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 functions.

Could towns really be built to enhance the environment? Bangkok, Thailand, landscape designer Kotchakorn Voraakhom, a TED Fellow, believes therefore. Her imaginative work challenges the thinking that is prevailing urbanization needs to have a poor effect on our planet, whether it is in the shape of flooding because of paved areas, exorbitant power usage, disrupted biodiversity or perhaps the temperature area impact.

Along with her company Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a fresh roof that is green the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 kilometers north of main Bangkok. Bangkok is incredibly susceptible to flooding that is catastrophic in reality, based on the World Bank, almost 40 % associated with the town, that is constructed on a river delta, may overflow yearly by 2030, and also this situation happens to be significantly exacerbated by paved-over earth 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 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: just how to transform cities that are sinking landscapes that battle floods. )

Just as if that weren’t impressive enough, Voraakhom’s new 236,806-square-foot framework — which started 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 % for the world’s population will reside in metropolitan areas, and water is going to be a scarce commodity. We must start making use of town areas more proficiently to guarantee a protected and sustainable source of food manufacturing. ”

The green roof, containing an H-shaped lush landscape, seems 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 all the way right down to the base, ” claims Voraakhom. “When rainwater hits the roof, it cascades along the zigzags cut into its slopes while being consumed by the soil within the beds. ” The extra water is channeled into four retention ponds – with a ability all the way to 3 million gallons in the bottom for the mound. “The procedure slows along the movement rate of rainwater runoff by 20 % when compared with a concrete rooftop that is normal. This keeps an amount that is large of from the sewage systems, steering clear of the area from flooding during hefty rains, ” she describes. The form of this building additionally will pay respect to 1 of this founders associated with campus, economist Puey Ungphakorn. “‘Puey’ means ‘mound under the tree’ or ‘nourishment’ in Thai, ” she adds.

Influenced by Thailand’s rice-growing tradition, the terraced structures had been built utilizing the ancient rammed-earth method and they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this area. “once I ended up being thinking about that task, We attempted to believe back 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 had been not in the primary section of Bangkok city, filled up with woodlands and swamps. One hundred years back, King Rama V made a decision to devote this area to growing rice, so Thailand could be an important rice producer for the globe. The king commissioned canals to regulate water, as well as the region became referred to as Rangsit areas, famed for the terraced hills of rice. ”

The city’s concrete metropolitan sprawl took over through the twentieth century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, based on Voraakhom. The industries had been dug up to support thousands and thousands of individuals. Afterward, the university relocated a branch of its campus towards the web web site, and thick commerce and commercial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college would like to show its dedication to ecological sustainability in its infrastructure along with its curriculum, and I also wished to bring the agricultural landscape and tradition back into Rangsit Field as being a supply of food, ” she claims.

Voraakhom’s wish has arrived real: Rangsit areas now boasts 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 lots of indigenous veggies and 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, plus the farm should be able to give you the canteens on campus with 20 a lot of rice, natural herbs and vegetables a providing approximately 80.000 meals, ” says voraakhom year. “The food 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 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 need for meals transport, causing ecological wellness also healthy living, ” she says.

The farm functions as a outside class room and a way to obtain neighborhood jobs, too. Staff hired by the university have a tendency to the crops, and farmers provide workshops on sustainable farming, permaculture and nourishment 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 an essential section 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 give you an area 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 produces 500,000 watts of electricity each hour. This will be utilized to power the building, like the water pumps that pull water up from the keeping ponds to irrigate the plants throughout the dry period. Thanks to built-in cooling that is passive there was less importance of energy-intensive air-con: The roof works to protect the building from temperature. Meanwhile, breezes blowing over the keeping ponds fun the air before it gets in the building. “When the wind blows within the water into the ponds, it makes a microclimate which also cools the environment round the building, assisting to reverse the metropolitan temperature area impact, claims Voraakhom.

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

All pictures and pictures: Landprocess.