Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Stephen Pepper
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Illinois Institute of Technology
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Blake Davis
Adjunct Professor of Sustainability and Urban Agriculture
School of Applied Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

IPRO 336 - Implementing The Plant, Chicago

This project is a collaborative effort with our community partner, The Plant, Chicago's first "vertical farm." The Plant is a not-for-profit organization that owns and operates a vertical farming operation in a building owned by the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center; it was developed as a collaboration between John Edel, owner and manager of the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center, and previous semester IPRO 336 teams.

IPRO 336 has been offered every other semester for over two years. This IPRO has been looking at developing the technology and business systems necessary to create a vertical farm in Chicago. A vertical farm is a controlled environment agricultural system which usually grows food in an existing, multi-story building in the heart of the city. The food is grown under artificial light, and the environmental conditions are optimized for year-round production of food. The food raising systems often utilize fish or livestock to create simple ecological systems.

As a result of success of small scale prototypes, creative design thinking, and collaboration of the students and others, an entrepreneur purchased a 93,000 sq. ft. former meat packing plant to develop into a commercial scale vertical farm. This facility, now known as Plant-Chicago, is the nation’s first operational vertical farm. The IPRO continues to work with The Plant to develop new methods, expand production, and grow the success of the vertical farm.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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