Professional Practice

The Sustainable SITES Initiative® (SITES®)

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Learn about the proven resiliency of Blue Hole Regional Park in Texas

SITES-certified Blue Hole Regional Park has recovered from five floods up to 27 feet in depth.

Using the SITES framework, which highlights green infrastructure practices, the project team focused on key sustainability elements that would help create a resilient community better able to withstand and recover from episodic floods, droughts, wildfires and other catastrophic weather events.

In the wake of the tragic 2015 Memorial Day Flood, which claimed 12 lives on the Blanco River, Blue Hole remained resilient without plant loss, damage to hardscape, materials or amenities demonstrating that land built sustainably has the ability to protect and restore essential ecosystem functions and services and enhance the quality of life in a community.



North Carolina ASLA Sustainable SITES Event Series

November 5-9, 2018

The North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NCASLA) is partnering with the US Green Building Council, ASLA, and NC State + NC A&T Landscape Architecture Departments, to bring you a statewide, section by section:

Introduction to Sustainable SITES Event Series

Each section event will include a core Introduction to SITES presentation, featuring North Carolina’s two certified project examples: Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden and Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve. Supplemental presentations and/or tours, unique to each section, will follow. NCBOLA & LEED AP CEUs to be submitted. This event will be FREE for university students, with limited seating.


Guide to Exploring SITES® at the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo

Expected to draw more than 6,000 landscape architects and students, the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo, hosted October 19–22 in Philadelphia, will offer more than 135 education sessions, including three different sessions and a half-day workshop on SITES. Heading to Philadelphia? To make sure you know where to find SITES throughout the entire conference, we have rounded up a list.

  • SITES Booth #103: Stop by SITES booth #103 on the expo floor. Whether you have questions about the SITES rating system, the SITES AP credential, registering a project or anything technical, our subject matter experts will be on hand throughout the conference to help.

Friday, October 19

  • 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.—Workshop: Navigating SITES v2 Certification and Preparing for the SITES AP Exam: You are familiar with the framework of the SITES Rating System, and now you are ready to take a closer look at the requirements and submittal process. Take the next step and work through a scorecard, the predesign site assessment and the submittal documentation process, using certified project examples.
  • 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.—Preconstruction Management of Valuable Tree and Soil Resources: This session will identify methodologies to reduce impacts on trees scheduled to remain on a project. The session starts with a discussion of organic amendments, followed by a SITES v2 discussion on tree and soils management, and finishing with a presentation on implementing SITES for the first time on a BeltLine park. This session offers SITES-specific CEUs.

Saturday, October 20

Monday, October 22

  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.—Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure: Understanding Valuation, Benefits and SITES v2 Applications: Trends in sustainable design and resiliency require landscape architects to be versed in ecosystem services and measurable benefits. Green infrastructure provides opportunities for valuing natural and built systems. The expert speakers will provide their insights and case studies for design and maintenance strategies, including the SITES v2 framework. This session offers SITES-specific CEUs.


SITES Online Learning

In June, the ASLA Sustainable Design & Development Professional Practice Network (PPN) hosted an online webinar, SITES® v2 Precedent Studies and Lessons Learned, which is now available as a recording through ASLA Online Learning, offering 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW) and 1.0 SITES-specific CE hour.

During this presentation, participants will cover a high-level introduction to the SITES v2 framework, review two SITES-certified projects including Chicago’s Navy Pier and Bartholdi Park at the U.S. Botanic Garden located right in nation’s capital. In addition, attendees will uncover some of the biggest challenges and benefits of utilizing the SITES framework and leave with the strategies needed to successfully integrate and embed sustainable design attributes throughout the pre-design, design, construction and operations phases. Stay ahead of your CE deadline and walk away with a better understanding of the SITES framework!

The GBCI course ID for this course is 0920016542, offering 1.0 SITES-specific CE hour. To earn a certificate of completion, attendees will need to pass an exam at the presentation. Participants will need to self-report CE hours through their credentials account on


Rhode Island Adds SITES and LEED ND to Rhode Island Green Building Act

The state of Rhode Island continues to lead by example in establishing sustainable energy and green building policy. This past fall the Rhode Island legislature passed a bill to expand the state’s eight-year legacy of green public buildings policy to include public lands. The Senate passed S-0952A/H-5427A amending its Green Building Act to include public lands and specifying Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) and LEED for Neighborhood Development as applicable rating systems for certification. Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed the bill into law on December 15, 2017. This move makes Rhode Island the first state in the nation to reference the SITES rating system in public policy.


HP (Hewlett Packard) Inc. Awarded SITES Gold

On October 17, 2017, HP (Hewlett Packard) Inc. announced its Boise Idaho Campus was awarded Gold under the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) rating system. HP’s Boise Sustainable Landscaping Project is the first to earn a SITES certification in the state of Idaho, and the first corporate campus in the world to be certified using the SITES v2 rating system.


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

This webinar was developed by members of the Sustainability Design & 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

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

Check out the list 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 or GBCI at


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Maxine Artis

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