February 2023

How to implement greenery in the large-area facilities?


Why is it worth thinking in terms of a health friendly architecture at the designing stage? How greenery affects the costs of large-area investments and what are the real benefits of cooperation with landscape architects, we will discuss it in this article.

Poland’s membership in the European Union, the period of the pandemic in 2020-2021, and the development of road infrastructure strongly contributed to the increase in the number of investments in large-scale warehouse and commercial areas, often exceeding 25,000 square meters, emit high temperature due to the materials used on the roofs or concrete parking lots around the buildings. We will write more about this topic soon. In this text, we focus on large-area construction. Such facilities are primarily an opportunity to implement green roofs, vines along the facades or small retention in the form of tanks collecting rainwater, which helps maintain optimal humidity during drought. Large objects such as fire tanks, give us more opportunities. The fence over the tanks gives a space for greenery implementation that increases the aesthetics of the security infrastructure.

Extensive roofs

Green roofs are not a new trend and although many buildings have been built like this, they are more associated with premium standard housing or public  investments, e.g. the Library of Warsaw University, rather than with large-scale commercial construction. Meanwhile, rooftop phytosystems weigh up to 110 kg per square meter and can store up to 36 liters of rainwater. Lighter systems can load up to 25 liters on the same surface, weighting less than 100 kg. Such solutions become a natural thermal insulation of the building, keeping the temperature 20-40% lower during hot days in comparison to traditional roofs. During winter they protect against excessive cooling and deformation of construction elements. In the case of a lighter system, we get a 9 cm biologically active layer, where we can plant mainly sedum. However, in the case of a fitolayer with greater water capacity, we are able to plant beautiful perennials as well.

Green facades

Facades are undoubtedly one of the cheapest elements in the field of green architecture, primarily increasing the biologically active surface. They increase the level of biodiversity. They purify the air, increasing its quality. Surrounded by green external walls, small birds that love green urban areas become frequent guests there. Another important role of green facades is to raise the aesthetic value of the surroundings. Human brain responds very well to the green colour. When in the sight line appear mainly walls made of concrete, glass or steel can bring an extreme anxiety. In contradiction to the living facade which puts a person in a state of calm, additionally stimulates the development of the brain[1].

Greenery surrounded by retention reservoirs

According to climatologists, in Central Europe, as in many other regions of the World, we are struggling with hotter summers with shorter rainy days. Rains have a much more intense and short-term course, causing numerous floods. An important role in the so-called small retention, i.e. the wise penetration of rainwater into the ground, is played by retention reservoirs and storm-water runoffs. Retention reservoirs can be located along the plot’s fence. With the help of modern green infrastructure, they will contribute to the creation of further, biodiverse areas and commit a positive microclimate in the environment, as they maintain optimal air humidity. It is worth to implement such a tank to the entire project at the designing stage, and will ultimately reduce final costs. Planning greenery investments and small retention when architectural project is finished and some of construction works have begun, becomes additional fees generator.

Hadart company has extensive experience working with investors who have decided to implement greenery to their projects both on an early stage as well as on advanced one. Each investor requires a separate approach due to the nature of the investment and the opportunities offered by the project and the landscape. Large-area construction offers many opportunities to implement greenery and has a positive impact on the surrounding environment and at the same time on ourselves. It is worth taking care of the workplace environment, where a worker spends  40 hours weekly on average. The biodiverse neighborhood also might increase rental prices, as commercial space tenants are often able to pay more for premises or a warehouse embrace with a natural environment.

[1] (eng. Green surrounding helps for brain development) Zielone otoczenie sprzyja rozwojowi mózgu, Nauka w Polsce,  https://naukawpolsce.pl/aktualnosci/news%2C28488%2Czielone-otoczenie-sprzyja-rozwojowi-mozgu.html

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