Landscaping is for more than just aesthetic purposes. With careful planning, it can help reduce heating, cooling and water costs. Landscaping has the potential to lower utility costs in both commercial and residential settings.
Tips for energy efficient landscaping include:
- Installing shrubs and trees to shade south and west facing windows/walls from direct sunlight during the summer months. This strategic placement will keep a home or building cooler, saving on cooling costs.
- Planting deciduous trees, trees that lose their leaves, to allow shading of a building in the summer yet allow access to the sunlight during the winter. These trees can save energy all year long!
- Using vines and/or bushes to help insulate the home in both winter and summer. This insulation works best when these materials are planted approximately 1ft. away from the building.
- Integrating well-positioned landscaping that can act as windbreaks (protection of your building from winter winds) which can offer reduced heating costs during the winter.
- Selecting drought-resistant plants can reduce water consumption in areas that do not receive as much water.
- Incorporating hardscaping (rock, sand, bark, etc.) will reduce water consumption.
By taking into account natural elements such as sunlight exposure, ground slope and wind direction, landscaping can reduce utility expenses while creating a beautiful outdoor space.