Innovation Led Urban Greening and How it Can Support Sustainable Architecture

Published by Scotscape on 10th September 2021 -


Sustainable architecture isn't exactly a new concept, but it has gained a lot of ground in urban planning and building design in recent years and quite rightly so! Exciting innovations in environmentally-conscious design and functionality are leading the way but in conjunction with urban greening we can really make a difference.

At Scotscape, we believe in combining modern inventiveness with environmentally sustainable building practices so that not only our homes and commercial buildings can become more energy-efficient with a lower carbon footprint but our urban landscapes can become healthier and more sustainable places to live, work and play.

What is Urban Greening?

Gone are the days when a patch of green comprising some grass, shrubs and a few trees were deemed adequate by our planners.

Nowadays urban greening involves biophilic design which enhances the quality of life for residents by providing natural elements which have a soothing effect on the mind, body and soul. In areas of great density, the challenge is to find solutions by creating gardens or botanical features to fit in with, or to the existing landscape. 

In many cases, this means using existing structures; buildings, lighting columns or street furniture as there often is inadequate space beneath our pavements to sustain planting.

It’s also essential to carefully select the plants for their benefits while also devising a clear plan for maintaining these flourishing green environments. We are now able to detail the beneficial data that the trees, shrubs and grasses are able to provide. These benefits include the amount of Particulate Matter (PM) that can be trapped, the volume of carbon removed, or NOx absorbed whilst encouraging biodiversity.

Urban greening requires meticulous planning and implementation to ensure it works well with new builds and enhances established areas. 

Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture is seen as a knowledge-share between Architects, Landscape Architects and Scotscape with the responsibility to implement sustainable practices and advise on the Urban Greening Factor. This major policy initiative can help us measure the 10% biodiversity net gain offset that is contained in the Environment Bill 2019-21, currently making its way through Parliament.

We can advise on the different components that can be included in a construction project to ensure sustainability and longevity whilst enhancing the environment with green solutions. 

These include:

  • Using Solar Powered irrigation systems
  • Sourcing locally produced plants and soil
  • Living Walls and green roofs
  • Planting to increase Biodiversity
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Interior Planting
  • LivingPillars™
  • Microforests

Living Walls

There are many health benefits to adding living walls to urban areas apart from adding a visually stunning aspect to the urban landscape of buildings and roads. It is also beneficial to add these vertical gardens to improve the air quality by mitigating pollution pockets in cramped city streets. Living walls can be added to external walls as well and internal ones. They are a great solution where traditional gardens are not feasible.

Living Pillar™

There is no denying that adding gardens to cities improves the air quality, biodiversity and aesthetics of these urban areas. However, finding spaces for gardens is often a challenge. When space is at a premium, why not attach sustainable planting to Street furniture such as lighting columns?

Solar powered with smart technology controlled by an App, recirculating irrigation, our LivingPillars™ are a must for urban development

Creating a Micro Forest

The idea of a tiny forest cropping up in a dense urban jungle will attract attention for all the right reasons. As the name suggests, a micro forest is a very small yet diverse patch of vegetation designed to capture pathogens in the air and replace them with life-giving oxygen. The vegetation chosen is usually fast-growing to have the micro forest in full bloom in the shortest possible time. One of the other benefits is that trees also shed leaves that will decompose on the ground, enhancing the soil, and it's a great way to attract local wildlife.

The Scotscape Group is dedicated to protecting the environment by implementing practices that can support sustainable architecture. These innovative ideas can be used singularly or combined with others to create a natural environment where it's least expected. Contact Scotscape Group today, and our team will work with you to create a sustainable approach to urban living.

Anna Roochove

Specialists in Commercial and Domestic Landscape Construction, Living Walls, and Urban Greening. We employ over 60 staff at our head office and nursery in Surrey, operating a fleet of vehicles to service projects across the UK and Europe.

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