Many who plan for green living already have a love of the land itself and want a home that melds with the natural environment. Achieving this balance can mean working with the land, or demanding too much of it, depending on how much consideration goes into the site.
In commercial or infrastructure planning, such as office campuses or freeway expansions, site planning often equals leveling ground, raising it in other places, removing and refilling soil, or blasting the entire area and starting anew. Residential sites aren't usually as labor intensive, and they can't be because of zoning and code restrictions, and with green building, site sensitivity often gives context to the whole project.
Site-planning a house to maximize its sun and wind exposure will work with traditional codes as long as water drainage and local land use requirements are followed. Some home builders violate codes in the early stages with thoughts of "They won't do anything once it's built," but most times, they will, and the code-breaking owner will pay the cost of coming up to code.