World Architecture Festival has awarded the 2018 Water Research Prize to the design team from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú for for their community led water management system. The winning design was chosen from a shortlist of 12 projects selected from over 60 entries. The team's innovative Rainwater Collection System was designed as a bioclimatic curtain wall for the Amazon rainforest. The system will capture, store, and treat rainwater to insert into pre-existing water networks.
Projects were judged by a panel of experts including Judge Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of The Netherlands. Participants were asked to identify a new challenge or opportunity related water design in order to advance our understanding of water in relation to the built environment.
The winning team will receive a $12,900 prize from supporting partner GROHE, a leading supplier of sanitary fittings, to fund further research. The prize money will supplement existing research that seeks to outline ways in which human settlements in the Amazon Rainforest can better adapt to their specific environmental and cultural context.
The design team’s focus was to overcome the challenges around the integration of water and sewage provision in the Peruvian Amazon, where only 31% of the population has access to water, despite living in an area with the highest levels of annual rainfall worldwide.
Differing from a traditional water tank system, the winning design utilizes a system of tubes which occupy less space and are more easily integrated with existing architecture. Through creating an independent, communal system, the team's design also reduces the costs of implementation and maintenance.
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