Server Farm (WIP)
The core idea is the pairing of horticultural farming with the waste heat from data servers.


The energy use from data servers is growing exponentially. ( Today the electricity consumption (and the CO2 emissions) of all the server farms in the world is greater than the entire energy consumption and CO2 emissinos of the Country of Canada. ( By 2025 it is likely to have quadrupled and will be nearly 50% of the electricity consumption of the United States today! Most large companies will have their own ‘cloud’ services. Even if by 2025, the electricity is supplied by renewable sources, the heat from these servers will still be a 'waste' product. 'Server Farm' takes the idea inherent in the term and uses the waste heat to provide the growing conditions needed to supply horticultural produce year round for the very companies who use this information technology and beyond . There are two opportunities here, first to provide a solution for a company's own requirements but secondly to provide this concept as a product in its own right to be sold to other companies as they implement and expand their own data servers on site and as I have shown in the 4th slide perhaps using some of the products they manufacture already (spunbonded-nonwovens) in that new offering.

Which target group is your concept for?

The knowledge worker in particular where there is an on site server farm, but the idea can be extended to provide the horticultural environment in conjunction with any server farm anywhere. The health and environment conscious knowledge worker will be able to see the food they eat being grown on site in a sustainable, organic way. Using waste heat in horticultural green houses will allow the production of exotic foods on site as well as foods that are grown inter seasonally.

How does digitization & connectivity create a unique eating experience?

This idea complements many of the delivery mechanisms already being proposed by other creatives in this competition. Its uniqueness is its direct connection between the by product of the digital and connected generation (heat) and the production of food.

What other amazing features does your concept offer?

The server farm will not only ‘up-cycle’ a waste product – namely heat- into a productive resource for producing high quality food with 'low to no food miles' …but will also sequester carbon via plant growth helping to reduce carbon emissions as well. It will provide a key tenet of corporate responsibility policies of all progressive companies.

What is the core idea behind your campus food experience?

The core idea is the pairing of horticultural farming with the waste heat from servers.

The many different ways this can be realised could include having a large on site greenhouse where food is grown and also forming an amenity for the company employees to stroll, see the food being grown, eat it in a ‘winter garden’ setting in the winter months and al fresco in the summer months. The architectural solution will adapt to the specific location be it urban, suburban, campus or rural.

Other entries in this project