Tag: plants

Architecture & Building

Learn all about Biodiversity in architectural design  

What is biodiversity?  

Firstly, biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is considered important and desirable. Its important because it boosts the ecosystems productivity, where each species has an important role to play.  

How can architecture help biodiversity? 

The impact architecture has on the ecosystem is enormous. In addition architecture can contribute to biodiversity by creating habitat opportunities as part of new developments. Planted roofs, roadside trees, together with larger green infrastructure like parks and wetlands, can foster biodiversity by providing habitat for breeding, shelter and food for birds, pollinators and other animals.   

Architects impact biodiversity in five main ways:  

  • Decisions regarding roofs, walls, landscape 
  • Conservation and rehabilitation of existing structures 
  • Materials used in construction – their sourcing, assembly, and disposal 
  • Adverse effects of buildings in terms of air and water pollution  
  • Resources needed to sustain buildings in use. Energy, water, etc.  

Ways you can increase biodiversity –  

Protect and restore the design –  

This is the first and most important rule. You should get to know local ecology and protect it. If you are building in a degraded area, you should try to understand its past and see if you can restore what was there previously.  

Diversity –  

Furthermore, to avoid disease, pests, and to support biodiversity you should select plants from a maximum of 30% of the same family, 10% of the same genus, and 20% of the same species. 

Use native species –  

If an urban environment is so different, some native species may not flourish in it. If you aim to increase biodiversity in the plants and animals’ kingdoms, the native species will support the wild life.  

How does architecture help the environment?  

Finally, architects need to make buildings that are friendly and green to the environment which can be adaptable to the surroundings. Meaning they need to create more eco-friendly and energy efficient buildings.  

Credits: https://learning.open-city.org.uk/bugs-in-the-city/
Architecture & Building

How Green architecture impacts the modern world  

It is commonly known by now that the world as we know it has become endangered over the years. In the architecture industry the response has been the growth of green architecture.  

What is green architecture?  

Green architecture is a philosophy that advocates for architects to produce smart designs and use of technologies to ensure that structures generate minimal harmful effects to the ecosystem and the communities.  

The rise of green architecture –  

The green architecture movement gained momentum in the late 80s/ early 90s when the American Institute of Architects collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new guidelines for architectural design. 

What makes a building green? 

Any building can be green if it is made with these features:  

  • Good indoor environmental air quality  
  • Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy  
  • Efficient use of energy, water, space and other resources 
  • Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable 
  • A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment 
  • Consideration of the environment in design, construction, and operation 
  • Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling 
  • Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction, and operation 

Why is green architecture important? 

While cities are continuously expanding, the Earth itself is not getting any bigger. This growth has a huge impact to the environment because the process of developing new habitats for our communities constantly requires a huge chunk of our natural resources. 

According to the UN Environment Global Status Report 2017, building and construction account for more than 35% of global final energy use and for nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions. While these numbers are lower than those in 2010 due to a higher awareness regarding sustainability, there’s still a long way to go. 

Here are some examples of sustainable architecture –  

One central park, Sydney Australia –  

One central park is a mixed use dual high-rise building located in Sydney. A park at the foot of the building continues up the structure. Vegetation of 250 species of Australian plants and flowers cover one central park. The plants stretch over 50 meters high, and it has become the world’s tallest vertical garden. In 2013 the building was awarded a 5-star green star by the green building council of Australia.  

Image: Sardaka

Shanghai tower, Shanghai China –  

The world’s second tallest building at 2,073 feet, Shanghai Tower is an architectural wonder as well as a sustainable one. A transparent second skin wrapped around the building creates a buffer of captured air that serves as natural ventilation, reducing energy costs, and 270 wind turbines incorporated into the facade power its exterior lights. 

Bosco Verticale, Milan Italy –  

The project was named Bosco Verticale, or in English “Vertical Forest”, because together the towers have 800 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 1.5000 perennial plants, which help mitigate smog and produce oxygen. With more than 90 species, the buildings’ biodiversity is expected to attract new bird and insect species to the city. It is also used to moderate temperatures in the building in the winter and summer, by shading the interiors from the sun and blocking harsh winds. The vegetation also protects the interior spaces from noise pollution and dust from street-level traffic. 

Advice Center

Interior design trends to look out for in 2022

It’s always exciting when a new season or year arrives and it’s time to update your home décor to fit in with the trends. Our homes are constantly evolving and changing, to fit in with our style, so it is important that we keep our homes up to date with trends as well.  

Interior design trends in 2022 –  

The predicted trends to look out for in 2022 are all about embracing and re-engaging the world. Patterns, colours, and materials that represent more natural objects are becoming more popular. Here is a list of trends that you might want to incorporate into your home décor.  

Natural colours such as creams and browns –  

Natural colours are taking over from the pristine whites and greys in 2022. Including the simplicity and calmness of colours and objects that symbolise nature can create a more peaceful home environment. Especially after the craziness of the last couple of years.  

A hugely popular decorative accessory has been dried flowers and grasses. They work great alongside house plants and the aesthetic of your home because they are often cream in colour.   

Autumnal Interior Design Trends | Rated People Blog

Nature-inspired objects and surfaces –  

Many people are really liking the natural surfaces, for example, stoneware, marble, and travertine. These materials are being used everywhere from, flooring to, backsplashes, bathtubs, and decorative objects. The imperfect nature of these materials creates visual interest and helps bring the outside vibe inside.  

Home objects are also being made out of these materials, for example, chopping boards, dishes, vases, and so on.  

Is Travertine Stone the biggest Interior Design Trend?

Sculptural vases –  

Instagram has made sculptural vases become a massive trend for 2022 interior design. Their fun abstract characteristics and different designs have made people fall in love with them. Adding a couple of these vases to your shelf can up the wow factor of your space.   

Statement lighting –  

People love to add statement lighting because they are very useful. They are both functional and fashionable, they light up the whole area and look like a piece of artwork. And sales have shown that in 2022 a 27% increase of searches has been made for this type of lighting.  

So, hop on the statement piece lighting trend before it’s too late.  

Lighting Design Trends 2021/2022

Including shades of green –  

After being stuck inside due to the pandemic, I think it has made people appreciate the green and natural colours of the outside. And they now want to include them in their homes. It creates the vibe of bringing the outside in and making a fresh environment.  

Pinterest has seen searches for green interior inspiration increase by 80% this year. This is not a surprise because it is a beautiful colour, and works so well in a home.  

The 8 Best Living Room Paint Colors, According to Design Experts | Real  Simple

Black accents –  

By adding black accents into your home, it adds more edge and depth to more minimal spaces. Especially if you love lighter furniture and elements, it adds the right amount of contrast to the space. You could include this by swapping handles for black ones, putting up a black mirror or just having black ornaments around the house.    

Black accents to create an interior with personality. - Interior Notes

House plants – 

House plants will always be a popular trend because they are so beneficial to your health. Plants have a calming effect and they help clean the air, so living with plants can be great.  

10 Tips for Interior Decorating with Plants | Stauffers

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Design and Inspiration

A beginner’s guide to know all about green roofs

What is a green roof? 

green roofs are buildings that are that is covered completely with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. The roof may include a root barrier, which is a physical wall underground placed so that plants may cohabit together. Also, a drainage and irrigation system, so the roof doesn’t get damaged. An irrigation system is an artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water to land to help the production of crops. The drainage system is so the roof doesn’t get filled up with excess water because it could cause a leak.  

What are the types of green roofs?

There are two types of green roofs and they are: 

Intensive: A tensive roof is one that is used as a recreational space, and often includes similar features to traditional parks and gardens. For example, intensive roofs would usually have shrubs, trees, paving, lawns, and even water features. It is basically a garden on your roof.  

Extensive: Extensive roofs normally intend to be viewed from a different location as visual or ecological features. These also do not have people walk on them apart from for Maintenace purposes.  

Why are they so popular and what are the benefits?    

The green roof market in 2017 was growing by 17% each year. This is because green roofs are very eco-friendly and they are a good way to promote environmental sustainability.  They also have a lot of benefits one of the main ones is that they reduce temperatures and remove heat from the air. In the summer green roofs protect the building from solar heat, and in the winter green roofs minimise heat loss through the added insulation of the roof. They’re also very aesthetically pleasing to look at and that’s why a lot of people go for the extensive roof. Another benefit is that green roofs reduce the risk of fires because of the high water content in the plants. That is a great thing because green roofs provide habitats for birds, insects, and other wildlife.  

Green roofs do tend to be more expensive than a traditional roofs, because of all the extra support and the layers that need to be installed.  You would need to maintain it by removing the weeds and applying fertilizer so that the plants carry on growing. You could also have drainage issues, which could lead to excess water flow. However, the roofs also have an average life span of around 40 years. That would end up saving you around £144,397.00 in the long run.  

As you can see there are far greater benefits for a green roof. If you are an environmentalist or if you’re not this roof provides a lot of positives for the environment and in general.  Over the last few years, they have been becoming a lot more popular and the sales of them are growing.

Gallery of Sky Garden House / Guz Architects - 2
A green roof example