Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Achieves ‘SITES’ Certification

SAN DIEGO, CA – The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) has announced Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido, CA as one of eight projects that have recently achieved certification under the nation’s most comprehensive rating system for the sustainable design, construction and maintenance of built landscapes. These projects, as part of a group of 150 projects participating in an extensive, two-year pilot program, have applied the SITES guidelines and met the requirements for certification. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is just one of two projects in California, and one of just 11 total projects worldwide to attain this important new certification.

SITES is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden. SITES was created in 2005 to fill a critical need for guidelines and recognition of sustainable landscapes based on their planning, design, construction and maintenance. The voluntary, national rating system and set of performance benchmarks applies to sites with or without buildings.

“This new group of showplace projects represents a tremendous amount of work toward making the built landscape more sustainable and adding to ecosystem services,” said Holly Shimizu, executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The SITES 2009 rating system includes 15 prerequisites and 51 additional, flexible credits to choose from that add up to 250 points. The credits address areas such as soil restoration, hydrology, vegetation, human health and well being and more. More info about Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens’ specific qualifications can be found at

Among the specific sustainable design benchmarks met by Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens are:

  • Capturing stormwater and utilizing it as a design feature
  • Edible landscaping and drought-tolerant, regionally appropriate plantings
  • Use of salvaged and reused materials in construction of the site
  • A commitment to sustainable and organic maintenance practices

The project team includes:

  • Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder, Stone Brewing Co.
  • Glen Schmidt, FASLA, Landscape Architect, Schmidt Design Group, Inc.
  • John Belcher, General Contractor, Hamann Companies
  • Matthew Jerman, Landscape Contractor, Landscape Plus
  • Danny Abada, Civil Engineer, Spear & Associates, Inc.

“Stone Brewing Co.’s unrelenting commitment to sustainability and community is what inspired us to pursue this significant honor,” said Glen Schmidt, FASLA, of Schmidt Design Group, Inc., the San Diego landscape architecture firm that collaborated with CEO and co-founder Greg Koch on the design of the site.

Since 2005, the SITES partners, in conjunction with a diverse group of stakeholder organizations, have worked to transform land development and management practices with this first national rating system for sustainable landscapes. The guidelines apply to any type of designed landscape, with or without buildings, including shopping malls, streetscapes, subdivisions, corporate and academic campuses, transportation corridors, parks and recreation areas, and single family homes.

The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, anticipates incorporating the SITES guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED Green Building Rating System. While LEED minimizes the carbon footprint, SITES demonstrates how a landscape can actually sequester carbon and regenerate living systems. Working together these initiatives will further revolutionize sustainable design.