ECF BUSINESS CASE
You may have many questions at the conception of your project idea, such as the investment and operating costs or the profitability of the system. Our ECF business case has the answers. During the planning and construction of numerous projects, we have been able to compile a criteria catalog which we leverage for all new projects. Beginning with the intention and scope of your project, we draft a concept and calculate your project idea in the following steps:
2. PROJECT DRAFT
Ground plan, technology, production
Using the base estimate as a foundation, we develop – in coordination with you – the first draft of your farm. This encompasses the ground plan, a compilation of the individual cultivation methods and the customized production plans for vegetables, herbs and fish.
1. BASE ESTIMATE
On-site visit by experts
Our experts analyse the conditions of your site – on site. Then, in cooperation with you, we develop an initial concept based on the size and location of your farm. We take any existing infrastructure into account, such as existing buildings and greenhouses.
3. PROJECT CALCULATION
Costs and earnings
We then take this draft as a basis to calculate the project-related capital expenditure (CAPEX) of your farm as well as the annual operating expenditure (OPEX). The figures are then placed within the context of your expected earnings from the sale of the food.
Our business cases to date have been developed for:
We look forward to meeting you either in person or on the phone. +49 30 7551 48 40.
We would like to point out that the ECF project study is not architectural planning according to HOAI. The results do not represent approval planning or implementation planning. The results of a planning study are for orientation only and are not a binding cost estimate.
ECF Farmsystems is the general contractor for the construction of your farm.
ECF can serve as the general contractor and support or take over all construction relevant steps in relation to pre-planning, draft planning, permit planning and construction planning.
ECF takes on the task of project manager, overseeing the coordination, organization and documentation during construction. As a result, costs, deadlines and quality remain under control.
PRODUCTION START SUPPORT
ECF supports you during the start-up of your farm. To ensure a smooth “warm start” of your system, ECF can train your future farm staff at our own ECF Farm in Berlin even during the construction process. They can learn all the
important ins and outs of working with the system components. If you wish, your staff can also gain experience in the sale of food.
AFTER SALES SERVICE
At ECF you are in good hands, even after operations have begun. We offer optional support that goes beyond the start of production, such as:
- Remote maintenance and analysis
- Support discussions regarding the system, production, sales and marketing
- Materials sourcing
- Support in the development of certifications
- 1 O2 REACTOR
- 2 FISH BASINS
- 3 AUTOM. DRUM-FILTER
- 4 MOVING-BED BIO REACTOR
- 5 UV FILTER
- 6 ECF MONITORING TECHNOLOGY
- 7 HYDROPONICS
- 8 CATCH TANKS
1 OXYGEN REACTOR: For enriching the water with technical oxygen
2 FISH BASINS: For rearing fish for everyday consumption
3 AUTOMATED DRUM-FILTER: For filtering solids
4 MOVING-BED BIO REACTOR: For the nitrification of ammonium into nitrates
5 UV FILTER: For preventing organic pathogens
6 ECF MONITORING TECHNOLOGY: For intelligently controlling aquaculture and hydroponics
7 HYDROPONICS SYSTEM: For producing vegetables, fruits and herbs
8 CATCH TANKS: For storing water
ECF aquaponics is an innovative, high-performing system which enables the resource-friendly and commercially viable production of fish, vegetables, herbs and fruit.
ECF MONITORING TECHOLOGY
Intelligent success factor
The ECF monitoring technology is the combination of innovative measuring and control units, synchronized and programmed with the know-how of ECF Farmsystems. As part of the ECF monitoring technology, real-time measurements
of relevant parameters come together. Based on defined requirements, the values are compared and a control signal is sent in real time to the unit in question in either the aquaculture or hydroponics system. The result is an optimal
aquaponics production environment and a high standard of resource efficiency. To ensure the production process, the ECF monitoring technology also includes remote maintenance and alarming.
Tailored fish production
The ECF aquaculture circulatory system consists of a system-specific number of fish basins, the most modern filter system and oxygen reactors. The components are mainly made of BPA-free plastic. The ECF monitoring technology calculates the optimal pH values, water temperatures and food amounts. The resulting increase in the fish’s well-being boosts their immune system, lowers their mortality rate and enables a continually stable harvesting volume without compromising size or quality.
Optimized cultivation method
Within the ECF hydroponics circulatory system, the cultivation method is selected which is best for the plants you’ve chosen to grow: ebb and flow systems, drip irrigation, nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep-water culture/
raft/floating (DWC). These systems can be supplemented by the use of assimilation lighting (e.g. LED). Water amounts, nutrients and watering rhythms are continually monitored and controlled via the central ECF monitoring
technology to ensure high-performance production.
Operate an ECF aquaponics system and you can save up to 7 per cent of the operating costs compared to a stand-alone aquaculture and hydroponics system at the same investment volume.
Reuse approach for fish and vegetables
In the aquaculture half of the aquaponics system, fish are produced in their own circulatory system. Through the daily exchange of 3 to 5 per cent of the existing water in the circuit with fresh water, nutrient-rich waste water is gained. This means that your ECF aquaponics farm can be planned to the size which covers the amount of water needed for the vegetables – significantly reducing your water costs.
Fish fertilizes plant
Fish excrete ammonium through their gills. Through a biological process in the moving-bed filter in aquaculture, the ammonium dissolved in the water is turned into nitrate, a main element of plant fertilizer in hydroponics. This nitrate enriched water is then channelled into the individual hydroponic circuits thanks to the ECF monitoring technology, where it covers the majority of the fertilizer needs of the specific plants being cultivated.
More security for your company
By producing both fish and vegetables, you are active in two growth markets and are establishing a wide foundation for your company’s success. This diversification also has an additional advantage: the production processes of both foods are very similar and you can thus rotate your staff to ensure efficient utilization of your workforce throughout the year, perfectly coordinating the peak working times within the production plans.
The complete ECF aquaponics farm
Operate aquaponics fish and vegetable production in the city or in the countryside. Produce high-quality food in the resourcefriendly ECF aquaponics system – depending on the location and size of your farm, you can save up to 7 per cent of your operating costs compared to individual production thanks to savings in water and fertilizer. In an urban location, you can also aim for higher profits by selling the food directly on site. The sustainable and transparent production also increases customer loyalty.
Your plant production + AQUACULTURE
Expand your existing greenhouse to include ECF aquaculture. For example, by using unviable greenhouse sections which would otherwise require investment in new heating systems, fertilizer systems or infrastructure. The expansion of your field of business with the production of high-quality fish for everyday consumption reduces your operating costs and optimizes the utilization of your workforce through rotations between plant and fish production.
Your aquaculture + HYDROPONICS
Link ECF hydroponics up with your existing recirculating aquaculture system. Produce vegetables, herbs and fruits with the nutrient-rich wastewater and eliminate the denitrification step. Produce in a sustainable way and optimize
your operating expenditure. What’s more, this diversification has the advantage that both production processes are very similar, which means you can rotate your staff and ensure efficient utilization of human resources throughout the year.
Revitalization + New utilization concepts
Integrate an ECF aquaponics farm project into the development of your property. Create an innovative concept to revitalize your location and make it more attractive. The reuse of business parks, industrial wasteland, existing empty lots and buildings to produce fish and vegetables in a resource-friendly way is a sustainable alternative for urban planning developments with low traffic density. Lots difficult to sell can be given a boost and in highly frequented areas, they can even be expanded to include restaurants and cafés.
Resource efficiency thanks to synergies
Use aquaponics in conjunction with a building – in the form of rooftop greenhouses, car park roofing or indoor farming. Profit from the project-related synergies, such as heat recovery for the building, existing channels of distribution, rainwater cisterns and basins or human resources. We will gladly examine for you the opportunity to use existing buildings at your location.
Sustainable use of resources
Profit from the use of the heat loss in your company as well as from the use of power plants, combined heat and power plants and biogas plants. Operate an ECF aquaponics farm system coupled with your production site and reduce the farm’s operating costs by up to 10 per cent. Funding through the German Act on Combined Heat and Power Generation (KWKG) and the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG) can have an additional positive effect on your operating costs.
#1 // ECF Farm Berlin
Urban Farming, in the middle of Berlin
- Initial startup: 2015
- Plant size: approx. 1.800m2
- Aquaculture production: Perch
- Hydroponics production: Basil
- Consumer: Food retail market
#2 // Rooftop farm ecco jäger (CH)
Building integrated farming
#3 // Rooftop farm BIGH Brussels (BE)
Circular economy in the heart of Europe
Environmental protection and animal safety are now of such everyday concern that businesses have long begun to react with solutions.
Seventy per cent of the freshwater used by mankind goes towards agriculture and its further processing. ECF aquaponics farms enable food to be produced using up to 90 per cent less water compared to conventional agriculture. Thanks to the use of circulatory systems, a high efficiency of water consumption is achieved – and this is then doubled through the twofold utilization of water for both fish and vegetable production.
CO2 optimization in the production process
Up to 34 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions come from agriculture and the processing of agricultural products. Long cooling chains and often long transport routes also have a negative impact on the carbon footprint. In ECF aquaponics farm systems, the CO² from the aquaculture circulatory system is channelled to the plants, where it serves as additional fertilizer and is turned into oxygen. This results in an improved carbon footprint for the production site.
Fish is one of the most sustainable providers of animal protein, as it is an excellent utilizer of feed. The production of one kilogram of fish requires just 1.2 to 1.4 kilograms of feed in ECF aquaponics farm systems. In contrast: the production of one kilogram of beef requires eight times more feed. As the production of feed requires a high consumption of resources and results in high carbon emissions, the production of fish makes a sustainable contribution to environmental protection.
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Press & Office
ECF Farm Berlin
Address for delivery & pickup: ECF Farm Berlin, Bessemerstrasse 20, 12103 Berlin
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