Just as LEED certification is beginning to transform every aspect of new building construction, I look forward to significant changes to building landscaping and open space development that will prevent runoff, manage water resources prudently and take advantage of native plant species. The guiding principles from the Sustainable Sites project are particularly worth noting - they call for a renewed focus on doing no harm in site development, working with nature, and preservation, conservation and regeneration.
Here is how the project began:
"This effort began as separate projects of the Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. In 2005, the two groups joined forces to hold a Sustainable Sites Summit in Austin, Texas.
In 2006, the United States Botanical Garden (USBG) joined as a major partner in the Initiative. A Steering Committee representing 11 stakeholder groups was selected to guide the Initiative. More than 30 experts are now on Technical Subcommittees developing sustainable benchmarks for soils, hydrology, vegetation, human health and well-being and materials selection. These subcommittees are developing the technical foundation for the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks. The first interim report - the "Preliminary Report" - was released in November 2007."
Here is the main site: http://www.sustainablesites.org/Guidelines for sustainable landscape architecture can be found at http://www.sustainablesites.org/products/