St Lukes Grammar School


Senior School Blog

  • First in HSC Course - Sustainability Project

    Posted On 17 December, 2020

    Sustainable Urban Farm Project achieves FIRST IN COURSE in HSC

    Holly Davidson | Year 12, 2020 | 17 December 2020


    Congratulations to Holly Davidson, who has been recognised as achieving FIRST IN HSC COURSE for Design & Technology.


    Holly writes about her Major Design Project below:


    As a result of climate change, Australia's climate variability has become increasingly erratic, significantly affecting the agricultural industry and posing threats to the nation's food security. Increases in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes, specifically droughts, continue to have devastating impacts on crop yields. Water scarcity, desertification, decreased soil fertility and soil erosion makes crop growth vulnerable in Australia. Continuation of traditional farming methods is projected to result in a 10-15% yield decrease.


    After seeing multiple news and media reports about the drought and impacts on food production, I identified the need to increase crop resilience and productivity in a sustainable and futuristic way. I targeted the issue of Australia's drought by increasing water input efficiency through adopting aeroponics, the process of growing plants in a mist environment without the use of soil. The farms' indoor controlled growth environment increases resilience to external climate events. In doing so, the water input is 95% more efficient than traditional farming, combatting the drought.


    My solution is a multi-beneficial sustainable urban farm, engaging consumers in the production of their fresh produce and reducing transport emissions. The solution contains a crop growth space, produce market, a chicken coop, honeybees, an education centre and cafe. The education centre provides workshops to teach the community about how their produce is grown, how to live sustainably and is grounded in the farm-to-table movement. My design provides an unconventional and future-focused planning solution for agriculture, successfully providing resilience to drought and helping to sustain food security.