CI-v4 LTc4: Bicycle facilities

  • What good are bicycle facilities if no one uses them?

    Bikers need wheel benders like a fish needs a bike lock. In LEED v4, bike rack quality is a requirement. |Photo Credit – forkergirl, via Flickr, Creative Commons LicenseBikers need wheel benders like a fish needs a bike lock. In LEED v4, bike rack quality is a requirement. Photo Credit – forkergirl, via Flickr, Creative Commons LicenseThat question has been asked under past versions of LEED, and LEED v4 provides an answer. If you're pursuing this credit, plan not only to provide bike storage and changing facilities, but also to ensure that the project is connected to a "bicycle network"—bicycle trails or lanes that connect, within three miles bicycling distance, to at least 10 diverse uses, a school of employment center, or a transit stop.

    New math, new storage types

    LEED v4 has rewritten the calculations used to determine the number of bike racks and changing facilities required for projects, and introduced the concepts of short- and long-term bike parking.

    Short-term bicycle storage must be within 100 feet (30 meters) walking distance of any main entrance. Long-term bicycle storage must be within 100 feet (30 meters) walking distance of any functional entryA building entryway that is designed to be used by pedestrians and is open during regular business hours. This does not include any door that is exclusively designated as an emergency exit, or a garage door that is not designed as an entrance for pedestrians.. That allows LEED v4 to provide finer-tuned requirements, as follows.

    Case 1: Commercial or Institutional Projects

    Whereas LEED 2009 required storage for 5% of all users measured at peak periods, LEED v4 requires only 2.5% coverage with short-term bike parking, while requiring 5% coverage for regular building occupants with long-term parking. In each case, a minimum of four spaces must be provided on all projects.

    Rather than requiring changing facilities for 0.5% of full-time equivalentFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 40 hours per week in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per week divided by 40. Multiple shifts are included or excluded depending on the intent and requirements of the credit. (FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE.

    Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix.

    All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.
    ) occupants, as in LEED 2009, LEED v4 requires one onsite shower with changing facility  for the first 100 occupants (a 1% rate), and then another for each additional 150 occupants (a 0.7% rate).

    Case 2: Residential Projects

    Residential projects must provide short-term bicycle storage for at least 2.5% of all peak visitors, and provide long-term bicycle storage for at least 30% of all regular building occupants. There are also minimums: four short-term spaces, and one long-term space per residential unit.

    This contrasts with the LEED 2009 requirement of covered storage for 15% of building occupants.

    Quality of bike storage gets its due

    LEED v4 requirements also address the quality of the bike storage itself.

    Bicyclists know that all bike racks are not created equal. Beware of “wheel bender” bike racks and other types of bike racks that neither keep the bike supported nor secure the bike effectively. For LEED, bike racks should "reflect best practices in design and installation," according to the LEED Reference Guide.

    That typically means supporting the bicycle in at least two places to keep it from falling over, and allowing the owner to lock both the bicycle frame and one or both wheels with a U-lock. The rack must be securely anchored and resistant to cutting, rusting, bending, and other deformation.

    BuildingGreen offers guidance and a curated list of how to find quality bike racks.

    FAQs

    What is length of stay is considered ‘short-term’ vs. ‘long-term’?

    Short-term bike storage is for visitors staying for a period of two hours or less. Long-term storage is for more than two hours. 

    If the building is listed in Appendix 2 Default occupancy codes with zero transients, does that mean we don’t have to provide any short-term bike spaces?

    In order to comply with this credit, at least four short-term and four long-term spaces are required. If you are unsure about how many visitors will be expected, a good rule of thumb is to use approximately 10% of the FTE.

  • LT Credit 4: Bicycle facilities

    Intent

    To promote bicycling and transportation efficiency and reduce vehicle distance traveled. To improve public health by encouraging utilitarian and recreational physical activity.

    Requirements

    Bicycle Network

    Locate the space in a building such that a functional entryA building entryway that is designed to be used by pedestrians and is open during regular business hours. This does not include any door that is exclusively designated as an emergency exit, or a garage door that is not designed as an entrance for pedestrians. and/or the bicycle storage is within a 200-yard (180-meter) walking distance or bicycling distance of a bicycle network that connects to at least one of the following:

    • at least 10 diverse uses (see Appendix 1); or
    • a bus rapid transit stop, light or heavy rail station, commuter rail station, or ferry terminal.

    All destinations must be within a 3-miles (4800-meter) bicycling distance of the project boundary.

    Planned bicycle trails or lanes may be counted if they are fully funded by the date of the certificate of occupancy and are scheduled for completion within one year of that date.

    Bicycle storage and shower rooms

    Provide short-term bicycle storage for at least 2.5% or more of all peak visitors, but no fewer than two storage spaces per project.

    Provide long-term bicycle storage for at least 5% of regular building occupants but no fewer than 2 spaces per project in addition to the short-term bicycle spaces.

    Provide at least one on-site shower with changing facility for the first 100 regular building occupants and one additional shower for every 150 regular building occupants thereafter.

    Short-term bicycle storage must be within 100 feet (30 meters) walking distance of any main entrance. Long-term bicycle storage must be within 100 feet (30 meters) walking distance of any functional entry.

    Bicycle storage capacity may not be double-counted: storage that is fully allocated to the occupants of nonproject facilities cannot also serve project occupants.

4 Comments

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Laura Eubanks Sustainability Coordinator Moseley Architects
Jan 30 2017
LEEDuser Member
16 Thumbs Up

Shower Requirement

Does the shower and changing facility have to be located in the building being certified or can it be located in a nearby building?

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Marilyn Specht Sustainability Consultant, Integral Group Jan 31 2017 LEEDuser Expert 771 Thumbs Up

Hi Laura, Great question. I could not find anywhere in the Reference Guide where this is clarified so it is not clear, but based on the distance requirement for bike parking, my assumption is yes. Though I would reach out to GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). directly to confirm.

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Susan Di Giulio Project Manager Zinner Consultants
Jan 06 2017
LEEDuser Member
2082 Thumbs Up

Only 200 yards to a bike network seems harsh!

Project Location: United States

We have a LEED-CS v2009 project in the heart of downtown LA: 2 blocks from a major Metro train hub, 4 blocks from one complete street with protected bike lanes and 3 blocks from another. 8 bus lines stop in front of the building.

I am writing the Tenant Guidelines and just realized that this excellent location and the way-more-then-required number of bike racks and showers that we provided are moot, because the rail lines and bike paths are not within 200 yards of the building entrance and none of those 8 buses run in dedicated lanes per the USGBC definition of bus rapid transit.

Now, 200 yards is shorter than our north-south blocks, and about 1.3x our crosstown blocks. We would need bike lanes every 2-3 blocks for most downtown tenants to access this credit.

This seems extreme; surely anyone who wanted to ride to work, or ride/train/ride would be willing to walk their bikes along the sidewalk for 2-3 short city blocks? Rather than encouraging better bike access, it seems that this level of restriction would dissuade tenants from providing showers and bike storage if they were not in one of the few locations that can provide this level of access.

Am I misinterpreting the requirements?

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Marilyn Specht Sustainability Consultant, Integral Group Jan 31 2017 LEEDuser Expert 771 Thumbs Up

Hi Susan, yes I am running into similar issues with projects in meeting these prescriptive requirements. They have definitely raised the bar for this credit for v4. Are there any opportunities to connect your project to the existing bike paths? Perhaps the owner and the City can work together on this? I am sure you already have but if not, have you also thoroughly reviewed the definition for a bike network? Jut double checking there isn't anything in the following that you might be able to use for your project.

Bicycle network a continuous network consisting of any combination of the following:
· of-street bicycle paths or trails at least 8 feet (2.5 meters) wide for a two-way path and at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide for a one-way path
· physically designated on-street bicycle lanes at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide
· streets designed for a target speed of 25 mph (40 kmh)

If all else fails, I would encourage you to reach out to GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). and discuss your project specifically, how you meet the credit intent, and how this is an ideal, dense, and urban location. Please report back if you find out anything else. Good luck!

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Feb 26 2017
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