Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2022

Over the past few months, we’ve been publishing stories about the new waves of urban design that take rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change into account. In the low-lying megacity of Bangkok, we see yet another example of climate-resilient.

The Bangkok campus of Thammasat University has a new massive green roof designed to mimic traditional rice terraces, which are brilliant at capturing rainwater. One part of the roof serves as an urban farm, now the largest of its kind in Asia. The cascading terraces use rain to grow rice along with native plants, and can 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 236,000-square-foot 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.

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