Blog Archives

Running and maintenance

People who own and run a water feature will soon become disillusioned with it if it costs more than a modest amount to maintain. Planning should thus aim to avoid high main­tenance and running expenses. A number of very creatively successful water features have been closed because of techni­cal problems, the need for frequent repair work and unduly high running costs.

Traditionally fountains and other running water features are closed in winter. But it is possible to run them all the year round if appropriate preventive measures are taken, like frost­proof water storage facilities and a heated water supply.

A thorough planning approach will pay particular atten­tion to the later running of the water feature. More or less elaborate solutions will be selected according to location...


The Retail Florist Industry

The green industry business that remains most tied to its handcrafting roots is retail floristry. However, even it has become high-tech in com­parison to its recent past. While worldwide wire service is not new, the method and speed of transmission are as current as the latest telecom­munications technology can make them. Florists across the country and around the world are linked by means of numerous cooperative agree­ments that enable customers to make a call to their local flower shop and send flowers thousands of miles away for arrival that same day...



The development of the technology of today and tomorrow has been either made possible or accelerated by the ongoing evolution of com­puters. The scientific breakthroughs of the space program have ushered in an era of nearly instant communications that link people and compa­nies worldwide. Researchers have machines, apparatus, and techniques available for their use that early pioneers in science could have never envisioned. Growers now press buttons to mix soil rather than lift shov­els. They let sensors determine when to water rather than sticking their fingers into the soil. Golf course superintendents consult their on-site weather station to determine the advisability of applying chemicals or preparing work schedules...


From the idea to the finished object

Section through purification biotope

Water can be a problem in urban open spaces. Building water features seems prohibitively expensive, too many things can go wrong, and maintenance is too expensive. But when the water quality is right, pumps, filters and control devices are working properly, the parts of the building that come in contact with the water are not damaged and when water, along with light and sound effects, turns boring places into exciting ones, no one wants to be without it. But however easily and light­heartedly water flows and splashes – it needs expert handling in urban landscapes.

Constructed water features are always individual objects. They emerge from interplay between the possibilities offered by the site and clients’ and planners’ ideas and wishes...


Graphic Visualization

Several types of computer graphic visualization systems enjoy popular­ity among horticulturists, most of which are adaptations of programs developed earlier for other industries.

CAD (computer-aided design) systems are accelerated drafting sys­tems, designed to do what centuries of draftsmen have done with their T-square and pencils. Computer drafting has increased mainly because of a PC-based CAD software program named AutoCAD (a registered trademark of AutoDesk, Inc.). Due to the necessity for hardware, soft­ware, and user training, AutoCAD is an expensive investment for a com­pany. It is not ready to use on delivery to the office...


Safety and freedom to choose

Safety is the single most important issue relating to all kinds of naturalistic ecological planting in public urban settings, but particularly to woody vegetation. Whilst both anecdotal evidence and research suggest that thoughtful design can contribute to a sense of safety (Jorgensen et al. 2002), it seems clear that there are many people who will remain wary of naturalistic ecological plantings. Equally, there is evidence that such people might value the existence of such plantings whilst not wanting to interact with them (Tartaglia-Kershaw 1980; Kaplan and Kaplan 1989). Ways of addressing these concerns are suggested below.

– One method is to provide a gradient from intensive and overtly designed landscapes to

extensive and naturalistic ones (Manning 1982; Dowse 1987)...


Types of provision

The type of toilet described is based on the method of disposing of the sewage, and related requirements for the structure and other aspects of construction such as ventilation, washing facilities and so on. There are five possible options for sewage disposal, as follows.

Composting toilets

In these the toilet seat is set above a box or hole into which all sewage accumulates. If the moisture content can be kept reasonably low, for example by the addition of soil, ashes or bark, then the material breaks down into a relatively odour-free compost, which can be emptied from sewage receptacles at the back of the toilet building and safely disposed of in a suitable location.

There are various proprietary makes that have developed this type for relatively low-use sites...



There can be many and varied reasons behind planning a new process industry or a large reconstruction project. The underlying reasons are often associated with gov­ernmental industrial policies, employment policies, and so on. Normally there is also some form of business strategy based upon a business concept. If limited to development projects of new computerised control systems with an increased level of automation, the definition of goals often becomes more diffuse. When Ergolab car­ried out a series of investigations in Swedish process industries, the operators often questioned the motivation behind the introduction of new computerised systems...


Appendix – Useful numbers and conversions


A1 Introduction A.1 Introduction

Quantitative analysis needs numbers. Many of those needed to understand and quantify eco-aspects of material production and use are presented in the Chapters of the text.

■ Table 2.1: approximate efficiency factors for energy conversion and the associated CO2 emission per useful MJ.

■ Table 6.5: the energy content of fossil fuels and the CO2 they emit when burnt.

■ Table 6.6: the energy efficiency of electricity generation and the related CO2 per useful kWhr.

■ Table 6.7: the energy and CO2 costs of alternative modes of transport.

■ Table 9.6: the energy and CO2 rating of cars as a function of mass.

■ Chapter 12: data sheets listing the attributes of 47 of the most widely used materials.

This appendix assembles further useful numbers and conversio...


Public involvement in relation to naturalistic ecological planting

It seems likely that a clear consensus as to the appearance and characteristics of ecological planting will be uncommon among the general public. Sharing information is therefore likely to be an important part of the involvement process (though not the only part). Realistic photomontages showing the anticipated appearance of the new plantings may be a helpful means of both giving information and getting feedback about people’s reactions to the proposals. Visits to sites where successful ecological planting has been employed may also be useful. Information giving should not be restricted to issues such as appearance, form and siting, but should include more fundamental issues, such as the whole raison d’etre of ecological plantings, and there should be an emphasis on consensus building.