Rice seniors design vegetable greenhouse scaled to city dwellers

Thursday, May 10, 2018 2:22 PM | Amy Kavalewitz (Administrator)

Down on the farm … in your apartment

By Holly Beretto
Special to the Rice News

Vegetables are part of a healthy diet, but urban apartment dwellers in some places around the world don’t have regular access to them. A group of Rice University senior engineering students set out to remedy that for their capstone design project.

Team Växthus — mechanical engineering students Mary Bao, Mike Hua, Jack Kaplan, Harrison Lin and Colin Losey and electrical engineering student Lingbo Chen – has developed an automated, modular, indoor greenhouse to provide high-throughput food growth aimed at young professionals in urban settings.

“This allows them to grow fresh produce, everything from leafy greens to herbs to root vegetables,” Lin said.

Växthus (Swedish for greenhouse) was developed for the HSB Living Lab at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The lab is a residential community of 29 apartments for students and visiting researchers, all of whom are involved in finding solutions for more sustainable living. The Living Lab partnered with Rice on a previous project to develop a device to simplify composting at home.

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