& Hazardous Waste Program Recycling
Preserving Trees During Site Development: Economic, Environmental
and Social Benefits
Retaining and protecting trees and flora in site development projects
is a sound design principle that provides numerous economic, environmental
and social benefits, including the following:
- The economic value of the property is enhanced.
- Faster sales and shorter lease-up times are achieved.
- Drainage system costs are reduced, as there is less of an impact on
the natural drainage of the site.
- Waste disposal or recycling costs are reduced, as there is less waste
(tree stumps, tree parts, brush, etc.) to be managed.
- Replanting costs are reduced, especially if the goal of the replanting
is to create a look of mature growth.
- Subsequent energy consumption and energy costs of the building or
home are reduced as trees block winter winds and shade the structure
from sunlight during the summer. In fact, carefully positioned trees
can save up to 25% of a household's energy consumption for heating and
- The need for lawns is minimized, thereby reducing the costs and environmental
impact associated with lawn care.
- The aesthetics of the site are enhanced.
- A building set in a beautiful and mature natural environment communicates
a positive public image of the organization and people who create such
living and working spaces.
- Trees add to a neighborhood’s sense of community, reduce traffic
and street sound by absorbing noise and can significantly cool urban
areas that generate heat.
- Trees and vegetation control erosion, protect water supplies, provide
food and create habitat for wildlife.
- Air quality is enhanced as trees absorb carbon dioxide, (a greenhouse
gas that contributes to global warming), filter out pollutants from
the air and produce oxygen.
- The burden on solid waste management facilities – disposal sites
or recycling centers – is lessened.
- Reduced site disturbance is included as a recommended building practice
in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED®) Rating System and can fulfill credit
requirements needed for LEED® certification.