Green Wise in Tokyo, Japan has two SITES certified projects so far. Their headquarters rooftop garden became the first SITES certified project outside of the U.S., and is also a great demonstration of the adaptability of the SITES Rating System as it was applied here solely to a green roof.

The garden promotes the Green Wise concept of “Slow Green,” which encourages native, seasonal plant growth and promotes a better way to enjoy nature. Slow Green’s philosophy is to preserve habitats where flowers and insects thrive naturally, finding beauty in leaves, shoots, berries, and buds as they exist naturally in different seasons throughout the year — even in their winter brown. More than 70 species of the plants were established on the small rooftops in order to celebrate the varied flora types that flourish at different times of the year. This urban garden also provides employees with access to nature for mental respite and physical activity.

The project manages 95th percentile precipitation events and the reduced storm water runoff from the green roof is collected in a cistern and then used for irrigation. Solar panels on the roof generate electricity used to feed the company’s electric cars and serve restaurant guests. Although the garden is built on top of a private office building, the site is regularly open to the public and its performance and scenery are shared with guests, providing educational opportunities.

Green Wise’s Jindaiji Garden is their second project and further demonstrates Slow Green. The SITES Platinum awarded community garden is adjacent to two living quarters and a restaurant, nurturing connections between people along with the many seasonal vegetables and herbs grown there. In March 2019, this semi-public garden became the first SITES Platinum project in Asia, in addition to achieving LEED for Homes certification for the two residential homes on the site.