When they were commissioned to build a school in the Kerman Province, Iran, architects devised a concept of bowl-shaped roofs, thus enabling as much rainwater as possible to be collected.
65% of Iranian territory is located in an arid zone, where water is a scarce and precious commodity. Unfortunately, every year this hyper-arid zone is expanding. Large lakes such as Lake Urmia have shrunk to a tiny fraction of their size. The others are gradually disappearing. As a result, water, and especially drinking water resources, are decreasing. This, in the long run, is the signal for a major displacement of people.
Hence the idea of the BMDesign architectural company, based in Tehran, to cover a future school with roofs of a new kind, in the form of immense funnels. Called Concave Roof, the system consists of two bowls placed one on top of the other. The first collects rainwater, while the second retains this water and prevents it evaporating, which cools the building.
“With 923 m² of concave roofs, it is expected that 28 m3 of water will be collected, with an efficiency of about 60%,” explain the architects. “Other studies on the system will focus on maximizing this efficiency.” Magnificent and intriguing, these massive bowls could be used in other arid zones, with similar climates, as a means of providing a sustainable water supply and combatting global warming.
Access to safe drinking water affects one in ten people around the world. A sign of the times, initiatives of this type are multiplying. Recently, the Italian architect Arturo Vittori designed another water harvesting structure: the “WarkaWater”, a wooden tower designed to collect condensation! Thanks to a design and a very special net, this rude construction is capable of catching rainwater, fog water and even dew. An astonishing invention that already benefits a village community of Ethiopia living in a very arid region.
Tags: BMDesign, cooling, drinking water, Iran, WarkaWater