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By : Avi Friedman

A common practice in some of North Americans’ residential development is to alter the site’s natural conditions prior to and during construction. Rock formations are removed or changed, new terrain grading created, and landscape features uprooted. An approach whereby the design will be made to fit the site’s characteristics is often avoided. Fitting a master plan of a new community to existing geo-environmental conditions was a principal objective in the planning of a 350-dwelling development on a 41-hectare site near Quebec City, in the province of Quebec, Canada. For the densely forested site, the author developed design guidelines that considered the roads’ routes, parking areas, foundation, and footprint of each building. A pillar of this approach was to model the design after the terrain’s condition by adopting flexible planning strategies. The project, now in advanced stages of construction, have earned many accolades from conservationists and demonstrated that once documentation of the site’s natural conditions has taken place, the fitting of design to the site becomes easier to implement. This paper outlines the design challenges, show patterns that were developed specifically for the project and elaborate on the building process and its outcome.

Keywords: Housing Development, Landscape, Nature, Sustainability, Adaptability.

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