Green Infrastructure

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Paul Roebuck, one of our London based ecologists, takes you through some basics on green infrastructure in the UK and highlights some really interesting projects we have worked on and exciting future developments.

The slides cover legislation, mitigation, habitat creation, ecology impact assessments and green roofs and walls.

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  • BAP Targets – chalk grassland (UK BAP). Vegetated shingle (Sussex BAP) - conditions on a roof mimic the field conditions on the South Downs in many ways – light/pH/moisture etc. Brownfield sites etc. (UK BAP)Global issues – Urban Heat Island Effect, storm water amelioration, energy balance–reduces temp. fluctuations+insulation and cooling/air conditioning
  • BAP Targets – chalk grassland (UK BAP). Vegetated shingle (Sussex BAP) - conditions on a roof mimic the field conditions on the South Downs in many ways – light/pH/moisture etc. Brownfield sites etc. (UK BAP)Global issues – Urban Heat Island Effect, storm water amelioration, energy balance–reduces temp. fluctuations+insulation and cooling/air conditioning
  • BAP Targets – chalk grassland (UK BAP). Vegetated shingle (Sussex BAP) - conditions on a roof mimic the field conditions on the South Downs in many ways – light/pH/moisture etc. Brownfield sites etc. (UK BAP)Global issues – Urban Heat Island Effect, storm water amelioration, energy balance–reduces temp. fluctuations+insulation and cooling/air conditioning
  • Green Infrastructure

    1. 1. Green Infrastructure & Biodiverse Design TEC Breakfast Briefing 14.11.2013 Paul Roebuck MIEEM MSc BSc
    2. 2. Content  Background  Introduction  Policy / Guidance  Practical Delivery Tools  Case Studies  Future & Challenges  Conclusion & Discussion
    3. 3. • Golden Age for Infrastructure Development?
    4. 4. What is Green Infrastructure? “GI represents an approach to land use that has a critical role in meeting many of the challenges we face [social, environmental and economic]. It achieves this through its multifunctional and connected nature and is underpinned by the concept of ecosystem services, an approach which recognises the many benefits that are generated by natural ecosystems” Landscape Institute
    5. 5. What is Green Infrastructure? “GI is a strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green spaces and other environmental features. It should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities”. Natural England
    6. 6. Examples of Green Infrastructure & Biodiverse Design • • • • • Living Roofs Parks & Gardens SuDs Features Living Walls Green Corridors – Rivers, Road and Rail • Amenity Greenspace • Allotments • Natural and Semi-Natural Urban Greenspace
    7. 7. Green Infrastructure – Key Principles
    8. 8. Who is involved?
    9. 9. Policy & Legislation • Historical planning policy and legislation relating to ecology and biodiversity has been largely led by the principles of conservation and protection • Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) & Habitat Regulations (1994) as examples • 20th Century approach?
    10. 10. • Future planning policy and legislation - Creation, Conservation & Protection • Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act (NERC) (2006), the Localism Act (2011) & National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2012) • LPAs must have „a due regard to biodiversity‟ (NERC Act) and will expect a „net gain‟ from the development (NPPF) • Green Infrastructure essential part of Local Plans • 21st Century approach?
    11. 11. Additional Drivers for Green Infrastructure & Biodiverse Design? • Biodiversity Action Plan Targets – species and habitats • • Building Environmental Assessment Tools – – Building Environmental Assessment Tools BREEAM, CfSH BREEAM, CfSH • • Nature Improvement Areas (NIA‟s) && Biodiversity Nature Improvement Areas (NIA‟s) Biodiversity Offsetting (No Net Loss) Net Loss) Offsetting (No • • Major Infrastructure Projects – – Require Mitigation & Major Infrastructure Projects Require Mitigation & Design • Common sense? “integrate the built and natural form Design • together” sense? “integrate the built and natural Common form‟‟
    12. 12. Guidance – General Overview
    13. 13. Guidance – Focused Design
    14. 14. Building Environmental Assessment Tools (BEATs)  Assessment of building design performance - using criteria and summary of overall performance.  Addresses broad range of sustainability issues - demonstrates the environmental credentials of your building.  BREEAM - Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.  CfSH – Code for Sustainable Homes.  BRE making revisions to Ecology section in 2014. Complete overhaul? TEC part of task group to make changes.
    15. 15. Benefits of Green Infrastructure The multiple functions that GI assets provide are underpinned by the concept of „ecosystem services‟. In the recent UK National Ecosystem Assessment these services were divided into four categories:  Supporting Services – ecosystem processes  Regulating Services – control mechanisms  Provisioning Services – products  Cultural Services - non-material benefits
    16. 16. Supporting Services  Soil formation  Nutrient cycle  Photosynthesis
    17. 17. Regulating Services Provisioning  Climate Services change – e.g reducing surface water flooding  Detoxification/purification in soil, water and air  Hazard regulation – water attenuation  Pollution control  Pollination
    18. 18. Provisioning Services  Wildlife habitats (biodiversity)  Economic productivity - land and property value etc.  Energy production  Food production  Water supply
    19. 19. Cultural Services  Recreation  Access to nature  Social interaction & cohesion  Aesthetic/visual quality  Improved health & well being  Environmental education
    20. 20. Case Studies – Thames Green Bridge
    21. 21. Landscape Planting – Design  Selection – „right plant in the right place‟  Sustainable horticulture – planting medium, water, nutrients  Species of known wildlife value - native vs. non-native?  Provenance of native stock – Pests & diseases (ash dieback etc.)  Planting density / diversity – do we need to take our leads from nature?  Long-term management is key – Management Plan (BEATs), funding/costs, grounds maintenance/contractual issues, fostering ownership etc.
    22. 22. GI Audit - London Bridge Area Land-use
    23. 23. GI Audit - Project Background  Urban environment – 39% is buildings  75% of rainfall is surface run-off  Prediction is for a 40% increase in peak rainfall events  London Regional Flood Risk Appraisal identified surface water flooding as the major concern  Ambition to increase green (vegetated) cover in central London by 5% by 2030 and 10% by 2050 (London Plan)
    24. 24. Climate Change Reality - Tooley Street
    25. 25. Climate Change Reality - Tooley Street
    26. 26. Rain Gardens  Reducing the amount and rate of surface water leaving urban sites is one of the most effective ways of managing flood risk  Rain gardens are only one part of the SuDS process  The aim is to mimic natural drainage processes
    27. 27. Lyon Rain Gardens
    28. 28. Lyon Urban Wetlands
    29. 29. Hackney Urban Swale
    30. 30. Hackney Urban Swale
    31. 31. Hackney Urban Swale
    32. 32. Potential Rain Garden?
    33. 33. Potential Rain Garden
    34. 34. Potential Rain Garden?
    35. 35. Potential Rain Garden?
    36. 36. Rain Gardens  50 sites have been identified as being able to accommodate a rain garden treatment.
    37. 37. Living Walls
    38. 38. Living Walls
    39. 39. Bermondsey St. Potential Green Wall
    40. 40. Bermondsey St. Potential Green Wall
    41. 41. Rain Gardens and Green Walls  50 sites have been identified as being able to accommodate a rain garden treatment.  30 sites have been identified as being able to accommodate either modular or traditional green wall treatments.
    42. 42. Living Roofs
    43. 43. Living Roofs – Types (Right Roof Right Place) hitworth Art Gallery  Intensive – deeper soils, garden style, heavier April 2010  Extensive – shallower soils, low growing vegetation  Semi-intensive – half way between the two, typical approach for „biodiverse roofs‟ Planting Substrate Filter sheet Drainage layer Protective mat Root barrier
    44. 44. Living Roofs – Types Extensive Use Semi-intensive Ecological Landscape Garden/Ecological Landscape Intensive Garden/Park Vegetation Moss-Sedum-HerbsGrasses Grass-Herbs-Shrubs Lawn/Perennials, Shrubs, Trees Depth of substrate 60 - 200mm 120 - 250mm 150 - 900mm Weight 60 - 150 kg/m2 120 - 200 kg/m2 180 - 1100 kg/m2 Maintenance Low Occasional Frequent Irrigation No Occasionally Yes
    45. 45. Extensive Living Roofs – First „Brown Roof‟ in London
    46. 46. Over 70 – Case Study Living Roofsplant species 2
    47. 47. Extensive Living Roofs – Sedum Systems
    48. 48. Semi-Intensive Living Roofs – Biodiverse Roofs
    49. 49. Intensive Living Roofs
    50. 50. Green Roofs – London Bridge
    51. 51. Biodiversity Design: Species - Invertebrates
    52. 52. Invertebrates
    53. 53. Lendlease HQ Roof Garden
    54. 54. Lendlease HQ Habitat Wall
    55. 55. Intentional Provision of Artificial Roost Sites is Vital
    56. 56. Bird Boxes
    57. 57. Bird Boxes – What to consider?  Open fronted – black redstart, grey wagtail  Hole fronted – blue-tit, robin  Communal – house sparrow  Nest bowl – house martin, swallow  Bespoke – swift, peregrine falcon, owls  Presence of bird / collect baseline data / BAP targets  Attachment / orientation – away from direct midday sun  Foraging habitat  Size of hole / predation  Maintenance
    58. 58. Integrated Bat Boxes Schwegler bat tube Norfolk bat brick Roofblock Ibstock enclosed bat brick Forticrete
    59. 59. External Provision Kent bat box Schwegler bat box
    60. 60. Ex-situ Provision
    61. 61. Bat Boxes - Design Considerations Temperature requirements (opposite to birds!): • Summer - warm for rearing young (30ºC to 40ºC) • Winter - cool for hibernation (0ºC to 6ºC) Positioning • Place where the roost will receive at least 6-10 hours of direct sunlight a day • Aspect and orientation - S, SW, SE (W, E, N) • 2-7m in height Access / Clearance • Clear path to flight-line • Vegetation close by for cover and foraging
    62. 62. Ex-situ provision – What works? Wildlife needs breakfast as well as a bed! • Individual species requirements • Sun exposure • Bigger is better • Height is important • Size of crevice width: 1.5 cm to 2.5 cm • Ventilation slots – provide wider temperature ranges • Multiple bat houses – group three or more together • Mitigation close to where roost was lost • Proximity to landscape features: For example wildflower meadows/pasture and water – Wildlife (not just bats!) needs breakfast as well as a bed.
    63. 63. Lots more Biodiversity Design measures and Green Infrastructure creation not mentioned such as: • Street trees • Water features – ‘Blue’ Infrastructure • Be Creative!
    64. 64. Case Study - Crown Estates • • • • 30 retail parks Ecologically enhance sites: Incorporate design measures – multi-functional Baseline survey and report with recommendations. Increase value - opportunity for Crown Estates to act as a “Sustainability Innovator” by showcasing green infrastructure and SuDs features on site. This would encourage local businesses to adopt similar practices
    65. 65. Future & Challenges • Lots of stakeholders – Need to work together • New systems and mechanisms for delivery – Biodiversity Offsetting • Policy – Localism still early days • Problems with delivery tools – BREEAM/CfSH etc. • Incorporating „Biodiversity Design‟ measures for sake of it. i.e. bird box in wrong place • Playing it safe? Not taking risks due to costs/concerns of implementation. • Be inspired – be brave and take opportunities!
    66. 66. Thank You Any Questions? paul@ecologyconsultancy.co.uk

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