Professional Practice

Environmental Models: Sustainable Landscapes

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Brownfield Redevelopment Toolbox (Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials)
This guide takes practitioners through a five-step process of decontaminating a brownfield.

Choosing a Greywater Recycling System (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government) 
A set of guidelines for choosing a residential greywater recycling system.

Erosion Control Toolbox (Department of Transportation, California State Government)
A "one-stop reference" for erosion control standards and guidance. This site is designed to provide design professionals with a set of effective and cost-efficient erosion control treatments.

GreenScapes (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
This program provides cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions for landscaping. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution.

Landscape Measures Resource Center (EcoAgricultural Partners and Cornell University EcoAgricultural Working Group)
This resource center offers "a collection of ideas and tools to aid in managing areas where interests in protecting biodiversity, producing food and securing rural livelihoods converge."

"Materials for Sustainable Sites: A Complete Guide to the Evaluation, Selection, and Use of Sustainable Construction Materials" (Meg Calkins, ASLA, LEED AP)
This book offers a guide for professionals who are unsure how to incorporate more sustainable design, techniques and materials into their practice. 

Ohio Brownfield Redevelopment Toolbox (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency)
This is a localized version of the toolbox created by the solid waste management officials.

Rain Garden Design (Bluegrass Rain Garden Alliance)
The detailed manual takes users through the process of designing and constructing a rain garden.

"Sustainable Landscapes: A Guide to Green Building Outdoors" (J. William Thompson, FASLA)
One of the most comprehensive guides on sustainable landscape construction.  

Rating Systems

Green Roads Rating System v1.0 (University of Washington and CH2M HILL)
A roadway sustainability rating system that provides performance metrics and best practices for roadway design and construction. It covers the design process, construction activities within the work zone, materials hauling activities, and production of concrete and asphalt.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)
The first voluntary guidelines and rating system for sustainable landscapes, with our without buildings. Prerequisites and credits cover areas such as the use of greenfields, brownfields or greyfields; materials; soils and vegetation; and construction and maintenance.  An interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden.

Assessment Tools

Construction Carbon Calculator (Build Carbon Neutral)
This calculator estimates the embodied CO2 of a construction project. The measurements account for building materials, processes, and carbon released due to ecosystem degradation. The calculator will also provide details on CO2 sequestered through landscape installation or restoration.

Green Values(R) Stormwater Calculator (Center for Neighborhood Technology)
This tool helps designers quantify the impact of green design features such as green roofs, drainage swales, permeable pavement, native landscaping, in reducing stormwater runoff.

In My Back Yard (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
An online data mapping tool allows users to estimate the potential for renewable energy production on any given site, whether it’s a backyard, a roof, or an empty lot. It also helps users calculate includes the initial cost of the system, amount of cash incentives expected, and the approximate number of payback years. 

National Stormwater Calculator (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
This is a desktop application that estimates the annual runoff amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from any site in the U.S. The EPA writes: "estimates are based on soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records."

Regional Plants List (Plant Native)
"Plant Native" compiled this list of native plants by region, including background information on each plant. The tool enables users to sort by plant type.


Plants with High Tolerance of Salt in Irrigation Water (California Department of Water Resources)
This list offers a selection of plants that will do well in recycled water systems.  

Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool (Carl Smith, Nigel Dunnett, and Andy Clayden)
The book gives design professionals and housing developers a tool with which to assess the environmental implication of their landscape plans.

Invasive and Noxious Weeds List (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Federal and state noxious weed and invasive plant lists.

Modeling Software

Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Software that measures the life-cycle environmental and economic performance of a site by considering acidification, air pollutants, ecological toxicity, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, global warming, habitat alteration, human health, indoor air quality, ozone depletion, smog, and water intake.

Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
UFORE (otherwise known as i-Tree ECO) is a software program from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefit assessment tools.

Case Studies

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Certified Projects
The first works of landscape architect to be certified one through four stars by the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Case studies cover residential, institutional, and commercial landscapes around the U.S.

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