Sustainable Design for Corporate Headquarters by Conservation Design Forum Achieves SITES Certification

High-performance landscapes that reduce stormwater runoff, restore ecological balance, and provide healthy work, living and recreation spaces are the focus of the nationwide SITES certification and rating system. Recent awardees include the corporate HQ of an American manufacturing company based in the Midwest.

Burr Ridge, IL, April 04, 2015 --( Conservation Design Forum is pleased to announce that its completed Tuthill Corporate Headquarters project is one of twelve developments across the U.S. to achieve certification in 2015 from the SITES™ rating program for sustainable, high-performance landscapes.

Launched in 2009, the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES) aims to transform how land is developed and managed, providing ways of incorporating sustainability into the planning, design and construction of both public and private lands. The SITES program is a framework of best practices and approaches that lead to healthy and regenerative outcomes that are then measured according to a voluntary rating system similar to the now widely accepted Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

As one of the twelve newly certified projects, Tuthill Corporate Headquarters and training facility in Burr Ridge, Illinois represents a new chapter in the history of American manufacturing. The campus consists of a modern steel and glass building astutely situated on 14 acres of land adjoining a 15-acre pond/wetland complex. The team at Conservation Design Forum collaborated with the client and building architect at the feasibility stage to recast site challenges, like steep grades and wetlands, as valuable site amenities.

The building is an open, day-lit space oriented to allow employees to easily access views of the bucolic prairie, pond and wetland vistas from indoors. Conservation Design Forum's landscape design incorporates uplifting outdoor spaces for daytime breaks or casual meetings, walking paths for physical activity, and a connectedness with nature for a greater sense of emotional well-being.

Rainwater is collected and directed from the roof to the landscape where it is cleansed and absorbed on-site, effectively reducing or eliminating surface runoff. A two-acre remnant of prairie habitat was restored with hardy, native plants that require little maintenance or chemical treatments, and at the same time serve to stabilize the shoreline and support the native ecosystem.

"Americans can directly address major environmental challenges we face today - diminishing water supplies, climate change, pollution and loss of wildlife habitat - by how they design and manage landscapes where they live, work and play," said Susan Rieff, executive director of The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which helps lead the SITES program. "The SITES program approach, now increasingly adopted by landscape architects, designers and others, provides a practical blueprint for creating healthy landscapes, and recognizes exemplary projects to inspire others."

SITES is a collaboration of the Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden and the American Society of Landscape Architects. The twelve recently certified projects are the last to be sanctioned using a 2009 pilot version of the SITES rating system. They join 34 other renowned projects spanning 20 states across the U. S. that have achieved certification.

The Tuthill Corporate Headquarters is a multi-award winning project recognized with a 2002 Northern Illinois Chapter AIA Award, 2002 Association of Licensed Architects Merit Award, and a 2007 U.S. EPA and Chicago Wilderness Native Landscape Award. It is one of seven commercial projects to be SITES certified, and is the second SITES certified project to which Conservation Design Forum contributed. In 2012, the 27-acre Meadow Lake/Main Parking Lot project incorporating permeable paving and bioswales at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois also achieved SITES certification.

For more information about the innovative design of the Tuthill Corporate Headquarters, visit the Conservation Design Forum website at:

To view all 46 SITES certified projects go to:

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About Conservation Design Forum
Conservation Design Forum is an award-winning multi-disciplinary firm that provides ecologically-based approaches to land-use planning, site/landscape design and civil/water engineering at all levels of public and private development throughout the Great Lakes region. The company is a privately held corporation founded in 1994 with offices in Elmhurst (Chicago), Illinois and Ann Arbor, Michigan. To discuss a project or possible collaboration with CDF, or for more information about their services, go to: or call 630-559-2000.
Conservation Design Forum
Denice Shuty
Cell: 630-338-6535