News Analysis

SITES v2 for Sustainable Landscapes Aligns with LEED

Now publicly available, the updated rating system features new credits and benchmarks based on expert input.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative has rolled out its rating system for creating and evaluating sustainable landscapes. Building upon lessons learned from numerous pilot projects that field-tested the 2009 SITES Rating System, the new version features recommendations from experts in soil science, botany and horticulture, hydrology, materials, and human health and well-being. With its pilot period over, SITES v2 is now open to the public.

In addition to updates to keep up with industry standards, notable differences between the pilot SITES System and SITES v2 include the introduction of new credits, such as new points for designating and communicating soil protection zones in pre-design, and minimizing pesticide and fertilizer use during operations. A new water prerequisite requires projects to retain the precipitation volume from a 60th percentile precipitation event, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Published August 3, 2014