Landscaping and Construction – Utilities


Sustainable landscapes

The gullies on the side of the street manage the storm water on site.

Local codes, industry standards and successful developers are moving towards the development of sustainable sites. Benefits include soil restoration, water conservation, on-site stormwater management, site-appropriate trees and plants, sustainable materials, easier maintenance, and community and customer value of green environments.


  • Adapt the design to the site.
  • Start with the ground.
  • Pick the right plant for the right place.
  • Manage storm water on site.
  • Design for water conservation.
  • Develop a maintenance plan.

Landscaping and landscaping

  • Minimize the impacts on the site, to maximize the benefits.
  • Protect and restore the functions of the soil.
  • Plant it properly and take care of the plants until they are established.
  • Check the correct installation of the soil, irrigation, etc.
  • Train end users in sustainable care.
  • Train staff and users for long term success.

Learn more about sustainable design in our Natural Landscaping: Design, Build, Maintain guide. (pdf).

Explore this site for best practices in soil, irrigation design, lawns and planting, training opportunities, and more.

Additional resources

  • Sustainable Sites Initiative published on SITES guidelines (the site and landscape equivalent of the LEED â„¢ Green Building Rating System) with comprehensive national standards and methods for site designers and developers – the current state of the art for these professions.
  • The Urban Tree Foundation developed peer-reviewed details and specifications in AutoCAD, PDF and Microsoft Word formats for planting, trees and irrigation. Intended for use by landscape architects, engineers, architects, contractors, urban foresters, arborists and government agencies. All files are open source, free and can be edited, see details and specifications.
  • WA Master Builders Built in green and the US Green Building Council’s LEED the standards also include some site guidelines.
  • The best stormwater design resource (compliant with both Washington State and local codes) is the 2012 Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual.
  • WSU WA Stormwater Center helps designers, developers, builders and local jurisdictions to comply with their NPDES permits and WA Stormwater Handbook which is the basis of the Seattle stormwater code and manuals. Washington Department of Ecology Low impact development resources contains many useful links.
  • EnviroStars and Grow smart Grow safely have information to help plan sites for low-chemical, cost-effective maintenance.
  • Saving Water Partnership resources for businesses and Design of irrigation systems have more information on the design, installation and management strategies of water conservation.


Comments are closed.