A new rating and certification system for developing sustainable landscapes has been launched to help address concerns such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. The SITES program will be administered by Green Business Certification Inc., the same company that oversees LEED certification. It will use industry standards for landscape design and ecological restoration while incorporating other recommendations from soil science, botany, horticulture, hydrology, and human health and wellbeing experts.
While the rating system will be separate from the LEED program, some SITES credits have been developed in alignment with similar LEED credits to make sustainability upgrades more easily measureable. The program will include case studies drawn from the two-year pilot program that preceded the SITES launch about 46 certified projects that encompass corporate headquarters, national and city parks, and academic campuses. Learn more about certification and how to register your project at www.sustainablesites.org.
Looking for sustainable landscaping ideas? Check out this guide to xeriscaping with examples from NREL's campus, which was a pilot project for the SITES program!