Gallery: Santa Monica’s Garden / Garden Project Quantifies the Benefits...

Using permeable paving such as granite as oppose to concrete allows rainwater to return to the ground rather than run off the property and into the sewers, helping maintain a natural aquifer in the soil. The drip feed irrigation system added to the initial cost (the sustainable landscape cost $22,000 to implement at the outset), but ensures the correct amount of water is provided and reduces labour required. The native plants are more able to deal with diseases etc. and thus pesticides were not used to any great degree.

Here at Inhabitat we’ve showcased thousands of green building and sustainable landscaping projects that save water, conserve energy, and minimize waste. But did you know just how much more efficient building green can be? Back in 2004 a project called Garden / Garden launched in Santa Monica to compare how different sustainable building methods stacked up against more traditional plans. The project tracked two neighboring houses and recorded data on water use, labor required, waste produced and other relevant information – and it found that the green house used one fifth the water, produced only a third the amount of waste and required about a quarter of the labor to maintain.

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