Ecological design or eco-design is an innovative approach to designing practical goods with special attention to the natural ecological impacts of that product throughout its entire lifecycle. The primary driving force behind this type of design is the aim to minimize the negative environmental impact of production while still delivering a functional and aesthetic product. Many large scale multinational corporations and organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WNF) actively promote and utilize eco-design principles and strategies in order to create a more environmentally friendly production process. These businesses have experienced vast improvements in productivity, reduced waste, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. These companies use a combination of management systems including EPCs, waste, and safety management systems, and integrated system technologies and processes like board portals.
The landscape of an organization or site can be a highly complex creation and it is often the task of a landscape architect to provide the necessary planning and technical direction. An ecologist researches the physical and social condition of a location in order to provide detailed plans for a landscape’s design. Although some specialists may only focus on the design of structures and buildings, other specialists are capable of providing complete ecological designs for a landscape. This type of design service requires detailed knowledge of how an area of land fits into the landscape of the environment, as well as an understanding of climate and geography.
An ecologist focuses on these human and natural interactions to design a more sustainable living space that meets the needs of the present and future generations. This includes both practical and aesthetic considerations.
The ecological design uses various forms and techniques to create a more sustainable living or working space.
One such technique is the integration of design principles with scientific principles and research. An eco-design service provider can assist in the creation of a landscape that is built upon sustainable foundations. Such a design approach believes that nature has provided all necessary components and that human interference has merely resulted in the increase of certain components that we have chosen to fit our lifestyle. Therefore, eco-design is one of the most popular strategies of sustainability, especially in the field of landscape architecture.
In order to design an eco-designed garden, the first step is to analyze the site and determine its current state. By taking into consideration all aspects of a landscape, such as a site’s topography, soil type, vegetation, and water availability, the architect can create a realistic landscape plan. The next step is to determine the most appropriate sustainable elements that should be incorporated into the design. These include methods of recycling materials, minimizing the use of natural resources, and the reduction or eliminating unnecessary structures.
Many people who choose eco-designed gardens also include environmental factors as major components of their overall design. For example, trees and bushes should be used for both shade and structural purposes. Slopes should not be overgrown and grass should be kept at minimal levels to help with drainage and maintain a healthy environment. Similarly, different kinds of plants should be kept in specific types of locations to best serve the purpose of the design.
While many landscaping practices can be incorporated into an eco-designed garden, it is important to select the most compatible solutions. It may be necessary to reconstruct the entire landscape to accommodate the new design. When considering the incorporation of other sustainable practices, such as organic farming, it is important to look for the benefits these practices can bring to the environment. This is especially true when pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals are involved. It is also wise to consult local or state laws before implementing an eco-designed garden.
Eco-designed landscapes can greatly reduce the negative impact of a structure on the surrounding environment.
These gardens use only renewable resources and do not harm the surrounding ecosystem. In many cases, these gardens are the preferred solution for the replacement of a commercial structure. The reduced costs, provided by sustainable strategies, and the ability to provide the same quality in a landscape that was present prior to the installation of the structure, make the incorporation of an organic or sustainable design more favorable than the alternative of a conventional design.