How Landscaping Affects LEED Certification

October 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

U.S. Green Building Council LEEDIf you are looking at LEED certification for your new or existing building, you may want to consider the part landscaping has to play in this certification. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, is a process that is aimed to promote green building design. Therefore it makes sense that a building’s landscape would contribute to the certification.

The right landscaping can contribute in assisting a building when it comes to using less energy, less water, and can help manage landscape run-off effectively. From green roofs to installing native, water saving plants, your landscaping can help you achieve your LEED certification.

When designing a landscape with LEED certification in mind, the project needs to revolve around sustainable landscaping. The benefits of sustainable landscaping are wide ranging. They help the surrounding environment by reducing water usage and promoting an aquatic ecosystem that is healthy, using materials that impact the ecosystem in a positive way, providing a landscape that can grow and thrive whilst adapting to weather patterns, and providing healthy soil and plants that will help reduce water runoff, improving the ecosystem. In addition, sustainable landscaping should also encourage human interaction and have a positive health impact on those that work and live around the landscape.

Landscaping Goals to Consider

Here are some landscaping goals that need to be considered when LEED certification and sustainability are a main landscaping goal.

  • No conventional turf is to be used on site.
  • Plants must be non invasive and drought tolerant
  • When it comes to sidewalks, the solar reflectance index must be considered and materials must reach an index of 29 or above.
  • At least one tree, or four particular sized shrubs, are to be added to the landscape to assist with reducing erosion.
  • Compacted soil needs to be tilled to six inches or more.
  • A system such as a rainwater cistern should be employed to help manage runoff.
  • Materials used in and throughout the garden should be durable and help the ecosystem thrive.

These considerations are only a small part of what needs to be factored in when it comes to the planning phase of a sustainable landscape design.

If you are looking at providing a landscape that is in line with LEED certifications, you may want to consider hiring specialty landscapers that can help design and put into place sustainable landscape practices. Here at E-Landscape we have been involved in many designs that assist in meeting LEED certifications. Our landscape team is knowledgeable in sustainable landscaping and can help you reach your landscaping goals for your building.