Agri-Cube grows mass quantities of vegetables in a one-car parking spot

Daiwa House, Japan's largest homebuilder, has introduced a line of prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factories, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. Called the Agri-Cube, these units are touted by Daiwa as the first step in the industrialization of agriculture, to be located in and amongst the places where people live, work, and play.

Credit: Geefour907
Credit: Geefour907

From Brian Dodson: More and more people desire sustainable, organic produce for their own use, and are turning to urban farming in an effort to insure the highest degree of freshness. However, some municipalities, neighborhoods, and homeowners associations have rules that effectively block such endeavors in areas under their sway. Add drought and pest control to the picture, and suddenly urban farming may seem more trouble than it is worth. There is a growing need for local supplies of freshly grown produce that avoids the difficulties presented by conventional small farms and gardens.

This is where the Agri-Cube comes in. Measuring less than five meters (about 16 feet) in length and 2.5 meters (about 8 feet) wide, Daiwa's Agri-Cubes are smaller than a twenty-foot equivalent shipping container. An Agri-Cube can be brought to an installation site on the bed of a light heavy-duty truck. A concrete foundation about 10 square meters (108 square feet) in size must be prepared before delivery, along with plumbing and electrical utility hookups. Daiwa claims each Agri-Unit can grow about ten thousand servings of fruits and vegetables each year at an operations cost of about US$4,500, which corresponds to only 45 US cents per head of lettuce.

An Agri-Cube is designed to require little maintenance or attention to the hydroponic and lighting systems. It is delivered ready to use, with all the hydroponic equipment, air conditioning to maintain ideal growing temperatures, a heat-exchanging ventilation system, and special growth lights to encourage faster plant growth installed and functioning. The basic structure is a steel frame building, with anti-rust treatment and floor, wall, and ceiling insulation. Solar panels and air curtains (to better maintain the controlled environment) are available as options.

Initially, Agri-Cubes will be marketed to the food service industry. Daiwa intends to extend that focused niche market to include apartment houses and other housing complexes, neighborhood co-ops of perhaps ten households, small-scale stores, and local organic food suppliers.

A video from DigInfo TV appears below that will give a clear overview of the makeup of an Agri-Cube.


I feel like the energy cost is too high.

Welcome all to the wonderfull world of indoor growing, energy costs are indeed high, but it doesn't matter if you grow the good herbs.

Bringing production close to the point of consumption means there is little energy used for transportation.
Also, this can mean the end of packaging and a reduced use of refrigeration regardless geographical region.
The additional energy used directly for lighting is nothing compared to what is saved in distributional efficiency.

I can feel that a normal glasshouse can make almost make due without the electrical output required.

I donu tho when you think of it as half a dollar per sallad that is ignoring the price to buy it to begin with.

Even in a Resource based economy i can feel this design is not to efficient.

Why not instal solar panels to utilize the sun's energy - this will keep power consumption low - benefiting the environment, running costs and ticket price to customers. WIN/WIN situation. :0)

The article says that solar panels are available as an option.

get back to nature, put your hands in the soil, the plants in this,look dead sick,locked up, and victims of a chronically detached society.

Now day's people were used to addict towards organic products. Therefore they are searching in local markets; in local market people or shopkeepers are selling their products in streets or in parking place. SO government or homeowner associations are used to restrict vendors from streets. I hope with this valuable step car owners are able to park their vehicle at their concerned place otherwise they need to go for vehicle repair center for any kind of damage or loss of their vehicles.