ecotecture.GIF (12664 bytes)
Department of   Design and Environmental Analysis,
Cornell University
  1. External Considerations

  2. Core & Envelope

  3. Indoor Ecology

  4. Material/Product Content

  5. Ecotecture Worksheets

  6. Additional information

  7. Case Studies

Use the table of contents to go directly to specific topics:


Design Considerations:

Restoration & Preservation of Fauna & Flora-  Orient building on the site such that the building does not block necessary sunlight to any vegetation in need of ample light.  Native vegetation should be maintained and retained.  Any trees or vegetation that are planted on the site must be compatible with species indigenous to the site.  There must be no planting of any species that could harm existing species.  Reforestation should occur during the landscaping phase.  Sensitive habitat areas should be avoided.  By maintaining as much habitat as possible, nearby wildlife is encouraged to remain close to human activities. 

Groundwater control/ erosion control-  Existing wetlands and waterways should be maintained, not disturbed.  Natural and indigenous grasses can be planted to prevent erosion.  Avoid building on slopes- the greater the slope, the faster the land will erode.  

Ecosystems (Water, Air & Soil)-  All site and building materials should be tested for levels of toxicity before installation.  Preserve existing surrounding environment. The site should have clean, uncontaminated water, air and soil.  Avoid construction in low-lying flood plain areas or on unstable soils, taking protective measures to address adjacent water ecosystems and habitats.

Ecosystems (Water, Air & Soil)-  Devise a protocol for testing materials and systems, new methodologies, or any choices that will need to be made.
Groundwater control/ erosion control-  
Maryland Model Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance- Sections 4.2 e & f
Maryland Model Stormwater Management Ordinance - Section 6 (Group 2)
Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration -Nonpoint Source Program:  (410) 6311-3543

Case Studies to research:
Restoration & Preservation of Fauna & Flora- 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdson, West Virginia.
KCF/SHG Architects 
-National Wildflower Research Center, Austin, TX.
Overland Partners
Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant, San Francisco, CA.
Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris, Architect
Groundwater control/ erosion control-   
Seneca Rocks Visitors' Center Monongahela National Forest, Elkins, West Virginia
Susan Maxman Architects
Ecosystems (Water, Air & Soil)-  
Moore Residence, Connecticut
Alfredo DeVido, Architect

Further Information:

"Lady Bird's Legacy", Dillon, David.  Architecture.  Vol.84, no.7, July 1995, pp.68-74.
"High Dividends" Buchanan, Peter. Architecture.  Vol.84, no.7, July 1995, pp.76-83.
"Flora and Fauna", Mays, Vernon. Architecture.  Vol.87, no.7, July 1998, pp.68-75. 
EPA Green Building Standards

Web resources:
U.S. Department of Energy: EPIC - Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse
Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Enviro$en$e
National Extension Water Quality Database
Universities Water Information Network



























Cornell University, December 1998