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Water is growing scarce in many regions of the world, which in turn leads to food scarcity as well. To combat this problem the Iranian firm BMDesign Studios has come up with an innovative concept for a new type of roof, which would effectively collect rainwater and funnel it to be used for various purposes.

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The solution they’re proposing is a double-roof that has a bowl-shaped component, which is used for collecting rainwater. This design is also specially adapted to areas with low precipitation where the little water that falls also evaporates very quickly. The bowl-shaped roof is designed in a way that allows for even the tiniest quantities of rainwater to form bigger drops that can be successfully harvested before evaporating.

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The main roof of the home atop which this concave part would sit is also slightly domed, meaning that during the sunniest part of the day only a small part of the roof is exposed to direct sunlight, while the airflow between the two parts is also increased, which keeps the interior of the house cooler. The bowl part of the roof also provides extra shade.

They are estimating that a school building fitted with 9,935 sq ft (923 sq m) of this type of roof would allow for the collection of 7,396 gallons (28 cubic m) of water. The water collected in this way would be stored in tanks placed between the walls of the building, which would have the added benefit of passively cooling the interior. In this way, a lot of the carbon footprint of using air-conditioning would be offset. They are also proposing the construction of several “wind towers”, which would be used to introduce fresh air into the buildings topped by these new roofs.

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They are currently still working on perfecting their design with the aim of increasing the efficiency of water collection even further. Overall, it’s great to see architects using traditional methods and applying them when seeking modern solutions.