Creating and implementing a successful green solution for a client requires balancing what the client wants (both now and in the longer-term) with what is affordable, possible and manageable.
Here’s a list of five key parameters to be clear about before starting work on any green solution.
- A clear concept
This step involves fully understanding client expectations and what the ‘driver’ is for the installation. For example, the client may be after improved aesthetics, greater privacy, better shading and cooling, a low-maintenance installation, or even all of the above!
- The local environment
Factors to consider here include local weather and wind conditions, type and size of structure and its capacity for load-bearing, and micro-climate – such as sun exposure, overshading and light reflection from nearby structures. Other factors include the orientation of the building on the site, and access for machinery and equipment.
- The budget
The client’s budget will always set the financial parameters for the project, and it’s important to develop the concept to fit within these constraints.
Some of the cost considerations include the facade construction methodology, equipment-hire, time required for construction and labour hire, as well as the cost of the structure, materials and plants.
- Buildability and process
The practicality of getting the structure in place needs to be considered. A multi-storey building for example will require various equipment such as cranes, scaffolds and lifts to get the support structure and plants onto the building.
- Ongoing maintenance needs
Every green facade needs ongoing maintenance and this needs to be factored in at the outset. This includes considering how often maintenance should occur, and what is entailed in getting it done in terms of equipment, materials and labour.
The balancing act
Developing a successful installation requires balancing all these factors. It may also be necessary to tweak various elements of the project along the way as more (or less) weight is given to one or other of them.
Case study examples
These case studies demonstrate how projects have differing parameters for success.
This project was driven to a large degree by the methodology used. It involved working from the inside-out (not a common method) which led to it taking longer than usual for a similar project.
In this case it was all about the plants as the client wanted a lush and green environment, and there were a lot of micro-climates to deal with in the building.
Fast plant growth was important for this client, and there were other unique considerations such as incorporating artworks into the project.
At Tensile, we always conduct a thorough assessment of all the factors involved in a green facade project, within the budget and time constraints of our clients. Contact us today for a discussion of your project, or for more information on green solutions