by Keli Ratcliffe
Anderson & Associates, and Red Sun Farms have received the Merit Award for the Red Sun Farms Greenhouse
Project in Dublin, VA at the EEA (Engineering Excellence Awards) ceremony held by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Virginia. This award recognizes the innovative applications and sustainable design characteristics of the project. A&A Vice President of Land Development, Keith Boyd, and Jay Abbott, Red Sun Farms Director of Operations attended the Gala held in Richmond, and accepted the award.
The greenhouse project is a trailblazing endeavor, abounding with many firsts. Red
Sun Farms is the first tenant in the New River Valley Commerce Park, a thousand-acre park that had remained vacant for years.
It is also the first American facility for Red Sun Farms, a subsidiary of Mexican based vegetable grower, Agricola El Rosal. Possibly most impressive, this project opens the door to a new industry in the region, because it is the first commercial greenhouse operation located in the New River Valley. Red Sun Farms expects to employ over 200 people by 2018.
The facility uses solar energy, captures and reuses nutrient-rich water, and is totally organic. The high-tech greenhouse boasts automated irrigation, heating, ventilation, and will have energy screens in the winter to reduce energy costs. Phase I of the project was recently completed, and included approximately 20 acres of glass covered greenhouse space. The facility will produce a high-yield of hydroponic and organic tomatoes; 600,000 plants, each of which should grow to an impressive length of 45 feet. Two more phases are planned in the future. The second phase will be 17 acres, and the third will be 18 acres.
For more information about the EEA Awards visit www.acecva.org.