Method opened its LEED® Platinum manufacturing facility on Chicago’s South Side in April. The 75,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse will be fully planted this fall. William McDonough + Partners designed the facility according to the Cradle to Cradle Design Framework, implementing advanced sustainable design elements outside and inside such as a refurbished wind turbine, solar “trees” that move with the sun, Cradle to Cradle Certfied™ materials, and solar thermal panels. When completed, the rooftop greenhouse will be considered the largest rooftop food-production greenhouse in the world.
Gotham Greens, the company that built and operates the rooftop greenhouse, constructed the greenhouse to use 20 times less land and 10 times less water. Plant maintenance including irrigation, heating, and cooling are controlled digitally. The pesticide-free plants will be grown utilizing a hydroponic system, requiring no soil. The greenhouse will produce different types of greens including arugula, kale, and bok choy. Gotham Greens will distribute the produce to local stores, restaurants, and farmer’s markets of the Chicago area.