by Paul Wessel
We are delighted and honored that Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center has announced its plans to achieve LEED v4 Platinum, SITES Silver, and International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Zero Energy certification.
The most pertinent to ASLA members is their commitment to the SITES certification, a comprehensive certification system for creating sustainable and resilient land development projects. SITES promotes sustainable and resilient landscape development and can be used for development projects located on sites with or without buildings to enhance their sustainability, implement green infrastructure strategies, and improve resilience.
The Center is a historic opportunity to build a world-class museum and public gathering space on the South Side of Chicago that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady. It will host the offices of the Obama Foundation, a library, collaborative space for residents of Chicago’s South Side, a renewed and reinvigorated park, and a children’s play area.
At its Museum, visitors will learn about the Obama Administration’s work to combat climate change, from the Paris Agreement to protecting more acres of public land and water than any other administration in history. Visitors can draw inspiration from changemakers who are leading on environmental justice, conservation, and combating climate change—then leave with the tools and resources they need to take action in their own communities.
The Center is an excellent example of how a well-rounded built environment can do amazing things for a community. An important part of this is clearly a well-designed landscape, something very pertinent to ASLA members.
Paul Wessel is a Director for the U.S. Green Building Council.