SCLD's Learning Forest project has been awarded the first ABC Waters GOLD Certification by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) in recognition of its exceptional use of sustainable water design features and management practices. The Learning Forest is a 10 Hectare extension to Singapore Botanic Gardens and as the Lead Consultant and Landscape Architect for the project we integrated the sustainable water systems with our overall design for the area.
The Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) programme was launched by PUB in 2006 as an initiative to improve water quality, lifestyle, and increase the aesthetic value of our water resources and areas adjacent to water through sustainable water management practices.
Sustainable Stormwater Management in developments is used as source control to reduce, detain, and clean stormwater runoff before it is discharged into our waterways and reservoirs.
The new ABC Waters Gold Certification category was introduced in August 2017 and is the highest accolade for the certification to recognise developments of exceptional standards.
In the Learning Forest we designed a sustainable drainage system and treatment train of swales, silt ponds, wetland cells, and wetland habitats and other features to collect, convey, clean, allow infiltration, and store runoff water. We also made it look good.
Sluice Gates – We introduced sluice gates to allow water level control to mimic natural fluctuating water levels that would enable the development of the distinctive forms of the pneumatophore, and buttress roots of the tree species within the swamp forest.
Sluice gates were utilised instead of hidden control methods so that visitors could clearly see how the control and management of water levels was carried out. Sluice gates also allow active water level control for maintenance such as planting works in the water bodies.
Weirs - The weirs in the project stabilise the water levels for the various water-bodies and regulate outflow while also providing an attractive visual feature at key locations such as the Botanists Boardwalk.
Silt Pond and Wetland Cell - The diagram above shows the treatment train for surface runoff water from the main entrance roundabout, coach park, carpark, and other hardsurface areas. Stormwater enters the silt pond and then wetland cell for treatment prior to discharge to the main lake.
Explore the Learning Forest and its ABC Waters / Sustainable Water Management features on your next trip to Singapore Botanic Gardens. Many of the features have signage to explain the stormwater treatment systems and techniques used, and how they benefit the environment, as well as preventing issues like erosion and flooding.
Find out more about PUB's ABC Waters Programme here
Terminology for Sustainable Stormwater Management around the world:
ABC Waters - Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters - Singapore
SuDS – Sustainable Drainage Systems - UK & Europe
WSUD – Water-Sensitive Urban Design - Australia
BMP – Best Management Practice - USA
LID - Low Impact Development - USA & Canada