Sky Vegetables, will host a summit of industry-leading specialists from around the world at the first-ever Building-Integrated Sustainable Agriculture (B-ISA) Summit, December 12th and 13th at the Durant Hotel, in Berkeley, California.
"We hope to develop an open source rooftop farm prototype, and to create a strong network of support for the B-ISA initiative as a solution to the global food, energy and water crises," said Sky Vegetables' 22-year-old founder and summit co-host, Keith Agoada.
Entrepreneurial and visionary, the hard-working Agoada is no stranger to big ideas. Agoada worked with summit co-host and noted industry expert, James Kalin, to introduce collaborative brainstorming for an open-source prototype for rooftop farming. And, last year eco-preneur Agoada's Sky Vegetables urban farming business plan (to build hydroponic greenhouses on the rooftops of grocery stores) took home the top prize at the University of Wisconsin School of Business, where he was a senior.
Sky Vegetables is an idea whose time is ripe, with a unique business model to meet the growing demand for affordable, fresh, nutritious and chemical-free local produce, while reducing the energy and food transportation costs normally associated with food production. Sky is currently launching a pilot program in the Bay Area and is planning to have its first unit in operation for harvest by autumn of 2009.
More than 15 presenters, and 30 attendees are expected to attend the invitation-only, two-day summit, where experts will convene from the diverse disciplines of architecture, structural engineering, aquaponics, controlled environment greenhouses, composting, alternative energy, automated systems, aquaculture, hydroponics, horticulture, integrated biological systems, sustainable farming, water economics, urban agriculture, and green business.
Summit organizers anticipate that the group will work to generate the precise wording of a proposed US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(TM)) Credit for B-ISA systems in general, and the group's rooftop farm design prototype in particular. USGBC's LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.