By Gary Thomas
At a conference entitled, ‘LEED and SITES: Excellence through Design,’ hosted by Novus International, Thad Simons, Novus’ President and Chief Executive Officer, and other industry experts have supported landscape architects and developers to implement LEED and SITES concepts in the planning and development of new construction.
SITES and LEED certification system experts participated in the conference to talk about best sustainable design practices, underpinning principles embodied by the SITES and LEED standards. Topics covered in the conference ranging from ‘A Framework for Sustainable Agriculture’ to ‘Green Building Landscape.’ Participants also appraised sustainable SITES projects across the country.
Novus received LEED Platinum certification for its headquarters building located in Missouri Research Park. Moreover, SITES awarded a 3-Star rating to the site on which the building is situated, thus making the Novus campus as the world’s highest-rated SITES landscape project. The building is one among the first pilot projects getting the SITES certification for featuring sustainability in site design, development and maintenance. SWT Design based in St. Louis designed and built the campus.
Simons commented that the integration of the SITES design into new and current developments will enable more water to get returned into the ground instead of into retention basins, creeks, storm sewers; improve landscapes and natural vegetation; and lower landscape maintenance and carbon footprint. Sustainable land management and development practices hold promise for all types of land uses such as public and private campuses, commercial and residential developments, streetscapes, office parks, and national parks. Moreover, these practices enable better use of outdoor areas and walking paths, which in turn improves physical and mental health of employees.