urban park sustainable development

SITES Certification Targets Sustainable Public Spaces

  August 1, 2018

By Greg Zimmerman

Atlanta BeltLine recently became the first public agency in the Southeast to require SITES Silver or Gold certification for all designed parks. Atlanta BeltLine is is the most comprehensive revitalization effort ever undertaken in Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban effort. Enota Park will be the first park under the new standard and is working toward certification.

The SITES green business certification recognizes the sustainable design, development and operations of land and public spaces. Similar to LEED for buildings, SITES addressed land. By providing performance measures rather than prescribing practices, SITES supports the unique conditions of each site, encouraging project teams to be flexible and creative as they develop beautiful, functional and regenerative landscapes.

SITES measures performance in reducing water demand, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.

Some of Atlanta BeltLine’s strategies to comply with SITES include:

  • 90 percent or more of materials for the corridor must be regionally sourced, in compliance with SITES Credit 5.6.
  • All wood used within the corridor must come from non-threatened tree species, in compliance with SITES Prerequisite 5.1.
  • All construction activities must comply with SITES Construction Prerequisites 7.1 and 7.2.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his recent story about the new LEED v4.1 rating system.


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