Air Force Corporate Facilities Standards


Climate-based Materials

  • Develop, maintain and implement a climate-based plant list with landscape features using a regionally appropriate palette of materials to promote energy efficiency, preserve drainage patterns, inhibit erosion, improve air quality, lower maintenance and add beauty.
  • Each base shall maintain a current plant list in its Installation Facilities Standards (IFS).
  • Landscaping is required for all newly developed sites and facilities; preserve existing native landscape where possible and avoid overplanting.
  • Use only native, naturally occurring plant materials including grasses or turf suited for the local climatic conditions in the landscape design; potable-water irrigation systems are discouraged beyond the establishment period.
  • Buildings shall cost-effectively integrate a grey-water reclamation system following IFS, which provides source water for an automatic drip irrigation system; all non-xeric, adaptive plantings adjacent to facilities shall be connected to a grey-water irrigation system when available and discourage the use of potable water for irrigation.
  • Life cycle cost effectively equip grey-water irrigation systems to sense soil moisture, rainfall and wind to minimize unnecessary watering; incorporate drip irrigation systems as the primary source.
  • Concentrate landscaping in Facility Group 1 (facilities having the highest profile) and along major thoroughfares and integrate these landscaped areas into the base’s stormwater management plan.
  • All Facility Group 1 and 4 sites shall be landscaped at their entire perimeter; limit formal planting arrangements to formal spaces typically associated with Group 1.
  • Facility Group 2 and 3 sites may have a native undisturbed landscape except at the main entrances of Group 2.
  • Facility plantings shall follow the Installation Facilities Standards (IFS) plant list, which is based on the specific microclimates created by the adjacent building: shadow areas, protected areas, zones adjacent to thermal mass, and availability of rainwater and/or grey water.
  • Trees should be the focus of landscape plantings and, where possible, should be a mix of deciduous and evergreen species for variety; provide tree grates when appropriate and use tree guards on smaller trees.
  • Ground covers are only recommended when the local climate yields minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Turfs areas should be limited to areas that can be sustained by natural rainfall or grey water (non-potable) irrigation systems; turf may be defined by at grade concrete mow strips to lessen maintenance.
  • Analyze soils and provide organic amendments as needed to improve plant growth and conserve water.
  • Define planting areas with walkways, edging or concrete header curbs following IFS.
  • Provide planting islands within parking lots for shade and appeal following IFS and the base stormwater management plan.
  • Integrate appropriate landscaping elements into parking areas to visually soften the appearance at a minimum rate of 10 percent of the total area.
  • Avoid trees that drop sap, fruit, or seeds, and use long-lived species; keep trees trimmed, removing dead and dying trees or branches.
  • Create public spaces near the main entrances of Group 1 facilities.
  • Provide open spaces as transitions between developed and native areas that promote quality of life, provide visual relief and allow walkable connections to the transportation system.
  • Return suitable areas to a natural state to minimize and, whenever possible, eliminate ground maintenance requirements; expand wooded areas where appropriate with native trees and understory plants to eliminate mowing and maintenance requirements.
  • In tree clusters replace grass with naturalized shrub beds and leaf litter mulch to eliminate mowing requirements.
  • Use plantings in open spaces to reinforce the space as a visual asset.
  • Consider landscape windbreaks when suitable for the local climate per IFS.
  • Providing landscaping as visual screening is preferred to the construction of walls and fences; berming and mounding may supplement landscape screening.

Cost effectively provide climate-based landscape features following principles of sustainable design and low impact design integrating existing context, safety, security, circulation, accessibility, functionality, cost effectiveness, and aesthetics following UFC 3-201-02. Adhere to IFS for landscape materials and irrigation and for minimum ongoing maintenance requirements.


Use water-efficient regionally appropriate landscape and irrigation strategies, such as water reuse and the use of harvested rainwater, to reduce outdoor potable water consumption following UFC 1-200-02. Cost-effectively integrate grey-water irrigation systems following IFS. Coordinate landscape with other site features and building elements to promote efficiencies in passive systems such as shading.

UFC 1-200-02 High Performance and Sustainable Building Requirements

UFC 3-201-02 Landscape Architecture