NABC Analysis for EnviroHouse

"EnviroHouse" is a conceptual design project made by "Linné Innovation AB" in order to improve the existing agriculture industry and resolve most of its existing problems. We have utilized the Flower of Innovation development method which is based on defining the project via Systems Engineering and identifying its elements, environment, boundaries, sub-systems and so on. Then the Design Thinking method for developing the system was applied and the whole process was managed by Agile methods.


Here we have provided an NABC summary for more than one year of our work within a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

 

Need

The existing agriculture industry has been feeding the most of our planet’s population so far, but it has some direct and indirect disadvantages which needs to be managed properly. The major problems with our agriculture are actually the price that we have paid in order to keep producing food. Most important impacts could be divided in 6 major categories as following:

1. Land conversion, habitat loss, soil erosion and degradation.

According to the statistics by FAO, the following map shows our total available land for agriculture activities compared to other applications:


which is distributed as the following map as total available arable land:


By implementing the efficiency of agriculture industries, the intensity of produced food comparing to the available arable land is as following map:


It is very important to keep in mind that the existing situation is currently running over the limits of global arable area while paying attention to the fact that we are not producing efficiently in all countries (including but not limited to Sweden).

However, the more efficient locations also have converted the land so drastically which has resulted in biodiversity loss, soil erosion and degradation.


2Water quality and aquatic ecosystems (either in fresh or marine waters).

Food and agriculture are the largest consumers of water, requiring one hundred times more than we use for personal needs. Up to 70 % of the water we take from rivers and groundwater goes into irrigation, about 10% is used in domestic applications and 20% in industry.


In addition to 2800 cubic kilometers of annual water consumption in agriculture, water quality may be negatively affected as well by the presence of pesticide residues, nutrients from fertilizers, or sediments from soil erosion. This amount of withdrawal has resulted in natural disasters like manipulation of underground aquifers, disappearance of rivers and lakes as well as loss of biodiversity and sand/salt storms in nearby lands.


3
. GHG production including CO2, methane and nitrous oxides.

About 24% of total GHG emissions are generated directly by agriculture activities. If we take in account the electricity, transportation and other related industries to agriculture activities, it turns out that more than one third of whole global GHG emission is generated by agricultureThis is more than emission produced by all world’s Airplanes, Trains and Automobiles together. 

The estimation and forecast of GHG production by agriculture in 2050 done by FAO shows an increasing situation of 35 to 60 percent for different elements if we continue producing food with the existing methods.

 

4. World Hunger situation not covered yet.  

Every 3.6 seconds, one child dies because of the hunger. About 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life (780 million in developing countries). That is 12.9 percent of developing countries’ population and about one in nine people on earth. If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.

 

While these numbers are going to increase by growth of global population, WFP calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach only 66 million hungry school-age children. 

 

5. Upcoming 10 billion population in 2050.

The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a new United Nations report being launched in 2017. With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline.

Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban (compared to 49 percent today). Income levels will be many multiples of what they are now. In order to feed this larger, more urban and richer population, food production (net of food used for biofuels) must increase by 70 percent.

 

6. Global resource consumption rates.

A UN report warns that humans could triple the natural resources they consume by 2050 unless economic growth is “decoupled” from current consumption rates. In developed nations, individuals consume an average of 16 tons per capita of minerals, ores, fossil fuels, and biomass each year, and as much as 40 or more tons per capita in some nations, according to the report by the UN Environmental Program’s International Resources Panel. That rate doubled from 1900 to 2000

 

Approach

Our approach to re-think and design a better solution in agriculture industry intends to cover the existing disadvantages including but not limited to the above-mentioned parameters. In this case, to be more specific, we are aiming for improving a closed environment systems in order to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. In further development stages, it is desired as well to investigate the possibility of coexistence of different cultures. For example, growing chickens and tomatoes together.

 

The specific and key differences in our project comparing to existing traditional closed system farms could be shortly listed as following:

  • Growing vertically instead of spreading through the land. 
  • Using closed loop resource consumption system for irrigation and other resources. 
  • Substituting renewable energy resources instead of fossil fuels. 
  • Recycling or reusing waste material and energy from other industries as much as possible. 
  • Using organic farming methods. 
  • Distributed production model instead of mass production. 
  • Using renewable / re-usable resources for saving and converting energy.

 

All these parameters are already available as separate technology solutions. The main effort will be designing a compatible system where different technologies can cover and support each other as well as the growing facility itself. This will make the Envirohouse a food factory with minimum (towards zero) environmental impacts which then allows us to transfer the facility to the middle of urban areas.

 

Benefits

  • Less occupation of land is required for the same amount of production comparing to traditional farming or agriculture industry. In long term, it can even result in freeing some converted land into their original application as forests or so on.
  • The controlled environment will prevent more soil erosion or destruction. Also, it is highly controlling the outgoing pollutants of agriculture to the environment causing soil and water pollution and GHG generation.
  • Closed loop resource management is a very effective way of fighting against our existing high consumption rate. This would be a noticeable solution for postponing the earth’s overshooting day.
  • Controlled environment makes it possible to grow food even in inappropriate climate conditions or none arable areas. Also, it will result in round the year production instead of traditional seasonal yield.
  • Utilizing renewable energy resources helps us to cut the direct and indirect environmental impacts of agriculture activities.
  • Organic farming methods are very important in increasing the nutrition value of the products and at the same time will prevent a big amount of water, soil and atmosphere pollutions caused by synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
  • In order to prevent the environmental impacts of production, usage and disposal of chemical batteries, the application of renewable sources will be used.
  • By removing environmental footprint of agriculture in Envirohouse, it is possible to construct urban farms. This will decrease the transportation costs and impacts, increase the nutrition value by reducing the shelving time of products, and provide distributed generation which increases the availability and food safety.
  • This solution will directly and indirectly provide more job opportunities in urban areas and can make the younger generation more interested in food production. 

 

Competition

As a matter of fact, feeding the upcoming population in the world will eventually make a high competition in both market and production industries of food and agriculture. Envirohouse can play a critical role in order to balance the situation as a feasible solution by producing food. At the same time the solution itself can be considered as a product.

Besides the mentioned benefits, as a single project or a single solution, the Envirohouse can be considered as a specific concept which strongly covers multiple Global Goals at the same time: 

  • World Hunger; With a part of money spent every year to provide food for starving population, we can provide an Envirohouse locally which will continuously provide local food.
  • Health; Envirohouse produces healthier food and nutrition plays a major role in health.
  • Water Sanitation; The resource management and closed loop system helps preventing introducing chemicals or pollution into water resources.
  • Renewable Energy; Is one of the essentials and the key feature of the whole solution.
  • Jobs & Economic Growth; The controlled environment makes it possible to construct the Envirohouse in adverse or inappropriate climate condition, even non-arable lands, resulting in creating of local jobs and social and economic growth.
  • Innovation & Infrastructure; Preparing a combination of multiple innovative solutions and applying the existing advanced technologies in the Envirohouse’s infrastructure.
  • Sustainable Cities & Communities; Reusing and recycling the waste or byproduct of other industries in addition to the controlled closed loop of energy and materials consumption makes this solution a favorite choice in increasing urban sustainability.
  • Responsible consumption; The locally produced food which is available continuously and round the year will change the consumption attitude of the end users towards reduction in storing food at home and producing food waste. The solution itself as well is considered as an example of responsible consumption of energy and materials.
  • Climate Action; Making the biggest environmental impact generating industry more sustainable and greener, is a great step and action towards improving climate changes.
  • Life Below Water; Applying the same guidelines in aquaculture instead of harvesting the natural resources will directly impact the life below water. In addition, it will affect the indirect pollution in water resources caused by industrial fishing boats and ships running on fossil fuels which disturbs the underwater life too.
  • Life on the Land; As everything started by investigating how we are using the land and the existing obstacles, this solution helps to save the life and bio-diversities which could be affected by agriculture industry.
  • Partnership in Global Goals; In order to research, design, prototype and construct a feasible version of Envirohouse, it is absolutely required and necessary for multiple organizations, companies and individuals from different sectors to collaborate. 

 


If you are interested in the project or need more information,
please do not hesitate to contact us.

Vår vision

Vår vision är att accelerera lokala och globala utvecklingsprocessen och öka tillväxttakten för små och medelstora företag genom att erbjuda de innovativa FoU för deras produkter, tjänster eller organisation, och genomföra det genom deras organisation.

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