Today, land developers are turning to environmentally friendly methods to keep construction costs down and still provide quality construction.. This technique is referred to as conservation land development. Conservation land development is a combination of developing the land while conserving and protecting natural resources yet still generating revenues. Based upon the increase of environmental awareness in the past decade, land development is changing. There are cost saving methods that can be used in land development that still allow for building affordable environmentally friends properties.
A few suggestions on ways to achieve environmental friendly properties are as follows:
Cleaning and Grading
Developers are challenged today with rising costs to clear and dispose of debris. One way to reduce landscaping costs is to preserve as much of the natural area of the land as possible. Local ordinances were created to make more functional and attractive communities. However by doing this, community regulations sometimes create environmental problems. An example is strict limitations on street slopes, driveways and finished lots with limited options to clear and regrade parcels. One way to preserve natural areas is to find ways to design and build properties on slopes with steep grades. It is recommended to follow the natural contours of the land as much as possible. Your architect or engineer will recommend conservation methods for your particular project. For instance, in home development, minimizing the disturbance of the land is the best solution while combing with other approaches such as clustering. By using the clustering technique, you get higher density in a smaller area of the parcel of land. The rest of the site can be left in its natural state. Sometimes it can be more productive to dedicate uncleared land to be used as a park or a permanent open space. Grading can contribute to runoff on a site. Following simple practices to reduce runoff such as having water flow across grass or natural areas is an alternative option. Again this is where your development teams’ expertise comes into play.
Storm Water Management:
Today developers need to be concerned with the quality of water leaving a site as well as how to get the water off the site without causing downstream flooding. There are several cost effective approaches to developing land that limit storm water runoff and reduce pollutants. The first step is to minimize the amount of the runoff area. This can be done by eliminating sidewalks on one or both sides of streets, using non-paved driveways, running roof drains to natural swales or grassy areas and making sure that the width of streets are minimized. However, sometimes communities have ordinances that require excessively wide streets. You may be able to negotiate changes.
Using alternative methods other than conventional sewer or on site disposals is recommended whenever possible. Developers should balance their decisions against buyers’ demand and needs. The other benefits to land conservation are you may receive industry or public recognition for your conservation efforts which gives you increased market exposure. Land conservation and natural preservation are influencing the way properties are being developed today more than ever. Finding innovative methods of land conservation is extremely important to the development process.