The IGNITION Project is a pioneering endeavour designed to explore and develop innovative solutions to grow Greater Manchester’s green infrastructure. The project showcases models for how investment in the natural environment will help combat the impact of climate change.
Lancashire-based SEL Environmental and Greeningup created the natural urban greening solution at Salford’s Living Lab. The two-year IGNITION project was completed on schedule and on budget in June 2021 notwithstanding COVID-19.
The project aimed to create a green infrastructure solution that will illustrate how large investment in sustainable technology may help battle climate change and boost urban biodiversity, and assist Greater Manchester target a 10% increase in green infrastructure investment by 2038.
Jack Shuttleworth, SEL’s commercial director, remarked, “Much of the unique engineering is underground.” Advanced water management was retrofitted with little disruption. By taking water from the existing SuDS network and storing it in the 40,000-litre tank hidden by the deck, we can irrigate all of the retrofit green infrastructure with recycled rainwater. Reduces site discharge and mains water for irrigation.
Greeningup, tree pit, rain garden, and green roof are managed by a central brain. It provides water on-demand to irrigated regions based on real-time soil moisture readings. These systems’ data will be important for globalising these technologies.
Greeningup CEO Rick McKeever said, “The retrofit biodiversity living wall is 13.5 metres and stands on a floating foundation and runners. Not the structure carries its 4-ton weight.
Rick says, “I periodically check on the 9,000 plants and have seen tremendous increase in biodiversity. I heard small tweeting from a birdhouse recently. Knowing our answer is helping was a great feeling.
The Living Lab’s research will help construct green infrastructure outside Manchester. SEL and Greeningup have a particular partnership to supply and invent the best/most sophisticated climate-fighting technologies on the market.