Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool
October 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
The landscapes around housing have a crucial role in creating a
more sustainable future with carbon-neutral homes. This book shows
how to improve the sustainable profile of new residential
developments through landscape planning, design and management
– by conserving resources and minimising pollution, and by
enhancing ecological diversity. This may be achieved without
significant additional capital outlay.
The residential landscape sustainability checklist gives housing
developers, landscape architects, architects and planners a tool
with which to assess the environmental implication of their schemes
throughout the design process – from site planning to
The checklist focuses on residential housing developments but many features of the tool - including improving energy efficiency, materials selection, planting design and management - can also be applied to a wide range of different types of development, from school grounds to retail parks.
IntrodutionDefinitions of sustainable development and sustainable landscape Sustainable development.
Sustainable development in English planning and development The key role of housing in sustainable development Current concepts and initiatives for delivering sustainable homes in England.
Urban Villages and Millennium Communities BREEAM certified housing.
What impact have these initiatives had on delivering sustainable residential Communities? Chapter Two: Opportunities for improving the Sustainable profile of new residential developments.
Conservation of resources and minimisation of pollution and waste Energy consumption and microclimate control.
The greenhouse effect and energy consumption in the home.
Providing wind shelterProviding solar access and shade.
Encouraging walking and cycling.
Impacts of car use Design of transport routes.
Specification and detailed design of hard landscape materials.
Embodied energy and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of hard materials Timber sourcing Timber treatment and detailing Relatively sustainable plastic and metal Relatively sustainable non-metal mineral products Lean construction and recovered materials.
(Specification and detailed design of soft landscape materials - Vegetation.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) of Vegetation Plant production and nursery practices Planting design, implementation and maintenance.
Plant Palette and Planting Style.
Size of Plant Material.
Site conditions and preparation.
Integration of existing, established planting.
Prohibition of synthetic chemical use for on-site landscape works.
Reduced domestic water consumption Management of surface water runoff.
Pollution and Flooding.
Amenity and habitat.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDs).
Enhancement of site ecological function and human well-being.
Site ecological function Preserving and encouraging biodiversity Key aspects of ecological landscape design and management.
Protecting existing ecological capital.
Opportunities for improving diversity and ecological networks Plant origins; natives, non-natives and provenance.
Providing for the health and well-being of residents.
Private and communal space.
Loss of existing Gardens.
Communal SpacesPotential social benefits of trees. Ways of improving the acceptance of sustainable vegetation in the residential landscape.
Chapter Three: Creating a Residential Landscape Sustainability Checklist.
A review of sustainable checklist tools for residential development A detailed description of the template BRE EcoHomes method Adapting the EcoHomes method for landscape assessments.
The Energy Category.
The Transport Category.
The Pollution Category.
The Materials Category.
The Water Category.
The Ecology and Land Use Category.
The Health and Well-Being CategoryAdjusting the EcoHomes weighting factors.
Setting compliance standardsJudging visual qualities.
General limitations of the checklist assessment approach.
Chapter Four: Case Studies: Applying the Residential Landscape Checklist.
Greenwich Millennium Village, London.
Evaluation of the Case studies against the Sustainable Landscape Checklist.
The Energy Category.
Microclimatic Landscape design.
The Transport Category.
Layout and design of pedestrian and cycle routes.
The Pollution Category.
Reduced use of timber treatments.
Reducing Site Run off through green space provision.
Use of reclaimed metal, concrete and bricks and recycled plastic.
On-site control of chemical applications.
Reduced Site run-off through Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDs).The Materials Category.
Timber sources and treatments.
Reduced impact metal elements.
Use of reclaimed or recycled stone and aggregate.
Softworks Planting Design and Establishment.
Softworks preparation and implementation.
Environmental profile of materialsThe Water Category The Ecology and Land Use Category.
Conservation of existing landscape features.
Vegetative diversity and connectivity.
Conflicting land use.
Artificial habitat features.
The Health and Well-Being Category.
Provision of private and communal space.
Facilitating children’s play in communal spaces.
Opportunities for planting and food production.
Design cues, labels of care and improving acceptance of ecological plantings.
Embedded tree cover.
What factors encouraged and discouraged residential landscape sustainability.
Those factors which contribute to delivering Residential Landscape Sustainability.
Sustainable Landscape Design Brief and the early appointment of a Landscape Architect.
Those factors which may undermine landscape sustainability.
The cost and difficulty in sourcing and specifying reclaimed materials.
The Influence of Social Context and Tenure.
Creating space for plants and trees.
Issues related to adoption and maintenance discouraged landscape sustainability.
Appendices: Detailed Residential Landscape Checklist.
Andy Clayden BSc DipLA MA – Senior Lecturer, Department of
Landscape, University of Sheffield
Nigel Dunnett BSc MSc PhD – Senior Lecturer, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield
● Essential resource for designers working on sustainable developments
● Well illustrated in full colour throughout
"Residential Landscape Sustainability provides a rationale and a possible method for promoting evaluation of sustainable landscapes and contains both integrative thinking and hard details on this topic... [It] is a serious attempt to reflect on and improve sustainable practice." Landscape Architecture Magazine
“Compiles diverse material into a single accessible volume, providing an amazing resource for Arkansas homeowners and design professionals alike." At Home in Arkansas
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