The Controlled Environment Agriculture Design Standards (CEADS) cultivate industry-vetted best practices into peer-reviewed standards that enable CEA enterprises to become industry leaders by optimizing their sustainability practices and performance.

The CEADS aim to provide a centralized repository of best practices for the design of new farm construction. Based on their operation type, farmers and growers can find relevant standards, certifications, and regulations per the Seven Domains as defined below.

The main objective of CEADS is to establish a practice towards more sustainable operation. The Seven Domains are reinstated to set benchmarks and guidelines of CEA enterprises as they improve the performance of their operations aligned with economic, environmental, and social dimensions.


To enable farmers and growers to become leaders in the CEA industry through recommending standard best practices for the design of CEA operations.


To cultivate a sustainable, resilient CEA industry one farm at a time.


The CEADS encompass the management of energy, water, materials, byproducts, pests, and safety. Farmers and growers can obtain recommendations in the following domains:


CEADS was established in September 2019 following the USDA/NIFA Az-CEA Conference at The University of Arizona's Biosphere 2, where participants from industry, government, and academia collaborated to define goals for the advancement of the controlled environment agriculture industry.

CEADS aims to provide a centralized repository of best design practices and benchmarks for sustainable CEA operations from greenhouses (GH) to vertical farms (VF).

CEADS are voluntarily adopted benchmarks and practices geared toward market distinction and increased profitability through sustainable design. We cater primarily to new construction as the greatest impact can be made in the design phase of any CEA venture.


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New pilot applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis.
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The CEADS Primer can be downloaded here.

If you would like to gain access to the CEADS Scorecard or to stay updated about CEADS, please complete our application form above.


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