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How the Dutch Use Architecture to Feed the World

https://www.archdaily.com/932301/how-the-dutch-use-architecture-to-feed-the-world

archdaily.com

How the Dutch Use Architecture to Feed the World
The Netherlands is the world's second-biggest exporter of agricultural products. This is remarkable when one considers that the only country which tops the Netherlands, the United States, is 237 times bigger in land area. Nevertheless, the Netherlands exported almost $100 billion in agricultural goods in 2017 alone, as well as $10 billion in agriculture-related products.

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An agricultural giant

An agricultural giant
The Netherlands is the second biggest exporter of agricultural products. Their success is mainly due to architectural innovation to transform the agricultural landscape.


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The greenhouse capital

The greenhouse capital

Dutch agriculture is defined by vast landscapes of greenhouses. Some are covering 175 acres. 

In the Westland region, greenhouses fill the voids between cities, suburbs, and industrial plants.

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Hydroponics

Hydroponics

Tech-savvy farmers use hydroponic systems and geothermal energy to produce high yields using limited resources. 

Due to a controlled indoor environment, Dutch greenhouses use 1:1 gallons of water per pound of tomatoes produced, compared to the 25.6-gallon global average.

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The Dutch environmental performance

The Dutch environmental performance
  • Double-glazed roofs allow for the retention of heat.
  • Light modular steel frames allow for expansion.
  • Some operators make use of the CO2 from a local oil refinery to aid plant growth.
  • LED lights allow for plants to continue growing throughout the night. This takes into account the Dutch legislation that states that 98% of electric lighting must be contained within the greenhouses.

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Commitment to sustainable agriculture

In the early 2000s, the Dutch made a national commitment to a new form of sustainable agriculture that uses no chemical pesticides and has seen a reduction of antibiotics by 60%.

With new techniques and understanding to feed ever-increasing urban populations, the Netherlands will move further away from the natural, and more towards artificial, industrial, and controlled.

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