The Importance of Ecological Design & Planning

by McKenzi Heger | June 25, 2019

Trying to transform our natural environment rather than conforming to it causes more issues than you might think. With each new building or complex of homes that is developed, we see abuse to the land and, frequently, very little consideration for its natural state. That’s where ecological design & strategic environmental planning comes into play.

Defined by architects Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as “any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes”, ecological design ensures a reduction in energy consumption and, overall, improvement of quality of life. Depending on the natural contours and flow of the land, certain design elements may be used. For example, if a building or home is being built on a piece of land, you can use the sun’s energy to naturally heat the building without the use of solar panels. In terms of landscaping, incorporating indigenous plants into the landscape design eliminates the need for an in-depth irrigation system. At GreenVest we often help design and construct the restoration of impacted systems on that portion of the surplus land not being used for conventional development purposes.

Thanks to innovative technology, we’ve been able to heavily incorporate ecological design and planning into our everyday projects including our Trout Brook turnkey mitigation project, (located in Northern New Jersey) as well as our Tinkers Creek MS4 5 mile stream restoration project in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Completed restoration efforts are in place in our Trout Brook project while final design and permitting is ongoing in our stream restoration project in Maryland.

Both projects require comprehensive design and collaboration between the engineers designing the sites so that the natural systems can be used to help address groundwater recharge and storm drain patterns being introduced as a result of the infrastructure improvement projects.

Interested in learning more? Don’t hesitate to contact us today.