22 May is International Biodiversity Day. Whereas climate change is a hot topic, biodiversity receives relatively little attention. Too little in our opinion. For example, did you know that biodiversity is the foundation of almost the entire ecosystem? It provides a buffer and resilience during extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change. Without a biodiversity buffer in nature, the Earth is less able to counteract the effects of climate change and is likely to reach its limits more quickly.
Why is that? Biodiversity, for example, provides fertile soil in which vegetables can be grown that are resistant to diseases. Another example: marine life in oceans provides half of the Earth’s oxygen. That is why world leaders agreed at the last biodiversity summit in Montreal that seas should also become protected nature.
Global biodiversity could use a boost. For this reason, we want to give a shout-out to all buildings that encourage this so that nature can flourish. Would you also like to contribute? Increase biodiversity in and around your building using these six tips.
By using more natural materials in your building, you increase the micro diversity of the indoor climate. Additional plants are also always a good idea, as greenery makes for healthier air and ensures a positive impact on our well-being. Combine that with plenty of fresh outdoor air in the building and your healthy indoor climate is complete.
Build nature-inclusively by deliberately creating space for biodiversity on roofs and façades. Planting on buildings enhances urban biodiversity and reduces the effects of climate change. For instance, greenery drains rainwater, decreasing flood risk, reduces heat stress and combats air pollution.
Is there space around your building for insects, birds and other animals? Create a pleasant living environment by sowing flower seeds, planting bedding plants, and installing insect hotels and birdhouses. The happy bees, insects, birds and bats, in turn, create movement in nature. They pollinate, breed and fertilise, increasing biodiversity.
Even if you cannot dispense with parking spaces, there are possibilities to green your building. How about tiles through which grass can grow? This will give water more options for absorption, instead of flowing down streets looking for an outlet. Moreover, by doing so you contribute to maintaining fertile soil!
Instead of other kinds of surfacing, consider removing paving. Perhaps you could exchange a paving strip for a green space with wild flowers. You don’t have to immediately sacrifice your entire car park to create green space. Every piece of paving counts and contributes to a more climate-resilient environment. Get inspiration or see how things are going in your municipality at the NK Tegelwippen.
Slightly more indirect, but certainly significant. We briefly mentioned the crucial role of the oceans in the context of oxygen production. To preserve marine life and biodiversity, it pays to reduce plastic. Think about where plastic is used in your building and consider whether it could be done differently. This is how you restrict single-use plastics that end up en massein the oceans and damage marine life.
Wondering how to make your building more attractive for birds? Read colleague Olivier Noorduyn’s blog here.
If you want to know more about climate-proof building, increasing local biodiversity and achieving future-proof buildings, contact us to find out what steps can be taken in the case of your buildings.