Benefits Toolkit

The Landscape Performance Series Benefits Toolkit is a searchable collection of online tools and calculators to estimate landscape performance.

The tools can be used to estimate specific landscape benefits for completed projects when actual measurements are not available, or they can be used in the design phase to compare projected benefits among various options. Many tools also allow the user to compare life-cycle costs for conventional and sustainable design features.

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TESSA is a PDF-based tool that evaluates the benefits of ecosystem services and natural capital for an individual site, as opposed to other tools that are more applicable at scale. It also allows users to compare estimates of potential land-use changes to reveal the consequences to people and nature and help…


Conservation, Restoration

Carbon Conscience


This web-based application estimates the potential for carbon emissions, carbon storage, and carbon sequestration for design alternatives based on land use and at various scales. It can be used in the early stages of a project at various scales to compare design options, test alternate land uses, structural systems…


Carbon sequestration & avoidance


Pathfinder: Landscape Carbon Calculator

Climate Positive Design

This  web-based application allows registered users to estimate the carbon footprint and time to carbon neutral for landscape projects based on site design and management. It may be used for projects in the design phase or already completed projects. The only required inputs are project type, site boundaries, and…


Carbon sequestration & avoidance


Colorado State University and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

This tool estimates carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for farms and ranches. Users input current farm or ranch management practices, and the tool uses information on climate and soil conditions from USDA databases to run a series of models for potential sources of GHG emissions and climate change…


Carbon sequestration & avoidance


California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic Society

iNaturalist is a worldwide online network of biodiversity information that provides access to millions of citizen science observations of plant and animal biodiversity. It functions as a crowdsourced species identification system and organism recurrence recording tool to help understand the presence and prevalence of…


Populations & species richness, Biodiversity, Resilience, Restoration

Public Life Diversity Toolkit

Gehl Institute

This toolkit of metrics for observation and survey tools can be used to evaluate diversity and social mixing in public spaces like plazas, parks, squares, and streets. The tools focus on public life metrics especially related to the social use of space including: intercept surveys to collect data on individuals…


Recreational & social value, Transportation, Access & equity, Placemaking

This open-source tool allows users to conduct a Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) measuring a site’s habitat condition or a specified natural plant community’s condition on a site. A user specifies a region within the United States and enters basic information about a specific site such as date, location, and weather…


Habitat quality, Native plants, Biodiversity, Restoration

Waste Reduction Model (WARM) v14

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This web-based tool estimates and compares greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy use reductions for different waste management practices in a baseline and an alternate scenario. It is intended to support voluntary GHG measurement and reporting initiatives. The tool works for common household and construction materials…


Energy use, Carbon sequestration & avoidance, Waste reduction, Reused/recycled materials

InVEST is a suite of software models used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life. It aims to provide a consistent methodology for measuring and comparing the value of multiple ecosystem services underdifferent ecological conditions. The toolset currently includes sixteen…


Soil creation, preservation & restoration, Water quality, Populations & species richness, Carbon sequestration & avoidance, Food production, Resilience

National Stormwater Calculator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This desktop application estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the U.S. The calculator uses EPA’s SWMM model and accesses several national databases that provide local topography, soil, historic rainfall, and evaporation information. It is most appropriate for…


Stormwater management, Rainwater harvesting, Permeable paving, Bioretention, Green roof, Resilience

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