Ecologically Sustainable Gardens on buildings and a range of benefits they provide.

Jan 29, 2020    |    Sample
Ecologically Sustainable Gardens on the built structure have a number of benefits.

Photography. Galeria de SkyVille

What is an Ecologically Sustainable garden on a built structure? Vertical gardens (Green walls or Living Walls), green facades and roof gardens make up gardens on the built structure. But an ecologically sustainable garden is one that only needs planting once.

All gardens need maintenance but very few gardens on the built structure do not require regular replanting. Why? To achieve Ecologically Sustainable gardens on a building requires a process of design, an appropriate system that outlasts the plants life span and a method of installation that comes from experience and years of research. This is why there are very few providers of ecologically sustainable gardens on the built structure.

Get this right and the garden will thrive for the natural life span of the plants used. Get this wrong and your garden will be an eyesore and cost more and more the longer you keep the garden. Once ecological sustainability is achieved the garden will then provide a range of benefits.

1. Green roofs, green facades and green walls reduce heat island effect. 

Heat build-up in a city is caused by solar energy being reflected off roofs and other hard surfaces into their immediate surroundings. Cities are generally several degrees warmer than non-urban areas. Exterior gardens on buildings absorb solar energy and reduce this heat island effect making cities more comfortable to work and live. For more about heat Island effect and specifically green roofs visit https://www.epa.gov/heat-islands/using-green-roofs-reduce-heat-islands

2. Gardens on the built structure increases liveable spaces in cities.

Roof gardens are a great way of creating usable outdoor spaces for social gatherings, as shared backyards and parks with a view. Similar effects can be seen with green walls as the backdrop. For example  http://www.38westburystreet.com.au/

3. Plants improve air quality.

Plants remove CO2 and add O2 from the air as they photosynthesise. CO2 is a major contributing carbon based gas impacting climate change. Oxygen is needed for animals and humans to survive. Plants are the only producers of oxygen. So if we can increase the number of plants in and around where we work and live by having gardens in and on the built structure we help improve our air quality which is a great importance with climate change in ever increasing.

4. Improved environmental impact of nearby waterways.

Green roofs reduce stormwater run-off so less polluted storm water is piped into our waterways. Cleaner streams, rivers and beaches are a great benefit for us all. Clean water also plays an important part in keeping our pelagic food chains. 

5. Reducing of urban noise.

In a city with no plants, noise from traffic, industry and people echo off buildings and hard surfaces creating noise pollution. Plants reduce echo by absorbing noise and providing a quieter environment for us to enjoy.

6. Increased biodiversity within the city

Ecologically sustainable gardens on our buildings bring back insects, bees and birds. Insects and bees are a vital indicator of environmental wellness.

7. Temperature control

Ecologically sustainable gardens on our buildings keep buildings cool in hot weather, reducing the need for air conditioning and the building’s running costs.  For experiments that show the thermal insulation effect of a green roof visit https://academic.oup.com/ijlct/article/8/1/37/741208

8. Sense of Wellbeing

Many psychological experiments show an increased sense of feeling good when people are near foliage or another living organism. Hospitals see a decrease in patient recovery times if something living is present. Staff perform better with less sick days when plants are in work spaces.This is now deemed standard practice when designing office spaces and is seen as investing into corporations biggest asset, their staff.

9. Increased property value

With an Ecologically Sustainable garden on the building the aesthetic is enhanced and will often develop as the garden ages. This often brands the building where people identify the building by its green wall, facade or roof. One example is Aria Property Group in Brisbane. An example is 38 Westbury, East St Kilda. This is a 1950’s apartment block in a Melbourne inner suburb. 20 apartments spread over 3 levels had a flat roof with no one using that space except for clothes drying. Now a 650m2 roof garden has transformed the apartments with a backyard with a view. All apartment prices have risen since as no tenant wants to vacate and people are on a waiting list to get accommodation there. See their web page as they track their roof garden journey http://www.38westburystreet.com.au/

Can we afford to ignore these benefits?

Interested in making a difference to your workplace or community environment? Contact us now to discuss which Ecologically Sustainable Garden is the best solution for you.