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Resource Innovation Institute


Airflow Design for Vertical Farms: 5 Tips

The pursuit of optimal crop yields and resource efficiency has led to groundbreaking innovations in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility design. The popularization of light-emitted diode (LED) fixtures in recent years has preceded a boom in vertical farming in both indoor and greenhouse environments. These tiered systems allow operators to maximize production by multiplying their…
November 22, 2023

How CEA Can Connect With Utilities to Unlock Rebates & Incentives: 5 Tips

CEA operators (including cannabis growers) may or may not be aware that their facility upgrade projects might be eligible for various incentive and rebate projects that can offset costs for a variety of equipment, or even make those projects economically feasible. To help understand how these programs work and their requirements and opportunities, Cody Allen,…
October 30, 2023

Minimum Liquid Discharge: An Attainable CEA Water Circularity Status

Sustainability is the bedrock upon which the future of food production rests. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, resource scarcity, and environmental degradation, the need for innovative solutions in agriculture has never been more pressing. To address these issues, CEA facilities are increasingly pursuing Minimum Liquid Discharge (MLD) or even Zero…
October 24, 2023

How to evaluate energy use in agricultural operations

Productivity-based, rather than area-based, resource measurement is appropriate in our increasingly populated and climate-constrained world Greenhouse and indoor farming, otherwise known as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), has emerged as a promising solution to meet the global demand for sustainable food production, especially in the face of climate change and urbanization. As the practice gains momentum,…
October 16, 2023

5 Tips to Optimize Your HVAC’s Efficiency

Controlled Environment Agriculture presents specific challenges due to the need for precise temperature and humidity control throughout various growth stages. For facility operators, the goal is to create a consistent environment that maximizes plant health, yield, and potency, all while maintaining low production costs. In both indoor and sealed greenhouse environments, proper dehumidification is critical…
September 14, 2023

Optimize Your CEA Lighting: 5 Tips

Whether cultivating leafy greens, succulent fruits, or vibrant cannabis flowers, understanding how to optimize a CEA lighting setup can make all the difference in achieving remarkable yields and superior crop quality. As we write in our Lighting Best Practices Guide, " is crucial to maximize your return on investment for horticultural lighting systems, as this…
September 8, 2023

Wasted Water is Wasted Dollars

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is intimately connected to the responsible management of our most valuable resource: water. CEA enables us to cultivate crops efficiently regardless of external factors such as weather and location. However, this advancement comes at a cost, with water usage playing a pivotal role in the equation. Water scarcity often is a…
August 21, 2023

CEA Water Savings Potential Now Validated

By Rob Eddy and Carmen Azzaretti With our latest USDA-sponsored Benchmarking Report, created in partnership with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Resource Innovation Institute has brought forward validated energy and resource use data from active CEA facilities. The "CEA Energy & Water Benchmarking Report: Establishing Preliminary Benchmarks for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)…
August 15, 2023

Lighten the Load: Optimizing Your CEA Cultivation Conditions to Improve HVAC-D Use

Working with living organisms requires a careful balance of resource efficiency and crop quality, yet controlled environment agriculture (CEA) companies are under constant pressure to reduce resource use, minimize carbon footprints, and taper costs. By optimizing the environmental parameters within CEA facilities, indoor farm operators have the opportunity to significantly reduce the burden on HVAC-D…
July 27, 2023

Reduce Light Spillage with Efficient Facility Design

Increasingly, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operators are investing in high-efficiency technologies, including LED lighting, to control costs and remain competitive in the marketplace, as they know all too well that energy expenses are only outpaced by labor in their operational costs. But those technological efficiencies can be negated if they are not properly implemented. For…
June 22, 2023

Shining a Light on Efficiency and Productivity Metrics for CEA Lighting

Shining a Light on Efficiency and Productivity Metrics for CEA Lighting High-intensity lighting plays a critical role in promoting plant growth and achieving optimal yields. However, selecting the right lighting system for your CEA facility can be challenging, as there are many different light quality, intensity, and efficiency metrics to consider. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR),…
May 8, 2023

How to Build Your Controlled Environment Agriculture Facility Design Team

Directed by ownership, architects, contractors, engineers and consultants combine to form a facility design dream team. Once an entity decides to construct a new leafy green-producing greenhouse, or renovate an indoor cannabis cultivation operation, they are embarking on a controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) venture that will involve core team members and dozens of specialists over several…
March 16, 2023