EBOM-2009 WEc3: Water Efficient Landscaping

  • EBOM-2009 WE- Water Efficient Landscaping Documentation Diagram
  • You can save a lot of money

    To earn this credit, you’ll need to reduce your 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 irrigation by 50%–100% compared with a baseline irrigation system typical for the region. Because landscape irrigation can account for nearly 40% of the average office building’s potable water consumption, reducing or eliminating potable water use for landscaping can save a lot of water, and money.

    Planting native or drought-tolerant plants, retrofitting existing irrigation systems, installing high-efficiency irrigation technologies, and reusing 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. for landscape irrigation will all help you make strides toward this credit while also reducing maintenance costs. You’ll need to make investments to implement some of these strategies, but many municipalities provide incentives for efficient irrigation technologies and controls.

    Start with a walkthrough of the irrigation system

    XeriscapingEven in arid climates, choosing landscape plantings carefully can reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. City of Flagstaff

    Start by conducting a walk-through of the irrigation system while it is in operation. Basic problems like leaks, faulty and broken components, and overwatering are easy to identify and fix. To reduce the need for irrigation, choose landscaping that is compatible with the site’s climate and microclimate, sun exposure, soil type, drainage and topography. In hot, dry climates, focus on drought-tolerant plants and xeriscaping, while reducing or eliminating turf grass. If turf grass is necessary, select a species that can endure periods of drought.

    In hot, humid, and temperate climates, use native plants alongside weather-sensitive irrigation systems or moisture sensors to avoid unnecessary watering. Using captured rainwater can help eliminate the need for potable water in landscape maintenance. In cold climates, the project team should install hardy, native plants and trees that will survive through the winter months.

    A lot of regional variations

    Because irrigation practices differ widely among regions and building types, there are a variety of strategies for maximizing water-efficient landscaping practices and assessing and documenting compliance with this credit. Your available choices will depend on the systems already in place on your building site and your ability to modify or replace those systems if necessary. Additionally, local and municipal restrictions, incentives and support resources will vary significantly from location to location. Carefully review the compliance options and methodologies described in the LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Reference Guide to determine the appropriate best practices for your situation.

    Consider these questions before pursuing this credit

    • Is potable water consumption for irrigation being sub-metered? Are records of irrigation water consumption from previous years available?
    • Do you have landscaping plans that show species composition and areas?
    • Are there local, regional, state programs that assess irrigation performance in your area?
    • What opportunities exist to incorporate native and adaptive landscaping onto the project site?
    • What opportunities exist to optimize or upgrade the irrigation system?
    • Could graywater or captured rainwater be used to meet irrigation needs in whole or in part?

    LEED-EBOM WEc3 FAQ's

    Can I still use Option 1 if I have metered irrigation water use data but it’s only for a couple of months or not the whole irrigation season?

    You might be able to use Option 1 but here are the couple of constraints.

    • Both the baseline and actual cases must include the month of July.
    • The LEED Reference Guide states that to capture seasonal variations, the preferred period for irrigation water use analysis is at least one full year.
    • Option 2, the theoretical calculation, is still available to teams that have sub-metered irrigation so this might be a good alternative if you only have partial data.

    The site already uses reclaimed water for irrigation provided by the water utility or reuses graywater from the building for irrigation. Can the building still qualify for the credit?

    Yes, if 100% of the water used is from reclaimed water, graywater, or harvested rainwater, the project is eligible for all five points. Use the alternative compliance path on the LEED Online form and include an explanation of the situation along with a signed letter by the property manager, facility manager, or owner verifying the use of non-potable water.

    To determine the baseline for Option 1, how can we determine what “conventional” practices are?

    This isn't necessarily an easy thing to do, but a landscape architect could help you identify a rough sketch of conventional landscaping for the region, and then your landscaper could help estimate how much water per square foot they would recommend for that type of landscaping. You might also touch base with local water conservation organizations or groups promoting xeriscaping. Keep in mind that Option 2 is open to all buildings but you can’t mix and match the calculations: you can’t develop a theoretical baseline according to Option 2 and then compare that to your metered data for July.

    What if the building has no irrigation systems?

    There's a compliance path for just this type of situation. As long as the property's landscaped area is equal to at least 5% of the total site area, the credit language and other documents state you are eligible for the credit. If the project is registered, check out the form in LEED Online for how to document compliance based on zero use of irrigation (and if it's not registered yet, it's a good idea to do so and always look at the LEED Online forms early on to get a full sense of the compliance and documentation options). Also note that you'll need to make sure there's no regular hand-watering going on, as sometimes even if there's not a permanent irrigation system the grounds are still regularly watered.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Before the Performance Period

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  • Determine whether at least 5% of the building’s grounds are vegetated, which determines eligibility for this credit. Planters and rooftop or courtyard gardens qualify as vegetated space, so consider adding them to offer occupants an amenity and bring this credit within reach.


  • Establish the LEED baseline for irrigation water consumption using historic metering data, empirical calculations or theoretical calculations, or an independent irrigation performance and ranking tool. Procedures for performing these calculations are described in the LEED-EBOM Reference Guide.


  • Assess current irrigation levels, compare with the calculated LEED baseline and identify opportunities for reduction. Collaborate with landscape maintenance contractors, irrigation system vendors, or landscape architects for best results.


  • Conduct a walk-through of the irrigation system while it is in operation. Look for broken or leaking pipes or sprinkler heads, and sprinklers spraying on sidewalks, roads, and buildings. Fixing these problems can be easy and offers immediate savings.


  • Eliminating potable water used for irrigation on the entire site or at least a portion of it is an effective strategy for earning this credit. Consider whether your area gets enough rainfall to provide an acceptable amount of natural irrigation.


  • Eliminate unnecessary water use by Drip irrigation systemUse of drip irrigation helps to conserve water. BuildingGreen Imageoptimizing irrigation schedules. Retrofit the irrigation system with weather-based controls that conserve potable water, including moisture sensors and weather-center communication. Replace conventional irrigation systems with high-efficiency systems such as drip irrigation.

     


  • Weather-based controls carry a minimal cost and will reduce excessive water use and overall maintenance costs. A drip-irrigation system would also reduce water use while requiring a low to moderate investment.


  • Use native, drought-resistant species in place of turf grass. Convert portions of the site to natural areas that do not require landscaping or additional irrigation. Replace annuals with native or adaptive perennials that require less water. Introduce native understory plants rather than grass turf under trees to reduce the need for additional irrigation.


  • Conversion to native species for existing landscaping is relatively low-cost and may also reduce maintenance costs.


  • Use mulch and compost to improve soil quality by adding organic matter, reducing the need for additional irrigation.


  • Install stormwater retention systems such as cisterns, retention ponds, and bioswales, to provide non-potable means of irrigation.


  • Sub-meter irrigation systems to track water consumption and efficiency. Review irrigation system sub-metering records to check for leaks or other malfunctions that may be leading to excessive use of potable water.


  • Perform data collection or calculations based on your chosen compliance path and credit requirements.


  • A graywater collection system or other source of non-potable water may require a moderate investment unless a readily available source exists, such as a municipal water reclamation plant.


  • It may be tempting to determine a baseline irrigation use by using the calculation methodology for Option 2 and then compare that value to the actual metered irrigation data but that is not allowed. The calculation methodology must be consistent between the baseline and installed cases.

During the Performance Period

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  • Make sure that monthly meter readings are performed on irrigation subsystems.


  • Where submetered irrigation water use data is required, note that the regional growing season, including the month of July, must be included in the data set.


  • Implement a preventative maintenance program to maintain the operational efficiency of the irrigation system.


  • Ongoing data collection and preventative maintenance will be no- or low-cost initiatives.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

    WE Credit 3: Water efficient landscaping

    1–5 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

    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. or other natural surface or subsurface resource consumption for irrigation compared with conventional means of irrigation. If the building does not have separate water metering for irrigation systems, the water-use reduction achievements can be demonstrated through calculations. The minimum water savings percentage for each point threshold is as follows:

    Percentage Reduction Points
    50% 1
    62.5% 2
    75% 3
    87.5% 4
    100% 5


    For buildings without vegetation or other ecologically appropriate features on the grounds, points can be earned by reducing the use of potable water for watering any roof and/or courtyard garden space or outdoor planters, provided the planters and/or 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/or garden space cover less than 5% of the building site area, the project is ineligible for this credit.

    Three options are available to demonstrate compliance with the above requirements. Project teams that do not separately meter their actual irrigation water use during the performance period must choose Option 2.

    Choose 1 of the following options:

    OPTION 1

    Calculate the baseline irrigation water useBaseline irrigation water use is the amount of water used by conventional irrigation in the region. by determining the water use that would result from using an irrigation system typical for the region using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand and compare this with the building’s actual irrigation potable water use, which can be determined through submeteringSubmetering is used to determine the proportion of energy use within a building attributable to specific end uses or subsystems (e.g., the heating subsystem of an HVAC system).. Use the baseline and actual water use values to calculate the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. More detail about completing this calculation is available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

    OR

    OPTION 2

    Calculate the estimated irrigation water use using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand by determining the landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. for the project and sorting this area into the major vegetation types. Determine the reference evapotranspiration rate (ET0 ) for the region and determine the species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. (ks ), density factorDensity factor (kd) is a coefficient used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It modifies the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the water use of a plant or group of plants, particularly with reference to the density of the plant material. (kd) 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. (kmc ) for each vegetation type. Use this information to calculate the landscape coefficient (KLThe landscape coefficient (KL) is a constant used to calculate the evapotranspiration rate. It takes into account the species factor, density factor, and microclimate factor of the area. ) and irrigation water use for the design case. Calculate the baseline case irrigation water use by setting the above factors to average values representative of conventional equipment and design practices. Use the estimated and baseline case to determine the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. Factor values and other resources for completing these calculations are available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

    OR

    OPTION 3

    If independent irrigation performance and ranking tools are available from local, regional, provincial, state, territorial or national sources, use such tools to demonstrate reductions in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource for irrigation purposes.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Specify water efficient, climate-tolerant native or adapted plantings. Implement or maintain high-efficiency irrigation technologies, such as microirrigation, moisture sensors or weather data-based controllers. Feed irrigation systems with captured rainwater, gray water (on-site or municipal), municipally reclaimed water or on-site treated wastewater. Consider not operating an irrigation system. Consider employing xeriscapingXeriscaping is a landscaping method that makes routine irrigation unnecessary. It uses drought-adaptable and low-water plants as well as soil amendments such as compost and mulches to reduce evaporation. principles in arid climates.

    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.

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. 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 defined as water that is suitable for drinking and is supplied from wells or municipal water systems.

Publications

Landscape Irrigation: Design and Management

This book explores the design and management of landscape irrigation systems. It provides coverage of irrigation system design, with a focus on water conserving methods. Stephen W. Smith (John Wiley and Sons, 1996)

Organizations

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)

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


Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT)

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


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin

This website offers a database of more than 7,000 native plants in North America.

Web Tools

Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series

This resource provides information on introducing native species into the understory of landscaping trees.


EPA WaterSense

EPA's WaterSense site offers a couple of useful resources, including a native plants reference, and reference evapotranspiration information useful for the Option 2 calculation.

Documentation Guidance

Use this diagram to understand your documentation needs for this credit.

LEED Online Form and Tips

Option 2: Calculation

Screenshots of the LEED Online forms for WEc3 with sample data and tips on Option 2.

LEED Online Forms: EBOM-2009 WE

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.-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.

v06 forms:

v05 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."

111 Comments

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Diego Pietzsch Mechanical Engineer
Sep 10 2014
Guest
9 Thumbs Up

100% non potable water source

Hello,

I do have an irrigation system that uses 100% 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.. Do i still need to prove by calculations the potable water use reduction? The irrigation system has no sub metering.

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Maximiliano Martinez Project Manager PowerSeal Pipeline Products Corporation
Jul 31 2014
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

Special situation

Hi,
I would like to know if there is any special validation to my situation:
We used to have irrigation from the faucets, what means an irrigation with 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., but we are attempting to get the 100% reduction of potable water irrigation. That's why we placed a policy that forbids the irrigation with potable water; and we are implementing water storage tanks to harvest rain water and replace our irrigation source.
My question is if there's any way to certify this technique without having to fill the 3 possible options. Because we don't have an historical data to achieve option one. And considering a 100% reduction, I would think it will be obvious that the scope is being done.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Jul 31 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

You're right Maxmilliano - The v2009 template doesn't have an obvious pathway for documenting a site that employs 100% non-potable (and, don't forget - natural surface or subsurface resources) water for irrigation. I'd recommend using the Alternative Compliance Path option, and providing detailed documentation as to your water sources, vegetation, etc...

A number of college campuses here in California have used this approach - GBCI won't be at all troubled by it.

Hope that helps,

Dan

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Maximiliano Martinez Project Manager, PowerSeal Pipeline Products Corporation Jul 31 2014 LEEDuser Member 17 Thumbs Up

Thank you.

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American University Sustainability American University
Apr 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
891 Thumbs Up

Calculating a baseline

I'm on a college campus trying to document this at the campus level. We are using Option 1 comparing submetered irrigation to the "conventional, expected irrigation" baseline. We have, however, several campus areas that we are not irrigating (forested, native/adapted, or turf we don't care to water). When setting a "conventional irrigation baseline" should that baseline assume that, conventionally, 100% of turf and landscaped area would be irrigated? Or would we only calculate the conventional irrigation rates over the area that we are irrigating. It sort of seems like we should get credit for not irrigating those areas but I don't want to over estimate the baseline. Thanks.

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David Faltenhine
Sep 30 2013
Guest
24 Thumbs Up

NC2.2 -> EBOM 2009 - baseline changes

Are there any significant changes in the baselines for WEc3 between NC 2.2/2008 and EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009?

The project is in a desert location with a large xeriscape mono-surface area, it's being built to NC and will then be certified under EBOM. It's assumed that the credit from NC will flow cleanly into EBOM, would any additional calcualtions/considerations will be required?

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Lili Pan LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Managing Director , L GEES 智利捷达 Oct 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 208 Thumbs Up

If you check the latest form V5, you will find, if submeteringSubmetering is used to determine the proportion of energy use within a building attributable to specific end uses or subsystems (e.g., the heating subsystem of an HVAC system). for irrigation is installed, option 2 is not allowed. Which means, you have to use either option 1 or option 3.
So the answer to your question depends on if the submetering for irrigation installed:
1, if installed, you need to use different baseline
2, if not instaled, baseline not chanced compared to LEED NC2.2

P.S. My observatoin of LEED V5 form shows different direction from the Q&A above (indicating Option 2 is always an available methodology). Someone may help to confirm which one is correct. Thank you!

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Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Aug 30 2013
LEEDuser Member
554 Thumbs Up

Question about using treated waste water

Hi, We are using 100% treated waste water for irrigation. It is not sub metered and therefore we are trying to use the option 2. We are using a baseline case of "Hose without water gun" that is the common mode of watering in this part of the country.

There are 2 problems:

1. How to estimate the irrigation efficiency of the hose without water gun?

2. I think whatever the IE for baseline, we still should achieve 100% water use reduction because we use 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.. But for some reason online submission form does not calculate it that way. For example if I use 0.5 IE for baseline and 1.0 IE for treated waste water, I get a water use reduction of 50.5%.

Can you please advise me on where I'm going wrong.

Thank you.

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Hi Magda,

You may not have to worry about the inputs to the theoretical calculation if your treated wastewater is more or less unlimited, like provided through a municipal system. In that case I've seen projects that were able to confirm compliance with a signed letter from the building owner or management confirming that 100% of the water is treated wastewater.

But if it's treated wastewater from the building, and therefore limited, then it becomes more important to estimate the mid summer baseline and show how much treated wastewater is available at the same time.

To your questions above, I haven't seen official guidance for the IE for hand watering, but I have seen a project use a lower efficiency of 0.5 for a similar scenario. Also, to account for the 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. use, rather than adjusting the IE, there is a spot on the form to enter in the non-potable water applied, below the installed case calculation.

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Magda Aghababyan CEO, Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd. Aug 31 2013 LEEDuser Member 554 Thumbs Up

Dear Ben, Thank you for the reply. In our case the treated waste water comes from onsite (toilet flushing and canteen waste water). We are able to theoretically calculate that waste water is actually more than the irrigation water demand.

But my concern is that on the online submission system, there is no provision to show them. And as you said there was the option to indicate 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 in the earlier versions of the forms, but version 5 has removed that option it seems.

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Jaida Holbrook Enivronmental Engineer Skanska Sverige AB
Aug 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
757 Thumbs Up

No premanent irrigation but hand-watering

Hi, our project has no permanent irrigation but has periodic hand-watering as needed for extreme weather conditions. When I go to complete the LEEDonline form I am not asked anything further concerning the hand-watering. The comment from the FAQs above

"Also note that you'll need to make sure there's no regular hand-watering going on, as sometimes even if there's not a permanent irrigation system the grounds are still regularly watered."

suggests that the project should track/calculate/measure in some way? Although LEEDonline only asks to confirm no permanent irrigation (in this project situation there is not) and to provide a letter of confirmation from the facility management. This statement in the FAQs is slightly confusing. I just want to be sure there is nothing more for my project to include.
Thanks.

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Aug 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 1322 Thumbs Up

Hi Jaida,

If your project is only hand-watering on an as needed basis during periods of extreme weather conditions, then you should be okay in claiming no permanent irrigation.

What the comment is referring to is routine hand watering. If landscapers, maintenance crew, or other are routinely hand watering the vegetation on a scheduled (daily/weekly) basis, then it would be considered the same as regularly irrigating.

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Karin Wohlert Northwest Sustainability Consulting, LLC
May 01 2013
LEEDuser Member
187 Thumbs Up

Rainwater storage system

I'm looking for a calculator or guide that would suggest how much rainwater could be collected in Mid-summer or the month with the highest irrigation demand. We have a 3000 gallon cistern in the Pacific northwest. I would guess that the tank would be considered dry in the summer but it would be great to confirm. Thank you for any advice.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 31 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Karin, I don't know of a single good resource on this. I would ideally consult with an engineer. 

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Jul 31 2013 LEEDuser Member 701 Thumbs Up

Karin,

Contech's rainwater harvesting runoff reduction calculator will help you with monthly supply/demand optimization:
http://www.conteches.com/Design-Toolbox/DYO-Project.aspx

I am not affiliated with Contech, but I like this tool. I hope it helps you. Feel free to contact me to discuss further.

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Karin Wohlert Northwest Sustainability Consulting, LLC Aug 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 187 Thumbs Up

Thank you! The calculator is super helpful.

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Alicia Silva CEO Revitaliza consultores
Apr 24 2013
LEEDuser Member
1531 Thumbs Up

Modifying landscape area for appeal review

My team and I are in the appeal phase for our project.
WEc3 was denied because the total area of exterior landscaping is 3,276 square feet, which is less than 5% of the total site area and therefore the project was not eligible for this credit.
The team wants to increase the exterior landscaped area to 4575.8 sf, making us eligible for the credit.
This landscaped areas will be modify now (as tomorrow), and we would like to know whether it is permissible to modify the landscaping, have a contract will an designer and have only 50% advance in the landscape project at the moment of submitting the appeal.
Would this be acceptable? Or the 100% of the project should be finished at the time of the final submittal?

Thank you in advance for any comments.

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jul 09 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1689 Thumbs Up

Hi Alicia,

Did the final review comments provide any instructions for an acceptable course of action in the event of an appeal? I recommend trying to contact GBCI about your proposed approach before you spend time and money modifying the site.

Trista

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Lili Pan LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Managing Director , L GEES 智利捷达 Oct 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 208 Thumbs Up

Hi Alicia,
Interesting question and what is GBCI final review comment? Thank you!

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Manasi Kulkarni
Apr 01 2013
Guest
73 Thumbs Up

Treated water for landscaping

Our project has installed water meters for Irrigation just recently at the start of performance period. The project uses 100% of treated water for Irrigation which is metered. Metered data is available only for 6 months.
1. Should the project comply with the requirement by using option 1? but there is no conventional irrigation system rate available which is required to calculate baseline.or
2. Should the project use option 2 and do manual calculation to prove compliance? but second option is available only for non metered irrigation which is not true in this case. Or
3. Should the project use alternative compliance path?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Apr 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Option 2 with the theoretical calculation can still be used by teams that have an irrigation meter. The only caution is that you can't compare the metered irrigation use to the theoretical baseline calculation. Instead the comparison has to be between the theoretical calculations for both the baseline and installed cases.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M Design Alaska
Feb 28 2013
LEEDuser Member
701 Thumbs Up

Option 2 for site that is partially zero-irrigation

Some portions of the site are irrigated, while other areas are not. Non-irrigated areas include adapted grass,shrubs and trees which are shaded by the building and do not need irrigation. There is also a grassy area which does get irrigated.

How do I enter this into the LOL form? If I enter "0" in the IE column, then the TWA = 0 for that row. Is it acceptable to enter the non-irrigated areas on a separate row and enter IE = 0 to get zero Total Water Applied for those areas?

What documentation would I need to provide to support this? A signed statement from the owner? Irrigation is performed by hose and sprinkler, so I can't show that there is a permanent irrigation system that excludes those areas. Any thoughts?

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Apr 11 2013 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Lyle - That's a tough one. The answer to the first part is fairly clear to me - you should definitely include the area of any landscaped area that does not require irrigation due to the nature of the vegetation. In a perfect world, everyone replaces their turf grass with native/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. that doesn't need irrigation - the credit certainly should reward instances where that is the case. A detailed site plan showing the various vegetation types would be key to that submittal.

That being said, I'm not sure how to go about documenting an irrigation approach that involves a hose and sprinkler. Assuming there's no water meter data, you'd need to really help the reviewer feel confident that you know exactly how much water you're using with that equipment.

Hope that helps at least a little,

Dan

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Apr 11 2013 LEEDuser Member 701 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your insight, Dan. I’m assuming that Option 2 (theoretical calculations) can be used successfully in this case to demonstrate the usage of irrigation water. I am planning on listing the shaded landscaped areas that do not receive irrigation separately from the irrigated areas in the LOL form. For the non-irrigated areas, I have set IE=0. This is the only way that I have found that I can get zero Total Water Applied (0 TWA) for those areas. Do you think that this approach (described in a narrative) will be acceptable?
As always, thank you for your time, Dan.

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jul 09 2013 LEEDuser Member 1322 Thumbs Up

Hi Lyle,

Hopefully this doesn't come too late to be of use to you. But, regarding the non-irrigated areas, I have had success on prior projects using the methodology you propose (setting IE=0 to achieve a TWA of 0). In the table on the credit template, we simply indicated "non-irrigated vegetation" for the landscape type. No additional documentation was required aside from the landscape plan.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Jul 16 2013 LEEDuser Member 701 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much, William. That is helpful to this, and future, projects.

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Vincent Kotwicki
Jan 02 2013
Guest
86 Thumbs Up

Using treated seawater for landscaping

The intent of the credit says "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 resources available on or near the project site for landscape irrigation."

I have two questions: Can we get credits for using a beachwell (a well drilled on a beach and drawing seawater) and desalinating this seawater for use in landscaping?

And question two: What "potable water" we are talking about? The source (seawater) is nonpotable, but if we desalinate it, it becomes potable.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 02 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Vincent, in my opinion, this could meet the definition of 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. use. You are making use of a nonpotable water source, and treating it to the standards needed in the building. Other more common nonpotable sources, like 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., would require similar treatment.

The energy required to desalinate the water will count against you in the EA category, of course.

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Vincent Kotwicki Jan 03 2013 Guest 86 Thumbs Up

Tristan, thank you for your elucidating clarification. On energy, we are thinking about wind turbines to keep our head above water in the EA category.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Jan 03 2013 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Just to follow Tristan's comment here - the credit language is more broad than just 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.. It includes " . . . other natural surface or subsurface resource consumption . . . " which would seem to encompass seawater or a beachwell. I'm actually struggling with how this relates to the fundamental intent of the credit - its a really interesting question ecologically, as using desalinated seawater could theoretically be better for 'the environment' than using potable water, even with the associated climate impacts. (It could just as easily be worse, of course.) But it gets very complicated very quickly, and if I were making a decision with LEED in mind, I think the much safer assumption is that the language around other natural surface water would apply and the desal approach would not be approved.

And I agree with Tristan completely - even with wind turbines associated, that energy penalty is going to be an albatross . . .

Dan

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Alicia Silva CEO Revitaliza consultores
Dec 03 2012
LEEDuser Member
1531 Thumbs Up

Irrigation efficiency for manual watering

The Reference Guide does not state the irrigation efficiency for manual watering, just for drip and sprinkler irrigation. Is 0.5 an acceptable irrigation efficiency for manual watering with a hose?
Thank you

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Jiri Dobias
Oct 01 2012
LEEDuser Member
1239 Thumbs Up

Water from a river

Dear all,

our project is very near to a river and our client is proposing to make a 25m deep drill and pump water (which is not potable due to the river) and use it for irrigation purposes. I know that a well drilled just for irrigation purposes does not meet intend of this credit but the water cannot be marked as potable - part of the river in the city centre of Belgrade - Serbia. What do you think? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Oct 01 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Hi Jiri - I think the language of the credit would preclude that approach. The targeted water includes both 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 'other natural surface or subsurface resource.' A river sounds like natural surface water to me.

Hope that helps clarify,

Dan

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THREE Consultoria THREE Consultoría Medioambiental
Sep 15 2012
LEEDuser Member
375 Thumbs Up

Permeable areas

I'm curious on what everyone thinks about permeable areas covered with gravel; are these considered landscape areas and account for the 5% landscape area requirement?

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Sep 16 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

That's an interesting question and I dare say the answer won't be entirely black & white. I think it fundamentally requires you to ask yourself what the intent of the specific area is. A gravel parking lot, for example, is not landscaped area, nor would it be irrigated in a 'conventional' scenario. On the other hand, if the gravel area is part of the functional landscaping (I'm thinking here of something akin to xeriscapingXeriscaping is a landscaping method that makes routine irrigation unnecessary. It uses drought-adaptable and low-water plants as well as soil amendments such as compost and mulches to reduce evaporation.) and the gravel ostensibly replaces what might otherwise be turf grass on a more conventional site, then yes, I would include it. It really comes down to what purpose the gravel area serves.

Hope that helps,

Dan

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Mike Campbell Sustainability Specialist Sustainable Solutions Corporation
Sep 11 2012
LEEDuser Member
436 Thumbs Up

Natural vegetation

I'm working on a building with a large portion of natural vegetation which is not irrigated. There is also a separate area of turf, trees, shurbs that is irrigated. Should the calculations take all areas into account, or only the landscaped areas with irrigation?

Thank you

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Absolutely include the non-irrigated natural vegetation Michael. In a perfect world, EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. would inspire all building owners to keep their vegetated areas with natural vegetation that does not require irrigation. The fact that it is not actively maintained or 'landscaped' is a positive, not a negative.

Hope that helps,

Dan

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Mike Campbell Sustainability Specialist, Sustainable Solutions Corporation Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Member 436 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Dan.

I just wanted to make sure since the pulldown menu did not include "No Irrigation" as an option.

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Mike Campbell Sustainability Specialist, Sustainable Solutions Corporation Feb 20 2013 LEEDuser Member 436 Thumbs Up

Just to update, I submitted using the natural vegetation and the credit was denied. We received the following comment:

"...only landscaped areas may be included in the calculation. Natural areas that are not irrigated must be excluded."

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Feb 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Yikes - I dare say the folks at LEEDuser should retract my expert status given a review comment like that one. My apologies Mike. I spoke to someone at GBCI about this topic recently and I think I failed to consider the various scenarios by which 'natural vegetation' might be present on site. If an area has been in a natural vegetative state for an extended period of time, GBCI doesn't believe that simply preserving the status quo merits credit in terms of irrigation water use. On the other hand, if that area were restored to a natural state from an alternative use, particularly a conventional landscaping scheme, it would be eligible for consideration. There's obviously some gray area there for case-by-case evaluation and the question of when things took place becomes relevant, but I hope this sheds a bit more light both on GBCI's reasoning around the issue and my unhelpful response.

Dan

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 27 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I think we'll just replace your photo with a grain of salt, Dan.

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Jiri Dobias
Aug 01 2012
LEEDuser Member
1239 Thumbs Up

Irrigation of greenery out of LEED boundary

Hi all,
our project does sub-meter water for irrigation. However, the facility manager uses this water also for watering greenery which is outside of LEED boundary (greenery owned by the city) thus the water consumption is much higher than it would be according OPTION 2 (I would use only greenery on the project site for the calculation).
We want to install a water tank to retain rain water. Is it possible to go for OPTION 2 instead of OPTION 1 even though we are sub-metering water for irrigation?

Thank you for any suggestions.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 03 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Jiri, you can choose whichever of the three credit options is most suitable for the project.

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Meryl Corsun Associate Synapse Risk Management, LLC
Jun 15 2012
Guest
39 Thumbs Up

5% minimum area

Hello,

Our project site is in an urban location with a small landscaped area (about 4%). LEEDUser specifies that there is a 5% minimum area requirement whether it is landscaped area or planters/rooftop garden. However, it seems to me that the reference guide and credit form only require 5% area if the "project conditions do not allow for installation of vegetation on the grounds." Can you clarify this?

Thanks,

Meryl

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Jun 18 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Hi Meryl,
It sounds like your project may not be eligible to pursue the credit. Vegetated space equal to at least 5% of the total site area is required, regardless of the project location or constraints.

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Kevin Sullivan Director Leap Sustainability Design Consulting
Jun 11 2012
Guest
218 Thumbs Up

No Permanent Irrigation System

Hi we are attempting this credit for one of our existing schools project.The project does not have permanent irrigation system.The landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. is irrigated manually by the facility staff members.Also as it is a school facility so the natural turf has been replaced with the artificial turf in the soccer field which does not require any irrigation. Will this help in getting all the 5 points for the project.Please suggest.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 11 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Kevin, the credit is about reducing 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, so manual irrigation is not a way to earn the credit. In fact, manual irrigation can be less efficient than some permanent systems.

The artificial turf won't help you earn the credit, because LEED does not want to incentivize reducing landscaped area as a way to earn the credit. The baseline and actual case here use the same landscaped area.

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Jun 11 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

I agree with Tristan on everything above, although I do pause at the artificial turf issue. Certainly LEED would not want to provide an incentive for replacing landscaped area with say, a concrete patio or parking (thereby reducing irrigated area). But the use of artificial turf is effectively a zero-water method of providing nearly the exact same functionality. Here in Northern California artificial turf fields are becoming more and more common and the water savings are substantial. I'm not entirely convinced that LEED shouldn't support the switch from grass to artificial turf in WEc3. I suspect Tristan is right as to how a reviewer will respond, but its an interesting one for debate.

Dan

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Pedro Valiati Mar 24 2014 Guest

Hi Tristan and Dan, how are you?
Your knowledge from Leeduser always is very useful in my projects.
What if I have the following situation: The lanscape area of an office building is irrigated manually only with reuse water (no potable). It's not economic feasible apply an irrigation system. Can this credit WEc3 be atempted? Thanks!

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Linh Huynh
Apr 11 2012
Guest
62 Thumbs Up

The reclaim water project on going

Hi, I am working on a LEED project. My performance period is from April to July, 2012. During that time, I am also working on the reclaim water project which is used for cooling tower make-up and irrigation. The design stage has been finished and now we are under construction. The project is expected to be completed by end of 2012. Before that, we are still using portable water for irrigation & cooling tower. Is there any way that my ongoing project will be counted for the credit? Thanks in advance.

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability Apr 11 2012 LEEDuser Member 2357 Thumbs Up

Hi Linh, I'm no review expert, but I don't see how this would fly since during the performance period you need to demonstrate that the strategy is in place. In this credit specifically you must show 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. use and reclaim or reuse water use % and back it up with meter readings in order to achieve. Hope this helps!

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Asa Posner Senior Sustainability Consultant Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
Jan 19 2012
LEEDuser Member
951 Thumbs Up

Audit reccommendation to turn off zone

We performed a full audit of the irrigation system and some of the findings were to turn off zones that are watering established plants or mulch areas. This creates a lot of savings in real life, but it is not metered so we can't show exactly where the savings are.

Can we reflect this in the table, or are the reviewers going to say that a zone not irrigated in the design case must be shown as not irrigated in baseline case. It seems unfortunate that the fake LEED baseline does not reflect reality.
should we submit an alternative compliance path?

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Jan 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

My take on this is its an example of a situation where its important not to let the LOL template divert you from describing the situation in the most intuitive and clear manner. I think GBCI agrees that shifting turf grass to xeriscapingXeriscaping is a landscaping method that makes routine irrigation unnecessary. It uses drought-adaptable and low-water plants as well as soil amendments such as compost and mulches to reduce evaporation., for example, is an irrigation water use savings that should be reflected in this credit even if it technically means you have reduced the irrigated area at hand. Your situation is no different. I would consider taking two steps: 1. In the template, keep your irrigated area consistent between the baseline and design cases, but account for the water used to irrigate that specific zone as 0 (or some diminishingly small number like 0.001 to make the template work). 2. Use the special circumstances box to explain exactly what you've done and how you've done it. Make it transparent to the reviewer so they can follow your logic and the template work-around. That way, even if they prefer you document your savings in a different manner, they will understand your intent and achievements fully.

Hope that helps,

Dan

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Nick Morgen Energy Specialist Gengee LLC, edesignc INC
Jan 12 2012
Guest
24 Thumbs Up

Conventional Irrigation System Rate

I am trying to determine the conventional irrigation system rate for my region (option 1, choice 2) in order to compute a typical baseline. I've talked to local irrigation installers, a landscape architect, the state extension office, and multiple facility managers and no one quite knows what LEED is asking for here. The equation expresses the term in gal/sf/in which is what confuses everyone. All express typical rates for the region in gpm. Any other ideas/examples on how to derive this variable?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Jan 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

I believe that term in the reference guide has a typo and is meant to be gal/sf/min. The value that you ultimately need is the gallons of water used over performance period for a conventional system. That value, for the baseline case, is a function of the gallons per minute applied to a given area, like 1 gallon per minute per square foot while the irrigation system is running. From there, take the total amount of time the irrigation system is expected to run over the performance period and your total irrigated site area multiplied by the rate (gal/sf/min) to determine the baseline water applied.

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Camill Marciniak Intep
Dec 07 2011
LEEDuser Member
272 Thumbs Up

Landscape are

According to the glossary of the refernce guide, the 'landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios.' is the the total site area less 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., paved surfaces, water bodies and patios. Consequently roof gardens would not be included. Can I include roof gardens in my calculations for irrigation, if a part of my roofgarden is irrigated? (Do I have to include it or can I include it?)

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 07 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Yes, I interpret the rating system language to imply that roof gardens have to be included. Also the total vegetated area needs to equal at least 5% of the building site area to be eligible for the credit.

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matthew strong
Aug 24 2011
Guest
330 Thumbs Up

Database for Species Factor, Density Factor, Microclimate Factor

How do I look up the species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species., density factorDensity factor (kd) is a coefficient used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It modifies the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the water use of a plant or group of plants, particularly with reference to the density of the plant material., 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. if I have the plant name? Is there a website out there?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Oct 19 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

The reference guide has some specific information about how to classify the density factorDensity factor (kd) is a coefficient used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It modifies the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the water use of a plant or group of plants, particularly with reference to the density of the plant material. 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.. Those values are site specific.

For species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species., I don't know of a one-stop shop to look up the water needs of specific plants. But there are a few good resources here on LEED User and then also the local "Extension" is a good place to track down information or local government or water utilities may have information as well. Here are a few links to what I'm talking about. http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/jefferson/natural/native.htm

http://qcode.us/codes/sacramentocounty/view.php?topic=14-14_10-14_10_120...

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Luis Parada Jones Lang LaSalle Mar 14 2012 Guest 54 Thumbs Up

The reference guide shows in table 1 some landscape factors for trees, shrubs, groundcover, etc. but in our project located in Mexico City a big part of our green areas are vegetation (Geranium, euphorbia pulcherrima, African lily, etc) which factor should we use? thank you in advance for your help.

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matthew strong
Aug 17 2011
Guest
330 Thumbs Up

Hi, I have a project in the

Hi, I have a project in the NY zip code 10589 that has two types of irrigation:
1. Unmetered irrigation by retention pond for 58,094 SF of lawn and trees along the driveway
2. Metered landscape irrigation for 74,029 SF of lawn and plants near the building

I only have 3 months of metered data (May 84,540 gallons, June 84,540 gallons, and July 463,480 gallons) for the metered irrigation, but no metered data for the irrigation system fed by the retention pond. How do I estimate a baseline for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. v3 WE credit 3? They have oak, maple, hickory, beech and elm trees. I don't know what grass or plantings they have, but I do know they are using a sprinkler system.

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Oct 19 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Because you only have three months of data, it might be best to pursue the credit through Option 2, which is the theoretical calculation. The baseline water use is calculated for July accordingly. If you do it this way, you can't use the metered data to compare to the theoretical baseline and instead you have to use the theoretical methodology to calculate the "design" case for comparison to the baseline.

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Nicholas Bradley Siemens Industry, Inc.
Aug 03 2011
Guest
41 Thumbs Up

City Supplied Reclaimed Water

My project site is already utilizing reclaimed water for 100% of it's irrigation, as required by the local city ordinance. Are we still eligible for this credit?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Oct 19 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4563 Thumbs Up

Yes, you should be eligible for all available points and need to provide a letter from the owner or property manager verifying that 100% of the water is reclaimed. It is also good to provide context about where the reclaimed water is coming from, meaning if it's a "purple pipe" or some other reclaimed water source.

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Marie Gruel
Jul 29 2011
Guest
31 Thumbs Up

5% Requirement Clarification

I have a zero lot line project, so all landscaped areas are within planters on the plaza level, or in tree wells in the sidewalk. If we just measure the footprint of the planters/wells, we are below the 5% criteria. However if we measure the footprint of the trees, we are over 5%. Does anyone know of any clarification on this, we've browsed through the interpretations and addenda, and haven't seen anything.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 29 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Marie, when you say "footprint" of the trees, do you mean the plan view that includes their canopy?

I think that the measurement of the actual footprint of the planters is what meets the intent, since we are talking about irrigated area, not shaded area or some other measure.

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John Ida President Urban Works, Inc.
Nov 22 2010
LEEDuser Member
983 Thumbs Up

Interior Vegetation? 5%

Our project is considering installing internal gardens or Living Walls with the potential of meeting 5% of the building site area. Due to parking configuration, it will not be possible to make an exterior landscape installation. Using 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., drought tolerant plantings, and native/introduced plants, would it still be possible to achieve this credit?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 11 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

John, this approach should work. You need plantings to be 5% of site area, and planters and internal gardens can make this possible.

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Matthew Macko Principal Environmental Building Strategies
Oct 05 2010
LEEDuser Member
775 Thumbs Up

Performance Period Metering

I have a project that has recently had an irrigation metered installed, but unfortunately it happened after July. The project is running from October to January and cannot be extended through next July. Would it be possible to pursue Option 2 and do theoretical calculations for water use, or would the project be forced to pursue Option 1, as the irrigation meter and its readings are being included in WEc1 - Water Performance Measurement?

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Dan Ackerstein Principal, Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC Oct 18 2010 LEEDuser Expert 8916 Thumbs Up

Yes to the latter - If I were in your shoes, I would actually document both ways. Your primary documentation path should be the Option 2 path that is based on your inability to show metered water consumption for July. But you can provide full transparency and really give the reviewer reason to feel confident about your approach by also providing your meter data to date and indicating what you think it tells you about likely consumption rates. But your situation is definitely not uncommon and I wouldn't be concerned about the disconnect between credits being problematic.

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