15-0206 v2.1/Definitions and Calculations (Part XI)

QUESTION

While food production and caloric intake are certianly important it seems to me that the working definition of "agriculture" should go beyond just calories. In the spirit of the Living Building Challenge part of the goal is to reduce the footprint of any given project. That means decreasing transportation of goods and increasing local production. This goes beyond just food. It seems to me that agriculture should encompass the production of a variety of non-food goods such as textiles (cotton, hemp, etc.), craft materials (basketry materials, bamboo poles, etc.), and wood products (timbers, firewood, utensils, etc.). Perhaps it would make sense to have a portion (even as much as 70%?) of the space dedicated to urban agriculture be actual food production. However, it doesn't seem that we should eliminate all the other agricultural activities from our scope just because they don't make food.

Also, I'm glad to see that certain agricultural support areas (seeds storage, garden sheds, etc.) will be counted within the urban agriculture area requirement. I would also like to make a plug for including other agricultural support systems. For instance, root cellars, processing kitchens, and solar food dehydrators all provide essential support functions for agriculture.

Either way, it's really good to see urban agriculture and productive landscapes included in the new LBC.

Cheers!

ANSWER

A primary motivator for urban agriculture is to bring food production on some level back into city centers and populated areas as a way to reestablish a tie between humans and our nourishment, and reconnect us to the land. There is less likely to be an immediate demand for smaller scale agriculture for uses other than food in urban areas - but we agree that the use of agriculture can go beyond ""caloric intake"". We would view the use of land to grow non-food goods as part of the agricultural area for Renovation and Building projects if the crop is used to create a tangible product onsite (similar to our requirement that the silk worms could be included in the agricultural area in the request above if not only present for educational purposes). The area of a root cellar can be included, but not a processing kitchen or solar oven."


Post ID 2648

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