The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa., has recently become the first certified Sustainable SITES Initiative v2 Platinum project in the world. The building originally opened in 2012 and was the first and only project to receive SITES 2009 Pilot Four Star certification.
The CSL was built over a previously documented brownfield with the goal of restoring the site. Since 2012, the project has successfully reintroduced 100 native plant species to the surrounding area. The building is net-zero energy and net-zero water thanks to its PV solar panels, a wind turbine, and a system for capturing and treating all water onsite for reuse.
The new SITES v2 Rating System builds off the 2009 pilot certification. SITES certified projects are better equipped to withstand catastrophic events like floods, droughts, and wildfires. They reduce water and energy demand, improve air quality, and promote human well-being.
SITES is owned and administered by Green Business Certification Inc. Certification is based on a point system: the number of points a project earns determines the certification level it receives (SItes Certified: 70-84 points, SITES Silver: 85-99 points, SITES Gold: 100-134 points, SITES Platinum: 135+ points).