Sustainability

Commercial Landscaping Naturalistic Gardening.

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. 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 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.

 

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

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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

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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Environment - Clean Water

Environmental Policy for Commercial Landscaping

Environmental Policy aims

The aim of the Red’s Landscaping and Civil Environmental’s and Sustainability Policy is to provide effective environmental management that emphasises:

  1. a planned and proactive approach
  2. commitment and involvement of managers and officers at all levels
  3. meaningful and effective involvement of employees and other workers
  4. identification and control of potential sources of waste and pollution
  5. the development of a workplace culture that recognises the importance of environmental management and sustainability.
  6. appropriate provision of instruction, training, information and supervision

 

Environmental Protection Policy Responsibilities

 

The importance of environmental management requires that employees, sub-contractors and visitors take steps to safeguard the environment. Not only because of the potential legal implications, but also because it is the duty of companies to exceed the requirements of environmental legislation.

Employers and self-employed persons should be proactive and take all reasonable measures, to ensure a high standard of environmental protection;

Employers and employees should exchange information and ideas about risks to the environment and measures that can be taken to eliminate or reduce those risks;

Employees encouraged to submit ideas regarding waste minimisation, continuous improvement, health and safety and environmental protection. These are agenda items for the tool box meetings.

Environmental and Sustainability Policy Mission Statement

Environmental Policy

Red’s Landscape Gardening will comply with, and exceed, all local, state and federal laws and regulations on:

  • disposing of hazardous waste (including EPA’s list of prescribed industrial waste), trade waste (i.e. waste added to the sewer) and waste water.
  • safe handling, storage and transport of hazardous waste and dangerous goods
  • noise
  • land use
  • air pollution and carbon emissions

 

Procedure

Red’s Landscape Gardening will set targets each year to increase energy and water efficiency and seek opportunities for reducing and recycling waste. To do this, we will:

General

  • investigate ways to reduce consumption or recycle waste. E.g formwork recycling.
  • give preference to maintenance and other contractors using green products

Energy

  • buy electrical and lighting systems rated as energy efficient
  • use accredited GreenPower, either in part or whole

Water

  • buy appliances rated as water efficient
  • install irrigation systems that are designed to save water and minimise losses due to evaporation.
  • Select drought tolerant plant indigenous to the area where possible.

Waste

  • look for opportunities to improve waste management. Sustainability Victoria has tips on good waste management. Regular site inspections to identify potential safety and environmental hazards as well as potential waste reduction opportunities.
eco friendly recycling

Eco friendly recycling must be used were practical.

 

 

 

 

Environmental Policy –Soft Landscaping

  • We are committed to conservation and protection of trees, especially large canopy trees that take many years to mature.
  • effective mulching to reduce losses due to evaporation.
  • Use natural fertilisers where possible.
  • Identify and report any noxious or problem weeds.
  • The application of garden chemical shall supervised by suitably qualified and experienced personal. The supervisor must hold a recognised chemical handling license. All chemicals must be clearly labelled and food containers must not be used for chemicals.
  • Chemicals must be stored under lock and key with appropriate measures for spillage or leakage. An MSDS must be on site with any chemicals.
  • Materials brought into the worksite must be certified to the appropriate Standard.

 

 

 

Environmental PolicyConstruction and Demolition Waste

 

Building and construction sites create pollution, including different types of waste, noise and dust. Measures must be taken to minimise the impact of our work on the health of people and the environment.

Environmental Protection. Legal demolition waste disposal

Responsible Waste removal. Waste receipt dockets from an approved waste disposal facility are the only guarantee that waste from the site is going to the right place.

EnvironmentalWaste generators

As a waste generator, Red’s Landscaping and Civil is responsible for ensuring waste is taken to a facility that can lawfully accept it. Waste receipt dockets from an approved waste disposal facility are the only guarantee that waste from the site is going to the right place.

Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a wide range of industrial waste materials including:

  • excavated material such as rock and soil
  • waste asphalt, bricks, concrete, plasterboard, timber and vegetation
  • asbestos and contaminated soil.

If not managed responsibly, these waste streams can pollute the environment, pose a public health risk (particularly asbestos and contaminated soil) and pose amenity issues.

How to dispose of Construction and Demolition waste

“Under section 27A(2) of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act), any person (including a waste generator, transporter or receiver) who dumps or permits the inappropriate disposal of industrial waste at a place that cannot lawfully accept that waste type faces a fine of more than $7500, or up to $777,300 (5000 penalty units) if prosecuted. EPA can require the waste generator, transporter and receiver to clean up and pay for waste to be taken to a lawful place.”

Tips for managing Construction and Demolition waste

  • Know what types of waste will be generated during excavation, demolition and construction.
  • If a quote for managing waste is low, find out why. The company may be avoiding costs by taking the waste to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility.
  • While not a requirement, preparing and implementing a waste management plan ahead of demolition is an effective way of managing lawful waste disposal. A good plan would include:
    • details of each type of waste that will be generated, and the management action proposed for each type of waste
    • procedures that ensure the waste is dispose of at a lawful place
    • a description of the roles and responsibilities of everyone who manages the waste, including the site supervisor and subcontractors.

Remember:

  • The level of detail in the waste management plan should reflect the size and complexity of the project’s waste issues.
  • Regularly update the waste management plan to record how waste is managed and audit where waste is taken.
  • Provide adequate supervision to ensure waste management plans are implemented and complied with, and regularly audit everyone who manages waste on your behalf.
  • Provide training about the waste management plan and protecting the environment.
  • Keep accurate written records such as:
    • who transported the waste (company name, ABN, vehicle registration and driver details, date and time of transport, description of waste)
    • copies of waste receipts from the waste facility (date and time of delivery, name and address of the facility, its ABN, contact person)

Drainage and runoff

Melbourne has many beautiful waterways that are very sensitive to the effects of pollution.

During construction rainwater may flow into onsite or nearby drainage systems as well as nearby creeks and river systems. This can lead do contamination of the water from the worksite or clogging of drains or waterways from picked up sediment or litter. Appropriate measures such as bunding must be taken to mitigate against this. Potential contamination of groundwater must also be considered.

Wetlands require environmental protection during landscape construction.

Wetlands require environmental protection during landscape construction.

Environmental Protection Agency – Works Approvals

 

Works approvals are issued by EPA Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970 .They are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.

A works approval permits plant and equipment to be installed, the operation of which will result in one or more of:

  • the discharge of waste to the environment
  • an increase in, or alteration to, an existing discharge
  • a change in the way waste is treated or stored.

 

CO2 emissions

To minimise CO2 emissions Red’s Landscaping and Civil has introduced the following strategies.

 

  • Car-pooling amongst employees.
  • Selecting vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Such as;
    • 30% Ethanol.
    • PHEV (where feasible.)
  • Keeping the vehicle in good condition and getting the longest possible life out of them.
  • Use local suppliers as close as possible to the worksite.

 

Clinker

The construction industry is one of the largest contributors of atmospheric carbon dioxide, with concrete alone responsible for up to 8% of all anthropogenic carbon emissions. Carbon dioxide is released as a by-product when limestone (calcium carbonate) is heated to produce cement.

To minimise CO2 from the use of concrete Red’s Landscaping and Design has the following strategies.

 

  • Very accurate calculation of required concrete.
    • A professional estimator is used to accurately estimate quantities.
    • Accurate surveying of the worksite to drawing.
    • Accurate control of formwork dimensions.
    • Thinking ahead with form work to create a use for leftover concrete.
    • Checking drawings for excessively large foundation sections etc.
    • Issuing Purchase order with the correct quantity and grade of concrete.
    • Working with concrete suppliers on low clinker mixes when they become available.

References

This policy references following legislation in the State of Victoria;

 

 

 

 

Additional Environmental Protection Regulations – Queensland Government

Environmental protection regulation 2019

 

Related Environmental Landscaping news from Red’s Landscaping and Civil

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Romsey Eco Therapy Park Development

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

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