The Sustainable Site Design Process (RV-10483)

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Sustainable site design is a creative and analytical process of information gathering, investigation, and composition that utilizes art and science to connect natural and built systems in a mutually beneficial way.

Design outcomes are not inherently sustainable and should not be assumed just because a site is made up of vegetation, soil, and other natural components. Like all successful aspects of a project, sustainability must be intentional and nurtured. Project teams should view each design decision as an opportunity to reduce consumption, eliminate waste, cultivate healthy ecosystems, and connect people with nature.

Beneficial impacts are limited when sustainable design is considered separately from the overall design process and reduced to intermittent “green” components—such as native plants or recycled materials—that are tacked on to a project.

Such a piecemeal approach paints sustainability as a nice but unnecessary luxury that is inessential to the project. By infusing sustainability into all aspects of the design, it becomes an interwoven and inseparable component that is vital to the project’s overall success.

Traditional design processes and team interactions do not always support sustainable outcomes. To help overcome this issue, designers must use an integrated design process, in which teams work together in a collaborative fashion and utilize the technical expertise of other professions to broaden their awareness of the range of possible design solutions.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Identify the definition of an integrated design and the steps of the integrated design process.
• Recall how to define a project.
• Explain the purpose of a site inventory and site design.
• Identify the components required in establishing the project direction.
• Confirm the design phases for developing a sustainable site.
Heather L. Venhaus
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