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The Concrete Orchard - Copra Production Facility

Part 1 Project 2011
Jakob Szikora
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
The Concrete Orchard project was centred around the idea of growing food in an urban context.

The design looked at the feasibility of growing a highly imported resource, using the extreme case of coconuts, to explore whether it would be environmentally, economically and socially viable to grow a product that required a specific climate to produce.

As a side note, the project also investigated the current use of the coconut tree with a focus on its by-products, namely coir, which is found in the coconut husks. The design focussed on the uses of coir as a substitute for compost and how this would improve the quality of the UK Peatbogs and other unsustainable sources of compost.

Strategies for the Design included:

An elevated growing platform with an ETFE roof to maximise solar gain and maintain the appropriate climatic conditions

A ground source heat pump and a bio digestion tank to provide heat and energy required to power the workshops, kitchens and growing facilities.

A market stall at street level to improve the public realm and encourage the idea of growing food locally.

A long term plan for how the building would impact the immediate context and how the facility would use the coir to improve local growing allotments.

Jakob Szikora


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