A06 - High Performing Sites and the Soils Beneath Them

Wednesday, November 8 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM | 258A

Abstract Text:

Where and when soil health is compromised isn’t always readily apparent to many of us. That is why soil protection and formation is emphasized throughout the SITES v2 Rating System, a set of guidelines and performance based metrics covering soils, vegetation, water, materials, and human health and well-being. By aligning design and development practices with the functions of healthy ecosystems, SITES provides a valuable tool grounded in science and applicable to diverse ecoregions. This session will review the complexity of soil ecosystems as well as share experiences of designing landscapes, particularly in urban or degraded contexts. Using diverse perspectives and case studies, this session will frame the importance of soil in green infrastructure, urban landscapes, resilience and the SITES Rating System. If soil is designed and managed sustainably, this often-overlooked yet vital part of a landscape will not only create better living conditions for vegetation but also provide a multitude of ecosystem services, such as filtering pollutants, sequestering carbon, reducing runoff, protecting water supply, controlling erosion and supporting wildlife. It can help to promote resilience in communities that face uncertain climate changes, whether drought, flood, or disease.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the fundamental importance of soil in site design by highlighting Prerequisite 4.1: Create and Communicate a soil management plan in the SITES v2 Rating System.

Understand the importance of structural soils in ensuring better living conditions and therefore, in advancing the development of successful urban landscapes and streetscapes.

Discuss the soil testing requirements outlined in SITES Prerequisite 7.3: Restore soils disturbed by construction in the SITES v2 Rating System.

Describe how the intents of the soil protection and restoration credits in the SITES v2 Rating System promote resilience through a beneficial soil/vegetation/hydrology relationship.

Learning Level:

Level 200 – Understanding/Comprehension


GBCI Credit Hours:
AIA Credit Hours:
LEED Specific:
SITES Specific
Well/LEED Specific:
SITES Specific

Education Tracks: Resiliency

Event Type: Education Sessions > Session