In 2018, we wrote about a Dutch firm that was planning to create a floating dairy farm that sits on the Maas river in Rotterdam. Well, now it’s actually here: a floating dairy farm where sustainably-sourced milk and dairy products are produced for locals. While the ethics of hosting a bunch of cows can be debated, the design of the farm is actually quite amazing.
The upper, open-air floor is where 40 blissful bovines live in a covered cow garden. The floor below houses the milk and yogurt processing, feeding and manure handling and retail. On the bottom floor, which is equipped with a rain and wastewater recycling system, fruits are used to produce yogurt. The area is equipped with a manure cleaning robot, along with a milking robot. In fact, the garden boasts state-of-the-art systems that were strategic in enhancing the animals’ welfare, including a series of green towers that ensure cooling.
In addition to the animal-centered architecture and technology, the farm was also built on full-cycle sustainability principles. Urban waste flows are upgraded from residual product to create feed for the animals. Brewers grains, potato scraps and grass clippings from the nearby Feyenoord football stadium are used to create a daily feast for the bovines, who in return produce healthy sustainable milk to sell back into the local market.