CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge award win

Awards / Sep 20, 2022


An award for our Vertical Meadow Wrap at Holbein Gardens

We were delighted to pick up the Construction Phase Award at this year’s CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards, for our installation on the construction site of Holbein Gardens in central London. Now in its ninth year, the Big Biodiversity Challenge invites the construction industry to add at least one new biodiversity enhancement to construction sites, developments or existing buildings.

It’s a project which we made happen in collaboration with developer Grosvenor and main contractor Blenheim House Construction, and that enables the construction site to give back to the local community both in terms of visual amenity and by providing new habitats for local biodiversity during the construction phase.

The project was praised by the jury for its efforts to humanise the urban landscape by the creation of spaces for residents, as well as providing a positive benefit for biodiversity. Our founder, Alistair Law said: “Grosvenor was our first client in 2016 and it is great to see that collaboration continues successfully. Winning the CIRIA Construction Phase Biodiversity Award is a real endorsement of our innovative approach to vertical greening that enables construction sites to give back both to the community but also to nature in a simple and flexible solution. We hope to see this become the norm rather than the exception.” 

Greening in the heart of London

With our Vertical Meadow Wrap, we introduced 38m2 of native UK calcareous grassland meadow along the gantry handrail facing out into Sloane Square, with a seed mix developed by expert ecologist and horticulturalist Professor Nigel Dunnett, and the London Wildlife Trust. In line with our philosophy of minimising environmental impact every step of the way, the Wrap was delivered to site by bicycle courier, installed by the site team with Vertical Meadow support and commissioning, and is now monitored by the site foreman, as well as remotely by us.

The introduction of a mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain of 10% on construction projects has helped promote the importance of nature in our built environment, but so often the construction phase is still ignored. Temporary biodiversity measures like ours create a bridge between pre- and post-construction, introducing a haven for local invertebrates, bees, butterflies and birds to use before permanent biodiversity is re-introduced.

Grosvenor has set ambitious biodiversity and sustainability targets, including a 200% Biodiversity Net Gain for the completed project and the introduction of new greening equivalent of 11% of the total floor area, and our Vertical Meadow Wrap has helped gain Considerate Constructors scheme points which in turn contribute to the project’s final BREEAM rating. We’re happy to be a part of it.

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