Urbanscape Green Roofs

Management of rainwater with Green Roofs

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Nov 14, 2016 10:46:21 AM

 

In the majority of developed cities, Green Roofs make up about 40–50% of regulated urban surfaces. The quantity of rainwater from these roofs makes a significant contribution to the total volume of water that is channelled into the sewage network. This is the very reason rainwater is one of the main causes of floods in urban environments.

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Topics: Measuring performance, green infrastructure

Grow bacteria for a clean environment, or how the right landscaping solutions can help

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Nov 7, 2016 11:37:20 AM

Bioremediation – are you familiar with the process?

Bioremediation is a waste management technique that involves using organisms to remove or neutralize pollutants from a contaminated site.

Bioremediation is a treatment that uses naturally occurring organisms to break down hazardous substances into less toxic or non-toxic substances. It works by providing these pollution-eating organisms with fertilizers, oxygen, and other conditions that encourage their rapid growth.


Shortly, as remediate means to solve a problem, “Bio-remediate” means to use biological organisms (bacteria, yeast, and fungi), using pollutants as a source of food or in co-metabolism processes to solve an environmental problem. Bioremediation is most commonly used to solve problems related to oil spills or the introduction of various pollutants into the environment and the consequent contamination of groundwater.

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Topics: Landscaping

Green wall: another dimension of a green roof?

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Oct 11, 2016 2:16:55 PM

Plants have been growing on building façades since the first stone was laid – but living walls represent the next generation. The father of the patent for the idea of a green wall was Stanley Hart White back in 1938. However, it was Patrick Blanc who created the most famous green wall at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Since then he has been recognized as the godfather of the ‘vegetal wall’.

Although we can use many names to describe this living wall, all of these names actually describe the distinguishing feature of the green wall itself. Some people use it to cover a concrete wall and improve its appearance; and some people do not have gardens, so they use vertical gardens to harvest various crops.

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Topics: Landscaping, green infrastructure

Green Roof: From Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the modern-day systems

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Sep 29, 2016 12:25:01 PM

Green roofs and roof gardens date back to thousands of years. But despite the recorded existence of roof gardens, such as one of the seven wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, perhaps the first example of draping our buildings in flora to make them more appealing, little physical evidence has survived.

In ancient times green roofs consisted of cave like structures or sod roofs covered with earth and plants commonly used for agriculture, dwelling, and ceremonial purposes. These early shelters provided protection from the elements, good insulation during the winter months, and a cool location in the summer. The original inspiration for contemporary green roofs came from Iceland, where sod roofs and walls have been used for hundreds of years. The sod roofs soon became popular throughout Scandinavia. In those cold climates green roofs increased internal heat retention (Norwegians used soil on roofs as insulation, utilizing grasses and other species to hold the soil in place), and in hot climates they offered a kind of relief from the heat and created a “mountain” type of surroundings.

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Topics: green infrastructure

Green roof – a potential new habitat for plants and animals in urban areas

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Jul 29, 2016 2:57:45 PM

In the summer of 2015, biodiversity was evaluated on sedum roofs in the Netherlands. In the process, the following species were observed: 3 types of diurnal butterflies, 29 types of nocturnal butterflies (moths), at least 4 types of wild bees, at least 7 types of hoverflies, 4 other insect types and 4 sorts of birds. The substrate layer was also investigated, and showed that this layer is also suitable for the pupal stage of many butterfly species. But will every roof scheme prove as successful? Can every green roof become biodiverse? Are there any differences between intensive and extensive green roofs? Let’s find out.

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Topics: green infrastructure

EPD – transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact of a green roof*

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Jul 6, 2016 9:19:54 AM

Great, we have it – the first in the green roof industry – for the whole Urbanscape Extensive Green Roof system. But what does it actually mean; and what are the benefits of having it? Read our blog and find out…

What is an EPD – Environmental Product Declaration?

In life-cycle assessment, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardized way of quantifying the environmental impact of a product or system. Declarations include information on the environmental impact of acquiring the raw materials, energy consumption and efficiency, materials and chemical substances, emissions into air, soil and water, and waste generation. Product and company information is also included.

An EPD is created and verified in accordance with the International Standard ISO 14025, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). EPDs are based on a life-cycle assessment according to ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. It is an independently verified document that is based on the scientific principles of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and communicates the life-cycle environmental impact of the product.

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Topics: EPD

Introducing simple landscaping solutions for big visual effects

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Jun 15, 2016 1:28:46 PM

There are many places in urban areas where big visual changes can be achieved with the simplest of landscaping solutions – and where carefully implemented ideas can provide welcome relief from the mass of concrete structures in urban areas and at the same time introduce substantial changes to the modern architectural cityscape.  

Why is this so important?

According to several studies the presence of green areas not only makes the surroundings look nicer, but also has a relaxing psychological effect, helps reduce blood pressure and lowers our heart rate. And much more…

"People want to get reconnected with nature and want to transform underutilised land to produce clean air and clean water, good micro-climates and good food. They recognize the urgent need to capture carbon and to create landscapes teeming with wildlife. At the same time, they want to be protected from flooding and they want access to land for better health and wellbeing.”

Merrick Denton Thompson OBE, CMLI

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Topics: Landscaping

Managing Landscaping – the Californian way

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Jun 7, 2016 3:17:34 PM

In California, the largest part of all urban water usage goes to landscaping.

There, water consumption for outdoor applications can reach as much as 60% of total urban consumption (according to AWWA Research Foundation). Many ongoing initiatives for California's urban landscape management are currently on the table aimed at setting “new norms” for the urban environment. The focus is on creating a self-sustaining environment with self-sufficient vegetation, with the aim of radically reducing water consumption as much as possible.

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Topics: Landscaping

Do you really know all the benefits of green roofs?

Posted by Maja Tomazin on May 23, 2016 3:26:48 PM

Green roofs have recently gained great attention of urban planners and architects - mainly because of numerous social, economic and design-based benefits they bring to public, private, economic and social sectors, and even more important, to local and global environments.

You've all heard about how green roofs go beyond the meaning of contemporary architecture and give a new value to the role of buildings within urban planning. You also know they are designed not only to bring back the natural element in the urban environment, but also to provide solutions for important issues such as urban heat island effect and stormwater management.

What about other benefits? Do you really know it all?

Let's check all 3 categories of green roof benefits - environmental, economic and last but not least, social benefits of vegetative roofs...

 

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Topics: Insider, Measuring performance, green infrastructure

Is landscaping in arid areas possible – and successful?

Posted by Maja Tomazin on May 10, 2016 2:51:21 PM

The landscaping industry has been constantly evolving during recent years and is expected to continue to see good growth in the coming years. Wondering why? The answer is simple – because people are becoming more particular about maintaining their yards and environments, both for their own enjoyment and also with a view to increasing the value of their home. A clean, well-kept property is easier to sell and will achieve a higher sales price than a property that is poorly maintained.

But it’s not just private owners – public places are an integral part of the picture, too.

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Topics: Landscaping