Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

The Foundry project is the world’s first self-sustained, symbiotic eco-system


The Foundry Project is a hugely exciting endeavour and is the world’s first self-sustained, symbiotic eco-system that houses an underground data centre with 3 gigabit fibre optic internet, and a host of other facilities. Read on further to know more of how Steve Van Gorder has designed this exceptional facility.

The formation of The Foundry Project was announced by geothermal expert and an environmental attorney, J. Duncan Shorey. The Foundry Project is essentially a redevelopment of an 8-acre brownfield which will undergo a radical change and transform into a commercial farm. In fact The Foundry Projecct will be the world’s first ever agricultural ecosystem which has been designed to recycle waste heat from an underground data centre. The heat that escapes from the data centre will be put to use to heat the Northcoast Fish Farm, LLC, an on-site facility.
The $4.5 million Northcoast Fish Farm, LLC, will produce 500,000 pounds of Mediterranean Sea bass a year. From the second quarter of 2016, it will start producing 10,000 pounds per week. It will go on full steam a little later in 2016, since its opening is timed to match the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.Northcoast Fish Farm’s annual harvest will be approximately 5% of the United States’ total import of sea bass.
The construction of the 20,000-40,000 square foot underground data centre is an important element in The Foundry Project.It’s construction is slated to be complete in 6 months once customers are identified. Located adjacent railway lines, the bunker will have 3 hundred gigabit fibre optic network, which will provide potential customers with blazing fast internet connections.  Because of its sustainable features The Foundry Project is a model that represents a breakthrough to reduce carbon footprint for data centres.
The sea bass that is grown here will be sold locally to wholesalers or be sold to live-fish brokers who serve a speciality market. Already letters of intent have been struck with both Canadian and US live-fish brokers, so as to create a distribution system for the farm’s production.
“Northcoast Fish Farm will fill a major void in Northeast Ohio for sourcing quality fish. I am committed to using local, sustainably-produced foods at our restaurants. That the fish production is so close to our restaurants will assure the fish we receive is extremely fresh,” says Chef Douglas Katz, an internayional advocate for sustainable food systems and owner of Fire Food and Drink.

He is also a chef at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch®, a NPO that recommends consumers on their sustainable seafood choices, has awarded RAS-harvested sea bass as a “Best Choice” standard, which happens to be the highest quality rating given by Seafood Watch.
“It is part of our dream at Ohio State to have high-quality sustainable fish available on a regular basis. It’s exciting to think that we can develop a new industry that will revolutionize the production of fish in Ohio,” says Laura Tiu who holds a PhD and is an Aquaculture Extension Specialist at the Ohio State University.
Unlike contemporary fish farms, Northcoast Fish Farm’s method incorporates a proven and proprietary Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS), wherein water is cleaned, filtered and recycled in the fish culture tanks. The system does not introduce any kind of antibiotics or hormones into the culture tanks and the process safe and sustainable.
Designed by an internally renowned expert Steve Van Gorder, he is a veteran of advanced aquaculture system. The initial operation at Northcoast Fish Farm will be overseen by him. He explained the RAS as “… calibrated to grow fish in a low-stress environment that promotes rapid growth rates and minimizes fish feed costs and the net carbon footprint.”
Depending on the season, the fish waste, with high nutrient value and rich in organic matter, will either be used as fertiliser orbe used by Northcoast Orchards. This self-sustaining symbiotic ecosystem is what gives Northcoast Fish Farms its uniqueness.
Apart from hosting a data centre and a fish farm, J, Shorey’s methodical and comprehensive approach to the creation of The Foundry Project, has included live-fish brokerage, a sheep farm, a farmer’s market, an arts and tech incubator and a cooking school which teaching the local community benefits of healthycooking. The whole project will have a campus-like feel to it, and will have 24/7 security as a top priority.
“My vision is to create a transformative and thriving campus where people are pursuing a variety of objectives and generating new ideas. The Foundry Project is a brownfield redevelopment project that will grow sustainable fish, create good jobs for both inner city and other residents and bring good food choices to the neighborhood by addressing the food desert.” Says Shorey.
“Redeveloping this property in the Fairfax-Woodland neighborhood will play a key role in recycling land back into productive use while creating new jobs and inspiration for local residents. It’s the right thing to do for the environment and the economy,” added Mike Foley, Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County.