Wastefilter: From Prison to Power Plant | FAP 2022 Merit

Institutional / 3rd Quarter 2022

Wastefilter: From Prison to Power Plant | FAP 2022 Merit

September 6, 2022

The process of industrialisation and modernisation has inevitably brought about a greater demand in electricity, especially in cities and urban areas in Vietnam. The process of generating more electricity—specifically from the operation of coal power plants—has had its fair share of negative impacts on the environment, namely the problem of emissions, waste water and waste, which would then affect the quality of air, water and land.

The team highlighted that residential electricity accounts for the second largest source of electrical consumption in the country. Thus, seeking a clean, renewable energy alternative will help to reduce the need to generate electricity via gas, coal and oil while still meeting demand in an environmentally sensitive way. They posited that high amounts of annual waste created by a high population density could be used as the main source of raw materials to generate biogas-based electricity.

The team chose the abandoned Chi Hoa Prison located in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, as it covers the largest built area in the district and has been sitting empty due to the pandemic. They redefined the project as a ‘filter’ agency for the whole district with the function of receiving waste and—through the biogas method—generate clean electricity and supplying it to the external grid, essentially turning the prison into a Green power plant.

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Le Quoc Tuan, Dang Ngoc Hoang Bao, Le Hoang Chau, Nguyen Hoang Thien Ni and Tran Kha Phoi are fourth-year students from Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture. As classmates, they recognise their shared interest in sustainable architecture and renovation of old buildings. FuturArc Prize 2022 was the first international competition they participated in as a team. With the Wastefilter project, they hope to bring out a design that creates a sustainable supply of electricity using the structure of an abandoned building, solving the problem of organic waste and ‘polluted’ electricity in their beloved city.


Project Location
Chi Hoa Prison, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Site Area
70,000 square metres

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