After a two year pilot program, U.S.-based Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) has launched its new rating system for developing sustainable landscapes on sites with or without buildings.
SITES merges industry standards for landscape design with additional recommendations from technical experts spanning various fields, such as botany, soil science, materials, hydrology and human health and wellbeing.
“Landscapes knit together the fabric of our communities,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chief executive officer at GBCI. “And sustainable landscapes are critical in their ability to reduce water demand, filter and reduce storm water runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Some credits for sustainable landscape performance are aligned with similar credits in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
SITES is 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.
To register projects and access the SITES v2: Rating System For Sustainable Land Design and Development, interested parties can visit sustainablesites.org.