Earlier this year, we wrote about Method Products new LEED-Platinum factory in Chicago, where environmental cleaning products from soaps to laundry detergent will be produced.
Designed by William McDonough + Partners, pioneers of green building and creators of cradle-to-cradle certification, it’s so clean that it’s located in a newly renovated residential neighborhood.
The 150,000-square-foot building will cover five acres and the rest will be converted back to nature.
While plans for a green roof are part of the design, Method announced that it will be the world’s biggest at 75,000 square feet. Greenhouses operated by NYC-based Gotham Greens will produce 1 million pounds of food a year, distributed to local grocers, restaurants, farmer’s markets and community groups.
Growing food in greenhouses uses 20 times less land and 10 times less water than conventional agriculture, and eliminates pesticides and fertilizer runoff, a leading cause of water pollution. And since the food will be distributed locally, there’s no transportation emissions. And it brings the freshest, most nutritious produce to people year-round. When people go to local supermarkets or farmer’s markets, they may well be able to buy vegetables and herbs harvested the very same day, even in the middle of winter.
The greenhouse and factory begin operations in spring, 2015.
Also in Chicago, 100 acres of city-owned land are being transformed from vacant lots into an "urban farm district," and Boston’s new ordinance allows urban farms within city limits. Another urban farming pioneer is BrightFarms.