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

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

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

Could urban centers really be made to increase the environment? Bangkok, Thailand, landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, a TED Fellow, believes therefore. Her imaginative work challenges the thinking that is prevailing urbanization has to have a poor effect on our planet, whether or not it is in the shape of flooding because of paved areas, extortionate power usage, disrupted biodiversity or the temperature area impact.

Along with her company Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a unique roof that is green the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 kilometers north of main Bangkok. Bangkok is incredibly at risk of flooding that is catastrophic in reality, based on the World Bank, almost 40 % regarding the city, which can be constructed on a river delta, may overflow yearly by 2030, and also this situation happens to be greatly 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 room in downtown Bangkok that may capture and hold one million gallons of water in its retention pond and storage tanks and stop it from submerging the town. (Watch her TED Talk: how exactly to transform sinking metropolitan areas into landscapes that battle floods. )

As though that weren’t impressive enough, Voraakhom’s brand brand brand new 236,806-square-foot framework — which started 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 conventional knowledge that is agricultural develop a Swiss army blade of ecological solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public room, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 per cent regarding the world’s population will reside in towns, and water will soon be a commodity that is scarce. We have to begin utilizing town areas 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 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 strikes the roof, it cascades down 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 at the end associated with mound. “The procedure slows along the movement rate of rainwater runoff by 20 % in comparison to 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 design associated with building additionally will pay respect to at least one associated with founders for the campus, economist Puey Ungphakorn. “‘Puey’ means ‘mound under the tree’ or ‘nourishment’ in Thai, ” she adds.

Prompted by Thailand’s rice-growing tradition, the terraced structures had been built utilising the ancient rammed-earth method as they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this area. “once I had been thinking concerning this task, we attempted to consider back again to the things I could keep in mind of the area from childhood — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she describes. “A century ago, this area ended up being outside the primary section of Bangkok city, full of woodlands and swamps. One hundred years back, King Rama V chose to devote this region to rice that is growing so Thailand could be an important rice producer when it comes to globe. The master commissioned canals to regulate water, together with area became referred to as Rangsit areas, famed for the terraced hills of rice. ”

The city’s concrete sprawl that is urban over through the 20th century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, based on Voraakhom. The areas had been dug up to support thousands and thousands of men and women. Afterwards, the college relocated a branch of its campus to your web site, and thick business and commercial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college would like to show its dedication to sustainability that is environmental 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 rooftop farm that is 1.73-acre. The dome’s stepped terraces are full of naturally grown crops – including a drought tolerant number of rice, and several native vegetables and 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, herbs and rice. We’ve currently had a round of harvesting, additionally the farm should be able to give you the canteens on campus with 20 a great deal of rice, natural herbs and veggies a providing approximately 80.000 meals, ” says voraakhom year. “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 plants are grown organically, there’s no artificial pesticide pollution. “The farm additionally produces a habitat for pollinators, restoring biodiversity, and reduces the need for meals transportation, adding to ecological wellness along with healthier living, ” she says.

The farm functions as a outside class room and a way to obtain neighborhood jobs, too. Staff hired by the college 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 on, ” says Voraakhom. “Farming is an essential section of our country’s heritage. The metropolitan farm is training a fresh generation of natural farmers with real-world abilities. It fosters a feeling of community. ”

Not merely does the building provide a spot of green into the populous town, it is fueled by green energy. Incorporated into the roof design, photovoltaic panels set up towards the top of the mound produces 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 season that is dry. Thanks to built-in passive cooling, there was less dependence on energy-intensive ac: The roof works to protect the building from temperature. Meanwhile, breezes blowing over the keeping ponds fun the air before it goes into the building. “When the wind blows on the water within the ponds, it generates a microclimate which also cools the environment across the building, assisting to reverse the heat that is urban effect, says Voraakhom.

This task, which cost roughly $31.6 million US to construct, give you a compelling demonstration of what’s possible once we rethink how exactly we can live and flourish inside our towns. Are you able to build weather resilience — and also food production 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 and cities. “The green roof and metropolitan farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can maybe start to add more ecological advantages than dilemmas, ” she claims. “And possibly even assist resolve a few of the dilemmas associated with past. ”

All photos and pictures: Landprocess.

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