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

The conventional landscape consists of 70 percent turf, beds filled with thirsty plants, no mulch, an overhead sprinkler system, and a time-based “dumb” controller. From scratch this design cost $14,000 dollars to design and implement (approximately $7.50 per square foot). Strangely, although this was considered to be a traditional design for a front of house landscape in that region, none of the chosen plants were actually naturally equipped to survive the Californian climate, hence over time use of water, pesticides and therefore labour required was quite significant.

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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