Tridome Structures

This interview details Tridome Structures, an indoor farming company based in Canada. The interview is with Edward Thompson, Director of Innovation at Tridome Structures.

What is the history of Tridome Structures? 

Tridome was formed in Ontario in 2018. The reason that we originally got into the indoor farming manufacturing business is because we got a contract with an indoor farming company that needed some structure work, and that’s how we got involved in the materials used in indoor farming. 

We realized with our specific knowledge of construction that there was a better way to retrofit existing facilities for indoor farming uses. We formed a subsidiary in Boston to conduct R&D related to the conversion of textiles for commercial, industrial, tensile architecture. 

Source: Tridome Structures

After learning more about the indoor farming industry, we evaluated projects for several clients in the industry and were able to expand upon what we already knew about building. 

There are many opportunities to build indoor farms in existing structures, even when high standards are needed such as biosecure areas. This is accomplished using coated textile technology that allows for retrofitting at a much lower upfront cost. We can do exterior walls, interior walls, and even hermetically sealed areas. These “Drop Stitch Units” are inflatable units similar to a container farm but the size ranges from smaller to several times larger than a typical container. 

We have done the calculations that for a 10k to 20k square foot growing space, the cost savings for an indoor farming build can be up to 40%. 

What are the challenges moving forward for Tridome? 

One big challenge is trying to shift the mindset in the indoor farming industry. By that I mean that everyone is trying to incorporate a ton of automation and technology in order to get a return on investment, that has been the trend in recent years, the industry needs to take more chances on technologies that have a lower upfront cost but allow for profitability faster.

This mindset shift is key for our success and we are now talking to many companies in the industry who are interested in the unique benefits our tech provides. 

In the future, food security is going to be increasingly important and this is why farming in a controlled environment is my personal focus. 

Source: Tridome Structures

What metrics does Tridome track as signs of their impact so far? 

We have already made great inroads into the aquaculture space, and are starting to see traction now in the indoor farming space as well. To date we have developed over 300k square feet of facilities. 

We are also working on a new product line that utilizes drop stitch fabric to create a microgrowing environment that is smaller than a container farm, but easier to set up and more versatile as far as where it can be set up, so launching this product will be a key milestone coming up. 

Source: Tridome Structures

What are the key learnings so far since the origin of Tridome Structures? 

We have learned that we need to be constantly iterating with customer feedback and trying new things to solve their problems. We want to be working with people who are pushing boundaries. 

We recently completely rebranded the company and found that that was worthwhile, even though it was a long process. The rebrand really helped us distill our vision so that we could communicate that vision internally and externally. 

Source: Tridome Structures

How can people learn more about Tridome Structures? 

People can call me, visit our website, or LinkedIn, or reach out to me or the company on other social media.

Source: Tridome Structures

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