CORE: Level-controlled seedling bed prototype

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Year

2015-2021

Location

Siranjganj, Bangladesh

Funded by

NWO, UDW II

Status

In progress

Partners

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology,
Tube Barrier, Green Soil Bags,

Flexbase, Urban Wetlands

Protecting crops in times of flooding

CORE is a NWO-funded research project focusing on community-based development and implementation of small-scale technical innovations that alleviate immediate flood-related nuisance in  urban Bangladesh. The project is led by UNESCO-IHE Flood Resilience Group, in collaboration with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Field Factors' contribution to the project consists of the development of a flood-proof seedling bed prototype, which will be implemented at the CORE’s experimental learning space in Bangladesh. The prototype demonstrates a scalable system that integrates level-controlled drainage and recirculation of drain water to optimise water usage, while protecting crops from flooding. It provides farmers with a sustainable solution to regulate the irrigation of young crops in an open field in a targeted manner.

The system will be designed adapted to the hydrological, environmental, social and economic conditions of urban Bangladesh. The implementation of the system aims to: 

  • Contribute to a small-scale, community based flood-proof urban environment;
  • Make maximum use of local available materials, resources and manufacturing facilities;
  • Stimulate local adoption, ownership and replication of the solution.

__Identify

Understanding the users and their needs.

Through field trips and workshops with local stakeholders and end-users, we have gathered insights into the users needs and the local context. For the Bangladeshi, flooded streets or houses do not represent a major problem, but the loss of crops is a major setback due to the scarcity and price hike of new saplings. In the dry season water becomes scarce: salty seawater gets the chance to push back the freshwater in the rivers. This makes the surface water brackish and unsuitable for use, damaging crops. 

These insights provided us with a design brief:

how to create a water regulated environment for farmers to grow young crops all year round.

__Design

Based on our knowledge of retention and bio-filtration systems, we designed a flood-proof seedling bed with level-controlled drainage and re-circulation of drain water. The seedling bed is protected from flooding by a closed system in a ring structure. Beneath the seedling bed, a layer of gravel is applied where the drained water can be stored. In this gravel layer, drainage pipes are placed, allowing controlled drainage to discharge the excess of water. 

During the monsoon, the water level within the system may rise, but the appropriate water level can be maintained by raising or lowering the outlet. In the dry season the same drain works the other way around: providing the crops with water stored in the gravel layer.   

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__Develop

Currently, the design of the system is being tested through a full-scale prototype and optimised to build our demonstrator in Siranjganj, Bangladesh.

 

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__Implement

The implementation of the project is expected to start in May 2018.


TKI: Urban Water Buffer

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Year

2016-2018

Location

Spangen, Rotterdam
Lentsesteeg, Rheden
hNI, Rotterdam
Schilderswijk, The Hague

Status

in progress

Partners

KWR Watercycle Institute,
Wareco, Codema,
Evides Water Company
Municipality of Rotterdam,
Municipality of Rheden,
Municipality of The Hague,
Waterboard Delfland
Waterboard Schieland and Krimpenerwaard,
Rioned, STOWA

Underground storage and recovery of rainwater in urban areas

Cities are increasingly facing flooding due to intense rainfall, as well as water shortages resulting from longer periods of drought. The current solutions are based on centralised discharge and supply, which are often expensive and unsustainable. How can we retain rainwater of urban areas longer and more effectively? And can we then subsequently make use of this water? 

However, the necessary space for retention and infiltration in urban areas is usually scarce, leading to conflicts with other spatial functions. Therefore the Urban Water Buffer (UWB) project strives to retain rainwater in the deeper aquifer: via wells the rainwater is infiltrated, stored and can be extracted for further use. The goal of the project is to investigate whether the Urban Water Buffer can make a significant, positive contribution to the prevention of flooding in urban areas,  while enabling  decentralised water supply . The project consists of four case studies in Rotterdam, Rheden and The Hague. In Rotterdam and Rheden two pilots will be built and monitored.

Within this project, Field Factors focusses on the spatial integration of the UWB the urban context, the design and realisation of the bio-filtration system and the communication of the lessons from the pilot applications through the elaboration of a design guide.

 

Visit project website


__Identify

 
In the first phase of the TKI- UWB project, the location, the water balance, the preliminary design and the estimated costs of actually installing a UWB system has been identified for four cases: Spangen-Rotterdam, hNI- Rotterdam, Rheden and The Hague. The results show that, particularly in the case of the targeted locations in Rotterdam and Rheden, a UWB could make a positive contribution in the short term to the discharge of surplus rainwater and thus to flood prevention. The aspects requiring particular attention are the speed with which the peak precipitation loads can be infiltrated into the subsurface, and the pre-treatment of the rainwater with a view to preventing clogging of the system.

__Design

Pilot in Rheden

Because of the large height differences in the Arnhemsestraatweg in Rheden, rainwater flows quickly from the Veluwe to an intersection. At the junction, the sewer cannot cope with such a quantity of runoff. Due to the limited space in the area, shallow infiltration of rainwater is not an option. Infiltration in the deeper aquifer offers an alternative. To make aquifer storage possible, additional measures has been taken, such as the capture of sludge upstream and the implementation of wadi’s near the infiltration well.

 

 
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Pilot in Spangen

Learn more about the details of the Urban Water Buffer Spangen

__Implement

The pilot systems in Rotterdam and Rheden will be executed in spring 2018. The operation and effectiveness of the systems will be monitored within the TKI project. The results will be presented at the end of 2018.

 

Urban Water Buffer Spangen

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Year

2016-2018

Location

Spangen, Rotterdam (NL)

Clients

Municipality of Rotterdam,
Waterboard Delfland

Status

In realisation

Partners

Evides Water Company,
KWR Watercycle Institute,
BE-de Lier

Saving drinking water

Spangen is a neighbourhood located in the west of Rotterdam, which faces nuisances during heavy precipitation events due to lack of retention capacity. At the other hand, the Sparta Stadium in Spangen, uses a significant amount of water for the irrigation of the sport fields.

The aim of the project is to collect, filter, and infiltrate rainwater in the underground to solve the need for retention capacity in Spangen, and to use the stored water to provide the Sparta Stadium with a decentralised source for irrigation.

This project is one of the pilots to implement underground rainwater storage and recovery in urban areas, within the TKI project Urban Waterbuffer. Our role within the project consortium is to design the urban water buffer system and deliver the biofiltration system.

 

Visit project website


__Identify

A feasibility study has been executed to define the technical criteria for the design of the system and to explore the possibilities of integrating the system in its urban environment.

The starting point of the study has been the accommodation and spatial integration of the different functions of the system, including pre-treatment, water storage and reuse of rainwater, without conflicting with the existing spatial functions, such as routing, parking, and greenery. The goal has been to integrate the system in such a way that it improves spatial quality.

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27.000 m2

Disconnected surface   

 

50 mm

Retention capacity  

 

15.000 m3

Supply water

__Design

Based on the technical criteria from the feasibility study and in close collaboration with designers of the Municipality of Rotterdam and the consortium team, we designed and dimensioned the components of the system. An underground buffer was added to avoid the area from flooding during extremely heavy weather.

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__Develop

Because this project is the first full scale pilot application of the urban waterbuffer, we first built  and tested a smaller prototype of the bio-filtration system. At The Green Village, an innovation test site in Delft, we have been able to implement and test the performance and mechanical properties of the filter, including water flow, robustness, stability, assembly method and much more! 

 

Check out the full-scale working prototype

__Implement

The construction works will start in April 2018. The system is expected to be in operation in May 2018.

NAIAD: Mainstreaming Nature Based Solutions

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Year

2016-2019

Location

Rotterdam (NL)

Client

Horizon 2020 (EU)

Status

In progress

Partners

22 EU partners

Deploying ecosystem services in urban water
management

EU H2020 funded NAIAD project: Assessment and Demonstration, aims to operationalise the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic costs of risks associated with water (floods and drought) by developing and testing - with insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and business models necessary for its mainstreaming. This will be done in detail for 9 case studies (demos) throughout Europe.

The main objective is to assess the insurance value of green infrastructure as a climate adaptation measure to reduce the negative effects of pluvial flooding and drought in the city of Rotterdam. The focus is on the Spangen area, a neighbourhood located in the west of the city.

 

Visit project website

 


__Identify

Identifying stakes, risks and nature based solutions.

Focusing on a specific case study in Rotterdam, the technical, institutional and regulatory frameworks for risk management and the role of the insurance sector have been identified, giving insights into the feasibility of applying green infrastructure systems as a sustainable measure for urban water management. The description of stakes and relative risks have been validated through collaboration with relevant local stakeholders.

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__Design

By creating scenarios for flooding and drought in which nature based solutions play a leading role, we will evaluate the potential risk reduction of these solutions. The scenarios with green infrastructure will be compared with traditional grey solutions.

 

Understanding the effects of pluvial flooding and periods of drought and its socio-economic value.
— How we can upscale the implementation of green infrastructures

 

__Develop

The last step is to develop new business models for ecosystem services in urban areas based on their insurance value, digging deeper in the commercial viability and governance issues of applying green infrastructure systems for urban water management.

 

2050: Smart city logistics

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Year

2015-2016

Location

Amsterdam (NL)

Client

Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie,
KennisDC Logistiek Amsterdam

Status

Completed, published

Partners

APPM Management Consultants,
Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Logistics in the car-free Amsterdam

What does the city of the future look like? How different would it be from now? We think that most of us will live in compact, sustainable cities with autonomous vehicles. Through smart mobility concepts, cities will function differently, bringing together efficiency, comfort and urban growth. How will this affect our basic needs? To a greater or lesser extent, much remains the same: the future city is still the place to live, work and recreate. Goods are still been produced, packaged, sold and purchased. But how will these goods be transported if the city has become car-free in 2050?

Field Factors worked together with APPM Consultants and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences on  a design research on the spatial implications and  future scenarios to accommodate logistics in a car-free Amsterdam.

 

See the publication (in dutch)


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__Identify

We started our research on city logistics by analysing types of infrastructures, spatial and temporal scales, freight delivery and spatial use, new and emerging technologies, and trends in 21st century.

In order to make an inventory on spatial impact of city logistics, we analysed four final delivery destinations with different typologies regarding spatial use. By doing so we gained insights into the relation in-between physical dimensions, the function and impact of logistics on the streetscape and spatial experience. A design-based research was the result of this inventory.

__Design

Amsterdam 2050: from XXL to XXS

Our vision on city logistics describes a more efficient and fine-meshed model, where volumes, frequency and means of transportation are adapted to the size and morphology of the city, supported by a synchromodal and dynamic network. By integrating Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), the capacity of the existing urban network can be enlarged. Functions can be incorporated by creating a flexible and dynamic infrastructure. 

Starting points for implementation:

  • Large volumes and vehicles only get to the edge of the city: cargo gets smaller and more frequent when they get closer to its destination.
  • Storage and transshipment is done on strategic hubs, created where two or more network types come together: water, road, rail or air.
  • Logistic functions are integrated in the functional program and spatial design of neighbourhoods, streets and buildings.
  • The use of public space by day and by night should be made more flexible and dynamic.

 

__Develop

Curious on which solutions can already make an impact on efficient and sustainable city logistics?

 

Lets work together!