Benchmarks for landscape sustainability

Examining LEED and SITES

What you will learn:

  1. Describe sustainability benefits of landscapes

  2. List metrics from LEED and SITES for designing water-efficient landscapes

  3. Use benchmarks in LEED and SITES for planning sustainable softscapes

  4. Enumerate metrics for landscape strategies for enhancing built environments


It is helpful if the students are aware of elementary landscape design terms and familiar with green building rating systems like LEED


This course is approved for 0.5 GBCI Continuation Education (CE) credits. After completing the course you can report your credit towards LEED credential maintenance.

Landscapes can provide several environmental benefits to a site or a property. Infact they are increasingly being recognized as alternatives to traditional infrastructure and becoming key elements of green building projects.

Sustainable landscapes need to be planned the same way as any green project- using a well-defined methodology. Various environmental impacts of landscapes need to be assessed and measured. Synergies between different strategies need to be explored as well so that the project meets established benchmarks efficiently. A comprehensive way to accomplish this could be by tapping into landscape provisions under different rating systems.

This course examines different aspects of landscape performance under a green building rating system (LEED BD+C), a green community rating system (LEED ND) and a dedicated sustainable land rating system (SITES). It’ll give you key metrics of landscape sustainability- both quantitative and qualitative- for different scales of projects.

If you’re looking to integrate sustainable landscapes into your project, this course is for you! At the end of this course, you’ll be able to set high-performance goals for your project

Who is this course for:

  1. Landscape architects working on sustainability projects

  2. Architects looking to integrate landscapes in their green building projects

  3. Students interested in sustainable landscape strategies

  4. Developers looking for an overview of sustainability goals for landscapes

Course Reviews

"A very helpful course, good presentation but it needs more pictures and examples rather than just focusing on percentages and texts"

-Nada Alhumaidi

"Very helpful. Thank you."

-Alina Dulaurent

"well organized and I liked the ties into LEED"

-Peter Dufrene

"The comparisons between rating systems are helpful."

-Jessica Kenzie Spencer