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Sustainable Landscape Rating System

View of the rain garden and new addition with a green roof from SWT Designs permeable parking lot during a recent open house celebration.
Photo: Ted Spaid
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The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) announced the selection of the SWT Design campus as one of the first landscapes to participate in a new program testing the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction and maintenance.

SWT Design will join more than 150 other projects from 34 states as well as from Canada, Iceland and Spain as part of an international pilot project program to evaluate the new SITES rating system for sustainable landscapes, with and without buildings. Sustainable landscapes can clean water, reduce pollution and restore habitats, while providing significant economic and social benefits to land owners and municipalities.
SITES, a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden, selected SWT Design campus based on its extensive environmentally friendly elements. These sustainable practices include: managing rainwater on site with a green roof, rain garden and permeable parking that has percolation pits beneath, protecting and restoring soil conditions as well as selecting regional plants and materials.
SWT Design joins the Smithsonian Institution’s African American History & Culture museum, a New Orleans’ project to absorb storm water on the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward flooded during Hurricane Katrina, and other pilot projects that include academic and corporate campuses, public parks with hundreds of acres, transportation corridors and private residences of less than one acre.
Ted Spaid, Jim Wolterman and a collaboration of their employees designed the SWT Design campus.  It was constructed by Tri Square Construction and had a variety of consultant specialists. The site was developed to improve the urban fabric of the community by creating a living laboratory and demonstration space for visitors. Like the other pilot projects, the site will test the point system for achieving different levels of site sustainability on a 250-point scale, and the performance benchmarks associated with specific credits within the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009.

About the Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to transform land development and management practices with the nation's first voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings.  As these guidelines become the accepted practices by professionals and nonprofessionals alike, they will transform the ways we design and build on the land, creating landscapes that nourish life for generations to come.

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November 19, 2019, 10:57 pm PDT

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