See Asia’s largest natural rooftop farm — positioned in busy Bangkok

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This green roof and farm give you a Swiss military blade of solutions — flood control, solar power, fresh produce, green area for town dwellers, jobs, learning possibilities, and more — for some of our many pressing metropolitan dilemmas. Landscape designer Kotchakorn Voraakhom informs us how it functions.

Could towns and cities really be made to increase the environment? Bangkok, Thailand, landscape designer Kotchakorn Voraakhom, a TED Fellow, believes therefore. Her imaginative work challenges the prevailing convinced that urbanization needs to have an adverse effect on the earth, whether or not it is in the shape of flooding as a result of paved areas, extortionate energy usage, disrupted biodiversity or the heat area impact.

Along with her company Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a brand new green roof on the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 miles north of main Bangkok. Bangkok is very at risk of catastrophic flooding — in reality, in line with the World Bank, almost 40 per cent of this town, which can be constructed on a river delta, may overflow yearly by 2030, and also this situation happens to be significantly exacerbated by paved-over planet and intensifying rainy seasons.

The Rangsit green roof is the follow-up to Voraakhom’s award-winning Chulalongkorn University Centennial Park, an 11-acre green area in downtown Bangkok that will capture and hold one million gallons of water with its retention pond and storage tanks and stop it from submerging the town. (Watch her TED Talk: just how to transform cities that are sinking landscapes that battle floods. )

As though that weren’t impressive enough, Voraakhom’s brand new 236,806-square-foot framework — which exposed in December 2019 — encompasses a flood-water administration system and also Asia’s largest rooftop farm that is organic. “We’ve combined the principles of contemporary landscape architecture with old-fashioned knowledge that is agricultural develop a Swiss military knife of ecological solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public room, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 % for the world’s population will are now living in metropolitan areas, and water will likely to be a scarce commodity. We have to begin city that is using more proficiently to guarantee a protected and sustainable supply of meals manufacturing. ”

The roof that is green containing an H-shaped lush landscape, appears like a futuristic mountain by having a stone building nestled snugly beneath it. “The mountain has intricate pattern of zigzagging terraces of planted beds, leading all of the way right down to the underside, ” claims Voraakhom. “When rainwater strikes the roof, it cascades down the zigzags cut into its slopes while being consumed by the soil into the beds. ” The extra water is channeled into four retention ponds – with an ability as much as 3 million gallons at the end associated with mound. “The procedure slows along the movement rate of rainwater runoff by 20 % when compared with a concrete rooftop that is normal. This keeps a large number of water out from the sewage systems, avoiding the area from flooding during heavy rains, ” she describes. The form associated with the building additionally pays respect to 1 of this founders of this campus, economist Puey Ungphakorn. “‘Puey’ means ‘mound underneath the tree’ or ‘nourishment’ in Thai, ” she adds.

Influenced by Thailand’s rice-growing tradition, the terraced structures had been built utilizing the rammed-earth that is ancient consequently they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this region. “once I had been thinking concerning this task, I attempted to imagine back again to the thing I could keep in mind of the area from youth — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she describes. “A century ago, this area ended up being outside the primary element of Bangkok city, full of woodlands and swamps. One hundred years back, King Rama V made a decision to devote this area to growing rice, so Thailand could be a significant rice producer for the globe. The king commissioned canals to regulate water, additionally the region became referred to as Rangsit areas, famed for the terraced hills of rice. ”

The city’s concrete metropolitan sprawl took over for the twentieth century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, relating to Voraakhom. The industries were dug up to support thousands of individuals. Afterward, the college relocated a branch of their campus to your web web site, and commerce that is dense industrial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college desires to show its dedication to ecological sustainability in its infrastructure in addition to its curriculum, and I also wished to bring the agricultural landscape and tradition returning to Rangsit Field as a supply of food, ” she claims.

Voraakhom’s wish has arrived real: Rangsit areas now has a 1.73-acre rooftop farm. The dome’s stepped terraces are filled up with naturally grown crops – including a drought tolerant number of rice, and many native veggies and natural natural herbs, including red and green oak-leaf lettuce, Thai eggplant, green roselle, Thai red pepper, dill. “We’ve planted almost 50 types of veggies, natural natural herbs and rice. We’ve currently had a round of harvesting, therefore the farm should be able to provide you with the canteens on campus with 20 a great deal of rice, natural natural herbs and veggies a 12 months, supplying around 80.000 meals, ” says voraakhom. “The meals waste is composted to fertilize the farm, and water from the retaining ponds can be used to water flowers, producing a completely localized, circular system. ” Since all of the flowers are grown organically, there’s no pesticide pollution that is synthetic. “The farm additionally produces a habitat for pollinators, restoring biodiversity, and decreases the necessity for food transportation, adding to ecological wellness along with healthier living, ” she says.

The farm functions as an outside class room and a supply of regional jobs, too. Staff hired by the university have a tendency to the plants, and farmers provide workshops on sustainable farming, permaculture and nourishment within the university’s sustainability curriculum. “Students and community people are invited to be involved in regular seeding, harvesting, and so forth, ” says Voraakhom. “Farming is a important element of our country’s heritage. The metropolitan farm is training a fresh generation of natural farmers with real-world abilities. In addition it fosters a feeling of community. ”

Not just does the building provide an area of green into the populous town, it is fueled by green power. Incorporated into the roof design, photovoltaic panels set up towards the top of the mound creates 500,000 watts of electricity each hour. This will be utilized to power the building, such as the water pumps that pull water up from the keeping ponds to irrigate the plants through the dry period. Thanks to built-in cooling that is passive there was less dependence on energy-intensive ac: The roof actively works to protect the building from temperature. Meanwhile, breezes blowing throughout the ponds that are retaining the air before it gets in the building. “When the wind blows throughout the water when you look at the ponds, it generates a microclimate which also cools the environment across the building, assisting to reverse the metropolitan temperature area impact, claims Voraakhom.

This task, which cost roughly $31.6 million US to create, give you a compelling demonstration of what’s possible we can live and thrive in our urban areas as we rethink how. Are you able to build weather resilience — and also food manufacturing and community well-being — into all future towns and cities? Voraakhom thinks that lots of aspects can act as a template for urban planners and architects who will be striving to create sustainable towns. “The green roof and metropolitan farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can maybe commence to add more ecological advantages than issues, ” she claims. “And possibly even assist resolve a number of the dilemmas of this past. ”

All photos and pictures: Landprocess.

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