's rooftop will be used for the irrigation system. The building will also feature solar heating and cooling systems and a geothermal system.
'The project constitutes a revolution in the existing social and urban order,' said Knafo.
He added: 'Among its advantages are significant savings in energy, providing fresh, pesticide-free organic food, freeing agricultural land for forests, which contribute to the environment, preventing soil pollution by pesticides, and intelligent use of recycled water for irrigation.'