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The Sustainable Sites Initiative has released the nation’s first rating system solely dedicated to the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes.
The rating system works on a 250-point scale, with levels of achievement for obtaining 40, 50, 60, or 80 percent of available points, recognized with one-four stars, respectively. When organizations meet prerequisites, they receive points through the 51 credits covering areas such as: site selection; soil and vegetation restoration; use of materials; and sustainable construction and maintenance practices.
The initiative also issued two new reports – Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, which includes the rating system described above, and The Case for Sustainable Landscapes. Both reports are available at www.sustainablesites.org/report.
In conjunction with the release of the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, the Sustainable Sites Initiative is calling for pilot projects to test the rating system. Any type of designed landscape is eligible, as long as the project size is at least 2,000 square feet.
The call for pilot projects will remain open until Feb. 15, 2010, and the initiative anticipates working with 75-150 projects during the two-year process. For more information on the pilot projects, visit www.sustainablesites.org/pilot or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.