Custom Vertical Hydroponics

To maximize productivity and visual interest, we designed and custom fabricated a system specifically for GrowNYC's Project Farmhouse. This 18' long x 7' tall x 2' wide installation is displayed in the event space.


Design Concept + Aesthetic

Urban agriculture lets consumers consider the impact of their food on their bodies and the surrounding environment. New technology and repurposed spaces allow food to truly become “local” in dense urban environments. Our goal was to embed productive hydroponic techniques within an aesthetic sculpture - creating a stimulating, up-close view of local food production. 

Project Farmhouse's vertical system - designed by HortLED 

Project Farmhouse's vertical system - designed by HortLED 



This vertical system combines two types of hydroponic irrigation techniques.

  • Shallow Water Culture (SWC) trays
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) channels

A single pump line drives the system: water starts at the top NFT channel (left rack) and drains across both sides of the system, eventually returning to the bottom left SWC tray (right rack). 

Indoor hydroponic systems use (significantly) less water and are designed to economize space. However, they are reliant on pumps and lighting which use considerable electricity. To promote sustainable system designs and reduce energy consumption we used:

  • Energy efficient LED lights

  • A single pump and gravity to circulate water



Vtube close up

Vtube close up

HortLED's "VTube Light Strips" 

For this system we used custom "Vtube" T8 replacement lights. They are our favorite lighting fixture for vertical farms: inexpensive, easy to mount and wire, and highly customizable. We firmly believe that success with indoor growing starts with properly specified lighting.

Alex Bodell at Project Farmhouse's opening

Alex Bodell at Project Farmhouse's opening

Custom Systems

We love the challenge and excitement of developing custom vertical systems. Our production shop in Ithaca, NY allows for an extremely fast production cycle.