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This green roof and farm provide a Swiss military blade of solutions — flood control, solar power, fresh produce, green room for town dwellers, jobs, learning opportunities, and more — for some of y our most pressing metropolitan problems. Landscape designer Kotchakorn Voraakhom informs us how it operates.
Could towns and cities really be made to enhance the environment? Bangkok, Thailand, landscape designer Kotchakorn Voraakhom, a TED Fellow, believes therefore. Her imaginative work challenges the prevailing thinking that urbanization has got to have an adverse effect on our planet, whether or not it is in the shape of flooding as a result of paved areas, exorbitant power usage, disrupted biodiversity or perhaps the temperature area impact.
Along with her company Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a unique green roof on the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 miles north of main Bangkok. Bangkok is incredibly susceptible to catastrophic flooding — in reality, based on the World Bank, almost 40 percent for the city, which can be constructed on a river delta, may overflow annually by 2030, and also this situation happens to be significantly exacerbated by paved-over planet and intensifying rainy seasons.
The Rangsit roof that is green the follow-up to Voraakhom’s award-winning Chulalongkorn University Centennial Park, an 11-acre green area in downtown Bangkok that may capture and hold one million gallons of water with its retention pond and storage tanks and avoid it from submerging the town. (Watch her TED Talk: how exactly to transform cities that are sinking landscapes that battle floods. )
Just as if 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 knowledge that is agricultural produce a Swiss military knife of ecological solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public area, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 % regarding the world’s population will are now living in urban centers, and water should be a commodity that is scarce. We have to start utilizing city areas more proficiently to guarantee a protected and sustainable way to obtain meals manufacturing. ”
The roof that is green containing an H-shaped lush landscape, seems like a futuristic hill by having a brick 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 strikes the roof, it cascades down the zigzags cut into its slopes while being consumed because of the soil when you look at the beds. ” The extra water is channeled into four retention ponds – with an ability as much as 3 million gallons in the bottom associated with the mound. “The procedure slows along the movement rate of rainwater runoff by 20 per cent when compared with a normal concrete rooftop. This keeps an amount that is large of from the sewage systems, avoiding the area from flooding during hefty rains, ” she explains. The design of this building additionally will pay respect to at least one 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 making use of the rammed-earth that is ancient as they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this area. “once I was thinking about any of it task, I attempted to believe back once again to the things I could keep in mind of the area from youth — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she describes. “A century ago, this area was not in the primary element of Bangkok city, filled up with woodlands and swamps. One hundred years back, King Rama V chose to devote this area to rice that is growing so Thailand could be an important rice producer for the globe. The master commissioned canals to regulate water, as well as the area became called Rangsit areas, famed for the terraced hills of rice. ”
The city’s concrete metropolitan sprawl took over for the 20th century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, in accordance with Voraakhom. The areas had been dug up to allow for thousands of puerto-rico brides men and women. A while later, the college relocated a branch of the campus towards the web web site, and commerce that is dense industrial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college desires to demonstrate its dedication to sustainability that is environmental its infrastructure in addition to its curriculum, and I also wished to bring the agricultural landscape and tradition back into 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 several native vegetables and natural herbs, including red and oak-leaf that is greenThai eggplant, green roselle, Thai red pepper, dill. “We’ve planted almost 50 species of veggies, natural herbs and rice. We’ve currently had a round of harvesting, while the farm should be able to give you the canteens on campus with 20 a lot 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 is employed to water flowers, producing a completely localized, circular system. ” Since most of the flowers are grown organically, there’s no pesticide pollution that is synthetic. “The farm additionally creates 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 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 take part in regular seeding, harvesting, and so forth, ” says Voraakhom. “Farming is an essential element of our country’s heritage. The metropolitan farm is training a unique generation of natural farmers with real-world abilities. In addition it fosters a sense of community. ”
Not just does the building offer a spot of green within the populous town, it is fueled by green energy. Built-into the roof design, photovoltaic panels installed towards the top of the mound yields 500,000 watts of electricity each hour. That is utilized to power the building, like 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 requirement for energy-intensive air cooling: The roof works to insulate 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 within the water when you look at the ponds, it generates a microclimate that 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 construct, provide a compelling demonstration of what’s possible once we rethink exactly how we can live and flourish within our cities. Are you able to build weather resilience — and also food manufacturing and community well-being — into all future towns and towns and cities? Voraakhom thinks that numerous aspects can act as a template for urban planners and architects that are striving to construct sustainable towns and cities. “The green roof and metropolitan farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can maybe commence to add more ecological benefits than issues, ” she claims. “And perhaps also assist resolve a few of the issues of history. ”
All pictures and pictures: Landprocess.