The Laamu Greenhouse

Thomas Edes

The ultimate goal for me was to establish sustainable agriculture on the Maldives. In order to do this, a sustainable way of practicing agriculture must be introduced. This comes in the form of a new greenhouse which must also provide enough incentive for farmers to change their current practices by using this greenhouse.  The incentive being: providing a consistent output of produce, resulting in a consistent and higher income.
The main focus is to provide an indoor climate close to ideal as possible, for the crops to grow and increase the yield. Furthermore, creating a water buffer to increase the farm’s resilience is also a factor that plays a big role.
The Laamu Greenhouse is designed for the Maldives, Gan Island on Laamu atoll specifically. It uses a combination of local materials (for the structure) and low cost imported materials for the façade. Resulting in a greenhouse that suitable for lowland tropics, prone to yearly flooding. Deep water culture is used to grow the crops, while having a day-night cycle in order to improve the growing conditions for the crops.
Tomato, cantaloupe, eggplant and green chillies are perfect to grow in the Laamu Greenhouse, but the indoor climate allows many more crops to grow here. Some are already familiar for the farmers, some haven’t been until now.
Cooling is done passively during the day. Electricity, produced during the day, is used for active cooling in the night. ETFE air cushions let through plenty of light for the plants, replacing expansive glass from typical greenhouses used globally.