Sustainable farming with the use of Civil engineering

The first Guest Post is by my friend, fellow CEan and blogger Ishan topre! He is an enthusiastic and Crazy Mechanical Engineer who also enjoys writing  he tracks the technological trends in mechanicl engineering for the Crazyengineers official blog VoiCE. He also has his own blog Kautilya's Diary  where he expresses his thoughts.

presenting to you his article... :)


From the dawn of human civilization, if we have seen an almost continuous development in any science then it is perhaps architecture and structural sciences. If we take a look at the Stone Age houses or Egyptian pyramids, or Assyrian civilization or the Aryan Civilization we might be surprised that every human settlement and every generation of that settlement have continuously added to this branch of engineering in some way or the other. However in saying all this, I am neither praising civil engineering nor do I intend compare it with other sciences. My sole point of discussion is that, it is high time that we try to engage more of civil technology in farming, thereby making farming a sustainable trade for our society. 

There is a concept called natural cooling and climate maintenance. Nowadays we also have many of the buildings constructed that way. Mankind has been making advances in technology in general and every technocrat on this earth knows what the concept of green house is. It is thus evident that we combine these civil sciences with the technology for conserving plants and crops.

The green houses which we talk about mostly range anywhere between INR 15,000 (~$334) to 200,000 (~$4450) that too for a small room sized green house. The total cost of covering a considerable part of a plot, scale up astronomically high. It is thus the need of hour that we construct cheaper alternatives of green houses which can help the countries having agriculture as their satellite industry. It is not even as if we have to invent something new. We already know it. The concept that I am talking about is to find out different materials which can change their thermal conductivity as per the weather outside.

Presently we have green houses located at places where ample sunlight is available. Moreover, the coverings on them are mostly limited to plastic glazed coverings, the reason being they transmit photo-synthetically active radiation effectively (PAR). While normally people do not go for glass glazed coverings only because of the cost factor involved. As a counter measure, Fiber reinforced polyester is used, but we can still have better varieties of green house coverings and a very little is being done in this field. Due to lack of research our choice is narrowed down to five prominent materials namely Acrylic, Polycarbonate, fiber-glass Polyethylene film and polyvinyl chloride film.

We do not necessarily have to follow the example of Mr. Chester Baker who donated a green house to University of Missouri. Rather, if we direct our efforts to develop low cost alternatives and widen our existing range of materials we can really help the Farmers and thereby hugely contribute to society. The research of civil engineering out of the normal construction business would probably bring out another green revolution. 


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