Visit to the FRESH greenhouse; Credit: MECDD

On Thursday 22 July 2021, Luxembourg's Minister of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Carole Dieschbourg, visited the premises of the Building Sectoral Training Institute (IFSB) in Bettembourg, where she was able to visit the urban greenhouse called FRESH (Free Emissions for Sustainable Healthy Greenhouse), formerly known as SOTA for "State of The Art".

The FRESH project is representative of a new vision of more sustainable, greener and smarter construction. The launch of the FRESH project in this era of post-COVID green recovery marks a key step in our orientation towards new production models and is also part of a concrete continuation of the urban farming strategy. The urban farming approach has significant development potential and multisectoral opportunities for Luxembourg across technological, economic, environmental, territorial and agri-food aspects. It is today not only establishing itself as an alternative to traditional modes of production, consumption and even construction, but above all as an innovative solution to promote the circular economy, improve food resilience and reinvent cities. 

The greenhouse, built on the roof of the IFSB restaurant, is one of four pilot initiatives of the GROOF project, supported by the CDEC group. GROOF is an innovative intersectoral project, supported by the European Interreg NWE programme and 50% funded by the Climate and Energy Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from the construction sector as well as from the agricultural sector by combining energy sharing and local food production. Thus, it is expected that 45 tonnes of CO2 equivalent can be saved per year.

Standing 7.5 metres high and with 380 m2 of floor space, FRESH is the largest urban greenhouse in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In addition to its productive vocation (more than twenty varieties of plants should be able to be cultivated there), its production will be distributed nearby, both to individuals and to major restaurateurs. A part could even be consumed by the company restaurant located just under the greenhouse. 

FRESH greenhouse, credit MECDD