Landscape Energy Efficiency with EXISTING SITES Certification

McGill Place is building an energy efficient landscape by utilizing USGBC Pilot Program EXISTING SITES 

US Green Building Council https://www.usgbc.org/
EXISTING SITES is modeled after this: https://sustainablesites.org/

— USGBC EXISTING SITES for landscape is a parallel program to energy efficiency in buildings —

Over the next years 2022-2024 sustainable landscape and hardscape will materialize and McGill Place will be a trailblazer in sustainable landscaping to save energy, resources and promote human health and well-being on our 11 acres.
Landscape sustainability (energy efficiency) is understanding, creating and designing naturally interacting systems that thrive with less human input, use less resources and maximize human health: water, soil, plants, and pollinator ecosystems, with cool outdoor social spaces for people to enjoy— creating an interwoven life easier for everything and everyone:

  • a pleasant outdoor local environment (contributing to the global environment)
  • cleaner air
  • less work and waste of natural resources because our plants are native and acclimated to the local environment
  • less water use, fertilizer and fewer pesticides
  • It is evidence based knowledge application and doesn’t cost a cent more than traditional landscaping and saves money and resources in the long run:
    For example:
    HHWB (Human Health and Well-being): Paths, the new benches, social areas, signage explaining ecological strategies. The area between buildings 7 & 10 is the first example of this.
    PLANTS: Using indigenous and hearty plants, that once established do not require extra water and over 1000’s of years have evolved systems that ward off local pests. Plants sequester carbon and provide cooling with shade and water evaporation from their leaves and ground cover. (Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees)
    STORMWATER: Designing for it to go into the aquifer and into the landscape plants, instead of into the City of Atlanta’s already overloaded stormwater system.
    SOIL: Building a rich abundant soil naturally, instead of shipping all the leaves off and putting down pinestraw (pinestraw does nothing to build the soil, decays quickly and costs 20k/year).
McGill Place Landscape is going to be Energy Efficient with EXISTING SITES Sustainable Certification!
To build an energy efficient landscape McGill Place is in the pilot program for EXISTING SITES Certification. SITES develops energy efficiency in Landscape, where-as in the first part of this century energy efficiency was mostly concentrated in buildings. EXISTING SITES has evolved from the US Green Building Council/ New Construction SITES™ of which LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is part. The Beltline and Old Fourth Ward Historic Park are certified as energy efficient by New Construction SITES™ .

The landscape goals we are seeking are in HHWB (Human Health and Well-being), water, soil, plants and air which interact with everything else to build a healthy environment locally and globally. It is estimated that changing wasteful landscape practices into sustainable ecosystems, being careful with natural resources like water, plants and soil, and embodying carbon in trees and plants can mitigate 37 % of climate change. It will also save us $$$$ and make McGill Place property more a desirable place to live.

Here is the PowerPoint from the 2022 Annual Meeting, information sites and a video:

EXISTING SITES ANNUAL 2022 MEETING PRESENTATION: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.235/bmk.ca9.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/2022-08-30-LS_Sustainability_AnnualMeetingPP.pdf
A SHORT HISTORY OF GREEN RATING SYSTEMS: https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/short-history-gbci-and-its-roster-rating-systems
EXISTING SITES is modeled after (New Construction) SITES™ – U.S. Green Building Council: https://sustainablesites.org/
EXISTING SITES Rating System .pdf: RatingSystem_SITES Intro to Existing Landscapes Pilot
EXISTING SITES V2 Book (abbreviated): https://www.usgbc.org/resources/sites-rating-system-and-scorecard
PROFESSIONAL SUSTAINABILITY LANDSCAPE TOOLS: https://www.landscapeperformance.org/
EXISTING SITES Slide Presentation used in video below: SITES Intro to Existing Landscapes Pilot_Final[22]