Landscape projects are being sought in the US to take part in a pilot scheme, which aims to assess a new voluntary rating system for the design of sustainable landscapes

The US may launch a new voluntary rating system for the design of sustainable landscapes.

The rating system forms part of two new reports issued by the Sustainable Sites Initiative, a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the US Botanic Garden. 
The Case for Sustainable Landscapes and Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, set out a system that works on a 250-point scale, with awards from one to four stars for achieving 40, 50, 60 or 80 per cent.
Points are awarded based on credits for such things as the use of greenfield, brownfield and greyfield sites, materials, soil and vegetation, construction and maintenance. Projects can range from corporate campuses, transport corridors and public parks to single family residences. 
The rating system provides landscape architects with a tool for advancing the sustainability of land planning. It represents four years of work by dozens of the country’s leading sustainability experts, scientists and design professionals and includes input from hundreds of individuals and institutions.
Projects taking part in the assessment of the rating system must be at least 2,000 square feet. The Sustainable Sites Initiative will oversee the assessment over a two-year period.
To read the reports, click here.

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