NC-2009 SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity

  • NC_CS_SSc2_Type3_Density Diagram
  • Easier for dense urban sites

    This credit addresses two basic issues: density of the surrounding neighborhood and occupant access to everyday services. It encourages use of existing infrastructure and tries to reduce environmental impacts of transportation. It’s easier for projects located in a densely built area or with a host of community services nearby.

    This credit is not likely to drive the project location decision, but it does reward projects for locating in developed areas and for choosing infill instead of greenfield sites (you can’t earn the credit on a site that is not previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development."). In determining how easily your project can comply, site selection is one key factor, but so is the availability of property and building data.

    Two compliance options

    There are two compliance options for this credit. Unless you are in a dense urban neighborhood where either option is possible, your choice will probably be determined by the specifics of your project.

    • Option 1: Development Density requires the density of the community to be 60,000 square feet of floor area per acre or more. This is a typical density for a two-story downtown development.
    • Option 2: Community Connectivity requires connections to neighborhood services as well as to housing with at least 10 units per acre. This option could apply to a variety of settings, from urban areas to rural small towns with a density of services.

    Documentation is key

    Project teams should assess early in the planning stage which path is most suitable based on project location and the availability of density data. The owner, architect or civil engineer often take on the role of documenting this credit—either researching community services in the project’s vicinity, or documenting the density of the project and surrounding area.

    Community Connectivity is generally easier to document than Option 1. Image Courtesy YRG SustainabilityThe size of the area that has to be included in the Option 1 calculation depends on the size of your project site.

    Projects can earn an Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point through IDc1 if they meet Option 1’s requirements and are themselves twice as dense as the surrounding area, or can show that the surrounding area has double the required Option 1 density over twice the area.

    Eight of the ten services for Option 2 have to be existing and in operation at the time of the project opening. Two services can be anticipated within a year of opening. One service can be within the project itself.

    Differences between NC v2.2 and NC 2009

    The credit requirements for v2.2 and v2009 are exactly the same, However, the specifics of what can qualify as a basic service are further defined and outlined in v2009.

    For v2.2, basic services that are in construction by project completion can contribute to the credit requirements. For v2009, these basic services must be in operation. Additionally, for mixed-use projects, under v2.2 no basic services that are part of your project can contribute to the credit requirements. In v2009, one service can be within the project itself. 

  • FAQs for SSc2

    What exactly does LEED mean by residential neighborhood or area?

    LEED defines residential neighborhood or area as a minimum of 10 living units (i.e. an apartment unit or house) per acre. Apartment buildings, neighborhoods, or dormitories can all contribute to this.

    Only a portion of my complying residential development lies within the ½-mile radius. Will this suffice for credit compliance?

    It can be easier to earn this credit in a dense urban environment, but an average two story downtown can also comply. Photo – YRG SustainabilityIn LEEDuser's experience, if a residential development of 10 units/acre lies within a portion of the ½-mile radius, it likely will contribute to credit compliance. This is consistent with LEED Reference Guide guidance that states, "Mark all residential developments within the radius. For the project to earn this credit, a residential area with a minimum density of 10 units per acre must be present within the radius."

    Where do I draw the radius from?

    Use the center of the LEED project boundary.

    Is one building or residential area enough to satisfy the residential density requirement?

    Yes, LEED user’s experts have had success with documenting a single property that is at least 10 units/net acre density. Any discrete area that addresses the requirements is acceptable, and an existing residential area meeting the requirements may cross property lines between different properties. For projects with residential areas that are on the cusp (or perceived as being on the cusp) of meeting the required density, you may need to provide additional documentation or an explanation as to how the residential area meets at least 10 units/net acre. Finally, it is not sufficient for the area to be zoned to the correct density, if it is not built to it.

    My project has access to services that seem to be basic, but are not listed in the LEED Reference Guide—like insurance company, nail salon, auto repair shop. Will these count?

    Probably not. Project teams need to be careful when trying to pass off services not explicitly given in the LEED credit language. In most cases services not listed will not be approved. Review the credit intent and think about whether the additional services—in the absence of other basic services—are pedestrian-oriented and encourage walkable neighborhoods. However, some projects have had success in specific cases, such as a hotel being considered as a basic service for an office space with frequent contractors visiting. 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 is probably needed to get approval for special cases like this.

    Also, to reduce confusion during a review while maintaining honesty, be careful to label your services to be consistent with the credit language list. For example, a "nail/hair salon/barber shop" should be categorized as a "beauty salon." If a gas station contains a full-service, stand-alone convenience grocery store (e.g. 7-Eleven) and credit is sought for grocery store use, label it as "convenience grocery" rather than a "gas station."

    My project is on a base or campus where some services are available to the population of the project, but not the general public. Do these count?

    Maybe. Language in the Reference Guide is not crystal clear on this point, and some comments from project teams indicate that campus projects should demonstrate that services are open to the public. For LEED documentation purposes, LEEDuser recommends avoiding relying on such services, or seeing a CIR to be sure of your approach.

    LEEDuser has seen reports of review comments questioning the inclusion of services on a military base or other installation that are not open to the general public, even if they are open to anyone within the radius. On the other hand, one project team reported success with a military base where access to the base was restricted to the public, and services on the base were open to anyone on the base.

    For Option 2, does the residential neighborhood with average density of 10 units per net acre have to be existing, or can planned neighborhoods count towards earning this option?

    The SSc2 Option 2 residential requirements for NCv2.2 and NC 2009 are for projects to locate in an area within one-half mile of an existing, not planned, residential district featuring a density of at least 10 units/acre. Projects should not depend upon planned residential areas for credit compliance, as this does not represent existing infrastructure in most cases. Projects not meeting these requirements but believing they meet the credit intent will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must submit a project-specific CIR to determine their compliance potential.

    What site area should be used for an interiors project when figuring out the density radius? The building site area, or building footprint?

    All projects use the building site area for the density radius calculation.

    Is my site previously developed?

    Many projects have had questions about the definition of previously developed. Note that LEED 2009 projects have had the relevant definition updated by USGBC through a November 2011 addendum. Be sure to reference that definition, which is more specific, if it is applicable to your project.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Is your site “previously developed”? This credit is available only for projects on previously developed sites—those that have been graded or modified by human activity. 


  • Determine early on which of the two compliance paths is most feasible for your project. This will be determined by your project location. For projects that have the choice, Option 2 may be easier to document, although both options require developing a site plan and documenting the existing conditions of the surrounding area.

    • Option 1: Development Density is for project sites with a density of more than 60,000 square feet of built floor area per acre of land.
    • Option 2: Community Connectivity is for projects within a half-mile of a residential zone with an average density of 10 units per acre. 

  • It can be easier to earn this credit in a dense urban environment, but an average two-story downtown can also comply. Photo – YRG SustainabilityTypically, the requisite neighborhood density for Option 1 of 60,000 ft2 per acre can be met by two-story downtown development, or a denser area. The requirements for Option 2 can typically be met in a variety of settings, from dense urban areas to rural small towns with some density of services.


  • You can earn an Exemplary Performance point through this credit, but only through Option 1: Development Density. If you have some choice of which option to pursue, and the extra point is important, go for Option 1.


  • Weigh the pros and cons of locating a project in a dense urban area, as there may be trade-offs involved. For example, air quality and open space are two variables that could be compromised by locating a project in a dense urban area. However, LEED is generally oriented toward rewarding projects that locate in urban areas, particularly through SSc4.1 and other SS credits.


  • Careful site selection is crucial for obtaining this credit. Projects located in dense urban areas will qualify more easily, whereas projects located in rural or suburban areas, where densities are lower and development more spread out, may find this credit unattainable. 


  • Option 1: Development Density


  • Calculate the average neighborhood “built” density, with a target of 60,000 ft2 per acre, minimum, including your project building as well as surrounding buildings. Undeveloped public areas—including parks, water bodies, and public roadways—are not included in density calculations. 


  • All occupied buildings must be counted in the development density calculations. This would generally include conditioned spaces intended for occupancy, with an FTE above zero. Typical excluded spaces might be:

    • parking garages;
    • smoking pavilions;
    • and maintenance sheds not intended as workspaces. 

  • This approach is much easier to document if density information is accessible via a database of the built densities of all buildings in a neighborhood. Without such a resource, it can be hard to locate this information, and Option 2 may be preferable from a documentation standpoint. Obtaining this data can be a challenge if municipalities don’t provide a centralized database of building and property information for existing building stock—including lot area, building area, and number of residential units. Check with your local planning department or the regional, county, or state planning office GIS database. 


  • Locating your project next to a water body or park shouldn’t affect your density calculations, as undeveloped public areas, including parks and water bodies, are not factored into density calculations. 


  • Many urban sites are previously developed and may be brownfields. Investigate and address any contamination and remediation issues early in the planning process.  Doing so can contribute to earning SSc3


  • There may be a fee associated with obtaining data from a public agency’s GIS database. 


  • Option 2: Community Connectivity


  • Demonstrate that there is both:

    1. Pedestrian access to common services. Examples of basic services include: bank, church, school, grocery, laundry facilities, doctor’s office, and a post office. (See the list of common acceptable basic services in the credit language.)
    2. Proximity to a residential area within a one-half mile radius. The residential area must have an average density of 10 units per acre.

  • If a service is considered basic but not included in the list, attach a narrative explaining why you think this is acceptable or consult with GBCI. 


  • The one-half mile radius is drawn from the main building entrance. 


  • Documenting this option is easier than documenting Option 1, as there is little data collection involved, and usually no calculations to perform (unless there is no other documentation available and you have to calculate the housing density to make sure it is at least 10 units per acre). 


  • There may be costs associated with developing a site in an urban setting (due to aspects such as site constraints and brownfield remediation), although there can also be savings due to reduced need to install infrastructure.


  • Building within an existing urban fabric adds significant benefits for users, including lower transportation costs and healthier lifestyle. Employers may find that this helps attract and retain personnel.


  • To check your project’s eligibility to pursue this option, draw a circle with a one-half-mile radius centered on your project’s main entrance. If there is a qualifying residential development, and at least ten basic services, within the circle, your project is eligible to pursue this path. 


  • There must be pedestrian access to the basic services. Pedestrians cannot be blocked by walls, highways or other permanent barriers. 


  • To find the density of residential buildings near your project, check with sources like planning departments, or property management companies on a building by building basis. 


  • For mixed-use projects, one service located within the project boundary may be counted towards the credit calculation, and that service must be accessible to the general public. For example, if your project is an office complex with a coffee shop and dry cleaners—and they are accessible to the general public—one of these two can count as one of the ten required basic services.


  • At least eight of the ten required services must be operational at the time of project completion. For services that are nonexistent but proposed (up to two of the ten required services), the project team must demonstrate that they will be up and running within one year of occupancy. This can be documented by signed lease agreements or a letter from the developer or owner stating the scheduled opening of the service 


  • Access to services can attract more building occupants and improve occupant satisfaction with any project type—resulting in better financials and productivity. 

Schematic Design

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  • Complete density or community connectivity calculations relevant to Options 1 or 2 below.


  • These tasks could be completed in schematic design, design development or at 100% CDs. What is critical is to have the project square footage and site area set prior to performing final calculations. 


  • Option 1: Development Density


  • Your project area must be defined consistently throughout all LEED credits (per the project description). Make sure this is the case, especially if your project is part of a larger development, such as a campus. 


  • Check that your project can comply, using these three steps:

    1. Divide the total project square footage by the total site area in acres. (The minimum density required by this credit is 60,000 ft2 per acre). 
    2. Convert the total site area in acres to square feet (acres X 43,560 square feet) and find the square root of this number. Then multiply the result by 3 to determine the appropriate density radius in feet. Density Radius = 3 x √ [site area in acres x 43,560 ft2/acre].
    3. Define a circle based on the density radius to serve as the density boundary. Add the square footage of all buildings within the boundary and divide by the total area of all sites in the density boundary in acres. Include both the entire floor area and entire site area for all properties within and intersected by the density boundary (i.e., where the radius boundary intersects a building, even if only partially). Be sure to include your project site as well. Parks and water bodies can be excluded from the density boundary area. 

  • The calculator within LEED Online computes the density radius as well as the average density by summing up the building square footages and the site areas in acres. 


  • Confirm that the average density of your project is at least 60,000 ft2 per acre.


  • Per CIR 9/22/06, you can document Exemplary Performance as part of IDc1 through Option 1: Development Density using one of the following methods: 

    1. Document that your project has twice the density of the average surrounding neighborhood within the established density boundary area. 
    2. Demonstrate that the average density in an area twice as large as the density boundary is at least 120,000 ft2 per acre. Establish the expanded density boundary by doubling the size of your site area and redoing the square root calculation. 

  • Option 2: Community Connectivity


  • Use online mapping resources such as Google Earth to draw a one-half mile radius from the project building entrance. Your project must be within one-half mile of a residential development with a density of at least ten units per acre, net, as well as within one-half mile of ten basic services. 


  • For projects with more than one main entrance or more than one building, you may draw a circle from more than one entrance. The area contained within the circles drawn from all these radii is then used as your project’s radius.


  • Identify at least one residential development that meets the requirement within the defined boundary. (This could be one apartment building containing ten units.)


  • If you determine that your project is eligible for this credit option, develop a list of all the services within that half-mile radius (or several half-mile radii), and their distance from the project site. 


  • All the services must be accessible by foot via an uninterrupted, safe path stretching from the designated entrance to the service location. The path cannot cross a highway, for example, unless there is a pedestrian pathway. 


  • For onsite services or those within a half-mile, you can count up to two restaurants in the list of ten community services, but no other service can be counted twice. For example, if there are three restaurants, two hair salons, and four dry cleaners within your radius, you can count two restaurants, one salon and one dry cleaner. 


  • If any of the ten services are nonexistent but planned, you must obtain written documentation that these services will be operational by the time the occupants move into your building. Appropriate documentation includes a lease agreement or a letter from the owner or other responsible party. Only two unbuilt but planned services can be counted in your credit documentation.


  • Websites like Walkscore and Google Maps can provide locations of services and walking access from a given address. (See Resources.) Note, however, that resources like these contain limitations that may not match up with LEED requirements (Walkscore, for example, assumes that you can walk across water, if that's the most direct route.) Use them as a starting point to identify services and approximate distances, but be sure to make adjustments as needed.

Design Development

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  • Check that no changes are made to the design that might hurt your chances of earning the credit.


  • If your project site is located in a dense urban area where pollution is a concern, design your building to minimize potential air quality problems. Place outdoor air intakes away from sources of pollution as much as possible. Consider acoustics and other issues that might be associated with urban environments.

Construction Documents

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  • Complete the LEED Online credit form and prepare the following documents to show credit compliance, according to your chosen option. The LEED Reference Guide also offers good process guidance and sample documentation for this credit. 


  • For both options, a licensed professional (PE, RA, or RLA) can sign off on the credit in lieu of entering all the calculations. The professional whose license is on the line will likely want to confirm all the calculations anyway, and the credit form offers a good way to do that.


  • Option 1: Development Density


  • Provide a site-vicinity map, to scale, showing the project site and the one-half mile boundary from the project’s main entrance. Highlight the residential development and ten services within the boundary. 




  • Compile a list of all buildings that are within or are intersected by your density boundary, with square footages and site areas for each property. Highlight the results of your calculations and confirm that your project meets the credit requirement. 


  • Option 2: Community Connectivity


  • Provide a site-vicinity map, to scale, showing the project site and the one-half mile boundary from the project’s main entrance. Highlight the residential development and ten services within the boundary. 




  • Demonstrate through an online tool, picture, or site plan that ten services are accessible by foot from the project site. 


  • Compile a list of services for easy review, and confirm that the credit requirement is met. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    SS Credit 2: Development density and community connectivity

    5 Points

    Intent

    To channel development to urban areas with existing infrastructure, protect greenfields and preserve habitat and natural resources.

    Requirements

    Option 1: Development density

    Construct or renovate a building on a previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." site AND in a community with a minimum density of 60,000 square feet per acre net (13,800 square meters per hectare net). The density calculation is based on a typical two-story downtown development and must include the area of the project being built.

    OR

    Option 2: Community connectivity

    Construct or renovate a building on a site that meets the following criteria:

    • Is located on a previously developed site
    • Is within 1/2 mile of a residential area or neighborhood with an average density of 10 units per acre net
    • Is within 1/2 mile of at least 10 basic services
    • Has pedestrian access between the building and the services

    For mixed-use projects, no more than 1 service within the project boundary may be counted as 1 of the 10 basic services, provided it is open to the public. No more than 2 of the 10 services required may be anticipated (i.e. at least 8 must be existing and operational). In addition, the anticipated services must demonstrate that they will be operational in the locations indicated within 1 year of occupation of the applicant project. Examples of basic services include the following:

    • Bank
    • Place of Worship
    • Convenience Grocery
    • Day Care Center
    • Cleaners
    • Fire Station
    • Beauty Salon
    • Hardware
    • Laundry
    • Library
    • Medical or Dental Office
    • Senior Care Facility
    • Park
    • Pharmacy
    • Post Office
    • Restaurant
    • School
    • Supermarket
    • Theater
    • Community Center
    • Fitness Center
    • Museum

    Proximity is determined by drawing a 1/2-mile radius around a main building entrance on a site map and counting the services within that radius.

    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    During the site selection process, give preference to urban sites with pedestrian access to a variety of services.

     

Web Tools

Google Maps

For locating community services on a map in relation to project site.


NYC online map portal

For building information in the City of New York; useful for calculating density and identifying residential developments. 


Google Earth

Great resource for creating site maps and measuring distances.


Walk score

This online tools provides “as-the-crow-flies” distance to typical standard services from a given address, so it is most helpful to identify the location of basic services that are in close proximity, but shouldn’t be used to document walking distances. 

Community Services

Option 2: Community Connectivity

Compile a list of qualifying community services and residential neighborhoods, and their proximity to your project using a template like this one (with example shown).

Community Connectivity Narrative

Option 2: Community Connectivity

Use a narrative like the one illustrated in this example to demonstrate compliance with this option. This sample narrative provides sample language for planned community services, in addition to existing ones.

Design Submittal

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

Development Density Calculations

Option 1: Development Density

Calculations like these are needed to demonstrate the required development density for your site.

Planned Community Services

Option 2: Community Connectivity

Use a narrative like this to discuss use of services that are planned but not built to meet Option 2. As many as two of 10 services may be planned.

Development Density Calculator and Map Tool

Option 1: Development Density

Use this spreadsheet to check your compiance with this credit, including Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. compliance, and generate a map for documenting compliance in LEED Online.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 SS

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 SS 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."

195 Comments

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Ali Kassid Sr. Architect Hill International
Mar 31 2014
Guest
3 Thumbs Up

LEED-NC Building Within New Complex

We are working on the design of a new Campus comprises 5 faculties along with 14 buildings including residential, public, and ancillary facilities. RFP requested to get the presidency building certified as new construction (registered under v2009) with, as minimum, silver rating; the rest of project's components shall simply follow the sustainable design standards. My question is: could we consider SSc2 as applicable to this case as a new building within NEW complex, as opposite to an infill within existing context?
If yes; is there any example in this regard?
Appreciate your inputs..

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 31 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Ali, is your question about whether the project qualifies as previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development.", per LEED definitions? It doesn't sound previously developed to me.

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Ali Kassid Sr. Architect, Hill International Apr 01 2014 Guest 3 Thumbs Up

The project is on a suburban land includes an old abandoned brick factory that will be demolished, so the site has bee selected as a previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." and already identified as brownfieldAbandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites who expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination (may include hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants). They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic vitality of such areas or properties. (EPA) /contaminated zone. The case is that we have new multiple buildings to be sited there, and LEED certification to be pursued for one building in the complex; the question is that could SSc2-option1 be consider as applicable to this building although there are no existing surroundings at the time being but will be realized simultaneously as a campus in the near future any way?; we can customize the urban design to achieve the credit's requirements, further to the requirements of SSc5.2.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 02 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

According to the LEED requirements, this would not suffice. LEED-NC typically looks at the project as built, not as it is planned.

That being said, if the complex is planned and permitted, I could see the potential for 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 or LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. affirming your compliance. If this is important to the project I would probably submit a CIR.

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Ali Kassid Sr. Architect, Hill International Apr 03 2014 Guest 3 Thumbs Up

Many Thanks Tristan,

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Robert Celio
Mar 27 2014
Guest

Development Radius for EP

We have a project in the city and can easily meet the EP requirements for Option 1. Our project does not meet path 1 for EP but the surrounding properties are dense enough to comply with EP path 2. With path 2, the density radius changes to include a larger area but the LEED form does not allow for a different radius for the base credit and for the EP credit. In other words, how does the form allow us to show we comply with the density at both density radii? Anyone had experience with this?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 31 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Robert, I would first check that you have the most up-to-date version of the LEED Online form. Assuming it is up to date, I would probably include a short narrative to indicate that you are documenting EP.

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Neetika Parmar
Mar 23 2014
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

Hi ! Are 10 basic services

Hi !

Are 10 basic services limited to only those mentioned in LEED NC 2009 or can we include other services to target credit for community connectivity ?? Our project is located near garment store and tyre repair which are considered as retail, so will this qualify for this credit ?? Also the project should be located within 1/2 mile to a residential unit with avg density of 10 units per acre net. Will just showing location of the residential units along with photos do ? What is required as proof for the density of the residential unit??

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Mar 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

They are not likely to accept any basic services that are not identified in the reference guide, in my experience. For the residential, I usually try to be as descriptive as possible by saying "3-story multi-family apartment complex" or something to that effect so that it is pretty obvious that it meets the density requirements. I don't often see them question multi-family apartments but if you are trying to use a single-family home neighborhood, you should probably take the added step of drawing out an acre and counting how many homes are within it just to be on the safe side.

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Jennifer Rennick Principal In Balance Green Consulting
Mar 17 2014
LEEDuser Member

Community Connectivity travel distance

I am documenting basic services within a 1/2 mile radius of a project, however within the radius is a large body of water (river port). There are only 9 services close to the project on the near side of the water channel. Other services exist across the water and are within the 1/2 miles radius. The basic services on the other side of this channel can be accessed by travelling outside the 1/2 mile radius or via boat. Does this situation comply with the credit or does the credit specify that the 1/2 mile radius needs to be accessed on foot.

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Shannon Deeb Consultant Mac Company
Mar 06 2014
LEEDuser Member
362 Thumbs Up

Pedestrian Access

Pedestrian access is defined in the reference guide as "Allows people to walk to services without being blocked by walls, freeways or other barriers." Are sidewalks and crosswalks required? If yes, do they need to be documented on submittals?

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

Check out the comments section of CIv2009 - there is some guidance on this topic from GBCI.

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Faith Wilbert Pathfinder Engineers & Architects
Mar 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
35 Thumbs Up

SSc2 - Property Building data

I'm struggling finding the building information for the surrounding areas. I have checked the zoning maps, and property tax doc but can't find all the information. Any other suggestions?

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

Hmmm... Google maps and some back of the envelope calcs, going door to door, contacting owners, etc.

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Faith Wilbert Pathfinder Engineers & Architects
Mar 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
35 Thumbs Up

SSc2 Option 1 - parking garages

Do I include parking garages as part of the density calculations?

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GTF CPRE University of Oregon, Campus Planning & Real Estate
Mar 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

Pilot credit "Walkable Project Sites" double-dips with SSc2?

Our campus student union is considering an Innovation Credit using v4 pilot credit 14: Walkable Project Sites. Would this pilot credit be double dipping if we also achieve SSc2 option 2?
Are there any considerations of the type of street that requires street trees on Walkable Project Sites? We may not be able to achieve an average of 40' spacing between, but the street is not a heavy traffic street, but an internal university street, mainly pedestrian.
Thanks.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I have been able to successfully achieve both SSc2 option 2 as well as the Walkable Sites Pilot Credit. I don't know for sure about the definition of "street" but I would think that trees would be even more useful/ advantageous on a pedestrian street.

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Farah A.
Feb 17 2014
Guest
82 Thumbs Up

Calculation Issue

A building pursuing the Development Density and Community Connectivity credit is located within a 2 acres community (8,093,m²), in which existing buildings total 90,000 sq. ft (8,361 m²). How large does the building need to be in order to comply with Option 1 of the credit?

The answer is: 30,000 sq. ft. (2,787 m²)

I'm assuming this is so because the minimum density is 60,000, and the building densityBuilding density is the floor area of the building divided by the total area of the site (square feet per acre). times the acres would meet this requirement- however, I see no such calculation formula in the reference guide. If someone could explain the concept behind this, I'd be grateful!

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C, ThemaVerde, France Feb 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 244 Thumbs Up

Farah,
If I understand this correctly you are pursuing option 1 and you calculated your density radius, the overall average property density within the radius equals 45 000 SF/Acre (=90 000 SF/ 2Acres). So well below the required 60 000SF/Acre.

But the credit requirements require you to account for your own project gross area in this calculations, which you did not.
And you are now wondering how many SF the gross area of your project should come up to in order to reach the minimum density.

Then you are correct: 30 000 SF is the gross area for your project that will be required. leading your average community density to 120 000 SF/2Acres =60 000 SF/Acre

Also, you need to ensure that your project has a density of 60 000 SF/Acre as well.

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Farah A. Feb 26 2014 Guest 82 Thumbs Up

Hello Charline,

Thanks for your explanation.

Why is 30,000 the gross area required?

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C, ThemaVerde, France Feb 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 244 Thumbs Up

Ok, you are targeting an Average property density within the density boundary of 60,000 SF/Acre, right?
You can See the following equation in the reference guide page 29, option 1 STEP 3:
Average property density = (Sum of all property SF) / (Sum of all sites area in acre)

In this equation you need to account for your own project Square footage, this means: (Sum of all property SF) = Existing buildings SF + your project SF

Using the two equations above, this leads to:
Your project SF = [Average property density x (Sum of all sites area in acre)] - Existing buildings SF
Your project SF = [ 60000(SF/acre) x 2 (Acres)] -90000 (SF) = 30000 SF

Hope that helps!!

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Rosemary Muller Architect Muller & Caulfield Architects
Feb 10 2014
LEEDuser Member

Definition of supermarket for SS C2 option2 credit

Is there a definition of what can be counted as a "supermarket" instead of just a "convenience grocery"? What features is a "supermarket" required to have? I have a site which is near several small (non-chain) markets, but don't know if any could be counted as a "supermarket".

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Feb 11 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I don't think there is any kind of technical guidance on this, but I usually count convenience grocery as a 7Eleven or mart associated with a gas station.

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Farah A.
Feb 09 2014
Guest
82 Thumbs Up

LEED BD+C Help

Hi everyone,

Currently racking my brains over the BD+C reference guide and can't seem to locate the answers to a few questions I have regarding BD+C rating system, if anyone can help with ANY of these inquiries, it would be much appreciated!

--For Credit SS 5.1 and SS 5.2 may only one exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. credit be earned between these credits? How about for SS 7.1 and SS 7.2? (Since Credit 4 has a 1 EP limit between SS 4.1-4.4)

--Not understanding Development Density Exemplary performance requirement- if a project's density is 120,000 sq ft does it automatically receive +1 EP?

--To determine average weighted roof compliant area, are you adding or multiplying [(Area meeting min SRI/.75)+ (vegetated roof areaRoof area is the area of the uppermost surface of the building which covers enclosed Gross Floor Area, as measured when projected onto a flat, horizontal surface (i.e. as seen in Roof Plan view). ‘Roofs’, or portions of roofs, covering unenclosed areas (e.g. roofs over porches and open covered parking structures) are not included in the areas used to evaluate compliance with SSc7.2, though they may be applicable to SSc7.1./.5)] The reference guide clearly states you must multiply, however I came across a solution for a GBES question which adds both values!

--Lets say you are calculating the amount of open space needed to qualify for the Maximize Open Space credit. You are given 20 acres with a local zoning requirement of 4 acres of open space. The project has restored 2 acres of land with native and adaptive plants. The project also has a vegetated pond that takes up .5 acres.
The BD+C rule states I must exceed local zoning requirement by 25%, making it 5 acres total of open space that I need. Must I subtract 2 AND .5 Acres from 5 acres to determine how many MORE acres of open space are needed for this credit?

THANK YOU for any help!

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Feb 11 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I think you will be better served if you break up your questions and post them in their respective forums - it gets confusing when a discussion about open space begins under the development density credit. But in regards to your question about the EP point, you are automatically eligible to earn it if your density is double that of the requirement - 120,000 sf per acre net.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator Opsis Architecture
Feb 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
264 Thumbs Up

Definition of fitness center?

Would a studio dedicated to a particular activity/sport count as a fitness center? Martial arts, yoga, dance, etc? I would think the answer is yes but want to confirm since we don't have a basic service to spare!

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Feb 04 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I have had success using a yoga center in the past but it was an older version of LEED so I can't say with 100% certainty that it will work again. But I think you have a good shot at getting it accepted.

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C, ThemaVerde, France Feb 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 244 Thumbs Up

I had a question on the same topic: Would a center with multiple indoor and outdoor sport courts qualify?
We're not sure there's a fitness room though but I would think it could be filed as a "fitness center".

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C, ThemaVerde, France Feb 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 244 Thumbs Up

Anyone has tried submitting this in the past? I would think a sport facility could qualify for a fitness center...

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C, ThemaVerde, France Feb 28 2014 LEEDuser Member 244 Thumbs Up

Someone mentioned to me today we may be able to file the outdoor sport courts as a park instead, Tristan any idea?

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Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Jan 24 2014
LEEDuser Member
291 Thumbs Up

Banking facility

For one of our projects we are thinking of negotiating with a local bank to set up an ATM machine that is open to public. The bank it self is not close by but we can make a deal with them to set up the ATM machine within the 1/2 mile radius. Will it be acceptable as a banking facility under the credit intent? Of course it doesn't provide the full scale of banking services, but with an ATM you can withdraw cash, deposit checks, pay bills etc. So I think it is fair to consider as a banking facility.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Jan 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

This question has been asked before further down the thread. The opinion seems to be that it doesn't count but no one ever tried it and posted back so it is hard to know for sure.

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Magda Aghababyan CEO, Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd. Jan 29 2014 LEEDuser Member 291 Thumbs Up

Thank you. If any one has ever tried it and got feedback, can you please share your experience here?

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Kristina Bach CORE Steward, Cooper Carry Jan 29 2014 LEEDuser Member 642 Thumbs Up

I have never personally submitted it on one of my projects, but I have heard of others consistently getting ATMs denied as not qualifying as "banks" in the v2009 systems (not sure about the older v2 systems).

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Eric Anderson Technical Customer Service Specialist, GBCI Jan 29 2014 Guest 957 Thumbs Up

Yes, Kristina is correct. An ATM would not be accepted as a qualify service in LEED v2009. This is stated more explicitly in the LEED v4 documentation, but even for v2 & v3/2009 rating systems the same principle applies. ATMs do not share the same characteristics as the examples listed in the rating system or reference guide. Namely, they are not distinctly operated enterprises, and the credit intent aims to reward projects for locating in places with a variety of amenities – generally characterized as full business establishments open to the public.

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Jiri Dobias
Nov 05 2013
LEEDuser Member
1050 Thumbs Up

Exemplary performance calculation

Dear all LEEDusers,

I got a clarification question regarding our project but I am not sure that the review team is correct.
My density radius for the base credit is 406 feet (project site is 18,296 sf), therefore the buildable landThe portion of the site where construction can occur. When used in density calculations, the calculation for buildable land excludes: public streets and other public rights of way, and land excluded from development by law or other prerequisites of LEED for Neighborhood Development. is 11.88 acres. Am I correct that the radius for the EP would be = 3 x (2 x 18,296 x 43,560)^(1/2) = 574 ft?

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Nov 13 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

Hi Jiri - it may be helpful if you could post the exact comment from the reviewer.

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd.
Oct 09 2013
LEEDuser Member
1182 Thumbs Up

a site with no building

Hi,
Our project will use option 1. The project site is located on industry development area nea bayside. There are some sites which have no building whithin the density radius of our project. Should these sites with no building be included to credit calculation?
That means that the density of that kind of site is 0 sf/acre. Is my understanding correct?

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

Yes, that is correct.

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 1182 Thumbs Up

Thank you, Tristan.

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Bill Holub
Sep 04 2013
LEEDuser Member
14 Thumbs Up

Public Access for Community Services - Attn Eric Anderson

Eric,
I was hoping you could provide follow-up resources concerning your response (of August 13th) to Lauren's inquiry about campus service's. In the response it specifically indicates Military Bases as an example of where general public access would not be required for this credit. Can you direct me to any resources that detail the public access requirements for community services on a militray base?

Thank you in advance.

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Eric Anderson Technical Customer Service Specialist, GBCI Sep 05 2013 Guest 957 Thumbs Up

Hi Bill, Our in-house experts on this credit provided some feedback on your question that I'm happy to pass along here: While’s there’s no published guidance on this circumstance, to meet the credit in intent services on military bases must be open to all base occupants (military personnel and/or their families, visitors to the base, staff/contractors working on the base, etc.). This is because military bases are typically “secure islands” or “gated communities” all unto themselves and are not typically accessible by the surrounding community for security reasons. Nonetheless, featuring walkable services within these settings can have significant environmental benefits. It can be argued that military projects should not be able to attain SSc2 as the credit was meant for well-located, non-gated projects with excellent community access to diverse public services, which many military bases are not. However, given the unique security requirements of these installations this long-standing compromise ensures services on the base used to obtain SSc2 are open to all base occupants, thereby meeting the credit intent for Option 2.

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Sahar Abi-Ziki
Aug 16 2013
Guest
40 Thumbs Up

Calculation clarification-

Our building has a large atrium on 3 floors. We are trying to achieve credit SSc2, option 1 development density. Can we count the atrium area in the project floor area calculation or the atrium area should be deducted on each floor for total building floor area. As per the definition of Project area in the Addendum, shaft spaces and elevators can be included in the calculations, which are also voids…
The project has 3 floors parking areas, as I understood from previous discussions the parking should be excluded from the building floor area. Can we include a section from the basement which has services, mechanical rooms or storage areas in the floor area calculations?
If the project is already registered in CAGBC under a certain floor area, I assume it will still be possible to change this area after if needed?
Thank you

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I would say that yes, you can count the atria space and any basement areas that are not parking.

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Jay DeVilbiss Sustainability Consultant Mission Green Buildings Inc.
Aug 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
53 Thumbs Up

Option 2 - portion of residential street meets 10 units per acre

Hello,

I have a question regarding the requirement for a residential neighbourhood meeting a min density of 10 units per acre for Option 2 - Community Connectivity. The FAQ above states that "any discrete area that addresses the requirements is acceptable." If the site has several streets within a half mile that contain single family homes, is it sufficient to demonstrate that a portion of one street block meets the requirement, or would that whole street block have to be considered? For example, if one nearby street block has a total of 15 homes on it, and 10 adjacent homes/properties on that street make up less than an acre (thus meeting the requirement), can just that subset of 10 homes be used in the calculation or would all 15 on the street have to be considered?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Aug 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

Hi Jay - I believe you can count a residential area even if it is only partially inside your radius as long as you can substantiate that it meets the density requirements.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager Mary Davidge Associates
Aug 12 2013
LEEDuser Expert
13074 Thumbs Up

Services on campus

We recently received a review comment that said that we could not count the services located on our university campus and freely available to all of our project's FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.. I see that there is some dialogue above about this topic but I was wondering if there was any additional insight that I should be aware of. I have achieved it with this path plenty of times in the past. It is very unlikely that we will achieve the point if we cannot count these campus services. If it is not allowed I would love to see the official guidance clarifying how this is the case (either from 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, addendum, or of course the Reference Guide itself).

Thank you.

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Eric Anderson Technical Customer Service Specialist, GBCI Aug 13 2013 Guest 957 Thumbs Up

Hi Lauren, thank you for seeking out the established guidance regarding services on campuses. My colleagues that specialize in these credits wanted me to pass along the following information on this topic.

These settings can present tricky circumstances. LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. 2403 (1/8/2009) clarifies the rating system intent that basic services are open to the general public. The intent of this credit is to reward projects that locate themselves in existing built-up areas with existing infrastructure. The goal is that the community basic services can serve a larger population than just the building occupants, as the example services listed in the rating system illustrate. There are very limited occasions where the basic services would not need to be open to the general public. For example, if a project is on a military base where access to the base is limited to only military personnel and base occupants, then it would be permissible to include military-only services as community services as long as such services are open to the base users. Conversely, if a university campus is located in a dense urban area, it would not be appropriate to count services that are only available to university students. These types of private services do not qualify as community infrastructure.

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Kate Conley Designer/Draftsperson, CAW Architects Oct 25 2013 Guest 10 Thumbs Up

We received the same comment for our project, a dormitory renovation on a university campus. We are NOT in a dense urban area. Half of our circle of the 1/2-mile radius is a redwood forest. I don't believe we can achieve this credit if we cannot count any services available to students and faculty only. College campuses are such an ideal of connected, walkable communities. I can't imagine the USGBC would want to deny a university striving for LEED Silver to not achieve it because a non-student or faculty member can't use the gym or health center. Incredibly disappointing. We used the exact same services for LEED certification on the exact same campus 3 years ago and received the credit without comment.

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Architect DBP DBP
Jul 23 2013
LEEDuser Member
60 Thumbs Up

Gross Square Footage Calculation

Basic question; when calculating the building's gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features., should I include stairwells, elevator shafts, mechanical shafts, or double-height spaces? I understand that the GSF should be measured from "...the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls..." but it's unclear if the above mentioned spaces should be included.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Jul 24 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

Gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. is everything that is within the outside face of exterior walls whether it is regularly occupied/usable/conditioned or not.

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John Edwards Sustainable Design Coordinator/Sr. Proj. Mgr. Bonstra Haresign Architects
Jul 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
18 Thumbs Up

Development density - site area

I have a project that has 30 stories of above-grade office/retail/parking structure and 3 levels of below-grade parking. Part of the the below-grade parking sits under our building while part extends entirely underneath an adjoining building lot where a separate independent hotel structure (not part of this LEED project) will be built in the above-grade air rights. Construction of the two buildings are intended to be staged so that they are completed at approximately the same time, though they are two separate projects. The questions are twofold:
1) Should the site area for our building in the initial development density calculation include the land area of the adjoining lot above the below-grade parking structure? While the below-grade parking space systems will be factored in to the various applicable WE/EA/MR/IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. credits (as we would normally do), the SF is not included in the building gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. by definition, and the land it sits under is the actual site footprint for the separate adjoining building. It would seem that if we count this as part of our site area, there would be no site area left to calculate the density of the adjoining building without double-counting the land area. This problem would also pop up in other credits that use the site area of the LEED project boundary (such as SSc5.1/5.2 and others dealing with open space, SWM and landscape) where calculations would be inaccurately skewed if that land underneath the adjoining building is counted within the project site area. Any experience with/advice on how to handle the LEED project boundary and project density site area for such a situation where part of the intended certified structure is underneath another 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.?
2) Since the adjoining hotel building will be completed at approximately the same time as our LEED project building, can it be included in the development density calculations for Option 1? It would seem that if Option 2 allows anticipated services to count, than Option 1 should also allow anticipated density to count, as long as some sort of documentation is provided to demonstrate that the adjoining building is actually being built to the density indicated. Although independently developed, the two buildings are part of a single phase of a redevelopment master plan jointly approved by the local planning authorities.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Jul 24 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

There is a thread along similar lines starting from March 2, 2013 about what area to count in your density calculations. I don't think anyone ever had a conclusive answer but the approach seemed to be to exclude the parking square footage since garage areas are excluded for the purposes of LEED fees and certifications. So I would think that the adjacent project would be counted as a separate density calculation. While I don't know for sure that you could count that project since it is planned and funded but not built, it seems logical to assume that if it counts for Option 2 it should count for Option 1.

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ruben valenzuela Architect, LEED AP RVA
Jul 03 2013
Guest
18 Thumbs Up

10 units per acre density?

Within the required radius, we have a nursing home facility with an average density of 10 units per acre. My question is if this one building complex counts for the residential area requirement at all?

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Kristina Bach CORE Steward, Cooper Carry Jul 03 2013 LEEDuser Member 642 Thumbs Up

A single building complex can be used to meet the density requirements, HOWEVER, I'm wondering whether the nursing home facility would qualify as the residential area? From the reading of how USGBC defines "residential area" as single/multi-family housing comprised of townhomes, apartments, duplexes, condominiums, or mobile homes; and based on the fact that Senior Care Facilities are listed out as a basic service type rather than a residential type, I'm wondering if those senior living facilities are then considered to be not applicable to the residential calculation... Any thoughts from the LEEDuser group?

If you have another compliant apartment building/residential area within your half-mile radius, I might recommend just using that for the residential area instead (and then counting the Nursing Home as one of your basic service types). If you don't have another compliant building/area, it might be worth submitting the question to GBCI for clarification via their Contact Us Form (http://www.gbci.org/org-nav/contact/Contact-Us/Project-Certification-Que...). That would help give you some direction prior to submitting for review.

If you do contact GBCI for clarification - an update here would be appreciated!

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ruben valenzuela Architect, LEED AP, RVA Jul 05 2013 Guest 18 Thumbs Up

Thank You Kristina,
We are in a gray area with this one I think, so I'll have a member of our team contact GBCI, but I just checked...I have to wait 10 to 15 days for a response? We dont have another compliant residential building within the 1/2 mile radius unfortunately, but will keep you posted on any developments regarding this post. Your response is very much appreciated.

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Mike Foresee
Jul 02 2013
Guest
27 Thumbs Up

How LEED credits are awarded

Here's a very Basic Question from a LEED novice studying to take the BD+C specialty exam: Most categories have one credit associated with them. The category, SSc2, has a possible 5 credits. Are the credits given as "all or nothing" or can partial credit be awarded? If partial can be awarded what is the basis on which the number of credits to be awarded is determined? Again, sorry for the rudimentary nature of the query, but this elementary concept is holding up my understanding of the whole point-awarding rationale. Thanks for the help!

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jul 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 1524 Thumbs Up

It's all or nothing

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Mike Foresee Jul 02 2013 Guest 27 Thumbs Up

Kathryn, thanks for the response. I regrettably chose a bad example. What about WEc1 where there is a RANGE given between 2-4 credits? Option 1 (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. for irrigation by 50%) gives 2 credits. How are the credits for Option 2 given? You wouldn't get 2 points for Path 1 (irrigate with reused water) and another 2 points for Path 2 (don't use water at all for irrigation). You would need to choose between the two paths. And since there's no exemplary credit available, where does the option of a total of 4 points come from?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jul 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 1524 Thumbs Up

2 points for 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.

4 points for 100% reduction of potable water use for irrigation (no potable water use) whether that's achieved with no water use at all or the use of non-potable water

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jul 02 2013 LEEDuser Expert 12211 Thumbs Up

Mike, if you are questioning why some credits are worth multiple points when they do not seem worthy of those extra points, look up the information released by the USGBC when v3 launched on carbon reductions. Chris Pyke put out some impressive documents at the time.

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Mike Foresee Jul 02 2013 Guest 27 Thumbs Up

Thank you both, Kathryn and Susan. Both answers were helpful.

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 440 Thumbs Up

It was recently suggested that partial points might be awarded for meeting the overall INTENT of this credit, if not the prescriptive requirements. By that, it was meant that the Development in question was, and I am paraphrasing the credit Intent: "...channeled to an area with existing infrastructure, protecting greenfields and preserving habitat and natural resources."

The project in question is not within a dense urban area, is not within 1/2 mile radius of 10 or more services or within 1/2 mile of a residential neighborhood. However, it is a previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." site utilizing existing infrastructure and protecting greenfields, habitat, and natural resources.

Does anyone have any direct experience or indirect knowledge of partial points being awarded for this credit (or any credit for that matter) for meeting the overall intent of the credit without meeting each prescriptive requirement of Option 1 or 2?

It seems logical and reasonable to encourage development in areast that meet at least some of the criteria in order to avoid Greenfield development, but I am unaware of partial points being awarded for situations such as this.

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I have never heard of this and in general, my experience is that the LEED reviewers do not deviate beyond the credit requirements unless there is a very good reason. The intent of this credit is to channel development into urban areas and it doesn't sound like your project has met that intent, even if it is not a greenfield.

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 440 Thumbs Up

Thanks Ellen.

While I am generally in agreement with you, having had the same experiences in my own reviews, I am hoping that we will both be proven wrong and I will be sure to comment in here as I learn more. The individual who suggested this approach is very knowledgeable about and experienced with LEED. I was hoping that someone in here had already attempted such an approach to further validate the effort. In my opinion, it does seem logical to encourage projects to meet some requirements (versus not meeting any), but then, my opinion is of course not the one that counts.

Thanks again.

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Eric Anderson Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 8 Thumbs Up

GBCI doesn’t award partial credit for either Option 1 or Option 2. If the project believes they meet the credit intent despite being a greenfield site served by existing infrastructure, they may consider filing a formal inquiry (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 or LI) to confirm their approach is acceptable.

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 440 Thumbs Up

To be clear, the site is not a greenfield. It is a previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." site with existing infrastructure. The only part of the "Intent" description that is not true of this site is the word "urban". However, thank you for your comment which confirms what I suspected.

Again, if anyone has had any different experience, your description of that experience would be very much appreciated.

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Muna Akheel
May 24 2013
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

Within Boundary-Consider only 1 service&shud be open to public?

“For mixed-use projects, no more than 1 service within the project boundary may be counted as 1 of the 10 basic services, provided it is open to the public.”

1. Does this mean that only 1 service (not open to public) can be considered within the project boundary & “ Service 2 ,3,4 within project boundary should be open to public?"

2. Or does it mean that only 1 service can be considered within the site boundary & it should be open to public?

Hope my question is clear

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. May 24 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2315 Thumbs Up

I think assumption #2 is correct - only one service within your boundary may be counted, provided that it is open to the public. My experience with this credit is that no service may be counted (in your boundary or otherwise) if it is not open to everyone.

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Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic President & CEO A SustainAble Production
May 22 2013
LEEDuser Member
47 Thumbs Up

Golf Courses

Has anyone tried submitting a golf course as a Park or Service? Or would this be seen as a gym/workout facility?

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Apr 24 2014
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