Environmental Design

Ideally, Environmental design involves systemic, integrative, comprehensive, adaptive processes of identifying, assessing, interpreting and communicating environment- and health-related factors likely to influence projects, plans, decisions, policies, and individual and management actions. Increasingly, this field of design is employed in the development of construction projects, natural resources management, and industrial and consumer products. The discipline derives from and integrates with such other disciplines as architecture and interiors design, landscaping, environmental assessment, and sustainability science.


  • EPA on School Siting Featured Article EPA on School Siting EPA on School Siting

    This article, written by Bob Weinhold*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of... More »

  • Light pollution Featured Article Light pollution Light pollution

      Light pollution is the intrusion of unwanted or unneeded artificial light into a man-made or natural environment. A variety of somewhat separate phenomena comprise the... More »

  • Healthy Community Design Featured Article Healthy Community Design Healthy Community Design

    The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community... More »

Recently Updated
Horticulture Last Updated on 2014-09-08 22:22:03   Horticulture [L. hortus: garden +cult(us): till] is the cultivation of flowers, fruit, vegetables, or ornamental plants; the science and art of cultivating such plants. In addition to plant cultivation, other elements of horticulture include floral arranging, landscape design, and landscape installation, as well as landscape architecture, landscape management, interiorscaping, golf course management and urban forestry. Botanical gardens and arboreta provide public access to display gardens, and often support research programs as well. Horticultural therapy is the use of horticulture in therapeutical situations, such as in assisted living centers or for disadvantaged children' s programs. Greenhouse usage ranks high among plant production systems in terms of technological usage. A large majority of greenhouse crops are grown in containers using modified... More »
Healthy Community Design Last Updated on 2014-06-29 19:10:40 The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that healthy community design can improve people’s health by: Increasing physical activity; Reducing injury; Increasing access to healthy food; Improving air and water quality; Minimizing the effects of climate change; Decreasing mental health stresses; Strengthening the social fabric of a community; and Providing fair access to livelihood, education, and resources. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity. A healthy community as described by the U.S. Department of Health and... More »
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Last Updated on 2013-09-10 15:53:09 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification, which was developed and is administered by the United States Green Buildings Committee (“USGBC”), is an internationally recognized voluntary green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance.[1] The "seal of approval" is aimed at “encourag[ing] and accelerat[ing] global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.”[2] The LEED rating system weighs and considers a building's contribution to energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reduction, improvement in indoor environmental quality,... More »
Green Building Standards Last Updated on 2013-09-10 15:42:37 This article was researched and written by students at Allegheny College participating in the Encyclopedia of Earth's (EoE) Student Science Communication Project. The project encourages students in undergraduate and graduate programs to write about timely scientific issues under close faculty guidance. All articles have been reviewed by internal EoE editors, and by independent experts on each topic. Building standards have been around in the United States for nearly 100 years and have changed a great deal over time. Initially, policies were implemented to ensure the safety and adequate sanitary conditions for occupants and the public (from fire, electrical problems, sewage treatment, etc.) while more recently, emphasis has been placed on energy efficiency and sustainable buildings. The process for green buildings is ongoing and the movement has been a gradual process with much... More »
Urban yards as birds' refuges Last Updated on 2012-08-23 00:00:00 Urban yards with plants that mimic native vegetation offer birds "mini-refuges" and help to offset losses of biodiversity in cities,. Such purposeful landscaping with native vegetation helps local bird species. Native Plants in Urban Yards Offer Birds "Mini-Refuges" Yards with plants that mimic native vegetation offer birds "mini-refuges" and help to offset losses of biodiversity in cities, according to results of a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. "Native" yards support birds better than those with traditional grass lawns and non-native plantings. Researchers conducted the study through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, one of 26 such sites around the globe in ecosystems from coral reefs to deserts, from forests to grasslands. "To a... More »