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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

New Sustainable Landscape (SITES) Certified Projects

Friday, April 05, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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Sustainable Backyard in PennsylvaniaAUSTIN - SITES has announced four new Pilot Projects that have achieved certification under the nation’s most comprehensive rating system for the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of built landscapes. To date, 15 pilot projects have achieved SITES certification.

SITES guidelines can be used in different settings to produce landscapes that make a positive contribution to the environment

The newly certified projects include:

Theater Commons and Donnelly Gardens - Seattle, Washington
Taylor Residence - Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Burbank Water and Power (BWP) EcoCampus - Burbank, California
Grand Valley State University Student Recreation Fields - Allendale, Michigan

"These projects include a park, a private home, an industrial plant and university playing fields,” said Susan Rieff, Executive Director of the Wildflower Center. "They demonstrate how SITES guidelines can be used in different settings to produce landscapes that make a positive contribution to the environment.”

Since June 2010, pilot projects have been testing the 2009 rating system created by dozens of the country’s leading sustainability experts, scientists, and design professionals. The diverse projects represent various types, sizes, and locations, as well as budgets.

"The pilot program has informed and helped us refine the next iteration of the SITES Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks, which will be published in the fall of this year. Many additional projects are continuing to work toward certification while we proceed with our preparations for open enrollment this year,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville.

About 80 of the initial 150 projects in the two-year Pilot Program have indicated they will continue to pursue certification. The feedback from these projects plus additional work by staff and technical advisors is influencing the next SITES rating system.

"This new group of showplace projects represents a tremendous amount of work toward making the built landscape more sustainable and adding to ecosystem services," said Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The four newly certified projects each incorporate sustainable features and practices that enabled them to achieve a certification.

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