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    Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm – Part III: Managing Water on Mountain of Rice Fields

    During heavy rainfalls, abundant soil mass and nutrients can be lost in along with the runoff. But with cascading layers of planters, the plants on the Thammasat University Green Roof hold the soil together and slowdown runoff. By embracing not only the intention of organic, but also regenerative agriculture, it ensures a food source beneficial to both the health of humans and nature.

    Although concrete absorbs and reflects most heat, it barely absorbs any water, leaving cities like Bangkok at risk of urban flooding whenever it rains. By incorporating the resourcefulness of farmers on mountainous terrains across Southeast Asia with modern landscape architecture, the Thammasat University Green Roof mimics the form and functions of traditional rice terraces to achieve maximum productivity, collecting and storing rainwater efficiently for times in need.

    With each cascading level, the green roof is not only able to absorb rainwater, but also slow down runoff, both for up to 20 times more than a normal concrete rooftop. While controlling stormwater peak rate and volume, this water management system also retains and utilizes runoff efficiently to grow food for the campus. Equipped with four retention ponds at each of its corners, it also significantly reduces the volume of stormwater leaving the site, saving the water it for future use and irrigation during dry spells.

    As intensive agriculture expands, monoculture crops continue to scour natural food sources and leave trails of deadly chemical fertilizers and toxic waste behind. Thailand is the world top five world importing pesticides. By cutting chemical pesticide and fertilizer use altogether, the Thammasat University Green Roof offers an organic farming as model for sustainable landscape management to transition from chemical-dependent agriculture for both the sustainable health of people and the environment, as well as the economy.

    In addition to preventing runoff pollution from entering drainage systems, and later on rivers, lakes, and oceans, the Green Roof’s vegetable terraces also filters the rainwater– often carrying air pollutants into water bodies–through several layers of plants and soil before it leaves the site and reaches residential water sources and marine ecosystems.  The plants, too, help remove harmful pollutants from the atmosphere.


    Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus
    Location | Bangkok, Thailand

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