Gold and silver awards for Millbrook roundabout’s Living Wall

The project has received recognition from The Green Organisation

The Living Wall on Millbrook roundabout

Southampton City Council and its highways partner Balfour Beatty Living Places have won both a gold and silver award for its Living Wall project on Millbrook roundabout.

The awards were presented as part of The Green Organisation’s Green Apple awards that celebrate projects contributing to enhancing the environment.

The Living Wall is made up of ten large panels and more than 11,000 plants that create a striking display and add to the city’s large number of green spaces. Although hidden by the foliage, the bespoke panels house an integrated watering system that uses sensors to maximise efficiency and minimise water waste.

The Council worked closely with vertical green infrastructure specialist, Biotecture, and highways partner Balfour Beatty Living Places, to design and build a structure that would help the area become more visually appealing while using nature to remove air pollutants. The project contributes to the Council’s commitment to creating a cleaner, greener city and its award has been welcomed.

Cabinet member for Environment, Councillor Steve Galton, said: “It’s an honour to have the Living Wall on Millbrook roundabout recognised by The Green Organisation’s Green Apple awards. This just a start for Our Greener City plans as we are proactively bringing forward a wide range of exciting projects that work together to help us achieve our goal of becoming a cleaner, greener city. Achieving these ambitious plans means that we will continue to work with our excellent partners to deliver such environmentally beneficial projects – well done all!”

Brian Hammersley, Contract Director at Balfour Beatty Living Places, added: “We are incredibly proud to have secured a Green Apple Gold Award, along with our partners on this project - Southampton City Council and Biotecture. At Balfour Beatty, sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do and this project demonstrates how we continue to play a key role in tackling the impact our industry has on the environment through global ambitions and local action; helping to deliver sustainable highways schemes and improve air quality in the local community.”

Richard Sabin, Managing Director of Biotecture, said: “Congratulations to our partners Balfour Beatty and Southampton City Council in securing this prestigious award. If this trailblazing scheme was embraced by other highway authorities across the UK, it would go a long way to addressing the serious issue of air quality near our roads in built up areas.”

Judges at the Green Apple Awards commended the team on the way it delivered a blueprint for demonstrating how improved air quality could be achieved using living walls on highway schemes across the country. The gold award was presented in the 2020 category, and the same project received silver for 2021.

When Millbrook Roundabout was completed in 2019 it became the first highways scheme in the UK to incorporate living walls.