Each year the amount of green space in the UK is affected by the continued requirement for new builds. The key players and influencers in the house building market need to take urgent action to ensure that new builds are designed with green space in mind.
Gordon Brown has set targets for 5 new eco-towns accounting for 100,000 homes. Thankfully these developments are ear marked for old industrial or brownfield sites. However, due to population increases and lack of space it is likely that there will be a case for high density housing.
Key living roofs commentators such as Dusty Gedge would argue that designers should make green space a top priority in early design stages to help ensure that high density housing maximizes green space. Living green roofs can help to maximise green space in such developments. We often forget about the amount of roof space available which can be used as sky gardens. With so much space being taken up by the footprint of buildings, calls for sky gardens or green roofs are now high on the agenda.
Green roof systems not only are an aesthetic feature but they help significantly reduce the urban heat island affect. Many of us will be well aware that inner city temperatures are often 5 degree’s higher than our rural neighbors. Green roofs lock in moisture giving a cooling affect to our inner city concrete jungles. They act as a haven for wildlife and importantly reduce surface water run off. So in turn helping to reduce strains on drainage systems.
Large schemes incorporating green space are not uncommon and one well known example is the BedZED eco-homes. The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) recognized the importance of roof terraces and balcony’s including green roofs to maximize green space. Not to mention the improved insulation properties that green roofs can achieve.
Burdens Environmental (http://www.burdensenvironmental.com)