'LEED for Landscapes' Finally!

As a LEED® Accredited Professional, I have read the USGBC LEED Reference Manual multiple times and spent months trying to memorize Indoor Environmental Quality credits. But let’s face it, all the clean air we pump into our buildings is from the outdoors. And as far as I know, buildings can’t generate clean air, plants do that. So, what about Outdoor Environmental Quality?

LEED for Landscapes

photo by Brandon Godfrey



As a LEED® Accredited Professional, I have read the USGBC LEED Reference Manual multiple times and spent months trying to memorize Indoor Environmental Quality credits. But let’s face it, all the clean air we pump into our buildings is from the outdoors. And as far as I know, buildings can’t generate clean air, plants do that. So, what about Outdoor Environmental Quality?

The good news is that the United States launched its first voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes in November, 2009. And it’s about time. The American Society of Landscape Architects, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanical Garden have partnered to develop the rating system. The system will be part of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, which will test a series of pilot projects over the next two years. Although Macdonald Environmental Planning, PC wasn’t able to submit for a pilot project, I can say that we are hopeful to participate in such projects in the future.

I am personally excited to see if the new LEED rating system for landscapes can generate as much interest in sustainable landscapes as it did for sustainable buildings. But more importantly, will the rating system challenge our traditional landscape model? And even so, will designers and contractors take it upon themselves to change their traditional work standards? Let’s hope so.

Bryan Bailey, LEED AP
Macdonald Environmental Planning, PC
503.224.1225

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One Response to “'LEED for Landscapes' Finally!”

  1. MonexDecember 15, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    LEED for Healthcare is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance healthcare projects including inpatient and outpatient care facilities and long term care facilities. Green Building Council USGBC announced the launch of LEED for Retail its newest green building rating system and the LEED Volume Program a program designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume property developers.

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