Page 83 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 83
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Considering the scheme layout Integrating 1 VISUAL INTEGRATION 2 SHADE AND SHELTER 3 ECOLOGY BENEFITS Softening the visual impact of new Appropriate landscape enriches habitats and In summer deciduous trees can block up to landscaping development, not just the buildings but all the 85% of the sun’s radiation, but in winter they provides food, shelter and protection for a range of species, particularly garden birds, permit up to 70% of the sun’s energy to pass associated hard surfaces. Planting “in contact” through their bare branches. by absorbing carbon out of the atmosphere, with the buildings helps to connect them with the landscape. countering the effects of burning fossil fuels. The design process, from commencement, should carefully scrutinize all the natural assets of the site, in- cluding its vegetation. The objectives should include the maximum retention of existing vegetation, particularly of trees and hedgerows, provided they are in good condi- tion and not approaching the end of their natural life. 1 New planting should be an integral element of any development, otherwise it is likely to retain a raw and harsh appearance, to the detriment of visual integration into the countryside. It provides change and interest with the passing seasons, adding colour and interest to life, enhancing human well-being. There is a wealth of advice available on species suitable for planting across the range of conditions and circumstances in NI. It is important that any trees are sufficiently separated from all proposed buildings and services so that they will neither be an actual or a perceived threat to the safety of buildings and their occupiers. Maintenance of landscaping is a particularly important issue at social housing schemes. It is recognised that often residents do not have access to the appropriate tools or if elderly may not be able to upkeep their own patch. However initiatives such as tool hire and commu- nity gardening events managed and funded by Housing Associations, could remedy some of these issues. QUALITY LANDSCAPE DESIGN by Landscape Architect 2 THE HOUSING Public ASSOCIATION areas 3 tool hire, community events, LANDSCAPE paid & voluntary upkeep, local MAINTENANCE authority involvement etc. shared responsibility benefits all Private areas TENANTS QUALITY LANDSCAPED A new build notional scheme set within the rolling drumlin landscape of Co.Armagh, south of Tynan. Demonstrating PLACES the advantage of good landscaping in integrating clusters of social housing in rural environments. enjoyable to live in 82 83
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