Quick Wins for Greener Landscaping

Today’s greenest landscapes are not those where the office is fronted by acres of emerald turf, with sprinklers popping up just in time to water the employees as they enter and exit the building.

Greener landscaping is possible with less lawn.

Be water wise

These cacti and succulent plants are great candidates for use in a xeriscape.

Use drought-tolerant and bare-root stock species in the design process as possible. Xeriscape-type landscape plantings can reduce the need for supplemental watering and save energy and maintenance costs.

Choose native species

Plants that are native to a region have the greatest chance to survive in that region. That can decrease the cost of replanting. Their needs for when to water, how to water, and how much to water will all be known to local landscapers. Likewise, their longevity and when to plant have already been established.

Installation costs of native plants should be less or equal to exotic plants. Maintenance costs will almost certainly be lower.

Catch the rain

Rain barrels and French wells have been used for centuries to collect water. The use of cisterns dates back to the Neolithic age!

A downspout and a barrel are all that is necessary to collect and store water for use during drought. A simple installation provides a free and easy water supply for outdoor use. Note that a lid or other form of cover is recommended to avoid an endless supply of mosquitos!

Your reserve supply will divert water from storm drains, reducing petrochemical runoff to streams and local water supplies. As you consider the use of the water from your building’s roof, you will want to plan for how it will reach the plantings where it is needed. Snow-removal strategies may also be in order. We in Orlando aren’t sure what “snow” is, but it does sound like something that should be removed.

When designing landscaping, even apart from building construction, businesses may apply for LEED credits. If that interests you, please remember that ecoPreserve is here to help!

Alexa Stone
LEED AP, Sustainable Facility Professional, Envision Sustainability Professional - - Alexa has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable and Smart Cities development. Her strategic planning work has served local, state, and federal government, higher education, and private industry. Alexa founded ecoPreserve in 2009 as a team of 3 and has grown the company to over a dozen of the brightest sustainability and project management professionals in the industry.
Alexa Stone


We empower organizations to reduce environmental impact, improve efficiency, and improve quality of life.
https://t.co/DpdVXaSnU6 #RESILIENCY This Workplace Wellness Minute video describes List N of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). - 1 month ago
Alexa Stone

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Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
    • Traffic patterns
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.