The global 'environmental awakening' and growing awareness of sustainable and green design practices has made us all more cognizant of consumption behaviors, resource allocation, climate change, ecological and environmental degradation and rapid urbanization. It reminds us that to fully understand, design and construct responsible development, an artful and scientifically balanced approach must occur. In this vein, EDSA is placing a renewed emphasis on performance-based analysis to generate responsible and informed design alternatives with added benefits for our clients and the profession as a whole.
Our goal in formalizing and integrating performance outcomes in our design approach is to encourage an evolution in thought with an increased focus on creating and collecting measurable data against which to benchmark design. Our framework outlines a process that helps project teams design places that support, encourage and create healthy, natural, social and economically viable systems and environments.
A global transition toward performance-based design has been facilitated by a number of green building programs such as the highly recognized United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) CSI program that encourages academic research related to sustainability. These analytical programs have been a tremendous catalyst for shaping resource efficient design and how the environment is perceived by end-users.
While the criteria measured through these programs is well established, EDSA continues to develop our own relative scale of performance-based measurement to inform the design process and produce sustainable end results. By identifying goals for site performance early in the process, we can help guide the functional aspects of master planning and landscape architecture where emphasis is placed on an inclusive, integrative approach to sustainability. It is at this crossroads of design, technology, strategy, and sense of place that EDSA is focusing.
EDSA is building upon our established, knowledge-based practice to shape the built environment and influence industry trends and community expectations. We continue to seek improvement through our work, case studies and lessons learned so that our clients receive more than a beautiful composition — they understand how the landscape performs and adds value to their project.
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