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LCC ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF URBAN FOOD PRODUCTION. APPLICATION IN TOMATO PRODUCTION OF AN INTEGRATED ROOFTOP GREENHOUSE (i-RTG) IN BARCELONA
Objetive: Due to increased food demand caused by the constantly growing of the urban population, new forms of urban agriculture (UA) should be developed. Among the building-integrated forms of UA, the urban rooftop agriculture (URA) is gaining more popularity. With the development of the new technologies, innovative forms of URA have emerged, one of them is the integrated rooftop greenhouse (i-RTG). Previous studies suggest that economic benefits can be expected from the i-RTGs, but the economic viability of this production is still missing in the literature. For that reason, the aim of this research is to study the economic viability of the tomato crop produced in the i-RTG-Lab into the sustainable ICTA-ICP building (LEED-Gold certified). Methods: The methodology used was Life Cycle Cost (LCC), being part of the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment and complementary to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for environmental assessment Thus, LCC economic valuation was accurately performed considering the life cycle stages of the tomato crop production. In order to obtain more consistent results, we studied two consecutive tomato crops. Results: The outcomes were useful in the identification of the cost structure. The principal result was that labour resource was the major cost, between 70 and 80% of the total LCC. On the other side, the main economic savings of the analyzed i-RTG came from the use of rainwater for irrigation instead of tap water. To reach reliable results for energy and CO2 saving due to the flows interaction between the i-RTG and the building further research is still needed.