This presentation provides a brief explanation about the site planning techniques and methods involved along with the landscaping techniques.
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LITERATURE STUDY ON
The site should be selected so as to reduce occupants’ dependence on
Development that interrupts wildlife corridors or break up
contiguous natural areas should be avoided.
Attention should be paid to cultural and agricultural resources when
choosing a site and avoid disruption whenever possible.
Site planning and building siting should be considered part of the
overall building design, particularly as related to cooling-load
avoidance, natural day lighting, passive solar heating, and natural
SITE PLANNING AND FACILITY SITING
Site inventory surveys should be thorough and objective and
include the following: geology, topography, orientation and slope
aspect, soils, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife habitat. All
structures and physical construction on the site should be mapped
and all prior uses noted.
Proximity of trees to structures and constructed features should
take into account the type of trees (deciduous , coniferous, for
example), growth rate, life span, and ultimate canopy shape—all of
which can influence both shading and solar/daylighting access
Orientation on a Site
Both site selection and site planning have a major impact on the relative
“greenness” of any Federal facility being planned. Site selection includes
issues such as transportation and travel distances for building occupants,
impacts on wildlife corridors, and impacts on the hydrology (storm water
flows, wetlands, etc.).
Thoughtful placement of the building on the site promotes energy conservation
by taking advantage of natural site features such as breezes, sunlight, shade,
and topography. Good site planning minimizes site-clearing (saving money), and
preservation of existing vegetation may provide a low maintenance landscape
that avoids supplemental irrigation and fertilizer.
Buffers should be retained along wetlands, erosion prone slopes, and other
fragile areas or locations of special ecological importance.
Natural drainage systems should be used and preserved wherever possible.
Site buildings, roadways, and parking so that water flowing off the developed site
during extreme storm events will not cause environmental damage.
Desirable locations for driveways and parking are generally on south-
facing slopes or the south sides of buildings in snowy climates, and on the east or
north sides of buildings in southern climates—the latter reducing heat buildup
during hot afternoons (existing or newly planted shade trees can cool these
Parking is the single biggest user of land area at a facility.
Anything that can reduce the area devoted to parking results in a
reduction of polluted surface runoff (stormwater), greater
groundwater recharge, more green area for employee recreation, a
reduction in localized warming from parking lots (“urban heat
island” effect), and improved air quality from more oxygen-
For Standard Cars:
Turning area for
heavy duty vehicles:
Lay out surface parking lots to allow for sheetlike drainage to
infiltration and bioremediation strips and swales, minimizing
points of concentration and piped flow, and maximizing
groundwater recharge and pollutant removal.
Stormwater detention/retention facilities should be planned so
that they are aesthetically attractive and environmentally
Public/private partnerships for parking structures— particularly
when planned with corporate neighbors—should provide
incentive-based opportunities for the private sector.
LANDSCAPING General Landscaping Principles:
1.Good general landscaping practices
increase the ecological value of
landscapes while reducing energy
use, minimizing or eliminating the
use of harmful pesticides, minimizing
the use of potable water, and
decreasing stormwater runoff.
2.Recommended practices include
choosing appropriate plantings,
responsibly managing water on the
site—both water we add and rainfall
and choosing appropriate materials
for landscape constr.
3.All landscapes change, grow, and
evolve in a process of succession. By
sensitively working with these
natural dynamics, good landscaping
can provide economy, efficiency, and
satisfaction for the workforce.
Thoughtful selection and setting of trees, shrubs, and groundcovers to provide
shade and lower ambient air temperature can reduce air conditioning energy use
Selection of plant materials for low water consumption, as well as for disease and
pest resistance, can contribute significantly to an environmentally responsible
Efficient irrigation is accomplished by grouping plants with similar water
needs. Design irrigation systems to avoid overwatering by using ultra-low-volume
As the landscape matures, less irrigation is required—especially when native or
well-adapted plants and thick mulches are used.
Reclaimed wastewater, sometimes called Irrigation Quality or IQ water, is
another possible source of water for irrigation.
Gray-water is untreated wastewater generated within the facility from shower
and bath, laundry, and bathroom sinks (not from toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, or
dishwashers). In some parts of the country, gray-water can be used for below-
Rainwater harvesting can often satisfy all landscape water needs while helping
to reduce storm water runoff.
Watershed management for water quality and habitat protection/improvement
should be carefully addressed on most sites.
LANDSCAPE MATERIALS AND STRUCTURES
To pave surfaces in landscaped areas, use loosest masonry units, flagstones,
gravel, turf block, “geo-webs” (flexible or rigid synthetic grid structures) planted
with grass or groundcovers, crushed shells, mosaics of reused concrete slab, and
Mulches hold soil moisture, reduce weed growth, slow erosion, build soil
texture, increase root density by keeping soil cooler in summer and warmer in
winter, and feed important soil microorganisms (which, in turn, buffer soil pH).
Mulches add color, texture, contrast, and definition. They can consist of leaves;
grass clippings; shredded wood from site clearing, utility, or commercial sources;
pine bark; pine straw; nut hulls;or sawdust.
Storm water Management
Storm water is precipitation that does not soak into the ground or evaporate but flows
along the surface of the ground as runoff. Conventional practice for storm water
management—concentrating runoff and carrying it off a site as quickly as possible
through storm sewers— causes various environmental problems, including erosion and
downstream flooding, pollution loading of surface waters, and reduced groundwater
recharge. Responsible management of storm water involves a combination of strategies
to reduce the amount of runoff generated, to reduce the amount of pollutants that are
transported in the runoff, and to remove pollutants that runoff. Generally, the most
important management strategy for storm water is to provide for infiltration into the
ground as close as possible to where the precipitation falls.
Strategies for improving storm water management can also improve wildlife habitat
on a site, improve water quality in the region, and help to recharge underground
Storm water runoff and erosion during construction are of particular concern and
generally necessitate actions well beyond practices for storm water management once
the facility is developed.
A stormwater analysis includes soil analysis, topography mapping, peak flow
calculations, and examination of historical patterns of stormwater flow. It should
also predict (with new facilities) or quantify (with existing facilities) the vehicular
pollutants that reach the runoff stream, such as oil, gasoline, heavy metals,
detergents, and cleaners.
Minimize impervious paved surfaces. Minimize the size of parking lots and
the width of roadways. Use porous paving, such as porous asphalt, porous
concrete, modular block pavers, and specialized grass-paving systems.
Separate impervious surfaces with turf, gravel, or vegetation to increase
infiltration. Avoid curbs where possible—they increase the concentration of
pollutants. When there are no curbs, rainwater runs off driveways, sidewalks, and
roads and goes directly into the ground.
Consider green roofs as a stormwater management strategy. By capturing and
absorbing rainfall, green (vegetated) roofs function like stormwater detention
basins by slowing down the flow of runoff.
Rainwater harvesting systems can also reduce stormwater production, though the
potential benefit is determined in largepart by the size of the storage cistern(s).
Reduce pollutants in stormwater. Minimize the use of road salt, sweep streets
regularly, reduce animal waste, and reduce car use.
Reducing reliance on cars can be achieved through emphasis on public trnsprtn
bicycle and pedestrian paths, and carpooling.
Plantings in the Sustainable Landscape:
Plant selection and placement around buildings can help us benefit from sunlight
and airflow while minimizing negative impacts of those forces. Plants
proeconomicalmeans of modifying microclimate and are an investment in future
energy savings. They can complement design features of buildings that are
intended to conserve energy or provide passive solar heating, daylighting, and
Simple, flowing designs usually require less maintenance. When choosing
and placing plants,their mature size and form should be anticipated.
Wildlife habitat should be created: Designing plantings that foster
biodiversity should be a consideration for any facility. With the increasing loss of
open space, providing wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors in the landscaping
around buildings is increasingly important ecologically.
Xeriscaping is a specialized type of landscaping and plant selection for low
water use. While xeriscaping strategies are most important in dry Southwestern
climates, they can be important on certain soils and in certain microclimates in
many parts of the country—especially areas prone to periodic droughts.
Bio-engineering is a relatively new specialty of landscaping in which plants are
used for erosion control and other “engineering” functions. What civil engineers
generally do with rip-rap-lined channels, wire-mesh shrouded gabions, and rock
fill, skilled landscapers can often do with natural, biodegradable mats, fiber-rolls,
and native plantings.
The use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers in the landscape
should be avoided.
Reliance on natural “bio-filtration” systems to remove pollutants
should be increased:
Vegetated swales, vegetated infiltration basins, and constructed wetlands
should be used to remove pollutants through biological action.
Microorganisms and plants in the biologically active layer of soil (close to the
surface) and in wetlands are highly effective at removing or detoxifying many
of the pollutants in stormwater.
Specialized mechanical means of removing stormwater pollutants
should be considered in locations where very high levels of pollutants are
generated, such as fuel storage yards, filling stations, and large parking lots.
Stormwater runoff at construction sites should be avoided:
Construction activities can cause high stormwater runoff, erosion, and
pollution discharge into streams and rivers. Avoid soil compaction because
heavily compacted soil absorbs water less efficiently. Heavily compacted
areas can be made more permeable through “deep ripping.”