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Smart rain barrel

smart rainbarrel

photo: Vera Duivenvoorden

Due to climate change extreme weather events are increasing. Longer periods of drought alternate with large amounts of rain in a short time. The city gets vulnerable and that affects everybody: residents, businesses and municipalities. During long dry periods the city feels clammy and hot. During heavy rainfall the sewer can not handle the huge amount of water, mainly because of the many asphalted streets and tiled gardens. Therefore, governmental institutions seek together with companies for innovative solutions to make the city more climate-proof.

Studio Bas Sala developed the “Smart Rainbarrel”. It is a buffer for rainwater being able to release water automatically and create new buffer capacity for the coming rain. It is a smart system as the tap can be controlled online. Different barrels form a network linked to the local weather forecast. Through the online weather analysis the fully automatic system ensures that the barrels are full during dry periods and empty before extreme rainfall. The system creates the maximum buffer capacity when needed most to release the sewer. Through an app owners of the rain barrels can open and close the barrels at any given time.

Studio Bas Sala designs and produces all kinds of different Smart Rainbarrels. Large eye catchers for the public space. Appealing objects for community gardens. Wall rain barrels for watering community green and small barrels for private backyards.

The Smart Rainbarrel is a simple and fun way to use rainwater and create more awareness about resilient cities and climate change. Residents can play an important role by placing a Smart Rainbarrel in their own garden and participating in making their neighborhood more climate-proof. It is a simple way to increase the awareness for climate change as much as the consciousness for absorbing and retaining rain. At the same time extra capacity to absorb rainwater in the city is being created.

With the Smart Rainbarrel, everyone will be able to contribute to a better management of rainwater.


Smart rainbarrel eye catcher

Foto: Stijn Brakkee

The Zoho Rain Letters. Rainwater buffer and area icon in one


We are dealing with increasingly extreme weather. Longer periods of drought alternate with large amounts of rain in a short time. The sewer cannot always handle so much water, causing inconveniences.

The Zoho Rain Letters designed by Studio Bas Sala contribute to the solution for these inconveniences. The letters are a rainwater buffer and a signboard for the neighborhood. The letters Zoho refer to Zomerhofkwartier, the name for this area.

The rainwater from the roof of the Hofbogen is led to the letters and thus does not enter the sewer. The smart system in the letters looks at the weather forecast via the internet. When a heavy shower is approaching, the letters release water into the surrounding garden and thus create buffer capacity for the coming rain shower. This way we relieve the sewer. During long periods of drought, it will retain water to provide the surrounding greenery with water. This sustainable system also works on solar energy.


The Zoholetters have been developed and built in Rotterdam. For the production Studio Bas Sala has worked with Wijkcooporatie Noord. This organization works with volunteers from Rotterdam Noord.

smart rainbarrel, climate chane

Smart Rainbarrel Diamond at the community garden Tuin de Bajonet Rotterdam

Memphis variation​

We also work together with other initiatives such as “De Natuurlijke stad". They designed a "Green Wall". Chris Ripken then executed the design in steel and we integrated the Smart Rainbarrel into the design.

Smart rain barrel installation Amsterdam. Waterbuffer, drinking

water system, carwash and watering the plants in one system

slimme regenton

At the Opening og the ZOHO Rainletters Wah Ananda performed their rainsong.

Innovation process

Studio Bas Sala develops the hardware (electronics), software (applications and portal) and the physical product. In addition, we develop the participation program. 

We do not do this alone. Studio Bas Sala collaborates with many partners in the development of the Smart Rainbarrel and making neighborhoods climate adaptive. In this way we arrive at a widely supported product and we work together to make our cities climate adaptable.

The first 25 Smart Rainbarrels for consumers are being tested at and with residents in Schiedam-West

The residents have an app that allows them to empty the barrel and see the storage capacity. From a distance, all the barrels can be emptied at the same time for a heavy shower.

video (In Dutch) about the co-creation sessions of the smart rainbarrel


Smart Rainbarrel proclaimed Authentic Rotterdam Heritage by Museum Rotterdam.


During the Watersensitive dinner on the 19th of april “The Smart Rainbarrel” was declared an authentic Rotterdam heritage by Museum Rotterdam. The way we work on this innovation together with public parties, entrepreneurs, volunteers and enthusiastic residents is considered by the museum to be of such value that it was included in the collection. The presentation was a big surprise. This is a recognition for everyone who has contributed to the development of “The Smart Rainbarrel”. Both, Rotterdammers and non-Rotterdammers. Later this year, together with the museum we will organize a cycling tour along several Smart Rain Barrels to celebrate this achievement together with you.

Partners & financial support

Citizens of Amsterdam/Schiedam/Rotterdam

Spin stadsontwikkelaars

Plan Bruist



Wijkcoöporatie Rotterdam Noord


Hoogheemraadschap Delfland

Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard


Waterschap Amstel Gooi en Vecht

Amsterdam Rainproof

Gemeente Rotterdam

Gemeente Schiedam

Water Sensitive Rotterdam

Provincie Zuid-Holland

Life EU


The Drominee refelecting on the partnership at the Rainbarrelparty Amsterdam 2017

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