Developed through a collaborative effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden, SITES can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings — ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes and homes, among others.
The rating system uses progressive industry standards for landscape design and incorporates additional recommendations from technical experts in the fields of soil science, botany and horticulture, hydrology, materials, and human health and well-being. Some of the credits for sustainable landscape performance have been developed in alignment with similar credits in the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
SITES was originally modeled after LEED and includes best practices in landscape architecture, ecological restoration and related fields as well as knowledge gained through peer-reviewed literature, case-study precedents and projects registered in the SITES pilot program.
SITES draws on the experience gained from a two-year pilot program involving more than 100 projects. Forty-six of these pilot projects have achieved certification, including landscape projects at corporate headquarters, national and city parks, academic campuses and private homes.
Interested project teams can visit sustainablesites.org for more information and to register their projects and access the SITES v2: Rating System For Sustainable Land Design and Development, a guide that provides best practices, performance benchmarks and tools for creating ecologically resilient landscapes and rewards successful projects through certification.
The Wildflower Center and ASLA will help GBCI create and implement SITES credentialing and certification offerings and will provide educational opportunities for pursuing SITES certification.
Photo: urban public park via Shutterstock.