Could towns 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 needs to have an adverse effect on our planet, whether or not it’s in the shape of flooding because of paved areas, excessive power use, disrupted biodiversity or even the temperature area impact.
Together with her firm Landprocess, Voraakhom has created a fresh roof that is green the Rangsit campus of Thammasat University, about 25 miles north of central Bangkok. Bangkok is very susceptible to catastrophic flooding — in reality, in accordance with the World Bank, almost 40 % regarding the city, which will be constructed on a river delta, may overflow yearly by 2030, and also this situation happens to be significantly 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 area in downtown Bangkok that will 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 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 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 agricultural knowledge to develop a Swiss military blade of ecological solutions, integrating water management, green power, green public area, and much more, ” says Voraakhom. “Meanwhile, by 2050, 80 percent of this world’s population will are now living in towns and cities, and water will soon be a scarce commodity. We must begin city that is using better to guarantee a protected and sustainable way to obtain meals manufacturing. ”
The green roof, containing an H-shaped lush landscape, seems like a futuristic mountain by 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 down seriously to the underside, ” says Voraakhom. “When rainwater strikes the roof, it cascades along the zigzags cut into its slopes while being consumed by the soil into the beds. ” The extra water is channeled into four retention ponds – with an ability as high as 3 million gallons at the end associated with the mound. “The procedure slows along the flow speed of rainwater runoff by 20 % when compared with a normal concrete rooftop. This keeps an amount that is large of out from the sewage systems, avoiding the area from flooding during hefty rains, ” she describes. The form of this building additionally will pay respect to at least one associated with the founders of this 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 had been built making use of the ancient rammed-earth method and they are Voraakhom’s nod towards the agricultural reputation for this area. “When I ended up being thinking about that task, I attempted to consider back again to the things I could keep in mind of the area from youth — and rice terraces arrived in your thoughts, ” she explains. “A century ago, this area had been outside the primary element of Bangkok city, filled up with woodlands and swamps. A hundred years back, King Rama V chose to devote this area to growing rice, so Thailand could become a significant rice producer for the globe. The king commissioned canals to regulate the water, while 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 entire twentieth century, culminating in major redevelopment whenever Bangkok hosted the 1998 Asian games, relating to Voraakhom. The areas had been dug up to support thousands of men and women. A while later, the college relocated a branch of the campus into the web web site, and thick business and commercial development sprang up around it. “Today, the college would like to show its commitment to ecological sustainability in its infrastructure in addition to its curriculum, and I also wished 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 full of naturally grown crops – including a drought tolerant number of rice, and lots of native veggies and natural herbs, including red and green oak-leaf lettuce, Thai 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, additionally the 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 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 plants, producing a completely localized, circular system. ” Since most of the flowers are grown organically, there’s no artificial pesticide air pollution. “The farm additionally creates a habitat for pollinators, restoring biodiversity, and decreases the necessity for meals transportation, leading to ecological wellness in addition to healthier living, ” she says.
The farm functions as an outside 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, nutrition and permaculture within the university’s sustainability curriculum. “Students and community people 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 fresh generation of natural farmers with real-world abilities. It fosters a feeling of community. ”
Not merely does the building provide an area of green when you look at the city, 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 per hour. This might be utilized to power the building, such as 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 passive cooling, there was less requirement for energy-intensive air cooling: The roof 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 within the water into the ponds, it generates a microclimate which also cools the environment round the building, assisting to reverse the heat that is urban impact, claims Voraakhom.
This task, which cost roughly $31.6 million US to create, give you a compelling demonstration of what’s possible once we rethink how exactly we can live and flourish within our towns. Are you able to build weather resilience — and also food manufacturing and community well-being — into all future cities? Voraakhom thinks that numerous aspects can act as a template go to my blog for urban planners and architects that are striving to create sustainable towns. “The green roof and urban farm at Thammasat University show how climate resilience-focused development can maybe commence to add more ecological advantages than issues, ” she claims. “And possibly even help resolve a number of the issues of history. ”
All pictures and pictures: Landprocess.