Pilot Project Becomes First in Iowa to Participate

The Green & Main Pilot Project joins more than 150 projects from 34 states, as well as from Canada, Iceland, and Spain, as part of an international pilot project program to evaluate the new Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) rating system. SITES is testing the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance. Green & Main will be the first SITES project in the state of Iowa.

SITES, a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden, selected Green & Main based on its extensive environmentally friendly elements. These sustainable practices include: site water conservation, drinking water improvements and multiple erosion and sediment control methods.

The SITES Rating System includes 15 prerequisites and 51 different credits covering areas such as the initial site selection, water, soil, vegetation, materials, human health and well-being, construction and maintenance – adding up to a 250 point scale. The rating system recognizes levels of achievement by obtaining 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent of available points with one through four stars, respectively. SITES will receive feedback from the pilot projects until June 2012 to revise the final rating system and reference guide for release in 2013. The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, anticipates incorporating guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED® Green Building Rating System™.


– Sara Crouse is a writer and marketing strategist who lives in Des Moines, Iowa.


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