Sustainable Sites Initiative

The New York Times wrote an article on the Sustainable Sites Initiative, a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and U.S. Botanic Garden.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is designed to complement the Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Sustainable Sites focuses on improving the sustainability of landscapes’ hydrology, soil, vegetation, which can insure that the natural ecosystems around buildings are protected or enhanced.

According to The New York Times: “The initiative, on the other hand, goes into detail, specifying the kinds of plants, for example, that can be used to cleanse a disturbed wetland; how trees can be used to shade a building, protect it from wind, prevent erosion and clean the air; and what kind of plantings enhance mental health, draw people outside the building and even engage them in tending the landscape.”

In the article, Dan Glaser, a landscape architect, discussed one of the key values of Sustainable Sites — it will provide additional specifications in areas LEED misses. For instance, LEED has requirements for runoff from buildings, and barring development from 100 feet of a wetland, but it doesn’t specify how to do this.

Comments on the 179-page draft guidelines are due by January 20, then the report will be revised and tested on pilot projects. Go to Sustainable Sites to provide input.

Read the full article

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