When designing and constructing a landscape, there are many challenges that designers and contractors are faced with. A major factor for the success of any landscape project, is the use of horticultural soils that match the project brief and the project specific plant palette, whilst also providing long-term results that continue to improve over time.
Here we explore some prominent projects in and around Sydney that highlight how the Benedict SmartMix® range of horticultural products were implemented to assure the success of each project initially and for many years to come.
When Fresh Landscapes undertook the landmark Parramatta Square project, NSW Construction Manager Tim Donavan, knew that choosing products that were free draining and structurally sound would be key to achieving a successful outcome.
The Benedict SmartMix® range of materials are renowned for having high quality mineral matter that creates a structural framework and are not subject to decomposition. This made them an obvious choice for the project, where the soil profile sits beneath a suspended slab and there was only one chance to get it right.
The Benedict SmartMix® range of products had been previously utilised successfully for Stage 1 of the project. For Stage 2 and Church Street, external testing through SESL was carried out on Benedict SmartMix® 6 and SmartMix® 7, to once again assure their suitability for the project. After some specific amendments were recommended, the products were again approved for the project.
“Both SmartMix® 6 and 7 were trusted products to make sure the lifespan is great.” Tim Donovan, Fresh Landscapes
Another product approved from the SmartMix® range, was SmartMix® 3. Used for street tree planting in permeable pavement, 40mm Structural Soil is physically durable enough to support pavements whilst also offering maximum horticultural soil volume. SmartMix® 3 allows tree roots to develop and expand at depth within the soil profile, as their basic needs for air, water and nutrients are being met. This stops the roots heading up to the surface which is the cause of pavement damage from root heave.
Sydney Olympic Park (SOP) saw an abundance of innovation and revised methodology when Managing Director of SESL Australia, Simon Leake and Benedict’s Murray Fraser joined forces on the project in 1997. Simon, a soil scientist who has made a lifetime study of soils and their improvement, chose the SmartMix® soil range for its innovative approach and benefits across various applications.
During this project, the essential element to address was drainage, due to the impermeable base of the shale and clay materials at SOP. For this, the Smartmix® 3 Structural Soil Profile was the obvious choice used to maintain the porous pavement at full depth.
Still today, Smartmix® 3 is a preferred solution for tree planting in permeable pavements and is suitable for tree root expansion without the issues of pavement damage from root heave. Even after 26 years, the Boulevard at SOP has seen little to no movement due to the optimum conditions the SmartMix® 3 soil solution provides for tree growth and the prevention of pavement damage.
One of the primary challenges for the Drying Green project was wear arising from high foot traffic on the turf. Landscape Architect and Public Realm Delivery Specialist of Regal Innovations, Adrian Collins explained why the SmartMix® range was chosen for this urban space.
“Good drainage, compaction resistance and ability to promote sustained healthy grass growth were the attributes of SmartMix® 2 Premium Organic Turf Rootzone that led to its selection for use beneath the Drying Green turf areas.
The SmartMix® 2 underlay supported the need for structural performance and hydro conductivity. The loamy sand texture gives it effective drainage and compaction resistance, while the added organics provide nutrients and increase the water holding capacity for the turf to establish good root growth which is fundamental to the turf health”, he said.
“It was integral that everything put in the wetlands system functions at the highest level.” Adrian Collins, Regal Innovations
Like many projects these days, the Drying Green not only had project specific physical and horticultural properties that the products needed to meet, there were also strict environmental requirements that needed to be met.
Due to the site previously being contaminated, a Remediation Action Plan (RAP) was adopted to ensure that any materials imported to site conformed to the strict site-specific requirements. This was an imperative requirement that Benedict was able to meet. “It was integral that everything put in the wetlands system functions at the highest level”, said Adrian Collins.
As these projects show, the Benedict SmartMix® range of products have revolutionised the industry by combining a sound scientific basis with superior structural integrity and a proven track record. The SmartMix® range of products used in these iconic and prestigious projects are the direct result of years of technical Benedict knowhow and working alongside designers and contractors to meet their specific project needs and solve their most challenging issues.
Sydney Olympic Park
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