Highfields Farm, the sustainable farm featured in the February/March 2010 edition of Holistic Horse, has been selected to be part of a pilot program to test a new rating system developed by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES).
According to Clay Nelson, author of the HH article , the SITES program has generated a lot of buzz in the sustainable building community. “Acceptance into the pilot program was through a competitive application process,” Nelson explains, “so we were very excited to be selected and glad an equestrian facility will be included in the pilot program.”
More About SITES
SITES has selected pilot projects to test a national rating system for sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture, New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward Sustainable Infrastructure Project and the Indianapolis Super Bowl Village join more than 150 others that include educational centers, transportation corridors, industrial complexes and private residences in employing cutting-edge guidelines and performance benchmarks outlined in the SITES Rating System.
The pilot program marks the next phase of SITES - putting to the test a rating system created by dozens of the country's leading sustainability experts, scientists and design professionals, with public input from hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations. Located in 34 states as well as Canada, Iceland and Spain, the pilot projects include corporate headquarters, botanic gardens, streetscapes, federal buildings and public parks that vary in scope from several thousand dollar budgets on less than one acre to multimillion dollar efforts affecting hundreds of acres. These projects will restore habitats, rehabilitate landfills, clean and store stormwater, lower the urban heat island effect, create outdoor educational opportunities at schools and reconnect neighborhoods to parks and public transportation.
The SITES Rating System includes 15 prerequisites and 51 different credits covering areas such as the initial site selection, water, soil, vegetation, materials, human health and well-being, construction and maintenance - adding up to a 250 point scale. The rating system recognizes levels of achievement by obtaining 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent of available points with one through four stars, respectively. SITES will receive feedback from the pilot projects until June 2012 to revise the final rating system and reference guide for release in 2013.
Additional information can be found at www.sustainablesites.org/pilot