“The breadth of skills CambridgeHOK has in-house is really exciting as it enables us to give clients the holistic advice we feel is necessary for them to be comfortable that they are getting a fit for purpose project.”

Steve Hinch
Finance Director, CambridgeHOK

The Challenge:

– The global population will grow by 2.3 billion by 2050.
– Urbanisation will mean 66% of people will live in cities.
– Farmers will need to grow 70% more food than they do now.
– 80% of agricultural land is currently in use.

If we don’t act now in 50 years’ time we will have a global food crisis like never before.

The Solution:

– To grow vertically and starting thinking per cubic metre instead of square meter.
– LED’s are a cool light source that provide plants with the perfect light recipe for growth. They allow us to grow crops efficiently and with a high degree of control, meaning that it is possible to grow in multiple layers without the need for natural sunlight.
– Growing without the influence of sunlight hours or weather conditions allows us to increase the number of cropping cycles that can be produced in a year.

Urban/ Vertical Farms mean:

– No pesticides
– Reduces airborne diseases
– Less water consumption
– More consistent growth
– Greater yields with greater quality

Vertical farms came about upon the realisation that there isn’t enough urban-farmagrarian land to grow enough food for our growing population. This quickly spurred the idea that in order to feed everyone we would need to grow up. To think in cubic meters rather than square meters.

The idea that we could grow vertically was revolutionary but the idea and the reality were completely different. However, with fairly recent improvements to horticultural technology the first urban farms are appearing across the world. It was with the introduction of affordable LED lighting that really gave the idea a possibility. The individual light recipes made it possible to grow, healthy, tasty crops without the need for sunlight. Taking this further with high tech irrigation and climate controls it is possible to grow crops without any external influences meaning that it is possible to go crops all year round.

Within Urban/ Vertical Farms the plants are grown in boxes stacked on top of each other. They have completely controlled environments which removes the risk of disease and the ill effects of the weather. The plants are raised in a constant heat, humidity, and with a light spectrum completely tailored to the crop type. This increases the quality, size and quantity of the crop with extraordinary results and the use of LED lighting has cut energy usage by up to 50%.

Urban/ Vertical farms mean that food can be grown anywhere in the world, their small footprint allows them to be in cities throughout the world supplying fresh and local produce potentially everywhere in the world.

CambridgeHOK are building these facilities now and have the experience and capability to integrate all of the environmental factors to help maximise crop production.


Marwell Zoological Park: Tropical House

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Marwell Zoo are currently undergoing a £17 million investment programme to advance their 140-acre park that is home to hundreds of wild and exotic animals. The latest project of the…

New APS Packhouse

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CambridgeHOK have been employed by the APS Group to maintain pack house cooling at their site on Chichester food park during a new pack house extension project. This project needed...

Forestry Commission: Lobslack Nursery

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After a rigorous tendering process The Forestry Commission awarded CambridgeHOK the contract for the redevelopment of the Forestry Commission, Lobslack Nursery Site in Cheshire. Birds Eye view of the Site...

Robots Land at Cornerways Nursery

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CambridgeHOK have now completed the project at Cornerways Nursery. We were employed to modify their traditional harvesting and packaging operation by installing automatic tow-cars to move the product from the…