Sustainable Site Development lessons from Falling Water

While some companies pat themselves on the back for their mastery of a service, Battle Axe Construction doesn’t rest.  We are constantly seeking ways to improve our services and innovations to stay ahead of the curve.  Such is the case with sustainable site development.

Sustainable site development boils down to one primary principal: balancing the immediate needs of the construction project with the long-term impact on the environment.  Before your blood curdles with thoughts of EPA regulations and climate change, keep in mind that sustainable site development has been around as long as we’ve been stacking wood for shelter.

One of the most famous examples of sustainable development is Falling Water in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.  Architect Frank Lloyd Wright surveyed the site where a family requested their home to be built and recognized that he could achieve a more beautiful and enduring structure by embracing the waterfall instead of attempting to confine it.  If you’ve ever visited Falling Water, you will recall how each step of the development, design, and construction was a nod both to the surrounding nature and the family’s preferences.  The result was an unshakable, stunning home with a waterfall under and throughout.

Not every sustainable site project is to the scale of Falling Water, but there are still numerous possibilities for your residential or commercial project:

  • Orient your building and windows to accommodate the sun.  By factoring in the rising and setting of the sun, you can save energy and reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Storm water management.  Rain barrels and permeable pavements are affordable, multipurpose low-impact development (LID) options, but there are many others to explore before we prepare your site for drainage and utilities.
  • Preserve or recreate natural landscape features.  You don’t have to incorporate one of the landscape’s boulders into your family living room like Falling Water, but you could opt to retain a cluster of trees or a small hill instead of clearing the entire site.
  • Create green space.  A green roof or a rooftop garden improves the aesthetic appeal of a site, but it also regulates temperature and reduces pollutant runoff.
  • Landscape for function.  By strategically placing trees, shrubs, and other greenery, we can reduce energy costs and even utilize rainwater.
  • Site grading.  Though site grading is usually necessary, we limit grading operations as much as possible to reduce soil erosion.

For more than ten years, Battle Axe Construction has leveraged decades of experience to lay the groundwork for your construction projects.  From excavation to backfilling, grading to correcting, ventures great and small, we are experts in the countless facets of site development.  For your next project, call the best: call Battle Axe.