Reap as you sow

The hidden environmental innovations behind Garden’s new home


As well as being one of the nicest taprooms you could ever hope to visit, Garden’s new Zagreb home is a marvel of sustainable urban architecture. Here are just a few of the innovations that make it equally welcoming to flora, fauna and thirsty punters.

Native plants

Planting in and around the taproom has focused on native species, adapted over millennia to form part of the unique local ecosystem. This helps secure:

restoration of natural habitats and food sources for local birds and animals

more efficient use of water

increased resistance to local weather, pests, drought and environmental risks

low-maintenance update, non-invasive and no need for chemical fertilisers.

Water-permeable surface materials

The large concrete area outside the new brewery was replaced with a garden, with lawn, trees and porous surface materials to allow water flow and re-establish a natural hydrological balance, benefiting the environment and Garden’s staff and customers, through a more pleasant climate. Benefits include:

creation of a new microclimate with lower temperatures (via the cooling of absorbed water evaporation), increased natural moisture and lower dust levels

replenished groundwater reservoirs with reduced pollutants due to percolation

increased flood prevention and reduced run-off to gutters and storm drains.

PHOTO: Julien Duval

Mycorrhiza: Natural organic fertilizer

Garden introduced mycorrhizal filaments to the soil; fungi that create symbiotic relationships with plants, in effect extending their root systems, meaning no chemical fertilizers were needed.


increase the length and surface area of plants’ root systems

increase the efficiency of nutrient and water absorption

release powerful positive organic compounds into the soil.

Studies show mycorrhizal populations are slow to recolonise naturally, so reintroducing them into areas where they’ve been lost dramatically improves plant health and performance.

Tree-planting creating a microclimate

Microclimates are created by local differences in heat or water absorbed or emitted near the surface. Human comfort is impacted by environmental variables like solar radiation, air and surface temperature, humidity and wind speed. Trees impact urban microclimates in many positive ways, acting as natural air conditioners:

intercept solar radiation

provide shade

direct air flow and wind speed

cool high air temperatures by water evaporation from leaves and soil

warm cool air temperatures by blocking and slowing wind speed.

Positive modification of urban microclimates helps conserve energy and provide passive cooling or warming.

PHOTO: Julien Duval

Energy-efficient planting

Garden’s brewery uses self-sustaining species that are 

pest and disease resistant

drought tolerant (once established)


winter hardy

suited to the local soil type and pH.

This policy will help us develop a local microclimate and an energy-efficient garden that require less water, fertilizer, labour, maintenance and plant replacement

Brewery wastewater reuse for garden irrigation

Brewery wastewater is used to irrigate the entire garden: internal and external plants, trees and lawn. This saves money and reduces freshwater consumption.

Eco-friendly materials

Garden used wood and stone – local, low-energy renewable materials – avoiding plastic and synthetic materials where possible, to:

decrease the amount of material sent to landfill

improve energy and water efficiency

reduce greenhouse gas emissions

prevent toxic chemicals from leaching into the soil and waterways.

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