F.A.Q.

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Please use the below categories to find frequently asked questions and our corresponding answers. You can always submit a request to us if you don't see the question on your mind.

Agritecture Designer is a new digital platform to help anyone plan a controlled environment farm. Agritecture has taken our years of experience as leading industry consultants and translated that into a toolset that can help you hone your vision, learn industry best practices, model your project’s financial feasibility, and rapidly accelerate progress toward launching your farming business.
Agritecture Designer is intended for anyone planning or researching an urban or controlled environment farm.
Agritecture Designer launched publicly in April 2020. While we know that our knowledge and data are helpful, we’re constantly working on perfecting how that knowledge and data are delivered to you -- meaning the design, the complex logic driving the site’s functionality, the general features, and our business model for making sure the site can sustain itself (this is a business, after all!).

What this means for you is that, while we are in beta mode, the platform will change frequently - but our users have a direct say in how these changes take shape.

As a paid user, you’ll be grandfathered in to the price/package you select - so if our prices increase but you’ve already paid, that price will be set for the full length of that package!
Our goal is to move out of “beta” by July 2021, upon the release of several key new features we have been working on since gathering user feedback during the beta phase.
Go here
Your “Vision” will be automatically saved, as long as you create an account
Your Farm Models, or “Projects”, will also be automatically saved, as long as you’ve selected one of our paid access options.
Yes! Agritecture Designer was built with our global audience in mind. The Agritecture team has worked on projects in more than 25 countries and brings lessons and insights learned from these to both the Commercial Urban Farming Course as well as the Project Feasibility Tool. The tool also uses 20-year historical climate data for every location in the world to help project your energy requirements.
We are currently adding this flexibility for each line item in the “CapEx” and “OpEx” breakouts within the Project Report. As a user, you will be able to read more about how we arrived at our estimate, and then override that specific number based on any additional information you have received. This functionality, based directly on feedback from our users, is being rolled out in phases and will be fully live for all line items by the end of March.
Currently you cannot add two production methods into one project. We recommend dividing your plot into two, and creating a separate project with a separate feasibility report for each production method.
In accordance with GDPR standards, the data subject (that's you) owns the data they enter. Agritecture retains the rights to use any non-personally identifiable information you enter for our own analysis and business purposes. You can read more via our Privacy Policy.
Yes. And if something doesn’t work up to your expectations, let us know!
Good question! The two best ways to contribute are to tell a friend about Agritecture Designer and to send us any feedback you have or ideas on what features we should build next.
You will automatically receive updates via email as long as you remain subscribed to receive them.
The options presented for crops are the ones most compatible with the operation system you have selected. These are also crops that we have the highest degree of familiarity with. If you do not see the crop you want to grow, we recommend the following steps:
  1. Try choosing a crop that is similar in terms of growth cycle and ideal climate. You will have full control over the price you charge for that crop by completing the market research evaluation within the 'Crop Pricing' tab on the Project Results page.
  2. As a paid user, you can also tell us about a specific crop you want to see added, and we’ll research it for you! If we can find accurate data we will add it into our database. Either way, we’ll touch base with you shortly to give you more info.
The options presented for grow systems are the ones most compatible with the operation type and crops you have selected. These grow systems are the most common commercial forms and the ones we have the highest degree of familiarity with. If you need help selecting the right system, we recommend reading through this overview on our blog, or creating multiple Projects to compare the various options.
Aquaponics is a highly complex method for growing, meaning it can be more challenging to predict yields than hydroponics. However, we currently plan on adding aquaponics as an option in the next 6 months.
At the bottom of your Project Report, you’ll see a section entitled “Tell Us What’s Next”. Click the appropriate button and we’ll put you in our expedited consulting services track. One of our expert team members will reach out within 24 hours on next steps.
A Greenhouse is an enclosed structure that grows crops while harnessing light from the sun. There are various structure types and coverings for a greenhouse which range from plastic films to double pane glass. For the purposes of our feasibility tool, we have limited the range of structure types to “Low Duty” (lower cost but less environmental control and structural integrity); “Medium Duty” (medium cost, more environmental control and structural integrity); and “Heavy Duty” (highest cost, highest level of environmental control and structural integrity). There are also various methods of growing in a greenhouse. For the purposes of our feasibility tool, we have limited the range just to hydroponic systems - but one can also build a greenhouse for growing in soil or for other soilless methods such as aquaponics. For more information on greenhouses, check out our 3-part series co-authored by Plug and Play.

A Vertical Farm is an indoor structure that grows crops in vertical racks while using artificial light to provide energy for photosynthesis. Vertical farms have a higher level of insulation than greenhouses and thus are capable of achieving a higher level of environmental control. By using multiple grow levels, a farmer may also be able to increase their yield per square foot (footprint) significantly versus a single layer farming setup which occurs in soil and greenhouse operations. Typically, only soilless cultivation methods are practiced in a VF. For the purposes of our feasibility tool, we have limited the range just to hydroponic systems - the most common method for growing in a VF.
The shorter answer: This is the reason we built our feasibility tool! We recommend creating multiple “Projects” - some using GH as your Operation Type and some using VF as your Operation Type - in order to weigh some of the pros/cons of each approach and decide for yourself which model best fits your goals.

The longer answer: While each situation is unique, generally a VF is going to be significantly more capital-intensive, with a longer project ROI and higher costs of production, but have higher total yields per square foot than a GH. Additionally, the level of environmental and crop control one can achieve is greater in a VF, which can result in higher-quality produce or produce with a specific outcome that may be in demand. Of course, there are considerations that will affect these assumptions. For example, if you already own a building, your capital costs will be lower than if you were to purchase that building - or your operating costs will be lower versus if you were to pay rent on that building. The level of automation technology used, as well as sales/distribution channels chosen, will also play important roles in your total cost of production. And, it’s important to remember that your cost is just one-half of the equation - if you are able to grow a more consistent product in a VF for instance, that may translate to higher revenues that will make up for the increase in production costs. Finally, VFs still tend to have a higher carbon footprint per biomass of output than GHs, which may be another important consideration for you.
There are various “definitions” for vertical farms, but for the purpose of this site, we are adhering to the definition that a vertical farm uses only artificial light, and does not use any natural sunlight.
Not always. The reason you would need supplemental lighting depends upon the DLI of your specific location in combination with your crop choice, as well as your budget/objectives. You can check out our DLI calculator. and compare the monthly averages to the DLI needs of your specific crop to help determine whether you need supplemental lighting.
They can vary greatly. We developed Agritecture Designer to help you understand how various decisions affect these costs. As a paid user, you can build multiple feasibility reports to understand the breakdown of various capital (upfront) costs and operating (recurring annual) costs.

Where can I watch a full
tutorial of Designer?

Keep in mind we are continuously updating the platform with new elements, but you can watch our most recent tutorial here.

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