Minimize Construction Site Disturbance (Job Site and Landscaping)

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Limit Vehicular Traffic - $

• Construction trucks on your property compact the soil, harming existing tree roots and making it more difficult for future plants to flourish in these areas.

You can limit damage to your property and save future costs for landscaping by clearly delineating vehicle restrictions before construction begins.

• Recommendation: While you are remodeling, limit vehicular traffic to designated areas, restrict parking of construction vehicles, and make arrangements for particularly heavy vehicles (such as concrete trucks or cranes) to back in or out of the job site so that space for turning around is not required.

Ensure that concrete trucks are washed out in slab or pavement sub-base areas, not in areas with more fragile vegetation.

Mark Fragile Site Features - $, RC

• During renovations, construction vehicles often needlessly damage existing leach fields, buried utility lines, and trees. You can save the costs of repair if you locate and identify these features before construction begins.

• Recommendation: Flag the locations of walkways, leach fields, and buried utility lines with stakes. Circle past the drip line of important trees and lower branches with orange plastic construction fencing.

Reduce Excessive Sunlight Exposure - $, RC

• When you clear land for an addition, trees are often exposed to sunlight for the first time and can dry out quickly. Reducing excessive sunlight exposure, or “sun shock,” protects your trees and saves you the cost of buying replacement trees and then waiting for mature growth. Large trees around a new house can also boost your property’s value.

• Recommendation: Consider thinning deciduous trees during the winter months when they will be acclimated to higher sunlight levels. Also water trees during dry periods and ask an arborist if wrapping trunks is appropriate to reduce sun exposure.

Hand-dig Utilities in Root Zones - $, RC

• Utilities for new heating or plumbing systems are typically dug with machinery that can damage nearby trees and soil ecosystems. Although hand-digging utilities can be labor intensive, you will protect tree roots and recoup costs by spending less on plantings following construction. Saving older trees can greatly reduce cooling loads on your home and preserve its market value.

• Recommendation: Avoid digging utilities in root zones. When this is unavoidable, consider hand-digging utilities.

Protect Native Topsoil - $, RC

• Major renovations can create erosion problems on your property that are costly to fix and can waste quality soil. Any chemical treatments on your lawn or landscape might also pollute local water supplies as topsoil runs off your property

• Recommendation: To protect essential sediment nutrients arid save the cost of buying new soil, store native topsoil. To reduce erosion, re-grade and plant disturbed areas as soon as possible after renovation work. When finish grading can't be done quickly, piled soil and disturbed areas should be protected with straw, filter fabric, or temporary seeding.

$ = cost effectiveness

EE = energy efficiency

RC = resource conservation

HB = health benefit

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