Among Raga, ITS student sustainable quarantine building design wins in Malaysia

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The design of Among Raga. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Surabaya – The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way of life for everyone, which ultimately demands innovation in various fields, including design. Students of the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Surabaya, initiated a building design with an ideal concept for sustainable quarantine named “Among Raga”; it took 3rd place at the 1st Student Competition on Tall Building Design held by Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia, October-end-November. 

Among Raga is a 42-story building designed by Nathanael Christopher Sutopo, Ihza Hafiz Driatama, Adhiasa Putra Hadjar (Civil Engineering Department), Muh Ammar Al Farrosi (Department of Architecture), and Tsaqova Muhammad Syahavista Ahtajida (Department of Engineering Physics). Taken from the Javanese language and meaning “taking care of the body”, according to the quarantine concept used, the design is a reflection of the local wisdom of the Southeast Asian people, namely cooperation.

 “This pandemic can be overcome by working together to protect others: taking care of oneself, everyone can protect himself or herself,” said Nathan, Nathanael Christopher Sutopo’s nickname, team leader, in a release received by the Independent Observer, Thursday (10/12/2020). 

As stated, Among Raga broke the stigma of society towards quarantine, seemingly boring, imprisoned, and unproductive. Carrying the concept of open space, the building supports the welfare of residents, especially those who are reactive or positive for Covid-19. The building is designed with adequate systems and facilities, not only to prevent the spread of the virus but also to support the comfort of residents. 

Apart from being a residential center, Among Raga is also equipped with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities. The ventilation system in the ICU unit is negative pressure, to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The building design in the form of a double skin layer on the facade takes the idea of a fruit shape that is widely circulating in Southeast Asia, namely salak (or thorny palm), to maximize the use of sunlight and natural circulation from the wind. In the outermost layer, solar panels are installed as energy producers for the building, as well as a windbreaker and shade. Solar panels have other uses: when it rains, they rotate hydraulically to catch rainwater and drain it to a collection point in the ramp below. 

“This system enhances the rainwater catchment potential of the building, where the ramp system has a big role to play. Water from the solar panels will enter the ramp built on the outside of the building, then descend into the water catchment channel under the layer. Rainwater that is collected together with gray water will be sterilized with a system that includes UV rays, then used for flushing toilets and irrigating plants,” said the 20-year-old student of class 2018. 

The student from Jakarta added that in addition to the water catchment, the ramp system is also useful for the health of the residents, both physically and mentally. The width of the ramp has been designed to fit a jogging track for residents. The ramp also functions as a path for residents to move between floors to reduce lift use. “We hope that residents can continue to exercise normally. By being placed outside, the ramp gives an impression of the mental health of the residents,” he said. 

Not only the design: the material that is planned to be used in this building is also recycled in the form of slag cement, which is waste from the iron industry. Based on observations of the planned area in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta, slag cement can be obtained from the nearest iron factory which is still in the radius of coverage. 

With this design and planning, Nathan and his team hope to create a building that can function optimally and also have a minimum negative impact on the environment. As a building with an ideal quarantine concept, this building offers adequate facilities so that residents can remain productive and able to protect themselves during the pandemic. (est)