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Design Charrette Themes

" Sustainable Design and Practice - Enhancing Sustainability"


BIODIVERSITY - Design Charrette Theme

Design Charrette Theme

[ Design Charrette Biodiversity Blog ]

Introduction – Biodiversity Conservation

“(Site owners must ensure” that nature tourism and ecotourism products biodiversity impacts have been minimised” (Ecotourism Australia EcoCertification)

The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), conducted by 1360 experts in 95 nations, was launched in March 2005. The MA is an international work program on the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being which explores the options for responding to these changes.

This report scientifically proved that two thirds of the world’s ecosystems are in serious decline. This is all the more serious that natural ecosystems have a unique interactive complex diversity which provides irreplaceable services such as purification of soil, water and air, regulation of local and global climate, or the development of topsoil and maintenance of soil fertility. Not only are these services all provided free and are not cost-effectively substitutable by technological innovation; they are also dependent on life on our planet.

Hence, actively considering biodiversity conservation in the design of our built environment is crucial. Landscaping, such as designing and developing local parks and gardens can significantly improve water efficiency of urban buildings and attract diverse species of birds and insects. Selective choice of plants and the use of efficient watering technologies (using water meters, smart controls and drip irrigation for example)- not only saves water, but requires much less fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides and maintenance.

Case study – An example of what is possible

30 Be bond, Lend Lease’s New Sydney headquarters is the first office building in Australia to commit a 5 star energy rating and represents a total commitment to ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles. The building has a unique biodiversity feature- a roof top garden with drought resistant plants. The rooftop garden has a range of uses that significantly improve the building’s eco-performance; it reduces energy demand on space conditioning; provides direct shading of the roof, as well as evapotranspiration and improved insulation values; and it delays run-off into the sewage system, thus helping to reduce the frequency of combined sewage overflow events. They also provide workers with a relaxed natural garden to take a morning of afternoon break, a feature which has been noted to reduce workspace stress and absenteeism.

References: Governance in the 21st Century, Earthscan, London. Chapter 16: Tomorrow’s Mega Cities: How will they develop? P 314

National Research Council Canada (2002) Energy Efficiency and environmental benefits of rooftop gardens,

For further information on water efficient landscaping see the US EPA Report-click here to download (1.6MB .pdf)

Inputs of delegates on the theme of biodiversity Conservation Inputs of delegates on the theme of biodiversity Conservation

Inputs of delegates on the theme of biodiversity Conservation

Inputs of delegates on the theme of biodiversity Conservation

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