Alexandria, VA - The Center for Environmental Innovation and Leadership just released a podcasted interview with the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Somerville. Ms. Somerville discusses ASLA’s green initiatives including their Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™).
“Stewardship of the land has always been ASLA’s mission,” says Somerville. “We focus on issues that allow our members to offer their expertise, particularly in sustainable and livable healthy communities.”
In 2006, ASLA introduced its first green roof at their Washington, DC headquarters. The roof acts as a demonstration for public tours and has helped decrease the building’s heating and cooling costs.
“The most promising aspect of green roofs is what they can do for environmental issues, particularly in the DC area,” says Somerville. In addition to ASLA, many federal agencies have installed green roofs in downtown DC, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Department of Transportation.
ASLA is a founding partner of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) along with the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Botanic Gardens.
“In the past, we didn’t have guidelines defining the requirements of sustainable landscaping,“ Somerville explains. “Under SITES, we have created the benchmarks and standard operating procedures to create sustainable designs.”
Currently in the pilot phase, SITES offers every type of landscape design the opportunity to become certified. The rating system measures landscape sustainability and awards points that can contribute to the LEED system.
“The USGBC leadership considers SITES to be complimentary to LEED,” explains Somerville. “We are covering the natural resources that LEED doesn’t.”
A number of federal agencies have helped develop the SITES rating system and sit on their coordinating committee, including U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Air Force, and the White House Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, Council on Environmental Quality.
“There is a substantial involvement from federal agencies,” closes Somerville. “The knowledge that they bring to SITES makes them a role model for sustainable projects.”
Listen to the interview: To hear the interview go to www.CEILeadership.org.
About ASLA Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 16,000 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use their "ASLA" suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at www.asla.org.
For more information contact Ann Seltz, President, at [email protected] or at 703-706-8221 or visit www.CEILeadership.org.
About CEIL Inform, Educate, Enable.The Center for Environmental Innovation and Leadership (www.CEILeadership.org) is an independent organization that facilitates information and education exchange among government and military professionals charged with identifying, specifying and buying green goods and services, and with vendors, contractors and consultants that provide green goods and services. CEIL is the sponsor of GOVgreen Conference and Exposition, a nonpartisan event designed to bring government employees and green suppliers together in one convenient location to discover optimal solutions to green the government. The event takes place November 9-10 in Washington, D.C. and is free to all credentialed government professionals and military personnel.