Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sustainable Sites accepting applications for pilot projects Nov. 5

The Sustainable Sites Initiative will accept applications for pilot projects starting Nov. 5 and closing Feb. 15, 2010, in conjunction with the release of the next report and new rating system, called The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009.

Any type of designed landscape is eligible to participate, ranging from academic and corporate campuses, parks and recreation areas, transportation corridors to single residences so long as the total size exceeds 2,000 square feet. Fees for participating in the pilot project process may run from $500 to $5,000 depending on project budget (Note, limited scholarships will be available). Approximately 75 to 150 projects will take part in testing the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Until now, design and construction rating systems included little recognition for benefits of sustainable landscape and site design. Landscapes can clean water, reduce pollution and restore habitats, all while providing significant economic benefits to land owners and municipalities. The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Initiative, anticipates incorporating the Sustainable Sites guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED Green Building Rating System.

Visit the Sustainable Sites Web site on Nov. 5th for the online pilot project application. For email updates on Sustainable Sites, click here.

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