Green Business Certification (GBCI) this week introduced a new rating system for the development of sustainable landscapes based on best practices in landscape architecture, ecological restoration and related fields. Called “Sites,” the rating system is modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the world’s most widely used criteria for green building.
The Sites rating system was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Botanic Garden. The rating system can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings – parks, corporate campuses, streetscapes and homes, among others.
The result of a two-year pilot program involving more than 100 individual projects, Sites was designed to define sustainable sites, measure their performance and ultimately increase the value of landscapes.
“Landscape architects and members of all the related design and planning fields know that the issues addressed in Sites are increasingly important to creating livable and resilient communities,” says Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
To obtain Site certification, a landscape project must have been constructed within the past two years and be at least 2,000 square feet.