The Hannover Principles
- Insist on rights of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
- Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even distant effects.
- Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.
- Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.
- Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance of vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.
- Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.
- Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income. Incorporate the energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
- Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not and inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
- Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity
- William McDonough Architects (1992)
Valdez Principles of Site Design
- Recognition of Context. No site can be understood and evaluated without looking outward to the site context. Before planning and designing a project, fundamental questions must be asked in light of its impact on the larger community.
- Treatment of Landscapes as Interdependent and Interconnected.Conventional development often increases fragmentation of the landscape. The small remaining islands of natural landscape are typically surrounded by a fabric of development that diminishes their ability to support a variety of plant communities and habitats. This situation must be reversed. Larger whole systems must be created by reconnecting fragmented landscapes and establishing contiguous networks with other natural systems both within a site and beyond its boundaries.
- Integration of the Native Landscape with Development. Even the most developed landscapes, where every trace of nature seems to have been obliterated, are not self-contained. These areas should be redesigned to support some component of the natural landscape to provide critical connections to adjacent habitats.
- Promotion of Biodiversity. The environment is experiencing extinction of both plant and animal species. Sustaining even a fraction of the diversity known today will be very difficult. Development itself affords a tremendous opportunity to emphasize the establishment of biodiversity on a site. Site design must be directed to protect local plant and animal communities, and new landscape plantings must deliberately re-establish diverse natural habitats in organic patterns that reflect the processes of the site.
- Reuse of Already Disturbed Areas. Despite the declining availability of relatively unspoiled land and the wasteful way sites are conventionally developed, existing built areas are being abandoned and new development located on remaining rural and natural areas. This cycle must be reversed. Previously disturbed areas must be reinhabited and restored, especially urban landscapes.
- Making a Habit of Restoration. Where the landscape fabric is damaged, it must be repaired and/or restored. As most of the ecosystems are increasingly disturbed, every development project should have a restoration component. When site disturbance is uncontrolled, ecological deterioration accelerates, and natural systems diminish in diversity and complexity. Effective restoration requires recognition of the interdependence of all site factors and must include repair of all site systems - soil, water, vegetation, and wildlife.
The above strategies can serve as policy guidelines in site design for developed areas of national park lands and challenge the design of appropriate tourism development.
- Andropogon Associates Ltd.
General Site Design Considerations
The following general considerations apply to sustainable site design:
- Promote spiritual harmony with, and embody an ethical responsibility to, the native landscape and its resources.
- Plan landscape development according to the surrounding context rather than by overlaying familiar patterns and solutions.
- Maintain both ecological integrity and economic viability in a sustainable development; both are equally important factors in the development process.
- Understand the site as an integrated ecosystem with changes occurring over time in dynamic balance; the impacts of development must be confined within these natural changes.
- Allow simplicity of functions to prevail, while respecting basic human needs of comfort and safety.
- Recognise that there is no such thing as waste, only resources out of place.
- Assess feasibility of development in long-term social and environmental costs, not just short-term construction costs.
- Analyse and model water and nutrient cycles prior to development intervention – “First, do no harm.”
- Minimise areas of vegetation disturbance, earth grading, and water channel alteration.
- Locate structures to take maximum advantage of passive energy technologies to provide for human comfort.
- Provide space for processing all wastes created onsite (collection/recycling facilities, digesters, lagoons, etc.) so that reusable/recyclable resources will not be lost and hazardous or destructive wastes will not be released into the environment.
- Determine environmentally safe means of onsite energy production and storage in the early stages of site planning.
- Phase development to allow for the monitoring of cumulative environmental impacts of development.
- Allow for the natural ecosystem to be self maintaining to the greatest extent possible.
- Develop facilities to integrate selected operational functions such as energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and resource conservation into the visitor experience.
- Incorporate indigenous materials and crafts into structures, native plants into landscaping, and local customs into programs and operations.
- Guiding Principles of Sustainable Design (1993)