Site erosion control, while often overlooked is an important part of sustainable building practices. Erosion from building sites silts up waterways amongst other things so minimizing it is critical for achieving the goal of low impact development. In this post, Bob goes on to suggest five techniques that architects and builders can use to help to prevent erosion and sediment loss and ensure that the building of the green building is itself green.
This, the third and final article in our three part series on green parking lots continues the discussion by looking at how landscaping can contribute to helping prevent and control runoff as well as provide shade helping to keep the parking lot much cooler than a bare asphalt lot would get. Specifically it examines a type of landscaping known as bioretention that is designed to collect and treat stormwater.
This, the fourth article in our series on green (sustainable) buildings focuses on the twin subjects of energy efficiency and water efficiency two fundamental areas of importance for green buildings. These are important not only because they reduce usage of and promote reuse of these precious resources, but because in so doing to minimize the building environmental impact. A well designed green building, can not only reduce its own environmental impact, but can improve a surrounding environment.
The Green (or Sustainable) Building: Part III – The Importance of Location, Orientation and Landscaping
For new projects where the building site is not already decided, an important green consideration is the selection of a location for the building that fits into the existing urban fabric, especially the existing mass transit network of the city. Prospective sites should also be selected based on how easily they can integrate into the existing electric, gas, water, and sewage utilities. Fitting into a city’s existing infrastructure so that a project has the smallest impact on the existing energy, water, sewage and road systems is the first point at which the green decision making process comes into play. In addition to siting a green building should be oriented and landscaped to make the most of its site ant to integrate into the urban fabric so that it organically fits into it and enhances its surroundings. Orientation and landscaping can have major impacts on a buildings water and energy efficiency as well as on its environmental impact.