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Exterior improvements such as driveways, parking lots, walkways, playgrounds, and landscaped spaces constitute a large portion of the built environment. Reducing the material resources, water, fertilizers, pesticides, and energy that go into building and maintaining exterior spaces is an important consideration for green design.

Pavement and Pavers

There are many options for creating load bearing and durable surfaces. GreenSpec lists paving products made with recycled content, such as asphalt made with recycled tires, cement pavers made with fly ash, and plastic pavers from recycled plastic. Salvaged bricks and stone pavers made from repurposed granite scrap are also listed.

Pavement is important for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, but paving large areas can have significant impacts on hydrology, as rain falling on non-porous pavement quickly becomes runoff, or stormwater. This runoff contaminates surface water with heavy metals and other pollutants picked up from pavement. In older cities with combined storm and sewer systems, it can also cause the discharge of untreated sewage. Porous paving options listed in GreenSpec address these issues by allowing water to infiltrate. Pollutants are filtered out of infiltrating water as it makes its way to the water table; and water is kept onsite, which can reduce irrigation demands and recharge local aquifers.

Plastic and Rubber Features

Plastic and rubber features in outdoor environments include parking bumpers, speed bumps, playground and athletic surfaces, tactile warning surfaces, and fencing. GreenSpec lists products that utilize recycled content in place of virgin materials while maintaining or increasing durability.

Landscaping

Regionally appropriate landscape design can reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation, toxic pesticide applications, fertilizer use, and maintenance such as mowing, without compromising the usefulness and beauty of landscaped areas. GreenSpec lists landscaping products that conserve water, such as efficient irrigation systems, native plants and seeds, and hydro-mulching products that encourage germination without irrigation. Other landscape equipment listed is made from recycled plastics and rubber, such as edging material, landscape timbers, and tree grates and guards.

Exterior improvements such as driveways, parking lots, walkways, playgrounds, and landscaped spaces constitute a large portion of the built environment. Reducing the material resources, water, fertilizers, pesticides, and energy that go into building and maintaining exterior spaces is an important consideration for green design.

  • Calsense Irrigation Controllers
  • Calsense Irrigation Controllers
  • Calsense
  • Calsense Irrigation Controllers
    Calsense
    The Calsense ET2000e Irrigation Controller is a professional irrigation controller for use with up to 48 stations, or zones. It uses historical weather data, site-collected rainfall information, moisture sensors, and other input to determine optimum irrigation. The controllers can be monitored remotely and linked together using WiFi, Ethernet, modems, and other connection options. Although it is a stand-alone system, a Command Center is also available that can search the Internet for weather data local weather data, allowing for real-time adjustments. Other optional equipment includes flow monitors for potable and non-potable water that also detect breaks in the system, an ET Gage that measures daily evapotranspiration, rain and wind gauges, and moisture sensors.
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  • Recycled Granite Pavers
  • Recycled Granite Pavers
  • Stone Recyclers
  • Recycled Granite Pavers
    Stone Recyclers
    Stone Recyclers takes waste from granite counter-top fabricators and processes them for use as split stone, pavers, flooring, and other products. The company can cut the granite into a variety of patterns, and leftover material is crushed for use as fill or decoration. This recycled stone is 1-1/4" thick and can be used with polished side up or down depending on the application. Color and matching depends on availability. This granite comes with a lifetime warranty.
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  • FilterPave Porous Pavement
  • FilterPave Porous Pavement
  • FilterPave
  • FilterPave Porous Pavement
    FilterPave
    FilterPave is a porous pavement that can support pedestrian and light vehicular traffic loads. With a compressive strength of 1,160 psi and a flexural strength of 508 psi, the pavement is designed for applications like sidewalks, patios, bike paths, and driveways. The poured-in-place material has a porosity of 39% and an SRI of 29. According to tests conducted by the University of Central Florida, FilterPave provides 6.2 inches per hour of infiltration even with excessive sediment loading and 33.1 inches per hour after a rejuvenation cycle. The pavement is a mix of 100% post-consumer glass and regionally sourced stone and aggregate, bonded with a polyurethane elastomeric resin. FilterPave Glass Series has over 20% glass, and FilterPave Stone Series may be mixed with up to 20% glass.
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  • EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers
  • EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers
  • NDS
  • EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers
    NDS
    EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers are permeable paving systems that provide a honeycomb matrix to retain grass or gravel and prevent soil compaction while allowing water to pass through. The product averages approximately 70% recycled HDPE plastic, though this varies by color and availability. EZ Roll Grass Pavers, with an empty compressive strength of 57,890 psf, are recommended for bike paths, driveways, parking lots, and access roads, as well as soil stabilization and erosion-control applications. EZ Roll Gravel Pavers, with an empty compressive strength of 66,000 psf, are additionally recommended for vehicle wash-down areas and boat access. Gravel pavers are available in tan, black, brick red, and gray, but some colors contain no recycled material. EZ Roll Pavers are 1" high and come in various dimensions, most commonly 4'x150' rolls.
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  • Cutting Edge Grass Seed
  • Cutting Edge Grass Seed
  • Cutting Edge
  • Cutting Edge Grass Seed
    Cutting Edge
    Cutting Edge grass seed is a blend of non-genetically-modified Kentucky blue grass and fescue varieties that create a root system capable of growing 48 inches deep—reaching areas where water is more likely to be found in drought conditions. The company uses an organic seed coating that provides hydration and contains endophytes, a naturally occurring fungus that repels insects, and rhizomes that encourage root growth. The combination of slow growth and drought-, insect-, and disease-resistance significantly reduces maintenance, according to the company. Cutting Edge grass seed is for use in cool season and transitional zones. Note that because the company will not divulge its proprietary cultivars, Cutting Edge is not available in states that require full disclosure of grass varieties.
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  • Bella Bluegrass
  • Bella Bluegrass
  • Todd Valley Farms
  • Bella Bluegrass
    Todd Valley Farms
    Bella Bluegrass, distributed by Todd Valley Farms, is a drought-resistant bluegrass that spreads via rhizomes rather than seeds. According to the company, this grass is not genetically modified, and it grows well laterally, “self-repairs,” and stops growing after reaching 3.5"–4", reducing the amount of mowing required by 50%–80%. It also requires 20%–30% less water than standard bluegrass. Bella Bluegrass is best used in colder climates and is available as sod, plugs, and Live Roof modules.
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  • RME Eagle Irrigation Controller
  • RME Eagle Irrigation Controller
  • Rain Master
  • RME Eagle Irrigation Controller
    Rain Master
    The RME Eagle is designed for professional commercial irrigation control for up to 36 zones. It can use evapotranspiration (ET) data based on historical or onsite weather, or weather downloaded from the Internet (optional). Waterflow is also monitored and the system can make corrections in case of breaks. The RME Eagle can also be hooked up to the company’s Rain Master Weather Stations, which can supply real-time data on rain, wind, temperature, relative humidity, and solar radiation that can compute ET to within 0.01 inches, according to the company.
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  • Toro Irrigation Controls
  • Toro Irrigation Controls
  • The Toro Company-Irrigation Division
  • Toro Irrigation Controls
    The Toro Company-Irrigation Division
    When paired with Toro’s Wireless Weather Sensor, the company’s EC•XTRA Landscape Timers meet WaterSense criteria for irrigation controllers. The system automatically determines irrigation schedules based on user input of data such as sun exposure, plant type, and sprinkler type, as well as temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation information gathered by Weather Sensor monitors. These data are transmitted to the EC•XTRA, which adjusts the watering schedule accordingly. The EC•XTRA is expandable up to 10 or 12 zones depending on indoor or outdoor model, respectively.
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  • WeatherSmart Pro Controller
  • WeatherSmart Pro Controller
  • NDS
  • WeatherSmart Pro Controller
    NDS
    The WeatherSmart Pro uses current rainfall and temperature data from its onsite Wireless Weather Station to adjust irrigation schedules, automatically shutting down watering during rain or low temperatures. Irrigation schedules can also be interrupted in case of an event or yard work. WeatherSmart Pro displays daily and annual water-savings data and comes with a back-up system that retains schedules in case of power outages. These six-zone units can be used with either sprinkler or drip irrigation systems and come with a one-year warranty.
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  • Cyber Rain Remote Irrigation Controllers
  • Cyber Rain Remote Irrigation Controllers
  • Cyber Rain
  • Cyber Rain Remote Irrigation Controllers
    Cyber Rain
    Cyber Rain offers WaterSense-labeled residential and commercial irrigation controls that use local weather data along with plant, sprinkler, soil, slope, and sun exposure data to determine optimum irrigation. The controllers are linked to “cloud”-based software via the Internet or directly through a USB port, and can be accessed remotely for real-time adjustments using smartphones or other remote devices. Compatible with rain sensors, they can also be used with flow meters that detect breaks in the system, email alerts, and even close the valves. Products cover between 8 and 24 zones.
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  • No More Geysers Irrigation Head Riser
  • No More Geysers Irrigation Head Riser
  • No More Geysers
  • No More Geysers Irrigation Head Riser
    No More Geysers
    No More Geysers (NMG) sprinkler risers have an internal shut-off valve that stops water flow if a sprinkler head breaks off. These units install at the water line below the sprinkler head and are adjustable to fit a variety of sprinkler heads. , Installed by screwing the valve and the riser to the sprinkler and reattaching the heads, they prevent water waste and potential water damage when a head breaks off. This product is fully adjustable to any sprinkler system, according to th e company.
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  • Rain Bird Irrigation Controllers
  • Rain Bird Irrigation Controllers
  • Rain Bird Corporation
  • Rain Bird Irrigation Controllers
    Rain Bird Corporation
    Rain Bird WaterSense-labeled ESP-SMT Smart Control System determines the appropriate water required for irrigation based on a variety of data and inputs, including eight years of historical weather data, site-collected rainfall information, soil type, landscape slope, sun exposure, plant types and root depths, and sprinklers. The system can control irrigation for up to 22 different zones, varying the amount of water accordingly. The company also offers drip irrigation, valves, and other irrigation components.
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  • TerraPave
  • TerraPave
  • TerraPave Inc.
  • TerraPave
    TerraPave Inc.
    TerraPave is pH-neutral, non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-hazardous alternative to traditional concrete and asphalt pavement for decorative and recreational paths, driveways, parking areas, and private roads.
    A clear resin-based binding agent made from by-products of the forest and paper products industries is combined with an aggregate to achieve the desired surface color. TerraPave can be delivered ready to install, or can be mixed onsite with standard equipment.
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  • EcoSeries Hydromulch
  • EcoSeries Hydromulch
  • Profile Products, LLC
  • EcoSeries Hydromulch
    Profile Products, LLC
    Profile Products' Eco-Solutions line of biodegradable hydromulch includes three products with high recycled content: EcoFibre is 100% recycled wood chips (37% post-consumer), and EcoBlend is a mix of 100% recycled wood chips (42% post-consumer) and recycled cellulose. EcoFibre is also available as EcoFibre Plus, with an organic tackifier added.
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  • Profile Hydro-Mulch
  • Profile Hydro-Mulch
  • Profile Products, LLC
  • Profile Hydro-Mulch
    Profile Products, LLC
    Profile manufactures four lines of hydro-mulch that include recycled-cellulose products. The cellulose options under brand names Conwed Fibers, HydroCover, SoilCover, and Terra-Mulch are all 100% recycled (40% post-consumer).
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