Questions about the 2021 Innovation Challenge? Email prepareri@skillsforri.com

Problem

We have a client who recently purchased a 50,000 square foot mill building in downtown Providence that was built in 1880. Our client’s goal is to re-purpose the building into an inner-city grow facility that would grow and process a variety of vegetables to be sold to local restaurants and farmers markets. They will also donate vegetables to local homeless shelters. As Project Engineers, our role will be to work with the owner and architect to design electrical, HVAC, plumbing and fire protection systems. We will need to develop systems that will reflect the right growing conditions and that means the right cultivation facility design. While growing vegetables indoors is certainly not a new idea, growing vegetables in a 50,000 square foot structure built in 1880 will certainly have its challenges.

We need help to carefully design lighting, airflow & ventilation, irrigation and energy efficiency for the building to create an environment where vegetables can survive and thrive.

In order to protect and prevent against pests, how can we build employee decontamination areas, a sealed environment, and proper greenhouse coverings?

How can we develop lighting and HVAC systems that will be favorable to vegetable growth?

How can we create systems that will provide the proper air pressure and airflow that is positively pressurized, utilizing filtered and sterilized?

How can we design a semi-automated irrigation system that will help grow crops?

Mission Statement

To provide a greenhouse facility that can support year-round growth of plant products in order to create a stable business and give back to the community.

Corporation Departments

Marketing & Communication

  • Alyssa Rego
    RI Nurses Institute Middle College
  • Elias Frawley Gendron
    The Greene School
  • Isabella Luchka
    Scituate High School
  • Justin Brito
    Classical High School
  • Mehak Malik
    Classical High School
  • Silvonna Silvestre
    West Warwick Senior High School

Business & Finance

  • Karen Ortega
    RI Nurses Institute Middle College
  • Nathaniel Wright
    South Kingstown High School

Research & Development

  • Anthony Delgado
    Blackstone Academy Charter School
  • Christian Gramajo
    Coventry High School
  • Jared Melfi
    Coventry High School
  • Roger Grullon
    Village Green Virtual Charter School
  • Yajaira Herrera
    Toll Gate High School

Leadership

  • Abigail Heroux
    Mount Hope High School
  • Cole Faneuf
    West Warwick Senior High School
  • Lily Budnick
    East Providence High School
  • Evan Simone
    Lincoln Senior High School
  • Seasia Kong
    Pilgrim High School

Contacts

Mentors

Jean Paul Vandeputte

Engineering Manager, Thielsch Engineering

Susan Gimilaro

Education Consultant and Project Director, Across NH

Business Coaches

Stephen Dolinich

Head of Talent Acquisition, Thielsch Engineering

Yolanda Baez

Regional Director, Pharmacy Acquisitions CVS Health

Laurie Rafferty

Fidelity Investments