“Green infrastructure has become a central focal point for both architects and landscape architects over the past five years, and the prominence and the way in which it has been treated has increased significantly,” explains Paul Lincoln, Deputy CEO at Landscape Institute UK at Ecobuild, London.
Climate change is costing £3 billion per annum, leading construction workers to play a significant role in developing healthy city environments.
Environmental, economic and social drivers are all linking with the subsequent rise of green building and utilisation of renewable resources within new and existing building projects.
“What we need to do is bring green construction into the mainstream and move away from the idea that green infrastructure and landscaping is something we can do at the end, or if we have enough money for it,” comments Tom Armour, Leader of Global Landscape Architecture at Arup.
Becoming a fundamental part of construction and design, construction companies and architects are increasingly aiming to integrate the natural world into new and existing buildings in order to build healthier cities.
However, the way construction companies retrofit cities, towns and villages by implementing green infrastructure requires different ways of thinking.
For example, climate proofing cities and providing sufficient buffers from extreme weather will provide healthier living environments and increased quality of living, in comparison to areas which are often abused in city environments, such as water and high energy usage.
Behind the development of iconic landmarks Gardens by the Bay and the future development of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Andrew Grant, founder of Grant Associates says: “Green construction and how we design for that has two aspects to it One is mechanics, how we calculate the benefits and promote it, the other one is how we think about the quality of life or people who inhabit this space. "
"The way we operate is changing - we need a different language, ways of working, and we need to think much more three dimensional and holistically about projects. We start to worry about systems, water management alongside the aesthetic, the visual, the spatial. Green infrastructure has brought another way of thinking.”