partial image of VF logoEPA Award



The Clemson University Institute of Applied Ecology's Vertical Farm Design Feasibility Study for the City of Charleston was one of eleven projects selected for the EPA 2010 Innovations Pilots Project. EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) promotes innovations to encourage the development of creative solutions to environmental problems.

An amount of money is set aside to fund creative approaches to waste minimization, energy recovery, recycling, land revitalization, and homeland security that may be replicated across various sectors, industries, communities, and regions. Projects are expected to pave the way for programmatic and policy recommendations by demonstrating the environmental and economic benefits of creative, innovative approaches to the difficult environmental challenges being faced today. 

This project is a feasibility study to develop a vertical farm (i.e., tiered farm) in Charleston, SC using existing building stock. Based on existing research, no vertical farms have successfully been transformed from concept and design into an actual functioning vertical farm. The study will include information on funding and innovative financing options for municipalities and expected long term operational budgets. An integral component of the proposal is to convene a few design charrettes with neighborhoods with particular attention paid to underserved neighborhoods and youth.