LafargeHolcim Awards: Buoyant Amenity in Indonesia

‘Buoyant Amenity in Indonesia – Floating sanitation facility upgrade’ has won the LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation 4th prize ex aequo Asia Pacific (US$10,000). It is a project by Gani Wiratama, Nicholas Rodriques and Rionaldi Gunari, students at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, Indonesia.

The project aims to upgrade vernacular river sanitation systems in Jakarta to reconcile ecosystems with the local community.

“The project is innovative and gently scalable,” commented Marilyne Andersen, one of the jury members from the LafargeHolcim Foundation Academic Committee, and also a professor of sustainable construction technologies at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland. “On a larger scale, it could really have an impact on the river and its inhabitants.”

Upgrading river life

The districts in Jakarta that lie directly on the Ciliwung River have no sanitary infrastructure to speak of. This leads to untold problems for people and nature.

Mr Gunari, Mr Rodriques and Mr Wiratama propose upgrading one of these districts using an environmentally responsible approach. “The community has made the river the centre of their lives,” said Mr Gunari, “so our approach is not to take them away from the river, but to allow them to use the river even more with our environmentally and socially adaptive architecture.”

Existing structures are to be renovated and upgraded with the addition of new elements. Floating platforms made of bamboo and wood are designed to treat wastewater with a plant-based filtration system. Public toilet facilities are also provided, and rainwater is harvested and stored in tanks for use. In addition, water hyacinths extract pollutants such as lead and mercury from the river.

This project is simple but effective, said the jury. The solution is environmentally sustainable and functional.

LafargeHolcim Awards

Now in its sixth edition (2020-2021), the triennial LafargeHolcim Awards event is considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The Next Generation category recognises the visionary concepts and bold ideas of young professionals and students. For the Asia Pacific region, there are five projects that have received Next Generation prizes. 

The issue of sustainability in the construction industry is of paramount importance, given the construction and maintenance of buildings accounts for 40% of both energy and material consumption worldwide. In view of climate change and diminishing resources, new approaches are needed along the entire value chain of the construction industry. Developing and applying these new approaches are what the LafargeHolcim Awards promote.

Images and videos: LafargeHolcim

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