Challenges of tomorrow…

Challenges of tomorrow

Landscaping and landscape design have an increasingly important role to play in helping house builders and developers meet the Government’s 2016 Code for sustainable housing. This was the key message from the Greening the UK conference “Designing a Landscape for the Sustainability Challenges of Tomorrow” which was held at the Building Research Establishment this month.
Homes currently account for around 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions. The Code for Sustainable Homes is gradually tightening the Building Regulations and by 2016 will require that all new homes must be built to zero carbon standards . As well as the materials, energy sources and waste and water systems built into future homes, the landscape will play a fundamental role in a building’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Surface water run-off systems, ecology, pollution and health and wellbeing are all categories against which the Code assigns points to achieve Level 6 status.
Soft landscaping reduces surface water run-off and mitigates flooding. Furthermore, swales, attenuation and filtration ponds provide landscaping opportunities for trees and plants, thereby enhancing the ecological and biodiversity values of developments. Science has long proven the environmental and health benefits that plants provide, through carbon capture and reduction of the urban heat island effect, to reducing stress levels and incidents of crime. In short, green landscaping makes a huge contribution to our quality of life and sustainability.
Tim Briercliffe, Chair of Greening the UK told The Landscaper “Through this week’s Greening the UK event and the previous conference held in Manchester in September we were able to really demonstrate to an audience of town councillors, planners, developers, architects and landscapers the invaluable contribution that plants and landscaping have to make. With the move toward zero carbon housing increased planting can really help house builders and developers meet the 2016 target for the environmental benefit of all.”

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