Be Part of the SITES for Existing Landscapes Certification Pilot

by Danielle Pieranunzi

SITES-certified Washington Canal Park in Washington, DC / image: Sustainable SITES Initiative

Do you want to better understand how your completed project is performing and demonstrate its success? Do you have an existing park, campus, government facility, or other outdoor space that you would like to earn SITES certification for sustainable and resilient land development? Are you interested in informing and influencing the next SITES certification tool?

If any of this sounds of interest, the Sustainable SITES Initiative wants to hear from you.

SITES certification offers a path for landscape projects to enhance their sustainability, implement green infrastructure strategies, and improve resilience through nature-based solutions. As you may know, the current SITES v2 rating system is directed at new construction and major renovation projects. While this work is vital, there are many more landscapes that have already been built that seek these same goals.

To address this gap, SITES is currently developing a framework that expands into ongoing sustainable site management practices and the monitoring and reporting of their social, economic, and environmental benefits.

SITES is seeking partner projects to collaborate to expand SITES offerings for existing spaces. We have developed a pilot guidance document based on the current SITES v2 rating system to help pilot projects assess performance, operations, and maintenance, in order to adapt and optimize their work and earn recognition for their leadership. Your project does not need experience with the SITES rating system to be part of the pilot program.

Evidence-based design is key to meeting local and global goals and to addressing client and community needs. The pilot test will inform and refine the development of this adaptation for existing projects for the greatest impact. Complete our short online form to express your interest in the development of this new adaptation of the SITES rating system.

A version of this article was originally published on the Sustainable SITES Initiative website.

Danielle Pieranunzi, LEED AP, SITES AP, is the SITES Director at the Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI). SITES is a comprehensive tool that elevates the value of landscapes (and the ecosystem services they provide) in development projects. At GBCI, she focuses on various aspects of the SITES program from market development, technical solutions to certification services. Prior to GBCI, Danielle spent ten years on the Sustainable SITES Initiative program at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where she worked with partner organizations, over 50 technical experts and numerous projects to develop and test the guidelines and metrics for high performance landscapes.

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