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Learn & Plan Topics

  • Water Efficiency

    Buildings are significant users of the Earth’s freshwater supply. The goal of a responsible building operator should be to encourage a sma...

  • Sustainable Sites

    Choosing a building's site and managing that site during construction are important to ensure a project’s sustainability. Environmentally r...

  • Tools & Training

    This section covers and links to systems, methods, databases, calculators, checklists, etc. designed to help Federal officials and their partners ac...

Xeriscaping/Native Landscaping

Xeriscaping or native landscaping is a type of landscaping method that makes routine irrigation unnecessary. The practice uses water-efficient choices in planting and irrigation design. It incorporates climate-appropriate and native plants to decrease the amount of watering required. The choices will vary depending on the ecosystem and weather patterns of the location. In some locations, xeriscaping means use of drought-tolerant plants; in other, it means the use of wetlands plants. Xeriscaping also uses soil amendments such as compost and mulch to reduce evaporation of water.

University of Missouri Extension | Water-Efficient Gardening and Landscaping

EPA WaterSense | Water-Smart Landscapes Start With WaterSense

EPA | WaterSense at Work - Landscaping

DOE FEMP | Best Management Practices - Water-Efficient Landscaping

Whole Building Systems

  • Water - Landscaping and Irrigation

    Water used for landscaping and irrigation purposes accounts for close to 20% of a facility’s overall consumption and should be limited as much...

  • Water - Green Tips

    Limit the need for landscape irrigation by xeriscaping.

  • Water - Green Tips

    Implement water efficient irrigation equipment such as drip or micro irrigation and   advanced weather based controls for landscaping that...

  • Water - Green Tips

    Use alternate non-potable water sources such as gray water, rainwater, air handling unit condensate, cooling tower blow-down or discharge from other...

  • Water - Landscape Architect

    An aesthetically pleasing landscape is important in creating a pleasant environment for occupants and guests alike. The landscape architect is respo...

  • Water - CIEB

    Does the landscaping minimize the need for irrigation? Are other sources of water used for irrigation such as: Rainwater? Greywater?

  • Water - Greywater Reuse

    Greywater is the water stemming from processes such as showers, hand basins, or kitchen sinks but does not contain any human waste. Reusing greywate...

  • Water - Water Harvesting (Water Catchment Systems)

    Harvesting systems capture alternate water sources, provide adequate treatment typically for non-potable applications to offset the consumption of p...

  • Water - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) dedicates certification credits to reducing the b...

  • Water - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Install water meters. Use water efficient products. Reduce indoor potable water use by 20% compared to the specific building’s water use ...

  • Water - System Overview

    Typical Federal Office Building Potable Water UseA typical Federal office building with 200 employees uses about 3,000 gallons of water in one day...

  • Water - Conservation Measures

    Commercial buildings have significant opportunities to conserve the quantity of water needed for daily operations through thoughtful design of the b...

  • Water - Alternate Water Sources

    Alternate water sources are not from freshwater such as surface or groundwater. Alternate water is typically collected and stored on-site and then ...

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