Professional Practice

The Sustainable SITES Initiative® SITES®

Sites Header


The SITES Section 2.2 Pre-Design and Assessment Planning webinar is now online:

This webinar was developed by members of the Sustainability Design and Development Professional Practice Network. The members who participated in this webinar have been a part of the development of SITES for several years and/or had a pilot project in SITES 2009 (V1). Section 2.2 Conduct a Pre-design Site Assessment, is a prerequisite in SITES v2. In this webinar, you will learn the importance of engaging an integrated design team early in the SITES certification process and how it can strongly inform the planning and design of a project. Examples of actual submittal documentation from certified pilot projects are shared and described.

The pricing structure (this webinar only):

Free for all ASLA members to view
Price for ASLA members for continuing education credit:

  • For full ASLA members: $40
  • For Associate ASLA members: $30
  • For Student ASLA members: $20

Price for nonmembers to view and get continuing education: $165

SITES at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles October 20-24

WS-003 SITES v2 and the SITES AP: Your Tools for Success

Friday, October 21
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
You know of the SITES Rating System, but it’s now time to put this tool to use. Understand the value proposition of SITES and feed into future development needs by engaging directly with the administrators of the program. Finally, prepare yourself for the SITES AP exam and promote your expertise.

Micah Silvey, PE, Green Business Certification Inc.
Jamie Statter, U.S. Green Building Council
Linette Straus, ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects

Professionals: $150 per person by 6/30; $200 by 9/15; $250 after 9/15
Students: $50 per person by 6/30; $75 after 6/30

Learning Objectives:

Deliver a compelling case to your clients about the value and benefits of SITES.

  • Deliver a compelling case to your clients about the value and benefits of SITES.
  • Identify successes and best practices through peer to peer knowledge sharing.
  • Be a sustainability leader and contribute to the ongoing development of the SITES program.
  • Use targeted information provided to successfully study for and pass the SITES AP exam.

SAT-A05 – High Performing SITES and the Soils Beneath Them

Saturday, October 22
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Soil is the living skin of our planet. As we’ve shaped it to our needs, we’ve often forgotten how essential it is for our survival. This session will review the complexity of soil ecosystems and frame the importance of soil in green infrastructure, urban landscapes, and the SITES Rating System.

Lead Presenter
Micah Silvey, PE, Green Business Certification Inc.
Chris Moyles, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand
John Swallow, Affiliate ASLA, Pine & Swallow Environmental

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the fundamental importance of soil in site design.
  • Understand the importance of structural soils in ensuring better living conditions and therefore in advancing the development of successful urban landscapes and streetscapes.
  • Discuss the soil testing requirements outlined in the SITES v2 Rating System.
  • Describe the beneficial relationship between soil, vegetation and hydrology for promoting resilience.

SUN-B03 – SITES: Water Cycle Management and Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change

Sunday, October 23
2:30 – 4:00 pm
The SITES v2 Rating System—a performance-based process—encourages projects to conserve water, maximize the use of precipitation, and protect water quality, with the goal always being to restore natural systems. Examine and integrate future hydrologic outcomes such as sea-level rise and create resilient designs that satisfy SITES credits.

Linette Straus, ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects
Chris Moyles, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand
Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, ASLA
City College of New York
Catherine Seavitt Studio
April Philips, FASLA. April Philips Design Works, Inc.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the prerequisites and credits in Section 3: Site Design–Water and review documentation examples.
  • Describe the technical requirements and calculations as well as specialist team members that may be required for fulfillment of SITES v2 water prerequisites and credits.
  • Examine projects that demonstrate sustainable practices in water design and integrate climate issues such as prolonged droughts and sea-level rise.
  • Learn how to integrate design choices for water and other site attributes to improve performance outcomes and plan for resiliency in the face of future climate events.

Check out the full education program here!
MON-B01 – SITES: Devise a Truly Sustainable Maintenance Plan That Works for the Long Term

Monday, October 23
10:00 am – 11:30 am
How often do you integrate maintenance planning into your projects? Is maintenance a significant concern for your clients? A maintenance plan is a prerequisite in the SITES v2 Rating System. Review actual SITES certified examples of maintenance plans and gain insight as to how to improve your own.

Linette Straus, ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects
Steven Spears, FASLA, AICP, Design Workshop, Inc.
Bryan Astheimer, LEED AP, Re:Vision Architecture
Terry Guen, FASLA, Terry Guen Design Associates
Evan Mather, ASLA, AHBE Landscape Architects

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the prerequisites and credits for Section 8, operations and maintenance of the SITES v2 Rating System.
  • Specify best management practices for devising a comprehensive maintenance plan.
  • Analyze challenges from actual project examples, review the solutions implemented to solve them, and discuss how the maintenance plan addressed future anticipated issues.
  • Develop a method for effectively assessing your client’s long-term maintenance capabilities to ensure the sustainability of your project.

SITES: How Landscape Architects Can Lead on Sustainability Beyond the Building

Learning Lab at ASLA EXPO, Sunday 10/22 4:15-5:15pm
When appropriately integrated into a project team, a landscape professional has the ability to drastically improve the sustainability of any landscape project. The Sustainable SITES Initiative provides tools to elevate the role of a landscape architect in order to drive sustainable outcomes beyond the building. This session will discuss how landscape architects can utilize the SITES rating system to achieve their sustainability goals for specific projects and to transform their professional practice. It will include a discussion on how the rating system is transforming the market by requiring an integrated design team, which includes landscape professionals, from day one. It will also cover the changes the first SITES Accredited Professionals (APs) have seen in their work and their ability to elevate the value of landscapes in the built environment as a result of earning their new credential.

Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network Meeting

PPN Live in ASLA EXPO,  Saturday, October 21, 12:45 – 1:30 PM, Echo Park Meeting Room
Led by the landscape architecture community, the movement to build sustainably beyond the building has had a big year! Join us to learn more on the recent developments in the Sustainable SITES Initiative.  We’ll highlight the first class of SITES Accredited professionals, projects that have certified in the last year, and discuss the newest member of the SITES family – the SITES performance pathway which will evaluate the performance of managed sites.


Tuesday, October 24
The SITES AP exam will be offered again this year during the ASLA 2017 Annual Meeting and EXPO. The exam will be held at Culver City, CA on October 24 at 8 am. Transportation will be provided from the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. When scheduling your AP Exam, choose Culver City as your location and 8 am for your exam time.
If you took the exam by March 31, 2017 and need to retake it (at no additional cost), you will need to do so by June 30, 2017. ASLA members exam fee is $300, a savings of $100 if you register by June 30.

Register for the AP Exam

Purchase the SITES Reference Guide with your ASLA member ID for a discount for $199.

Register for the SITES AP Exam at a Location Near You:

Register today. The SITES AP Exam is $400 for ASLA members and is available at your nearest Prometic location!

Download this presentation to use when talking to your clients about SITES

Check out the list of the first cohort of SITES APs from GBCI

Read about certified SITES projects

About the Rating System

The Sustainable SITES Initiative is a set of comprehensive, voluntary guidelines together with a rating system that assesses the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes. It is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policy-makers, and others to guide land design and development. The SITES v2 Rating System can apply to projects a various scales, with or without buildings. Project types include: open spaces, streetscapes, commercial and educational / institutional campuses, residential neighborhoods and yards, military, and more.


The SITES Rating System is produced by the Green Business Certification Inc., which owns exclusive rights to the SITES Rating System, its publications and trademarks. The material on which the SITES Rating System is based was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Fund, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.

SITES ASLA and the University of Texas at Austin transferred ownership of the SITES Rating System to Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the certification body for the LEED green building program from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

GBCI is now accepting applications for project certification under the SITES v2 Rating System and has open registration for the SITES AP exam.

We are confident that GBCI’s leadership of SITES will take the program to the next level and ensure its future growth and influence. ASLA will continue to contribute to the development of SITES as a member of the SITES advisory council and will support the Initiative through ongoing education and promotional activities. ASLA members will continue to be involved on the technical committees that support the Rating System. The role of ASLA, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden in the development of SITES will be recognized in SITES materials and communications. ASLA members are entitled to discounts for SITES materials, certification, and, for the SITES AP exam.

Explore SITES news from ASLA from 2007 to the present as well as SITES coverage in the news.

For more information or questions, please contact Linette Straus at, 202-216-2327 or GBCI at


Julia Lent

Firm Finder                                                      
Maxine Artis
Linette Straus                                                                  

Professional Practice 

Library and Research Services                          
Ian Bucacink

RFQs & Opportunities                                      
Terence Poltrack

Historic Landscapes (HALS)                              
Ali Hay