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Great resource if you want to minimize the impact of building or developing a property
on March 8, 2014
Heather Venhaus has done a remarkable job of explaining sustainability for small-scale sites in a manner which is practical and relevant. The book is clear, thorough and beautifully illustrated. It contains scores of references for further exploration. If you own, build, design, maintain, finance, regulate or legislate housing, this book is an eye-opener. If you want your next landscaping or gardening project to be earth-friendly, this book is a great tool. Even if you do not plan to pursue a Sustainable Sites certification, I still recommend this book. It is full of practical approaches and the science behind them. You will also find tips that will actually save you money over the "because that's the way we've always done it" construction methods.
This book, as well as the Sustainable Sites initiative in general, provides a key ingredient in the building process which has largely been missing from Western construction methods -- holistic assessment and planning. As a veteran of real estate development for 35 years, I know that very few houses or communities are planned with the full lifecycle impact of the site in mind. The developer, builder and landscape contractor will be gone in a few months -- the house in 50-100 years. This book will help you create a house and landscape which will perform sustainably and comfortably throughout it's lifetime.