PTT LNG Company Limited (PTTLNG) was established in 2004 by PTT Public Company Limited, Thailand’s largest energy production company. Being the nation’s primary energy source and accounts for approximately 70% of the overall power supply source, PTTLNG has sought for the opportunity to construct a new receiving terminal and industrial plant to cope with the increasing demand for energy consumption in Thailand.
A 29.7 hectares of vacant land near the shoreline of Nong Fab, a small community at the vicinity of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate was bought by PTTLNG, of which 21.6 hectares of land will be used as the receiving terminal adjacent to the shoreline, for storage and regasification processes; and the remaining 8.1 hectares of land will be designated as the office zone.
The word “Nong Fab” is a Thai ecological expression, representing a special type of landscape character – a brackish swampy land with “Fab” (Hymenocardia punctata Wall. ex Lindl.) as the dominant species, which is classified as a hardwood shrub, 1.5-5 meter tall with light foliage. However, the acquired land was partially filled and leveled, only small area of swamp remains and all Fab had disappeared over the years. The site now covers with mostly native weed and only a few big trees scattered around the site, including Streblus asper Lour., Ficus religiosa, Tectona grandis, Terminalia catappa, Alstonia scholaris, and Mangifera indica.
The topography of the designated office zone is relatively flat and gently sloped towards the degraded swamp, which is currently in a devastated condition resulting from the eutrophication process and the surrounding land development. In addition, a natural drainage way along the eastern side of the site was neglected and blocked due to the adjacent construction of industries, residential buildings and roadways. As a result, the swamp forest was destroyed and the area has been replaced with a prairie under the process of succession. In order to understand the current condition of this plot of land, the team has studied the hydrological system by analyzing several historical remote sensing data, in the hope to better utilize the existing natural drainage on site to restore the damaged swamp, reintroduce the Fab to the site, and to commence a reforestation program to reintroduce the endangered indigenous vegetation species.
Besides collecting the precipitation data for calculating the volume of water that can be acquired for restoration usage, a vegetation study, soil and water tests were conducted throughout the entire office zone. The result shows that the soil on the site is mainly composed of slightly acidic and moderately saline loamy sand, with a pH of 6.0 – 6.67. This soil has high exchangeable Na, and with moderate amount of organic matter content. While the surface water in this area is rated as neutral to light alkaline, with a pH of 7.0 -7.4, other properties including electric conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus and dissolved solids are all within the standard range, except the BOD, which is higher than the allowed limit for discharge. Located within the tropical monsoon climate, Rayong has been recorded with 1370mm of precipitation annually, and an average temperature of 28°C, with a peak of 38°C in April.
Being a world class LNG terminal, the office zone will accommodate multiple functions and be capable to house as much social activities, such as conferences and outdoor learning for visitors.
To echo with the main concept of “harmonizing the juxtaposition between industry and nature”, a zero waste scheme has been applied on the design. Energy consumption and the waste generated from the industry are deliberately minimized, and more importantly, to restore the Fab trees as well as the degraded environment. Under these circumstances, the landscape character of this future terminal is then defined as a land with a variety of ecosystems, where different kinds of forests and swamps can be found, with a predominant use of renewable energy such as wind power and solar power.
The 8.1 hectares of office area has been further divided into 5 parts, of which 14% is building area, 26% of parking lots and circulation space, 17% of retention pond, and 43% of landscape and forest area. A large round architecture with a glass dome at the center was built following the TREES standard (Thai’s Rating of Energy and Environmental Sustainability), creating a climatic atrium that connects architecture with landscape, from indoor to outdoor.
Besides using for the air conditioning system, the excess chilled water from the regasification processes will also be used for supporting the operation of a special climate, which can grow 23 species of temperate plant communities at the climatic atrium and area adjacent to the cloud forest, instead of directly transmitting this chilled water to the sea, which may harm the marine ecosystem.
Apart from the chilled water, since water runoff at the entire site will be collected, it will process through a filtering system at the bio-swell before being discharged into the retention pond. This bio-swell will also be used to improve water quality by decreasing the BOD value of the water flow from the existing natural drainage way. As for the retention pond, it will be multi-functional, which can help maintaining the softscape, creating a sustainable forest and ecosystem, reducing temperature, increasing carbon sequestration and provide a pleasant environment for all users.
Based on the study of the typology of the Rayong’s native forests, with a consideration of topography, distance form the sea, soil and water properties, and the fluctuation of water level; 200 native plant species and the most suitable types of forests as well as ecosystems have been specifically selected for this project.
To achieve a zero runoff water system, a replicate of the natural ecotone is implemented from the Swamp to the Beach Forest. The Melaleuca Forest with Melaleuca cajuputi will be located at the bank of the retention pond, which is gently graded, to accommodate appropriate tidal level for its specific growing conditions. On the other side of the retention pond will be the Swamp, Swamp Peat Forest, and the Beach Forest, based on different water levels for growth.
Furthermore, a protection strip will be placed along the site boundary to create a natural buffer, ensure privacy, initiate new ecosystem, and control urban disturbance and pollutants. With regards to the existing soil texture, the retention pond will require the use of GCL (Geosynthetic Clay Liner), a non-permeable lining for water retention; while the riparian zones will be lined with clay.
At the climatic atrium, a large waterfall will be constructed to circulate water and provide moisture for the cloud forest plants communities, such as Ephiphytes, Fern tree, Fern, Bromeliads, Begonias, Rhododendron, Fagaceae, Needle wood, etc.
The detention lawn behind the main building will prolong the runoff during rainy season and encourage infiltration to take place beneath the ground, in order to increase the seepage to the retention pond. On the other hand, the green roof will help provide habitats for animals, prolong rainwater and become an insulated layer for the architecture.
In short, the landscape design at this project could harmonize the juxtaposition between industrial development and nature, testify the co-existence of nature and human activities, creating a win-win environment that is enjoyable by both parties, which can promote social connection and at the same time supporting ecosystem diversification and even restoring natural habitats for wildlife.
Design: TK Studio
Lead Landscape Designer:
• Mr. Tawatchai Kobkaikit: Lead Landscape Designer / Managing Director
• Assistant Professor Dr. Angsana Boonyobhas
Landscape Design Team:
• Miss Nantawan Sirisup : Landscape Architect
• Miss Chayaporn Poomchart : Landscape Architect
• Miss Kamonkorn Chamchoy: Landscape Architect
• Miss Sivanat Ubonratana: Landscape Architect
• Miss Patcharanat Phokhinthanasiri: Horticulturist
• Miss Tiprada Tingkluab : Horticulturist
Additional Project Credits:
• Architectural Design: A49
• Interior Design: IA49
• Lighting Consultant : LD49
• Structural Engineering : AE49
• MEP Engineering : ME49
• Construction Management : CM49
Project location (Street, City, Country): Map Ta Phut, Rayong province, Thailand
Design year: 2016-2017
Year Built: Under construction