The landscape design incorporates a range of design devices to improve the function and aesthetic qualities of the site. These include solar passive initiatives water sensitive urban design and fire mitigation strategies.
Fire is a major risk to the site given its’ location adjacent significant areas of remnant vegetation. Some measures Ecoscape has taken to mitigate fire risk include planting succulent species at low densities and using gravel mulch. Succulents have been known for their fire retardant properties. We have incorporated these plants in strips throughout the site to act as fire buffers. In fires windows become both ways to escape and places for the fire to get in. Gravel mulch has been used around low windows to reduce fuel load around school buildings to reduce fire risk.
It is important that water permeates into the aquifer as close to the source as possible to maintain natural subsurface water levels. This is especially true for the site which is located adjacent Forrestdale Lake, a significant wetland habitat which is predominantly fed by ground water discharge. The design incorporates living streams which both treat water and function as nature play elements. Salvaged site logs are recycled as stream crossings creating a site specific aesthetic to the water treatment areas.
There is a fine balance which needs to be found between restoring a sites natural vegetation and deciduous vegetation which improves solar passive capabilities of a space. The courtyards have been filled with deciduous trees to promote solar passive function of these highly frequented spaces whilst the perimeter of the school references the sites endemic vegetation. Each solar passive courtyard has a distinct species of deciduous tree to assist with distinction of spaces but also create a design unity.
Overall the design aims to create a holistic treatment which does not focus on any particular design feature but instead understands the site as a complexity of issues.
Bushfire Risk Management & Planning | Environmental Design | Master Planning | Parks & Playground Design | Project Design & Administration