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Landscapes now have a green rating scale

November 05, 2009
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WASHINGTON — As of today, open-air spaces, including parks, parking lots and corporate and college campuses, will have their own environmental rating system similar to ratings for appliances and built environments, according to USA Today.
The Sustainable Sites Initiatives'' star rating scale was developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects in conjunction with the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the story stated.
The rating will measure several criteria, including planting trees in a parking lot, paving with permeable materials to minimize heat and storm-water runoff, landscaping with native plants to reduce maintenance, irrigation and use of pesticides, the story noted.
Nancy Somerville, chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Society of Landscape Architects, said: "The recognition of the need to address climate change and sustainability is going up and up."
The Sustainable Sites Initiatives'' star rating scale, with four stars being the highest possible rating, could help facilities qualify for tax breaks while encouraging sustainable building and living, the story added.
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