Energy saving and he cost of heating and cooling is one of the most significant expenses by any property owner. Using excessive energy indoors to maintain a comfortable temperature is wasteful, adds extra CO2 and other pollutants to the air, and puts pressure on national and regional energy resources.

With rising energy costs, people are looking for methods for energy saving.

The Rising Cost of Energy and the Need for Energy Saving.

The rising cost of energy is a significant issue for the people of Melbourne. The city is becoming hotter as a result of climate change and the urban heat island effect caused by materials such as concrete, brick, and bitumen that store heat from the sun, requiring them to use much energy to maintain their indoor temperature.

The urban heat island effect caused by materials such as concrete, brick, and bitumen keeps the CBD hotter by storing heat.  Smart landscape design can keep areas cooler and provide an energy saving.
The urban heat island effect caused by materials such as concrete, brick, and bitumen keeps the CBD hotter by storing heat. Smart landscape design can keep areas cooler and provide an energy saving.

Homeowners, commercial building owners, and public place owners are all searching for ways to save energy in their properties. Various methods can and should be used to reduce energy use. However, smart landscape design can and should make homes more energy efficient. Attractive and well-planned landscaping may do more than enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property; it can also help save money on energy bills.

Landscape Design for Energy Saving.

Well-placed trees, bushes, vines, and artificial materials may provide excellent shade and serve as a wind barrier, changing the environment that surrounds your property to limit heat gains in summer and heat losses in winter. Your property may be protected from winter winds and the summer heat by the presence of plants. Through smart energy saving landscape design, we can further enhance the energy saving of a 7-star energy-efficient home.

According to Fisher (2007), shade trees in Australian cities like Melbourne and Adelaide save about 30 kWh energy per tree, which means that Melbourne’s 2.4 million shade trees save 72 million kWh energy per year, preventing 86,000 tons CO2 emissions per year from coal-powered electricity.

According to research, a good landscape design may change the temperature in and around your house by up to 12 degrees Celsius. In addition, a study revealed that a well-designed landscape results in energy savings and a return on investment in less than eight years. It has also been reported that strategic placement of trees in the landscape design may cut winter heating costs by up to 25 per cent and summer cooling costs by up to 50 per cent or more.


This article aims to increase the exposure of buildings to the winter sun, decrease exposure to the summer sun, and lower the surrounding air temperature during hot weather in Melbourne City. Following are a few ways to create an energy-efficient landscape design that can reduce our utility bills.

The Planting of deciduous trees for Energy Saving

Every day, urban trees offer a variety of advantages to all of us. They bring soothing shade, stop chilling winter winds, attract birds and other animals, filter the air, stop soil erosion, produce fruits, clean the water, and enhance the beauty of our homes and neighbourhoods. Planting the good trees in the proper locations conserves energy, decreases our electric costs, and helps in the battle against global warming.

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

In addition to enhancing the beauty of the environment, deciduous trees are very beneficial around the house, commercial buildings, and in public areas because they give cooling shade in the summer, which lowers your air conditioning expenses, and they allow the sunshine to enter in the winter, which reduces your gas heating costs.

Evergreen trees cannot provide this shadow contrast. Because of the deciduous trees, you may spend more time in your outdoor garden.

The priority in energy-saving landscape design is tree placement. Where would you want to grow trees and shrubs? And what are you hoping to achieve by increasing these trees and shrubs? The answers to these questions determine the project’s significance and effectively describe what you aim to achieve.

Energy saving landscaping with the use of deciduous shade trees to the North and West.

Deciduous trees are excellent for windows facing north, northeast, and northwest. These trees are ideally placed in these positions because of their ability to be packed in the hottest months of the year and barren in the coldest months of the year. Allowing in winter light while shielding the home from the hottest summer rays in summer is the perfect energy saving situation.

It is best to avoid unshaded pavement to the north, east, and west, as hard surfaces reflect heat upwards through windows. Lawns and low ground covers are great options for such spaces if you can’t avoid paving. Deciduous trees with good shade and a wide canopy can help if you already have a driveway.

Energy saving with deciduous trees.
Energy saving with deciduous trees. The trees allow sunlight through in Winter, late Autumn and early Spring. With smart landscape design, the deciduous trees can reduce radiant heat heat from the sun heating up your home.

East and west-oriented windows are difficult to protect from the severe summer heat because of the angle of the summer sun and its location higher in our sky. The covering of deciduous leaves to the ground on the eastern and western sides can prevent the summer light from reaching the walls or windows at low angles, but you will still need to invest in exterior shade systems. Vertical screening is the best option for blocking the sun at these angles.

It is more challenging to protect North-facing windows from the extreme summer sunlight. Planting deciduous trees near the home might provide much-needed shade, especially if your outdoor gathering takes place in this direction. Here are the most fantastic deciduous trees to plant in commercial landscape design to save energy or to employ in your home to build a 7-star energy-efficient house.


Ginkgo biloba, often known as ginkgo, is a tree species native to China. It is a large and beautiful deciduous tree that grows slowly and lives for a long period. It has unique leaves that look like a fan and have veins that spread out from the leaf stalk. The foliage is a deep green that becomes golden yellow in the autumn. This tree has an excellent shape and offers beautiful colour in the autumn. According to studies, the ginkgo tree might help urban areas to survive climate change by creating a huge amount of oxygen. Because of their summer shade, ginkgo trees are popular among landscapers.

gingko tree, maidenhair tree
Ginkgo biloba tree in yellow , golden leaves of Ginkgo Biloba autumn colours (gingko tree, maidenhair tree)


Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia,’ also known as golden Robinia, is a beautiful deciduous tree that grows quickly. In the spring, it displays bright yellow or golden pinnate leaves that turn green in the summer months. Late spring brings clusters of pea-like flowers that are creamy white and slightly fragrant. Because of its beautiful leaf colour and dappled shade, Robinia ‘Frisia’ is an excellent home feature tree. This tree may also be used for street planting and in gardens.

If planting the Golden Robinia in bushland areas, take care that the plant does not escape and become an invasive weed. It can be spread very easily by suckering.


The Honey locus (Gleditsia triacanthos), also known as the thorny locust, is a deciduous tree in Fabaceae, native to Central North America.

It is a beautiful tree with a vase-shaped canopy and soft weeping habit. It has gorgeous, fern-like, dark green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn and produces white flowers in the spring.

Gleditsia triacanthos will grow as a big tree, providing excellent shade in the summer. Because it is deciduous, it will let in the winter sun and warmth.


The Chinese pistachio is a beautiful little and medium deciduous tree cultivated as an ornamental shade tree. This plant’s leaves turn lovely orange and crimson colours during the autumn season. It has panicles of greenish flowers in April and May but is unattractive.

Chinese Pistachio
The Chinese pistachio This plant provides great Autumn colour for your Melbourne garden, with leaves turning beautiful shades of orange and red

The bark of a Chinese pistachio tree is greyish brown, and if you peel it off, you’ll find a shocking salmon pink colour inside. It is a beautiful feature tree for parks and gardens. Pistacia chinensis is excellent for street plantings that offer shade and is ideal for gardens of all sizes.

Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis)
Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) is drought tolerant and has a neat hemispherical appearance. Chinese pistachio grows well in full sun to partial shade on moderately fertile, well-drained soils.


This tree grew from a seed collected in Burnley College, University of Melbourne. It is a lovely little to a medium-sized semi-deciduous ornamental tree with upright branches. Attractive, tiny, glossy green leaves turn golden and scarlet in autumn and remain on the tree until winter. It is ideally suited as a shade tree for parks, street planting, and large gardens.  As a windbreaks or shade trees, it is great for energy saving landscape design.

Ulmus parvifolia 'Burnley Select' 40cm - Photo The Advanced Tree Company.
Ulmus parvifolia ‘Burnley Select’ 40cm – Photo The Advanced Tree Company


Betula pendula, commonly known as silver birch, is a tree in the family of Betulaceae. It is a magnificent tree with a white trunk, well-known for its white trunk, vibrant green leaves, and weeping habit.

Betula pendula
Spring in the birch grove. Beautiful sunny day in the forest. Spring landscape with green birch trees.

When the tree is young, the bark is brown, but as it matures, it becomes white. This beautiful deciduous tree gives lovely dispersed shade in the summer, and the bare trees show off the beautiful bark in the winter. When planted in odd-numbered clusters, silver birch looks fantastic in gardens to form a lovely forest.

Betula pendula Silver Birch
The diamond shaped leaves of the European silver birch turn yellow in Autumn then drop to the ground to reveal more of the stunning silver-white trunk and branches.


Ornamental deciduous fruit trees make the perfect multi-functional addition to any garden. There are many benefits to growing these fruit trees in your garden, such as they can increase the garden’s aesthetic value. You can get delicious fruit from them, and they can also save your energy. Pears, nectarines, cherries, apricots, peaches, persimmon, blueberries and plums are deciduous trees you can grow in your garden.   

Manchurian Pear Pyrus ussuriensis can be used for energy saving landscape design
Flowering ussurian pear (pyrus ussuriensis) against the blue sky.

Energy Saving Landscaping with Deciduous Climbing Plants.

Vines are excellent for growing over a structure to provide welcome shade during the warmer months. This provides excellent protection from the sun, and privacy from neighbours.

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

Deciduous vines are the most incredible option. They offer excellent protection from the sun during the warm months with their thick, lush foliage.

Natural Evaporative Coolers

Vines work as an evaporative cooler for the environment, delivering fresh cool air to your property. They provide the most beautiful display of colours in autumn before losing their leaves. Then, during the winter, they will allow free heat from the sun to enter your property.

Deciduous Vines

Most climbing plants grow relatively quickly. Plant them in a sunny location near the uprights of your pergola, and spin their tendrils upward. Deciduous vines are a unique and exciting way to save energy. By allowing the sun into your property, they can reduce the demand for air conditioning in the summer and gas or electric heaters in the winter. This is an excellent method to save energy while also improving the beauty of your outdoor area. Planting deciduous vines is the best technique to save not only the energy but also increase the aesthetic value of your property. In addition, you can spend maximum time in your entertaining outdoor areas through vines above the pergolas. Here are some vines that you can use in your garden.


Wisteria is a gorgeous deciduous climber with a great perfume that flowers in the spring. The flowers are mauve to violet and smell very good, giving your outdoor space a fresh smell. However, it is an all-season climber, with summer shade, fall golden leaf colour, and winter tracery that allows winter sun. Wisteria on pergolas makes a gorgeous outdoor area that everyone wants to share with you in any season.

Pergola walkway with wisteria
Pergola walkway with wisteria


The ornamental grape is a deciduous climber that is a decorative kind of grapevine with some excellent characteristics. The Vitis vinifera is robust and lives a long time. Featuring a dense, lush cover of green leaves in the summer, then a beautiful red and orange autumn colour before falling off in the winter. In the right conditions, it spreads rapidly and must be controlled with pruning during the dormant winter. Train it to climb during the winter season to achieve the best energy saving results.


Clematis is among the most fantastic climbing plants for a pergola in a garden. They are among the most ornamental and magnificent flowering vines. Except for a few, the are the majority of deciduous vines and can be used for energy saving landscape design. Depending on the kind, its flowers come in stunning forms and colours. Climbing roses and clematis are ideal companion plants. They can happily share the same pergola, arch, or doorway, reaching for the sun and displaying a magnificent vertical floral display.

Using 3D Landscape Design for Energy Saving

Using advanced 3D design tools, we can develop a landscape design plan to reduce energy usage in most landscape designs. The landscape design software allows us to check for the position of shadows for any given day of the year.

The position of the sun in the sky varies with the season. The tilt of the earth means the sun is much lower in Winter as you move further from the equator.

North facing Pergola with a deciduous vine is a quick solution to reduce radiant heat in summer in Melbourne.
Energy saving landscape design requires an awareness of the position of the sun at various time of the year. Using 3D design software, the landscape can be designed to reduce the radiant heat though windows and in entertaining areas.


Melbourne Solar Noon sun elevation angles for North facing windows. The landscape design should maximise winter sunlight and provide some shade against summer sunlight.

Melbourne’s location at 37.8 degrees south means that the sun is at around 76 degrees at solar noon on the summer solstice. To provide Summer shade to North facing windows a pergola with a deciduous climber is quick solution to reduce your house’s heat load. Deciduous trees planted to the North west can help to provide shade in the hot late afternoons and evenings.

North facing Pergola with a deciduous vine is a quick solution to reduce radiant heat and provide energy savings in summer in Melbourne.
A North facing Pergola with a deciduous vine is a quick solution to reduce radiant heat in summer in Melbourne.


computer landscape design
Computer landscape design and horticultural plant selection. Shade predictions are part of the design.


Dark coloured concrete can absorb heat from direct sunlight, store the heat and release it slowly and create thermal mass, which increases the temperature of your home, and it takes a lot of energy to lower that temperature. Changing colour is the easiest way to make exposed aggregate concrete driveways cool. Driveways having light colours will reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat. Fortunately, exposed aggregate concrete is available in many colours. So choose and install light colour concrete for driveways. 

Landscape design packages

Our 3D landscape design package will allow you to collaborate your design in real time with one of our senior landscape designers. Using some advanced software/hardware we can create immediate 3D renders. This allows visual assessment of the design from every viewpoint. It will let you see and understand how all the elements are intended to come together giving an instant serenity.

Our software can create an artificial sun and project light and heat on any given day or time. This ability to replicate the exact angle and temperature of the sun rays projecting on the building prior to construction is  why this package is the peoples favourite. With this amount of influence and control over your future outdoor space, it is easy to see how this package will drive confidence, clarity and transparency into the build and assure all trades and parties are moving towards the same goal.

Related Landscape Design Information from Red’s Landscaping

9 tips for Landscape Design Plans


3 great Hardenbergia Vines for Garden Design


Landscaping Melbourne with Climbing Plants


Birch Trees in Landscape Design


3D Design Preview Page


Landscape Designers Top 11 Tips


3D Landscape Rendering Package


More Information on Energy Saving Landscape Design