Sustainability, shade and beauty...

Sustainability, shade and beauty at Newington College in Sydney

Newington College

Newington College is a day and boarding college for boys, located in Stanmore – an inner-west suburb of Sydney. It is one of the six founding members of the Great Public Schools (GPS) and widely recognised as one of the leading independent boys’ schools in New South Wales.

In 2018, Newington College engaged Group GSA in Sydney to create a new front entrance forecourt. As well as providing visual appeal from the school to the street, the project aimed to provide students and parents with a shady space to meet. It also sought to create synchronicity between the entrance and the expansive gardens that thrive beyond the school gates.

Newington College

As a school with a strong reputation for sustainability, it was important that Newington College used environmentally-friendly solutions to bring the project to fruition. That’s where Citygreen came in. Citygreen worked with Group GSA, together with Creative Nature Landscape Services, to deliver a stunning entrance using the Stratavault system.

Stratavault is made from 100% recycled polymers, ensuring maximum green building contribution. This was important to Newington College, who already have several sustainability measures in place, including solar panels and an almost paperless campus.

Newington College

As well as being environmentally-friendly, Stratavault offers a range of benefits that added value to the project:

  • Incredible strength – 100% stronger than other soil cells
  • Fast to install – modules snap together quickly to form an interconnected matrix
  • Easy to assemble – no zip ties, screws or ground spikes are required
  • Easy to maintain – increased apertures permit larger conduits, pipes and aeration systems
  • Durable – no steel components, therefore no rusting or corrosion
  • Effective – delivers maximum soil volume and passive irrigation of trees


Ultimately, it was Stratavault’s ability to ensure the trees would grow to maturity that made it the best choice for this project. By delivering over 94% of total soil volume for healthy tree-root growth, Stratavault has a proven track record of success in heavy hardscaped areas, such as the one at Newington College.

As Ben Kingsnorth from Creative Nature Landscape Services said, “Citygreen’s products allowed us to create uncompacted growing space for the roots of trees underneath the proposed concrete slab.” He added that the “easy to use system and really helpful staff made the whole installation process seamless.”

Since installation, the trees have flourished, achieving outstanding canopy growth and adding a new dimension to the entrance of Newington College. The shade and beauty provided by these trees will be enjoyed by staff, students, parents and visitors for many years to come.

Newington College

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -