alternative methods of transportation and local services
are available; and what impact the project might have on
the local community and infrastructure.
Some projects are located in a municipality with storm
water management controls, design guidelines, or special
Sustainable projects begin with site design. Issues of
landscaping requirements; local design guidelines should
local ecology, impact on the surrounding areas, worker
be followed. Where local government has not designated
health, and building efficiency should be addressed from
special districts or guidelines, GSA's project and site
the initial site conception. The location and orientation
design may be a catalyst for encouraging such efforts.
of a building on the site will determine potential for
natural light and views, shape energy usage, level of site
disturbance, impact on neighbors, extent of pedestrian
and vehicular movement. Storm water management,
Site design will influence the operations and maintenance
extent of paving, and landscape design will impact the
of a facility. Low maintenance materials, non-invasive
local watershed, municipal storm water system, and
xeriscape, and carefully designed storm water systems can
help reduce costs and effort.
The goal for a sustainable site begins with the site
Before initiating the site design, the architect and
selection. That will determine if the project is in an urban
landscape architect should discuss with the facility
redevelopment area, brownfield, or greenfield; what
manager how the landscaping, including paved and
unpaved areas, will be maintained. If this information is
not available, assume that only limited maintenance
capabilities will be available.
Sustainable design benefits GSA with healthier, longer
lived plantings that rely less on pesticides, herbicides and
fertilizers, minimize water use, require less maintenance
and increase erosion control.
General Design Principles
Sustainable landscape design considers the characteristics
of the site and soil, and the intended effect and use of
the developed area, in addition to the selection of plants.
Where appropriate, regionally-native plants will be used.
Zoning or grouping by plant materials may be considered
if an irrigation system is to be used. Refer to the seven
principles of XeriscapeTM on the Internet at
Russell B. Long Federal Building and United States Courthouse
40 F A C I L I T I E S S T A N D A R D S
2.9 Sustainable Landscape Design
Revised March 2005 PBS-P100