Achieving resilience in the built environment requires a paradigm shift in how we view land development.
We believe that site commissioning is the next frontier in sustainable, high-performance landscape design. Commissioning is a process in which performance goals are established, then measured, and verified over time. It has become an increasingly common practice for sustainable building design, but the GSA’s Site Commissioning White Paper, proudly produced by Andropogon, is the first paper to discuss commissioning as it might apply to sites. The white paper proposes a path towards a new land development model in which practitioners can prove that landscapes are achieving environmental, social, and financial resilience. The publication assesses the feasibility, and then details a strategy, for GSA to develop and implement an agency-wide site commissioning process for all new construction and major redevelopment. The Site Commissioning White Paper uniquely demonstrates how landscape architects can help shape policy as advocates for a more resilient built environment.
As one of the world’s largest public real estate organizations, the GSA’s adoption of a site commissioning process has the potential to advance the effectiveness of the site design, construction, and management industries, which in turn could positively impact landscape performance at a national scale. The digital, publicly available white paper was developed through a unique collaboration between policy-makers, landscape architects, and working groups comprised of 89 industry thought-leaders. While written as a policy tool, the white paper’s tone and graphic quality make it equally accessible to practitioners.