Sustainable Redevelopment Program
- In: Program Materials
- Updated 15 May 2013
The basic objective of the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Redevelopment Program is to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, create healthy, productive environments, and inform the public, residents, guests and employees about the benefits of developing sustainably.
The program is available to any redevelopment project including: residential communities, neighborhoods, golf courses, resorts, and other “greenway” projects as well, such as: pedestrian trail systems, community parks, equestrian facilities, and recreation areas.
Through participation in the program, the Audubon Lifestyles team assists land owners, managers, developers, and planners who desire to plan and implement sustainably-based projects. The program is geared toward assisting those seeking to become local, regional, national and international models of sustainability by using sustainable design principles and techniques.
Through sustainable design philosophy, review of natural resource inventories, and geographic information, Audubon Lifestyles develops a Sustainability Study, Site Analysis & Classification, and specific Sustainability Design Guidelines for the development project that hopefully will lead the project towards receiving the Certified Sustainable Site designation. These steps are a precursor to the Audubon Lifestyles team working as part of the development team to encourage decisions throughout each phase of the process to reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants, without compromising the bottom line. A Sustainability Charter, Natural Resources Management & Sustainability Guidelines, and Outreach and Education Guidelines for the development are created by the Audubon Lifestyles team and are requirements to become a Certified Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Development and to receive the ISC Seal of Sustainability.
Our approach is an integrated, holistic approach that positively impacts all phases of a developments life-cycle, including the design, construction, and long term operation.
Program Process & Requirements
Sustainability Charter The first step for any member in an Audubon Lifestyles Program is to create a Sustainability Charter. The Audubon Lifestyles Team offers assistance and helps to facilitate in the creation of a Sustainability Charter for your development project. A Sustainability Charter is an affirmation of the International Sustainability Council’s Principles of Sustainability, and serves as a public declaration of your intent to hold yourself to a higher standard. A Sustainability Charter represents general actions and activities that will be undertaken that are above and beyond the scope of normal operation that encourage sustainable living and lifestyles, and serves as a public declaration of those actions. Once a Sustainability Charter has been developed, the development earns the right to call itself a Charter Member of the International Sustainability Council, and will be listed on their website.
Develop a Sustainability Study, Site Analysis & Classification The Audubon Lifestyles team will prepare a broad view sustainability study using an inventory process of the existing features of the site, the business community, and surrounding areas. This process is a crucial first step and includes: local watersheds, ecoregions, soils, demographics, potential and native vegetation, wildlife species, and other indicators useful for determining the sustainability of the site.
Based upon the Sustainability Study our team will develop a comprehensive Sustainability Site Analysis. The Sustainability Site Analysis determines areas of conservation significance. From a sustainable infrastructure perspective, some areas on sites can often be restored to achieve cost-effective management solutions, leading to cleaner water and healthier environments and an overall more sustainable site. The Sustainability Study and Site Analysis ultimately lead Audubon Lifestyles to issue a Sustainable Site Classification specific to the site.
The Sustainable Site Classification is based upon ecological criteria proposed by the Society of Conservation Biology, O’Connell and Noss (1992, Env Mgmt 16:435), and modified more recently by the International Sustainability Council. Site Classification is the metric by which specific design concepts and approaches will be incorporated into the master site plan, and is an internationally recognized method upon which to gauge how development should ultimately take place on the site. Sustainable Site Classification encourages optimal design by balancing social, economical and environmental needs, resulting in a higher level of sustainability.
Natural Resource Management & Sustainable Design Guidelines To address the many complex topics related to sustainability, the Audubon Lifestyles Team will develop the Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Design Guidelines document for the development in partnership with the site owners and consultants so that the site plan addresses the environmental aspects of the future development of the sustainable site in regard to safeguarding water resources, conserving materials and resources, improving energy efficiency, and provided within these guidelines are social and economic aspects of sustainability that are important to the region in which the site is located. Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Design Guidelines lay the foundation upon which the site Master Plan, including guidelines for future construction and management of the buildings, infrastructure and grounds management, over time are conducted. These guidelines ensure that the environmental sustainability of the site is maintained, while also ensuring public health and safety all from the perspective of economically viable development.
The goal of Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Design Guidelines are to incorporate specific strategies into the design of individual parcels of the site, and to establish site-wide standards for how development will take place. Individual parcels may incorporate different aspects of the Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Design Guidelines based upon the specifics of a given parcel within the site. A determination about which strategies are prudent and feasible given the unique site characteristics of each parcel will be made. This determination will be based on an evaluation of several factors, including: environmental benefits, capital cost differential, operational cost savings, maintenance implications, aesthetic and design consistency, and compatibility with the intended use. Strategies selected for final incorporation should carefully balance these and other considerations. No single factor should determine whether or not a design strategy should be applied. The Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Design Guidelines recognize not only the financial aspects of a development, but also the environmental costs. In order for the development to receive the Certified Audubon Lifestyles Site designation this document must become an officially adopted document that governs future development of the site.
Certified Audubon Lifestyles Site A Certified Audubon Lifestyles Site sets the stage for sustainable development which allows for economic well-being, environmental protection, and overall quality of life for people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet there own needs. Everyone benefits from an environmentally sensitive approach to growth and development.
A Certified Audubon Lifestyles Site can be used for illustrative purposes in project planning, as well as review with regulatory and governmental agencies. It is also beneficial for other consultants during the planning process to evaluate development objectives, preserve the natural characteristics of the property and create the most beneficial relationship between the development areas, residential, open space, recreation areas, golf facilities, and environmentally-sensitive areas and to establish the design and aesthetic requirements for the project.
Outreach and Education Guidelines The Audubon Lifestyles team will develop an Outreach and Education plan for the project to create learning opportunities for all. Engaging employees, sales staff, construction workers, community stakeholders, long-term management and property users is vital to the success of any sustainable development. In addition, our team is available to provide support on behalf of the project to answer questions, interpret data, and provide information to the community-at-large including local governmental officials and agencies, community not-for-profit groups, elected officials, and citizens.
The Seal of Sustainability The ultimate goal of the Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Development Program is to assist landowners, managers, developers, and planners seeking certifications and designations that inform potential buyers, residents, guests and others that sustainable actions have taken place in development planning, construction and operations of the development project. Certification also encourages other land developers to participate in sustainable endeavors as well. Earning the right to showcase a development as a Certified Audubon Lifestyles Sustainable Development, and use of the International Sustainability Council’s Seal of Sustainability informs the world of truly sustainable places.