Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Ecosystem Benefits" - whaaa?

There is a landscape architect in town from Harvard, one of Toni Griffin's students. I'll have to sit and get her perspective on the Detroit Works Project, but in an email back-and-forth, she pointed me to the American Society of Landscape Architects 2009 project called "Guidelines and Benchmarks for Sustainable Sites." It is modeled after LEED - credits, pre-reqs, points. The document boils down all the different strategies that help locate, design, construct, maintain a sustainable site in a systematic, comprehensive way. It includes for each strategy a list of resources, and key for the layperson, an explanation of why that element is important.

The Guidelines document is also accompanied by another document called "The Case for Sustainable Sites," which explains the science behind the guidelines - the connection between having too much paved surface ("impervious cover") and water pollution, for example.

It is a great resource for folks who want to understand more about what makes an entire site (not just the building itself) healthy for the environment


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