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FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

may/june 2017

levitt bernstein K at e D i g n e y o n C r e at i n g c o m m u n i t i e s

ecological design mott macdonald

nature’s way Countryside Properties’ green vision

Glendale talks

urban trees

Planit-IE & Civic Engineers

altrincham town centre Cover1.indd 1

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DESIGN TANK PHOTO CHARLOTTE SVERDRUP

Enjoying the outdoors since 1947 vestre.co.uk

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Vestre Kong Design: Allan Hagerup

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WELCOME

FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

WELCOME Welcome to the May/June edition of FutureArch. We hope that you enjoyed reading our launch issue, and thank you very much for all the positive feedback we received. FutureArch’s aim is to bring together those involved in all aspects of the UK public and private green space: property developers, local authorities, landscape architects and landscape contractors. We want the magazine to highlight good practice, share knowledge and tackle issues that are relevant across the sector. This edition has a central focus on trees within the urban environment, and on the regeneration of play areas. We also speak to Andrew Carrington, managing director of Countryside Properties, about his company’s position in relation to green space, and Kate Digney, head of landscape architecture for Levitt Bernstein about the growing influence landscape architecture is playing within her company. This month’s featured project, from page 43, focuses on how landscape architects can play an integrated role in regenerating a town, and the portfolio takes a look at Quebec Quarter in Canada Water, Rotherhithe, which forms part of the £2bn masterplan for the area. We hope you enjoy the issue, and would love to hear your views on this second edition of FutureArch. Be sure to check out our website for the latest industry news: www.futurearch.co.uk.

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Have a great month. Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com

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WELCOME

WELCOME 06 AGENDA 08 NEWS 11 news extra: the LANDSCAPE INSITUTE

FUTUREARCH for the UK’s landscape architects

CONTENTS

FEATURES 13 the big interview: kate digney 18 30 under 30 20 countryside properties 24 ecological design 27 bim and vectorworks 30 urban trees 34 urban tree grilles 37 soil talk: tIM O’HARE 38 community play 41 NATURAL PLAY PROJECTs & portfolios 43 altrincham town 46 QUEBEC QUARTER Eljays44 Ltd

3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 2DA Tel: 01903 777 570 Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK The 2017 subscription price for FutureArch is £125. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

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46 EDITORIAL Features Editor – Joe Betts joe.betts@eljays44.com Deputy Editor – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com

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Content Manager – Claire Maher claire.maher@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Production Manager – Susie Duff susie.duff@eljays44.com

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Production Editor – Charlie Cook charlotte.cook@eljays44.com Subeditor – Kate Bennett kate.bennett@eljays44.com Design: Kara Thomas, Mandy Armstrong SALES Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Group Sales Manager – Luke Chaplin luke.chaplin@eljays44.com

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Account Manager – Dale Keenan dale.keenan@eljays44.com Account Manager – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com

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09/05/2017 11:07


AGENDA

AGENDA

Q: DOES BIM ADD VALUE TO THE LANDSCAPING SECTOR?

Romy Rawlings

oli clark

chris price

Vestre If you asked this question of 10 people from our sector, you d receive conflicting responses Personally, I believe it can and will add value, perhaps in another five to years. There are currently many landscape professionals who fully appreciate the quoted benefits and are or ing hard to ards achieving BIM Level 2. Whether client, designer, contractor or supplier, they are undoubtedly thwarted on a regular basis by a lack of engagement and information throughout the supply chain. e re some ay off a time hen the full benefits of IM ill be en oyed by all and, in our hugely diverse sector, we need complete engagement from the full breadth of stakeholders. I would urge you to get involved right now. Adopt a steady and long term approach, introducing small, incremental changes ith every pro ect that offers a IM learning opportunity. Openly discuss your specific issues through your institute, trade association and social media channels, such as LinkedIn. Guide the future of BIM – don’t be at the mercy of it.

Boon Brown Architects The architectural team at Boon Brown uses the BIM software Revit for the majority of its hard landscape coordination, since it works well with regard to interdisciplinary collaboration. However, Boon Brown’s landscape architects currently use CAD and Keyscape to produce their working drawings. Revit wasn’t designed for landscape architecture, and has very limited design and planting options. We would need to put a lot of time into creating our own libraries. When you think how much of a building is executed by other disciplines – for example, structural engineers modelling external works like footpaths, stairs, podium parking, etc. – how do the landscape architects get involved? I’m sure it’s not the only software with these problems, and that the situation will improve (possibly rapidly) in the future. But, to date, our landscape team hasn’t experienced any value in using Revit and BIM.

AHR AHR’s landscape design team has been using BIM for over six years. We saw the added value from usage across our wider business and applied it to landscape design. This required a degree of manipulation to make an architectural package that works for us, but the results have been very worthwhile. We have also bolted on additional landscape specific soft are, such as CS Artisan RV, which allows us to schedule, predict and illustrate long term tree growth, and to futureproof designs. Housing all our information within one model, which people can work on concurrently, saves time and increases e ciency in the long run – but it does need more information upfront, which can include agreement on levels, highways information, 3D topographical site surveys and contractor buy-in on material and product choices. Also, manufacturers in our sector are not embracing BIM as quickly as the wider construction industry. The more our industry can model and schedule their products for BIM, the more we can utilise this detail. BIM can add immense value to the landscape sector, but it’s not a magic wand.

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AGENDA

“HOUSING ALL OUR INFORMATION WITHIN ONE MODEL, WHICH PEOPLE CAN WORK ON CONCURRENTLY, SAVES TIME AND INCREASES EFFICIENCY IN THE LONG RUN� Chris Price, AHR

Donncha O’Shea

Darren Hickmott

Thomas steven

Gustafson Porter + Bowman ities are becoming more intense environments to live in, ith multiple layers of infrastructure and activity accommodated in modern developments. he demand for space is high, hich places pressure on landscapes to house more services. If e are to create sustainable and high quality e ternal landscapes that can be used and en oyed by all, it s necessary to manage these elements and ma imise the benefit for the landscape. here traditionally coordination as su cient for interfaces ith buildings and underground services, the rise of podium developments and more comple infrastructure pro ects requires a approach. IM allo s the landscape design to be an integral part of the revie and coordination process ith other disciplines. It reduces the ris of potential clashes, and ensures that the landscape design is achieved as intended, hile integrating all of the necessary services and structures that are associated ith modern development.

Arup A fully attributed model is invaluable and can, if e ecuted correctly, deliver all the benefits e tolled by IM evangelists. o ever, hen considering the term add value , one might thin along the lines of the lean design philosophy an area rarely mentioned. he first step for any landscape professional contemplating IM is to analyse e isting or flo s and practices. his ill often highlight the steps in a process that are unnecessary and do not bring any value to the client. ully understanding your processes is an essential part of IM, and eliminating redundant activities ma es good business sense. Understanding ho e or allo s us to thin coherently about ho e approach a pro ect. he tools and delivery mechanisms e use allo us to quic ly map multidiscipline interdependencies to establish ho needs hat, hen they need it and in hat format. ith this approach, e can ensure teams can collaborate effectively, underta e particular tas s, and share information hich enables clients to ma e informed decisions. hat could be more valuable than that

PLACE Design + Planning Given the right conditions, BIM can bring great benefits to the design process, particularly for instance in a podium landscape here the forms are synchronous ith the structures, floor slabs and ith evit s architecture. o ever, here there is aggressive fee bidding by or stage, and continuity of appointment is not assured, in most cases it s neither necessary nor cost effective to commit to full IM evel modelling. urrently, the s ills and the affordability of soft are are beyond the reach of many small landscape practices. ut there are lessons to be learned from process driven design for e ample, having a pre agreed strategy for coordinates and orientation ensures good building positioning, but it still isn t standard practice. More intelligent dra ing using eyscape or ector or s, ith their information rich, plan based dra ing systems, can still bring great benefits, ith the potential to remove quantification error and speed up the process of dra ing updates. e live in interesting times, as IM is still very much a or in progress for landscape.

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09/05/2017 10:23


NEWS

NEWS

FutureArch to attend Vision 2017

Salford Quays redevelopment approved by planners Fortis Developments’ plans to develop Furness Quay, within Salford Quays, have been unanimously approved by planners, subject to the execution of a Section 106 agreement. The development, to be named Fortis Quay, will consist of five high specification blocks, creating more than 750 luxury apartments. It will rise to 27 storeys, and once built will be the tallest building in Salford. The two existing buildings, formerly used as offices, already have permission to convert and extend, with Custom House rising from six stories to 10 storeys and Furness House from 11 storeys to 17 storeys. The 640,000ft2 Fortis Quay will include on-site car parking, as well as extensive grounds with landscaped avenues, a neighbourhood

square, recreational space and children’s play areas. Architects Bowman Riley were supported by landscape architects DEP, planning consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, and Sanderson Transport. Beaumont Morgan will be the main contractor. Fortis Developments director Kieran Moore said: “We are delighted at the decision to approve our resubmitted planning application for this prestigious development at Furness Quay. The scheme has been amended, at the request of the planners, to provide additional public realm space, which will enhance the community experience within the development. We now look forward to progressing the construction phase, with the first two phases of the development scheduled for completion in 2018.” Fortis Quay is the ninth development in Greater Manchester for Fortis Developments, taking the total investment in the region to over £300m. The developers are due to complete the construction of Adelphi Wharf, Bridgewater Point and Bridgewater Gate in 2017. www.fortisdevelopments.com

Green infrastructure key to the development of Grandhome Major investment is underway in establishing the formal and informal green spaces at Grandhome, the new community for Aberdeen that will meet a significant proportion of the city’s housing needs over the next 25 years. More than £7m of work is currently being carried out to deliver the first phase of supporting infrastructure for the community, which includes extensive landscaping and the creation of Grandhome’s first open spaces. The delivery of the vision for Grandhome, set out in its masterplan, will set new standards for placemaking in the region in terms of its built

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environment, sense of identity, civic amenities and quality of life. This includes providing a higher than usual proportion of green and open space, which will ultimately comprise more than one quarter of the site. As part of the first phase of development, entrance greens are being formed at the new access point to Grandhome from Whitestripes Avenue, which include the planting of beech trees, hedging and flowering cherry trees. These areas will provide a formal setting for the first neighbourhood, Laverock Braes. www.grandhome.co.uk

The FutureArch team will be attending Vision 2017, held on 6-7 June at Olympia London. The focus of Vision 2017 is on the future of the built environment, offering industry intelligence on products, materials, trends and technology across the market. The FutureArch team (stand 178) will be happy to talk to you about the magazine, and would love to hear any feedback. Vision 2017 is a free-to-attend event with a unique exhibition of the most innovative products and services for the built environment. It’s recommended by the organisers that you register attendance online prior to the event, although you can register on the day. We look forward to meeting you there. www.visionlondon.com

Laurence Associates acquires planning consultancy

Laurence Associates, an award-winning practice based in Truro, has acquired Urban & Rural Planning Associates to extend its reach in southeast Cornwall and into Devon. Managing director Richard Marsden said: “Generally speaking, people look for consultants in their own patch because they know the local planning issues and how the local authorities work. Southeast Cornwall and Plymouth is a huge opportunity for Laurence Associates and we’re very excited about attracting commissions from further afield. “Because we’re based in Truro, most of our work is currently in Cornwall, but we see the potential in Devon and want to be a part of it. The aspiration is for our second office to be the same size, if not bigger, than our set-up in Truro.” www.laurenceassociates.co.uk

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NEWS

Public consultation on £400m Sirocco Quays revamp The public has been given the chance to see fresh and detailed plans for a £400m revamp of Sirocco Quays in Belfast. The site would encompass more than 700,000ft2 of o ce space, a hotel, 815 homes, restaurants, pubs, shops and cafés. When fully completed the area could create 5,000 jobs. During the 12-week consultation process, the public will be given the opportunity to see the masterplan for the mixed-use scheme and deliver feedback to developers. In November, it was revealed that the St Francis Group and Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd had bought the land. A previous deal to acquire the

site fell through after part of it was handed a government conservation order. Philip Silk, director of Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be starting the community consultation process and look forward to engaging with local communities and stakeholders and receiving feedback. This development represents a great opportunity for local communities and indeed for Belfast city.” Swinford agreed to buy the site in August 2016, with the deal being completed in January. Architects Broadway Malyan said the aim was to have work completed by 2035. www.stfrancisgroup.com

Grant Associates wins international competition for landmark city-park in china

PlaceFirst moves forward with Welsh Streets plans

Landscape architect Grant Associates has won an international competition to create a new 41ha city park for Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (TJEC) in northern China. Occupying a central location in TJEC on the Gu Dao Canal, the design vision for Friendship Park is one that welcomes visitors of all ages, celebrating the friendship between China and Singapore, and embodying the principles of sustainability. Grant Associates’ masterplan aims to translate these ideas to site by interlocking contrasting landscapes and characters – like water and land, nature and city – while maintaining a unity in the design with a continuous landform. Grant Associates Singapore will lead the design with a masterplan that proposes a conservatory of five glass biomes, housing tropical plant collections and water gardens. Other key elements include a wetland centre, an urban dock, play areas, event lawn and amphitheatre. Stefaan Lambreghts, associate at Grant Associates, commented: “Friendship Park is a hugely exhilarating and ambitious project. Our vision is to create a sustainable, playful and life enhancing landscape alongside inspiring architecture.” www.grant-associates.uk.com

Build-to-rent developer PlaceFirst has released images of its plans for the regeneration of Welsh Streets in Liverpool, a series of Victorian terraces near Princes Park which have stood largely empty for years. Street improvements will include tree planting, landscape features and on-street parking. In its first pilot pro ect, Place irst plans to create homes from the refurbishment of the current houses on the site, creating modern and energy e cient homes for families, and turning both the street and rear sides of the properties into communal avenues, rather than traditional gardens and alleys. PlaceFirst is working on the wider masterplan for Welsh Streets under an agreement with Liverpool City Council, which could see up to 300 family properties refurbished and brought back into use. New residents will be able to personalise their homes, ith Place irst offering customers the opportunity to choose from a range of kitchen units and interior colours, which forms part of PlaceFirst’s strategy to make renting an appealing alternative to ownership. Wilf Larder, director of operations at PlaceFirst, said: “These new images sho ho the first phase of development has retained the rich heritage features of the Victorian terrace, whilst bringing the Welsh Streets into the 21st century with innovative remodelling and distinctive landscape features. e are confident that features such as the avenues ill give this development something unique and provide a safe, attractive environment where neighbours can become friends and children can play.” www.placefirst.co.uk

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09/05/2017 10:33


NEWS

Shortlist announced for Ross Pavilion international design competition

©)Malcolm Reading Consultants and David Springford

The Ross Development Trust, in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Malcolm Reading Consultants, has announced the seven finalist teams who will proceed to the second stage of the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition. The competition is searching for an outstanding team of architects, landscape designers, engineers and other specialists for the new circa £25m Ross Pavilion and Gardens project in the heart of Edinburgh. Norman Springford, chairman of the Ross Development Trust and competition jury chair, said: “We were absolutely delighted by the response of designers from around the world to the competition’s first stage. The uality of the 125 teams on the longlist sent a strong signal

that the international design community regards this as an inspirational project for Edinburgh, which has huge potential to reinvigorate this prestigious site.” The si finalists are Ad aye Associates ( ), BIG Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark), Flanagan Lawrence ( ), Page Architects ( ), eiulf amstad Arkitekter ( orway), w ( SA), and William Matthews Associates ( ). The teams have until une 17 to produce their concept designs for a new landmark pavilion, a visitor centre with café, and subtle updates and improvements to the listed gardens, which are of outstanding cultural significance and operated and managed by the City of Edinburgh Council as common good land. www.rdtrust.org

Andrew Grant to judge Greater London National Park City competition

Fields in Trust supports API call to increase investment in play

Andrew Grant of Grant Associates is to sit on the jury for campaign group Greater London National Park City’s Imagine competition. The competition is calling for creatives from all disciplines, from filmmaking to architecture and design, to visualise the capital’s future as a National Park City. With a broad brief, submissions can range from ideas for future developments to reimagining London’s current landscape. Imagine aims to promote awareness of London National Park City, which is an initiative to make London the world’s first ational Park City by applying the principles and values of a rural National Park to the capital. This would mean managing the city to enhance the natural assets of its living landscape, providing a better uality of life for Londoners. London can become a National Park City if at least two-thirds (436) of London’s 654 wards, the Mayor of London and the London Assembly declare their support. Andrew Grant, founder and director at Grant Associates, said: “Imagining the whole of London as a park changes our perception of the city. Suddenly the emphasis is on the green and interlinking public spaces rather than the built form. As a National Park City, London would see its parks and outdoor activities better connected with a greater diversity of green and wild spaces. Communities would have greater resources to plan and protect green areas, helping to create a capital that is an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. www.nationalparkcity.london

Fields in Trust has welcomed a new report from the Association of Play Industries (API) into the state of England’s playgrounds and supports calls for increased investment that will positively impact the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Fields in Trust chief e ecutive, elen Griffiths, said “Play is the first step children take towards physical literacy and an active lifestyle, and therefore investing in play spaces and securing their future should be a priority in combating the negative health impacts of a sedentary population. Parks and playgrounds are vulnerable to closure in these challenging times and it’s important that we revalue the enormous contribution they make to our communities.” The report cites findings from the State of Public Parks 1 report which found that 92% of local authority park departments have experienced budget cuts in the past three years and 95% of parks managers expect there to be further reductions in the next three years. New research by the API found that 65 local authorities closed a total of 1 playgrounds between 1 to 1 whilst a similar number of closures were reported to be planned for the period to 1 . easons cited for closures included budgetary concerns, outdated e uipment and antisocial issues. www.fieldsintrust.org

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09/05/2017 14:31


NEWS EXTRA

LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE update

FutureArch spoke to daniel cook, chief executive of the Landscape Institute, to find out the details on its recent staffing restructure

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arlier in the year, the Landscape Institute announced that it would be creating a new team structure for its employees, as part of the effort to deliver its key objectives. One of the major changes as part of the restructure is to increase staff presence across the . fficers will be based in the institute’s regional centres, who will be able to offer local help with candidate support, CP and training for members. aniel Cook commented “We are still building up the team for our regional centres – that will be happening over the ne t si months. Plenty of obs will become available at the institute as we look to build our team. t will be great to have the officers based in the regional centres, as this will allow us to spread the help that is available to our membership base. “ t is interesting, and certainly a new approach for us. We have to use things like Skype to communicate between the different regions it’s something that we will get better at and it’s important that our members across the country all have access to the help we offer. Five teams will be created Finance and perations, Professional Standards, Policy and nfluencing, Marketing and vents, and Business evelopment. “The world is constantly changing, with new technology becoming available, and it is no different in our industry, said aniel. “We have to keep moving forward. We need to provide help to our members so that they can keep up with changes in technology and changes in methods, because some of them will have been trained a long time ago.

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“A lot of thought has gone into the changes. We have spent months talking to different firms and communicating with our members to find out what we can do better. Communication with our members is something that is very important going forward. The institute’s strategic business plan for 17 18 has now been made available to members. In a letter to members, aniel outlined three campaigns Promoting the profession’s contribution to issues including green infrastructure, health and wellbeing and natural capital • Ensuring the profession has the right skills for the future, emphasising BIM and digital skills, increasing their focus on CP and training, and helping members develop ‘soft skills’ and demonstrate the value of their work • Inspiring the next generation of landscape professionals by attending more career fairs, producing new digital materials and lesson packs for schools, and developing alternative routes into the profession such as apprenticeships. aniel Cook was appointed chief e ecutive of the Landscape Institute having previously been director of strategy and planning at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ( CS). e came into the institute with the objective of boosting engagement and collaborating more with partner organisations. e said “The role is something new for me, and it is a slightly different approach for the institute. ’m really enjoying it so far. I get great support from the board and love speaking to our members and finding out what they need and what we can do for them.

“WE NEED TO PROVIDE HELP TO OUR MEMBERS SO THAT THEY CAN KEEP UP WITH CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY”

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INTERVIEW

Interview

KATE DIGNEY levitt bernstein kate digney, Associate Director and Head of Landscape at levitt bernstein, talks the growing influence of landscape architecture in the uk

“AS A PRACTICE WE’RE NOT ENTIRELY FOCUSED ON BUILT FORM – IT’S ABOUT A PLACE-MAKING RESPONSE TO EACH COMMUNITY”

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Kate, could you tell us a little bit about the history of the company? David Levitt and David Bernstein founded the company in 1968. Back then they were taking over old housing stock and refurbishing it, to bring the houses back into the pool for local people. We still have some of the chimney pots in our courtyard from the houses they refurbished at that time. That spirit and inclination has stayed with the practice ever since: we’re very much about the people that we’re designing for. Housing is a large component of the work that we get involved in, and a strong thread of our portfolio is cultural buildings such as theatres. We worked on the Royal Exchange in Manchester, and we’re currently working on Devonshire Park in Eastbourne – a huge collection of arts buildings, some of them listed. More recently we’ve taken on educational projects, such as higher education institutions. Our Manchester office in particular has a very strong reputation working with independent schools. As landscape architects we work across all sectors that our practice engages with, including education, healthcare, the arts, residential development, retail and public realm-led development as well as parks

and green spaces. Our strengths in public park design have enabled us to grow over the last six to eight months and we hope to continue to do so. Is there a research focus at the company? As a practice, we take research very seriously. It’s something that we’re involved in across various topics, particularly relating to housing, although we are increasingly looking at other disciplines and sectors as well. Currently we’re researching landscape maintenance, particularly for extra care schemes to demonstrate the benefits different maintenance approaches can offer older people. It’s important in trying to help clients understand that there are different approaches to maintenance, that it doesn’t always need to be a large organisation that tours around to cut grass. It seems like a natural step forward in terms of research opportunities because maintenance is so connected to what we do, and it’s important that when the pro ect is finished we don’t just walk away. Why schemes for the older age group in particular? There are issues explicitly linked to older people and housing for older people. While working on some projects we have found that even though there may

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be plenty of green and open space for people to socialise in, for one reason or another that socialising doesn’t happen. It can be linked to the way the spaces are designed and the way that they’re managed and maintained. Getting people outdoors and feeling that they have a right and an opportunity to engage in the outdoors is proven not only to improve mental and physical health, but also to lead to social cohesion. On a new housing project near Shepherd’s Bush in London, our client employs a gardener to look after the gardens of a neighbouring community and the benefits are easy to see. Whilst there are some special arrangements to make this happen, we’re keen to investigate a financial comparison with different approaches and demonstrate the range of benefits.

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Would you go as far as employing or recommending a maintenance company? That’s generally not something we’re able to do, but we ensure we talk to the client from the outset of the design stages to understand how they envisage maintenance will be delivered. We’re keen to get into the detail of these discussions from an early point and share e periences between pro ects. We have an e tra case project in south London which will be complete in late July, where we’re taking clients on a walkabout with other housing associations to share knowledge and approaches to maintenance. It’s important to demonstrate that there are different ways of achieving high standards of after case and the idea of knowledge sharing is something we hold in high regard here. Do you only work on projects that are already within the company? No, we have our own independent work stream, which has really gathered momentum over the last year. I would estimate 70% of the workload is in conjunction with our architects, urban designers and masterplanners and of that, 60% is housing focused. The rest is non residential facilities such as retail, community centres and health centres – we’re coming into play with more public realm led design work which is great. Within our independent work stream, public parks are a key thread which historically we’ve always been involved in, and that’s something that we want to continue to strengthen. We also collaborate regularly with external architecture practices. Can you give us some examples of those parks? There’s Wormholt Park, which we have completed in the last year, and Shoreditch Park. We’re also

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designing and delivering Bartlett Park, which is a fantastic pro ect. t’s a significant local park that is poorly used – the opportunities there need to be exploited. It’s currently used by dog walkers and footballers, but it has a lot more to offer and we really want to open it up for a wider section of the community. How is the finance side of things, with so many cuts being made to public park funding? It really depends on the project and the area it’s in. The Bartlett Park pro ect is in Tower amlets, and the the level of commercial and housing led development in that borough is significant. There’s a lot of Section 106 funding which is a very common opportunity to gain funding for the improvement of public parks. How in tune are your architects with the value that green space brings? They’re very in tune. This practice has had landscape

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INTERVIEW

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“PUBLIC PARKS ARE A KEY THREAD WHICH WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INVOLVED IN, AND THAT’S SOMETHING WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN”

1 Wormholt Park ©Jon Spencer 2 Aberfeldy Estate

©Levitt Bernstein

3 Wormholt Park ©Jon Spencer 4 Devonshire Park

©Levitt Bernstein

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architects within it as an in-house facility for over 20 years, so we are very established and reinforces our principles of ‘people’ and ‘place’. As a practice we’re not entirely focused on built form – it’s about a place-making response to each community. That process usually begins with sound urban design and masterplanning principles, which we inform alongside our architectural colleagues. How many landscape architects are there within the company? We’re a team of nine, soon to become ten, but I’d like to think that our influence is greater than our si e Having worked at both single and multidisciplinary practices, I appreciate working so closely alongside other professionals. It took a bit of time to get used to it, but the relationships we have here make our design response to each project stronger. When you work for people outside of the

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company, how do you win and manage contracts? There are a variety of different ways that we win work, often through existing valued clients and framework appointments that we hold for housing providers and higher education institutes. On work attained through frameworks we can often be placed with other architects and this helps build new relationships and contacts. The target is to try and get involved in the project as early as possible so we can help shape proposals and start evolving the shared design concepts. I think that’s really important to make landscape and architecture feel like one, rather than two separate entities. We also regularly seek out design competitions for a regular injection of fun and collaborative design. Do you get involved with selecting the contractors for the building? It will vary depending on the methods of delivery. A fair amount of the work we get involved in is

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“WE GET OUT TO NURSERIES AS OFTEN AS WE CAN TO VIEW STOCK IN FIELD WITH CONTRACTORS”

delivered through design and build, which often means that the joint venture between developer and client is already formed. We do also do work through traditional contractors, so we’ll talk with clients, as is typical. We believe it’s beneficial to take clients to see our completed work to help foster discussions on design quality both in terms of delivery and maintenance. How do you ring-fence money to make sure your design is completed correctly? That links back to the form of contract that is being used. There are different options and different abilities within those preformed arrangements for us to try to influence uality and stay true to our original preplanning design principles. I would say that nine times out of 10 we’re getting planning consent for what we’re doing. The planning is important, not just to try and lock in quality and design principles, but also to ensure buildability. We deliver the majority of our projects, so we’re not just putting fanciful ideas together and walking away – we’re making sure they are buildable, robust and will endure. That influences all of our work, and we will

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make sure we’re resolving key details before planning, so that we get a buy in from the planners, and the clients know what to expect. It allows us to deal with risks and issues as early as possible. In terms of soft landscaping, do you select the suppliers? We can sometimes make suggestions about nurseries that we would like to be considered by a contractor. It’s unlikely to be one nursery, but it might be a small group. Generally, we go for reputable companies that we have worked with previously and know offer a high quality. We get out to nurseries as often as we can to view stock in field with contractors it makes for a good day out. We’re always trying to get clients and architects to come with us so that we can help them see the value of having decent specimen trees. Once a project is delivered, how is a maintenance contract agreed? Typically, we would set out recommendations for trees, shrubs, herbaceous stock and lawn. For those we seek a decent defect period and duration, so we know

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that those trees will be adequately looked after and that the responsibility lies with the contractor for a set period of time.

5 Ocean Estate ©Tim Crocker 6 Brunswick Centre

Do you see any changes going forward in terms of design? I think we will be broadening the appeal of public parks to ensure that they cater for a wide section of the community. That’s irrespective of anyone’s physical ability, mental ability, cultural background, age or gender. I would also highlight the importance of sustainable approaches to design. A key part of that is sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS). Clients still have reservations and ask whether they really need SuDS on their projects – our response is that it can be an asset. It’s about building an awareness of the many benefits they bring.

8 Ocean Estate ©Tim Crocker

©Clive MacDonald

7 Brunswick Centre

©Clive MacDonald

What is the role of landscape architects going forward – will they become more influential? think the role is already becoming more influential and will only continue to do so. We’re looking to Scandinavian countries, where landscape architecture is a more pivotal industry. Here, we can only become stronger – there’s still some way to go. ur growing influence is reflected in the way that architectural practices are growing their own in-house landscape departments. Do you think the growth of in-house landscape departments will continue? I think it will – from a purely commercial perspective, architectural practices see the financial opportunity there. The importance is in taking a holistic approach, and that’s very much what we preach. Our ethos is that it’s all about placemaking as a whole, not just built form. It can’t just be about built form because we’re not going to solve the issues of funding, urban heating, the pressure on our remnant tree community and others unless we work as a collaborative team – there is no one silver bullet from one discipline.

levitt bernstein Levitt Bernstein uses its skills in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture to work on housing, education, health, arts and commercial projects across the country. W: www.levittbernstein.co.uk

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30 UNDER 30

Apply now!

The search is on... SPONSORED BY GLENDALE, 30 UNDER 30: THE NEXT GENERATION RETURNS FOR 2017, WITH FUTUREARCH, PRO LANDSCAPER, AND PRO ARB MAGAZINES BEGINNING THE SEARCH FOR 30 OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS THE SECTOR

After two successful years, we are happy to be continuing to highlight and celebrate the great work of young and upcoming talents. The competition presents a chance for you to nominate yourself, or someone you work with, if you feel that they are deserving of industry recognition.

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30 UNDER 30

Why apply? The 30 Under 30 initiative was started in 2015 as a way to celebrate the work that young people across the horticulture and landscape sectors put in to their careers. Entering the competition is a great way to gain recognition of either your own work, or the work of someone else that you are particularly impressed by. Previous winners of the competition have commented on their pride in being recognised within the industry, and have said it’s a brilliant way to further enhance their careers in the sector. The winners of the award will be featured across the magazine titles and will also be invited to collect their awards at a ceremony held during our FutureScape event on Tuesday 14 November at Sandown Park Racecourse.

Sponsored by Glendale Alex Paterson, operations director at Glendale Managed Services, said: “We are delighted to sponsor 30 Under 30: The Next Generation 2017. “We are passionate about this accolade, which aims to highlight the achievements of 30 inspiring young people in our industry who have demonstrated passion, imagination, innovation and expertise in their chosen fields, in such a ay that enhances their careers and provides opportunities for advancement. “It’s well known that many sectors across our industry are under threat, as fewer talented young experts choose to start careers in the field. As a result, it s more important than ever to embrace opportunities like this that support and motivate the younger members of our teams who have shown dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit. It goes without saying that they are the individuals who will go on to shape the future of our industry, and we need to invest in them in order to retain its heritage and move it forward. 30 Under 30 is an initiative that sits close to our hearts because it reflects so many of our own internal award schemes at Glendale, which recognise the hard-working individuals we employ who have shown great potential for the future.”

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Who can apply? The rules are simple – anyone nominated must have been 30 or under on 1 January 2017, and must work in any capacity within the horticulture, garden design or landscape sector.

How do I apply? To apply for 30 Under 30, simply send an email to joe.betts@eljays44.com and he will send you an application form. All you need to do to nominate either yourself or somebody within your company, complete the form and send it back. We are accepting handwritten or typed responses.

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09/05/2017 10:21


FEATURE

NATURE’S WAY Andrew Carrington, managing director of strategic land at Countryside properties, details the principles that guide the company’s approach to green space

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FEATURE

“WE WHOLEHEARTEDLY FEEL THAT HAVING ACCESS TO WELL-PLANNED AND MAINTAINED OUTDOOR SPACE MAKES FOR HEALTHIER PLACES TO LIVE”

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reen is fast becoming every developer’s favourite colour. With buyers increasingly prizing access to outdoor space, companies are putting much thought (and investment) into landscaping their new builds. “At Countryside, we wholeheartedly feel that having access to well-planned and maintained outdoor space makes for healthier places to live,” says Andrew Carrington, managing director of strategic land at the Essex-based developer. “It is more important than ever for developers to be incorporating not just new homes, but good quality open space and recreation areas within their masterplans.” Countryside’s developments run the gamut from contemporary apartments in West London to large family homes in wooded countryside – so the company adopts a fle ible, site specific landscaping strategy. “We use a landscape-led approach to our masterplanning to create a wide variety of outdoor spaces within our developments, from large country parks, meadows, recreational areas and sports pitches to smaller ‘pocket parks’ with children’s play areas, within residential areas,” says Andrew. However, two guiding principles underpin Countryside’s vision for green space: identity and eco-friendliness. Andrew explains: “Usually the starting point for landscaping ideas is rooted in the character and heritage of the site. We work with specialist landscape architects to ensure a landscape strategy that adds value, as well as contributing to the unique identity of a place.” For example, at Beaulieu, a large development of 3,600 homes on the northeastern edge of Chelmsford in Essex: “Design cues are taken from the existing surroundings, including the Grade I listed New Hall School and its formal parkland, which was formerly King Henry VIII’s Tudor palace and estate parkland,” says Andrew. The Beaulieu site is split into a series of neighbourhoods, so Countryside uses green

space to lin the different areas and establish a visual and emotional connection with the open countryside that sits beyond the development. “Creating a strong sense of place is central to our vision for Beaulieu, and this is being achieved through a landscape strategy that relates to its historic setting,” Andrew adds. Once completed, Beaulieu will have 176 acres of green space, encompassing, among other things, natural play areas, a ildflo er meado , a feature pond and meandering paths – as well as a cluster of mature oak trees that recall the great parks of the Tudor era. Beaulieu is also an excellent example of how Countryside thinks laterally about green space. In addition to enjoying access to the communal parkland, many properties on the site feature large rooftop terraces – a hot trend among developers. “These private outdoor spaces sit on the second floor of our Terrazza range, where you can enjoy wonderful views over an expansive new park known as The Chase.” Greening the grey Countryside works hard to introduce greenery even in quintessentially urban settings such as Iverna Quay, the latest phase of the Greenwich Millennium Village development in southeast London and a joint venture between Countryside and Taylor Wimpey. Situated behind the Greenwich Yacht Club, this is a collection of 72 contemporary apartments, maisonettes and ‘überhaus’.

1 Bird screen at Great Kneighton Cambridge 2 Terrazza range, Beaulieu, Chelmsford

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The development centres around a four acre freshwater wetland area. The Greenwich Millennium Village Ecology Park features two lakes and areas of beach, marsh, meadow and wet woodland. More than 12,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs were planted, and the entire site has been designed to attract and protect wildlife. The park features bird hides and meadow grassland, hich, combined ith specific mo ing patterns, encourages ildflo ers to gro . he hames foreshore has been enhanced to dra fish, and the development’s two man-made lakes are linked to ponds, reed beds and islets to attract both native birds and migratory species, with a green corridor linking the riverbank to the Greenwich Millennium Village.

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Pingle Brook, Kingsmere Homes at Great Kneighton Great Kneighton Country Park Iverna Quay, Greenwich Millennium Village 7 Beaulieu Chase, Chelmsford

Working with nature All this is testament to Countryside’s attention to wildlife and the environment, which is the other cornerstone of its vision for green space, and fits in with the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability in all its facets – from water conservation and low energy developments to community regeneration and biodiversity support. “Providing natural green spaces, both for residents and wildlife, is very much our ethos at Countryside,” Andrew says. At the Kingsmere development, a joint venture that will deliver 2,394 new homes on a 515 acre site on the outskirts of Bicester in Oxfordshire, the company has created wildlife habitats that support a healthy population of ading birds and butterflies. ountryside

commissions regular ecological reports, and the latest annual survey of the site shows that wildlife levels have increased significantly since construction started. More butterflies ere recorded in than ever before, and the local ponds are attracting good numbers of little egrets, gadwalls, sandpipers and little ringed plovers; the latter two species had not been seen in Kingsmere before. Some of the ponds have also proved very popular with pipistrelle bats, and Countryside has now installed bat boxes in the woodland. ecently, both company staff and residents ere delighted to discover otters living on Hobson’s Brook, in the heart of the country park that the developers created at Great Kneighton, an award-winning development of 2,550 homes just south of Cambridge. The park, which stretches over more than 120 acres, combines allotments, playing fields and a range of adventure play areas with woodland and four ponds, one of which is a 12 acre bird reserve. “The discovery of otters is such exciting news for us and our residents at Great Kneighton,” says

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Andrew. “We have employed experts to oversee the ecology of the country park and they will be keeping an eye on our wildlife for as long as ten years after construction finishes. Because Countryside’s central landscaping criteria are so clearly defined, Andre e plains that consultants looking to work with the Essex developers need to pitch schemes that remain true to the feel of a place while helping to preserve its natural habitat. “When it comes to selecting landscape architects to or ith us, e not only consider their proposals on the basis of visual impact, but the ay in hich they retain and enhance the existing landscape features to provide a variety of open spaces, and ho they support and enhance the ecology of the site. We believe that incorporating good quality public open spaces into our developments helps to enrich people’s lives and establish a distinctive character and sense of place a place that people are proud to call home.

COUNTRYSIDE properties Countryside Properties is a leading UK home builder specialising in place making and urban regeneration. W: www.countryside-properties.com

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FEATURE

ECOLOGICAL design Jonathan Ramsay, principal landscape architect at Mott MacDonald, looks at the recent history of the ecological approach to development, and the role of landscape architects in continuing this tradition 1

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icture a situation where your proposal is opposed by the Council for British Archaeology, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Wildlife Trusts and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Not only that, but 8,000 people protest, leading to 780 arrests and the cost of security rising to over £25m. This was the case for a single stretch of bypass proposed during the UK government’s road building programme of the Nineties. It is challenging for landscape architects graduating today to understand the conditions that their fellows faced 30 years ago. Back then, the rising tide of environmental awareness had not yet manifested itself adequately in government strategy or built environment consultancies. Today, the principles of ecological design are widely accepted throughout the built environment profession. There is widespread awareness that human activity can damage the environment, and that maintaining the environment sustainably for future generations is imperative. It is also widely accepted that scientific, empirically based methods should be applied to fulfil this sustainable approach. Collaboration and cooperation As current political uncertainties surround future environmental policy, it is important to reflect on ho changes in the industry ere influenced by passionate individuals, who crossed professional boundaries to influence the ider built environment community. The shift towards a greater appreciation of ecology and the landscape was helped by the willingness of leading environmentalists in the Eighties and Nineties to engage with major consultancies, engineers, contractors and government agencies. This change as driven by in house no ledge sharing and university lecturing, and developing close working relationships ith pro ect teams and influential decision makers. These methods teach us lessons about how we can extend ecological design in the future. The increased awareness of ecological design within larger organisations was brought about through the willingness of landscape architects and environmentalists to embrace a collaborative, cross disciplinary approach or ing in unified multidisciplinary teams while asserting their unique training and perspective. A byproduct of this process was a greater understanding of the wider, complex considerations of development outside of specific disciplines. This was eventually formalised in the Environmental Impact Assessment methodology.

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A recent working practice, capitalising on the benefits of an integrated approach, has been the co located o ce. his sees several different companies working together on a major project as a dedicated team, with no distinctions between business entities. This encourages team members to focus on providing the client with the best service possible, and put aside notions of sole authorship. The role of landscape architects In design teams today, sustainability is a prevalent approach and often the responsibility of specialist consultant. There is an opportunity for landscape architects to play a central part in a project’s sustainability credentials. This is where the landscape architect’s understanding of plants and wider ecological communities can prove invaluable. At a strategic level, this can be conveyed through the methodology of ecosystems services, where the value and effect on natural assets is mapped and quantified based on the contribution they offer. At a site level, landscape architects are well placed to capitalise on a range of technical landscape features such as intertidal river restoration, vertical greening, brown roofs, air purifying interior planting and drainage sequestering tree planting. Embracing building information modelling (BIM) and working in the common data environment are further ways of embedding landscape architecture into a project team. The landscape architecture team at Mott MacDonald are currently working at BIM level 2, providing fully integrated 3D models, specifications and scheduling for a range of projects. Similar activities are happening across the profession, supported by the Landscape Institute’s BIM Working Group. Emerging technologies are allowing the value of ecological design to be measured in new ways.

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“CHANGE WAS BROUGHT ABOUT THROUGH PASSIONATE INDIVIDUALS CROSSING PROFESSIONAL BOUNDARIES”

1 Natural environments such as this wet woodland habitat in Suffolk are a constant source of inspiration 2 Using BIM software for strategic green infrastructure design 3 Assembling indigenous tree and shrub families in BIM software

Jonathan Ramsay, Mott MacDonald Jonathan Ramsay is a principal landscape architect at Mott MacDonald. Mott MacDonald is an engineering, management and development consultancy involved in solving some of the world’s social, environmental and economic challenges. The consultancy’s landscape design team works as part of multidisciplinary project teams, providing an integrated service to fulfil the needs of a range of clients. W: www.mottmac.com

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09/05/2017 11:57


FEATURE

BIMand Vectorworks With the use of BIM increasing rapidly in the landscape architecture industry, design software solutions explains what it is, what it isn’t, and why you should consider integrating it into your process

“ON MANY LARGER PROJECTS LEAD CONTRACTORS ARE SPECIFYING THE USE OF BIM AS ONE OF THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF LANDSCAPE DESIGN CONSULTANTS”

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uilding Information Modelling (BIM) has been a hot topic for a number of years in the world of architecture, and increasingly the world of landscape architecture as well. BIM projects are all about efficiency coordinating drawings, models and relevant data, and sharing information with other consultants and team members, in order to increase the consistency of information, reduce errors and reduce the overall cost of the project. The world of landscape design has started to look seriously at the benefits of working with B M workflows, and on many larger projects lead contractors are specifying the use of BIM as one of the criteria for selection of landscape design consultants. Here we see output from a typical example of a B M design pro ect, where we have a model of a building and the site, from which elevations, plans, site sections, construction diagrams and visuals

can be generated automatically, together with reports and schedules on what resources have been used. In terms of the landscape element, this information would include hard landscaping schedules, planting schedules and cut and fill re uirements caused by design modifications to the landscape itself. All of this is provided automatically through Vectorworks Landmark, a best-of-breed design tool for the landscape environment. Background The move towards BIM over the last few years has come about as a result of work done in by Patrick MacLeamy, C of Architects, and his team. The MacLeamy Curve (figure ) is a graph of the cost of decisions along the timeline of a construction project. It shows that decisions made early in a project (during design) can be made at lower cost and with greater

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effectiveness. alue engineering in pro ects is usually done when the bids come in; the MacLeamy curve tells us that value engineering decisions, especially ones that affect the lifecycle costs of the pro ect, should be carried out earlier in the project, when decisions are relatively inexpensive and the impact on the project can be far greater. The government estimates that moving towards BIM will provide savings of 20% on project lifecycle costs; therefore it is no surprise that the government has mandated this approach on its own centrally procured construction pro ects from April 1 . n addition, commercial companies are certainly not averse to saving money, and many lead contractors are specifying the use of BIM on projects for which you might want to tender. How can it help you? The first thing we need to understand is what B M is and, just as importantly, what it isn’t. BIM is not: A file format A software application ( evit, Sketch p or even ectorworks) An information technology. BIM is: A way of working efined by workflows, which may vary from project to project • Enabled by information technology. So, as with most things in life, it is as much about people and how they work as it is about technology. Whether you are involved with large projects and working with other consultants on major bids or not, there are benefits and efficiencies to be gained from the BIM approach. Imagine creating your landscape design in such a way that all the plans, sections

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and elevations of your design could be generated automatically from a single model. Furthermore, imagine all of those drawings being automatically updated when a design change is made. How much time would that save you? What if every element of your design had information attached, enabling you to analyse your design automatically for areas, volumes, slope, cut fill and planting lists And again, what if all of these are automatically updated when design changes are made. How much time and money could that save you? This is what BIM and Vectorworks Landmark can offer. For those of you who are working in the wider world of multidisciplinary projects, with lead contractors, architects, structural engineers and mechanical and electrical engineers, BIM can provide further benefits. The ability to share the design work of all the teams working on a project and consolidate them into a single model can be quite revealing, and save time and money for everyone. However, with different specialisms, different firms and different people all potentially using different design software, we need a way of sharing and exchanging designs.

1 Output from a typical example of a BIM design project – a 3D model from which 2D elevations, plans,site sections, construction diagrams and 3D visuals can be generated together with reports and schedules 2 An example of a landscape in BIM 3 The MacLeamy curve

How can we collaborate effectively on a BIM project? Open BIM is a universal approach to the collaborative design, construction and operation of buildings based on open standards and workflows. t is an initiative of buildingSMA T and several leading software vendors using the open buildingSMA T ata Model. ectorworks is a member of buildingSMA T and so are most of the suppliers of landscape design software Autodesk, Trimble (Sketch P), Bentley, Graphisoft and many others. pen B M thrives on the use of a universal file format, IFC, which enables the sharing of not just geometry, but also data between different design applications. Sharing models and information in this way enables us to greatly reduce the number of unbudgeted changes and clashes which typically occur when we start work on-site, helping towards the government’s target of 20% cost saving. Summary The latest NBS BIM survey suggests that 54% of organisations in the construction sector are already using B M, with that figure set to rise to 8 in a year’s time. Whether BIM is right for you now, or maybe at some time in the future, more knowledge will help you make the best decision on BIM for your business, and avoid putting you at a disadvantage.

design software solutions Design Software Solutions is the leading reseller of Vectorworks Landmark in the UK and a provider of the free CPD session ‘BIM – your next step’. W: www.designsoftware solutions.co.uk

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09/05/2017 10:31


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09/05/2017 14:40


FEATURE

The value of trees

IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT chris mills of glendale civic trees explains why urban trees are so important, and how best to select, plant and maintain them

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rees have an incredibly important part to play in the shaping of the urban environment, and bring a long list of benefits that cannot be overlooked socially, environmentally and economically. Reports have long proven that living in an urban area with access to trees and green space has a lasting, positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Planting pro ects are proven to produce significant social and economic benefits, especially those that regenerate disused land and create new areas for people to live, work and play. Any scheme that helps people get closer to the natural environment has the potential to encourage physical activity and promote a more active lifestyle. ne of the key environmental benefits is the fact that trees act as carbon sinks, soaking up carbon dio ide and using photosynthesis to convert it into glucose and o ygen. This means they can help to relieve the effects of global warming on the environment. t’s crucial to plant the correct type for ma imum impact broadleaved species such as oak, beech and maple are ideal because they have a larger leaf surface area, which generates more photosynthesis. Conifers, on the other hand, are better at absorbing heat than carbon dio ide. Trees can help to reduce the effects of flooding. esearch has shown that water sinks into the soil under

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2 trees at 67 times the rate at which it sinks into the soil under grass, because tree roots transform the ground into a spongy reservoir which absorbs water and releases it slowly. All of these benefits make trees desirable in urban spaces, but before you can undertake an urban tree planting project, there are a range of factors to consider, from selecting the right species to preparing the planting site and ensuring the tree thrives. Selection As a starting point, consider the location – is it suitable ifferent types of landscapes have different needs, and therefore re uire different treatments and preparatory work. A residential area may require trees that produce less pollen, whereas a commercial might benefit from trees that thrive in more limited spaces. You must also consider the space the tree will need to grow, both above and below ground, while also taking into account any factors that might determine the shape the tree needs to be. These factors could be things such as sightlines at junctions, where for example a clear stem tree will be most suitable. In terms of aesthetics, it’s important to think long term – do you want a tree such as a cherry blossom,

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with its wonderful springtime blooms, or a more versatile tree that continues to give visual impact into the winter months? Will a particular species complement other elements of the surrounding area? New trees can be selected for the way the shape, colour and texture either blends or contrasts with the landscape. Overall, planting a diverse mix of species will ma imise the benefits of urban trees, aid conservation efforts such as wildlife initiatives, and ensure that the landscape is better prepared for pests or diseases, which could wipe out an entire species in one area. Budgets are also a significant factor in the tree selection process, with the size of the tree, the preparation work and maintenance requirements – including pruning, fertilisation, pest management and root control – all dependent on the funding available. If the budget is limited, it’s wise to avoid selecting trees which will require expensive upkeep. For example, a tree which has a naturally sound structure is preferable if the cost of regular pruning could become an issue. That said, most trees require regular watering, especially in the years immediately after planting, so this must be factored into the overall budget. n general, most urban areas benefit from a medium-sized tree, with a compact crown, no fruit

3 1 Glendale Civic Trees completed the planting of over 350 trees as part of the RE:LEAF scheme 2 The team’s specialist tree planters were responsible for preparing the ground and securing the trees in their final locations 3 Fifty-eight trees were planted by the team to enhance the landscape in South Shields

“PLANTING PROJECTS ARE PROVEN TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS” FUTUREARCH

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and visual appeal all year round. Prunus serrulata and Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ have these qualities, and are popular in urban environments. If there’s a bigger budget available, a varied species selection is always effective, such as Acer campestre lsri k’, which makes an attractive addition to a town s uare or boulevard. Again, if budget permits, trees which can be pollarded regularly (the process of cutting off the top and branches of a tree to keep the si e in check), such as London planes or limes, are a good choice. In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of trees as part of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (S S) in order to help reduce surface water run off and prevent flooding. Species such as alders and elms are suitable for this, as they can withstand an inundation of water.

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“IN GENERAL, MOST URBAN AREAS BENEFIT FROM A MEDIUM SIZED TREE”

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Planting and relocation With urban tree planting, the main challenge usually centres around the three levels occupied by a tree: below ground, ground level, and above ground. The area below the ground is particularly important, because there needs to be adequate space for a tree pit to enable a tree to thrive once planted. Large tree pits are important, because this enables the roots to spread properly. Most of the time, trees are moved in urban locations to make way for a development for e ample, a recent pro ect delivered in south London by the Glendale Civic Trees team involved the movement of a beech using the Newman Frame (a method suitable for pro ects where it isn’t practical to use tree spades) in order to clear space for a new block of flats. When three large trees needed relocating to enable a new railway bridge to be installed in Manchester, Glendale Civic Trees used the largest tractor-mounted tree spade in the UK to relocate them to the other side of a park, because their original location was in the e act spot where a crane needed to be positioned to remove the old bridge and install the replacement. Whether you are planting or relocating a tree it’s imperative to carry out a site survey before you begin any work, so you’re fully aware of any obstructions which may affect the process. ssues such as drainage and changes in gradient need to be noted. As part of this, it’s also important to find out if there are any services, above and below the ground, which might hinder the e cavation process, or block the space required for lifting equipment such as tree spades. When planning a relocation within an urban environment in particular, it’s important to bear in mind that the movement of large trees involves the use of

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large, often extremely heavy equipment, including cranes and excavators, so it’s advisable to scope out the area and the route between the original spot and the relocation spot, to make sure there’s a clear path when it comes to carrying out the move. You should also check with the local council if the tree is legally allowed to be moved: if it’s located within a designated conservation area, or protected with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), it means you need to apply for a ‘works to trees’ application before anything can be done. It’s also worthwhile having the health of a tree checked before it is uprooted, because if the tree isn’t guaranteed to survive in its new home, it will be a costly waste of time and resources. If possible, it is important for trees to be moved during their dormant period. This is typically from October to March (although it can vary from species to species) and is a time when the trees will suffer less trauma and negative impact. It’s also vital to support newly transplanted trees using a suitable guying system, to make sure the tree is properly secured while its roots develop into the new ground; this will also help to protect the tree in the event of adverse weather conditions. Maintenance It’s important to have a structured maintenance plan in place for the period following the planting or relocation of a tree, because this gives the tree the best chance of thriving in its new home. An effective aftercare programme must include regular watering, fertilisation and pruning for approximately three years after the planting or transplanting. A strict process of ‘water, feed, weed and repeat’ is advisable, as well as adjusting the guying system where necessary. It’s also wise to check the health of the tree at regular periods, to enable early detection of health issues. There are certain signs that are obvious to the naked eye: these include wilting leaves, which are a warning that the tree needs more water, and yellow leaves or sudden leaf drop, which can signal overwatering. If a tree isn’t well maintained, it will begin to look distressed. Case studies A regeneration programme in South Shields saw streets overhauled to provide better access for pedestrians between the town centre and the seafront, and to improve public spaces for residents, businesses and tourists. The Glendale team planted 58 trees to enhance the landscape and create a boulevard feel, following a

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4 The RE:LEAF scheme improved the visual aesthetic of the city 5 The streets in South Shields were overhauled to improve public spaces for residents, businesses and tourists 6 The RE:LEAF scheme also offered residents the chance to understand the benefits of trees in urban spaces

6 programme of preparation work – including removing mature trees, grinding stumps and providing tree soil – and aftercare. The improvements resulted in countless benefits to the area the fresh look created a more attractive, inviting feel, which will attract more visitors, increase tourism and provide a boost to the local economy. While crowded city centres can sometimes make finding room for green spaces difficult, the more schemes there are developing run down spaces and disused pieces of land as part of wider regeneration initiatives, the better. High streets play a vital role in sustaining the economy, and it’s vital that the importance of urban tree planting is not overlooked. Glendale Civic Trees completed the planting of over 350 trees as part of the RE:LEAF scheme, an initiative led by then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson that aimed to encourage the planting of more trees across London. The team’s specialist tree planters were responsible for preparing the ground and securing the trees in their final locations, as well as maintenance afterwards. The scheme not only improved the visual aesthetic of the city, but also offered residents the chance to learn about the growing process and understand the benefits of trees in urban spaces.

CHRIS MILLS, Glendale CIVIC TREES Chris Mills is general manager at national tree supply, planting and relocation specialist Glendale Civic Trees W: www.civictrees.co.uk

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FEATURE

ANGEL BUILDING

Tree grilles

greenblue urban ltd supplied bespoke tree grilles to help trees establish in clerkenwell

“THE GRILLES WERE OF A VERY STRONG BUT SHALLOW DESIGN TO AVOID CONFLICTING WITH THE ROOTBALL OF THE SEMIMATURE TREES”

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he former Angel Centre in Clerkenwell, an unloved ighties o ce building facing demolition, as successfully transformed into a multi a ard inning, eye catching and modern hub of activity hich, ith its mi of public atrium, caf , bespo e or s of art and rooftop terraces, is redefining the or ing environment. he footprint of the building has been imaginatively e tended by the architects Allford all Monaghan Morris. he old t ohn treet frontage failed to utilise the aesthetic possibilities of the site no it ta es up the curve of the road, and the forecourt created by the curve has been repaved and replanted to complement the configuration of the building. y reusing the e isting frame, the pro ect saved , t of of embodied energy (equivalent to running the entire ne building for years) hile providing more functional areas. he concrete frame has been re rapped ith a highly energy e cient gla ed s in.

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PROJECT DETAILS Main contractor: BAM Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Landscape Architect: J & L Gibbons Landscape Contractor: J Browne Construction

Bespoke choices As radical as the restructuring of the building, the landscaping also required intensive cooperation between the architects, the developers Derwent London, local authority London Borough of Islington, and landscape architect Johanna Gibbons of J & L Gibbons. Some of the existing trees, originally planted too close to the building and consequentially misshapen, were removed and replaced by specially selected semi-mature London plane trees. To meet the architect’s concept of the overall landscape environment, GreenBlue Urban Ltd collaborated with the landscape architect to design and manufacture four bespoke galvanised Zeta tree grilles ith a significantly reduced visual impact. Blending in with the 60mm granite setts, a feature of the project, the grilles, almost 2.2m square, were of a very strong but shallow design to avoid conflicting ith the rootball of the semi mature

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trees. Main contractor BAM and subcontractor J Browne Construction ensured that all tree root growing areas were protected at all times from soil compaction. Establishing urban trees GreenBlue Urban has been developing innovative products to enable trees to establish in urban environments for nearly 25 years. ArborSystem tree surrounds are engineered to an extremely high standard under rigorous quality controls. Fully integrated grille systems enable the tree to receive natural water, prevent surrounding soil from being compacted and add architectural flair to paved surfaces. ffering a range of standard grilles in a choice of finishes (galvanised and powder coated) to the ‘Design Line’ to complement landscaping schemes, including bespoke signature grilles created from a range of materials including cast iron, ductile iron and stainless steel.

greenblue urban Angel Building was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 and has won awards from RIBA London, the British Council for Offices and New London Architecture. T: 01580 830800 E: @greenblueurban.com W: www.greenblue.com @GreenBlueUrban

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LORBERG HEDGES Natural protection against wind, noise and undesired insights

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SOIL TALK:

Transplanting trees tim o’hare explores the elements of transplanting that cause the most stress to trees – and how to minimise that stress

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ransplanting is one of the most stressful things a tree can endure; it’s important to get soil conditions right to minimise this stress. A tree pit is the transition between rootball and site soil; over time, roots will grow out into site soils, but only if they recover from transplanting. To minimise transplant stress, the soil must offer aeration, drainage, water attenuation, plant nutrients, and a healthy soil microbe population. Intervention may be required, depending on the nature of the site, existing soils, topography, hydrology and weather conditions. It’s best to keep design simple and minimise soil disturbance. Soil type and depth Sandy soils often provide the most fle ibility. They remain non plastic at higher moisture contents, and are less prone to compaction. Clay dominant soils can be used provided they are in a friable, non plastic state when handled, while silty soils are least suitable, as they have weak structural strength. The top metre of soil is most critical for root establishment; it mustn’t be overcompacted, as this reduces aeration, drainage, water attenuation and root extension. It should consist of both topsoil and

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subsoil – planting in topsoil only can cause anaerobism.

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A topsoil depth of 300mm is usually ample; certainly 400mm should be the maximum.

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Rootballs For smaller rootballs (up to mm deep) it’s better to minimise the tree pit’s size to limit destruction of the soil’s structure. The pit should be as shallow as possible, usually only requiring excavation to the depth at which the rootball will sit. f machine dug, make sure to decompact the soil in the pit’s base, where the excavator bucket often causes compaction. After placing the rootball, the pit can be backfilled with the e cavated

topsoil, with any soil ameliorants evenly mixed in. Larger rootballs need deeper pits, requiring excavation into the subsoil. It’s not always sensible to backfill with the same subsoil, especially if it’s heavy te tured better to use a sandy subsoil to sit the rootball on and surround its lower portion. This will better support the rootball’s weight, and prevent later settlement. Roots will happily grow into sand as it’s full of oxygen and water. Drainage Tree pit design should ensure that water input is equal to or less than output, to prevent waterlogging. Input and output factors are influenced by the tree’s si e and species, the climate, the soil’s drainage potential and the soakage potential of the underlying strata. Soil investigation and a review of landscape proposals are essential to determine the best drainage options, which include mounding the pit to shed water away from the upper rootball, incorporating a mini soakaway, or connecting it to a positive drainage outfall. The drainage method must be decided early in the process – leave it too late and you will limit your options.

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1 Anaerobic topsoil in tree pit 2 Tree pit at Olympic Park 3 Flooded tree pit with floating mulch

tim o’hare Tim O’Hare, principal soil consultant at Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, has advised on soil specification and tree pit design for numerous projects throughout the UK, including the Olympic Park, Kings Cross Regeneration, Crossrail Park and Eastside City Park. W: www.timohare-associates.com

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FEATURE

REGENERATION play areas

Mark hardy, chairman of the association of play industries, on the importance of communities having quality play spaces for children, and how regeneration projects can best incorporate these spaces into their plans

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sk a local community in any part of the UK what it wants for families living there and you can be certain that a safe place for children to play will be high on the list of priorities. Flick through local newspapers, visit local MPs’ constituency surgeries or click on popular cro dfunding ebsites and you ll find passionate groups of people campaigning to save their local playground from closure. Play is a subject that families feel passionately about – and rightly so. Having somewhere safe for children to run, ump and let off steam is vital. It s not just about having fun – although that’s important too! There is plenty of academic evidence showing that play delivers physical, developmental, emotional, behavioural, social and environmental benefits to children of all abilities. In short, every child learns through play. Of course, not every child has access to a garden or suitable outdoor space to play, which is why community play facilities make a vital contribution to civic life. ider society benefits too. he best outdoor spaces reflect the needs and demography of the local community, and incorporate multi-generational facilities for play and physical activity, such as walking trails, trim trails, outdoor fitness equipment and landscape features. This kind of holistic, inclusive provision encourages the inactive to be active, enhances community cohesion and supports the local economy. In an ideal orld, every local community ould have a public park on its doorstep for leisure, exercise, recreation and play, but for many, this simply isn’t the case. More than three quarters ( ) of local authorities surveyed for the Heritage Lottery Fund State of UK Public Parks 2016 report agreed that the squee e on public sector resources is affecting par s and green spaces disproportionately to other service

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“THERE IS ACADEMIC EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT PLAY DELIVERS PHYSICAL, DEVELOPMENTAL, EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIOURAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS”

1 Hednesford Park playground, Cannock Chase 2 Camberwell Green playground, Southwark 3 Mill Park playground, Bracknell

areas. 92% of park managers reported cuts to their revenue budgets in the last three years, and only half ( ) said their par s ere in good condition. of local authorities reported that they were considering either selling parks and green spaces or transferring their management to others in the next three years. ess than half ( ) said they have a par s strategy in place. Inevitably, it s the most disadvantaged in society that have both the least access to green space, and the highest levels of obesity and physical inactivity.

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Regeneration and play There are few places where play facilities have a more important contribution to make than in the regeneration of former bro nfield or industrial sites. Transforming a derelict or dilapidated former industrial area into a vibrant new residential community or mixed use location presents major challenges, but there are real benefits to building a designated, protected area for play. Regeneration projects allow architects and designers the opportunity to create open and green spaces which serve as a central focus for the community. The infrastructure of homes and commercial spaces can be balanced with the inclusion of shared spaces, giving a regeneration area balance, soul and purpose. The landscaping of green spaces and the inclusion of well-designed, high-quality play structures clearly signals to children that it is a place to play, as well as showing families that they are

welcome. Well-designed mixed use spaces appeal across the generations, which results in a balanced community investment. eep off the grass . o ball games . Public spaces and housing developments are often littered with rules telling children what not to do, closing down opportunities for play. By providing and clearly signposting public play spaces, developers and play companies create community spaces that encourage children to be physically active and give them the freedom to be children. Path ays and seating areas that lead to play points mean that open spaces within the regeneration masterplan will have a clear signal that they are for use by all. pert members of the Association of Play Industries (API), the U s leading play companies, are working closely with architects, landscape architects and developers to design exciting community play facilities for regeneration pro ects across the U . API members believe that the key to creating a successful play space within a regeneration project is to build designs into plans from the earliest stage possible, rather than bolting them on at the end of a project as an after-thought. With sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm, and obesity and physical inactivity on the rise, families and children need as many opportunities as possible to play and be active outdoors. Rundown areas with nowhere for children and young people to go are quickly blighted with anti-social behaviour, vandalism

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and litter. With great design features and plenty of play value, new play areas soon become focal points and social hubs for the community, with the potential to improve the quality of people’s lives. Playgrounds have come a long way since the days of rusty swings and wooden roundabouts on unforgiving concrete. Today’s play spaces are packed with thrilling equipment that can be used not only by children, but teenagers and adults too – from climbing nets, skate ramps and multi-use games areas (MUGAs) to dance mats and outdoor fitness equipment. Brightly coloured safety surfacing provides visual appeal, particularly in urban areas, and can be used to distinguish different themed play areas or zones. Natural surfacing and landscape features, meanwhile, provide a relationship with nature, and soft spaces where communities can gather. API members say that great play spaces for regeneration projects are determined by the locality and environment, and combine a range of different materials. A former dockland site, for instance, might inspire a nautical-themed play area, with wooden play boats, shade sails and opportunities for water play. The design of a play space in these settings should respect the developer’s choice of building materials and landscape, with the shape and form of buildings reflected in the type of play equipment used. Opportunities for children to experience nature are not always forthcoming in an urban or former industrial environment, so it is important to bring natural elements into play wherever possible. Hundreds of pairs of feet using play facilities every year causes inevitable wear and tear, so it is essential to use high quality, hard-wearing and low maintenance equipment that meets industry standards. Developers may not always remember to build ongoing maintenance costs for play areas and equipment into

their budgets, but for the sake of providing long-term value, it is vital to ensure equipment is well-maintained and safe. API members offer full maintenance, repair and inspection services as part of their commitment to professional standards and customer service. Child health and wellbeing We are in the midst of a child health and wellbeing crisis. Obesity and inactivity are rising and young people’s relationship with the outdoors is dwindling. Despite children’s abundance of natural energy, we adults are stopping them from being as active as possible. Evidence shows that adopting an active lifestyle early in life encourages healthy habits in adulthood, which means providing children with the time, space and facilities to enable that natural energy, wherever they live. Evidence shows that children are more physically active if they have access to high-quality outdoor play facilities. Investment in, and subsequent maintenance of, public play facilities should be a local authority and central government priority, particularly in deprived communities. If there is nowhere to play, where can children go to be physically active when they are not at school? Here to help The UK play industry is committed to providing real solutions to tackle the growing obesity and inactivity epidemic amongst children, particularly in disadvantaged communities where the problem is most prevalent. It’s in everyone’s interests that children move more, more often – but they can’t do this without somewhere to play. Experienced play professionals from the Association of Play Industries can help developers and architects put play at the heart of regeneration communities.

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4 Bisterne Avenue Park playground, Waltham Forest 5 Mark Hardy, chairman of the API

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“BY PROVIDING AND SIGNPOSTING PUBLIC PLAY SPACES, WE CAN CREATE COMMUNITY SPACES THAT ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AND GIVE THEM THE FREEDOM TO BE CHILDREN”

the API The Association of Play Industries (API) campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the value of play. Its members are the UK’s leading play companies which design, create and install high quality play equipment using certificated products, and provide advice on inspection, maintenance and repair. W: www.api-play.org

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NATURALplay areas Earth Wrights is a play design company with a difference. Based in Devon, it creates play areas using natural materials. FutureArch spoke to Mike Jones, co-founder and creative director, to find out more

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ounders Mike Jones and Mark Renouard have been building playgrounds for over 25 years and have worked with the likes of the National Trust, the Eden Project and numerous local authorities to create play areas with the intention of bringing children closer to nature. The idea Mike Jones trained originally as a landscape architect at Leeds Polytechnic in the Eighties. “A couple of the projects that I did whilst studying were to do with play – I’ve always done it,” he says. “I started building playgrounds in the late Eighties.” How did the idea of using natural materials come about? “Mark and I both grew up in the countryside. During our childhoods, we would always be playing in the woods, so we’re both aware of the value that nature has for children.” Earth Wrights uses materials such as timber and recycled tyres, and incorporates as much of the surrounding area’s natural environment as possible. Most of the material is locally sourced: “We’re based in South Devon so we source all of our large timber from Dartmoor,” Mike tells us. “We also buy larch logs from the Woodland Trust, which has been felling them to increase biodiversity.” One of Earth Wrights’ principles is to incorporate curves into its play

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areas, as they believe that children don’t play in straight lines. “When you take a look at nature there are no straight lines at all, it’s all about the curves of streams and rivers,” says Mike. “We try to replicate that in our play areas. “A lot of the big play companies have been heading down a very hi-tech route, with lots of metal and plastic – they’re trying to appeal to the computer generation. This is something that we want to stay away from. Children get enough of that in their lives, and we aim to put them back in touch with nature and the outdoors.” Comparisons arth rights regularly finds itself in competition for contracts with large play companies and international firms. e as Mi e how the pricing and costs compare to companies that use non-natural materials: “We try and position ourselves so that our costs are the same as, or even slightly less than, the costs of these companies. We also keep a close eye on some German companies who do very similar work to us. “I regularly travel to Germany and Holland to gain inspiration,” he continues. “The Dutch build the best playgrounds by far. The value they place both on their children’s ellbeing and on nature is reflected in their designs.” How does the timescale of the build compare? “In terms of

di culty of build, the difference is that we tend to build on site. We get all our materials shipped to and built on location, whereas other companies build elsewhere and have it transported. “There are positives to both. Other companies may be much quicker on site, but we save money and reduce our costs as we don’t have to use a workshop.” What is Earth Wrights looking to do in the future? “We would love to open an old-style adventure playground like those seen in the Seventies, where they were just places kids could play,” he says. “There didn’t tend to be built structures, it was more about having loose material where kids could get to grips with nature, ma e fires, and learn from and have fun with the surroundings.”

“ONE OF EARTH WRIGHTS’ PRINCIPLES IS TO INCORPORATE CURVES INTO ITS PLAY AREAS, AS THEY BELIEVE THAT CHILDREN DON’T PLAY IN STRAIGHT LINES”

earth wrights W: www.earthwrights.co.uk

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Alfriston School/Duggan Morris Architects Š Jack Hobhouse Design tm-studio.co.uk


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ALTRINCHAM TOWN CENTRE Project Altrincham Town Centre Enhancement Location Altrincham, Greater Manchester Size of development Construction 0.6ha (Phase 1) Start date 2015 Completion Ongoing phased development Client Trafford Borough Council Landscape Architect Planit-IE

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Planit-IE and civic engineers

ltrincham hit the headlines in 2010 when it was labelled a ‘ghost town’, after a nationwide survey by Local Data Company highlighting the town’s 30% vacancy rate – the highest proportion of empty shops anywhere in Britain. This was despite the town being surrounded by some of the most prosperous areas in the north of England. Transportation links to Manchester city centre, out of town shopping and economic considerations had resulted in Altrincham’s decline, but rafford ouncil as determined to reverse its fortunes.

After moving to Altrincham in 2010, Planit-IE worked with the council to kick-start ambitious regeneration proposals to reestablish Altrincham as a modern market town. After being awarded an initial feasibility study, including a townscape and heritage appraisal, they produced a wider Public Realm Strategy and Implementation Plan in conjunction with long term partner and co-consultant, Civic Engineers. Proposals were developed in close collaboration with rafford ouncil, to create an attractive, vibrant town centre that supports the community and encourages investment. Each piece of work

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has formed the basis for more detailed proposals, creating an evolving brief over time. Planit-IE and Civic Engineers worked with rafford ouncil o cers, elected members and community interest groups (the hamber, Altrincham or ard, the Altrincham o don ivic ociety, the market traders and the new market operator) and held a plethora of other consultations to drive the regeneration agenda forward. The challenge of addressing hat at times appeared to be mutually e clusive requirements has resulted in a scheme that or s for and is en oyed by all. Design and build A detailed no ledge of the to n s historic fabric underpins the proposals relating to the mar ets, rebalanced streetscapes, ginnels, and hidden gems such as Goose Green. Goose Green as originally a distinct hamlet, formed around a pen where geese were kept prior to sale at the market in Altrincham. esigns ere developed to create a feeling of enclosure and artisan locality, enhancing the surrounding built heritage at the heart of the conservation area. Webbed goose foot imprints ere carved into stone or and laser cut into tree grilles, hilst sculptural sleeping stone geese cluster at the centre of the ne square. ider or s across the to n centre such as tree grilles and stone seating blocks – reference Altrincham s establishment as a bustling mar et to n in . A bespo e gate ay totem has internal illumination highlighting te t about the to n, cut out of the ashed and lacquered steel. he totem s upright, rectilinear form acts as a gate ay and complements the adjacent clock tower, forming a particularly distinctive feature by night. treetscapes and public spaces redress the balance between vehicles and pedestrians, hile fulfilling the operational requirements of the busy mar ets and to n centre retail. arro ing of carriage ays and broad courtesy crossings combine to change driver s behaviour. he layout, te ture, scale and content of the design indicates the change in public realm use, so vehicular tra c is acutely a are of the pedestrian s precedence, naturally inducing a respect and civility bet een users. his approach has created a highly al able to n centre that encourages visitors to arrive at and en oy the to n centre on foot or by bicycle, ithout pre udicing car users. A simplified floorscape of granite pavers and setts unites the public realm throughout the to n

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centre. Laid in a segmental arch pattern, the paving stri es a balance bet een contemporary design and historic respect. The sides of the setts were cropped to give the softer visual appearance of traditional tumbled setts, hilst the top as sa n to give a flat surface. he flamed and fine pic ed finishes play ith light in both rain and sunshine, and flush oints give a visually te tured but even floorscape. he arm blended colour mi is mello , and reflects light to brighten the space and provide fine grain interest. igh quality materials, bespo e street furniture and craftsmanship have been used throughout the to n centre to produce fle ible civic spaces. tone or as supplied by ardscape and the aptly named Goose oot manufactured the street furniture and tree grilles, hile trees ere supplied by pecimen rees. culptural and architectural metal or er hris rammall created the gate ay totem, and the phased or s ere constructed by . ooney td, using Portuguese pavers to install crafted segmental arches across the floorscape. he or s celebrate Altrincham s multi layered heritage and its history as a mar et to n, enhancing the character of the market and conservation area. he vibrant streetscapes and public spaces encourage community cohesion though the creation of a al able centre, and have hosted several festivals and events. he ne public realm has attracted ider investment, vacancy rates have tumbled, and the a ard inning mar et is no a national treasure. Altrincham has redefined itself as a modern mar et to n.

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Planit-IE is a design practice of landscape architects, urban designers, visualisers, animators and graphic designers who work together to shape communities and create places for people to explore, engage with and most importantly, enjoy. W: www.planit-ie.com

civic engineers

Civic Engineers works with passion and expertise in the design and delivery of high quality award-winning buildings, structures and public spaces. Its goal is that its work enhances the quality of life for people in the built environment, working within the sensible limitations of the natural environment. W: www.civicengineers.com

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1 Goose Green ©Adrian Lambert 2 Ginnel to Goose Green ©Adrian Lambert 3 Goose Green in summer ©Planit-IE 4 Shaw's Road ©Adrian Lambert 5 Geese feet tree grille ©Adrian Lambert 6 Paving and geese feet tree grille ©Adrian Lambert 7 Lower Market ©Adrian Lambert 8 Bike rack detail ©Planit-IE 9 Seating bollard detail ©Adrian Lambert

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PORTFOLIO

QUEBEC QUARTER alan camp architects, L&Q, OUTERspace

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he gardens at Quebec Quarter in Canada Water bridge the gap between the development’s buzzy urban setting and the peaceful woodland reserve that stretches behind it. The £2bn masterplan for the area will see the creation of a new town centre, complete with cinema, shops and play areas, a revamp of the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and thousands of new homes. Alongside this, Rotherhithe will also see a crop of residential developments that fall outside the scope of the plan, some of which are already underway. Chief among them is Quebec Quarter, a collection of seven low-rise contemporary bloc s offering apartments.

Build time 4.5 years Size of project 5.43 acres

Leafy surroundings Despite being in the heart of London, Quebec uarter feels green. he five acre development abuts the Russia Dock Woodland – a 34.5 acre nature reserve – and has been deliberately landscaped to integrate with its leafy surroundings. Green space is a key component throughout the Canada Water regeneration programme and particularly so at Quebec Quarter, where nearly two thirds of the site is devoted to gardens or recreational areas. “Outdoor space is incredibly valuable to London buyers, and L&Q worked hard with professional landscape architects to create as much greenery for the residents as possible,” says Cathy Lloyd, developer L&Q’s sales and marketing director. “Investing in landscaping, planting and communal spaces is a key aspect of the development." “Every aspect of Quebec Quarter has been designed to promote a strong sense of community

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here in Canada Water,” says architect Alan Camp. “65% of the total site area is dedicated to ‘green’ activities and features – including extensive communal grounds, play areas and a cross site path leading directly into Russia Dock Woodland next door.” Inspiration Landscape architect Outerspace, which is based in Teddington, southwest London, are the creative brains behind the Quebec Quarter scheme. Its vision is to create solutions that achieve a sense of belonging, and it does so by designing contemporary gardens that aim to respond to their physical context and genuinely engage the people that use them. To shape the development’s green space, they turned to the verdant expanse of the Russia Dock Woodland for inspiration. Created in 1980, the woodland takes up the former Russia Dock, which was opened in the late 17th century and used to import grain, food and timber from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Russia. Following the Rotherhithe docks’ closure in 1969, the area as infilled and planted ith alder, illo , poplars, and, more recently, oak and beech. In 1985, an artificial hill no the tave ill cological Par was added at the woods’ western edge and quickly became one of the best places to soak up the views of southeast London. After a period of decline in the late Nineties, the Russia Dock Woodland underwent an e tensive and very successful restoration. ince then, it has won several Green Flag Awards. Long, narrow and thick with trees, the reserve now stretches around a patch of grassland, crisscrossed by paths that follow the original wharf edges. A meandering stream and two ponds are home to newts, ducks, Canada geese and the odd heron and ingfisher. he ood undergro th, carpeted ith moss and stre n ith violets, panish bluebells, buttercups and cowslip, shelters squirrels, hedgehogs and foxes. Despite being entirely man-made, the park has a natural feel, which Outerspace set out to honour in Quebec Quarter’s landscaping. The company’s creative director Richard Broome notes that their scheme had to reconcile the woodland’s wilder surroundings with the very urban atmosphere of Quebec Way, the road in which the development is located. “The site is a wedge between two contrasting environments, one being the hard, urban realm of Quebec Way and the other, natural woodland where you feel almost like you're in the countryside,” he explains. The company’s vision was to create a form that, though primarily influenced by the oodland, ould

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also respond to Quebec Way’s urban setting. “If you look at traditional English country gardens, there is a formality around the country house and then it gets wilder around the woodland at the back – it’s that sort of thinking,” says Richard. So each of the gardens in Outerspace’s design develops along a ell defined a is. It starts off ith a formal feel by the entrance gates on Quebec Way – sophisticated, city-friendly landscaping that gives a nod to the ordered, structured layout of the old Rotherhithe docks – but quickly progresses to a more informal area at the centre of the scheme, before ending in a naturalistic stretch by the woodland. “It takes an urban, geometric form along the road, and then has the countryside feel punching in from the other side, ichard e plains. hat e did as create a sculptural form that merges the two together. It’s a nice composition that tells a strong story.” From city to nature The planting scheme that Outerspace recommended to Alan Camp and L&Q helps to reinforce this seamless transition from city to nature. Richard e plains that they set out to bring the tree species and flora from the oodland into the gardens in hat he calls a more 'manicured' way, “creating a feeling that they were distinctly human-enforced places

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hile using all the native species. or e ample, he continues ather than the oodland flora being planted haphazardly in their native state, we’d be using them in more confined and constrained ays. To do this, the company favoured a selection of native trees notably oa s, field maples and ild cherry trees – and common plants such as wild garlic, bluebells and ivy, although they had to adapt the planting to the built nature of the site. “When you get into woodland, the dappled shade comes through, and we were using that as much as possible at the bottom end of the site where there are more trees,” says Richard. “But woodland species can’t have a lot of sunlight, so out in the courtyard there is less opportunity to use them, because there is a lot of sunshine. In that situation, e proposed a mi of native woodland species with non-natives.” This combination of indigenous and introduced plants also makes it easier to bring in the element of order required for the more structured areas of the gardens, such as the courtyards. “It’s easy to use trees li e oa , field maple and ha thorn hen e design spaces, but there aren’t a lot of native shrubs you can use, ichard e plains. At the bottom end, adjacent to the woodland, we've got more informal places where we can use plants like elder, dog rose and blackthorn, because it has got a wilder feel, but

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building a habitat all for beetles and bugs along the ussia oc oodland. hen e design places, they need to be for the ellbeing of people but also for the ellbeing of nature e are trying to pump as much biodiversity into these schemes as possible, ichard says.

when you come into an urban courtyard, it’s quite di cult to use them because they don t tend to be formal enough. ecause of this, uterspace or ed in a range of tidier plants, such as avandula, ebe, immia and iburnum all of hich have the added advantage of being ell suited to a potentially armer, drier climate. here s a big debate going on at the moment around climate change, especially in southern ngland, here you have to use far more drought tolerant species, notes ichard. I thin there s a rethin ing in the industry about hich species to use. he scheme also features clipped hornbeam, holly and privet hedges to build on the sculptural element, hile a selection of perennials, including alliums, geraniums and delphiniums, add colour and interest throughout the year. If you loo at pure natives, there is not a lot of colour after a certain time of year in terms of flo ers, so hat e do is add in things for, say, late autumn some of the perennials, such as udbec ia and chinacea, and the ornamental grasses. his choice of planting has the added advantage of helping nurture ildlife hile minimising environmental impact hich is critical for a development here sustainability and ecology are ey considerations. he lavender and flo ering perennials are a haven for bees and butterflies, and uterspace has proposed

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Space for everyone oth the habitat all and the sinuous path leading from uebec ay to the ussia oc oodland have been conceived as fully sustainable uterspace suggested ma ing them out of bric s and timbers salvaged from the light industrial buildings that previously stood on the site and much of the hard landscaping across the site ill use material that s either recycled or comes from sustainable sources. he scheme has also been designed to ma e effective use of run off ater. he idea is that you ta e all the ater off the roofs and the pavements and so on, and you use it in s ales, ichard e plains. ustainable drainage is not a novel idea in itself, but uterspace too a creative approach and devised rills that transport ater across the development, culminating in three pond features situated ne t to the ussia oc ood. hus, the harvested ater is used to irrigate the gardens but also to add visual appeal. A lot of the time, developers put hat is called an attenuation tan underground, but the Greater ondon Authority and ransport for ondon are trying to push for something more visible, says ichard. At uebec uarter, he continues, ater drains into the s ales and you can actually see it it s become a feature. It s quite e citing. he challenge in doing this, ichard e plains, is that you need plants that can survive regardless of hether the s ales have ater or not. nce the landscaping is completed, developers ill add bat and bird bo es to trees, as ell as creating a series of green roofs, hich, not being accessible to residents, ill contribute to boosting biodiversity. Altogether, uebec uarter s gardens provide a stri ing natural counterpoint to the slee to ers of anary harf hich dominate the s yline. ut greenery here also fulfils some very practical functions it brea s up the seven apartment bloc s, creating privacy from the road and enhancing the sense of space, and doubles up as a natural gathering space for residents. ach of the gardens, for e ample, has a central la n connected to informal play areas for children that are inclusive, safe and creative. he gardens have been carefully designed for residents to en oy as much outdoor space as possible, ichard says. hey offer something for everyone.

alan camp architects Alan Camp Architects specialises in residential led mixed use schemes, masterplanning and bespoke design solutions. W: www.alancamp.com

L&Q

L&Q is a leading residential developer, creating high quality homes and places. W: www.lqgroup.org.uk

outerspace

Outerspace is a landscape architect practice which undertakes a variety of projects from public realm to urban design. W: www.outerspaceuk.com

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