The Sustainable Sites Initiative has selected pilot projects to test a national rating system for sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward Sustainable Infrastructure Project and the Indianapolis Super Bowl Village join more than 150 others that include educational centers, transportation corridors, industrial complexes and private residences in employing guidelines and performance benchmarks outlined in the SITES Rating System. Pilot project locations and descriptions can be found at www.sustainablesites.org/pilot.
SITES will receive feedback from the pilot projects until June 2012 to revise the final rating system and reference guide for release in 2013. The group had hoped to have guidelines released last year.
The SITES Rating System includes 15 prerequisites and 51 different credits covering areas such as the initial site selection, water, soil, vegetation, materials, human health and well-being, construction and maintenance. The rating system recognizes levels of achievement by obtaining 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent of available points with one through four stars, respectively.
Started in 2005, SITES represents a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden.