Archives for Commercial Landscaping

commercial garden maintenance

7 tips for better commercial garden maintenance

Commercial garden maintenance of landscapes and green gardens provide us with a multitude of environmental and ecological benefits. While beautification of our neighbourhoods is one of the most appealing surfaces of green spaces, the commercial garden also provides physical and psychological benefits that contribute to our quality of life and sense of well-being. Through landscapes, we connect with nature, even in the most urban settings.

commercial landscape garden maintenance

Public space commercial landscaping designed for low maintenance. Mill Park Leisure Centre.

Green spaces and vegetation facilitate personal relaxation, transformation, and socialisation by attracting people outdoors to engage in their community. Landscapes can also serve as informal meeting places for group and individual activity. A single tree can be the landmark where groups will get together. These benefits extend to both genders and all ages and cultures.

commercial garden maintenance for low maintenance.

Designed for low maintenance. Mill Park Leisure Centre.

A well-designed and well-maintained commercial landscape will strengthen the image of your business. The commercial garden will help your business to attract new clients and retain existing clients. Commercial landscape services guarantee a better and beautiful working environment for your employee and clients. Commercial landscape improves the aesthetic value of your building. Studies showed that the workers of the office are more productive in the natural environment.

commercial garden maintenance services

Low maintenance design at Mill Park Leisure Centre.

 

A commercial garden needs attentive care and consistent maintenance to stay green, bloom, and healthy. Ignored lawns can begin to get dry, irregular, and weedy. The commercial garden should be safe for employees, customers, and the general public with proper maintenance. Maintenance of the garden is necessary because the unchecked plants and bushes can grow out of control and make it difficult to see and move around. As bushes and shrubs grow larger and tree branches start to grow out and down, they can encroach on walkways and block driveways and parking. Weeds will be grown out, which can destroy the man decorative plants. Sometimes the maintenance will be costly; therefore, the low maintenance garden is essential. Here are the eight (8) helpful tips for better commercial garden maintenance.

  • Xeriscaping for better garden maintenance

Xeri comes from the Greek word xeros means dry combined with landscaping. It is also known as drought-resistant landscaping. Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that uses as many native, drought-resistant plants as possible to arrange them in practical, water-saving ways.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping for an arid landscaping.

 

Depending on the property set up and design preferences, xeriscaping can be done in several ways. You can choose to plant drought-resistant greenery and make sure to group plants with similar water needs together. Several materials are used in xeriscaping, such as mulch, to prevent moisture loss from the soil.

low maintenance drought resistant planting

Low maintenance drought resistant plantings at Mill Park Leisure Centre.

Advantages of Xeriscaping for better garden maintenance

The most significant advantage of xeriscaping is to save water. Due to xeriscaping, we can significantly decrease water use because water will be very scarce during the hot and dry summer. Because of this property, you can also save money on your monthly utility bill. With xeriscaping, you can also save a significant amount of time from continuous weeding, lawn mowing, and watering the lawn. To know more about drought-tolerant landscaping (xeriscaping), you can visit https://redslandscaping.com.au/blogs/.

  • Plant Native Species for better commercial garden maintenance

Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including birds and people. The native plants and trees tend to reduce the maintenance as compared to non-regional and exotic species.

Trees and shrubs from the region are already familiar with the weather pattern and climate of the area. Therefore they need little maintenance to stay healthy in their native environment. With a bit of study and research, you can decorate your property with various native plants and trees that supplement each other both beautifully and symbiotically without putting in a lot of effort.

Advantages

Native plants do not need fertilisers and require minimum pesticides. Native plants familiar with their habitat can hold water better than non-native plants, saving a significant amount of water. The water expenses will be lower and increased saving. Native plants help in preventing erosion significantly. Native plants also help in reducing air pollution and provide shelter and food for wildlife. Native plants also tend to survive the environment better as compared to non-native plants. Maximum native plants are not aggressive and will allow all other plants to grow freely in your garden or yard.

  • Planting Evergreen

Evergreen is a plant or tree that maintains its leaves throughout the year. Whatever the season, the leaves of evergreen are always green. The team of workers in landscaping should be at the start of the procedure when you are primarily putting in all your new greenery. Selecting to include perennial flowers and trees that bloom year after year as a substitute for annuals that need regular cultivation in your landscaping will save you a lot of maintenance work later on.

Advantages

Planting evergreen trees like conifers, ficus, and other tropical hardwoods can also help, providing a constant source of green and shade throughout the year. When deciduous trees lose their leaves, evergreens maintain their leaves green all year. Evergreen plants provide the same summer shade benefits that we require on the hottest days of the year. They also do excellent work of protecting our homes in the winter when the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves to hibernate. Evergreen plants look good and do not require a lot of maintenance. Evergreen trees are great for the environment and provide enough oxygen, clean air, save water and prevent soil erosion. Evergreen plants help sustain populations of birds and other creatures that help to maintain a balanced yard ecosystem. Birds used their regularly green branches to find shelter in the winter. To get beneficial knowledge about the evergreen ficus plants, you should read the blog on https://redslandscaping.com.au/blogs/.

  • Mulching

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of the soil. There is no need to cover every inch of your outside space in grass or plants. Your plants need some space to be able to grow. Space out your plants properly and fill the remaining adverse space with mulch or a block cloth. These will help lock in moisture and inhibit weeds from the emergent. You can use these techniques to carve out or create paths throughout your property with minor maintenance required.

Advantages

The great advantage of mulch is that it improves the fertility and health of the topsoil. Topsoil is the top layer of soil high in organic matter and nutrients, formed by the slow weathering of rocks and decaying organic matter over thousands of years. It is often necessary to utilise quality topsoil to balance out the nutrient content for a project. Mulch improves the quality of your topsoil by breaking up clay and allowing better and air movement through the soil. Mulching reduces the cost of the fertilisers because mulching of plants residues acts as organic manures, which adds several macros and microelements in the topsoil, due to which the physical, biological, and chemical properties of the soil increase, which directly improves structure, aeration, micro-organisms, and water holding capacity of the soil.

Mulch provides nutrients to the topsoil and the water holding capacity of the soil. Mulch also act as an insulating layer on the topsoil and keeping it cooler in the summer. Mulch is important for the survival of garden during drought. Mulch decrease the water which evaporates from the soil. Weeds growth will also be inhibited with mulching.

  • Maintenance of irrigation system

One of the essential things you can do to confirm a healthy landscape is to cheque the water system. The maintenance of an irrigation system is critical, and its care should never be forgotten. Without a suitable volume of water, your flower, bushes, and shrubs will turn brown. Checked the irrigation system and ensured that the water was getting to all those places where the plants were present. Make sure that there is no disruption in the underground pipes. Otherwise, you could save wasted water or save money. Problems current in the irrigation system should be resolved quickly, specifically during the summer season. You cannot leave your commercial garden without a suitable amount of water during these hot days of the season. Install that type of irrigation system, which can save the amount of water you use and also back on wastes and water bills. Such an irrigation system will also keep your time, and their maintenance cost will also be low because watering is the most time-consuming in garden maintenance techniques. To know about the best irrigation systems for the commercial garden, you should read our blog “5 best commercial irrigation systems” on https://redslandscaping.com.au/blogs/ because proper commercial irrigation systems have several advantages which you can read in this blog in detail.

  • Pruning and trimming

Pruning and trimming are always used interchangeably, but this is surprising that there is a difference between these two. Pruning is defined as removing the dead, loose and infected branches or stems from their respective plant whereas, it is known as the cutting and removing of overgrown parts of the plants.

 

Pruning and trimming are always essential for your trees and bushes because it keeps their shape. Overgrow branches of a tree or bush can damage your property; therefore, their cutting is necessary as soon as possible.

Advantages

Pruning and trimming can control the insects and diseases related to plants because there are several types of insects that build nests in your trees, eat the surrounding foliage, spread disease, and weaken the plant. So by cutting the extra branches, their colonies will be destroyed. Death and diseased branches create a severe problem in your home. Clients and visitors are also susceptible to the danger of falling death branches. By pruning correctly, you can ensure that your clients, workers, and property is safe. Plants and trees require correct maintenance for satisfactory growth. By pruning and trimming the overgrown branches of trees and shrubs, the health and strength of these plants will be increased.

  • Plant flowers tactically

Flowering and ornamental plants always need more care as compared to evergreen trees and plants. Make the best use of your landscaping energies by firmly placing flowers and attractive greenery at the most regularly seen spots on your property while using more hardy plants substantially. Consider placing flowers at your buildings gateways, office buildings, and near services you provide, such as clubhouse or pool. Tactically plantation of flowers limits your usage and makes it easier to maintain your commercial garden design in the long term.

tactical planting

Tactical planting of attractive cycads in a raised garden near a buildings main entrance. Plenty of mulch is provided to keep the moisture in the topsoil.

Advantages

Thoughtful landscaping that incorporates low-maintenance options such as drought-resistant plants, xeriscaping, and strategically placed flowers will go a long way toward beautifying your property and making your occupants feel more pleasure. Planting drought-resistant flowers is also a good option for low-maintenance gardens. Additionally, it will also use minimum water and reduce water bills.

 

 

  • Rocks Installation: it is also a part of nature

 Landscaping does not mean that it contains greenery. Stones and rocks are also suitable materials to structure your outdoor area naturally that needs nearly no maintenance. Including stones and rocks in your landscape design will enable you to highlight several areas and help to preserve the shape and moisture level of your garden. Choosing rocks and stones obtained from your local site is a low-cost option that can add further detail to native landscape design. Natural stone landscaping provides an attractive to improve the beauty of your commercial garden.

Advantages

Decorative landscape rocks can help bring out the aptitude to your outdoor space through attractive styles and patterns. The cost to maintain the garden is incredibly high. The decorative landscaping rock is almost maintenance-free. Natural stones prevent the growth of weeds, eliminating the need for regular mowing. Traditional garden settings demand a lot of preparation before setting up your garden whereas, landscape stones are easier to put in place. Incorporating ornamental landscaping rock into your commercial garden may enhance drainage within your property.

Related Landscaping Information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

5 Best Ficus Plants for Melbourne Landscaping

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

5 Best commercial irrigation systems

 

© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne

 

How to establish a low maintenance garden.

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Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

Commercial Curb Construction Techniques

Commercial Curb Construction Techniques are a vital part of commercial landscaping.

Before even starting to discuss apropos the construction techniques of commercial curbs, it is pertinent to ask a simple yet important question: what is a curb?

What is a curb?

Curb is a short wall or a barrier constructed usually of bluestone, concrete or asphalt. Technically speaking, a curb along with gutter is provided to strengthen the pavement of the road as this holds the pavement from either side. However, there are multiple advantages that come along with it. It separates the yard and/ or footpaths from the road; it guides water for the proper drainage through gutter; it increases the runoff preventing the water seepages which might affect the road itself [1]–[3].

concrete curb construction

Concrete curb construction

Now that we understand what a curb is, let’s get into its types and the materials they use. Most curbs are constructed with concrete and asphalt – concrete being the most commonly used material. Concrete curbs can be

  1. Vertical Curb
  2. Flush Curb
  3. Mountable Curb [3].

curb-types

 

Figure 1 Types of Concrete Curbs [3]

 

How are curbs made?

Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

 

Concrete curbing can be done using two techniques:

  1. Traditional Way – i.e. using stationary forms
  2. Slipforming – i.e. using a slipforming machine

The traditional way of constructing a concrete curb is no different to any other concrete structure construction. The forms of steel, wood or any other material – depending on where you live – are placed and tightened before the pouring of the concrete.

concrete curb formwork

Concrete curb wooden formwork. Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

The concrete formwork is later removed the next day after the concrete hardens and is ready for curing.

 

Concrete curb construction using insitu concrete construction techniques.

Concrete curb construction using insitu concrete construction techniques.

Slipforming, however, is a new method of concrete curbing. The concrete is placed using a machine which has set dimensions of a curb. The concrete is then placed and the machine moves to form the second part of the curb.

insitu concrete curb

A freshly constructed curb using slipforming construction techniques.

 

 

New Concrete curb

New Concrete curb

This type of concrete curbing depends on the setting time of cement used in the concrete. Additional admixtures such as accelerators are usually used in the concrete to achieve a speedy construction process.

Video 1 Slipforming [4]

Decorative concrete curbing is no different, it can be done using both traditional and slipforming techniques – what changes is the type of aggregate in the concrete.

There are some additional things to take care of when constructing the curbs. The curbs – since they are made up of concrete – require joints in order to avoid stresses caused due to thermal expansion. Steel reinforcement can usually be avoided if proper expansion joints are provided at suitable intervals. Curing is another important thing to consider for a good quality concrete curb. The concrete tends to gain its strength over the course of years. However, most of its strength is gained during the first 28 days and therefore proper curing should be provided. The curing time can be shortened in case any accelerator or curing agent is used.

New Concrete Curb curing

New Concrete Curb curing. Joints are provided in order to avoid stresses caused due to thermal expansion.

 

Now that we are done with construction techniques and important things to consider when constructing a concrete curb, let’s talk a little about the application of different types of curbs.

Vertical Curbs serve as barriers in addition to their basic purpose of strengthening and holding the pavement from either sides. The vertical curbs are usually constructed with monolithic gutters which drain off the storm water in order to prevent the pavement from any damage.

Flushed curb is usually serving its main purpose of holding the pavement without affecting the drainage of storm water. The curb is flushed so it doesn’t stop the storm water from making its way to the yard and/ or footpath where the drainage is usually taken care of.

Mountable curbs are designed so as they not only hold the pavement, and guide the storm water but also allow the cars to drive over them. They are usually constructed with vehicle crossovers to allow the vehicles to access private properties which later connect to driveways.

Mountable Concrete curb. Boulevard Gardens Melbourne.

 

We have already come across the vehicle crossovers, let’s take some time to understand what a vehicle crossover actually is and what goes into their construction.

 

concrete driveway crossover

Concrete curb crossover terminology.

The vehicle crossover, as the Town of Cambridge describes it, is a part between your private property and road kerb [5]. The vehicle cross over is usually designed in order to provide support to the pavement and at the same time allowing the passage of vehicles from road to the private property without hurting the people walking or cycling on the footpath.

Figure 2 A Typical vehicle crossover [6]

The vehicle crossover has a trapezoidal plan with splays on its side to allow the vehicles to mount from sides. The vehicle crossovers, very similar to driveways, can be constructed using decorative aggregates. Multiple methods which can used to construct decorative concrete driveways can be used for the vehicle cross over construction as well.

Similar to driveway, the base of the vehicle crossover shall be strong enough to take the loads of vehicles without any damage. A compressive strength of 30 MPa shall be able sustain the loads. Additionally, the concrete provided shall be impermeable so as to allow the runoff of storm water. The drainage of the road should not hinder with the construction of crossover and therefore proper drainage system should be provided. In order to avoid the skidding of cars, an exposed aggregate concrete driveway should be preferred – exposed aggregate concrete provides better skid resistance with reduced traffic noise.

 

Related Landscaping News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.

 

7 pluses for Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways

 

3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques

 

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement

 

Commercial Concreting

 

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

In-situ Concrete

 

References

[1]      “What Are Curb and Gutter | Types of Curb and Gutter| Advantages & Disadvantages of Curb and Gutter.” Civil Jungle (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[2]      “What is the Purpose of Curb & Gutter? – Asphalt Paving Company: Uniform Paving & Sealcoating.” Uniform Paving (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[3]      “Multi-modal Handbook.” Multimodal Handbook (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[4]      “GOMACO GT-3600 Concrete Curb & Gutter Slipform Machine, Tight-Radii Island Paving With 3D Guidance – YouTube.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCgma2_u_E8 (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[5]      “Vehicle Crossover Specification.” https://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/files/assets/public/documents-and-files/infrastructure/engineering/vehicle_crossover_specification.pdf (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[6]      “Vehicular Crossing | Hornsby Shire Council.” https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/property/build/permits-and-certification/apply-for-a-permit/vehicular-crossing-permit (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

 

 

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exposed aggregate driveway

7 pluses for Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways are made from one of the most versatile construction material available.  Researchers and scientists from all around the world have been studying and experimenting to make concrete a better and more sustainable material.

The Durability of Concrete

Its durability and ease of construction makes concrete a first choice for designers and constructors alike in an array of projects. Construction of exposed aggregate concrete driveways is no different. Gone are the days when the driveways were only bituminous i.e. flexible which requires a very good base to transfer the loads to the soil. Concrete Driveways/ pavements are rigid which use the slab action to transfer the loads and therefore work fine even if the base has flaws.

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.

With time, concrete driveways have evolved to exposed aggregate concrete driveways which now are pretty standard in a number of countries due to  the benefits they provide.  Exposed aggregate concrete driveways and/ or pavements are, simply speaking, concrete pavements having aggregates exposed on the top layer. This brings a beautiful yet rugged feeling to the pavement along with the required friction that a driveway needs.

A plethora of research studies suggest that Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways offer better skid resistance with less traffic noise (What Is Exposed Aggregate? Exposed Aggregate Concrete Explained, n.d.; Zhang et al., 2014). Although there are multiple other reasons to choose exposed aggregate concrete driveway over the conventional ones, the two mentioned above sets this kind of driveway apart for it deals with noise pollution and provides safety more than its counterparts. Not only has it been used in driveways at private properties but in highways all around the world. Some countries like Australia and UK have even gone as far as creating highways and studying its benefits over years long research projects.

skid marks concrete pavers

A set of skid marks concrete pavers. The skid resistance of exposed aggregate concrete makes it a safer choice.

Figure 2 Skid Marks (What You Should Do When Tyre Skid Marks Appear in Your Street, n.d.)

7 reasons to choose Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveway over a conventional concrete driveway.

  1. Skid Resistance – a safer choice.
  2. Less Vehicular Noise – environmentally sustainable.
  3. Reduced Glaring
  4. Versatile – can be produced of different colours with different aggregate textures
  5. Durable – it is as durable as conventional concrete and can last for around four decades
  6. Cost Effective – Although a little expensive than conventional concrete, it offers a cost effective package considering the benefits it brings along with it.
  7. Ease of construction – It is easier to construct as compared to other options which offer an aesthetic value to the driveway.

 

As noted above, exposed aggregate concrete offers a more aesthetic yet safer alternative to a conventional concrete driveway. It brings in the options of multiple textures and colours that one can get with the usage of different kinds of aggregates to be exposed on the top layer. Further, variation in colour can be achieved using pigmented cements to create a contrast between the construction and the driveway.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete, although first utilised in 1990s in Australia and UK ,is still a recent trend for many residences and in commercial landscaping.

 

exposed aggregate concrete

Alternating colours of exposed aggregate concrete.

 

Q: How is an exposed aggregate concrete driveway constructed.

Different exposed aggregate concrete installers will have slightly different construction techniques. Technically speaking, there are four methods to achieve an exposed aggregate concrete finish for your driveway.

  1. Brushing and Washing: The oldest yet simplest method. After some time, the surface of concrete is washed and brushed using a broom to a desirable depth where the aggregates are exposed.
  2. Using Chemicals: Chemicals – retarders to be specific – are sprayed on the top surface which slows the setting and hardening time of the upper layer which later becomes easy to remove.
  3. Seeding the decorative aggregate: This is rather easy and provides the finishing of one’s own choice. Right after placing concrete, one can seed the decorative aggregate on the top layer.
  4. Topping: This method is used when an existing conventional concrete is upgraded to an exposed aggregate concrete driveway. A small layer of exposed aggregate concrete is poured over the already existing slab.
  5. Mixing the decorative aggregate: Mixing the aggregate to be exposed in the concrete would expensive but less labour intensive task.

Q: Is exposed aggregate concrete expensive?

Yes, but not by a huge percentage. Decorative aggregates are usually required in this case which cost a little higher than conventional aggregate. So, is the case with retarding agents – if used!

Q: Is exposed aggregate concrete strong?

Exposed Aggregate Concrete is as strong as conventional concrete. It is no different than conventional concrete except for its surface. It can take vehicular loads just as good as conventional concrete even during extreme weather conditions.

Q: Should you seal exposed aggregate concrete driveway?

Yes, the exposed aggregate concrete driveway – very similar to conventional concrete driveway – requires sealing after every 4 to 5 years.

 

Related Concrete Information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement

 

Commercial Concreting

 

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

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9 Concrete facts for Melbourne Landscapers.

 

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© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne

 

 

References

5 Incredible Advantages of Having Exposed Aggregate Concrete in Your Home – TechSling Weblog. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.techsling.com/5-incredible-advantages-exposed-aggregate-concrete-home/

Exposed Aggregate Concrete – Decorative Pebble Finish – Concrete Network. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/exposedaggregate/

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways Melbourne & Concrete driveways Melbourne | Exposed aggregate driveway, Exposed aggregate concrete, Aggregate concrete. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/531776668482896555/

Nakhi, A. Ben, & Alhumoud, J. M. (2019). Effects of Recycled Aggregate on Concrete Mix and Exposure to Chloride. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7605098

Perth’s Best Exposed Aggregate Driveways – Decorative Concrete WA. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.decorativeconcretewa.com.au/exposed-aggregate/

Understanding the Meaning of Exposed Aggregate Concrete. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from http://www.cedarlinecontracting.ca/understanding-meaning-exposed-aggregate-concrete/

What Is Exposed Aggregate? Exposed Aggregate Concrete Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.absolutescapes.com.au/faq/what-is-exposed-aggregate/

What You Should Do When Tyre Skid Marks Appear in Your Street. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.staineaters.com.au/burnout-mark-removal/

Zhang, J. P., Liu, G. Q., & Wang, P. Z. (2014). Skid-Resistance and Noise-Reducing Characteristics of Exposed-Aggregate Cement Concrete Pavement. Advanced Materials Research, 1052, 352–357. https://doi.org/10.4028/WWW.SCIENTIFIC.NET/AMR.1052.352

 

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rooftop garden

9 Reasons to choose a commercial rooftop garden

The Rooftop Garden is now a common site in modern commercial landscaping. This is not surprising as there are many great reasons for having one.

The Rooftop Garden

It is a type of garden which build on the roofs of the buildings. It means that roofs cover with plants such as trees, shrubs, bushes, and grass. We can also say that a roofs garden is the environment or nature in the sky. The rooftop garden is an excellent technique to improve the urban areas of the building by using the landscape design, which can convert the outmoded site into a valued space that delivers ecological and economic facilities. The possible solution to the urban crisis is a rooftop garden.

Types of Rooftop garden

There are three types of rooftop gardens.

  • Extensive Roof Garden

The extensive roof garden is suitable for those roofs that bear little capacity. The cost of an extensive roof garden is lower as compared to other types of the roof garden. The plants used in this type of garden are not very deep, and their nutrients demand is low. This type of garden is familiar with residential homes.

greenroof

Aerial view of rooftop garden in urban residential area

  • Intensive Roof Garden

In this type of garden, all the ground garden things such as bushes, lawns, perennials, and trees, can be planted. In this type of garden, there is no limitation of design and individuality except a few things that must be considered. The intensive roof garden is expensive as compared to the extensive roof garden. These types of gardens are mainly found in commercial buildings.

skyscraper rooftop garden

Green corner with chairs and potted plants and trees on rooftop of skyscraper

  • Semi-Intensive Roof Garden

This type of roof garden falls in between extensive and intensive roof gardens. The cost of this type of garden is higher than an extensive roof garden but lower than an intensive roof garden. Various grasses, herbaceous perennials, and shrubs can be planted in a semi-intensive roof garden whereas, bushes and trees are missing.

 

Roof garden with green plants and silver which balls and wooden terrace with rest chairs

Roof garden with green plants and silver which balls and wooden terrace with rest chairs

 

9 Reasons to choose a commercial rooftop garden

A rooftop garden provides a smart and easy way to enjoy a good environment, stunning view, and satisfaction in the city’s heart. Beyond the decorative benefits, several other significant and inspiring reasons force you to establish a rooftop garden on your building. Some of these reasons are given below.

  • Energy saving for cooling

“The urban heat island effect” is a phrase used to define what occurs to an urban building as it speedily absorbs heat from the sun. The rooftop garden significantly decreased the use of energy. Roofs of concrete and tarmac retain heat and increase the temperature up to 10ºF than the surroundings, whereas green roofs decrease the heat gain by shading, transpiration, insulation, and thermal loss. Research showed that the green tops of Chicago’s buildings reduce the need for air conditions up to 10% (Liu and Baskaran, 2003). In another study, green roofs decreased solar heat gain by as much as 95% and reduced the cooling needs from 25 to 50% (MacKenna).

  •  Reduction of emission from power generation

The primary harmful emission from electric power generation includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), small particulate matter and volatile organic matter. In these, some are greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change, while some contribute to the degradation of air quality. Studies showed that electricity’s total carbon emission factor is 422 g/kWh, including 418 g/kWh for CO2, 0.006 g/Wh for CH4, and 0.014 g/kWh for NO2. Conserving energy due to green roofs reduces the emission of these harmful gases.

  • Storm Water Runoff Management by a Rooftop Garden Installation

Green roofs significantly decrease the runoff of the rainwater by retaining it, as a result, the risk of urban flooding is reduced. The retaining water capacity of the green roof depends on climatic conditions (i.e., frequency, volume, and intensity of rain) and the substrate of the garden (i.e., depth, drying rate, and saturation). Research showed that the rates of monthly water retention varied between 40% and 100% on two green roofs in the Neuse River watershed (Moran et al., 2003). In another report, Simmons et al. (2008) stated that among six different extensive green roofs vegetated 4 inches, the highest runoff between 88% and 44% for medium and large rain events.

  • Air Quality Improvement

Green roofs significantly improved the quality of air through adsorption. Nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, airborne particulate, and ozone levels have been presumed to decrease due to the roof garden’s presence. The result of a research study showed that approximately 109 hectares of roof gardens eliminate a total of 7.87 metric tons of air pollutants annually in Toronto, Canada (McPherson, 2008). In another study, Yang et al. (2008) determine pollution removal by the roof garden in Chicago. They reported that about 1675 kg of air pollutants were removed by 19.8-hectare roof gardens within one year, in which 52% of the total was O3, 27% NO2, 14% airborne particulate, and 7% SO2. They concluded that the maximum air pollution removal was recorded in May, whereas the minimum removal of pollutants was observed in February.

  • Extended the building life and reduce maintenance

Usually, roofs of the building are uncovered to the sunshine, rainfall, snowfall, and numerous other components on a consistent basis. Due to these factors, the roofs of the buildings need maintenance and repair after intervals of few years.

Generally, a roof garden protects the top of a building from these factors. The waterproofing material underneath a rooftop garden has protected the roof from light, temperature, fluctuation, and physical damage. That’s why roof gardens can increase the building life and decrease maintenance. Studies showed that roof gardens extend the life of the existing fabric up to 20%.

  • Relaxation and Happiness

Due to roof gardens, a person has direct contact with nature in extensive crowded areas. After a hard-working day, spending some time in nature relaxes a person and enhances his mental health. Studies showed that having regular contact with green spaces and wildlife in urban areas directly impacts mental health and happiness. Additionally, we mentioned early that rooftop gardens improve the air quality and water, which reduces the individual’s stress.

rooftop garden

A well-designed roof top garden can add enormously to the enjoyment of life of the users . Group of gardeners tending to crops.

The results of the research study showed that the rooftop garden on the commercial building enhances the satisfaction of the occupant and increases their creativity, productivity, and physiological well-being. Fewer stress levels also mean happier and more productive employees and easier employee recruitment for companies.

 

Rooftop garden, Rooftop vegetable garden, Growing vegetables on the rooftop of the building, Agriculture in urban on the rooftop of the building

Rooftop garden, Rooftop vegetable garden, Growing vegetables on the rooftop of the building, Agriculture in urban on the rooftop of the building

  • Increase the value of the property with a Rooftop Garden

The rooftop garden increases the sale and rental price of a building. The most noticeable benefit of a roof garden is its valuable pleasantness that improves the cost of the structure it occupies for a relatively modest expenditure. Researchers reported that a roof garden typically ads15-25% more value to the property in the high-end neighborhood.

colourful cityscape rooftop garden

A colourful city rooftop garden.

  • Provide diverse habitat

When planted indigenous vegetation, Roof gardens can provide a significant environment for intrinsic bird and insect populations. Green roofs create a flourishing eco-friendly habitat. Each green roof supports varying habitats, dependant mainly on the type of vegetation included. Green rooftops might also be the stop of migrating birds. A research study showed 172 different species of birds and other wildlife in eleven various green rooftops.

wooden pergola

Rooftop garden in urban setting

  1. Sound Insulation with a Rooftop Garden

Sound is vast destruction, especially in a commercial building. Workers in a commercial building do not want to listen to the rumble of heavy traffic outside their office. Similarly, if you are in your home, you would undoubtedly not appreciate the roar of jets or the noise of the heavy traffic late at night. A green roof provides an extra layer of insulation. According to research, it will absorb up to 30% of environmental noise pollution. You can get on with work free from destruction or sleep more soundly in your bed at night.

 

Rooftop garden – Frequently Asks Questions

How do you build a Rooftop Garden?

The rooftop garden is an ideal way for urban gardeners to expand their space. It makes good use of frequently unused and wasted space. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a rooftop garden.

Start with a plan: Before you head to a nursery, consider whether you wish to install raised beds or would rather garden in containers and approximately how many of each you would like to have.

Consult with a building engineer: It is a good idea to consult with an engineer to ensure that the roof can support the weight of your garden and that it is well waterproofed.

Lightweight materials: If the building can take the extra weight of rooftop garden. So it would be best if you tried to use as little weight as possible. Use plastic, fiber glasses, and foam planting containers. Use lightweight potting soil rather than garden dirt.

Check your access: You will need easy access to the roof to transport materials, tools, soil, and plants up and down. A narrow, rickety staircase may be a challenge.

Use solid and long-lasting materials: Opt for larger pots, such as drums or recycled paint buckets for containers. If installing raised beds, aim to make the beds at least 10 inches deep to ensure adequate soil for root growth.

Find a water source: Rooftop beds and containers will dry out quickly and must be watered daily during the hottest parts of summer. If desired, an automatic watering system can be set up to reduce the time spent watering.

Incorporate Windbreaks: Keep in mind rooftop garden will be considerably windier than a typical garden. So you will need to incorporate windbreaks into your rooftop garden design. Try using trellises or some other latticed windbreak for your rooftop garden.

Pick the suitable planting medium: In rooftop containers and raised beds, soil mixed with a bit of cocopeat is your best friend. Not only does it hold water, but it is also lightweight and would not compact over time.

If you keep these things in mind, you will find that your rooftop garden can provide a lovely and great place for you.

Construction of a Commercial Rooftop Garden at Habitus Apartments South Melbourne

 

 

What are the benefit of a rooftop garden?

There are various environmental, commercial, and physiological benefits of rooftop gardens which includes

  • Increase access to safe outdoor green space
  • A venue for urban food production
  • Promotion of individual, community, and cultural diversity
  • Area for study and horticultural therapy
  • Improve the quality of air and absorption of carbon dioxide
  • There is usually good sun exposure
  • Support for a rainwater collection system and reduce the run-off of stormwater
  • They make use of unused or underused space.
  • A rooftop garden helps to decorate your rooftop, which will be a relaxing gateway
  • The rooftop provides fresh, organic, and healthy fruit and vegetables, a real gift in urban areas.

Are rooftop gardens expensive?

In my opinion, it may be and maybe not. It depends on you whether you want to build an extensive rooftop garden or intensive. The cost of the expansive roof garden is less as compared to an intensive rooftop garden. The intensive roof garden cost depends on size, use of construction materials, and garden design. Although the initial cost of installing an intensive roof garden is high, it pays itself. Whether you are installing a rooftop garden for pleasure or practical purposes, you will be rewarded with a marked reduction in energy consumption and power bills as well as an overall increase in quality of life.

Do green roofs need drainage?

It has been reported that the soil in the rooftop garden can retain 15-20% of the rainfall for a two to three-month period. Due to these conditions, it is often misconceived that roof drainage is not required on rooftop garden systems. This theory is not only incorrect but also dangerous. The water needs to be removed from the system to observe the structural limitations of the building. The rooftop garden plays a vital role in slowing down water runoff from the roof to the city’s storm sewer system but does not absorb or consume the whole water. That’s why drainage is essential in green roofs.

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

13 Best Reasons To Preserve Balwyn Urban Wetlands

© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne

References

MacKenna, E., Green Roofs: Energy Saving and Much More, http://hubpages.com/hub/Green_Roofs_Energy_Savings.

Liu, K. & Baskaran, B., Thermal performance of green roofs through field evaluation,
Proceedings for the First North American Green Roof Infrastructure Conference, Awards and Trade Show, May 29–30, 2003 in Chicago, IL, pp. 1–10.

Liu, K.K.Y., Energy efficiency and environmental benefits of rooftop gardens. Construction
Canada, 44(2), pp. 17, 20–23, 2002.

Moran, A., et al., A North Carolina field study to evaluate greenroof runoff quantity, runoff
quality, and plant growth. World Water and Environmental Resources Congress and Related
Symposia Proceedings of World Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2003

Simmons, M.T., Gardiner, B., Windhager, S. & Tinsley, J., Green roofs are not created
equal: the hydrologic and thermal performance of six different extensive green roofs
and reflective and non-reflective roofs in a sub-tropical climate. Urban Ecosystems, 11, pp. 339–348, 2008.

www.roofhippie.com/21-pros-cons-roof-garden

 

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/making-a-sustainable-impact-with-rooftop-gardens/

 

www.toddhaimanlandscapedesign.com/gardning resources/10 key benefits of roof gardens

 

 

 

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commercial concrete pavement Melbourne

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement

A concrete pavement is the most durable, strongest, and cost effective road surfaces readily available. It also has an important niche in commercial landscaping.

Concrete pavement, technically speaking, are one of two major pavements types: Flexible Pavements and Rigid Pavements.

pouring concrete roads

Pouring of concrete roads at a recent landscaping construction.

 

Bituminous ,or Asphalt, pavements and roads have layers of materials which transfer the load directly to the sub-grade. They are called flexible pavements since the pavement structure bends and deflects when under traffic loads and therefore provide a load to narrow as compared to concrete pavements.

asphalt pavement flexibility

The more flexible asphalt pavement transfers a more concentrated load to the lower layers.

Rigid Pavements, like concrete pavements, are usually reinforced with steel. They are stiffer when compared to asphalt roads owing to the comparatively high modulus of elasticity of reinforced concrete. It is for this reason that the concrete pavement will transfer the load over a wide area of the sub-grade. This results in much lower stress levels in the sub-grade and increases the road’s durability.

concrete-road-rigidity

Steel reinforced concrete pavement is stiff and transfers the load over a larger area.

Concrete pavements usually act as a concrete slab and therefore transfer the load to bigger area creating a lower stress. Concrete pavements, therefore, are usually thinner as compared to asphalt pavements [1]. This can be a great advantage when there is infrastructure under the road that the commercial road maker needs to avoid.

 

Commercial concrete pavement onstruction

In this news article we shall talk about seven reasons why concrete pavements are a better choice especially when it comes to commercial landscaping.

1.    Longevity of Concrete Pavement

Concrete pavements usually last longer. On average, the concrete pavements can last for 20-40 years as compared to 10-15 years of flexible pavements. These numbers are estimated for pavements under high traffic loads, with commercial landscaping pavement the lifetime of the road can be even higher.[1].

pot holed asphalt roads

An asphalt road with a series of pol-holes starting to appear.

2.    Ease of Construction of Concrete Pavement

As discussed earlier, concrete pavements distribute the load directly to the sub-grade or base course, in some cases, as compared to multiple layers of asphalt pavements. Such layers are difficult to prepare since special types of construction materials and machines are required.

Asphalt Pavement Road construction layers

An asphalt pavement can have up to 5 layers

The construction of concrete pavements are comparatively easy. No heavy road roller machines are required and the concrete material can be pumped in. This makes the concrete pavement the ideal solution for the construction of roads over basement car parks.

concrete pumping for concrete pavement construction

Concrete pumping for pavement construction

Additionally, concrete pavements are designed on scientific approaches and equations rather than empirical ones which are still used for certain asphalt pavements. Bitumen required for asphalt pavements comes in different grades depending on the weather conditions which can be a hectic process. Concrete comes in different grades based on its strength but is easily available due to its vast usage in the construction industry [3].

 

Typical concrete pavement layers.

Typical concrete pavement layers.

 

1.    Low Maintenance concrete pavements

A concrete pavement hardly requires any maintenance and/ or repair unless subjected to loads higher than it is designed for. In case of, commercial landscaping, the concrete pavements are not subjected to any high loads and therefore require almost no repair or maintenance as compared to its counterpart. Asphalt pavements, on the other hand, are prone to damage not only when subjected to higher loads but also when it is in contact oil and/ or other chemicals unlike concrete pavements [4].

2.    Lower Reliance on Pavement Sub-grade

Concrete pavements, unlike asphalt pavements, rely less on the subgrade material and more on the flexural strength of the concrete. The subgrade if fails or is weak at certain part of the pavement does not affect the concrete pavement since it works as a slab. It can ignore certain imperfections in the subgrade without affecting the quality of the pavement. Asphalt pavements as compared to its contender would require repair for such cases due to its high reliance on subgrade. Therefore the subgrade should be of high quality in case of asphalt pavement [4].

3.    Surface Characteristics

A good concrete surface is free from potholes, rutting, and/ or corrugations. These problems do come in localized failures which are avoidable in concrete due to its slab nature. Aforesaid problems are commonly faced when dealing with asphalt pavements [5].

4.    Impervious Layer

Concrete pavements are impervious and provide a better sealing as compared to asphalt pavements. Water tends to penetrate and affect the lower layers in the pavement [5]. This is another great reason to use concrete construction over subterranean basements.

5.    Innovative

With concrete being the most used construction material, a lot of research is conducted which deals with making concrete better. Innovations like self-healing of concrete, permeable concrete (aka pervious concrete) etc. prove that concrete is the construction material from past that is going stay with us in future [6]. Commercial landscaping can be the first industry to try out such innovative concrete types since the pavements in this industry are exposed to very high loads and such innovative concrete types can perform better in such conditions.

self healing concrete pavement

Innovations like self-healing of concrete could reduce the maintenance costs of concrete pavements.

Additionally, concrete tends to provide better visibility as compared to asphalt pavements which are black in colour and provide poor visibility especially in dark. Concrete is also easily available in bags which require mixing with water only or available from concrete plants which can pour concrete in a small time frame. Admixtures can be added to achieve special requirements such as air-entraining agents can be used to avoid freeze and thaw damage in areas where the temperatures can drop to a freezing point.

 

permeable concrete

Permeable concrete is another innovation that can be applied to concrete pavements.

 

Innovative concrete pavement decorative finishes

One of the greatest advantages of concrete pavements over asphalts is the enormous range of modern decorative finishes available. One of the most widely used decorative concrete finishes in both residential and commercial landscaping is exposed aggregate concrete. The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded.

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.

Contact us for your  next concrete pavement project.

Concrete Pavement Construction Melbourne

Concrete Pavement Construction in Melbourne for modern townhouses.

Related Commercial Landscaping News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Concreting Melbourne

 

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

In-situ Concrete

 

 

Concrete Pavement References

[1]      “Pavement Types – Pavement Interactive.” https://pavementinteractive.org/reference-desk/pavement-types-and-history/pavement-types/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[2]      “Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement | Engineering Discoveries.” https://www.engineeringdiscoveries.net/2019/07/difference-between-flexible-and-rigid.html (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[3]      Neenu S K, “Difference Between Reinforced Concrete (RC) and Steel Structures.” https://theconstructor.org/building/difference-between-reinforced-concrete-rc-steel-structures/35075/ (accessed Apr. 23, 2021).

[4]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement And Rigid Pavement.” https://dailycivil.com/difference-flexible-pavements-rigid-pavements/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[5]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement | What is Pavement | Types of Pavement -.” https://civiljungle.com/difference-between-flexible-pavement-rigid-pavement/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[6]      J. Yang and G. Jiang, “Experimental study on properties of pervious concrete pavement materials,” Cem. Concr. Res., vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 381–386, 2003, doi: 10.1016/S0008-8846(02)00966-3.

[7]      S. R. Tabiyar, D. V. R. Patel, and K. Nair, “A Review on Experimental Study of Bacterial based Self-Healing Concrete,” 2018.

[8]      “Carbon Fiber Reinforces Pervious Concrete | Fluence.” https://www.fluencecorp.com/pervious-concrete-with-recycled-carbon-fiber/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021). Pervious Concrete

 

The history of road materials

 

CCAA Concrete Roads

 

Old dogs and new tricks: making roads work harder

 

ABS statistics – HISTORY OF ROADS IN AUSTRALIA

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commercial landscaping public space Mill Park

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces provides quality open green and accessible places for the community. From walkable shady streets to the commercial landscaping around libraries, museums and community centres, these landscaped areas form the heart of local communities.

public space commercial landscaping

Commercial landscaping of the public space at Mill Park Sports and Aquatic Centre.

 

It is through these areas that many people in local communities connect, play, walk or cycle. In these ways, the commercial landscaping supports the health and well being of local communities as well as providing essential environmental habitats for indigenous species. The design of the commercial building landscape has a significant impact on the success of these public spaces.

Commercial landscaping with a children's play area.

Commercial landscaping with a children’s play area. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

The History of Public Spaces

Many of the public spaces we see in cities today are reflections of ancient public spaces. Public spaces for democratic political discussion have their roots in the ancient Greek Agora of the Polis and were extended to ancient Roman Fora. The Romans also were instrumental in spreading the Greek peristyle courtyard garden, which later evolved into the cloistered abbey garden and courtyard, throughout Europe.

Public Space Ancient Agora Athens.

Victorian engraving of an ancient view of the Agora at Athens. Note the peristyle building in the background.

Ancient public spaces were primarily functional market places, thoroughfares and meeting places and as such were social spaces.

The Persians, Babylonians and Assyrians

Going back even further, Persian gardens are described in the old testament as pleasure gardens. The gardens were designed to enable cool water and shade to be enjoyed in private.  The landscaping also included man made hills with terraces planted with shrubs and trees.

Greek Gardens of the Classical Period

Sport and public places were both big parts of Greek culture. Sports grounds developed into the academy and the lyceum and people gathered in these places.  The public spaces in Greek life included groves of shade trees which is essential in a Mediterranean garden. Also included were some porticoes, spectator seating and the exercise ground itself. It was around this time that a courtyard garden design with rows of columns supporting roofs over covered walkway became part of the urban lifestyle. This garden design became known as “peristyle” from the Greek word “peri” meaning around (as in perimeter) and “style” which means column. It is thought that this style of architecture originated in temples like the Temple of Hera at Samos and was then adopted for domestic buildings.

 

Greek doric columns, and gardens

Greek doric columns, and gardens

Greek Gardens of the Hellenistic Period

The death of Alexander the great was the start of a new age in Greece where the country was less Athens centric. New luxurious gardens or pleasure grounds had sprung in the Greek colonies. Notable amongst these were the gardens at Syracuse and Alexandria. These gardens were more influenced by gardens in the east. Under Alexander the great Macedonia had formed a huge empire stretching from Macedonia to parts of India. Within the empire the spread of people brought architecture and landscaping to different cities. After the death of Alexander, the empire was divided, and the various kings spent money on gardens and architecture to impress their guests.

Pleasure Gardens

According to historian John Plumb, the 1700s in London was an age of commercialised leisure. This was largely due to rising incomes and the growth of the middle class in Britain. New ideas emerged about how people could converse and socialise with each other one of these being the pleasure garden. On the rural outskirts of eighteen century London, pleasure gardens sprang up in places like Hampstead, Ranelagh and Vauxhall.

The Cremorne Gardens on the banks of the Yarra

The Cremorne gardens on the banks of the Yarra near Richmond  was Melbourne’s first Amusement park. The concept of the gardens was based on the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea London.

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne was based on English Pleasure Gardens.

 

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens such as the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens, have formed important public spaces for communities for hundreds of years.

Public Space Ornamental Lake Botanical Gardens Melbourne.

 

The Commercial Landscaping Goals in Public spaces

The aim of the commercial landscaping design of public spaces should be to make the public space a welcoming and inclusive place for the enjoyment of people of all ages and abilities. This will necessitate the landscape architect designing in wheelchair access, bridges and ramps. The designers and urban planners need to consider the users as the primary focus of the landscape design.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

Commercial Landscaping Design

Well designed commercial landscaping should also enhance the opportunities for socialising, recreation and relaxation and along with the aesthetic goals, contribute to the local character of the neighbourhood.

Commercial landscaping Melbourne Balwyn

Commercial Landscaping at Balwyn Community Centre

To these ends, the commercial landscaping and the facilities should where possible include a diversity of activities. Some examples of these include tennis courts, barbeques, scooter tracks, outdoor gyms as well as tranquil areas like urban wetlands. It is essential that these are community facilities that are often available for a wide range of users at different times of the day.

Commercial Landscape Installation. Durable outdoor furniture for parks and public spaces

The provision of comfortable and durable seating is also an essential part of the commercial landscaping design. People in the public space need areas for relaxing and recovering as well as just having a chat with friends.

(Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) Commercial Landscape Architects )

Seating is particularly important for elderly members of the local community. Where possible curved seating will enable people to chat and hear and see each other better. This curved furniture design will benefit the hearing impaired when chatting with friends.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials. (Photograph by Botton and Gardiner)

Landscaping Infrastructure

Much of the cost of commercial landscaping of public spaces is in the hardscaping infrastructure. This includes structures such as flowing insitu concrete retaining  walls, agricultural drainage, irrigation systems and concrete paths.

 

Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls

Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

 

Commuter thoroughfares and Size, Location and Important Interfaces

Some other important factors for the success of the commercial landscaping of public space include size, location and interfaces with adjoining properties. Ideally, pathways will provide a commuting thoroughfare for walking or cycling as well as a pleasant stroll for exercise.

The sustainability of Commercial Landscaping Designs

Modern commercial landscaping makes extensive use of drought tolerant Australian Native plants and drip irrigation systems. Attractive Australian native grasses are used in both mass planting and individual planting schemes. Where planted as individual plants, it is expected that they will naturally spread to fill an area. Much more use of rainwater harvesting is happening in commercial landscaping as well as the use of rain gardens, permeable concrete and permeable paving to filter and retain storm water in commercial landscapes as well as apartment blocks. There is also a trend in commercial landscaping towards much greater use of recycled materials for construction of asphalt roads and paths as well as the use of eco-concrete.

Mudstone Path

The mudstone path to the Balwyn Community Centre Wetlands.

Commercial Landscaping for Active Living

The university of South Australia conducted a study in 2009 on the relationship between active living and the provision of public open space. Amongst the key findings of the study were that attractive commercial landscaping lead to a higher likelihood of people being physically active. This is just one more way that the aesthetic design of commercial landscaping contributes to the health and wellbeing of the community. Another key finding was that “High quality open space design and amenities are crucial.”

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

 

 Commercial Landscaping to attract visitors

Well designed and constructed commercial landscaping will serve to attract visitors to the public space by providing important street appeal. When attractive vistas are available from the interfacing properties and thoroughfares, the public space becomes a people magnet. Commercial landscaping through the provision of trees, shrubs and other greenery will create an aesthetic that people will want to visit. One important factor in Melbourne commercial landscaping is the provision of shade trees over seating areas and car parks. As with residential landscaping, kerb appeal of a public space is important.

 

 

Tennis court repair Balwyn

Tennis court construction Balwyn Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) – Commercial landscape architects

 

 

What makes a great public space?

 

What makes a Public Space Great?

What makes a Public Space Great? An explanation from the Project for Public Spaces.

To quote from the Project for Public Spaces; “Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, schools – where we interact with each other and government. When theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives.” – Project for Public Spaces

Related Commercial Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

Commercial Construction and Landscaping

 

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

 

Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

Melbourne Landscaper – Mill Park Leisure

 

© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne

 

More information on Public Spaces and Commercial Landscaping

Public Space at the Crossroads of everything.

 

A glossary of Road Diet Stratergies.

 

What is Public Space and Why does it need protecting.

 

Landscape Australia. The Politics of Public Space

 

Urban design guidelines for Public Space

 

Melbourne Parks and Public spaces

 

Victorian Walks and Public Spaces

 

Landscape Design Credit ACLA

 

Gardening Knowhow

Read more
Landscaping Balwyn North

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

To understand Drought Tolerant landscaping, we need to first understand some of the technical terms in the world of soil chemistry and how that affects drought tolerance.

 

  1. “Plant Available Water” “PAW” Is the amount of water in the soil that is available for the plants and is between the water capacity and the plant wilting point or crop lower limit.
  2. “Plant Available Water Capacity” PAWC is the maximum amount of moisture that can a particular soil can hold 

 

1.     Organic Matter helps drought tolerant landscaping.

 

Whether you have a clay soil or a sandy soil, your garden will benefit from organic matter.

The soils ability to hold moisture will increase with the addition of organic matter. The additional organic matter works in two way. Firstly, organic matter has a higher water holding capacity than mineral soils. Secondly, the organic matter improves the soil structure allowing moisture to pass through the soil to the plant roots. In some cases, doubling the amount of organic matter in the soil can result in around 25% more water storage capacity.

Drought tolerant landscaping and the effect of organic matter.

Drought tolerant landscaping and the effect of organic matter. Increasing organic matter increases the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

Soil Texture and Composition

Soil texture and composition also has a big effect on water storage capacity. Sandy soils with low percentage of clay and low percentage of organic matter are very poor at storing moisture.

Soil texture and the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

The relationship between soil texture and the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

Imported Topsoils

Often imported topsoils purchased to landscape your garden will be sandy loams. These are great soils for high traffic lawn areas, especially for the top 50mm of soil. If using imported topsoil for garden beds, mix the soil with some of the existing soils by cultivation of the subsoil to boost the clay content. This can also be done with the subsoil layers of the lawn areas. Also, order imported topsoils with a good percentage of organic matter included in the mix. Always use imported topsoil to Australian Standard (AS4419 Soils for Landscaping & Garden Use) and use mixes with higher levels of organic matter for garden beds.

 

The Effect of Clay in your garden soil

Clay soils can hold much more moisture than sandy soils. The fine clay particles are less than 2 microns, but there are so many clay particles in clay soils that the total surface area is much higher. The fine particles however, make it more difficult for the plant roots to penetrate the soil to extract the moisture. This results in the increase in the plant wilting point in high clay soils. Again, organic matter will help improve the texture of the soil so that roots can penetrate to access the moisture. If you have a reactive clay soil, then cultivating gypsum into the soil will also help.

 

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

 

 

2.     Mulch

According to a study by the University of Florida, mulch can reduce water losses by evaporation by up to 30%. Mulch however, does much more than just reduce evaporation. By rotting down into the topsoil, mulch adds to the organic matter in the top layer of soil. Mulch also greatly reduces erosion of the topsoil and helps to keep plant roots cooler by reducing the sun’s heat radiation into the lower layers of the topsoil. Mulch also plays a role in suppressing weeds, but if weeds do grow, they are much easier to remove.

Using Mulch for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Using Mulch for Drought Tolerant Landscaping. Mulch also reduces erosion and weed growth as well as adding to the organic matter as it rots down.

 

Groundcovers

Groundcover plants can play a similar role to mulch in reducing the heat penetration into the soil and reducing evaporation from the soil.

Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.

Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.

3.     Drip Irrigation System

There was a time when an irrigation system meant garden sprinklers spraying huge amounts of water everywhere. This led to a great deal of wasted water with much of the spray landing on paths and driveways. Evaporation of the water from the surface of the garden was another cause of waste. Modern computer controlled closed loop drip irrigation systems are much more efficient.  With modern irrigation systems, water be delivered directly to the root tips.

Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system

Drought tolerant landscaping – Irrigation drip system delivers water to the right place.

 

Water supplied to where it is most needed.

The plant uses osmosis to absorb water from the soil. The root hair cells, which are mostly near the root tips, are adapted for taking up both water and mineral ions. Part of this adaption is the large surface area of the root hairs exposed to the soil. Older root hairs tend to die off, so most of the living root hairs are concentrated near the root tips. Placing the irrigation drippers near the root tips means that water can be absorbed more efficiently.

 

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration. The Root hairs near the tips take up the water and nutrients.

 

Closed loop computer control irrigation systems

Modern computer-controlled systems use feedback from remotes sensors to determine the water requirements for plants on each channel. Depending on the systems, sensor measure soil moisture, temperature, humidity and rainfall to estimate plant water requirements. Some new commercial irrigation systems in agriculture are using Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning to irrigate crops more efficiently.

irrigation system

 

 

 

4.     Drought Tolerant Plants

Many plants have evolved to cope with dry conditions or the occasional drought. This includes many Australian Native Plants, Mediterranean Garden plants or plants from the dry parts of America and especially Mexico.

 

Drought tolerant Australian Native Plants

Amongst the Australian Native plants, Xanthorrhoea (Grass Tree) and Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw) have outstanding ability to survive in dry sandy soils.

Australian yellow kangaroo paw flower (Anigozanthos pulcherrimus) in front of a grasstree

Australian yellow kangaroo paw flower (Anigozanthos pulcherrimus) in front of a grasstree

 

There are also many Australian Native grasses like Lomandra that are great for dry conditions.

 

Our favourite plants dry conditions in Melbourne gardens are the following;

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) – The Star Jasmine is moderately drought tolerant once it gets established. This evergreen climbing plant can be grown either as a vine, that can grow to more than 6 metres high, or as a ground cover. It can be grown in either partial shade of full sun.

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

 

Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila) – The fast growing climbing fig is tolerant to salt spray, drought and partial shade. This makes it a great plant for coastal gardens in suburbs like Hampton. It will grow to more than 5 metres under ideal conditions and can also be grown as a ground cover.

 

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

 

Waterhousia floribunda or Weeping Lilly Pilly – Generally, the Lilly Pilly is a hardy and drought tolerant hedging or screening plant once it is fully established. It is a great Australian native alternative to the buxus hedge or Murraya. Despite being a rainforest plant, Waterhousia floribunda will survive a few dry spells once it is fully established. This is one of our favourite Australian drought tolerant plants.

 

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

 

Salvias like Salvia Leucantha (Mexican Sage Bush) are generally very drought tolerant. There are only a couple of salvia varieties that are not drought tolerant. The Leucantha is an Autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne garden in early May. Salvias can handle subtropical as well as temperate climates. This makes them a good plant for temperate climates like Melbourne.

 

Salvia leucantha purple flowering shrub

Salvia leucantha is a purple flowering shrub growing to around 1 metre tall.

 

 

Lomandra longifolia “tanika” is a hardy Australian Native grass that looks great and is tough as well as drought tolerant. With attractive blue-green foilage and yellow flowers in Spring, it is ideal for mass planting, but can also be planted in individual tufts.

The green lomandra makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

The green lomandra mass planting makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass) is another hardy Australian Native Grass. It will grow well in most soils, but will enjoy some moisture during summer. It can be cut back hard then heavily watered to create new growth. The long green leaves will turn a little silver in dry weather. It will flower from October to March with purple-green flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

 

 

5.     Soil Wetting agents

 

The breakdown and decomposition of some organic matter will result in a waxy coating on some soil particles. This makes the soil hydrophobic. This is much more prevalent on sandy soils than clay soils. The obvious solution is to treat the garden with a surfactant or wetting agent before rain.

Drought Tolerant Landscaping hydrophobic-hydrophilic

Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic

 

A less obvious solution is to spread a little garden lime on the hydrophobic soil. The garden lime will do two things. Firstly, the increased PH will encourage bacteria that will break down the waxy material. Secondly, it will add fine particles to the soil. Some types of clay are also useful for reducing surface tension in the water droplets.

Drought Tolerant Plants in Commercial Landscaping

As part of the move towards greater sustainability, Landscape Architects are looking at methods to reduce fresh water consumption in commercial landscaping. These methods include rain gardens, blue roofs, rainwater storage with irrigation drip systems and, perhaps most importantly, drought tolerant Australian Native Plants.

Potted Plants for the commercial landscaping.

Sustainable commercial landscaping using drought tolerant plants. Establishing smaller Australian native drought tolerant plants early will save you money and water.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

 

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

5 top tips. Landscaping Melbourne with Lomandra.

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

Melbourne Topsoil – 9 Great Money saving tips.

 

© Copyright Red’s Landscaping and Design – Melbourne Commercial Landscaping Specialist

 

References and further reading on Drought Tolerant Landscaping

 

The Impact of Mulch on evaporation – University of Florida

 

The Garden Professors – Mulch for reducing Evaporation.

 

Drought Tolerant Australian Native Plants

 

Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria Growing Indigenous Plants.

 

Water repellency – Soilquality.org.au

 

Help your garden survive a drought.

 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

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Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne in 2021

The Landscape Design trends we are seeing in Melbourne owe much to practicality as well as the aesthetic. These trends reflect the lifestyle of summer in Melbourne but are also provide a practical landscape design with drought tolerant plants and low maintenance gardens.

 

1. Mid-century Palm Springs landscape design style.

This is a landscape design style associated with Cacti, Granitic Sand, Concrete Paving, and Breeze-blocks. Often this takes the form of hard landscaping in light grey or stark whites contrasting with splashes of colour from the plantings. The result is typical Palm Springs glamour with a low maintenance and drought resistant gardens.

landscape design palm springs style

Palm Springs style landscaping often features cacti, and succulents such as agave with plants to provide a splash of colour.

The dry desert climate of Palm Spring, with warm winters, and the abundance of space, is ideal for outdoor entertaining areas. Often, these will feature a fire pit area or a swimming pool as a focal point.

Custom design lap pool

Outdoor entertainment areas with a swimming pool and a fire are often features of the Palm Springs design style.

Despite the low rainfall, the courtyard swimming pool in Palm Springs is a “must have” even in the smaller landscaped gardens.

Palm Springs gardens often provide a splash of colour with hot torch lilies, geraniums, roses, and bougainvillea.

Palm Springs Landscape Design Style with Agave and Colour.

Palm Springs Landscape Design Style with Agave and Colour contrast provided by red hot poker plant (Kniphofia uvaria)

 

For the drought tolerant gardens, succulents, ornamental grasses and especially barrel cacti proliferate. The Palm Springs landscapers also make use of the local gravel, abundant boulders and the native palms from the area.

 

Palm Springs Landscaping Style with Barrel cacti and boulders.

Palm Springs Landscaping Style with Barrel cacti and boulders.

 

Rancho Mirage near Palm Spring in California.

Rancho Mirage near Palm Spring in California is an example of Palm Springs resort style landscaping. Agave and palms with contrasting splashes of colour contrast with the white walls of the buildings.

 

Indian Canyon Palm Springs.

Indian Canyon Palm Springs. The abundance of boulders and the indigenous palm trees heavily influence the Palm Springs landscape design style.

 

2. Tuscan Mediterranean style

The design style of the Mediterranean or Tuscan  garden is rooted in the choice of landscaping materials, textures and colours. Garden features such as cobbled paving, tiles, stones, bricks and especially terracotta will enhance the Mediterranean feel. Neatly clipped hedges, gravel mulch, and soft colours contrasting with brightly coloured tiles are often features in the Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens. For landscaping Melbourne gardens, consider mixing this with less formal ,drought tolerant plants and plants which give off a pleasant aroma.

Tuscan garden landscape design style.

Tuscan garden landscape design style with vines growing over a rustic pergola.

The rustic Tuscan garden are often associated with the Italian rural villas and are much less formal than the Italian Renaissance gardens. These gardens often feature deep blues complimenting the terracotta pots or roof tiles as well as olives, agaves and deep green mosaics.

Landscaping with olives in pots on a white balcony.

Landscaping with olives in pots on a white balcony. Olives are often a feature of Mediterranean Gardens.

 

The Boboli Gardens in Florence are an example of a more formal Italian design style.

The Boboli Gardens in Florence are an example of a more formal Italian design style, but the crushed granite and earthy colours are also features of the rustic Tuscan gardens.

3. Modern contemporary landscape design

This design style features concrete cantilevered concrete steps and black steel water features with lime green structural planting.

Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

Balance and symmetry are features of this design style and it is the ideal design style for contemporary homes. In contrast to the design and colours of the Tuscan garden, industrial style raw concrete is common in this style of garden as well as stone and wooden garden ornaments.

Landscape design with structural lime planting.

Landscape design with structural lime planting and Italian pencil pines.

 

Patio with Lime green structural plantings.

The symmetry and balance of contemporary landscape design. Patio with Lime green structural plantings.

Modern Contemporary landscape design style video

 

4. French Provincial design

The French Provincial Landscape Design Style features Hedges, Ornamental Pears, Cobblestone driveways and anduze pots. The hedges are often box hedges (buxus) and flowering plums (prunus).

anduze pottery

Anduze pottery has been made in the Anduze commune in the south of France since the early 1600s. The design style influenced by Florentine pottery.

 

A French Provincial garden with patio and Anduze pots.

A French Provincial garden with patio and Anduze pots.

The French Provincial style has many similarities with the Tuscan landscaping design style.

French Provincial house

The French Provincial house is an influence on this landscape design style.

 

 

French Landscape design is influenced by the cobbled streets of France.

French Landscape design is influenced by the cobbled streets of France.

5. Coastal Garden Design Style

This design style feature loose plantings of native grasses like Lomandra, native shrubs and whitewashed timber batten screens.  Local boulders are also a big part of this landscape design style.

The coastal landscape design style is often used for hardy, low maintenance, commercial landscaping of public spaces.

 

Coastal Garden design style is often used in commercial landscaping.

Coastal Garden design style is often used in commercial landscaping.

Hardy Australian native grasses make an attractive and drought resistant garden.

Australian grass Swamp Foxtail, Cenchrus purpurascens

Sunlight shining through the feathery flowerheads of the native Australian grass Swamp Foxtail, Cenchrus purpurascens. Also known as Fountain Grass.

Coastal Gardens often require clever solutions to protect plants from the fierce ocean winds. One solution is to use a white washed timber batten screen. The gaps in the screen allow some of the air to move through the screen, so minimising the turbulence that occurs with a solid fence. The white batten screens can be used as a design feature and provide contrast with grasses or Xanthorrhoea and Anigozanthos in the garden.

 

White timber batten screen

White timber batten screen

Coastal garden plants have to endure salt spray, wind and often not very fertile sandy soils, so Lomandra is ideal for landscaping coastal gardens as it is a very hardy and drought resistant Australian Native Grass with attractive foliage.

 

The green lomandra makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

The green lomandra mass planting makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

 

Lomandra plants

Lomandra plants being planted in a new coastal garden in Hampton.

Commercial Landscaping Design Trends

In the commercial landscaping of public spaces the design trends are towards sustainability through the use of drought tolerant plant and the handling of rainwater through rain-gardens and permeable concrete. Modern Public Space Design also requires a welcoming and accessible area where people can relax with a range of activities. As with residential landscape design, there is a strong trend towards outdoor entertaining areas where people can relax around a public barbecue.

 

Related Landscape Design News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.

Landscape Design Melbourne

 

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

 

11 Best landscapers of all time.

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Commercial Landscaping

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality Melbourne Landscaper

 

More information on Landscape Design Styles and Plants

Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily

 

The Anduze Vase

 

Sustainable Landscape Design

 

How to study Landscape Architecture

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Building a Asphalt road. Will plastic be an important ingredient in the future.

Plastic Roads, the next step for Australia?

After hugely successful installations in Zwolle and Giethoorn in the Netherlands, plastic roads and paths are about to become mainstream. Now, two years after the concept was first tested, a team of plastic road specialists are taking the idea global, with Australia the next step on their journey.

Plastic roads? Is it as simple as it sounds?

There’s more to this concept than first meets the eye. Yes, the roads are made using plastic rather than asphalt, but it’s actually recycled plastic that elevates this product to the next level. As well as the plastic surface that road users will see, Aussie engineers will be able to access the prefabricated hollow space that is carefully designed for a whole range of purposes, like cable transiting, piping, road heating, generating energy, and moving water through. The circular economy played a major part in the design, and so these roads are both recycled and recyclable, not that they have a short life span, in fact, their designers expect that plastic roads will perform for three times as long as asphalt.

Plastic Road -

The hollow space that can be used to hold water to help prevent flooding or for the transit of cables and pipes.

 

What are the advantages of plastic roads for Australians?

● The lightweight and prefabricated hollow space allows more road to be built and faster, with ease of transport, and easier maintenance that is required less frequently
● With the lifespan being 3 times longer than asphalt, Australian roads and tax dollars can go further, for longer!
● Almost no deterioration from weeds and bad weather, and can handle constant traffic and safely drain water
● Noise-reducing, as the material absorbs more sound than asphalt
● Highly sustainable design using mostly recycled plastic, reusable and recyclable components, and based on the Cradle to Cradle and Circular Economy principles
● Effective hollow space design which appeals to civil engineers, with the increased functionality also making it plausible to innovate the roads for renewable energy capturing in the future
● Helping to tackle the problem of plastic waste, which is just as big a problem in Australia as in other countries

 

What problems are plastic roads tackling?

Of course, primarily the roads are tackling the faults of asphalt, but the secondary benefits go way beyond and contribute to a better society. Issues such as plastic waste, extreme weather, better mobility, quality urban development, crowded subsurfaces, and more can be addressed. Asphalt is not terrible, but it does not offer modern solutions to modern problems, and contractors, municipalities, provinces, and water authorities want more functionality and innovation from their roads.

Cyclists on a new road.

Cyclists on a plastic road.

 

How sustainable is this idea?

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne, we’re keen to vet our supply chain, to assess our products, processes, and materials, and to ask big questions about sustainability to find better answers. When we heard about the plastic road concept, naturally it caught our attention.

The sustainability factor is high, because:
1. Plastic roads source a lot of recycled plastic for their manufacturing. In one of the trials in the Netherlands, 1,000kg of recycled plastic was used for a 30m cycle path. Scale that into a decent length of road surface and millions of tonnes could be sustainably utilised high up in the chain
2. The carbon footprint of recycled post-industrial plastic is much lower than asphalt, with manufacturers arguing a 50-70% reduction in CO2 emissions. As the production of the roads increases and processes scale, this percentage will improve even further
3. The innovation is based on the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, with elements of the Circular Economy also used as inspiration
4. The roads can be recycled at the end of their lifespan and turned into more plastic roads!
5. Plastic roads can be built directly on top of sand, saving the resources that would usually be used for a foundation. Australia has a lot of sand, so this is a big plus
6. Transporting the components for a plastic road is much easier and less energy-intensive than asphalt, and in fact, requires 85% less transport overall

Who is making the product?

Australia will welcome a collaborative team from PlasticRoad, KWS, Wavin, and Total in the first quarter of 2021 to begin industrial manufacturing.

 

Plastic Road infrastructure

Plastic Road infrastructure

 

Is this project unique, or is Australia trialling other road innovations?

In New South Wales, another plastic road project is underway, with the NSW Environment Protection Authority approving the use of Downer’s Reconophalt road surface product. This material also uses some recycled plastics and has been extensively tested to ensure that there is no release of microplastics or BPA leaching into the environment. As well as recycled plastic, the road mix contains toner, glass, and reclaimed road.

Building a Asphalt road. Will plastic be an important ingredient in the future.

Roller and workers on asphalting and repair of city streets. Will plastic soon be an important ingredient in road construction?

 

The recycled plastic is post-consumer, with a community network sourcing material from Coles, Woolworths, schools, councils, and businesses, with the help of RedCycle and Plastic Police. The first trials back in 2018 were a big victory for sustainable road surfacing and since then, roads have been laid in Australia Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Downer’s General Manager of pavements, Stuart Billing, is quoted as saying:

“We have invested significantly in research and development over a long period of time and I am incredibly proud of our team’s commitment to deliver a product that is environmentally safe, sustainable and outperforms standard asphalt. Even after a road has been laid with Reconophalt, the pavement is perpetually recyclable, providing a truly circular and sustainable solution for communities and generations to come. To us, it’s all about pulling products, not pushing waste.”

Final thoughts

Red’s Landscaping Melbourne are keen to see more and more sustainable innovations popping up around the country, giving a good indication that the construction and engineering industries are looking at their projects and asking tough questions.

 

Related Landscaping Articles from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement

 

Tennis Court Construction Balwyn Community Centre

 

5 Reasons For Using Recycled Plastic Composites

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

13 Best Reasons To Preserve Balwyn Urban Wetlands

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

More information on Plastic Roads

 

Building the Future

 

Downer’s Reconophalt road surface product

 

More information on plastics recycling

Boroondara Council A to Z recycling and waste guide.

 

 

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Composite Plastic Enviroslat Bench with cast in-situ concrete base.

5 Reasons For Using Recycled Plastic Composites

Melbourne Landscaping companies are now turning to an unlikely material for some of their wood finishes. The material: recycled plastic composite. Why not use wood itself? Here are the five best reasons…

 

Reason One: Toughness and Durability of Recycled Plastic Composites

Plastic is tougher than wood, and of course, that’s not to say wood isn’t tough, wood is an amazing and versatile material, but the facts don’t lie. Wood has a habit of splitting, snapping, splintering, grazing, and chipping, and through no fault of its own, it’s also a tasty snack for insects. Mould also loves wood and shows this love by growing all over it. Finally, wood is highly porous by nature, meaning it has to be covered in waterproofing oil to make it suitable for landscaping finishes. This lack of water resistance is the ultimate undoing for wood.

 

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne , we’ve found that recycled plastic composites is pretty much the opposite. It’s nonporous, insects and mould aren’t interested in it, chemicals don’t bother it, and it requires a huge amount of force or professional tools to snap it.

Our recent commercial landscaping project at Balwyn Community Centre made great use the Futurewood products Enviroslat and CleverDeck

Being man-made is a huge advantage for plastic , as it gives an opportunity for engineers to re-master the material, to make it stronger, more shock absorbent, better reinforced (often with fibreglass) and it also gives control over colour and design.

CleverDeck Composite Recycled Plastic decking from Futurewood.

CleverDeck Composite Plastic decking from Futurewood looks just like timber on this deck.

Reason Two: UV Resistance of Recycled Plastic Composite Wood

In wet and humid countries, wood is known to quickly rot and break, so what happens in a country like Australia where the biggest weather challenge for wood is the sun? UV radiation is an invisible threat to wood fibres, rendering them less resilient and more prone to cracking, warping, or cupping. An entire decking or fence section can be destroyed by failing to protect them with a waterproof sealer and UV light sealer.

 

Plastic Composite Wood doesn’t suffer from the same problem, in fact, recycled plastic wood is UV resistant, meaning the performance, quality, and appearance will decrease much more slowly over time than real wood.

Recycled plastic composite decking looks like real wood.

 

Reason Three: Waste reduction

The construction industry accounts for more than one-third of the world’s waste, if some experts are correct. This is a big problem, so the construction industry, engineering industry, and other connected sectors like landscaping are responsible for finding new ways to recycle these materials and ensure they avoid the landfill. The recycled plastic ‘wood’ that we use takes post-industrial HDPE and makes a waste-reducing product that also saves rainforest timber from being felled.

Recycled plastic wood composites on this brown enviroslat fence looks great in contrast to the green bamboo leaves.

This brown Enviroslat fence looks great in contrast to the green bamboo leaves.

 

Reason Four: Cost effective

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne , we are happy to provide a cost-benefit analysis for plastic wood in comparison to wood, showing that there is a high hidden cost in maintaining timber year after year. As a side to that fact, the oil used to protect timber slats contains a number of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.

 

Over the entire life span, plastic lumber more than makes up for its higher purchasing price, providing a truly economical option to those who want quality and longevity.

 

Reason Five: Expert Science

The final of our five reasons (though we could give plenty more) brings us to the science behind the plastic lumber’s composition. As you see in the list below, the ingredients are either eco-friendly natural materials, post-industrial waste, or small quantities of carefully selected chemicals to make sure the resulting material is perfect for landscaping (and other applications). The products are made from over 90% recycled and reused plastic and rice husk mixed with some pigments and fillers as well as UV absorbers to ensure the material remains tough for a long time.

How recycled Plastic Timber Composites are made.

How your recycled Plastic bottles become Timber Composites park furniture.

Landscaping with Enviroslat and CleverDeck recycled plastic Composite Timber slats

The recycled plastic composite timber slats have a wide range of uses in landscaping. It is the ideal material for pergolas, decking of to improve the look of your backyard shed. The low maintenance, toughness, and aesthetic qualities make it a great material for the commercial landscaping of public places like the Balwyn Community Centre. The urban wetlands boardwalk is a fantastic example of how this new landscaping material can be used.

 

Recycled Enviroslat Cladding on a shed at Balwyn Community Centre.

Enviroslat Cladding on a shed at Balwyn Community Centre

The Boardwalk at Balwyn Community Centre

 

Park Furniture from recycled plastic composites

The toughness of recycled plastic composites, also makes them great for the manufacturing of Park Outdoor Furniture for landscaping public spaces. For this reason, commercial landscapers are now seeing these materials specified more often by the Landscape architects.

Outdoor Park Furniture Marrickville library outdoor furniture using recycled plastic.

A round outdoor seat. Marrickville library outdoor furniture – Photograph courtesy of botton + gardiner

The materials used are engineered for longevity meaning no need to replace and consume additional resources. Park furniture manufactured from recycled plastic composite wood are very low maintenance. The composites on these outdoor park furniture pieces require no sealing, or oiling.  There is also no risk of termite destruction when these materials are used. The long chain polyolefin molecules mean that the materials are also very resistant to warping.

S - Shaped outdoor seat. Marrickville Library.

S – Shaped outdoor seat. Marrickville Library. Photograph courtesy of botton + gardiner

 

Manufacturing of Outdoor Park Furniture

The manufacturing process for making outdoor park furniture with recycled plastic composites is similar to making park furniture with wood. The process is however more efficient as there is no need to oil or paint the timber composites. An added bonus is the slats are manufactured straight and with uniform thickness and width. This is hard to achieve even with the best kiln dried timbers. This can be seen in the photographs below of the park furniture manufacturing at botton + gardiner.

 

 

Commercial Landscaping with recycled composite timber.

The toughness and durability of recycled composite timber makes material like Enviroslat ideal for commercial landscaping applications. The toughness and the use of HDPE in the material makes the outdoor furniture resistant to vandals. The Ultraviolet Stability means that the colour does not fade much or peel meaning that repainting is rarely required. The absence of wood splinters and warping are even more reasons what these materials are great for commercial landscaping.

 

Want to learn more about our recycled plastic timber projects?

Get in touch with us today or check out our landscaping case studies page.

 

CleverDeck and Enviroslat are Trademarks of Future Wood in Australia and the UK

 

For More information on recycling Plastic take a look at the UK Plastic Expert Website.

 

Related Landscaping Articles from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

 

Commercial Landscaping

 

Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

 

© Copyright Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd – Quality Commercial Landscaping Melbourne

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