Elmich suggests five unique ways to introduce sustainable elements into your building.

Tip 1

Install greenroofs in vacant roof space. Greenroofs are a low tech and easily installed addition to roofs that can create a healthy green space for all building users. The City of Melbourne has found that 328 hectares of the city's roof space could potentially be green. To put that in perspective the Sydney and Melbourne Royal Botanic gardens together measure only 68 hectares.

Tip 2

Ensure the waterproof membrane is protected because a busted membrane can lead to serious building repairs. Given that 80 per cent of building repairs result from damaged membranes, avoid burying waterproof membranes under glued tiles; in the event of repairs, removing the tiles to fix the membrane can turn into a huge and expensive project. Instead, consider paving balconies and roof terraces on pedestals.

Tip 3

Don’t let the runoff go waste – collect this water for reuse in the garden, for instance. By doing so, one would be taking some of the pressure off city stormwater systems.

Tip 4

Create permeable ground space wherever possible using durable materials that allow water to percolate through rather than hard impermeable surfaces that add to stormwater runoff. 

Tip 5

Create interesting greenwalls that add texture, colour and life to a space, and enjoy the multiple health benefits that plants bring to the environment.