Tomatoes in Pure Harvest Greenhouse

Innovating for Impact: Creating Conditions for Growth with Pure Harvest Smart Farms

Pure Harvest and Trane join to install the first sustainable, electrified cooling and heating plant in the UAE inside a desert greenhouse.

We’re helping solve our customers’ big challenges by innovating and delivering solutions that are better for their business—and for the environment.

illustration of skyscrapers along with a tree and sun

Project At-a-Glance:

The opportunity: Support UAE-based Pure Harvest Smart Farms to create a controlled environment suitable for agricultural production while utilizing as little energy and as few natural resources as possible.

The solution: A sustainable electrified thermal management system that alternately heats and cools the high-tech greenhouse, utilizing:

  • Trane® heat pumps
  • Trane centrifugal chillers using near-zero GWP R-1233zd refrigerant
  • Chiller and heat pump control and optimizing systems

Sustainability outcomes: All metrics are based on prior year (2022) comparisons unless otherwise stated.

  • Expected reduction of 8293 metric tons of carbon (mtCO2e) per year
  • Lower system water usage
  • Reduced food loss and transportation pollution

Growing tomatoes in the desert

Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a sustainability-focused, controlled environment agriculture company based in the United Arab Emirates, is now doing what many thought was impossible: growing strawberries, lettuce and melons in one of the most challenging environments on Earth: the desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

One of the most technologically advanced indoor agriculture companies, Pure Harvest looked to Trane® to install the high-performance thermal management systems needed to grow delicate produce in such extreme environments. 

“We’re talking about a country that’s 80% desert, with very limited agricultural resources,” said Adnan Javed, General Manager, Trane EMEA. “All the non-arable land means that the UAE must import about 90% of its food. The UAE government has been trying to change that by encouraging local food production, which it hopes will increase food security, particularly in cases of natural disaster or emergency.” 

High-tech greenhouses

Pure Harvest believes its high-tech greenhouses can be part of that solution. Small yet very high-producing oases of arable land, these state-of-the-art installations are similar to other forms of indoor agriculture, except that they leverage natural light. Inside, every aspect of the growing environment is carefully monitored and maintained, from temperature to humidity, air movement and carbon dioxide levels. 

Pure Harvest Greenhouse row of plants

That level of control requires an extremely sophisticated system. The cooling and heating solution must not only be highly precise, it must be able to maintain a steady indoor environment as outside temperatures fluctuate between 60° F by night to well over 120° F by day. 

To help them construct such a system, Pure Harvest looked to Trane for a solution: a modular electric thermal management array comprised of Trane heat pumps and centrifugal chillers using R-1233zd refrigerant. An efficient and sustainable electric solution, the Trane system was designed to not only to meet the combined heating and cooling requirements of the greenhouse, but to do so using minimum power and water, as high efficiency is central to Pure Harvest’s economic model.    

“Reliability and efficiency correlate directly to production, and therefore the cost of the agricultural produce coming from the greenhouse,” said Majed Halawi, VP Engineering & Construction, Pure Harvest Smart Farms. “It’s our ability to grow high quality food intensively and close to where it’s consumed that allows us to deliver fruits and vegetables at comparable prices to imports. But we must also achieve that in a way that’s sustainable, and that utilizes less in the way of natural resources. That’s a very important part of the Pure Harvest concept.”

Thinking globally, acting locally

Growing food close to where it’s sold and consumed has other very important benefits that relate to Trane Technologies’ environmental goals. One of those goals is reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation cold chain, which in addition to the built environment is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitting parts of the global infrastructure. 

“We’re committed to supporting public initiatives that improve food security, water conservation, skilled job creation and economic diversification."

Adnan Javed

General Manager, Trane EMEA

The Pure Harvest project in the UAE brings the world a step closer to achieving that aim and is a demonstration of what can be achieved when a manufacturer and a customer set out to create new, innovative, sustainable solutions. Encouraged by this success, Pure Harvest has begun building similar installations in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

“We feel privileged to be a part of this project,” said Javed. “We’re committed to supporting public initiatives that improve food security, water conservation, skilled job creation and economic diversification. We’re proud to have helped a local company in its drive to increase the UAE’s food security, reduce its dependence on food imports, lower food miles and reduce carbon footprints.”

Thought Leaders

Scott Tew

Vice President, Sustainability and Managing Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Trane Technologies

Carrie Ruddy

Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer

Mairéad Magner

Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Trane Technologies

Donny Simmons

Group President, Americas, Trane Technologies

Deidra Parrish Williams

Global Corporate Citizenship Leader, Trane Technologies

Jose La Loggia

Jose La Loggia, Group President, EMEA

Keith Sultana

Senior Vice President, Global Integrated Supply Chain, Trane Technologies

Paul Camuti

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, Trane Technologies

Steve Hagood

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Trane Technologies

Chris Kuehn

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Trane Technologies