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Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
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Design Guidelines
Guiding Principles
Through careful planning and analysis, Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission provides quality park facilities for the citizens of Charleston County while protecting its natural and cultural resources. Thoughtful planning ensures that we continue to improve the quality of life, both now, and for future generations. To help implement the above Agency goal, guiding principles have been developed in order to: 

  • Help to advance stewardship efforts agency-wide,
  • Provide well designed and quality built parks, facilities and features
  • Establish and maintain a leadership role in the Community, and within the park and recreation professional field, through the use of innovative, creative, efficient and effective solutions in the planning and development process 
Stewardship in Planning
To accomplish the goal of becoming more environmentally responsible toward the land and its resources, environmentally sustainable objectives and materials should be incorporated wherever possible in the planning, construction and operation of new or renovated park facilities. The following are achievable goals for improving stewardship practices within the agency:
  • Develop a master plan utilizing low impact development strategies
  • Maximize natural spaces
  • Provide facility access through alternative transportation opportunities (walking, bicycle, public transport, etc)
  • Provide safe pedestrian and bicycle connections within the parks and facilities
  • Protect or restore habitat areas
  • Enhance, improve or expand wildlife habitats
  • Reduce heat emissions produced by development
  • Reduce construction pollution (promote construction waste management)
  • Reduce light pollution
  • Improve water quality and reduce storm water run-off
  • Balance cut and fill of grading during development
  • Optimize building orientation to maximize solar impact, views, land and environmental disturbance,
  • Retain and utilize native plant materials in the landscape
  • Locate recycling facilities in appropriate locations
  • Provide shared parking facilities
  • Safety, graffiti & vandalism prevention
  • Use low water consumption irrigation technologies and techniques
  • Utilize water use reduction strategies
  • Provide low consumption plumbing fixtures
  • Incorporate innovative wastewater technologies
  • Develop rainwater collection systems
  • Maximize natural lighting
  • Minimize night light pollution
  • Optimize energy performance in buildings (equipment, appliances, HVAC & lighting)
  • Utilize on-site renewable energy (solar, wind, rain, tides, geothermal, etc).
  • Incorporate new technologies in roof design (highly reflective, insulating, heat reduction capabilities)
Image of the installation of composite wood decking at Isle of Palms County Park
  • Provide low maintenance, long-life materials
  • Obtain materials locally/regionally
  • Use Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, where possible
  • Distribute organic debris on site versus taking off site, where possible
  • Consider using rapidly renewable materials
  • Reuse/repurpose products and materials
  • Use products containing recycled content                                                                   
Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Specify low-emitting materials (paints, coatings, carpet, adhesives and sealants, etc.)
  • Maximize daylight and views
  • Minimize artificial light
  • Minimize indoor chemical & pollutant sources; Increased natural ventilation
  • Provide local controllability of systems such as lighting, and HVAC

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