Jacob Russo (B.Arch ’14), and his startup NexLoop, is turning to spiders and mushrooms for ideas on how to sustainably and efficiently capture and store water in cities. NexLoop has been invited to join a collaborative Circular Economy demonstration project on Governors Island, NYC. The pilot entails the retrofit of an existing shipping container into a small scale vertical hydroponic farm. The interior of the container will house various hydroponic setups, while NexLoop will clad the exterior of the container with its AquaWeb system, enabling the farm’s irrigation to be supplemented with atmospheric water.
NexLoop developed the AquaWeb to help urban local food producers collect, filter, store, and distribute atmospheric moisture with a modular, all-in-one water sourcing and management system. AquaWeb harnesses freely available rain and fog and uses passive strategies to distribute this water so that urban farms, including greenhouses, indoor vertical farms, and container farms can save energy and become more resilient to disturbances. Each aspect of AquaWeb’s design was inspired by living systems. In 2017, the NexLoop project was awarded the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, as part of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge.
Learn more about the pilot project on the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership website.