Many thanks for your helpful comments - we will definitely take those into consideration. It would be great to get in touch with you as we are finalizing the design of the root cellar as it seems you have experience doing it yourself. We are looking for all the experience and input we can get. If you don't mind, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect further.
Hi Chioma, we have not detailed specific costs for the pilot model, as it depends on the following factors:
(1) Unit size
(2) Required depth (location-specific)
(3) Availability of existing/used/reclaimed components that can be incorporated into the design (for instance, the model of shipping container farms uses a commodity shipping item readily available during global economic downturns or import/export imbalances).
(4) Structural and materials engineering input. This would allow us to determine the appropriate design and strength so as not to over-engineer and thereby save costs.
However, using underground storm shelters, pre-existing structures that could be converted (water storage containers or shipping containers), or pre-fabricated ground fridge designs as a proxy for potential costs, a rough estimate would be $4,000 to $10,000. In analyzing this high capital expenditure, it is important consider extremely low operating costs, the potential for shared costs/rents, payment plans which spread the costs over time, and the increased value of agriculture outputs created by a technology of this scale. For more information about the potential marketing/business model, please take a look at our proposals and let us know if you have any questions.