While landscaping can improve the aesthetics of a building, one of the benefits of landscape design is the ability to control water and heat. The Science Center’s site was designed with this in mind.
First, an attempt was made to maximize the green space on the lot, leaving 62% of the total site as vegetated land. In order to control the heat island effect, shade trees were planted to cover at least 52% of the sidewalks and other hardscapes on the site. Finally, the topography was designed so as to reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation.
The choice of plants on the site was determined by how much water and sun they would receive naturally, and their pedagogical value. The different conditions allow a variety of plant types native to this region, including woodland, low savanna, medium savanna, mesic prairie, gravel prairie, and emergent wetland.