Aspire Food Group has a farm unlike any other. The massive London, Ontario, facility is the world’s largest cricket farm. Billions of people around the world rely on insects for adequate protein. Aspire Food focuses on creating protein sources that take up less space and are more sustainable than traditional farming methods.
Four McGill University students founded the company, which won the Hult Prize for social entrepreneurship back in 2013, along with a government grant of $8.5 million in 2022. The London facility, which opened in 2022, is its first large-scale project at 165,000-square-feet. The goal is to produce two billion insects per year, which will become protein powder for both people and pets throughout Canada and the United States.
Insulated metal panels (IMPs) are a necessary part of this endeavor. The cricket farm must be kept at constant temperatures for breeding and storage. Whether it is warm and humid summers or frigid winters, Kingspan’s KS Shadowline and KS Shadowline Interior panels provide high thermal performance that protects both the crickets and the advanced technology used in the farm.
With R-values reaching up to 7.2 per inch, KS Shadowline Interior panels are designed with indoor agriculture and food processing in mind. Kingspan’s controlled environment insulated panels are available in a variety of CLEANsafe coatings, including modified polyester, PVDF, CLEANsafe 120 and CLEANsafe 304 stainless steel; each specifically designed for different corrosion factors that are present in different working environments.They are also GREENGUARD Gold certified, ensuring workers and livestock are not exposed to toxic chemicals and VOCs.
The KS Series tongue-and-groove interlocking panel joint integrates with Kingspan’s Optimo® panels, also used on the cricket farm. The flat, aesthetically pleasing panels create a solid building envelope that avoids thermal bridging. Architects used different color panels to create an eye-catching design that stands out from the surrounding area.
One of the goals for the facility is to reduce carbon. And to that end, Aspire Food Group is tracking the greenhouse gases that the farm will produce. Kingspan panels are manufactured with reduced embodied carbon in mind. Panels are comprised partially of recycled steel. Kingspan’s Caledon, Ontario, plant, which manufactured the panels, is shifting to 100% renewable energy.
With 203,537-sqaure-feet of insulated metal panels, Aspire Food Group’s indoor cricket farm is ready for a future of cleaner, greener food sources.