Project – Suburban Intensity
Like many families living in Dublin the client had bought a small starter house intending to move to a larger house as the family grew. And like many families in Dublin, the clients have found the cost of purchasing a larger house in the area where they now are happy to live, prohibitorily expensive.
The Solution: Vertical Garden, Green Roof and better layout of existing house.
The proposal was to extend into the underutilized garden and replace it with a vertical garden and green roof on the extension. The proposed extension will in fact add more greenery to the rear garden than there currently is and the green roof will be visually pleasing to the neighbours.
In addition to extending into the garden the house was reworked to make better use of the existing floor space.
A few important points to remember when considering moving or extending:
- The larger the house, the more heating it requires and the greater the C02 emissions.
- A small well designed house will offer a far more pleasant and comfortable environment than a large house with a lot of unused empty space.
- Good design will make up for lack of size.
The project proposes the creation of vertical gardens along the boundary walls of to the rear of the house. This is a more practical solution than grass lawns of providing greenery in tight urban situations, and also more suitable to the Irish climate, as it frees up ground space for all weather hard surfaces. The walls will be planted with a mixture of flowering climbers (Souvenir du Dr Jamain Rose, Hydrangea Petiolaris and Forsythia Suspensa) among a background of ivy (Hedera Ivy).
The ground floor extension will have a green roof covered with sedum mats. Sedum mats are pre-grown plant mats with selected grasses and mosses that are ideal for roof locations as they do not need to be cut, require little maintenance and keep a lush appearance throughout the year. This green roof will provides habitat for plants and insects where there would otherwise be none. The green roof will be visually pleasing to the neighbours, and a huge improvement on the current view of the rear garden.
Green roofs have a huge environmental benefit as well. Grass sod is a renewable natural product requiring no energy to manufacture, unlike concrete or metal that depletes natural resources and generate tons of carbon in their production. In fact a grass sod roof will neutralise a large quantity of carbon over its working life, making for a more sustainable future.
Reduced Impact on Neighbour´s Garden
The extension is built along the north side of the garden to maximise the extension’s solar gain. The proposed extension´s floor level has been lowered to give it a better connection with the garden therefore on dry days the extension and garden will become one large living area. By lowering the floor level, the extension will have a diminished impact on the neighbour´s rear garden. In addition the extension has a mono-pitch roof sloping towards the neighbour´s garden, so that the roof level on this side of the extension is even lower.