Buildings and properties that have long been vacant are finding new life as cannabis cultivation, processing, or retail facilities. Many municipalities that have struggled maintaining traditional industries such as manufacturing are embracing this new market and the jobs and tax revenue that come with it.
Vacant industrial sites have proven to be attractive areas for indoor agriculture facilities. Typically, these locations offer favorable zoning, large footprints and industrial-grade electrical services which are needed for the high-power demand. New facilities are being constructed as well, but often require a larger initial investment.
Building a successful indoor agriculture facility for any vegetation, but specifically cannabis, starts with proper design and engineering. Having the tacit knowledge to account for the unique design and construction criteria is imperative for a successful, compliant and efficient facility.
Sophisticated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems allow for the temperature, humidity, lighting, CO2 and irrigation all to be controlled to precise parameters. Indoor agriculture facilities typically draw three to five times more electrical and HVAC demand than a traditional use building of the same size.
The large demand for electrical power has challenged investors and designers alike to implement creative energy solutions to maximize efficiency, reliability and effectiveness. Right-sized HVAC equipment often utilizes additional energy recovery and conservation methods. These methods can include a variety of heat exchangers, geothermal wells, central utility plants, combined heat and power (cogeneration), solar arrays and automated building controls.
As the green gold rush continues to flourish, experts predict steady market growth for years to come. The emergence of commercial cannabis cultivation is helping put indoor agriculture in the mainstream. The way we grow our fruits and vegetables is changing, with challenges associated with increased population, over farming, water shortages and unpredictable climates. Indoor vertical farming of leafy greens is a sustainable and efficient way to maximize harvests year-round and locally.
Michigan has all the right ingredients to thrive and standout in this emerging market. The groundwork laid today with cannabis cultivation in our state will help establish the infrastructure and standards for how we produce our food in the future.
With locations in Pontiac, Lansing and nationwide, Limbach Company LLC is a leading specialty contractor with a focus on MEP engineering, construction, service and maintenance. Email: [email protected] or call 248-296-1081 to find out more.