Thursday, April 08, 2010 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (CT)


The presentation will highlight opportunities for sites with and without buildings to play a pivotal role in developing  sustainable solutions for critical issues common to Central Texas such as stormwater management, habitat protection, and soil restoration and stewardship.  We will discuss the critical role landscapes play in supporting, enhancing, and regenerating natural systems that provide clean air and water, regulate climate and support human health and well-being.  In addition an update on the Sustainable Sites Initiative pilot projects and integration into LEED will be provided.

Presenters:  Heather Venhaus, ASLA – Sustainable Sites Design Consultant
Danielle Pieranunzi, LEED AP – Senior Project Coordinator and Researcher for the Sustainable Sites Initiative

About the Presenters:

– Heather Venhaus, ASLA

Heather Venhaus has spent the last decade working with teams of scientists, designers, and educators on projects emphasizing sustainable design, land restoration, and environmental education. Ms. Venhaus recently completed the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, an interdisciplinary effort to create voluntary national standards for sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance practices.   Heather is currently working as a landscape sustainability consultant on projects emphasizing regenerative site design and restorative solutions. Ms. Venhaus has held leadership positions in the American Society of Landscape Architects as well as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Chapter Steering Committee, Regional Council and Central Texas – Balcones Chapter.  Heather is currently assisting the USGBC technical committees as a subject matter expert to incorporate components of the Sustainable Sites Initiative into a future version of LEED.

– Danielle Pieranunzi, LEED AP

Danielle is the Senior Project Coordinator and Researcher for the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) – a partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the U.S. Botanic Garden. For the past four years, she has been working with experts from across the country to develop guidelines and performance benchmark for sustainable landscapes.  In May 2010, SITES will begin its two-year pilot phase and Danielle will work closely with projects from around the world to test and further develop this voluntary, national rating system before open enrollment in 2013.

In addition to SITES, Danielle coordinated the Conservation Development program for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, developing both symposia and educational materials to educate and inspire the public about environmentally responsible land development practices.  She has a M.S. in Sustainable Design from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Business from Arizona State University.