New SITES AP Pilot Credit prepares forward-thinking practitioners

Published on
23 Jul 2020
Danielle Pieranunzi
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In recent times, it’s nearly impossible to miss the growing emphasis on the importance of parks, greenbelts and other open spaces. These benefits range from improving our mental and physical health and strengthening community cohesion, to providing essential ecosystem services like improving water and air quality, reducing urban heat island effects and controlling flooding. And with the introduction of SITES’ new Pilot Credits in response to COVID-19, these tenants of the SITES Rating System are clearer than ever.

The most recent SITES Pilot Credit provides additional incentive for professionals to take their passion to the next level. Through GBCI’s SITES Accredited Professional (SITES AP) program, credential holders have the unique opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable landscape development, and to implement their knowledge of the SITES Rating System for their projects. To further support and encourage this learning, GBCI is introducing a Pilot Credit to recognize projects that have a SITES AP as a principal participant on the project team.

Particularly as professionals seek to distinguish themselves in the market, the SITES AP credential provides a comprehensive curriculum for individuals who want to learn about the strategies, metrics and an overall comprehensive framework for creating high performance landscapes and outdoor spaces. The guidance, accountability and transparency a SITES process provides ensures a site is developed to meet sustainability goals, programmatic and client needs, and demonstrates leadership in site sustainability.

What are SITES Pilot Credits?

SITES pilot credits are a group of credits not in the current version of the rating system which are designed to test new innovative strategies and/ or facilitate introduction of new credits to SITES. Pilot credits can be used in the SITES innovation credit category where each bonus credit is worth three points. These credits are awarded based on project teams attempting and achieving the credit requirements. The credits may change as feedback is received.

Be sure to also check out the new Safety First pilot credit released in June, also found in the Resources section of the SITES Website, and learn more about SITES’ guidance for parks and other spaces during COVID-19.

Please contact GBCI at for any questions on these pilot credits.

To learn more about these and other initiatives, join GBCI's President & CEO Mahesh Ramanujam on July 29th at the SITES Town Hall for an in-depth conversation on the SITES program and how it is impacting the market and helping to achieve a healthy, equitable and resilient future for all.