As we near the completion of the 100K House project, we need to start thinking about our landscape design. As always we have to consider LEED reqs and points, modern design and budget. We are talking to a few local landscape designers in the area interested in the project. Due to budget and time constraints, we may not be able to go all out on design this time, but hope to make continual improvements going forward.
To keep things simple, I’ve compiled one list of only the points we are going after in the Sustainable Sites section of the LEED for Homes rating system. The fact that our site is so small makes a lot of these items pretty easy to accomplish. At the same time, the erosion controls are a bit out of place and possibly the only thing on the entire LEED checklist that we might not do if it weren’t for LEED.
LEED Landscaping Goals
Prerequisite: No Invasive Plants
- Add mulch or soil amendments as appropriate.
- All compacted soil must be tilled to at least 6 inches.
- Do not use any conventional turf (technically less than 20%).
- All plants must be drought tolerant.
- If sidewalks are replaced, use white or gray concrete or any material with a solar reflectance index (SRI) of at least 29.
- Design lot to be 100% permeable (no hardscaping). This includes permeable paving and even hardscaping that is designed to direct all runoff toward a permanent infiltration feature (on-site rain garden or rainwater cistern).
- Plant one tree or four f-gallon shrubs to reduce erosion.
- Install rainwater cistern to manage runoff from the roof.
As far as the design, we will most likely have a very simple layout that contains a lot of decorative gravel rather than traditional turf. We are using our favorite residential landscape designer in the US as inspiration – rosenlof/lucas. We spoke to them a few times, but the distance makes it difficult for us to work with them both logistically and philosophically. The image above is from their site. It’s well work the visit to their site to get inspiration for modern and affordable landscape design.
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