As cities develop and constantly change, we’ve recognised that the inclusion of nature throughout cities is critical. Urban life, and particularly living close to the CBD has its benefits – proximity to public amenities and a bustling urban atmosphere.

City living often also means a small space to fit in all of life’s essentials; sometimes at the expense of outdoor space and an important connection to nature. However, nature was the key concept when it came to renovating the home of Sacha Coles, Director of ASPECT Studios’ Landscape Architecture Practice and passionate sustainability advocate.

Having worked on some of Australia’s most renowned plant-covered architectural icons, Sacha wanted nature to be the hero element of his recent home renovation, in Sydney’s Redfern. Spanning three levels, the home was expertly designed to showcase the green roof from all aspects of the home.

“The green roof is more than just an outlook, it is the central moment in a very complex home. It is the one piece of breathing space in a very tall and narrow urban block.” said Sacha.

The green roof, on top of the original 1800’s building, provides passive thermal performance to the living space below, reducing the reliance on energy consumption. In addition to providing superior insulation, the green roof also serves another very important function; a biodiversity garden.

Creating opportunities for pollinators to live in urban areas is essential for the success of our cities and was central to Sacha’s design. The plant species on the rooftop were selected for their ability to attract pollinators to the garden and add to Redfern’s biodiversity. Clusters of small residential biodiversity gardens create a network of habitats that strengthens local ecosystems.

With green roofs becoming more common, ensuring quality installation of the complex structure is critical to its success and longevity. When selecting a company to work with, Sacha chose to partner with Junglefy “because I wanted certainty in terms of the outcome and I trust the quality of their delivery and construction,” he said.

“As a designer who is always judged on the final product of my work, I really need to know that the finished result will be something that I think is as good as it can be and in my experience these guys are the best.”

Showcasing sustainability in Sacha’s home was a tangible way to demonstrate responsible building as an essential part of modern design and construction. He added “I also wanted to illustrate to anyone that visits our house, how easy it is to do. If I can do it in my house, surely we can do it across the city at large“ and widescale adoption, is where the most impact can be made to create better and more liveable cities.

* All images supplied with permission by Sacha Coles