Massive New Rooftop Farm Helps Keep Bangkok From Flooding

Via, an interesting article on the largest rooftop farm in Asia:

Sea levels are rising around the world, but as they rise, Bangkok is sinking. The low-lying megacity, built on marshland, is also now so covered in concrete that during heavy rains—the type of storms that are becoming more common because of climate change—streets can quickly flood.

The 236,000-square-foot roof can store as much as 3 million gallons of water – it’s the largest rooftop farm in Asia

A massive new green roof is designed to help capture rainwater in one neighborhood, on the Bangkok campus of Thammasat University. Designed to mimic traditional rice terraces, one part of the roof serves as an urban farm, now the largest farm of its kind in Asia; the cascading terraces use rain to grow rice along with native plants, and then store as much as 3 million gallons of water in detention ponds to be used later for irrigation in a drought.

Another part of the roof is covered in solar panels to help power the building below, and the roof will also be used as an outdoor classroom for students at the university. Like other green roofs, the design also helps the building below it stay cool in heatwaves and reduces the urban “heat island” effect, the way that concrete surfaces and typical roofs reflect sunlight to make cities even hotter on hot days.

As the green roof absorbs water in storms, it’s also intended to demonstrate an alternative to the industrial agriculture that has become common in rural parts of the country. Thailand is among the world’s largest importers of pesticides; the new urban farm will be organic. In a year, the farm can grow enough rice for more than 100,000 meals to be served on the campus. Any leftover food from plates and the kitchen will be composted and sent back to the roof to fertilize the next crop of rice.

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About This Blog And Its Author
As potential uses for building and parking lot roofspace continue to grow, unique opportunities to understand and profit from this trend will emerge. Roof Options is committed to tracking the evolving uses of roof estate – spanning solar power, rainwater harvesting, wind power, gardens & farms, “cooling” sites, advertising, apiculture, and telecom transmission platforms – to help unlock the nascent, complex, and expanding roofspace asset class.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has held a lifelong interest in environmental and conservation issues, primarily as they relate to freshwater scarcity, renewable energy, and national park policy. Working from a water-scarce base in Las Vegas with his wife and son, he is the founder of Water Politics, an organization dedicated to the identification and analysis of geopolitical water issues arising from the world’s growing and vast water deficits, and is also a co-founder of SmartMarkets, an eco-preneurial venture that applies web 2.0 technology and online social networking innovations to motivate energy & water conservation. He previously worked for an independent power producer in Central Asia; co-authored an article appearing in the Summer 2010 issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, titled: “The Water Ethic: The Inexorable Birth Of A Certain Alienable Right”; and authored an article appearing in the inaugural issue of Johns Hopkins University's Global Water Magazine in July 2010 titled: “H2Own: The Water Ethic and an Equitable Market for the Exchange of Individual Water Efficiency Credits.”