The decline in arable land, global climate change, water shortages and continued population growth may change our view of traditional farming from soil-based operations to highly efficient greenhouses or urban farms. - ALLEN WASHATKO, TKWAImagine a five-story farm in the middle of a city! This innovative design developed by The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc. will expand Growing Powers greenhouse and aquaponics operations currently spread over a two-acre site in the City of Milwaukee. Five stories of south-facing greenhouse areas allow production of plants, vegetables, and herbs year-round. Educational classrooms, conference spaces, demonstration kitchen, food processing and storage, freezers, and loading docks further support Growing Power's mission as a local and national resource for sustainable urban food production. Cast-in-place tilt-up concrete panel construction provides an affordable, energy efficient, structurally stable, and long-lasting building shell appropriate for intensive farming operations. Energy and water flows throughout the building are carefully designed. The building absorbs sunlight and takes advantage of solar convective currents. Heat generated by the sun is stored via underground thermal mass and used to warm the building in winter. Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels and thermal solar panels generate a portion of building energy needs. Use of natural daylight reduces energy use. A closed loop of water and nutrients circulates throughout the building; fish wastes are used as food for plants, while plants clean and filter the water for fish. Rainwater falling on the building is collected and stored to support the system.The Vertical Farm expands and improves year-round retail space selling fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. The Vertical Farm also creates an active outdoor market area that will become a community gathering place for work, learning, and social activities.Growing Power is currently conducting a capital campaign to support the project.