P17420: Seedfolk City Farm Greenhouse Heating
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Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Project Summary

Seedfolk City Farm has a 24’x24’ greenhouse at The Gandhi Institute, located on South Plymouth Avenue. They grow a number of various vegetables, and provide educational opportunities for kids in the neighborhood to learn about leadership and farming. Presently, however, it is not optimized for use during the winter months. The main reasons for this to this point have been design challenges in designing a system that can heat the greenhouse throughout the harsh Rochester winters without taxing the electrical grid too severely, if at all, and a relatively low operational budget. However, the ultimate goal of Seedfolk, and our project, is to have a greenhouse that is operational year round.

Some of the other attributes that Seedfolk would like to see accomplished include providing a heating system that utilizes bio-thermal heat, particularly compost in this instance. A system that is easily regulated and needs minimal follow-up/maintenance once put into place is another attribute Seedfolk would like to see implemented. Doing this would provide kids in the Seedfolk program a great opportunity to learn about indoor growing, and the process that goes into it.

Project Background

Currently, Rochester is ranked the 5th poorest city in the country with approximately 135,000 residents struggling with food insecurity. As a result, issues of food access and education are critically important to Seedfolk. In order to bridge the disconnect between the lack of food access in our city with those who need it most, Seedfolk believes that our communities must transform the way they relate to the food that they eat. Therefore, the desire for a four season greenhouse was born.

Link to one page project summary: Project Summary

Stakeholders

Stakeholder Role
Seedfolk City Farms Customer
Dr. Robert Stevens RIT Technical Resource
Gandhi Institute Sponsor, Owns Greenhouse Site
Local Community Assists in growing process, use current greenhouse
Other Urban Farms Future users of greenhouse heating system design
MSD Team System designers and integrators

Use Cases

System Startup Use Case

System Startup Use Case

System Maintenance Use Case

System Maintenance Use Case

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Importance: 1=must have, 2=nice to have, 3=preference only.

The working Customer and Engineering Requirements document can be found here: Greenhouse Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Importance: 1=must have, 2=nice to have, 3=preference only.

The working Customer and Engineering Requirements document can be found here: Greenhouse Engineering Requirements

Constraints

Risk Management

Risk Management

Risk Management

The working Risk Management document can be found here: Risk Management

Plans for next phase

P17420 Gantt Chart

P17420 Gantt Chart

The working Gantt Chart can be found here: Project Schedule


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