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Shipping Container Greenhouse is Awesome Urban Farm-In-A-Box

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What do you get when you cross a greenhouse with aquaponics and stick it in (and ON) a 20′ shipping container? An urban farm in a box! Literally.

Urban Farm Units, designed by Damien Chivialle, are portable, simple, and take up very little room. They recycle used containers and create interest in urban farming in local areas. 

In aquaponic systems, large yields of food can be grown in small spaces using fewer resources than growing in soil. A setup like this produces plants and fish in a symbiotic system. Much less water is used than in traditional growing, as it is recycled and repeatedly used throughout the growing process. Put simply, the plants filter the water for the fish, and the fish fertilize the water for the plants.   

This design is brilliant because it is compact and portable, perfect for urban farming. 


The system is built from a standard 20′ shipping container. Damien Chivialle created this design in Google Sketchup and made the plans open source, meaning anyone can build and improve upon the design. 


“…How to supply cities with fresh products while limiting transportation?
Is there any available and non-polluted land left for farming?…”

A portable aquaponics system solves a big problem in urban settings: growing healthy, organic food where large plots of land are not available. Units like this could also make healthy food accessible to those in urban settings who do not have easy access to organic produce.  



Want to see the assembly of an Urban Farm Unit? Check out Damien Chivialle’s video of a unit they assembled in Brussels and how effective the system works after setup. 


Read the project story for more about how this project came about, including a map of places around the world running urban aquaponic farms based on this idea. 


Designed by Damien Chivialle

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