From a sustainability perspective, a lot of good (or bad!) can be done in the way that your gardens and grounds are designed, managed and used.
The nature of the grounds and (if they even exist) the gardens on communal living complexes varies enormously, so solutions need to be configured to each unique situation. There are no universal answers suitable for all complexes. Some possible areas where positive changes could be explored include:
Planting locally-indigenous species or low water use species will reduce your water consumption. Locally-indigenous species will also encourage indigenous fauna species to use your gardens – even small areas may be used by a variety of birds, lizards, invertebrates and other species. Other habitat features such as frog ponds and nest boxes can also be installed.
Sustainable landscaping is not only about planting natives and creating habitat. It can also include food-producing or permaculture gardens and rain gardens.
Outdoor communal areas
Your outdoor areas can also be designed to provide facilities for your residents that promote interaction, healthy activity and even quiet places. Such uses could include:
- communal or individual garden plots
- composting and/or worm farm facilities
- playground area
- open landscaped areas for active play
- sun-shared areas
- outdoor gym
- swimming pool
- outdoor dining
- barbecue facilities
Don’t forget your rooftop, if it’s safe and accessible, as a possible communal area.
Outdoor water consumption
Outdoor energy consumption
What you do outdoors also impacts your energy consumption. The most common aspects to consider are: lighting, pools pumps & heating, and pumps to move water around.