UTSC and Centennial College Plan Canada’s First Net-Zero Vertical Farm

U of T Scarborough and Centennial College are teaming up to establish the Environmental and Related Technologies Hub (EaRTH) as an initiative that focuses on advancing the clean tech sector.

Photo Courtesy of utsc.utoronto.ca

EaRTH will be a knowledge and training hub in the Eastern greater Toronto area located at U of T Scarborough. According to Andrew Arifuzzaman, U of T Scarborough’s CAO, UTS is known for its “expertise in the environmental sciences, while Centennial College is a leader in providing training in new and emerging sectors of the economy.”

“We know the future belongs to sustainable, clean technology and this partnership complements the strengths of both Centennial College and U of T Scarborough,” says Andrew Arifuzzaman, U of T Scarborough’s CAO.

According to U of T Scarborough, the plan in partnership includes the development of Canada’s first net-zero vertical farm and living lab that applies innovative technologies to food production in an urban setting.

Funding options for the project are still being discussed. Depending on the source of funding, says U of T Scarborough’s Media Relations Officer Don Campbell, the university anticipates selecting an architect through a public RFP process.

The vertical farm will create training and research opportunities in fields such as waste management, sustainable building design, clean energy, water conservation, and urban agriculture.

Andrew Petrou, director of strategic initiatives and external relations at Centennial College, says that clean tech is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Ontario economy and the EaRTH District will help train a skilled workforce.

“Every single component of the building, from the heating and cooling to the lighting to the vertical farm, is an element that students, industry and the community can interact with,” says Petrou.

Petrou also says that an important goal of the EaRTH District is to bring together industry, government, community and academia to develop clean technology that can help build more resilient communities.

Photo Courtesy of utsc.utoronto.ca

Petrou adds that EaRTH aims to connect with other clean tech innovation hubs across the world and build a global network to support and advance the sector.

U of T Scarborough and Centennial College are actively looking to expand EaRTH, which already includes the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB) at U of T Scarborough, according to utsc.utoronto.ca.

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