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General Services Administration Adopts Sustainable SITES Initiative
GSA Asserts It's Beginning Widespread Implementation of Innovative Technologies and Best Practices to Reduce Government's Environmental and Fiscal Footprints


Among the SITES certified projects is Tuthill Corporate Headquarters in Burr Ridge, Illinois. While this project was designed and built in the late 1990s, two years before LEED certification began, and 14 years before SITES certification, the project achieves and embodies the sustainable landscape design and site standards prescribed by SITES.
Image: Conservation Design Forum

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) applauds the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) decision to adopt the SITES Initiative rating system for its capital construction program.

SITES is the most comprehensive rating system for developing sustainable landscapes. It is based on the understanding that land is a critical component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits derived from healthy, functioning landscapes. SITES can be applied independently or coupled with LEED certification.

ASLA said GSA's use of SITES will give the agency a highly effective and efficient way to achieve environmental performance on various capital projects.

GSA is currently set to begin work on eight courthouse construction projects. GSA's plan was submitted to Congress on April 18, 2016, and includes $787 million for new construction and $160 million for repairs and alterations to existing facilities.

"ASLA welcomes GSA's strategy to champion sustainability in the landscapes that it manages," said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. "As the government's largest civilian landlord, GSA will work with landscape architects to plan, design, develop and maintain healthy functioning landscapes for its capital construction projects.

She added that GSA's adoption of SITES will contribute to healthy communities, the American people and benefit the environment.

The SITES rating system is administered by Green Business Certification, Inc., an organization recognized for excellence in green business industry performance and practices. SITES was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects Fund, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden. For more information on SITES, visit

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October 15, 2019, 5:17 am PDT

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