Li Jiaoxuan
Reforesting the Desert

Thesis supervisor: A/P Shinya Okuda

Site: Kubuqi Desert, China

Background: Sand scarcity issue was raised in the 2014 UNEP conference on a political agenda as the current global concern does not parallel with the urgency of this situation. The fast development in China leads to a construction boom, which makes China one of the largest sand consumption countries and has a significant influence on the overall global greenhouse gas emissions. Mass engineered timber (MET) being the eco-friendliest construction material could be an alternative for the future construction industry to resolve the sand shortage and carbon emission issues that China is facing. To prepare for this green construction era, sustainable forest management needs to be introduced to avoid desertification.

Thesis: Reforesting the desert helps to resolve the two sand issues (desertification & sand usage in construction) in China whilst it prepares for the future Mass Engineered Timber construction era. This thesis project demonstrates and explores the potential of reforesting Kubuqi desert (China) in regards to strategically selected technologies and international reforesting experiences. These research were then implemented and transformed into the key architecture design features at the same time creating a typology (fog harvesting technique) that could be widely introduced in the desert. This model also serves as a starting point to supply and prepare China for the sustainable MET construction era in the future. 

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Reforesting Stages

When the trees overtake the Fog harvesting Educational Walkway and the fog harvesting installation typology it signifies the success of the reforesting project in Kubuqi desert.