Designing the Sustainable Site: Integrated DesignStrategies for Small Scale Sites and Residential Landscapes
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More About This Title Designing the Sustainable Site: Integrated DesignStrategies for Small Scale Sites and Residential Landscapes


The full-color, practical guide to designing sustainable residential landscapes and small-scale sites

"Going green" is no longer a choice; it's a necessity. Developed landscapes have played a significant role in exacerbating the environmental and social problems that threaten humanity; however, they can also be part of the solution. Designing the Sustainable Site: Integrated Design Strategies for Small-Scale Sites and Residential Landscapes gives site designers and landscape architects the tools and information they need to become a driving force in the quest for sustainability.

Advocating a regenerative design approach in which built landscapes sustain and restore vital ecological functions, this book guides readers through a design process for new and redeveloped sites that not only minimizes damage to the environment but also actively helps to repair it. Designing the Sustainable Site:

  • Assists designers in identifying and incorporating sustainable practices that have the greatest positive impact on both the project and the surrounding community, within a regional context
  • Uses photographs, sketches, and case studies to provide a comprehensive look at successful green landscape design
  • Illustrates how sustainable practices are relevant and applicable to projects of any size or budget
  • Demonstrates how built environments can protect and restore ecosystem services
  • Explains the multiple and far-reaching benefits that sustainable design solutions can provide
  • Assists project teams in fulfilling credit requirements of green building assessment tools, such as LEED, BREEAM, or SITES

With attention to six global environmental challenges—including air pollution, urban flooding and water pollution, water shortages, invasive species, and loss of biodiversity—along with guidance on how to meet these challenges, Designing the Sustainable Site is a practical design manual for sustainable alternatives to small-scale site and residential landscape design.


Using her background in landscape architecture and ecological restoration, HEATHER VENHAUS works with teams of scientists, designers, and educators to develop sustainable and regenerative design solutions. Ms. Venhaus facilitated and led the development of The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, the nation's first rating system for landscapes, and has held multiple leadership positions in the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Heather is the founding principal of Regenerative Environmental Design and lives in Austin, Texas.





Chapter 1. Building a Sustainable Future

Chapter 2. The Sustainable Site Design Process

Chapter 3. Human Health and Well-Being

Chapter 4. Sustainable Solutions: Air Pollution

Chapter 5. Sustainable Solutions: Urban flooring and water pollution

Chapter 6. Sustainable Solutions: Water Shortages

Chapter 7. Sustainable Solutions: Invasive Species
W. Matthew McCaw

Chapter 8. Sustainable Solutions: Loss of Biodiversity
W. Matthew McCaw



"Venhaus's book is carefully organized and offers clear, concise guidance on how to deal with sites in ways that uphold both livability and ecological functions. Designing the Sustainable Site ranges from big-picture explanations of current ecological thinking to detailed techniques that can be applied at the level of the individual site." (Better! Cities & Towns, September 2012)