The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is in active plans to establish a standardized industry wide rating system similar to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
The initiative would give points to sustainable practices in landscaping such as storm water management, the use of native plants, acquiring plants from local growers, selecting durable materials and supporting social interaction through landscape design. The organization boasting an impressive 18,000 members in some 42 countries worldwide, is partnering with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden to develop the standard, to be called "The Sustainable Sites Initiative."
The SSI consortium is planning its pilot initiative for 2010 which will include 200 North American projects. The pilot project will essentially serve as a testbed, which will be used to assess feedback that will account for the final version of the standard to be set for 2012 (Jim Lapides, ASLA Spokesperson). It is hoped that adopted it will be used by green building certifiers , or could be used as a stand alone certification. This development points to the increasing trend in industry wide sustainability initiatives.
For details on this exciting initiative go to www.sustainablesites.org