The Climate Garden is the result of a lot of people's good ideas. It is a green oasis for residents and employees at the nursing home Ældrecenter Skovgade and the neighbourhood. At the same time, it handles rainwater from approximately 4,000m2 of roof area and 2,000m2 of parking lots and driveways.
Ældrecenter Skovgade is located in the western district of Middelfart - in the middle of a 450,000m² area which Middelfart Municipality, Middelfart Wastewater and Realdania collaborate to adapt to climate changes. The overall project is called The Climate City – here, rainwater is disconnected from the collective sewage system and handled on the surface, while the solutions help create a more cheerful, greener, beautiful and climate resilient city.
A community garden
Ældrecenter Skovgade is the largest municipal institution in the area. In 2015, residents, employees, volunteers and professionals began to investigate how the rainwater falling on the 11,000m2 Skovgade area was to be handled in future - and be an inspiration for other large buildings.
From day one, the objective was to identify a solution that would delight residents, neighbours, employees - children, the elderly and adults all at once. In other words, Ældrecenter Skovgade was to have a greener, healthier and more cheerful outdoor area that also helped solve a concrete challenge caused by climate change with more cloudbursts and more extreme rainfall. It was important to the Ældrecenter Skovgade residents that the area was created close to their homes – to allow them to use it whenever they wanted.
The ideas and wishes have led to a transformation. A boring 20-bay parking lot has been turned into a green oasis with room for children, the young and the old. For exercise, games, play and community. Even on grey, rainy days the garden is valuable. Then, you can sit inside and watch the rain collecting in the beds and slowly trickle down and disappear.
The financing of the project
The basics of the construction of The Climate Garden (earthworks, construction of trails, etc.) was paid for through the rainwater contribution that is reimbursed to the municipality when rainwater is disconnected from sewers.
The other contents of The Climate Garden, such as outdoor musical instruments, orangery, pergolas, flagpole and watercourse was financed through funds applied to in collaboration with the Centre Council.
This is how the water trickles through The Climate Garden
The Climate Garden handles rainwater from approximately 4,000m2 of roof area and 2,000m2 of parking lots and driveways which are disconnected from the collective sewage system.
Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUD) is an increasingly widespread method of handling rainwater from e.g. roof drainpipes. Instead of constructing expensive and inflexible extensions of the sewer system, the principle is to delay, evaporate, percolate or recycle the rainwater where it falls. Local rainwater management can help solve the problems of overloaded sewage systems, but it is important that the local SUD solutions are dimensioned and properly designed.
Managing rainwater locally can be done in many different ways. It can be very simple or more advanced. In The Climate Garden, rainwater is led from roof areas and parking lots to percolation ditches, grassy slopes and rainbeds.
The ditches and slopes are constructed to accommodate rainwater from cloudbursts - with a so-called damming height of between 5 and 20 centimetres. The rainbeds can hold between 30 and 40 centimetres of water.
The rainbeds are connected to adjustment wells and pipes which means that when one rainbed is filled, the water will flow to the next one. When there is no capacity left in the rainbeds and percolating ditches, the water will continue onto Skovgade where it will flow down the middle of the street towards the harbour – where it flows into The Little Belt.
Rainwater from approx. 4,000m2 buildings (roofs) and approx. 2,000m2 parking lots and driveways (asphalt and paving stones), an area of a total approx. 6,000m2 where rainwater is disconnected from the collective sewer.
This means that, on an annual basis, approx. 3,900m3 rainwater is retained and allowed to trickle down at the lots of Ældrecenter Skovgade instead of it putting a strain on the public sewer system.