Architecture of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
Instructions: This example should be used to research sustainability issues under the 3 main domain :
1.Ecology in terms of material-concentration and structure 2. economy in terms of public and private-3.culture in terms of nature in culture And additionally, we should suggest an outline and innitiative of your own to build upon or improve the example.
You will begin by doing some broad research into your examplar. In particular, you need to identify two types of information.
1.the claims made for sustainability by the designers/ developers of your example.
2.the effects and outcomes of the examples with regard to sustainability (ecology.economy.cilture). This means how the project works and if there is any room for improvement. Look at any differences between the intention of the project and the outcomes. The report must have diagrams and images( with reference )
Architecture of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Melbourne are botanical Australian gardens located at the central region of Melbourne in Victoria. The garden stands at the bank of Yarra River and occupies 94 acres of land. The gardens are landscaped and comprise of a comprehensive mix of exotic and native vegetation of more than 10 000 different botanic species and over 50 000 individual plants (RBG, 2016). The architecture and the extensiveness of the gardens make them internationally renowned and remain of great architectural significance. The gardens have received numerous architectural awards for the design and landscape. In October 2013, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, a part of the Melbourne Gardens, received the World Architecture Festival Award in the category of the Landscape of the Year. The design depicts impressive innovation and exciting creativity that consider critical aspects such as sustainability, aesthetic, social, environmental, and traditional design values. The analysis of the concept of sustainability of the design offers an in-depth understanding of the values and sustainability issues in architectural designs. The designers of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Paul Thompson integrated different aspects and value in making decisions concerning the design of the gardens. They evaluated the different components to create a sustainable design (Howcroft, 2015). Personally, I term the consideration of sustainability a critical process of architecture and designing. Every architect/designer and developer should ensure the design will be sustainable from all grounds before the construction or development. This essay discusses three critical domains of sustainability including ecological, economic, and the cultural sustainability aspects using The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.
Architectural Sustainability of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
Tony Lethlean and Paul Thompson considered the different aspects of sustainability in designing The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne. The consideration of the different architectural and design factors make the garden internationally recognized and renowned. According to the designers, the garden meets the sustainability criteria and integrates various aspects to ensure environmental, cultural, and ecological sustainability (Howcroft, 2015). The design, as the architects/designers assert focus on the minimization of negative environmental impact through the consideration of efficiency and implementation of designs, materials, and ecosystem-friendly aspects. Royal Botanic Gardens (2016) asserts that the designers used the concept of sustainable architecture in the design and assured the moderate use of materials and energy and the incorporation of components that promote sustainability. Further, the garden was designed to promote cultural sustainability and conserve and protect native/exotic flora. The discussion and critical analysis of the different domains of sustainability shows the success of the designers in meeting the sustainability objectives.
Ecological sustainability is a critical component in architecture. Architects and designers must consider sustainability in terms of ecology. An ecologically sustainable development, as Howcroft (2015) and RBG (2016) assert, involves the efficient use of resources to ensure the consideration of human needs and the perseveration of the environment. Designers/architects should consider the present and future needs of the society and develop structures that allow the achievement of the present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet such needs. In designing The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Tony Lethlean and partners placed emphasis on the creation of a design that allowed ecological sustainability. The design of the gardens considers the natural systems and was created to address critical social challenges facing the local and global community. The influence of the design in ensuring ecological sustainability is evident in its consumption of resources. The major concerns addressed by the design are energy use, environmental conservation, the issue of pollution, the sustainability of the building materials and the efficiency of the systems (Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016; ANPC, 2015).
The design of the Royal Botanic Gardens addresses ecological sustainability, a critical domain of sustainability. The sustainability of the design is depicted in its ability to address, among other things, the issue of water and environmental conservation (Brock, 2014). The design of the gardens includes the use of efficient materials and integration of innovative ideas targeted towards the reduction of water consumption and the promotion of ecologically sustainable operations (RBG, 2016). The structure and material concentration allows the effective management of resources and the efficient utilization of space, while guaranteeing conservation. For instance, the conversion of turf areas to the warm-season (and more water-efficient) Kikuyu grass boosts water conservation significantly. Moreover, the design allows the use of a weather-based irrigation scheduling system that reduces water use by accounting for climatic conditions, plant requirements, and the water-holding capacity of the soil, which all ensure plant health. Further, the design of the gardens includes the use of mulch on garden beds and the application of water-sensitive design principles in the various landscape areas. For instance, the Guilfoyle’s Volcano and the Water Conservation Garden are some of the design principles that depict the ecological sustainability (RBG, 2016).
A water-conserving exhibition garden
It includes inventive designs for the conservation, protection, and improvement of botanic life. According to McCarthy, et al. (2004) and the Royal Botanic Gardens (2016), the design and structure of the gardens ensure an efficient utilization and management of resources to guarantee ecological sustainability. Tony and the other designers ensured the integration of systems and structures that allow the efficient use of energy, sufficient waste management, and the application of durable, ecosystem-friendly, and sustainable materials. For instance, the design includes efficient solar heating systems, high efficiency heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, and efficient waste management systems ( ANPC, 2015; Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016). The application of these structures and materials in the gardens allows sustainable development and management.
Cultural sustainability is another critical domain of sustainability in architecture and the development of architectural designs. Different regions have varying cultures and thus the identification with culture is deemed critical for cultural sustainability. Botanic gardens reveal and promote the culture of the local communities in which they are located. The promotion of culture through its integration in nature is essential for cultural sustainability. According to RBG (2016), The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, promotes culture through the protection and conservation of more than 10 000 species and over 50 000 individual plants. Most of these plants possess great cultural significance and value and thus their protection and conservation is essential for ensuring the passage of culture to future generations. The design includes various systems such as the water supply system among others that allow the growth and survival of the different plants. For instance, according to The Royal Botanic Gardens (2016), the gardens conserves indigenous, rare, and exotic plants. 40 percent of the trees in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Melbourne are native species of Australia. One of the culturally significant plants include the River Red Gums and other plants from different cultures (McCarthy, et al., 2004). For instance, the gardens have the Kikuyu grass, an East African native grass, which promotes the Gikuyu culture (RBG, 2016).
Economic sustainability in architecture involves the design of structures that ensure profitability. In the development of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, the designers considers the aspects of cost-effectiveness, efficiency of the systems, and environmental and ecological sustainability to guarantee the garden’s economic sustainability. The elements operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness ensure the effective management of resources and the application of quality materials and methods at cheaper prices. The design uses different energy-friendly systems, employs different architectural and innovative components to conserve water, and utilizes materials that are sustainable to ensure they last longer. The application of the different architectural techniques makes the design economically sustainable. These techniques allow reduced operating costs, higher productivity, reduced risks/liability, and high profitability. This ensures that it meets the present community needs without necessarily affecting its ability to meet the future economic needs of the society ( ANPC, 2015).
In the development of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Melbourne, the designers and developers considered the innovativeness and ensured the careful selection of the construction materials, the products required, and the services. All the processes focused on the minimization of the impact of the gardens on the environment and the society. The decision-making process was effective with the consideration of the facilities, products/services, and materials’ life-cycle to ascertain sustainability. Most importantly, the gardens promote economic development and sustainability since it attracts people from around the world. Additionally, it harbours various businesses including hotels, cafes, kiosks, and holds various functions such as weddings, meetings, and promotes photography among other economic activities. The consideration of these elements of sustainability reveals the efforts adopted and implemented to ensure the economic sustainability of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne (McCarthy, et al., 2004; Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016).
SWOT Analysis of the Architecture of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne
|Strengths a comprehensive design covering different domains of sustainability. The RBG is a global conservation leader.Conserves and protects native/exotic plants and extinct species.Uses advanced and innovative designs for enhanced economic, cultural, and ecological sustainability. Comprises of committed, highly-skilled and staff.Receives government and private-sector support.Is home to various visitor attraction sitesStrong brand and wealth of assetsEfficient planning and budgeting.||Weaknesses Limited breadth of integrating different domains of sustainability.Funding Misinformation and poor understanding of the importance of the different species of plants among locals.Inexistence of sufficient and appropriate training.|
|Opportunities There is an opportunity for further development in the different domains; for instance, cultural sustainability can include the promotion of culture through structures.Opportunity for integrating cultural heritage, performing arts, music, socio-cultural events, sports, games, and print, audio media among others.A chance for integrating more efficient systems for heating, cooling, and ventilation.Opportunity for incorporating plants of different native origins from around the world.A chance for using more innovative designs to promote the overall sustainability of the gardens.Ecotourism.||Threats Fires. Extinction of plant species.Drought and climatic changes.New gardens emerging around the world may limit the economic sustainability of the gardens.Funding.Vandalism.|
The consideration of sustainability is essential before the development of any design or the construction or development of buildings. The process should involve the evaluation of the present society’s needs and focus on meeting them without compromising the possibility of the future generations meeting their needs. Significant emphasis should be placed on the critical sustainability domains such as ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability. All the aspects that influence the different domains of sustainability should be critically examined and decisions made following an in-depth examination, evaluation, and analysis. Any design, project, or plan that threatens the livelihood of future generations should be discouraged even when it promises to meet present needs and societal demands. Personally, I feel that no government should approve the creation or development of structures that do not meet the sustainability demands from, at least, the economic, environmental, and safety domains. Moreover, placing emphasis on the development of culturally sustainable designs would be of critical importance.
In the development of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, the designers depict a significant consideration of the various sustainability concerns. The gardens are created in a way that they meet the various sustainability requirements. For instance, the gardens have achieved significant success in the promotion of economic sustainability through the development of various structures that promote business. The designers intended to create a garden that serves the role of conserving and protecting flora of different species and in the process attract local and international tourists. The design has managed to achieve the sole purpose it was created for. Currently, the gardens hold over 10 000 species of various plants including exotic, native, and extinct plants. Additionally, the cafes, hotels, kiosks, and its existence as an attraction site serve as important aspects that promote economic development. People visits the sites for fun and leisure while others hold events such as weddings, which generate income. Additionally, the materials, products, and services are selected with a consideration of their life-cycle and sustainability. Also, the designers considered cost-effectiveness and operational efficiencies in the creation and development of the gardens.
Further, the ecological and cultural domains
of sustainability are greatly portrayed in the design of the Royal Botanic
Garden, Cranbourne. Ecological sustainability in terms of material
concentration and structures seems efficient and properly outlined in the design.
The designers used products and materials with longer life-cycles to create durable
and lasting structures. Moreover, the conservation and protection of numerous exotic,
native, and extinct plants of different species and significant cultural
importance plays an essential role in the promotion of culture and its passage
to future generations. However, there is a need for the improvement of the domain
of cultural sustainability by conserving exotic and extinct plants from
different cultures around the globe.
ANPC, 2015. Report of the 10th Australasian Plant Conservation Conference 2014 ( APCC10) Hobart, Tasmania, 11th-14th November. (Presented by the Australian Network for Plant Conservation ( ANPC) and the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens ( RTBG)’, 2015. Ecological Management & Restoration, 16(1), pp. 1-9.
Brock, E., 2014. Plants fRom DOWN UNDER. Horticulture, 111(5), pp. 58-63.
Heritage Council Victoria, 2016. Victorian Heritage Database Report – Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria: Heritage Council of Victoria.
Howcroft, H., 2015. Garden Design : a Book of Ideas. London: Octopus Publishing Group.
McCarthy, M. et al., 2004. RESEARCH REPORT The habitat hectares approach to vegetation assessment: An evaluation and suggestions for improvement. Ecological Management & Restoration, 5(1), pp. 24-27.
RBG, 2016. Plants & Landscapes. [Online]
Available at: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/plants-and-landscapes
[Accessed 4 June 2016].
RBG, 2016. Water – Water Conservation. [Online]
Available at: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/sustainable-landscapes/sustainability
[Accessed 5 June 2016].
Royal Botanic Gardens, 2016. Sustainable Management.
Available at: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/sustainable-landscapes/landscapes van Schaik, L., 2007. Visiting the Australian Garden. Architecture Australia, 96(1), pp. 74-81.