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Green Building Code Basics: Preservation of Natural Resources

Posted by ICC

Oct 28, 2014 3:15:00 PM

An excerpt from ICC's Green Building Code Basics: Green, Based on on the 2012 International Green Construction Code®

Prior to any construction activity on site, an assessment should be completed that evaluates the natural resources on the site, and any measures taken to protect those resources, such as trees, natural vegetation, waterways, and species habitat. It is important to establish designated access roads from the public way to the building site, along with an area for storing building materials on site during the construction process, and to mark locations of future underground utility locations. These limitations should be noted on the building site plan and posted on the construction site so  personnel are aware of the limitations.

In wooded sites, it would be to the advantage to the building owner to consult with an arborist and have the site evaluated for diseased trees, tree protection zones, and suggestions for the addition of new tree species. (Figure 6-5).

Rich organic topsoil on the site that could be disturbed by construction activities or equipment should be stockpiled at the site for later use with final landscaping. Stockpiles of topsoil should be protected throughout the project with temporary measures to prevent erosion until such time that the topsoil is amended and placed in such a manner that restores the ability of the soil to support future vegetation, as organic topsoil is not quickly replaced through a natural process. (Figure 6-6).

This content was originally published by the International Code Council (ICC) and has been republished with permission. The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

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