SITES Rating System
Type(s) of Tool
Country of Origin
SITES is a sustainability-focused framework that ushers landscape architects, engineers and others toward practices that protect ecosystems and enhance the mosaic of benefits they continuously provide to communities, such as climate regulation, carbon storage and flood mitigation. By providing performance measures rather than prescribing practices, SITES supports the unique conditions of each site, encouraging project teams to be flexible and creative as they develop beautiful, functional and regenerative landscapes. SITES is complementary with the LEED system. There is a pre-certification option available.
The SITES certification process allows projects to benchmark against performance criteria. Depending on the point score achieved, projects receive different awards (Certified – Silver – Gold – Platinum). SITES-certified landscapes help reduce water demand, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality and human health and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.
SITES is based on a point system across ten criteria:
– Site context
– Pre-design assessment & planning
– Soil & vegetation
– Human health & well-being
– Operations & maintenance
– Education & performance monitoring
– Innovation / exemplary performance