CS-v4 SSc2: Site development - protect or restore habitat

  • Any building can earn this credit

    This credit can be earned by any building, even those that don’t have large amounts of vegetation onsite. Projects that do have sufficient vegetation onsite can earn two points, while projects that pursue the financial support option max out at one point.

    What’s New in LEED v4

    • The setback requirements have been replaced with preservation and restoration requirements.
    • The credit now includes disturbed or compacted soils under soil requirements.
    • An option for annual financial support replaces the off-site option.


    For a previously developed site, how is existing soil restored?

    Methods to restore soils include stockpiling and reusing topsoil from the site, with organic amendment if needed; amending site soils in place with organic matter and mechanically correcting compaction if needed (e.g., by ripping); and importing a topsoil or soil blend designed to serve as topsoil.

    We’re pursing the onsite option. Do I have to provide the scientific names for the plants on our site?

    Providing a list of the scientific names for the specific plant species that are contributing to credit compliance is recommended. The reviewers will need the scientific names to confirm that the plants meet the definition of native/adapted. 

    Is the offsite financial support a one-time fee or is it ongoing?

    Unlike the LEEDv4 EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. program, the financial support for this credit is a one-time contribution.


  • SS Credit 2: Site development - protect or restore habitat


    To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.


    Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).


    Option 1. on-site restoration (2 points except healthcare, 1 point healthcare)

    Using 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., restore 30% (including 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.) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Projects that achieve a density of 1.5 floor-area ratioThe density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). may include vegetated roof surfaces in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

    Restore all disturbed or compacted soils that will be revegetated within the project’s development footprintThe total land area of a project site covered by buildings, streets, parking areas, and other typically impermeable surfaces constructed as part of the project. to meet the following requirements2 :

    • Soils (imported and in situ) must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
    • Imported topsoils or soil blends designed to serve as topsoil may not include the following:
      • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
      • soils from other greenfield sites, unless those soils are a byproduct of a construction process.
    • Restored soil must meet the criteria of reference soils in categories 1–3 and meet the criteria of either category 4 or 5:
    1. organic matter;
    2. compaction;
    3. infiltration rates;
    4. soil biological function; and
    5. soil chemical characteristics.

    Project teams may exclude vegetated landscape areas that are constructed to accommodate rainwater infiltration from the vegetation and soils requirements, provided all such rainwater infiltration areas are treated consistently with SS Credit Rainwater Management.


    Option 2. financial support (1 point)

    Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.40 per square foot (US$4 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

    Financial support must be provided to a nationally or locally recognized land trust or conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

    2 Components adapted from the Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, Credit 7.2: Restore Soils Disturbed During Construction

    Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

    This credit has a pilot ACP available in the LEED Pilot Credit Library. See Site development - protect or restore habitat - alternative compliance path for more information.

Land Trust Alliance - Accredited Land Trust Locator

The Accredited Land Trust Locator (best viewed in Firefox for interactive features) makes it easy to find accredited land trusts and accreditation applicants. Project teams can search by land trusts located near an address, by a word or phrase in their name, or use the check boxes to search by status. (This is for BDC Option 2 Financial Support.)


Feb 02 2017

Conservation Organization compliance for Option 2

Project Location: France


In order to satisfy Option 2 - Financial support - requirements for our project (location : near Paris, France), we selected a conservation organization regionally and nationally recognized since 40 years, since it implements ecological restorationEcological restoration is the process of assisting in the recovery and management of ecological integrity and includes biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices. on behalf of Regional Council.
We've identify with them examples of ecological conservation projects that they could implement as : restoration and revitalisation of forest pounds, reopening of calcareous lawns to preserve very native species, etc.
The financial support of our project would participate actively to implement those ecological conservation projects.

Through this post, i seek here the understanding of the LEEDusers and USGC team about the credit requirements to make sure that the examples of ecological conservation projects quoted above meets the requirements of the Option 2 of the credit.

Thanks a lot for your responses,

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Aug 22 2017
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