Most people have some form of landscaping, and many people have extensive landscaping, including a lawn, which is the most water- and energy-intense form of landscaping you can imagine. In a yard, you can conserve water through your landscaping choices and through your choice of sprinkler. The following sections tell you how to use less water and energy in your yard. For green landscaping supplies, check out the following sources
Properly designed landscaping cuts water costs, reduces soil erosion, captures stormwa-ter, and produces food. For the landscape to provide functional as well as aesthetic benefits, the design of the site should be considered in tandem with the building design. The following practices and strategies should be considered Preserve existing trees, shrubs, and topsoil whenever possible. If excavation is required, remove and store uncontaminated native topsoil for later use in landscaping and drainage filtration systems. Fence the full area of any preserved Consider the path of the sun and the location of both new and existing buildings when designing landscaping. Place shade- or sun-tolerant plants as appropriate and locate trees to shade buildings from summer sun. Trees can also shade parking lots, play areas, and sidewalks, thus reducing the ambient temperature of the entire development. Use native plant species, which are better adapted to local pests, soil, and climate. Native gardens...
In some ways, replacement materials provide the easiest means to improve the environmental friendliness of your house. Traditional flooring surfaces, landscaping, foundation walls, insulation products, and other materials can be replaced with alternatives that reduce impact on the natural environment. Before you read about some of these materials and their benefits, however, remember to choose which benefits are the most important to you. No single product will meet every criterion on your wish list.
Cities easily provide more opportunities for energy efficiency. High-rise housing affords no opportunity for landscaping and the water usage that goes along with it. Community housing structures have common walls, so the energy used per resident is lower. Water, sewer, and trash require fewer resources per resident. The list goes on.
The minimal human requirement for water is only around four gallons per day, and that's for both consumption and cleaning. So how much does a typical American family (two adults, two kids) use Between 200 and 350 gallons of water a day. That's 73,000 to 128,000 gallons per year. Landscaping, swimming pools, and spas take even more water. A small, working ranch may use over 270,000 gallons per year. Bluntly put, that's a well of a lot of water.
Site Design For the site design, the team worked within the context of the mature trees, landscaping, and topography. Rick Carter, project architect with LHB says, We oriented buildings for better solar access, adjusting unit types from one side of the street to the other to achieve this. It's a small measure, but it makes a big difference. By clustering units and designing for zero lot lines (versus having side yards), the design retained more open space and allowed for more units than a standard single-family development. Special attention was also paid to creating defensible space as crime was a major concern in the neighborhood.2 The development team looked closely at illumination levels for outdoor lighting, sight lines, and definitive boundaries, and provided clear circulation paths. Certain architectural design solutions were put into place, such as providing either very low or very tall landscaping materials to eliminate concealed areas. Alleyways can be seen from the...
A key characteristic of energy-efficient homes is that they use solar power (which also encompasses water power, wind power, breezes, landscaping, thermal mass, and so on) as much as possible, particularly the passive components like lighting and ventilation. You have to be a lot fussier about your lot when you build a solar home, not only because you may use domestic hot water supplements (refer to Chapter 16), but also because the solar philosophy relies heavily on natural lighting and heating capacities. (See my book Solar Power Your Home For Dummies, published by Wiley, for more details.) Prevailing winds are critical (see Chapter 13 for ventilation and cooling issues). Natural breezes are absolutely free and can make a major difference in the comfort of a home. Look for locations where breezes are magnified in the summer by hills and terrain. In the winter, you want natural brush and landscaping to diminish cold winds from the north. Pay attention to the landscaping of the...
As homeowners turn on lights and appliances hydrogen would be admitted to the fuel-cell, where it would recombine with oxygen drawn from the atmosphere to generate electricity and pure water. Pure water would be stored in a glass-lined tank for drinking, bathing and cooking. The two water tanks, as well as hydrogen tank, pumps, electrolyzer and fuel-cell, would occupy about the same space as a conventional water heater and furnace. Additional water, supplying the pool, hot tubs and landscaping would be available from wells one per block.
If new energy technologies are fully utilized it would be possible to eliminate power plants, dams and centralized sewage treatment plants. Cities would rely on groundwater, using wells to pump water up or rainwater down, thus replenishing recycled water and storing rainwater for landscaping. Sewage would be piped to neighborhood facilities in parks an excuse for fountains and ponds every few blocks or to a restored local marsh. Farming, due to increasingly chaotic weather, is likely to become more diverse. Restored groundwater would force saltwater back to the ocean.
Nonpoint source pollution occurs when rainfall or snowmelt runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants, and deposits them into rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters or introduces them into groundwater. Some of the primary activities that generate nonpoint source pollution include farming and grazing activities, timber harvesting, new development, construction, and recreational boating. Manure, pesticides, fertilizers, dirt, oil, and gas produced by these activities are examples of nonpoint source pollutants. Even individual households contribute to nonpoint source pollution through improper chemical and pesticide use, landscaping, and other household practices.
Executive Order Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations
Executive Order 13148, Greening the Environment Through Leadership in Environmental Management, April 21, 2000. States that the head of each federal agency is responsible for ensuring that all necessary actions are taken to integrate environmental accountability into agency day-to-day decision making and long-term planning processes, across all agency missions, activities, and functions. Consequently, environmental management considerations must be a fundamental and integral component of federal government policies, operations, planning, and management. The head of each federal agency is responsible for meeting the goals and requirements of this order. These goals include environmental management, environmental compliance, right-to-know and pollution prevention, toxic chemical release reduction, toxic chemicals and hazardous substances use reduction, reductions in ozone-depleting substances, and environmentally and economically beneficial landscaping.
We would like to see the implementation of much more transparent project planning and design processes with frequent opportunities for community interaction so that student and faculty expertise can be incorporated. When faculty and student research relates to energy-efficient technologies, recycled building materials, and new ideas about landscaping, it is desirable to demonstrate these ideas in campus projects. But these demonstrations will require early collaborative involvement that may be outside the status quo.
These systems basically recycle your home's water. A tank is connected to certain drains (usually everything but the toilet) and then a chemical sanitizing process is performed that brings the water up to cleanliness standards suitable for landscaping and even washing. The best systems can clean water well enough to be consumed. Not only does greywater offset the demand for treating water to the highest potable standard, but it also may actually be beneficial to plants as it's likely to contain nitrogen and phosphorous. Installing one of these systems when building a new house is a lot more economically efficient than retrofitting an existing house.
I Table scraps By composting the food you didn't eat, you eliminate the need for fertilizers and expensive soil treatments, and you save a lot of unnecessary landfill. You can buy composters which work very well and make the job clean. Or you can compost in a hole in your backyard, which is the best way to go for sheer quality. Dig a hole, and toss your food scraps into the hole (avoid fats, but most everything else is fine). Get some slack lime and toss in a cup once in awhile. Stir occasionally. Within a couple months, you'll have good, loamy potting soil for your landscaping needs.
In 2006 Adobe Systems, Inc., a software maker in San Jose, California, certified three of their headquarters buildings at the LEED-EB Platinum level. Since 2001 Adobe had invested approximately 1.1 million for energy and environmental retrofits in the three towers, saving approximately 728,000. Over this period, Adobe reduced electricity use 35 , natural gas use 41 , domestic water use 22 and irrigation water use 75 . Adobe now recycles or composts up to 85 of solid waste. Through energy savings and purchase of green power, Adobe reduced its pollutant emissions by 26 .Working with facilities manager Cushman & Wakefield, Adobe installed drought-tolerant landscaping, with an irrigation system linked to local weather stations, and added building sensors to monitor interior carbon monoxide levels and adjust the operation of exhaust fans accordingly. Adobe also increased its use of outdoor (fresh) air for ventilation and cooling and enhanced the overall maintenance of its air systems,...
Living in the suburbs entails long drives and big, autonomous homes, along with spacious yards and landscaping. All of this consumes inordinate amounts of energy. If you live in an urban environment, however, you can take advantage of mass transit and the amount of energy required for modular and high-density living is much less than for a home sitting all by itself.
The LEED process assigns points in six categories Sustainable Sites Materials & Resources Water Efficiency Indoor Environmental Quality Energy & Atmosphere and Innovation & Design Process. While climate change advocates will focus mostly on the energy and atmosphere requirements for a building, there are many opportunities for responsible design that are beyond the energy focus, some of which have energy implications. For example, the strategies in the sustainable-sites category include alternative transportation, light pollution, site selection, and landscaping. Each of these has consequences for reducing climate change impacts. In the water-efficiency category, saving water as well as innovative wastewater technologies can themselves save energy. The construction and waste management targets can reduce climate change impacts from solid waste disposal. The materials-and-resources category can increase use of recycled materials and thus reduce the embodied energy in a building....
In 1991, an investment group bought and began developing Dewees Island, just north of Charleston, South Carolina, with the intent of selling residential lots but at the same time providing certain environmental amenities. The natural environment of Dewees Island is being preserved by draconian restrictions endorsed by none other than the property owners themselves. Automobiles are not allowed on the island no concrete or asphalt can be used on roads or walkways only plants and trees native to the island can be used for landscaping and only organic pesticides or herbicides are tolerated. Yet, buyers pay higher prices than normal for the property, reflecting the value that the buyers place on environmental goods. Here we have a good example of a private, for-profit group that protects environmental goods. Buyers clearly value the natural environment over some modern conveniences.7
The IES also incorporates a set of detailed landscaping principles for new industry. Safe transport of hazardous materials throughout the region is another factor considered in the scheme. The scheme has delineated a system of roads and interchanges where industrial truck movement will be permitted, generally away from existing towns and developed areas.
While the team is headed by an architect and an architectural firm that oversees the building shape and design, other members of the team include structural engineers to ensure that the building will withstand earthquakes, the weight of the building contents, and high winds mechanical engineers who deal with airflow through the building, space heating and cooling, and water heating electrical engineers who ensure that sufficient electrical power is provided to the building and its systems civil and environmental engineers who design systems to handle stormwater, runoff, and grading lighting engineers plumbing engineers landscape designers and interior designers.
A heat core is created at the centre of the house comprising the vertical hot air ducts from the solar collectors, the wood burning fireplace and a high-thermal-mass structure. Landscaped ceilings will collect and recover heat via a central distribution exchange unit (part of OM Solar system, see House at Hamamatsu case study). A strip of photovoltaic panels will be placed at the lower end of the solar air roof. As photovoltaic cells have a tendency to overheat this location will benefit from the cooling effect of the berm-directed wind while utilizing the heat generated to initiate convection in the solar air roof. Waste heat will migrate towards the centre of the house by means of natural convection. A heat exchanger will recover the heat for reuse. A separate thermal solar collector of 4 m2 and linked to the dual coil mains pressure AquaSol Duo cylinder will provide some 70 per cent of the annual hot water demand.
Brownfield sites, vacant land, wasteland, backland, informal open spaces and derelict land, often perform valuable functions. In its final report, the Urban Task Force (1999) gave a new acronym to some brownfield land - SLOAP, or 'Space Left Over After Planning'. It was described as 'soulless, undefined places, poorly landscaped, with no relationship to surrounding buildings'. These leftover plots between roads, houses and factories, which no one appears to own, and often for which no one wants to take responsibility, can be death traps for children, valued community green spaces, relics of industry or designated wildlife sites. Sometimes they are a combination of these and other attributes.
Another advantage that the Meir House integrates with its form is weather protected adjacent open spaces. The south and north verandas and the southeastern balcony are protected from wind by the mass of the building to the north and west and by the garden wall to the west. These spaces are shaded partly by overhangs, partly by deciduous plants (such as vines and Prosopis), and partly by pergolas with agricultural shading fabric that has a 75 per cent shading coefficient. An intense post-occupancy project was carried out to reduce by landscaping the amount of wind-driven dust. By laying stone paving, pebble ground covering, and planting drought and salinity resistant plants, airborne dust is trapped and kept on the ground. Plants are drip-irrigated by a computer, providing a relative humidity sensor by-pass to the automatic operation mode.
Implications for space and infrastructure Closely related to recommendations 4 and 5, it is critical to get a clear picture of the implications of climate options for the use of scarce space and infrastructure. Such an assessment would have to focus on a range of issues, such as expansion of the electricity grid, underground or surface grid and pipelines, requirements for gas stations, and numerous other implications with respect to waterways, bridges, landscape architecture, design and management of industrial areas, opportunities for (re)locating businesses and the like. There is still much to be learned about costs, sustainability, as well as the division of labour between government and private parties in adjusting infrastructure to climate policies.
EO 12873 extended provisions of Section 6002 of the (RCRA), which required EPA to create guidelines for procuring agencies so that their procurement practices would maximize energy and resource recovery. Section 6002 of RCRA referred to all procurement agencies but restricted purchasing items to those exceeding 10,000. RCRA required that those agencies develop an affirmative procurement program (or APP), which was to ensure that items composed of recovered materials were purchased to the maximum extent practicable. RCRA established guidelines for paper and paper products, vehicular products, construction products, transportation products, park and recreation products, landscaping products, and non-paper office products 12 . EO 12873 expanded the function of affirmative procurement programs by requiring for all agencies that 100 of purchased products meet or exceed the EPA guidelines for resource recovery. Failing this, the procuring agency was required to provide a written...
Colleges and universities are complex institutions that have many complex systems operating within them. Some of the systems that are of greatest importance in reducing carbon dioxide emissions include energy generation, distribution, and consumption transportation and buildings. Other heat-trapping gases are associated with coolants, landscaping and agriculture, waste disposal, and use of specialty chemicals. Some of the decision-making systems that influence these important physical systems are purchasing, financial management (especially allocation of overhead costs), deferred maintenance, master planning, sustainability policies and construction standards, and performance evaluations.
Transformative building design questions conventional thinking toward reducing environmental impact. It uses design thinking to go from making incremental changes to taking giant innovative leaps. It solves multiple problems and integrates human behavior, technology, operations, and design. As an example, consider the problem of water. In urban environments, water typically comes from the municipal water supply, which collects water from rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers. It is then treated and distributed through a sophisticated system of ducts and pumps into commercial and residential buildings. Once there, it's used in sinks, lavatories, landscaping, and cleaning processes. Most of the water used for all of these functions is the highest quality available, i.e., potable, or appropriate for human consumption. After use, this dirty water (either gray water from dishwashing, laundry, or bathing, or black water from toilets) is typically dumped into lakes and streams also used for...
LEED is also an amalgamation of best practices from a wide variety of disciplines including architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture and construction. It is a mixture of performance standards (e.g., save 20 percent of the energy use of a typical building) and prescriptive standards (e.g., use paints with less than 50 g l of volatile organic compounds,VOCs), but leans more toward the performance approach. In other words, LEED believes that best practices are better shown by results (outcomes) not by efforts alone (inputs). LEED-CI is designed mainly for situations in which the base building systems are not changed and which a tenant only takes up a few floors in a much larger building. In this situation, the ability to affect energy and water use, or open space, landscaping or stormwater management is either much smaller, or nonexistent. Thus, other green building measures are incorporated into the evaluation system. These measures include choices that tenants...
In 2000, the state of Maine started working with the city of South Portland on redevelopment of a site formerly occupied by the Maine Youth Center. The buildings had been abandoned for more than three years and were in a growing state of disrepair. The unique property, located on a hill with mature landscaping and a river wrapping around it, includes the former administration building, called the castle, five cottages that were used as dormitory-style housing, and a historic barn. (These are not cottages in the usual sense, which are small structures these are three-story brick buildings.) The cottages were designed in 1893 by John Calvin Stevens and are included in the National Registry of Historic Places. Preserved of open space and mature landscaping avoided cutting down any trees
Use air that has passed over natural planted groundcover to reduce dust levels. Ensure that land on the windward side of the site or settlement is planted or maintained so that the earth's crust is not broken because, if it is, this produces erod-ible dust particles that will be carried on the wind to the house. Avoid exposed land and replant natural vegetation if possible, even on unused plots in the centre of towns. Adopt compact plans for groups of houses in hot dry areas to avoid the formation of dust. In addition, a small plot size will increase the likelihood of more of the site being landscaped, so reducing dust. Compact plans also provide more shade (Erell and Tsoar, 1997). 4 Sound barriers. If the site is noisy build a substantial garden wall to keep the noise out. Sound is very persistent and will slip through any holes in a barrier so make sure the barrier is continuous. 5 Coolth ponds. Sunken gardens are a classic example of a coolth pond into which the cooler air...
The project expects to reduce energy use 60 percent below that of a similar, conventional building. The design employs water-conserving fixtures, efficient landscaping and a rainwater cistern to reduce water use by an estimated 60 percent. Low-VOC finishes, natural ventilation, and CO2 sensors contribute to high indoor air quality.*
Comfort is achieved by manipulating the temperature, humidity and air movement in the indoor environment. We can improve the temperature and air flow through the appropriate choice of building material (thermal mass), the right orientation, the provision of adequate shading (built or natural grown landscaping) and the selection and placement of windows for cross-ventilation.
To a similar, conventional office building. A rooftop photovoltaic system comprises 152 panels that provide approximately 10 percent of the building's electricity requirements. Two cisterns, each with a 9000-gallon capacity, collect rainwater for landscaping use. Nearly 18 miles of underground geothermal well piping and 120 wells in the parking lot will support the groundwater-based cooling system.*
Between the merits of free markets (private property and free enterprise) on the one hand and the role of government on the other hand. What is unfortunate is that these issues are framed as an either or choice between free markets and government regulation. In reality, neither choice can be said to always be better than the other. Some resources can go either way, private or common property, depending on the circumstances and especially depending on the influence of other institutions. Bank accounts are normally private property, but marriage or membership in a club can produce circumstances when a common property bank account makes sense. The privacy of one's own backyard is a familiar right, but increasingly, common property landscaping has become widespread in residential gated communities. Aren't the books in a library just the common property of a city Aren't corporations owned collectively by the stockholders The rules for using library books in a city are no different in...
Telescopes, video cameras, and satellites. When a 35-mm camera takes a photograph, for instance, a hard-copy print of the object is the output. If the picture were of a house, the photo interpreter would gain useful information such as the shape of the house, number of floors, number of windows, color, and landscaping. Using the photo, an interpreter is able to gather all this information without ever physically touching the house.
13.1 Long-term projection of cumulative LEED registrations to 2012. 1 3.2 Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies, designed by VBN Architects in association with Van der Ryn Architects, is a virtual laboratory for DeAnza College's environmental curriculum. Its LEED Platinum features include natural ventilation, extensive daylighting and native landscaping.
Certain sustainability measures exhibit synergies that generate multiple LEED credits from one action. Take green roofs, for example. Green roofs not only reduce the urban heat island effect, but also mitigate stormwater runoff, create habitat and urban open space, conserve water use in landscaping, reduce building energy use, and may even qualify for an innovation credit in the LEED system. The same measure could provide for up to 8 LEED points, serving to offset the higher costs of green roofs, typically 10 to 20 per square foot, by eliminating other costs that would have been incurred to achieve equivalent benefits. Of course, in certain climates such as the hotter and drier western states, reflective roofs may represent a better approach.
3 On an existing developed site, with imperviousness greater than 50 percent, can we choose roofing, paving, and landscaping measures that will reduce stormwater runoff by 25 percent What specific measures might we consider Could this project incorporate a green roof as part of the stormwater management plan
9 Have we considered the use of native and or adapted vegetation for the site landscaping Can we use plantings to create habitat for local wildlife 10 Have we instructed the landscape architect to reduce water use for the irrigation of this site By 50 percent By 100 percent Is everyone in agreement on a Xeriscape approach to landscaping
2 Are there still other ways to reduce the water demand for landscaping, for example, by changing the aesthetic experience of the plantings 3 Will landscaping provide shade for at least 50 percent of all impervious surfaces within 5 years, measured at solar noon at the summer solstice 4 Will landscaping provide food and shelter for indigenous wildlife, by using native or adapted plantings 5 If landscaping needs time for irrigation to get established, can we provide for a temporary (dry season) irrigation system that can be removed within 1 year
The site is a typical brownfield location which involved demolishing and recycling 40 000 yd3 of site concrete as well as recycling 700 000 lb of granite blocks for use in the parks. An innovative stormwater system will reduce runoff by nearly 70 per cent. The landscaping will be irrigated by ground water rather than the mains supply. The street layout will echo traditional European towns with narrower widths and tighter corners than is the norm in US neighbourhoods.
Foresters manage and protect forests so that both people and the environment benefit. Foresters oversee a multiuse system, including municipal watersheds, wildlife habitats, and outdoor recreation areas. They deal with fire protection, landscape design, municipal waste recycling, and the care of trees.
Landfill protection methods will likely become stronger in the future with more options for leachate and gas recovery. To make landfills more acceptable to neighborhoods, operators will likely establish larger buffer zones, use more green space, and show more sensitivity to land-use compatibility and landscaping.
In parts of the country that regularly receive plenty of rainwater, such as the Pacific Northwest, graywater collection may not make as much economic sense. It still reduces the amount of fresh water consumed and waste water that flows into municipal treatment facilities. But in dry places, like the Southwest, water rationing is already a fact of life, even as landscaping represents a higher proportion of residential water use. Where water is scarce, saving water is more valuable. By some estimates, the average American household uses up to 15 percent of its fresh water consumption to sustain plants. Nationwide, that could add up to savings of more than 6 billion gallons of water every day. Add the water used for landscaping, factor in the savings in processing of both fresh water and waste water, and the potential difference is significant.
Conservation-oriented rates, rebates, and program and policy incentives Toilets and urinals (low-volume, nonwater, composting, retrofit devices) Showerheads and faucets (e.g., low-volume, aerators, retrofit devices) Clothes washers and dishwashers (e.g., high-efficiency, full loads only) Point-of-use hot water heaters (e.g., homes with high hot water losses) Leak repair and maintenance (e.g., leaking toilets and dripping faucets) Conservation-oriented rates, rebates, and program and policy incentives Water-efficient landscape design (e.g., functional turf areas only) Native and or drought-tolerant turf and plants (noninvasives only) Limited or no watering of turf and landscape areas (beyond plant establishment) Native plants and natural landscaping (CIGNA Corporation, Bloomfield, CT) Conventional 120-ha corporate lawn converted to meadows, wildflower patches, and walking areas by the CIGNA Corporation (Bloomfield, CT) .
The function of the bioregion and its landscape is to maintain environmental services including waste management, water, energy and food supplies for the regional populations together with the maintenance of biodiversity, a cornerstone of sustainable development. For too long monoculture has dominated the rural landscape its role has been to support the global food markets, seeking justification in the presentation to the population of a spurious choice of food products. Clearly, the very shortest supply lines, serving local markets with good quality, fresh produce would seem to be both in the people's best interests and to be a more sustainable system in the long term. An assumption of urban landscaping is that the city is not, apart from a few token allotments, the place where food is grown. The city is not the location for trees and bushes bearing fruit, where groundcover is edible, or where vegetables are used as decoration. Mollison (1996) suggests that we, 'Replace energy hungry...
In affluent countries have measures that limit optional uses of water, notably landscaping, when water resources are low. Lawns and home gardens can account for more than half of summertime water use, and the necessary regulations are self-enforced by the community. Second, in many countries, there is an assumed or legislated hierarchy for uses of water that typically puts drinking water in first place and commercial irrigation in last place. Whenever supplies are threatened, those uses deemed most important receive priority. Similar ranking appears in religious legislation going back to Biblical times (Hirsch, 1959). The role of agricultural water use as a reserve sector that can be called upon when needed to supply higher priority uses is well illustrated by the system in Israel (Allan, 1995 Ben-Zvi et al., 1998).
By some estimates, as much as half the water consumed by households in the western United States goes to lawns and landscaping. As the population continues to grow in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas, this kind of consumption can not be sustained. Already, water levels at Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, is 80 feet below normal level. The water has dropped consistently for more than 20 years.
I Even if your water bill is fixed, estimate how much water you used on a monthly basis. If possible, you should try to divide your water usage according to the various functions for which you use it, such as sewer, laundry, dishwasher, and so on. Landscaping may be the biggest water consumer in your household, and this is important to know.
Peat, used in landscaping, has been strip-mined from South Park's wetlands, damaging a number of them. Much of this important habitat for rare plants, plant communities, aquatic and semiaquatic macroinvertebrates, and aquatic beetles has been irreversibly altered or completely destroyed. Sanderson and March (1996) estimated that peat mining has removed nearly 20 of South Park's extreme rich fens. (Cooper describes these fens and the associated ecosystems more fully in chapter 3.)
If it's on a poorly selected site, can it still be a green project In general the answer is yes, but green building assessment systems such as LEED give guidance for site selection. The goal is to develop only on appropriate sites and to avoid the environmental impacts of locating on poorly chosen sites. Green building projects should avoid locating buildings, hardscape (paved surfaces for landscaping such as plazas and walkways), roads or parking areas on sites that
When most people build their own homes, they follow these two steps First, they look through books of home designs and find one they like. Second, they go out and find a lot. When you build an energy-efficient home, you reverse these two steps, finding a lot first and then designing your house. Why Because each lot will support a different style house, with a layout that maximizes views, breezes, landscaping, and so on. So your house design should be a function of the lot. Don't commit to a particular house design and then insist on finding a lot that will bear it out.
Every building site is part of a watershed. Water that falls onto a development's roof, parking lot, and landscaping eventually flows into adjacent low-lying areas, creeks, rivers, lakes, or oceans. Disturbing topsoil, removing permeable surfaces, and introducing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, motor oil, vehicle coolant, and pet waste all have negative impacts on water quality and the vitality of the local watershed. Chemical pollutants, increased sediment, and altered water temperature can disrupt water ecosystems and lead to unhealthy conditions for fish, animals, and humans. Increased stormwater volume, created by paving over permeable surfaces, can overwhelm the capacity of the storm drainage system (causing flooding) or water treatment infrastructure (resulting in the release of polluted water). Most West Coast cities San Francisco being one exception have separate sewer and stormwater systems. The separation usually prevents system overloading, although some rainwater can...
According to research done by the UCS, new buildings constructed in the United States today are more energy efficient than they have ever been in the past, as society has become more energy conscious. In order to reduce energy, several options can be employed. Sunlight, landscaping, natural breezes, and the choice of building materials can all reduce energy needs. One concept called passive solar design the use of a building's structure to capture sunlight and store heat can save up to 50 percent or more of the energy used in a building.
Gardeners mix compost with the soil to loosen the structure of the soil and provide it with nutrients, or spread it on top of the soil as a mulch to keep in moisture. Since compost adds nutrients to the soil, slows soil erosion, and improves water retention, it is an alternative to the use of chemical fertilizers. Compost created on a large scale is often used in landscaping, land reclamation, and landfill cover, and to provide high-nutrient soil for farms and nurseries.
There are good environmental reasons to let rainfall take its natural course and run off into streams and lakes, but the increase in flooding from urban development and the polluted nature of the runoff make the argument stronger for keeping as much onsite as possible. In many larger metropolitan areas along the coasts, authorities are beginning to require that large developments design their landscaping and parking areas to hold runoff onsite, either in detention retention ponds, bioswales or similar devices. In these cases, permeable pavement might be an excellent complementary technology that would allow a developer to reduce the size of other drainage elements.
Use compost and mulch to keep soil healthy and to eliminate or minimize the use of chemical fertilizers. When plantings need to be replaced, select native or adapted drought-tolerant and climate-appropriate plantings. When major landscape maintenance work is done, property management or the landscape contractor should ensure that all tree and plant clippings are composted or mulched. Some cities will issue a recycling bin to the building for collecting landscape trimmings or green waste.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Mithun shows how a leading sustainable architecture, urban planning, interior design and landscape architecture firm applies these principles. The firm's President and CEO, Bert Gregory, emphasizes that firms must invest in efforts like extensive staff training, conference and event speaking engagements and in opportunities that encourage collaboration and team effort - all while pursuing internal research and development using the firm's money and not the clients'. Without these efforts, firms will eventually fall by the wayside as more aggressive and savvy businesses pass them by.16 With Mithun since the mid-1980s, and as president and CEO for some time, Gregory has been instrumental to the firm's ongoing focus on sustainable design, beginning with the landmark Seattle Recreational Equipment Inc. flagship store in the 1990s.
Outdoor water uses, primarily for landscaping, consume an estimated eight billion gallons per day in the US, perhaps as much as one-third of all water use.168 Xeriscaping is a well-used term for water-conserving landscaping, the prefix denoting dry. Another term might be natural landscaping. The essential feature of xeriscaping is to employ regionally appropriate plants and planting techniques (such as mulching) that reduce or eliminate water use except from normal precipitation in the area. If you've ever seen sprinklers on in the midst of a rainstorm, or broad expanses of green lawn highlighting a public building or major office complex in the desert, you'll know something is amiss in our understanding of how to minimize the environmental impacts of landscaping practices. Fortunately, xeriscaping is a major movement today among landscape architects.
Water is used in housing developments for landscaping, cooking, bathing, laundry, toilet flushing, mechanical and ventilation systems, and landscape irrigation. In households nationally, indoor use accounts for approximately 40 percent of annual water use, with 60 percent used for outdoor purposes. On average, an individual in the United States uses 70 gallons of water a day. The long-term ownership and centralized management structure typical of affordable multifamily rental housing supports the use of water savings features both indoors and in landscaping. Water is commonly master metered, with the bill being paid by the owner. In homeownership projects and rental projects with individual water meters, the savings from lower water bills can be combined with energy savings to increase family income. Another water-saving measure is to use reclaimed water for landscaping and toilet flushing. For projects served by the Irvine Ranch Water District in Southern California, it is standard...
Regional stone, brick, concrete, earth landscaping and glass were the building materials used because they were locally available, builders were familiar with their application and because they have relatively low cost and low embodied energy. This simple and robust solution for building systems requires little user maintenance and is viable for a sustainable design.
Homeowners Guide To Landscaping
How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.