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Roundabout’s new living walls first of kind in UK

Southampton City Council and Balfour Beatty have begun work to transform the newly reconstructed Millbrook Roundabout into a greener, cleaner environment with new ‘living walls’ made up of green planting.

The walls will take the form of ten green columns which will appear to support the flyover. The plants will sit on free-standing frames away from the columns, meaning the structure is not affected.

Work on what will be the first living walls of their kind on the UK’s major road network is now underway and is scheduled to be completed by October. The works will be taking place off the carriageway meaning no disruption to travel.

The new living walls are supplied by Biotecture, a specialist in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of green infrastructure.

The plants are fully developed and green at the point of installation, and the species have been selected for their beneficial effect in providing habitats for wildlife.

The installation is being funded from efficiency savings made as part of the main £8.3m Millbrook Roundabout reconstruction scheme which was completed earlier this year.

Placing vegetation in urban areas has a significant effect on air quality as plants absorb CO2 and other gases.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment commented: “The Living Wall project at Millbrook Roundabout is the first of its kind in the UK. It’s an exciting way to make our public spaces more attractive whilst at the same time having a beneficial effect on the environment”

Richard Sabin, Managing Director of Biotecture, said: “Yet to be seen on the UK road network, the Millbrook green columns are evocative of the Via Verde highway pillars in Mexico City, and they’ll help with air pollution reduction. We are very excited to be working on this flagship scheme.”

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