Danah Palik Earns SITES Accreditation
Thanks to Otak’s GO (Green Otak) Committee, we’re able to empower our staff to live their values of sustainability every day. It follows that when team members advance their credentials in the sustainability space, we should give them the attention they deserve.
One of these employees is Danah Palik, landscape architect, who recently earned her SITES AP, or Sustainable Sites Initiative Accredited Professional certification.
Danah joined Otak in 2018. A dedicated member of our planning and landscape design team, her experience on city and outdoor park projects for NPS has made her indispensable. After half a year’s effort to get this certification, she passed the exam in December of 2022 and was eager to talk to us about what SITES enables.
But just what is SITES? And what does it mean?
According to the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the SITES AP establishes a common framework to define the profession of sustainable landscape design and development. It provides landscape professionals with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise, and commitment to the practice of sustainable design.
Those seeking to get the accreditation must meet existing requirements and pass an exam that demonstrates not only their knowledge, but their pledge to sustainable land development.
Danah has certainly demonstrated that commitment. When asked why she wanted the certification in the first place, she said, “I wanted to improve my knowledge base of sustainable land use practices. Not every project emphasizes sustainability in this way, but having SITES in my background enables me to bring that knowledge to the job site whether it’s emphasized or not.”
Communicating the value of this to clients comes down to user experience. When people actually use a site that has been engineered to be sustainable (both during the project and after completion), PM’s save time, money, and materials by integrating a SITES framework.
When asked how sustainable projects should be in the future, Danah doubles down, “I constantly think about how sustainable practices can be best used in every step of project delivery. I’d like to see a project take that on from the outset, integrate it into its entire lifecycle, and conduct more post-occupancy evaluations to continue to stay in tune with the site. SITES has helped me look at every project this way.”
Congratulations Danah on this achievement! To learn more about our firm-wide commitment to sustainability, check out Otak’s sustainability page.