Blogs

Scientific testing of Knauf Green Roof products is taking place in two locations in Sydney. Knauf is a major supplier of insulation products around the world. Their new Green Roll substrate is now available Australia. The product is made from rock mineral fibres providing excellent water retention for different landscape applications. Offering significant improvements at a lower cost and weight than typical green roof systems. Test panels on planting day provide information on various growing media depths, weights and Knauf products, installed and monitored by Evolvement Pty Ltd at Andreasens Green Nursery   A series of test plots have been installed to monitor storm water management and plant species performance. The test sites are available for inspection by prior arrangement at Andreasens Green Nursery at Kemps Creek. An additional test site is located in Berowra Sydney. Data has been recorded since April 2017, it shows important advantages for development sites and retrofitting existing roofs. Roofs using Knauf Green Roll provide significant stormwater control and retention. Peak discharge is greatly reduced and water exiting the system is noticeably cleaner.  Green roofs and landscapes using Knauf will require far less water to flourish. Plant species information is available to provide the most sustainable outcomes. Green roofs reduce energy consumption, cool cities, whilst providing sound attenuation and biodiversity habitat. These test panels will enable landscape architects, architects, developers and engineers to specify green roofs in NSW for specific storm water retention. Structural engineers will know the green roof loads. Contractors will have clear instructions and training on how to install the Knauf products on their projects.         Native planting and Sedum planting trial plots at the Evolvement office site in Berowra. These plants are growing in 40mm of growing media and Knauf. The saturated weights are less than 60kg per M2. Plots receive very little water and are flourishing after on 4 months of winter. Berowra rainfall is similar to Sydney CBD   For further information contact Robert at rgriffi8@gmail.com, 0468 787 071 and www.evolvement.sqsp.com.au .

#greenroofsaus_#urban heat island_#urban flooding_#green cities

Posted on Sat, 2017-02-11 15:28 by matt
Perth / urban flooding. Sydney / urban flooding followed by heat wave. No surprises really because we all know that 'Climate Change' means more extreme rainfall and higher temperatures. This is no longer a forecast because it is happening globally, now. These events occur, they are reported in the news, emergency teams march into action, insurance companies and owners pay for damage, society is disrupted and political leaders sympathetically inspect the recovery operation. GRA are about offering one solution to assist with these impacts on our environment and our society. The solutions will not be found in our current twentieth century planning paradigm for urban growth and building performance best practice. The Industrial Revolution was about concrete and steel, urban sprawl, cars and planes, coal energy, GHG emissions, pollution, species extinction and social inequality. There is an urgency to THINK AGAIN & ACT ASAP. Presently, Australians are experiencing the impacts of climate variability, being, an increase in temperature and rainfall. Thermal imaging over Sydney or any other urban area during extreme temperatures will prove that building roof tops and walls are 'heat sinks' for storing radiant energy which contributes to the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). This results in a dramatic increase in building energy use for cooling using HVAC units which creates an energy drain on supply which increases GHG emissions. In response, all tiers of government in Australia have been slow, short sighted and incompetant by not providing innovative solutions to reduce GHG emissions. The built environment is responsible for 40% of global emissions, due mainly to heating and cooling services. In Australia, the energy supply is reliant on coal which also adds to GHG emissions. The result is a disfunctional cycle of producing more emissions to provide human comfort and compounding the problem. Roof tops alone account for 27% of the urban area. Today and yesterday, Sydney is 40 - 48 degrees C between 12:00 - 2:00pm with minimal wind velocity. A concrete or metal roof will be approx 80 - 95 degrees c which adds to the ambient temperature around this building requiring an increase in energy usage for cooling.. A green roof or living wall will be 30 - 40 degrees c. and does not add to the ambient temperature but rather provides insulation resulting on a cooler interior / less energy requirements / less GHG emissions. Widespread usage of green roofs & living walls will have a profound impact on stabilising urban heat and consequently, reducing GHG emissions. In the space of three days over the past week, Sydney has experienced extreme rainfall (50mm over a 1 hour period) which lead to urban flooding infrastructure damage and extreme temperatures between 40 - 50 dgrees C. leading to spikes on energy demands. On the west coast Perth is experiencing urban floods. These extreme events are a result of climate change.  A green roof will absorb and detain stormwater which provides less flow into the aging storm water infrastructure system. Widespread green roofs across urban areas will reduce storm water flows during peak rain events and reduce subsequent flooding events. Green roofs and living walls incorporated into the built environment can provide sustainable solutions to the impacts of urban flooding and extreme temperature rises but that will only become a reality when governments mandate their inclusion through strong policy, incentives, grants and legislation.The quantitative & qualitative data plus case studies on many global cities provide our leaders with proof to act quickly and responsibly. The housing supply shortage in Australia is an excellent opportunity to change the existing policy paradigm supporting disfunctional urban planning and inefficient building performance. The lowest fruit on the tree is to redevelop existing buildings and develop new buildings which meet strict sustainable performance levels mandated by government policy.  Developers will not plan to reduce urban flooding or reduce the impacts of the UHIE. Developers will not incorporate high performance levels unless they are required to do so. Governments need to provide the mandate and developers will plan accordingly, no doubt, absorbing additional costs without significant financial impact on profits. Currently, Australian property prices are ranked in the top five globally however the quality of building design is not reflective. Q: What benefits are the Australian housing boom providing society at large and the environment?  

BURWOOD COUNCIL REQUIRE GREEN ROOF GARDENS AS MANDATORY

Posted on Wed, 2016-11-30 01:33 by matt
GREEN ROOF MANDATE: A FIRST FOR AUSTRALASIA #greenroofsaus; #burwood roof gardens; #greenroofs BURWOOD Council is leading the way and walking the talk by requiring all new residential towers to have rooftop gardens — effective immediately. Since 2008 some progressive Australian Capital Cities have provided Green Roof Guidelines to encourage the installation of green roofs however this has not caused a surge for the niche industry similar to what has been realised in Europe. Guidelines are a polite suggestion , however a mandate is a requirement - clear and simple. Burwood Council have followed the International trend of major cities in Europe, USA, Canada and the UK by requiring green roofs on 50% of all new development roof spaces.     For this initiative our association supports and applauds their decision, their commitment and their resolve to provide their constituents with a sustainable future. Image: MCentral Apartments, Pyrmont The intention at this stage appears to be as a  rooftop communal space for residents which will serve as an green amenity space. In time this will save council money because as urban density increases these green roofs will substitute for small neighbourhood parks  which have always been a traditional component to Australian urban planning, initially originating in the UK. At the centre of growth in the inner west, Burwood has seen 14 towers approved over the last year. This trend is common throughout Sydney as the NSW Government supports re-development along major transport routes. This boom is set to continue, with the Greater Sydney Commission declaring this week that the area would see 2600 new dwellings over the next five years and 18,700 new residents by 2036. With each new development without a green roof there is an increase in the Urban Heat Island Effect which creates 'heat sink urban zones' plus there is a greater potential for urban flooding because green roofs retain stormwater 'like a sponge'. With high-density housing the way of the future, Burwood Council is determined to keep Burwood green, however it will require surrounding councils to follow suit and create a green tapestry or 'green precincts' through an amalgamation of policy changes. Effective immediately all new developments must have at least 50 per cent of the roof area filled with grass, shrubs or trees. If neighbouring councils also follow Burwood there is the opportunity for green corridors and a real reduction in Sydneys' summer temperature by 2.0+degC whilst reducing GHG emissions. Burwood Mayor John Faker said councillors understood the importance of housing and affordability but stressed it needed to ‘be done right’. International evidence supports an increase in realty prices due to the inclusion of green roofs. “We understand there will be a greater cost to developers but if we have to wear these high rise development they have to get it right,” he said. As green roofs increase in number the price will also reduce as is the case internationally. The Mayor has a strong intention to avoid creating a concrete jungle of hard surface rooftops. Mr Faker said council wanted to create a community feel in these new developments. The Mayor has a green vision for future residents of new developments. “We will be strict on this, there will be a minimum of 50 per cent green space but if we can see the developer can fit more we will push for more. “Apartment living will be the norm in the next 20-30 years so we want to create a real community in these spaces,” he said. Image: One Central Park, Sydney Green Roofs Australasia president Matthew Dillon believes other councils should follow Burwood’s footsteps by changing policy. There needs to be a shift in the current twentieth century paradigm for urban planning which lacks any consideration towards climate variability which has increased the potential for urban flooding and higher city temperatures causing an increase in the UHI effects. "In Australia councils are still using the twentieth century policies which support 'grey infrastructure' rather than embracing new technology and supporting 'green infrastructure. Recently GRA was asked by the CEO for the Victorian Planning Authority who is responsible for advising the Victorian Minister for Planning to explain the barriers preventing green roof development in Australia. The answer is simple. Policy advisers. They are not informed on new green technology and if they are made aware then they lack the courage to implement it; policy advisers are fixed in the existing planning paradigm because everyone knows the process and it's easier to avoid any significant change; also major corporations have significant influence against any changes and at the end of a political 4 year term they ask 'Is it going to provide more votes towards re-election?' Image: Advanx East Apartments in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney (Lindsay Bennelong developments) “Other Sydney councils need to join Burwood in order to form ‘green precincts’ ... providing cleaner air, cooler urban environments, greater biodiversity and greater wellbeing for humans in touch with nature not concrete,” Green roofs on apartment buildings are a form of decentralised mini parks, small neighbourhood parks have traditionally provided the same services that green roofs will into the future.” The challenge for Burwood Council planners will be to provide developers with sufficient technical support and encourage surrounding councils to do the same. Revolutions need a Champion. NOTE: (SOME QUOTES WERE EXTRACTED FROM  AN ARTICLE by Jillian McKee, Inner West Courier, Sydney. GRA president Matt Dillon provided comment & images for the original article published in the Daily Telegraph))

BURWOOD COUNCIL TO MANDATE GREEN ROOFS ON ALL DEVELOPMENTS

#ecoroofs
Posted on Fri, 2016-11-25 13:13 by matt
BURWOOD COUNCIL MAY BECOME THE FIRST COUNCIL TO MANDATE GREEN ROOFS: We'll need to wait and see BUT this would be a Massive boost to our industry. Surrounding councils could form 'Green Precincts'. The legislation will need to go before a full council.  Urban population increases from an increase in medium density re-developments will require more green amenity spaces. Green roofs on apartment buildings are a form of decentralised mini parks. Small neighbourhood parks have traditionally provided the same services that green roofs will into the future, however local councils will need to mandate this requirement . The Linz City administration in Austria provided financial incentives to developers in 1986 and now has 70% green roof coverage. The only successful uptake of green roof installations has been due to significant incentives, rebates, grants or a mandate as San Francisco has recently used.   Due to climate variability Australian suburbs will experience an increase in rainfall events and an increase in temperature ranges. Due to the current ageing storm water infrastructure there will be an increase in urban flooding. Green roofs are an important component to Integrated Water Management (IWM) as they retain water like sponges at the source point of capture. Also due to the existing hard surface roof areas which represent approx 28% of our total urban areas an increase in temperatures will increase this primary 'heat sink' urban area. Green roofs have a landscape profile of soil and vegetation which will keep the temperatures below 30degC. The impact of widespread green roofing across our cities will reduce the impacts of UHI effects by 2.0+ degC; reduce GHG emissions; provide a roofscape green aesthetic; provide new habitats for flora & fauna; provide noise attenuation; provide opportunities for urban farming ; enhance air & water quality; provide new jobs; new skill training; improve realty value and provide greater biodiversity and sustainable, environmentally efficient urban planning. Green roofs are a total win win scenario for the economy, society and the environment and what governments need to do is provide the strong policy to make it happen sooner not later"   Like any landscape they are designed for a specific outcome. Each green roof is site specific due to climatic micro / macro conditions however in Australia there are significant cost considerations as there is currently minimal competition in the marketplace. A mandate on green roof installations would result in a massive decrease in installation and maintenance costs very quickly. Eco roofs are aesthetically less romantic than an intensive green roof with lush vegetation and trees. Eco roofs are specifically designed to reduce installation costs using a shallow profile, groundcover plant communities that also require less maintenance and water. The benefits are increase in biodiversity, roof insulation & cooling; storm water retention.They are not designed as a public amenity space.   Other Sydney councils need to join Burwood in order to form 'green precincts' which will create a green roofscape tapestry across the city providing cleaner air, cooler urban environments, greater biodiversity and greater wellbeing for humans in touch with nature not concrete.   Matthew Dillon is President of Green Roofs Australasia & Vice President of the World Green Infrastructure Network (comprising of 22 Nations)

Solutions to Urban Flooding and the Heat Island

Posted on Wed, 2016-06-08 17:20 by matt
Scientists have warned of higher temperatures and an increase in peak rainfall events due to climate variability. The recent low pressure storm along the eastern seabord of Australia reinforces those warnings. What is also clearly reinforced from the storm outcomes is that the existing storm water systems in QLD, NSW, VIC and TAS do not manage the peak rainfall events efficiently. This mismanagement results in financial loss, infrastructure damage, social tragedy and disruption which can be avoided if governments adopt a new paradigm for urban planning which incorporates green roofs, rain gardens, urban forests, infiltration pits and street swales. These measures will detain and retain large volumes of urban runoff during the initial stages of a peak rain event. These measures absorb water into the deep soil profile beneath our cities to feed the natural water table. The existing paradigm for stormwater management has been designed to direct urban runoff from the predominance of hard surfaces such as concrete roads, fooltpaths, rooftops and plazas into a 'grey stormwater system' which is limited, inefficient, outdated, requires constant maintenance and will not exponentially expand with a growing urban area. Population increases require urban expansion with more hard surfaces collecting higher volumes of water for a system designed for the climatic conditions and urban areas of the 20thCentury.  Governments in Australia have the opportunity to address urban planning problems now. There are many case studies on international cities which provide the solutions for preventive sustainable planning and they all provide quantifiable and qualifiable data which supports a new paradigm of urban planning strtegies which incorporate vegetated systems. The economic rationale is sound, the environmental benefits are innumerable and the improvements to urban liveability and social wellbeing are overdue. The technology and the data are available for government policy makers to act immediately. It's unfortunate that our world is now moving so fast because a significant national event which gains such high news exposure will be quickly forgotten in a few days and no solutions will eventuate ... or will they. Help Green Roofs Australasia keep this solution on the table by supporting us with your membership. In summer we will state the same case for vegetative systems to reduce urban heat island effects and in the following winter we will endorse the same case to mitigate urban flooding untill we have a new paradigm for sustainable planning and development!!! Plants are the solution... it's that simple. Matt Dillon (President, GRA / EVP, World Green Infrstructure Network)

Green Infrastructure Mitigates the Impact of Urban Flooding

Posted on Tue, 2016-06-07 22:40 by matt
The two major impacts of climate change will be higher rainfalls and temperatures. The impacts of the current East Australian storm event identify shortcomings in the way we have planned our city stormwater infrastructure. Now is the time to adapt our urban planning strategy because the current paradigm fails. Aging stormwater systems in Capital Cities can be aided by green infrastructure. Rooftops represent 28% of urban areas. Rooftops are designed to capture and release stormwater directly to outlets which connect to the suburban network of pipes leading to ocean outfall. A simple engineering solution. Streets, major roads, plazas, footpaths also capture stormwater and directly transfer it to the same networks of pipes. Another simple engineering solution. However the sytem of pipes does not expand exponentially with a growing urban area ie to service more roads, footpaths rooftops etc. The result is urban flooding. Urban hard surfaces are responsible for urban flooding and for the Urban Heat Island effect ie higher city temperatures. Green Infrastructure will mitigate both these impacts but it requires leadership from Governments with new policy, incentives, research grants, training programs and financial investment. Political leaders point the finger at Nature. It is not Nature; it is a mismanagement of urban stormwater systems and building codes. If houses and beaches are ruined by storm surge it is because the coastal dune systems have been removed. If suburbs are flooded it is because they have been built over natural wetlands. If stormwater pipes become blocked it is because they are inefficient.  New York was subject to "Sandy' a massive storm surge which infiltrated streets, subways and left the city crippled. The water from the surge had nowhere to drain. As a solution for climate adaption NYC provided grants for green roofs which retain stormwater at the source and implemented rain gardens, street swales to access deep soil connection for water drainage. NYC identified the failures in urban planning and initiated urban solutions. As the urban area of Australian Capital Cities expand there needs to be a new paradigm of planning. It's referred to as Green Infrastructure which incorporates infiltration pits, swales, rain gardens, urban forests & green roofs planned in conjunction with standard grey infrastructure services. Green provides a plug for stormwater to drain into the natural water table. Grey provides an impermeable layer over the landscape with only an inefficient plug hole that has now become too small. The time for change and adaption is NOW.

Green Infrastructure Mitigates the Impact of Urban Flooding

Posted on Tue, 2016-06-07 22:40 by matt
The two major impacts of climate change will be higher rainfalls and temperatures. The impacts of the current East Australian storm event identify shortcomings in the way we have planned our city stormwater infrastructure. Now is the time to adapt our urban planning strategy because the current paradigm fails. Aging stormwater systems in Capital Cities can be aided by green infrastructure. Rooftops represent 28% of urban areas. Rooftops are designed to capture and release stormwater directly to outlets which connect to the suburban network of pipes leading to ocean outfall. A simple engineering solution. Streets, major roads, plazas, footpaths also capture stormwater and directly transfer it to the same networks of pipes. Another simple engineering solution. However the sytem of pipes does not expand exponentially with a growing urban area ie to service more roads, footpaths rooftops etc. The result is urban flooding. Urban hard surfaces are responsible for urban flooding and for the Urban Heat Island effect ie higher city temperatures. Green Infrastructure will mitigate both these impacts but it requires leadership from Governments with new policy, incentives, research grants, training programs and financial investment. Political leaders point the finger at Nature. It is not Nature; it is a mismanagement of urban stormwater systems and building codes. If houses and beaches are ruined by storm surge it is because the coastal dune systems have been removed. If suburbs are flooded it is because they have been built over natural wetlands. If stormwater pipes become blocked it is because they are inefficient.  New York was subject to "Sandy' a massive storm surge which infiltrated streets, subways and left the city crippled. The water from the surge had nowhere to drain. As a solution for climate adaption NYC provided grants for green roofs which retain stormwater at the source and implemented rain gardens, street swales to access deep soil connection for water drainage. NYC identified the failures in urban planning and initiated urban solutions. As the urban area of Australian Capital Cities expand there needs to be a new paradigm of planning. It's referred to as Green Infrastructure which incorporates infiltration pits, swales, rain gardens, urban forests & green roofs planned in conjunction with standard grey infrastructure services. Green provides a plug for stormwater to drain into the natural water table. Grey provides an impermeable layer over the landscape with only an inefficient plug hole that has now become too small. The time for change and adaption is NOW.

Green Infrastructure Mitigates the Impact of Urban Flooding

Posted on Tue, 2016-06-07 22:40 by matt
The two major impacts of climate change will be higher rainfalls and temperatures. The impacts of the current East Australian storm event identify shortcomings in the way we have planned our city stormwater infrastructure. Now is the time to adapt our urban planning strategy because the current paradigm fails. Aging stormwater systems in Capital Cities can be aided by green infrastructure. Rooftops represent 28% of urban areas. Rooftops are designed to capture and release stormwater directly to outlets which connect to the suburban network of pipes leading to ocean outfall. A simple engineering solution. Streets, major roads, plazas, footpaths also capture stormwater and directly transfer it to the same networks of pipes. Another simple engineering solution. However the sytem of pipes does not expand exponentially with a growing urban area ie to service more roads, footpaths rooftops etc. The result is urban flooding. Urban hard surfaces are responsible for urban flooding and for the Urban Heat Island effect ie higher city temperatures. Green Infrastructure will mitigate both these impacts but it requires leadership from Governments with new policy, incentives, research grants, training programs and financial investment. Political leaders point the finger at Nature. It is not Nature; it is a mismanagement of urban stormwater systems and building codes. If houses and beaches are ruined by storm surge it is because the coastal dune systems have been removed. If suburbs are flooded it is because they have been built over natural wetlands. If stormwater pipes become blocked it is because they are inefficient.  New York was subject to "Sandy' a massive storm surge which infiltrated streets, subways and left the city crippled. The water from the surge had nowhere to drain. As a solution for climate adaption NYC provided grants for green roofs which retain stormwater at the source and implemented rain gardens, street swales to access deep soil connection for water drainage. NYC identified the failures in urban planning and initiated urban solutions. As the urban area of Australian Capital Cities expand there needs to be a new paradigm of planning. It's referred to as Green Infrastructure which incorporates infiltration pits, swales, rain gardens, urban forests & green roofs planned in conjunction with standard grey infrastructure services. Green provides a plug for stormwater to drain into the natural water table. Grey provides an impermeable layer over the landscape with only an inefficient plug hole that has now become too small. The time for change and adaption is NOW.

Greenroof model of plant succession on Hawkesbury Sandstone

Posted on Thu, 2015-07-30 13:36 by Rosie M.
Plants can grow in extreme conditions. Here native plants are growing on soils that are only 30mm in depth. The species survive by attributes evolved in Australia's unique bushland. An ability to shut down in periods of drought, survive inundation during rain, requiring little nutrients and symbiotic relationships with micro-organisms are some of the evolved attributes. Watch on YouTube: Greenroof model of plant succession on Hawkesbury Sandstone Robert Griffith of Evolvement Pty Ltd ( http://evolvement.sqsp.com/ ) and GRA Board Member has been experimenting with these species and applying them for green roof projects.

Pages