Rhode Island adds SITES, LEED ND to Green Buildings Act
Illustration courtesy of USGBC
Rhode Island has become the first state to include Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) its public policy after the Legislature passed a bill to expand its coverage to include public lands.
The state Senate passed S-0952A/H-5427A, amending Rhode Island’s Green Buildings Act, to apply to any “public real property site” in addition to public buildings, and specifying the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) and LEED for Neighborhood Development as applicable rating systems for certification, theU.S. Green Building Councilreports.
Since 2010, the state has been applying LEED in its newly constructed state-funded facilities, but starting immediately, state and local governments working on new projects that address the space between buildings through public parks or landscapes will also consider applying SITES and LEED ND to sites adjacent to public facilities.
LEED and SITES are complementary and can be used independently or in tandem, earning credits that count toward both rating systems, the USGBC says.
SITES is based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment, and the rating system can be applied to development projects with or without buildings — ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, from streetscapes to homes.
LEED ND incorporates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green building into a global standard for green neighborhood planning and design. The voluntary leadership standard for neighborhood development helps guide development projects in terms of where they’re located, how they’re designed and how they perform.
By using these rating systems for public projects, Rhode Island is creating healthier, more sustainable and more resilient places for its residents, USGBC officials said. In addition, they said the state is also being a good fiscal steward of the public’s funds while signaling to the private market the state’s support for sustainability in the built environment, as green infrastructure and built landscapes protect people and buildings and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council