Boosting productivity

‘I was almost distracted by how amazing it is,’ Do it on the Roof’s consultant Pip Hildebrand reported of One Central Park in Sydney.

The view from the Penthouse at One Central Park

The view from the Penthouse at One Central Park

It is moments of distraction like Pip’s that are all-important in improving the functioning of our brains and increasing productivity. Visual, and better still, physical access to nature restores the mind’s ability to focus. And people who are focused perform better at school and work.

Access to nature also alleviates mental stress and cuts the number of days when staff are absent. These effects are good for productivity too. Check out this article, which finds that offices which provide nature boost productivity by 15%.

http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/news/biophilic-architecture-building-better-buildings-f

It’s no surprise that cutting edge offices are turning to nature to improve employee health and performance.

We know how important productivity is to our corporate clients, and we look forward to helping them achieve their objectives through natural beauty and creative gardens.

One Central Park from street level.

One Central Park from street level.

 

Sydney hosts World Green Infrastructure Congress

One Central Park

One Central Park

 

One Central Park

One Central Park

Spring 2014 saw Australia play host to the G20. True but less publicised: Australia also hosted the world’s premier green infrastructure congress.

In October, the Do It On the Roof team joined industry experts and green infrastructure enthusiasts to discuss the latest research and innovations.

Innovators explained new technology and planning techniques. Conversations roamed from international projects to the role of green infrastructure in tempering climate change.

The range of participants in these discussions is growing. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the industry.

 

Above all, the new projects developing right here in Australia inspired Do it on the Roof. We were delighted to visit some of the city’s most sophisticated gardens on roofs and walls.

Seeing green infrastructure in action in Sydney’s springtime gave us a lot of food for thought. Watch this space next edition to see how we are turning these ideas into action.

 

World Green Infrastructure Congress (WGIC) Image Gallery

IMG_6883

One Central Park

One Central Park

Measuring Melbourne’s natural capital

Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens BioBlitz

The weekend of November 16th marked the end of the City of Melbourne’s BioBitz, a two week survey of local biodiversity in Melbourne’s parks, green roofs and spaces.

Do It On the Roof, along with members of the local community and experts from the Museum of Victoria, University of Melbourne, RMIT and Zoos Victoria, joined in the effort in the Fitzroy Gardens.

This was the first city-wide biological survey of its kind conducted in Melbourne.

We were impressed by the turn out: twenty people for the first of several low key, hour-long sessions in just one of the places in the survey, on a Friday morning. Clearly Melbournians care about nature, big and small, and care for interacting with it within their city.

The results of the survey are to be announced at the next Canopy green roof forum, and the council will draw on them in developing its rigorous Strategy for Urban Ecology.

Do it on the Roof looks forward to exploring both findings and Strategy. Stay tuned to learn more.

For Canopy, Melbourne’s green roof forum, see http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Sustainability/CouncilActions/Pages/CanopyMelbourneGreenRoofForum.aspx

Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens

Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens

Going back to our roots

When November, with its sweet showers, comes around, it is time for Do it on the Roof to go back to its roots, and we go to graduation night at Melbourne’s Centre for Sustainable Leadership.

We wasted no time getting onto the big ideas. Pouring champagne, Geoff Gourlay, director of NuGreen Solutions and alumni of CSL 2008, confessed to involvement in hiring a cruise liner to take Australia’s top 117 entrepreneurs to Antarctica for a “think tank on steroids”. They’re called the Unstoppables. http://unstoppables.com.au/

Two graduating fellows gave speeches. To our delight, one was Veronica Munro, who spoke frankly of what it means to be brave.

CSL Graduate, Veronica Munro

CSL Graduate, Veronica Munro

Do it on the Roof first met Veronica when she was working for a sustainable construction company. From conversations about green roofs, big things grow, and we are proud to say that we drew Veronica’s attention to this great leadership program. Nor are we averse to taking a little cheeky bathe in her glory.

Congratulations Veronica!

The other fellow who spoke was Damon O’Sullivan.

CSL Graduate, Damon

CSL Graduate, Damon

Damon described the factors which, fifty years ago, led scientists to fell the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine tree Prometheus to investigate how old it was. They discovered Prometheus, at just under 5000 years old, had been the oldest tree in the world. The species is not expected ever to germinate again.

The outrage which followed inspired the modern sustainability movement.

People are not evil. That’s not the problem, Damon said: problems arise for the environment simply when we fail to recognise that we are interfering with something greater than ourselves.

We agree. And with Damon’s ability to distil the essence of the problem with direct lucidity, we anticipating hearing much more of him.

Congratulations to all the fellows and good luck with your projects. You’re inspiring to watch.

Apply by 22 February 2015 to be considered for CSL’s next program.  csl.org.au/apply

Message from the CEO

Gardens on city roofs are oases. They can be refuges. They can be lookouts. They can host smashing parties.

But to reach an oasis you need to find a path. Do it on the Roof is thrilled that this spring we ourselves started creating rooftop oases. We’ve also been out and about, exploring the network of paths around us.

In our Spring Newsletter we share stories of some of our paths, and we can’t wait to share our oases with you in editions to come.

Shelley Meagher, CEO, Do it on the Roof

Dr Shelley Meagher

Do it on the Roof goes on Powershop’s Greg Hunt walk

Lunchtime on Monday November 10. Greg Hunt steps outside the government offices to take his constitutional in Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens. Waiting for him is Powershop, with whom he’s agreed to chat about the renewable energy target. Powershop has brought with it a few customers, around 120 or so.

CEO Ben Burge had already announced rules. Be respectful but rigorous. Hustle away hecklers, hustle away haranguers. Speak your mind. Be bold but be brilliant.

The Minister powered off down hill. The crowd frisked around him, pinging questions. The Minister stopped. The people swarmed, in a friendly way. The conversation grew louder.

Do it on the Roof admires Powershop’s style of customer service and we were chuffed to be invited to join the crew.

The Minister and the people spoke of many things, most related to the renewable energy target.

Discussions with Greg Hunt

Powershop keeps great company and it was a thrill to be with them. We fell in step with Shaun Scallan of Planet Ark and began planning how to get rooftops growing more trees.

More of this another time. But what, you are asking, what has the RET got to do with green roofs?

The renewable energy target created a market that allowed keen new beans like Powershop to enter the market and provide cheaper electricity to home owners. That’s a good thing, no?

So is the fact that Powershop cares about generating renewable energy efficiently.

When it comes to photovoltaic cells, this means keeping the temperature of the air around your PVs as close to 28 degrees as you can in the summer months. On a conventional roof you are roasting your sweet flesh in temperatures of 50-70 degrees Celsius over much of summer.

Oh no! How do you lower these fiery climes?

Listen, darling. Gardens. Put them on your roof.

Yes, that’s right, gardens are cool, and gardens on roofs are very cool indeed. They keep roofs down at 30 degrees well nigh throughout the year.

As the wise woman says: if you’re going to do it on the roof, get a garden on the roof first, and keep it cool.