Green Technology Research



Below are links to our green technology research, which covers a broad and growing range of topics.  These web pages describe emerging ecological approaches and their application in landscape architecture, including construction, siting and cost issues.
 Winter quarter 2012

Aquaponics MORE>>
Aquaculture is the cultivation and rearing of aquatic plants and animals in a fully or semi-controlled environment.  Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics to yield a method of food growing...

Endophyte-assisted phytoremediation MORE>>

Bacteria often live within the internal tissues of plants. Some of this bacteria is pathogenic, some has no effect on the host, and some benefit the host. Endophytes are benefi cial bacteria that live...


Mycorrhizae MORE>>
Mycorrhizae are fungi that typically have a symbiotic relationship with the root systems of plants. The symbiotic exchange has the potential to increase plants’ growth considerably...

On-site Sewage Treatment MORE>>

According to the US Census Bureau (1999), approximately one quarter of homes in the United States are served by onsite sewage systems.  These facilities collect, treat and release or reuse...


Stormwater Planters MORE>>
“Maynard Avenue Green Street” is the first green street to be built in the international district (Seattle) in 2008. This green street between S. Main Street and S. Jackson Street consists of stormwater (filtration) planters...

Vermiculture and Vermicomposting MORE>>
Vermiculture describes the practice of raising worms – the focus is on producing the worms themselves. Vermicomposting is the practice of using worms to convert organic waste into worm castings, a process that relies on worms and microorganisms...
 Winter quarter 2011

Composting toilets MORE>>
Composting toilets (also called “dry sanitation systems”) have been in existence for over thirty years and during this time, have been...

Green Screens MORE>>
With over half the world population living in cities, new approaches to bringing vegetation and the many benefits of plants to urban areas are being developed. Green screens are a type of green wall system...

Permeable paving MORE>>
Permeable paving is composed of a range of materials and techniques for paving roads, cycle-paths, parking lots and pavements that allow the movement of water and air around the paving material...

Light weight soils MORE>>
In today’s urban landscape, traditional gardens have been raised vertically from the ground to the top of structures. The limiting factor of soil and water on roof top applications is weight. The solution is ...

Green Walls MORE>>
In response to a rapidly urbanizing world, living architecture has become a necessary and practical application to the city and suburban grid. Throughout the world, advocates of Green Wall practices are discovering innovative, ...


Oil is a complex mixture of many toxic hydrocarbons, and once they’ve contaminated soils, they are not easily removed, and threaten life.  Many of oil’s toxins are carcinogens.  There are several ways to remediate soils...

Stormwater planters MORE>>
Stormwater runoff continues to be an issue within urban environments due to the expansive use of impervious surfaces.  Runoff can cause erosion of soils, flooding, and it transports pollutants to nearby water bodies.  In recent years,...

Tree box filter MORE>>

Tree box filters are an effective method for controlling runoff. They are small bioretention systems installed under trees, and they are especially effective as part of a larger scheme of tools for controlling stormwater...


Structural Soils   MORE>>
Structural soils are used to provide adequate load bearing for the street structure at the same time as allowing tree root growth into soils with enough aeration and usable water.
Restorative Planting Techniques MORE>>
Choosing the best planting methods and knowing what methods are available can be an essential component of a successful restoration.
Eco-lawns MORE>>
Designed to be more environmentally friendly, Eco-lawns need less maintenance than a conventional lawn.
Canine Compost MORE>>
A sustainable alternative that can turn the seemingly unwanted canine waste into a valuable resource.

Soil Amendments   MORE>>
A soil amendment is any material added to a soil to improve its physical properties, such as water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure.
Soil Life  MORE>>
The organic and biotic lives of the soil are equally important soil traits and greatly define plant health.
Art & Water Infrastructure MORE>>
Landscape architects are blending art and infrastructure to create fascinating results. In this report, two examples of artful reinterpretations of infrastructure are explored.
Black Water Wetlands MORE>>
Blackwater wetlands are one type of constructed wetland used to treat wastewater. Examples of benefits are explored in two case studies. 
Bioremediation  MORE>>
Naturally occurring biological processes are used break down contaminants within soil systems.
Cisterns MORE>>
A cistern is a vessel used to collect and store water for later use. While sometimes used in areas of the world experiencing drought, cisterns are also used as a means of conserving water where sustainability is a goal.
Rain Water Systems MORE>>
Water catchment systems such as cisterns can provide alternative sources of water during the dry months of the year
Green Roofs  MORE>>
This report provides a synopsis of the applications, components, construction and cost benefits of green roofs, as well as a few case studies of successful installation. 
Grey Water Systems MORE>>
Greywater systems take non-fecal water from showers, bathtubs, sinks, washers and dishwashers and reuse that water for irrigation, cooling devices and in some cases toilet water.
Photovoltaic Systems  MORE>>
Photovoltaic systems make solar energy an alternative energy source for some landscape design applications. The expertise of landscape architects provides a number of opportunities for more progressive professionals to take the lead in designing solar-powered landscapes.
Slope Stabilization MORE>>
Vegetation offers the best option for long-term erosion control on unstable slopes and prevents surface erosion.
Solar Aquatics  MORE>>
Solar aquatics is a form of wastewater treatment which uses plants and animals to create a microenvironment which works well with bacteria used in more traditional systems. 
Urban BMPs  MORE>>
Urban Best Management Practices are one method to increase the quality of storm water runoff. This report explores the ways in which experts test and apply the most reliable BMPs.
Urban Soils  MORE>>
In urban areas, soil is an important resource whose quality is essential in maintaining the health of urban ecosystems.
Urban Trees  MORE>>
Some of the most critical components of supporting healthy trees in our urban environments include: physical elements, construction requirements, best management practices, and appropriate species selection.
Wind Energy  MORE>>
Wind energy is one of today's most promising alternatives to society's dependence on fossil fuels. Because wind energy is often harnessed by windmills and turbines it is becoming an important design issue in landscape architecture.
Low Impact Development MORE>>
Based on maintaining the hydrologic functioning of a given watershed, low impact development combines several techniques and technologies to control stormwater events.
Porous Paving  MORE>>
Porous paving is a material that helps to decrease the stormwater impacts of paving and thus reduce the environmental costs of development. The material has been used and developed since the 1970s and landscape architects have been instrumental in its development. 
Phytoremediation MORE>>
Meaning to heal again with plants, or to correct evil with plants, phytoremediation has the potential to make contaminated ground usable again for people, as well as healthy for other organisms.
Recycled Products  MORE>>
Recycled products are becoming more widespread in their availability, cost-effectiveness, and applicability. The government has begun rating systems and incentives to encourage contractors to use recycled products. 
Erosion Control During Construction MORE>>
The control of erosion and sedimentation from construction activities is vital to the protection of the watershed. In order to successfully control these it is necessary to instate a system of Best Management Practices or BMP's that target each stage of the erosion process.
Leaf Compost Filters MORE>>
We are fast approaching a time when waste management will be a factor in all construction. Simultaneously we are realizing that "throwing something away" is and never has been possible in this exquisite, cyclic world. Indeed, the quality of our future is deeply connected to this issue. "Waste" need not be seen as a constant problem, but an opportunity to exercise ecological responsibility and stewardship. 
Water Quality Treatment Swales MORE>>
These linear water treatment swales offer an exciting eco-revelatory method of cleansing stormwater runoff.
LEED Program  MORE>>
LEED provides a landscape and architectural standards to evaluate sustainability and environmental performance, and provides a basis of standards and vocabulary for people of different disciplines to work together.