;(function(o,l,a,r,k,y){if(o.olark)return; r="script";y=l.createElement(r);r=l.getElementsByTagName(r)[0]; y.async=1;y.src="//"+a;r.parentNode.insertBefore(y,r); y=o.olark=function(){k.s.push(arguments);k.t.push(+new Date)}; y.extend=function(i,j){y("extend",i,j)}; y.identify=function(i){y("identify",k.i=i)}; y.configure=function(i,j){y("configure",i,j);k.c[i]=j}; k=y._={s:[],t:[+new Date],c:{},l:a}; })(window,document,"static.olark.com/jsclient/loader.js"); olark.identify('9050-296-10-7157');

Project Background

Sine QN, London-based development managers for the data centre sector, approached us having seen another living wall project we’d completed in London.  With a new-build data centre in the plans, the brief was essentially to soften the building without reducing the building’s footprint, whilst engaging the local community through the use of greening and improving accessibility.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Ground planting
  • Soil-based living wall
  • Wire / Climbers

Project Drivers

Biodiversity

Biophilia

Social Impact

3D render of a landscaped pedestrianised street with trees, hedegrows and large shrubs

Producing a full landscape feasibility report

Part of our work involved producing a full landscape feasibility report and an ecological enhancement planning report.  Essentially this meant looking at every opportunity for greening on the site perimeters, and within this how to best support the local ecology.

Plan view of landscape design for a commercial site

Using native species

Amongst what was proposed was a variety of native trees, plants and shrubbery to give the site a biophilic and ecological value.  We also proposed a free-standing soil-based living wall to improve the street view of the data centre, including mostly native species, and calculated the environmental gains achieved once installed.  In this way, our client could see the potential they had to make a real social and environmental impact.

For example, did you know that 100m² of a soil-based living wall will produce 170kg of oxygen every year?

3D render of a pavement and commercial building with green walls trees and ground planting or landscaping

Opportunities for greening

Part of our consulting work is bringing to light what can be achieved with the use of green infrastructure systems.  They aren’t just a pretty sight but have real environmental benefits.  Mostly evergreen with a few discovery plants, the idea was to keep the space vibrant all year round, with certain species selected to provide sources of nectar to attract bees and butterflies.  This not only has environmental value, but also has a value for the community, as people enjoy watching wildlife at play.

3D render of a landscaped pedestrian area with shrubbery, trees and a cycle path

Along the River Lea

The initial concept for this area was derived from the flow of the river, hence the landscape has a very free flow design.  We designed it so existing trees would be retained and new trees would be introduced to the give the site a more greener view along the river.

3D render of

Balancing biophilia with biodiversity

As you can see here, different coloured shrubbery can be introduced alternately for the flower beds and a pathway has been included in between each flower bed for accessibility. On the right end, we created an entire bed of wildflower meadows and a grass-covered area with outdoor seating for casual gatherings.  People can enjoy the view of the landscaped areas as well as the river while having a coffee break.

Along Bidder Street

While we proposed a free-flowing design by the River Lea, we designed this side of the site along Bidder Street with some contrasting linear patterns, but we followed the same ideology of creating different coloured flower beds alternately along the street.  The aim was quite different for this side of the site, as public access was to be restricted, rather than encouraged.  So hedgerows and a plethora of native (local) trees which have significant ecological values were proposed. 

Wide pavement with hedgerows shrubbery and trees and a cycle path

Indicative plant palettes

As a part of our work we created a full indicative plant palette so if desired, our client could look into the value of each specie and also get another view of the different colours included in the design.

Another large part of the scheme was bringing the local community in.  On the riverside there were cycle paths and a pedestrian walkway, so we designed the surrounding landscape in a way to engage the community, enhance connectivity and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Project update

The work at this data centre is currently on-hold as the local council want to look at the housing site next door together with this site, creating one master site for urban planning.