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

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

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

Could urban centers really be built to increase the environment? Bangkok, Thailand, landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, a TED Fellow, believes so. Her imaginative work challenges the prevailing convinced that urbanization has to have a bad effect on our planet, whether or not it’s in the shape of flooding as a result of paved areas, exorbitant power usage, disrupted biodiversity or even the temperature area impact.

Together with her company Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a unique green roof on the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 kilometers north of central Bangkok. Bangkok is very susceptible to catastrophic flooding — in reality, based on the World Bank, almost 40 % associated with town, which can be constructed on a river delta, may flood yearly by 2030, and also this situation happens to be greatly 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 room in downtown Bangkok that may capture and hold one million gallons of water in its retention pond and storage tanks and steer clear of it from submerging the town. (Watch her TED Talk: Simple tips to transform sinking urban centers into 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 natural farm. “We’ve combined the principles of contemporary landscape architecture with old-fashioned agricultural knowledge to produce a Swiss army blade of ecological solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public area, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 per cent associated with the world’s population will reside in towns, and water would be a scarce commodity. We must begin city that is using more proficiently to guarantee a protected and sustainable supply of meals manufacturing. ”

The green roof, containing an H-shaped lush landscape, appears like a futuristic mountain having a stone building nestled snugly beneath it. “The mountain has pattern that is intricate of terraces of planted beds, leading most of the way right down to the underside, ” claims Voraakhom. “When rainwater hits the roof, it cascades along the zigzags cut into its slopes while being consumed by the soil when you look at the beds. ” The extra water is channeled into four retention ponds – with a capacity all the way to 3 million gallons at the end associated with mound. “The process slows down the movement rate of rainwater runoff by 20 % when compared with a concrete rooftop that is normal. This keeps a big level of water from the sewage systems, avoiding the area from flooding during hefty rains, ” she describes. The design regarding the building additionally will pay respect to at least one of this founders associated with campus, economist Puey Ungphakorn. “‘Puey’ means ‘mound beneath the tree’ or ‘nourishment’ in Thai, ” she adds.

Influenced by Thailand’s rice-growing tradition, the terraced structures had been constructed utilizing the rammed-earth that is ancient and so are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this area. “once I ended up being thinking concerning this task, I attempted to believe back once again to the things I could keep in mind with this area from youth — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she describes. “A century ago, this area ended up being outside the part that is main of city, filled up with woodlands and swamps. One hundred years ago, King Rama V chose to devote this area to growing rice, so Thailand could be an important rice producer when it comes to globe. The master commissioned canals to regulate water, and also the area became called Rangsit areas, famed for the terraced hills of rice. ”

The city’s concrete sprawl that is urban over through the entire twentieth century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, based on Voraakhom. The areas had been dug up to allow for thousands and thousands of men and women. A short while later, the college relocated a branch of its campus to your web web site, and commerce that is dense commercial development sprang up around it. “Today, the university desires to show its dedication to ecological sustainability in its infrastructure along with its curriculum, and I also desired to bring the agricultural landscape and tradition back once again to Rangsit Field as a supply of food, ” she claims.

Voraakhom’s wish has arrived real: Rangsit areas now has a rooftop farm that is 1.73-acre. The dome’s stepped terraces are filled up with naturally grown crops – including a drought tolerant number of rice, and lots of native veggies and natural natural natural herbs, including red and oak-leaf that is greenThai eggplant, green roselle, Thai red pepper, dill. “We’ve planted almost 50 types of veggies, natural herbs and rice. We’ve currently had a round of harvesting, in addition to farm should be able to provide you with the canteens on campus with 20 a great deal of rice, natural 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 an entirely localized, circular system. ” Since most 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 meals transport, adding to ecological wellness also healthy living, ” she says.

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

Not just does the building offer a spot of green into the town, it is fueled by green energy. Incorporated into the roof design, photovoltaic panels set up near the top of the mound yields 500,000 watts of electricity each hour. This is certainly utilized to power the building, like the water pumps that pull water up from the keeping ponds to irrigate the plants throughout the season that is dry. Thanks to built-in cooling that is passive there was less requirement for energy-intensive ac: The roof actively works to protect the building from temperature. Meanwhile, breezes blowing across the keeping ponds cool the air before it comes into the building. “When the wind blows on the water within the ponds, it makes a microclimate which also cools the atmosphere across the building, assisting to reverse the metropolitan temperature area impact, claims Voraakhom.

This task, which cost roughly $31.6 million US to construct, provide 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 climate resilience — and also food manufacturing and community well-being — into all future towns and cities? Voraakhom thinks that numerous aspects can act as a template for urban planners and architects that are striving to create sustainable towns. “The green roof and metropolitan farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can maybe start to contribute more ecological advantages than dilemmas, ” she claims. “And possibly also assist resolve a few of the issues of history. ”

All pictures and pictures: Landprocess.

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