The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) certified eight more projects, endorsing a total of 11 out of 150 submitted to a rigorous, comprehensive set of rules and guidelines for sustainable design, construction and maintenance.
The latest projects to be certified include the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden in Durham, N.C.; Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Garden; Cornell University’s Mann Library Entrance in Ithaca, N.Y.; Hunts Point Landing, an park in the Bronx, NY; The Morton Arboretum’s Meadow Lake and main parking lot in Lisle, Ill.; the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, Calif.; the commercial SWT Design campus in St. Louis, Mo.; and the Victoria Garden Mews residential space in Santa Barbara, Calif.
These join the Novus International Inc. campus in St. Charles, Miss.; the Green at College Park, on the University of Texas’s Arlington campus; and the Woodland Discovery Playground, at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tenn. All of the projects were submitted during a two-year pilot program started in June 2010 to test the rating system’s performance benchmarks. SITES is a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the United States Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
The rating system, which will remain voluntary, includes 15 prerequisites and 51 flexible credits that add up to 250 possible points. The credits address areas like soil restoration, recycled material usage and land maintenance approaches. Earning 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent of the 250 points will produce a one to four star rating, respectively.
Reviewing and rating the projects allowed the governing parties to prepare for a national rollout of the SITES system next year. Modifications, like adapting the system to rate projects with or without buildings, could make the SITES the premier standard for sustainable design.
“The pilot program has informed and helped us refine the next iteration of the SITES guidelines and performance benchmarks, which will be published in 2013,” said ASLA executive Nancy Somerville. “Many additional projects are continuing to work toward certification while we proceed with preparations for open enrollment next year.”
For more information about the certified projects and SITES, visit: http://www.sustainablesites.org/cert_projects/