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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogAs the world becomes more industrialized, empty lots are growing scarce. This leaves many businesses expanding into the countryside, which can take a toll on the surrounding ecosystem. Despite recent rollbacks of environmental regulations, it's still important to consider the implications of your construction project on nature when you build on undeveloped land. Here are four ways your business should evaluate new construction projects for environmental friendliness. Consider an Alternate Site The first thing you can do to protect the environment when starting a new construction project is to consider alternative sites that pose less of a threat to the ecosystem. Look for lots that have already been developed. Choosing existing construction can also save money if you can recycle the old foundation and materials. If no developed lots are available, evaluate whether utilizing buildings you already own is an option. Consult a Professional If you have considered all your options and have no choice but to build on undeveloped land, it's time to hire a geotechnical engineer to evaluate your building site. From initial soil assessments and geophysical surveys to ground improvement and slope stabilization, a good engineering firm can help design a building project that interferes with the environment as little as possible. Having a professional by your side during the building process makes a big difference in the final project's aesthetic and utility as well as its environmental impact. Reduce Your Footprint You already know that a building's carbon footprint is important, but so is its physical footprint. Make your building compact so that it doesn't intrude on the landscape more than it needs to. Consider building a taller, narrower structure instead of a sprawling compound. You can also maximize space by going below ground with a roomy basement floor that stays unseen above the surface. Blend Into the Ecosystem Another minimally intrusive option is to work your building's design into the surrounding landscape. Construct your building in the side of a hill, tuck it into a dense forest or blend it into a desert oasis with a sandy color scheme. Landscape with hardy native plants to reduce water consumption and use hardscaping features like birdbaths and natural stones to attract wildlife. Remember, keeping the environment in mind when starting a construction project is not only good for Mother Nature but also for your bottom line. Environmentally friendly building designs tend to use less energy and require less upkeep, which can lead to significant savings over time.