SITES Rating System

SITES Rating System


Sustainable Sites Initiative, Green Business Certification, Inc (GBCI)

Type(s) of Tool

Rating SystemsProvide quantifiable sustainability ratings and / or certification for projects or assets.


Urban Planning, Natural Infrastructure

Lifecycle Phase(s)

Strategic PlanningPublic authorities identify the needs and long-term vision for infrastructure development., PrioritizationAuthorities decide which projects to realize and how to allocate resources., Concept DesignTechnical experts broadly outline the project’s basic characteristics., Detailed DesignTechnical experts further elaborate the Concept Design., ConstructionThe asset is constructed in line with design, budget and timeline., Operation and MaintenanceInfrastructure assets are managed and maintained during their use time.

Open Source


Language Availability


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.

Tool Outcome

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.

Sustainability Criteria

SITES is based on a point system across ten criteria:
– Site context
– Pre-design assessment & planning
– Water
– Soil & vegetation
– Materials
– Human health & well-being
– Construction
– Operations & maintenance
– Education & performance monitoring
– Innovation / exemplary performance



Contact Information