Last week, Koru’s director Mark attended a RIBA seminar on urban greening and how to integrate green infrastructure elements.
Koru Architects is a research-based practice and as such we believe strongly in continuous study and keeping up-to-date on recent trends in the world of sustainable architecture. We relish opportunities to get out of the office and dust off our school books!
The seminar, held by chartered environmentalist and expert on urban greening Gary Grant, detailed various strategies for the design, installation and maintenance of urban green infrastructure and discussed their benefits in terms of approaches and techniques. The seminar also covered how these relate to the UK planning system.
The first part of the seminar covered green infrastructure and its various categories and typologies, as well as current UK policy, and one of our favourites, biophilic design. The group examined global urban greening trends, with case studies from around the world including London, Milan, Seoul, Portland Oregon, Singapore, Paris and Berlin.
This was followed by a discussion on the benefits of urban greening and what evidence we have for it, such as improving the microclimate, cooling, sustainable drainage, climate change adaptation, improving air quality (which we’ve written about here) and increasing biodiversity.
A particular area of focus was the recent evidence of the economic benefits of green buildings, such as fewer employee sick days. See our previous posts on this for more information.
Practical case studies on build-up, irrigation and planting, green roofs, green walls, rain gardens and habitat features (bird and bat boxes and insect hotels) were also studied by the group.
At Koru we pride ourselves on being up to speed on all current research and methodology pertaining to sustainable architecture, but we were pleased to see other practices embracing green architecture and infrastructure.
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