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 has got to have a poor effect on our planet, whether it is in the shape of flooding as a result of paved areas, extortionate 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 kilometers north of main Bangkok. Bangkok is very in danger of catastrophic flooding — in reality, in accordance with the World Bank, almost 40 per cent for the 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 earth 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 will capture and hold one million gallons of water in its retention pond and storage tanks and give a wide berth to it from submerging the town. (Watch her TED Talk: how exactly to transform sinking towns into landscapes that battle floods. )
Just as if that weren’t impressive enough, Voraakhom’s brand new 236,806-square-foot framework — which launched 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 agricultural knowledge to produce a Swiss military blade of environmental solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public space, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 % for the world’s population will are now living in towns, and water are going to be a commodity that is scarce. We must begin making use of town areas more proficiently to guarantee a protected and sustainable way to obtain meals manufacturing. ”
The green roof, containing an H-shaped lush landscape, appears like a futuristic mountain with a stone building nestled snugly beneath it. “The mountain has pattern that is intricate of terraces of planted beds, leading all of the way down seriously to the base, ” 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 water that is excess channeled into four retention ponds – with a capacity as much as 3 million gallons in the bottom 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 quantity of water from the sewage systems, steering clear of the area from flooding during hefty rains, ” she describes. The design associated with the building also will pay respect to a single regarding the founders for the campus, economist Puey Ungphakorn. “‘Puey’ means ‘mound beneath the tree’ or ‘nourishment’ in Thai, ” she adds.
Encouraged by Thailand’s rice-growing tradition, the terraced structures were built utilising the ancient rammed-earth strategy and they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural history of this area. “once I had been thinking concerning this task, I attempted to imagine back once again to what I could keep in mind for this area from childhood — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she explains. “A century ago, this area ended up being outside the part that is main of city, filled up with woodlands and swamps. A hundred years back, King Rama V made a decision to devote this area to growing rice, so Thailand could be a significant rice producer when it comes to world. The master commissioned canals to manage water, as well as the 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 twentieth century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, in accordance with Voraakhom. The areas were dug up to support thousands and thousands of individuals. Afterward, the college relocated a branch of its campus to your web web site, and thick business and commercial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college would like to show its dedication to ecological sustainability in its infrastructure also its curriculum, and I also desired to bring the agricultural landscape and tradition back again to Rangsit Field being 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 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, therefore the farm should be able to give you the canteens on campus with 20 tons of rice, natural natural natural herbs and veggies a 12 months, supplying about 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 plants are grown organically, there’s no artificial pesticide air pollution. “The farm additionally produces a habitat for pollinators, restoring biodiversity, and reduces the necessity for meals transportation, adding to ecological wellness along with healthier living, ” she says.
The farm functions as a outdoor class 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 users are invited to take part in regular seeding, harvesting, and so forth, ” says Voraakhom. “Farming is a essential section of our country’s heritage. The farm that is urban training a brand new generation of natural farmers with real-world abilities. In addition it fosters a feeling of community. ”
Not just does the building provide a spot of green within the populous town, it is fueled by green energy. Incorporated into the roof design, photovoltaic panels set up towards the top of the mound creates 500,000 watts of electricity each hour. It is 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 passive cooling mail order wives, there was less requirement for energy-intensive air cooling: The roof actively works to protect the building from temperature. Meanwhile, breezes blowing over the ponds that are retaining the air before it comes into the building. “When the wind blows on the water into the ponds, it generates a microclimate which also cools the environment across the building, helping reverse the heat that is urban impact, says Voraakhom.
This task, which cost roughly $31.6 million US to create, give you a compelling demonstration of what’s possible once we rethink exactly how we can live and flourish inside our towns. Can you really build weather 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 who will be striving to construct sustainable towns and cities. “The green roof and metropolitan farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can possibly commence to add more ecological advantages than issues, ” she says. “And perhaps also assist resolve a few of the issues of history. ”
All pictures and pictures: Landprocess.