CS-2009 WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping

  • NC CS Schools WEc1 Credit Req's Diagram
  • Can be either simple or complex—it's up to you

    You can earn this credit simply by eliminating turf grass, planting native and adaptive species, and not installing an irrigation system. If those measures go too far for your project, you can still achieve the credit as long as you have some flexibility with plant species selection, and irrigation system design and controls. You may need a landscape designer to identify local or adaptive plant species that require little irrigation, to design water-efficient irrigation systems, to address the potential use of non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems., and to reduce irrigation needs through zoning, grouping, and grading of the landscape.

    If you install irrigation

    If you do install irrigation, you must perform calculations to show the savings of the project design versus a baseline. Usually done by the landscape architect or architect, these calculations determine the percent reduction of total water applied and total potable water applied. Projects with landscaping on less than 5% of their site area cannot earn points here, so consider planters or small gardens to meet that threshold.

    FAQs for WEc1

    Can non-potable well water that is used for irrigation contribute to potable water reduction?

    No, non-potable groundwater used for irrigation (other than nuisance groundwater, i.e. water pumped away from a foundation) is considered a potential potable source and would not count towards earning this credit. GBCI has upheld this rule even in cases where the local groundwater has mineral or other content that requires treatment before it can be potable.

    Can surface water, such as water from an irrigation ditch or a local creek, be used as nonpotable water?

    No. This approach has been rejected by LEED reviewers, who state that these are potential sources of potable water and their use does not meet the credit intent. The LEED Reference Guide makes reference to groundwater in specifically allowing use of nuisance water that needs to be pumped away from the building—but other groundwater is not mentioned as compliant.

    Is the area of the baseline case the same as the design case?

    The baseline and design cases are the same, and they are based on the total landscaped area in the design case.

    What is the minimum required irrigated area that will achieve the credit?

    There is no minimum required irrigated area to achieve the credit.  Projects without vegetation on the grounds must have vegetated areas such as courtyards, planters, or vegetated roofs equal to at least 5% of the total site area to pursue the credit. Projects with no landscaping are ineligible for the credit.

    Does existing landscaping have to be included in the calculations?

    Yes, all landscaping (existing and new) must be included in the documentation.

    Do vegetated roofs count in the calculation?

    Yes.

    Do interior planters count in the calculation?

    No. LEED defines the scope of the credit as landscaping outside of the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint..

    Does installing artificial turf, pavers, or hardscape in place of landscape plantings improve your chances of getting the credit?

    Although this may contribute to reducing irrigation demand, this does not help with achieving the credit, as landscaped area in both the baseline and design case has to be the same (see the LEED Reference Guide for acceptable methods to earn the credit, and LEED Interpretations #6039 and #731—which have not been applied officially to LEED 2009). Although decreasing vegetated space may be a sensible option for some projects, it is not allowed to contribute to this credit. It would not match the intent of this and other credits for LEED to include an incentive to reduce vegetated area.

    How long can a temporary irrigation system for plants to be established remain on site and have the project still be able to achieve the credit?

    According to a LEED Reference Guide addendum from 7/19/2010, the time period has been increased from 12 months to 18 months.

    How is "temporary" irrigation system defined? What do I have to do to show that a system is temporary?

    LEED does not distinguish what characteristics make an irrigation system "temporary." However, teams have had success by installing irrigation systems with plans to disable them in some way, such as removing sprinkler heads, cutting up pipe, or causing some other severe, if not unalterable, damage to the system.

    We are using non-potable water for irrigation. For drought conditions, can we hook up to a potable water source for backup and still earn this credit?

    Yes. According to LEED Interpretation #998, "The approach of designing rainwater storage for a 'normal' rainfall year and providing potable water as backup is acceptable."

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Eliminating turf grass, planting native and adaptive species, and not installing an irrigation system is the simplest and cheapest way to achieve this credit. It will also have several additional environmental and financial benefits not necessarily recognized by LEED, such as reducing mowing costs, energy use, emissions, pesticide and fertilizer needs, and maintenance. Start by evaluating this option, taking into account the owner’s expectations, the climate, and site conditions.


  • Native plantsLawn as the default landscape planting doesn't make sense in dry climates, where its lushness can only be maintained at the cost of frequent watering. Xeriscaping such as shown here, using native and drought-resistant plants, is a better choice. Las Vegas Valley Water DistrictEvaluate the project’s landscaping needs and develop water savings goals. Consider opportunities to use native or adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive. to reduce irrigation needs. Look for all water sources on the site, such as stormwater, graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area., treated wastewater, and note opportunities for using that water for irrigation. Include water savings goals in the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning.


  • If your landscaping is limited to planters and small gardens, calculate vegetated area as a percentage of the total site area (including building footprint). If the planter and garden area is at least 5% of the total site, you’re eligible for both credit options. If you’re just below that amount, you're ineligible for this credit. Consider adding planters as an amenity for the building and a way to earn the credit.


  • Using alternative water sources for irrigation may add costs compared with conventional irrigation. For example, a rainwater cistern will be an added cost, and space must be found for it. However, this may lead to cost reductions in other areas, such as reduced stormwater retention infrastructure, or lower water and sewer costs.

Schematic Design

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  • Research native or drought-tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems and controls. Check for local incentives for efficient systems and controls.


  • Evaluate the potential for nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. sources, including rainwater reuse and graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. reuse. If non-potable water use seems feasible for your project evaluate the water demand for your landscape and the quantity of water reuse available to your project. Calculations, usually done by the landscape architect, have to account for annual rainfall on a monthly basis for the project location. Rainwater, which may need basic filtration but not usually additional treatment, can be piped directly to plantings to reduce the need for potable irrigation water. Evaluate the potential for graywater. Research graywater or rainwater regulations, and local incentives. Check with local authorities on acceptable rainwater and graywater capture, collection, and reuse methods. Local codes may place limits on some uses of alternative water supplies. Develop a water budget, both project-wide and for landscape irrigation.


  • Work with the whole project team to evaluate synergies and tradeoffs with other LEED credits or green building strategies. These may include using rain gardens for stormwater infiltration, trees for shading the building and hardscapes for cooling-load reduction, porous surfaces, soil selection encouraging infiltration, windbreaks, water reuse, rainwater capture and acoustical barriers.


  • The following water sources count as reused for credit purposes: graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. (lavatory, sink and shower water), harvested rainwater (cistern, underground, or pond), nuisance water (water that must be pumped away from the building), treated wastewater, air-conditioner condensate, reverse-osmosis reject, and sump-pump water. All well water is counted as potable for credit purposes.


  • Starting the LEED calculations early, along with early completion of a compliant landscape design can avoid costly redesign due to non-compliance.


  • For Option 2: No Potable Water Use or No Irrigation, projects have to achieve a 50% reduction in total water applied in addition to eliminating irrigating with potable water. That is, even if a project uses non-potable water for irrigation, it must also reduce the total water use for irrigation by 50%. To use non-potable water to pursue Option 2, projects must provide a detailed narrative on the actual source and available quantity of the non-potable water as well as the anticipated schedule for implementation of the non-potable system.


  • You can avoid submitting calculations for credit compliance by not using permanent irrigation. In this case, no permanent irrigation system can be installed, even with the intent to turn it off. Irrigation for plant establishment, allowable for one year, must be manual, or through temporary, above-grade systems. Using hose bibs to water when plants are being established and during drought conditions is allowed as “temporary irrigation.”


  • Look for local incentives for sub-grade irrigation, efficient irrigation, irrigation controls, and/or irrigation sub-metering. For example, one city provides up to $7,000 per acre-foot of water saved, and another program provided rebates up to $1,000 per acre for weather-based irrigation controls. Some municipalities even support “cash for grass” programs that provide rebates for the replacement of turf and with native plantings. For example, one pilot program provides $1.00 per square foot of replaced turf grass.

Design Development

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  • Evaluate a number of scenarios to achieve the credit. Look for options that work best for the design, and see if there are any trade-offs or overlaps with other LEED credits.


  • Drip irrigation   If irrigation is necessary, drip irrigation is a water-efficient way to deliver it where it is needed, with minimal evaporative losses. City of San Luis Obisbo Utilities DepartmentDesign landscape and irrigation systems to maximize native and adapted species, use efficient irrigation technology, and reuse water where possible. Evaluate the different irrigation technologies for their efficiency and suitability to the project. These include subsurface, bubbler, drip, and rotor sprinkler. Installing weather controls or soil moisture sensors can greatly reduce unnecessary irrigation. Consider directing rainwater to planting beds to reduce the need for potable irrigation water.


  • Detailed calculations to demonstrate irrigation efficiency will be required from the landscape architect. The study “Performance and Water Conservation Potential of Multi-Stream, Multi-Trajectory Rotating Sprinklers for Landscape Irrigation” (see Resources) provides expected water conservation percentages derived from measured data. Efficiency ratings provided by manufacturers for irrigation components and controls can be used for calculations, but most manufacturers do not provide this data, so you’ll need additional calculations.


  • Drip irrigation systemUse of drip irrigation helps to conserve water. BuildingGreen ImageThe design cost of a drip irrigation system is generally comparable to a standard system. However, installation might be more expensive for drip irrigation, particularly as plant density increases.


  • The landscape architect calculates the potential for rainwater reuse and corresponding cistern sizes to accommodate landscape and other rainwater reuse applications. Calculations must account for annual rainfall of the project location.


  • There are fewer codes and associated costs for collecting and using rainwater for irrigation than for interior water reuse. Harvested rainwater can often be reused for irrigation purposes with minimal treatment, although filtration is usually needed.


  • The mechanical engineer calculates the potential for graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. reuse and applicable treatment methods.


  • Perform LEED calculations to evaluate compliance. Only “softscape” areas are included in calculations. Projects that replace landscape irrigation with hardscape to reduce irrigation needs cannot count this area in their calculations.Use the calculator provided in the LEED Online credit form to evaluate compliance.


  • The landscape architect develops a baseline outdoor-water-use calculation based on mid-summer (July) and compares that to a calculation for the planned project design case water use (also for July). The difference is the percent reduction and identifies credit achievement. Factors included in the calculations are: plant species, density, microclimate, evapotranspiration rate, irrigation efficiency,, and non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use, and controller efficiency (gains from controller efficiency cannot exceed 30% in July). The local project baseline case is a subjective calculation that will vary by city and is based on standard practice in that region. The landscape design case is created by setting the irrigation variables to values representative of the actual designed landscape plan. The landscape water efficiency boundary used must be the same project boundary used for all other LEED credits. (See the documentation toolkit  for more information.)

Construction Documents

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  • The landscape architect runs final outdoor water use calculations for the project’s design case annual water usage. These calculations should confirm that the landscape water reduction goals are met. If the goals are not met, adjust the landscape and irrigation design as needed.


  • The landscape architect provides LEED documentation for submittal to LEED Online.

    • Provide landscape drawings.
    • If installing irrigation, provide area, species factor, density factor, microclimate factor, project evapotranspiration rate, and irrigation type for reach landscape type. You must provide the information for both baseline and design case.
    • If using non-potable water, provide information on source, and other documents that support proof of non-potable water use.
    • If no irrigation is installed, the landcape architect or architect must sign the LEED Online credit form stating that permanent irrigation will be removed after plant establishment.
    • If no irrigation is installed, write a narrative describing the landscape used.

Construction

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  • The commissioning agent commissions irrigation and water reuse systems to ensure they operate as designed.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Create a maintenance plan to ensure ongoing, as-designed performance of irrigation systems and equipment. Doing so will also contribute to LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. credit compliance. Along with the maintenance plan, provide product manuals for irrigation systems including weather and moisture controls to maintenance personnel, and discuss irrigation and planting maintenance needs. When operational, verify that the sprinkler system is not spraying the building, to avoid water waste, mold and termite damage. Also avoid wasting water spraying on other hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. surfaces like roads and sidewalks.


  • Minimize irrigation frequency in an effort to conserve water. Apply irrigation at the lowest rate required to keep plants healthy. New plants may need to be irrigated more, in order to establish them.  Change irrigation schedules on a regular basis to adjust for seasonal variations in watering needs, including turning them off in the fall. Use an irrigation system that is tied directly to weather forecasts, or manually program irrigation clocks weekly or more often, based on projected rainfall and weather patterns.


  • Incorporating mulch and using mulching mowers will help keep moisture in the soil, and reduce irrigation needs.  Adding compost to the soil will help maintain plant health over time and aid in moisture retention.


  • Creating an Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. plan will offer environmental and health benefits, while contributing to the ongoing attractiveness of the landscape. Doing so will also contribute to LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. credit compliance.


  • Installing a sub-metering system for irrigation water can help operators monitor water usage and detect problems early on. Doing so will also contribute LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. credit compliance.


  • The cost of maintenance will vary depending on the strategy employed. For example, subsurface or drip irrigationDrip irrigation delivers water at low pressure through buried mains and submains. From the submains, water is distributed to the soil through a network of perforated tubes or emitters. Drip irrigation is a high-efficiency type of microirrigation. systems can be more difficult to maintain, because malfunctions are more hidden.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Core and Shell Development

    WE Credit 1: Water efficient landscaping

    2–4 Points

    Intent

    To limit or eliminate the use of potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the project site for landscape irrigation.

    Requirements

    OPTION 1: Reduce by 50% (2 points)

    Reduce potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. consumption for irrigation by 50% from a calculated midsummer baseline case or using the month with the highest irrigation demand.

    Reductions must be attributed to any combination of the following items:

    • Plant species, density and microclimate factorMicroclimate factor (kmc) is a constant used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It adjusts the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the climate of the immediate area.
    • Irrigation efficiency
    • Use of captured rainwater
    • Use of recycled wastewater
    • Use of water treated and conveyed by a public agency specifically for nonpotable uses

    Groundwater seepage that is pumped away from the immediate vicinity of building slabs and foundations may be used for landscape irrigation to meet the intent of this credit. However, the project team must demonstrate that doing so does not affect site stormwater management systems.

    OR

    Option 2: No potable water use or irrigation1 (4 points)

    Meet the requirements for Option 1.

    AND

    PATH 1

    Use only captured rainwater, recycled wastewater, recycled graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. or water treated and conveyed by a public agency specifically for nonpotable uses for irrigation.

    OR

    PATH 2

    Install landscaping that does not require permanent irrigation systems. Temporary irrigation systems used for plant establishment are allowed only if removed within a period not to exceed 18 months of installation.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Perform a soil/climate analysis to determine appropriate plant material and design the landscape with native or adapted plants to reduce or eliminate irrigation requirements. Where irrigation is required, use high-efficiency equipment and/or climate-based controllers.

    Additionally the credit can be met when landscape irrigation is provided by raw water (excluding naturally occurring surface bodies of water, streams, or rivers, and ground water) that would otherwise be treated specifically for nonpotable uses. Only ponds designed solely for the purposes of stormwater retention or detention can be used for this credit.

Organizations

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

ARCSA was founded to promote rainwater catchment systems in the United States.  The ARCSA website provides regional resources, publications, suppliers, and membership information. 


Center for Irrigation Technology

CIT is an independent research and testing facility that provides information to designers, manufacturers, and users of irrigation equipment.


Irrigation Association

This nonprofit organization focuses on promoting products that efficiently use water in irrigation applications.

Articles

American Water Works Association, Water Wiser: The Water Efficiency Clearinghouse

The clearinghouse includes articles, reference materials, and papers on all forms of water efficiency.

Web Tools

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center

The NCDC site is useful for researching local climate information such as data for rainwater harvesting calculations, and it also includes links to state climate offices.


World Water and Climate Atlas

Enter your project latitude and longitude—easily taken from Google Earth—and you will get the ETo for pretty much anywhere on earth. A note of caution: spot checking reveals that data may not be reliable in all locations. Make sure that data such as precipitation and temperatures checks out before using the ETo values proposed by the model.

Software Tools

Rain Bird® ET Manager™

This free software provides sufficient local evapotranspiration data for the United States and Canada.  Access data from the closest or most climate-appropriate location. 

Technical Guides

Texas Water Development Board website

This website provides data from the state of Texas regarding water resources and services such as groundwater mapping and water availability modeling.  The site also provides brochures on indoor and outdoor water efficiency strategies.


Performance and Water Conservation Potential of Multi-Stream, Multi-Trajectory Rotating Sprinklers for Landscape Irrigation

This study provides expected water conservation percentages derived from measured data, which can be used to support water efficiency calculations for this credit.

Publications

U.S. EPA, Water Efficient Landscaping: Prevening Pollution and Using Resources Wisely

This manual provides information about reducing water consumption through creative landscaping techniques.

Narrative – Water Use Reduction

Option 1

Use a narrative like this to demonstrate a 50% reduction in potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use.

Narrative – No Water Use

Option 2

Use a narrative like one of these to demonstrate no potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use for irrigation, or no irrigation.

Landscape Plan and Narrative

All Options

Use a site plan and narrative to approach and document credit compliance, like these examples from the Denver School of Science and Technology Landscape Design.

LEED Online Forms: CS-2009 WE

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each CS-2009 WE credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions on these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

61 Comments

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Sean Blaevoet Junior Designer Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers
Oct 30 2014
Guest

Classification of handsinks

Project Location: United States

How are "handsinks" classified? Is it lavatory? Is it kitchen sink? Or is it exempt? Or other?

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Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator, Lake/Flato Architects Dec 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 1364 Thumbs Up

What do you mean by handsink? What kind of room is it located in?

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Agata Mozer GO4IT SP Z OO SP K
Sep 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
170 Thumbs Up

minimum vegetation area

Our project has a very limmitted vegetation area on the grounds because the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint. covers almost the whole site.There are only some small parts of vegetation covered with grass and some shrubs. This would cover only around 1% of the site. Additionally, there is also vegetated roof but if we add it to the green areas on the grounds it will still be less than 5% of the project site. Is our project eligible for this credit? Does the 5% limit refere only to sites with no ongroud vegetation?

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Andrey Kuznetsov Green Building and Sustainability Consultant (LEED AP BD+C), Signy Group Oct 02 2014 LEEDuser Member 9 Thumbs Up

Agata,

originally at refguide (p 182 of the hard copy) is written: "For building without vegetation on the grounds, team can earn points by reducing the use of potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. for watering any roof or courtyard garden space or outdoor planters, provided the planters and garden space cover at least 5% of the building site area ...". Straight interpretation of this sentence can give us idea, that if you have even 1 sq.m. of vegetation on ground (it's enough to plant 1 tree), no matter how big actual project site is, the 5 % limitation is not applicable (you can have 1 sq.m. of vegetation on ground, area of 2 % of site area on the roof, and you still eligible).

But common sence says us, that such situation doesn't corresponds to the credit intent. So on this forum, and NC 2009 forum the restriction of 5 % is regulary interpretated as restriction to overall vegetated area on site (either on ground, or at roof, or combined), see for example questions/comments on NC forum:
May 28 2014 by Terry King; Mar 22 2014 by Saud Abdul Rasheed; Mar 11 2014 by Kathryn West; Dec 31 2013 by Lew Bonadies; Sep 30 2013 by Kathryn West.

But (sorry for it for the seccond time and too long introduction) if you'll take a look at the comment from Jul 25 2014 by Jens Apel (answer to the original question of Mary Haw from Sep 04 2013), who submitted a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide in such situation (and it's qouted in the thread), the answer is one - 5% limit refers only to sites with no ongroud vegetation.

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Agata Mozer GO4IT SP Z OO SP K Oct 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

Thank you Andrey!

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Andrey Kuznetsov Green Building and Sustainability Consultant (LEED AP BD+C) Signy Group
Aug 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
9 Thumbs Up

Pursuing option 2, path 2

Dear colleagues, maybe my question will be stupid, but I hadn't found a strict answer, so I'm a little bit confused.

We have a project that has no permanent irrigation system, only a has a hose bib from gray water tank for watering in case of drought. So I thought, that after providing sufficient proofs (information about plants water needs, landscape designer explanation/owner's commitment, so on) we'll earn 4 points. Since if no water for permanent irrigation is used we obvious achieving 100 % reduction of total water use, and no potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use. And obvious there is no need in calculations.

I've heard an opinion, that in such case (without providing a calculations) project will achieve only 2 credits, because I also need to demonstrate that project's landscape can survive without permanent irrigation and that it will use 50% less total water than a typical landscape for the given region. So I need prove both that no permanent irrigation would be required and that our overall water savings would be > 50%. I think it doesn't make sense.

So my questions:
1. If project is pursuing option 2, path 2, is there need in calculations? (I think - no).
2. If project is compliant with option 2, path 2 it will achieve 4 points, and there is no need to calculate that overall water savings would be > 50%? (I think - 4 points and no need of calculations).

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Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator Lake/Flato Architects
Mar 07 2014
LEEDuser Member
1364 Thumbs Up

Water feature

If there is a water feature in the landscape, that is counted within this credit, correct?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

I wouldn't say so, actually. It's not irrigation, and it's not consumption. I'd say it falls out of the LEED scope.

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BH .
Feb 20 2014
Guest
1002 Thumbs Up

Stormwater tank

I have a question regarding the retention tank for the irrigation system. In our case this tank will be used both for the irrigation purpose and as a grey water tank for toilets and urinals flushing. The tank in case of the water shortages will be supplied by potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems..

Can we use such a solution towards water efficiency landscaping credit and apply for it as described?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 26 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

BH, it can be a solution, but I think you're going to have to make very clear how much water is going to each purpose via calculations.

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Monica Alicea
Dec 17 2013
Guest
10 Thumbs Up

Separate green roofs, separate systems

Hi,

If there are two areas in the building that will be irrigated by two separate systems, how can this be taken into acount in the LEED template to calculate if 100% potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. is being saved? If I input the rain water expected to be stored and used for irrigation the template says I could go for 4 credits but since this rainwater is only used in one of the green roofs, I would technically be "cheating". I could go ahead and make the calculations myself but it just seems like the template should allow for this. Just wodering if there is a way to take this into account in the template.

Thanks,

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Monica, it sounds like you simply need to make the calculations yourself. The LEED Online form isn't designed for this specific situation. Make sense?

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Anthea Ng
Oct 01 2013
LEEDuser Member
157 Thumbs Up

Rainwater harvesting outside LEED project boundary

We have a group certification project which includes two office towers and a large piece of landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios.. We planned to have rainwater harvesting system outside the LEED project boundary where also belongs to our development. The system caters non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. for irrigation of the whole site. Would such system be accepted as providing non-potable water for irrigation under WE C1 even the system is located outside the Group Cert LEED boundary?

Thanks~

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

A nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. source used for credit compliance does not have to originate within the LEED boundary.

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MM K
Sep 05 2013
Guest
1512 Thumbs Up

Mixed species

Do the different species of plants need to be listed individually on the form or does 'Mixed' suffice? The green roof consists of a mix of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Thanks!

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Anthea Ng Oct 01 2013 LEEDuser Member 157 Thumbs Up

Hmm.. for me, I may review if the whole area is really fully mixed. Some areas maybe trees + shrubs + groundcovers, then say mixed. But there may still be some areas with groundcovers only, I would separate these areas from "Mixed" and calculate based on groundcovers.

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Ronald Dean Sumac Inc.
Jun 24 2013
Guest
1378 Thumbs Up

Average rainfall is sufficient for irrigation

We have a project in Medellin, Colombia. The project has large areas of vegetation. In the driest month (January), it rains in average 12 of the 31 days. The average rainfall in this month covers 70% of the water demand for irrigation according to the calculation methodology specified in the LEED Reference Guide. Hence only 30% of the water demand will be covered by potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. during this month. Is it possible to achieve the credit under these conditions?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Ronald, it is possible to achieve the credit but you have the follow the LEED methodology in order to do so. The way your question is phrased makes me think you should review the credit language and see how you can comply by going through the steps that LEED requires.

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Diana Nezamutinova Consultant Self Employed
Jun 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
437 Thumbs Up

Interior Green Garden

Would we need to take into account the water consumption by the interior (indoor) garden that consists of some small trees and planters? Or only the exterior landscaping is accounted for? Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Diana, only vegetation outside the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint. is considered under this credit.

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EBRU UNVER LEED AP BD+C Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

Hello,
Our project also have indoor garden.
As we do not included the water consumption in this credit, where we should calculate the water conservation? Or we can ignore it?
Thank you

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Ebru, you can ignore it for the purposes of these LEED 2009 calculations.

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EBRU UNVER LEED AP BD+C Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

ok, thank you :)

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JIN PARK SAMOO Architects
May 12 2013
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

ET0 for Beijing

Hi.

Can anybody tell me what the Evapotranspiration ETo for Beijing? Or where to find them

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

There is a relevant website under the Resources tab above.

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CRolim Engenharia
Jan 17 2013
Guest
73 Thumbs Up

Landscape factors

Hi!

In my project, certain areas just has trees and ground cover. For these areas , i will use the landscape factors for mixed trees, shrubs and groundcovers?

Thank you!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 22 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, that sounds right.

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Oliver Lange
Oct 22 2012
Guest
37 Thumbs Up

Landscape Factors for Baseline Case

I would like to know, where I can find a good source for the specific landscape factors (species-, density- and microclimate factorMicroclimate factor (kmc) is a constant used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It adjusts the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the climate of the immediate area.) of plants for the calculations in the baseline case.

Is it even necessary to specify the precise factors for the plants in the baseline case, or is it enough to classify the used plants in the major vegetation type according to the table in the reference guide?

Especially, in my case I am searching for ivy (Hedera helix). Any ideas?
Thanks!

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Dec 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

The table in the LEED reference guide is your guidance. Use what is noted in there for the baseline case and as well for the design case. For instance if your landscaping for the baseline case typically is mostly turf grass and a bit of shrubs, I would select the turf grass as 0.7/1.0/1.0 shrubs 0.5/1.0/1.0 for the baseline case. In the design case most of the time only the area changes unless you have a particularly dense turf grass or shrub, ect. There is no clear rule here for certain plants. The best way to go about it is to ask your landscape planer or biologist to give guidance.
As for the ivy, I would classify it as groundcover (0.5/1.1/1.0). But keep in mind this is an invasive plant. Would be my first choice for other reasons.

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Vivien Fairlamb
Oct 16 2012
LEEDuser Member
1036 Thumbs Up

Evapotranspiration ETo for Brazil

Can anybody tell me what the Evapotranspiration ETo for Brazil are? Or where to find them.

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Noriko Yasuhara Woonerf Inc. Oct 18 2012 LEEDuser Member 1944 Thumbs Up

Hi Vivien, you may try looking for the ETo of a US city which climate is similar to the Brazilian city your project is located at.

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Dec 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

You can use this resource for international ET0 http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/WAtlas/Default.aspx

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Alicja Bieszyńska Skanska
Sep 25 2012
LEEDuser Member
1094 Thumbs Up

watering with garden hose

If we do not install permanent irrigation system, but we water the vegetation only from time to time in dry seasons (with the use of garden hose) for more than 1 year, do we meet the Option 2 requirements?

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Oct 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

I doubt the reviewer will accept that. Who is to say you aren't using it more frequently and in fact you are irrigating. I know this argument could be made for many things in LEED, but your method is just too easy to cheat with. I suggest looking for more drought resistant landscaping options, that will not require irrigation. Even the grass can be selected to work fine without irrigation (of course not in Arizona or the desert).

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Daniel LeBlanc Senior Sustainability Manager YR&G
Aug 24 2012
LEEDuser Expert
1094 Thumbs Up

Green roof claimed through tenant lease?

Anyone know if a green roof with compliant irrigation systems can be required in a tenant lease to claim at least 5% of site area to achieve this credit? Project is zero-lot line and has no other vegetated areas. I know the credit not listed in the CS Appendix 4, but thought maybe someone has tried it? Thanks

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 30 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Seems like a little bit of a stretch, Dan, but worth a try.

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Gabriela Hernández Castillo Architect, LEED AP BD+C SYASA - México
Mar 27 2012
Guest
2599 Thumbs Up

Vegetation surpassing the LEED Boundary

We have a greenroof that is partially within the LEED Boundary. We are calculating only the square footage of the area within the Boundary and will leave the rest outside the calculation.

Does LEED allow this?

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Gabriela Hernández Castillo Architect, LEED AP BD+C , SYASA - México Mar 27 2012 Guest 2599 Thumbs Up

Also, are greenwalls considered withing the 5% minimum landscape?

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Apr 02 2012 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

You would only include the green roof within your LEED boundary. So if you LEED boundary is ok and you are not gerrymandering (see more about that under the MPR section on LEEDUser), you are good to go. As for green walls they don't appear to be included as of now. (see http://bit.ly/Ha3ING Seema's comment) The LEED 2012 will include them. So chances are if you submit an CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide you will be able to included them.

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MM K
Feb 10 2012
Guest
1512 Thumbs Up

Evapotranspiration rate

What should the reference evapotranspiration rate (ETo) be expressed on the online form as? inches/month?

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Feb 16 2012 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

The ETo is in millimeter per time unit (see also reference guide for LEED BD+C page 190). However the ET L is in inches.

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Adam Targowski Owner ATsec
Jun 22 2011
Guest
1859 Thumbs Up

Can rainwater tank be connected to the potable water system?

I would like to comply with the requirements of this credit by the use of captured rainwater for irrigation purposes. The question is if according to LEED the rainwater tank can be connected to the potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. system just in case there won't be any rain for a long period of time but it's still necessary to water plants?
I'm asking this question because in LEED C&S 2009 SS Cre 6.1 Stormwater design-Quantity Control it's written that "Reused stormwater and graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. systems must not be connected to other domestic or commercial potable water systems." I was wondering if this statement applies to WE Cre 1 Water Efficient Landscaping too.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 22 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Adam, let's separate the LEED and the plumbing code issues—I'm not exactly sure which you are asking about.

From a code perspective, any possibility of untreated rainwater coming out of a potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. fixture will need to be avoided. So depending on what you mean by connecting the systems, that could be an issue. That is what the sentence you're quoting is about.

From a LEED perspective, I don't see an obstacle to compliance, since the credit requirements are based on calculations, not precise system design. You should, however, ensure that your catchment tank is of an adequate size that you can capture enough water to irrigate according to what you promise in your documentation.

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Adam Targowski Owner, ATsec Jun 24 2011 Guest 1859 Thumbs Up

Aha then I understood the statement that I quoted in a wrong way. I thought that from a LEED perspective it is not allowed to have a rainwater tank connected to a potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. system in order to fill it in in case there are no rains for a long time. In this situation there would be a potable water used for filling the tank and for watering the plants. But this would happen only in extreme situations. Thank you for clarification.

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Julie Hendricks Director of EcoServices, Kirksey Oct 26 2011 LEEDuser Member 991 Thumbs Up

Speaking to the question of whether LEED will accept a potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. connection to rainwater collection: A couple years ago we did a project that was collecting rainwater for reuse in an open pond, and we were denied this credit because there was a municipal water connection to the pond. This was despite the fact that our calculations showed the potable water would never be needed under typical rainfall conditions.

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Yanina Ibañez Architect Bureau Veritas Iberia S.A.U.
Jun 02 2011
Guest
55 Thumbs Up

No irrigation at all

Hello, in my project there will be no irrigation at all because of the adapted plants plant in all the green roofs. How do we demonstrate the achievement of the credit? Which documents must we submit for the compliance?
Thanks

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Susann Geithner Global Sustainability Manager, Predictive Service Jun 02 2011 LEEDuser Member 12143 Thumbs Up

We submitted a statement from the landscape designer along with pictures of the temporal irrigation (small trucks with water tanks) during the plant establishment. That was sufficient for the reviewers.

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Yanina Ibañez Architect, Bureau Veritas Iberia S.A.U. Jun 03 2011 Guest 55 Thumbs Up

Thank you Susan. Very usefull your answer!

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Zachary Guren LEED AP BD+C Dec 06 2011 Guest 358 Thumbs Up

We are planning our landscaping with native/adapted plants and we are not going to install permanent irrigation. During dry times of the summer, we may want to handwater plants using small trucks with water tanks to keep the landscaping from going brown. Is this acceptable if we want to achieve all 4 points on this credit?

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Romano Iglesia LEED BD+C O+M, Carde Ten Architects Dec 06 2011 Guest 1059 Thumbs Up

No potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use or no (long term) irrigation for a possible 4 points still require you to show the planting layout/pallete that proves you are taking advantage of native/drought tolerant plants, and are actually doing a real landscaping less the water. If you are manually watering the plants (actually planted in the soil), I guess you need to provide a schedule (name of person and his schedule). Seriously, achieving the 4 points should reflect the sustainability of the design level you are trying to achieve.

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Steve Salzman Principal GreenWay Partners
May 13 2011
Guest
76 Thumbs Up

Credit for temporary irrigation

Hello,
I'm wondering what people's experiences have been regarding the removal of irrigation after one year - specifically, what is considered "temporary"? If the project removes it's automated irrigation control, but keeps irrigation lines in place, is that sufficient to count for the credit? The project wants to keep irrigation available for use in future planting or replanting, fire control potential, etc.
Any knowledge on this issue is appreciated.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 24 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Steve, what we have heard from projects is that leaving lines in place is okay, but that the system must be disabled in some way so that there would need to be a clear, nontrivial, intention to reactivate it down the road. Removing the sprinkler heads seems to be a common way of achieving this. I'm not sure whether or not removing an automated control would quite reach that threshold, but I can't picture your project specifics.

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deborah lucking associate fentress architects
Oct 06 2010
LEEDuser Member
1363 Thumbs Up

What plants constitute the baseline under Option 1

If we choose Option 1, how would we establish the baseline irrigation - based on what plants? Since our site is in the semi-arid Rocky Mountain region, could any non-native plant (say something from the north east) be considered as baseline?

Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 08 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

The baseline case is supposed to represent conventional landscaping choices for the region, according to the LEED Reference Guide.

A non-native plant could be part of the baseline if it's conventionally used there in landscaping.

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Gabriela Hernández Castillo Architect, LEED AP BD+C , SYASA - México Dec 21 2010 Guest 2599 Thumbs Up

We have a project that is a zero lot line and because of the shape of the building it will be impossible to have a greenroof.

However there could be some vegetation inside the building that since the lower lever will be retail.

Can this type of vegetation be considered so we can comply with the WEC1?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 21 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

David, read about planters in the question just above this one, and in the Checklists tab.

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Anita Louey LEED Project Manager Bovis Lend Lease
Oct 01 2010
Guest
187 Thumbs Up

Can you achieve WEc1.1&1.2 by having No Landscaping?

This is in reference to LEED CS v2.0 2006. The project is built up to the plot line, therefore the only opportunity for landscaping is to have a Green Roof.

The Design Team wants to investigate if by ommitting landscaping on the project (hence no irrigation), does it meet the intent of the credit to "Limit and eliminate the use of potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems......for landscape irrigation"?

Would the project achieve both WEc1.1 and WEc1.2 with no landscaping?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 01 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

I'm not an expert on LEED-CS 2.0, but I would assume it's the same as NC. As we discuss in some more detail above under Checklists, you have to have some landscaping to be eligible for the credit. Planters can be landscaping.

Part of the idea here is to not incentivize projects to earn the credit
by paving over everything or installing artificial turf, ec.

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Anita Louey LEED Project Manager, Bovis Lend Lease Oct 02 2010 Guest 187 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan for your feedback. It was my understanding that to meet the credit it would be expected that some landscaping is required too.

Just wanted to share with other forum users that in the latest version of the LEED Manual, LEED BD&C 2009 Reference Guide p182-183, it is noted that for WEc1 the landscaping would need to be a minimum of 5% of the plot area;

"For buildings without vegetation on the grounds, teams can earn points by reducing the use of potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. for watering any roof and courtyard garden space or outdoor planters, provided the planters and garden space cover at least 5% of the building site area (including building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint., hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. area, parking footprintParking footprint refers to the area of the project site occupied by the parking areas and structures., etc.). If the planters and garden space cover less than 5% of the building site area, the project is ineligible for this credit."

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V Miller WSP
Apr 15 2010
Guest
628 Thumbs Up

Calculations required in case of 100% non-potable water?

In the case that 100% non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. (municipally supplied TSE) is used for landscaping purposes, is it still required to complete any calculations? If so, what calculations are required?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 15 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Even in a case where 100% non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. is used, you still have to reduced your "total water applied" by at least 50%, which will require the basic baseline calculations that are standard for this credit. These calculations are discussed in more detail in the Getting It Done tab, above.

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