NC-2009 SSc4.3: Alternative Transportation—Low-Emitting and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

  • NC_SSc4-3_Type1_LowEmittingVehicles Diagram
  • Promote use of high-efficiency vehicles

    This credit is focused on limiting environmental impacts from automobile use. It targets commuting specifically, but also addresses company vehicle fleets, maintenance vehicles, and buses.

    If your project has substantial parking area, you may find the requirements of this credit to be low-hanging fruit, because you should easily be able to designate preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy., which is one option. There are other options for compliance, all of varying difficulty and requiring varying levels of commitment from the project owner.

    Pick a path and go with it

    It’s wise to choose your compliance path early in the process, especially since some of the options require infrastructure development such as alternative fueling stations. 

    LE/FE vehicle signageMake sure that you base your choice on the likelihood that building occupants will take advantage of the resources you provide. While this is not often done, surveying occupants or prospective occupants is a good way to determine which strategy is likely to have the highest impact.

    A range of options

    Option 1: Providing preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles is by far the most cost-effective option for projects that have onsite parking managed by the building ownership. “Preferred” is defined as easy to access (such as close to building entrances), or available at a discounted price.

    Option 2: Providing onsite alternative fueling stations for 3% of total vehicle parking capacity is a bit more involved and potentially more expensive. The most readily accessible strategy here is providing plug outlets for electric cars. 

    Option 3: Providing low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicles for 3% of FTE occupants along with preferred parking for these vehicles may be the most expensive approach to this credit. If a project already maintains a fleet of vehicles, however, then low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles can be substituted at no added cost—possibly even at a cost savings. 

    Parking signageOption 4: Implementing a vehicle-sharing program with provision for designated parking for shared vehicles may be best integrated into residential or campus project programming.   

    Parking is not a prerequisite

    Projects that do not provide onsite parking can still earn this credit by pursuing Option 4 and implementing a low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicle-sharing program (many residential projects prefer this option). Projects may also earn the credit by pursuing Option 2, providing alternative fueling stations onsite.

    Signage matters

    Parking signage for this credit must typically include the terms "Low-Emitting" and/or 'Fuel-Efficient," with the only exceptions being "Zero Emissions Vehicles" or "ACEEE 40+." Signage using solely terms like "Alternative Fuel Vehicles," "Hybrid Vehicles," or "Electric Vehicles" is not sufficient, because some hybrid vehicles, etc., do not meet the LE/FE definition, and vice versa.

  • Don't double-count parking spaces

    If your project is pursuing both SSc4.3 and SSc4.4, be careful not to double-count preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. spaces allotted for those credits. The total number of preferred parking spaces must be equal to those required for SSc4.3, plus those required for SSc4.4. The same parking space cannot count for both credits (although they do not have to be distinguished through signage).

  • FAQs for SSc4.3

    Do all hybrid vehicles automatically qualify for this credit?

    No. The qualifying list rates vehicles for fuel efficiency as well as emissions. Most—but not all—hybrids meet the criteria. There are also non-hybrid cars that qualify for the credit. Always check the most up-to-date list for qualifying vehicles. The list is long and inclusive.

    Can a project pursue this credit via a combination of Option 1 (preferred parking) and Option 2 (alternative fueling stations)?

    This would probably be approved by LEED, depending on specifics, but you would need to get an official ruling—either 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..

    How should the signage read for preferred parking spaces?

    Neither USGBC or GBCI has provided a mandatory signage design, but there has been consistent guidance indicating that one or more of the following terms must be on the sign:

    • Low-Emitting
    • Fuel-Efficient
    • Zero Emissions
    • ACEEE 40+

    Some project teams have struggled with this because they think it does not clearly convey the concept to occupants, but nonetheless, this has been the pattern of review comments from GBCI. For projects that want to use additional terms, they may use one of more of the above terms, in combination with any of the following terms.

    • Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    • Hybrid Vehicles
    • Electric Vehicles

    These terms are not sufficient on their own, however, as not all hybrid vehicles are low-emitting, for example.

    For electric vehicle charging stations, how are the parameters established for fueling capacity?

    Typically credit is given for each available preferred parking spot with a separate charging plug. If a charging station provides a fast charge and the project wants to have that reflected in its credit calculations, then the project team should provide evidence from both the charging system manufacturer and the building or parking management showing that the logistics of allowing multiple vehicles to share a single charging station will be managed accordingly.

    I am working on a project with no parking spaces allocated. Can I earn this credit?

    Yes, some projects have earned this credit with a regional car-sharing program that locates a publicly accessible car share vehicle adjacent to the project site.

    Our project is outside the U.S., and the LEED-approved ACEEE Green Score and CARB ratings and classifications don't apply to many vehicles. Is there another approach that is accepted?

    Only in Brazil, where projects can benefit from the approval of a regional program in LEED Interpretation #10230. GBCI's policy is that until a Global alternative compliance path (ACP) or LEED Interpretation comes out, proposals for non-standard approaches must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by individual review teams. This means that some LEED projects may be able to create a successful approach, and some might have difficulty—a situation that is consistent with what LEEDuser has heard about LEED review comments.

    Should I consider motorbikes and parking spaces for them under this credit? What about fleet vehicles?

    Fleet vehicle and storage spaces—for example, spaces for school buses, military vehicles, rental cars, or tractor trailers—are not counted in the number of total parking spaces, but commuter spaces are counted, including those dedicated to atypical vehicles such as motorcycles.

    According to GBCI, an "atypical" vehicle used for commuting, such as a motorcycle, should be counted the same as a "standard" passenger car parking space.  The amount of preferred parking provided should be distributed evenly among the various parking space types.

    For example, if 40% of the project’s parking is for motorcycles, 60% of the total parking is for standard passenger vehicles, and 10 preferred spaces are required to earn the credit, the preferred spaces should be distributed such that four preferred spaces (40%) are provided for motorcycles and six preferred spaces (60%) are provided for passenger vehicles.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Pick the best of the four compliance path options for attaining this credit:

    • Option 1: Provide either preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles for 5% of total parking capacity or a discounted parking rate (at least 20%) for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. 
    • Option 2: Install alternative fueling stations for 3% of parking capacity.
    • Option 3: Provide low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles for 3% of FTE building occupants with designated preferred parking for these vehicles. 
    • Option 4: Institute a low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle-sharing program.

  • Costs for each option are very different, and occur at different times. Don't forget to factor in infrastructure development, administration costs, procurement costs, and maintenance and upkeep costs. For example, installing fueling stations is much more expensive than providing preferred parking spaces with signage.


  • Simply providing preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles is the easiest way to comply with this credit. It is also a low-cost option.   


  • Consider the feasibility of each option based on your site location. Is your project located in a dense urban environment where most people commute to work via mass transit, or are you in a suburban or rural area where most people drive to work, and may appreciate a vehicle-sharing program? Also consider things like whether there are alternative-fuel vehicles used by occupants or whether occupants tend to use low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. Are HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes available? These types of questions will help to determine an appropriate approach to this credit.  


  • Consider the preference of building occupants so as not to dedicate resources to programs or infrastructure that will remain idle and not serve their intended audience. Is the organizational culture such that employees would appreciate such amenities? Depending on the building type, building occupants can be surveyed to assess the demand for amenities relating to low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. If you are planning on providing alternative-fuel refueling stations, assess what kind of fuel is preferred.


  • If the project team is committed to creating a comprehensive transportation management plan to qualify for an Exemplary Performance point through IDc1, dedicating the resources upfront to develop and implement a vehicle-sharing program makes sense, as it will be folded into the broader transportation plan.


  • A residential building in a dense urban area that does not have parking facilities may favor a vehicle-sharing program as a way of attracting new tenants and earning the credit at the same time. 


  • The same parking space cannot contribute to both SSc4.3 and SSc4.4 by being designated for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles (SSc4.3) and carpools or vanpools (SSc4.4).   

Schematic Design

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  • Refer to the California Air Resources Board Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) list and to the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide to determine which vehicles are classified as low-emitting and fuel-efficient. (See Resources.)


  • Hybrid and electric vehicles are not the only ones considered low-emitting and fuel-efficient. Many common gasoline vehicles with mileage efficiency of 21 mpg and above also meet that description depending on their make, model, fuel efficiency and emissions. 


  • “Preferred parking” refers to parking spaces near the building entrance or to discounted parking rates (minimum 20% discount), which must be offered to all eligible parking customers. Preferred parking is separate from, and should not be confused with disabled parking. Preferred spaces should be broken out evenly for the various types of parking spaces that are provided in the project—automobiles, trailers, compact cars, etc. Spaces for vehicles integal to the facilities process such as fleet or "inventory" vehicles can be excluded from calculations.


  • In a parking-garage, look to the location of disabled parking spaces for guidance on what is “preferred.” This may be on the lowest floor, or it may be closest to stairwells or elevators spread out over multiple floors.   


  • If it is not possible to reserve designated parking spaces close to the main entrance for LE and FE vehicles, comply by offering discounted rates for parking through coupons, vouchers, or other similar incentive programs. 


  • Some past projects have been able to designate preferred parking spaces in off-site parking areas attributed to the project that were not within the LEED scope or boundary, as long as they were within one-quarter mile of the project's main entrance or serviced by a shuttle. These preferred spaces had to be reserved for LEED project building occupants only. Project teams with similar circumstances need to consult with GBCI to see if taking a similar approach is allowed.


  • Since there are no “LEED police” to check compliance with parking rules after a project’s completion, it is the project owner’s responsibility to meet the intent of the credit throughout the operations phase using the honor system. Some owners choose to screen occupants’ cars and distribute stickers to those that are allowed to park in designated preferred-parking spaces.


  •  Option 1: Provide Preferred Parking


  • Calculate the total vehicle parking capacity of the site and allocate 5% of it for preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.  


  • Calculations should be based on the parking spaces associated with the building pursuing LEED certification plus any additional parking included in the LEED boundary. Options 1 and 2 relate to total parking spaces included onsite within the LEED boundary while Options 3 and 4 relate to vehicles for project occupants. If parking for the building is offsite, it must be included in credit calculations. If some of the parking is onsite and some offsite, confirm the appropriate approach to the situation with GBCI.


  • Alternatively, if the LEED boundary includes a multi-story garage that serves multiple buildings in addition to the LEED project, all the parking spaces within the LEED boundary must be included for calculations even if only a portion of the parking area is expected to be for the project building’s use. 


  • If designating parking spaces is not desirable, the credit can be achieved by providing a discounted parking rate of at least 20% for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.  


  • Option 2: Refueling Stations


  • Incorporate alternative fueling stations into your plan early in the design stage. 


  • Calculate the total vehicle parking capacity of the site and install alternative fuel stations for at least 3% of that capacity. 


  • Fueling stations can be as simple as an electric-car charging outlet in a parking garage, but they must be designed to support street-legal, long-range vehicles (not electric golf carts, for example).


  • If installing a electric car-charger, install a 240V conductive power supply (or inductive charger). The emerging market for electric vehicles is expected to require J-1772-compliant outlets, which need a 240V power supply.


  • To assess the demand (potential or future) for alternative fueling stations, conduct surveys to determine the alternative fuel most likely to be used by future building occupants. Consider polling future building occupants via email or a paper survey.


  • Research local code requirements and standards that may apply to installing fueling stations on your project site, including building, fire and electrical codes. Also look into relevant equipment, upkeep, and maintenance of refueling stations.  


  • Project teams should carefully consider available technologies and different fuel sources before installing fueling stations. There are also legal, technical, and safety issues to take into account and deal with early in the process: 

    • Look at the kind of liability that is associated with installing these fueling stations on your project site. 
    • Look at fuel availability and compare the price and requirements of installing fueling stations for different kinds of fuels. Cost will vary depending on the type of fuel and the complexity of installation. 
    • Consider the fueling and charging characteristics of each type of fuel that you are considering. Natural gas fueling facilities, for example, consist of one or more gas compressors, a compressed gas storage tank, and gas dispensing equipment. If you are using another kind of alternative fuel, the equipment requirements may be different, affecting cost and feasibility. 
    • Consider health and safety aspects that may be linked to each alternative fuel option. For example, electric vehicles with batteries should generally be charged in a well-ventilated area.  
    • Consider how easy or difficult it will be for operations personnel to maintain the stations.

  • For liquid fuels like biodiesel and ethanol, provide storage and safe handling procedures for fueling stations. Research a variety of fuels that may be made available to the project occupants. 


  • Providing alternative fueling stations may have significant cost implications, though the popularity of alternative-fuel vehicles is slowly working to make them more cost-competitive. 


  • The project owner may choose to sell the alternative fuel to the public in addition to providing it to building occupants.


  • The costs of installing and maintaining alternative fueling stations should be weighed against the anticipated use of the facilities and the environmental benefits that can accrue from it. 


  • Option 3: Provide Low-Emitting Vehicles and Preferred Parking for Occupants


  • Calculate the total number of FTE occupants in the building to determine the number of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles to purchase as well as the number of preferred parking spaces to provide. 


  • To calculate FTE occupants, use a standard eight-hour occupancy period. An FTE, therefore, has a value of one (8 ÷ 8). Each part-time staff occupant has a value of the number of hours of occupancy divided by eight (e.g., 4 ÷ 8 = ½ FTE). It follows that the total number of staff FTEs equals the total number of staff hours divided by eight.


  • Maintain consistency in the number of FTEs across all LEED credits.


  • Refer to the ACEEE list for eligible vehicles. (See Resources.)


  • Simple electrical outlets do not constitute vehicle-charging stations. Electrical charging stations have distinct hardware for vehicle charging. If providing electrical vehicles for the fleet, these charging stations should be available to those vehicles. 


  • Allowing adequate lead time is important in this option, as alternate-fuel vehicles may take longer to order and purchase. Communicate with procurement officers as early as possible in the planning process. 


  • For companies that provide vehicles for employee use, consider “greening your fleet” by purchasing vehicles qualified as low-emitting and fuel-efficient. Project teams should carefully consider available technologies and different fuel sources before purchasing vehicles. 


  • The setup costs for this option may be considerable. 


  • Research tax incentives offered by federal, state, or local governments for purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles. This could help offset some of the initial costs. 


  • Option 4: Vehicle-Sharing Program


  • Implement a vehicle-sharing program in which one low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle is provided per 3% of FTE occupants. This works out to one vehicle for every 267 FTE occupants, assuming that one shared vehicle can serve eight people. (The number of vehicles required equals the total number of FTEs divided by 267—see the Documentation Toolkit for a calculator.) At a minimum, one vehicle must be provided, regardless of the number of occupants in the building.  


  • All cars included in the vehicle-sharing program must be qualified as low-emitting or fuel-efficient by ACEEE. 


  • The program also must have a minimum two-year contract and designated preferred parking for the shared vehicles. 


  • Try negotiating a special contract with a vehicle-sharing company for low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicles.

Design Development

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  • Design your building to include transportation amenities such as preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles or alternative fueling stations, depending on your chosen option. 


  • Option 4: LE or FE vehicle-sharing program


  • Look at existing vehicle-sharing programs in your area.


  • If none are available, locate vendors that can develop a program to manage a low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle fleet.

Construction Documents

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  • Indicate the locations of all preferred parking spaces on site plans, along with requirements for signage. 


  • If providing alternative-fueling stations, make sure the construction documents include all required specs.  

Construction

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  • Install markings on preferred parking spaces. These can include a sign, striping or both.  


  • Complete the LEED Online credit form, and provide the following supporting documentation, as applicable:

    • Drawings or a site plan that indicates the location and number of preferred parking spaces or alternative-fueling stations. 
    • If discounted parking is offered, provide information about the program and explain how the information is disseminated to building occupants. 
    • Sample signage for preferred parking.
    • Equipment cut sheets and product information for alternative-fueling stations. 
    • Vehicle product information for low-emitting and fuel-efficient cars provided to employees. Include make, model number, and fuel type. 
    • If a vehicle-sharing program is put in place, prepare information about the program, including statistics about users, contracts, and other relevant information.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Continued compliance with the spirit of this credit is largely based on the honor system and the integrity of building management and users. To ensure that preferred parking policies are respected, consider the following strategies:

    • Wherever preferred parking is provided, post signage that identifies preferred parking or alternative-fuel stations.
    • Signage can be as noticeable or discreet as desired, but must clearly demarcate preferred spaces as such. 
    • A sticker program can be implemented to identify cars that qualify to park in preferred parking spaces. 
    • Provide information about the parking program via appropriate channels for your project.
    • Post information about the parking program in entryways and in public areas. 

  • Make sure that operations and maintenance personnel (or a vendor, if involved) are set up to maintain the alternative fueling stations. Provide them with all required information about safety and maintenance procedures.


  • Building staff will also spend time administering the various parking programs: preferred parking, discounted parking, or vehicle-sharing. Procedures and policies for their use must be developed, along with enforcement mechanisms. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    SS Credit 4.3: Alternative transportation - low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles

    3 Points

    Intent

    To reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use.

    Requirements

    Option 1: Preferred or discounted parking

    Provide preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system.1 for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.2 for 5% of the total vehicle parking capacity of the site. Providing a discounted parking rate is an acceptable substitute for preferred parking for low-emitting/fuel-efficient vehicles. To establish a meaningful incentive in all potential markets, the parking rate must be discounted at least 20%. The discounted rate must be available to all customers (i.e., not limited to the number of customers equal to 5% of the vehicle parking capacity), publicly posted at the entrance of the parking area and available for a minimum of 2 years.

    OR

    Option 2: Alternative fuel

    Install alternative-fuel fueling stations for 3% of the total vehicle parking capacity of the site. Liquid or gaseous fueling facilities must be separately ventilated or located outdoors.

    OR

    Option 3: Provide vehicles

    Provide low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles for 3% of full-time equivalentFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 40 hours per week in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per week divided by 40. Multiple shifts are included or excluded depending on the intent and requirements of the credit. (FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.) occupants.

    Provide preferred parking for these vehicles.

    OR

    Option 4: Vehicle sharing program

    Provide building occupants access to a low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle-sharing program. The following requirements must be met:

    • One low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle must be provided per 3% of FTE occupants, assuming that 1 shared vehicle can carry eight persons (i.e., 1 vehicle per 267 FTE occupants). For buildings with fewer than 267 FTE occupants, at least 1 low emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle must be provided.
    • A vehicle-sharing contract must be provided that has an agreement of at least two years.
    • The estimated number of customers served per vehicle must be supported by documentation.
    • A narrative explaining the vehicle-sharing program and its administration must be submitted.
    • Parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles must be located in the nearest available spaces in the nearest available parking area. Provide a site plan or area map clearly highlighting the walking path from the parking area to the project site and noting the distance.
    • 1For the purposes of this credit “preferred parking” refers to the parking spots that are closest to the main entrance of the project (exclusive of spaces designated for handicapped persons) or parking passes provided at a discounted price. To establish a meaningful incentive in all potential markets, the parking rate must be discounted at least 20%. The discounted rate must be available to all eligible customers (i.e. not limited to the number of customers equal to 5% of the vehicle parking capacity), publicly posted at the entrance of the parking area, and available for a minimum of 2 years.

      2For the purposes of this credit, low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. are defined as vehicles that are classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVZero-emission vehicles.) by the California Air Resources Board. Fuel-efficient vehicles are defined as vehicles that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Provide transportation amenities such as alternative-fuel refueling stations. Consider sharing the costs and benefits of refueling stations with neighbors.

    FOOTNOTES

    1 For the purposes of this credit “preferred parking” refers to the parking spots that are closest to the main entrance of the project (exclusive of spaces designated for handicapped persons) or parking passes provided at a discounted price. To establish a meaningful incentive in all potential markets, the parking rate must be discounted at least 20%. The discounted rate must be available to all eligible customers (i.e. not limited to the number of customers equal to 5% of the vehicle parking capacity), publicly posted at the entrance of the parking area, and available for a minimum of 2 years.

    2 For the purposes of this credit, low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. are defined as vehicles that are classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVZero-emission vehicles.) by the California Air Resources Board. Fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. are defined as vehicles that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide.

Web Tools

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

ACEEE is an online, searchable green car guide based on an evaluation of fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions. It also offers hardcopies of Green Guide to Cars and Trucks, an annual publication of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Publications

California Air Resources Board, Cleaner Car Guide

CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. has developed a comprehensive, searchable buyer’s guide to finding the cleanest cars on the market. The guide also lists advantages clean vehicles offer.


Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology

The Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology offers a useful guide to fuel cells and hydrogen in vehicles. 


Rocky Mountain Institute Transportation Page

This website offers information on the environmental impact of transportation and extensive information about Hypercar vehicles.


Union of Concerned Scientists, Clean Vehicle Program

This site provides information about the latest developments in alternative vehicles, the environmental impact of conventional vehicles, and documents such as the guide Buying a Greener Vehicle: Electric, Hybrids, and Fuel Cells.


U.S. Department of Energy, Fuel Economy

This website offers comparisons of new and used cars and trucks based on gas mileage (mpg), greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution ratings, and safety information.


American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide

A comprehensive list of vehicles that score 40 and above in the rankings. These vehicles are considered LE/FE vehicles. 


List of alternative fuels

A summary of common available alternative fuels in production. 

Technical Guides

Clean Cities Vehicle Buyer’s Guide For Fleets

The Vehicle Buyer’s Guide for Fleets is designed to educate fleet managers and policymakers about alternative fuels and vehicles to help them determine whether the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 affects them. Use the site to determine whether your fleet is covered under EPAct; obtain pricing and technical specifications for light and heavy-duty AFVs; find an alternative fueling station in your area; or research information about state AFV purchasing incentives and laws.

Organizations

Electric Auto Association

This nonprofit education organization promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.


Electric Drive Transportation Association

Through policy, information, and market development initiatives, this industry association promotes the use of electric vehicles.


National Biodiesel Board

This trade association, representing the biodiesel industry, serves as the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the United States. The website provides information on the purchasing, handling, and use of biodiesel fuels.


Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition

The Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition consists of natural gas companies, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, service providers, environmental groups, and government organizations.


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Transportation Technologies, Alternative Fuels Data Center

This center provides information on alternative fuels and alternatively fueled vehicles, a locator for alternative fueling stations, and more. Their Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Advanced Technology Vehicle Listing for 2007 can be found online here.

 


City Car Share

Car Share program in the BayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. Area – partnering with a program like Car Share may help meet the requirements of a vehicle sharing program. 


Zip Car

Car SharingA system under which multiple households share a pool of automobiles, either through cooperative ownership or through some other mechanism. Service – partnering with a company like Zipcar may help meet the requirements of a vehicle sharing program.

Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan

A comprehensive transportation management plan is one way to 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 under SSc4. 

Site Plan with Preferred Parking

Document preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. with a site plan like this example.

Vehicle Calculator

Option 4

Use this spreadsheet to help calculate the number of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. you need to provide based on the 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. occupancy.

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."

Design Submittal

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

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BD+C exam question

An owner has decided to provide low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. for a car sharingA system under which multiple households share a pool of automobiles, either through cooperative ownership or through some other mechanism. program in the new construction project. There are 200 full time employees and 100 part time employees with 25 peak visitors a day. How many cars should be included in the program?

I know that I have to get the FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. occupants and divide by 267. The answer for this problem is 1. My question is Are only 250 occupants counted as FTE in this question, or is it 250 + the 25 peak visitors? (If this were the case, 2 cars would be needed, right?)

Thank you for any advising!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 24 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Farah, these credit requirements you are referring to are about 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., not visitors.

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Raina Tilden Architect Liljewall Arkitekter
Feb 18 2014
Guest
11 Thumbs Up

Seperated Parking Areas

My project (a combo with lab/office/industiral workshop/conference in one large building) has one driveway that leads to two separate parking areas, one on either side of the main entrance. The smaller (40 spots) is for guests while the larger (120 spots) is for employees.

If we go for option 1 or 2, can the designated spots/charging stations all be located in the larger lot but available to both employees and guests?

Or do we need to provide the appropriate percentages in each lot? (For alternative two it would be 2 spaces in the guest lot and 4 spaces in the employee lot.)

Thanks!

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Feb 18 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

I think the safe bet is to provide the required percentage of spaces for each lot. Otherwise, it seems like guest parking and associated signage would get very confusing with guests having to decide which direction they are supposed to go based on what kind of car they are driving.

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Raina Tilden Architect, Liljewall Arkitekter Feb 20 2014 Guest 11 Thumbs Up

I was kinda guessing that too. Thanks for the input!

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James MacMillan VP - Director of Sustainability Karpinski Engineering
Jan 29 2014
LEEDuser Member
59 Thumbs Up

no new parking

My understanding of this credit's intent is to reduce the impact of automobiles for commuters. Our project, a commerical office building, has a parking garage off site for commuters, but is adding 6 parking spaces on the buildings lower floor for vehicles owned by the county. Does anyone have any experience or insight as to whether or not we can still use the "no new parking" option seeing as these spots are not for employee or visitor vehicles?

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Helen Kessler President, HJKessler Associates Jan 29 2014 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

It is my understanding that parking spaces for fleet vehicles would not be counted as parking for the purposes of this credit.

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James MacMillan VP - Director of Sustainability, Karpinski Engineering Jan 30 2014 LEEDuser Member 59 Thumbs Up

Thank you Helen! However, I meant to post this question for SSc4.4... any advice there?

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Helen Kessler President, HJKessler Associates Jan 30 2014 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

Regarding SSc4.4, if you can prove that the parking is for fleet only, you may be able to argue that there is no new parking. However, this is a commercial office building, presumably with a number of tenants. It sounds like one of the tenants, the county, asked for parking spaces, so I'm not sure if you could make the argument that there are no new parking spaces. At some point, the tenant could move and those parking spaces would no longer be for their owned vehicles. Since I don't know the whole circumstance, it's hard to give a definitive answer.

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GTF CPRE University of Oregon, Campus Planning & Real Estate
Jan 28 2014
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

Siting electric charging stations outside LEED boundary

I'm working on a campus student union, with only a few parking spaces within the LEED boundary. We would like to possibly place 2 electric vehicle charging stations outside the LEED boundary, but still adjacent to the student union and dedicated for student union workers/visitors with electric vehicles.
Will this satisfy SSc4.3?

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Jan 29 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

I'm guessing that the reviewers will tell you that you need to identify all of the parking (both inside and outside of the LEED boundary) that serves the student union building and dedicate 3% of those spaces to charging stations or 5% preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system..

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Michael Gillen
Jan 22 2014
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

Enforcement of LE/FE Parking Spaces

I had posted a question about the LE/FE signage and an announcement by the company that they were available for general parking after 8:45 AM. I appreciate all the good replies I received to my question. I sent the replies to management and, soon after, the signage was changed to comply. However, they have never retracted the announcement that stated that the spaces were available for general parking after 8:45 and there is no enforcement. So, now the situation is worse and people are parking SUV's in these spaces on a regular basis. Is there a requirement that the parking rules be enforced? Are there any on-site inspections prior to the certification being granted? Also, are motorcycles allowed to use the LE/FE spaces?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 22 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

Is there a requirement that the parking rules be enforced?- No

Are there any on-site inspections prior to the certification being granted?- No

Also, are motorcycles allowed to use the LE/FE spaces?- No

:)

Some other green building certifications do require on site inspections.

during the public comment period on the newest version of LEED (LEEDv4) there was some discussion on whether the low-emitting parking should be enforced but some people thought that was not practical. You can read some public comments here http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-6th-public-comment-responses

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 22 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

here was one comment "When I see a LEED project go for this credit, I groan because it's unenforceable and provides a way for a project to grab a credit without actually reducing energy consumption or having a significant and real impact on peoples' habits. First, as has already been mentioned, people don't know what their vehicle ACEEE rating is. Second, people don't care what the designation of a parking space is, and they park their 12mpg trucks there anyway. Unfortunately, the methods of making this credit enforceable are expensive (i.e. separate gated parking lot or parking section for HEV's with access cards issued to HEV drivers). I wish this credit were taken out altogether, along with the bike rack & showers credit."

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 22 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

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. 1959 addresses scooters ( which I think are similar to motorcycles) "While the provision of scooters for employee use is a laudable strategy, it does not meet the intent of the SSCr4.3. There are concerns that scooters do not have the same emissions control requirements as low-emitting cars and that, due to safety worries, some employees will be unwilling to use the scooters even in good weather."

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E H Sustainability Architect Jan 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 2267 Thumbs Up

We have had issues with multiple projects and different GBCI reviewers as to whether motorcycles should be included or excluded. We recently got official direction from USGBC to exclude motorcycle parking spaces from the parking count and compliance paths for SSc4.3 and SSc4.4 (however, this is not a published LI). We have requested that USGBC include this clarification in the next round of addenda. I will be looking for it, and keep asking for it if it's not there.

I don't believe motorcycles will count as an LE/FE vehicle.

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Jonathan Weiss
Jan 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
2049 Thumbs Up

LEV / FEV and VIP - Oh my!

We have often run across clients who want VIP parking, recently we had a question about whether a VIP parking space that is listed as "VIP - FEV+LEV Only" would comply - the company has a CEO who definitely wants his front door space, but would be willing to get a LEV/FEV /EV to keep it. OK by LEED? Or does he need to park in one of the more egalitarian FEV/LEV spaces?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 16 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Jonathan, so I guess this takes "preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system." to a whole new level, eh?

I'd say what this questions boils down to is, can a building put restrictions on LE/FE preferred parking, above and beyond presence of a LE/FE vehicle? In this case the additional restriction = must be CEO.

If the project wanted to put a higher environmental standard on those spaces, e.g. must be LE/FE, and a carpool vehicle, they should be able to do that (like states setting higher efficiency standards than the feds), although I don't think LEED would smile upon it. I don't think LEED would want those spaces to be overly exclusive.

So to my mind, restricting a preferred parking space to one particular individual kind of confuses the definition of "preferred" and the reward for any old person driving a LE/FE vehicle.

Perhaps you can make the VIP space LE/FE but also include an extra space so that you're exceeding the total requirements. Hopefully all the spaces are preferable enough so that the one by the door doesn't reduce the preferability of the rest.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

I agree that it would be good to include an extra space (as Tristan describes in the last paragraph of his answer) and also maybe describe that you'd take away the VIP space if the next CEO doesn't have an LE/FE vehicle. Also if the CEO wants to drive their old car one day, would anyone stop him/her from parking there? Sometimes LEED reviewers let you document these types of commitments in a signed letter. Let us know how in turns out!

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Jonathan Weiss Jan 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 2049 Thumbs Up

Will do. We are actually lobbying to move the VIP space(s) so they are good but not quite as good as the LEV spaces (e.g. the intent of the credit). We may actually go the route of providing electric vehicle charging stations for 3% of the spaces instead, since they do not seem to require the same location limitations.No such thing as an easy point, I guess...

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Annalise Reichert LEED Project Coordinator Environmental Building Strategies
Jan 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
39 Thumbs Up

Future Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

I am working on a project that has 164 parking spaces. The owner has installed 2 EV charging stations that serve 1 vehicle per day, and they plan to install 7 more EV charging stations in the future "as needed" to meet the 3% threshold.

Do we need to provide a narrative stating when the future stations will be installed, or is a site map noting the location of the charging stations sufficient?

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V B Jan 16 2014 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

I think our project may be in a similar situation. We would like to meet that requirement, without installing the actual fueling station. We would just like to have the wiring in place and a charging station can be added as required by the tenant (apartment resident). Will this satisfy the credit requirement? Or does the physical station need to be present to meet the requirement?

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Weidong Luo Ecotech International
Dec 21 2013
LEEDuser Member
23 Thumbs Up

Planned Off-site Parking Spaces

We have a project with no on-site parking and come up with "No New Parking" for SSc4.4. The owner plans another building with parking spaces that will serve both the project building and the future building. Could it qualify for SSc4.3 if designation of preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. spaces is based on/from FUTURE Off-site Parking Spaces?

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Dec 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

It is possible to achieve this credit as well as the no new parking option for SSc4.4, but you will need to be careful. If you read the FAQ section of 4.4, it references a 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. (2120) that "if there will be any additional parking built as a result of the construction of the project, even if this parking is off site, then the no new parking option cannot be used." So if you are citing the future parking as counting towards SSc4.3, you will need a good explanation as to why it is exempt from SSc4.4.

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Jonathan Weiss
Dec 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
2049 Thumbs Up

Electric Vehicle Charging

I am looking to use Electric Charging stations to meet option 2 of this credit - are there any requirements about location? They don't need to be "preferred," do they? As long as they can handle the correct percentage of vehicles (in our case 3% of total vehicle parking of the site)?

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Helen Kessler President, HJKessler Associates Dec 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

I had assumed they needed to be preferred, but the Reference Guide appears to be silent on that issue so my guess is that there are no location requirements. Thanks for asking the question.

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John Riker
Nov 20 2013
Guest
23 Thumbs Up

Building with no parking

I am working on an existing building in a commercial core. The building has no parking lot, but there is leasable parking spots in the vicinity. Could the building owner offer a parking credit in the tenant lease agreement for alternative fuel vehicles? I am looking for ways to get alternate credit, if possible. Thanks.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Nov 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

Historically, projects have been able to achieve this credit by providing at least a 20% discount to employees/visitors driving LEFEVs. I would think that offering a credit to offset at least 20% of the cost to park off site would provide the same type of incentive.

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John Riker Nov 21 2013 Guest 23 Thumbs Up

Thanks, we will be drafting up a Letter of Agreement for the developer to use. I will post our review results when we get them.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 261 Thumbs Up

Hi John - have you received the review results yet? Curious minds want to know.

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Omar Katanani
Nov 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
6878 Thumbs Up

Parking for a residential facility

Dear All,

I have a large mixed use project which includes residential areas. For residential areas, each flat will have a number of fixed parking spaces allocated to it. The location of the parking space is randomly selected by the Architects prior to finalizing the building. I was wondering what is the best option for this credit for the residential areas:

1) Discounted parking rates is not an option since each flat has a predefined number of parking spots which are the property of the flat occupier.
2) Providing preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. spaces is also not too feasible since it is unknown which flats will have low-emitting vehiclesLow-emitting vehicles are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board. prior to building completion.

I was thinking of this option: because the project is mixed use, and because this LEED credit's language doesn't go into details of mixed use project, I can calculate the total number of preferred parking spaces and allocate these for the other areas of the project (retail shops and offices) which have a paid parking.

Do you think this is acceptable? I personally do not think the USGBC will ask for a breakdown of the preferred parking spaces between the residential and commercial parts.

Thanks!

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Nov 13 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

Technically, you comply with the credit by providing preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for 5% of the overall capacity of the garage. However, I'm unsure how the reviewers would respond to leaving out the residents entirely. Do the residents pay for their space (either included in the purchase price or in their monthly lease amounts)? If so, there may be an opportunity to implement the 20% discount there. If not, you could always submit your approach and see what they say or submit a project specific interpretation request.

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Brian Harris Principal TcaArchitecture Planning
Nov 01 2013
LEEDuser Member
49 Thumbs Up

On-site electric vehicle

We're working on a fire station In Portland, OR on the Willamette River at which an electric vehicle (a "Mule" type vehicle), housed in the fire engine vehicle bayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession., will be used for aid/rescue calls as needed along the adjacent esplanade/bike trail so that the department won't have to (unless absolutely necessary) take out an engine along the streets to get to locations along the river that are difficult to access with large, gas-powered vehicles. This project also involves NO parking being added to the site.

Thoughts from anyone on pursuing a SSc4.3 credit for this scenario?

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

What is the parking capacity of the project?

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Brian Harris Principal, TcaArchitecture Planning Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 49 Thumbs Up

There is an exisitng parking lot adjacent to the building of 50+ spaces, 11 of which will be dedicated for use by the fire department.

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

A scenario where you are providing vehicles puts you under Option 3, where you would have to provide vehicles for 3% of 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'm guessing that this might not be a good fit.

If you want to go further down this road I would look at Schools SSc4.3 as a better fit for what you're trying to do, and if this is attractive, propose it to GBCI as an alternative compliance path for your project on this credit.

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V B
Oct 29 2013
Guest
33 Thumbs Up

Combination of Option 1&2

I have seen a similar post to this in 2012 and I was wondering if anyone has since then successfully implemented this strategy by using a combination of fueling stations and preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for fuel efficient vehicles, specifically for a high-rise apartment building?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 01 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Could you be more specific about how you would combine the options? I don't recall seeing a precedent for this, but I could imagine it might work depending on specifics.

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V B Nov 01 2013 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

Our client is developing several multi-family high-rises in Houston, Texas. We would like to pursue charging stations but it’s working out, practically. Additionally, because the high-rises have 15+ stories, the percentage that needs to be designated parking with signage is quite high.

For these reasons we would like to explore the possibility of doing a combination of the two strategies to get “the best of both world’s” if you will. However it would not be an a straight 50/50 split between the two. It would realistically be more like 30/70 fueling to signage ratio.
Do you know if something like this would be doable? I haven't been able to find any 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's or documents that would help us.

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Helen Kessler President, HJKessler Associates Nov 01 2013 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

Yikes! I have assumed (I know, it's dangerous to "assume") that a combination would be acceptable and am doing that on a project. However, we have not yet submitted and don't expect to submit for design review for a year. We have a lot of parking spaces - call it 2,000. Based on that number, we would designate 50 for LE/FEV and 30 for electric fueling stations.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 01 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Thanks for the detail—I understand better what you're going for. I am not aware of a precedent or existing credit language that would allow this kind of combination of options. My suggestion would be to put together a very specific proposal of how you would do the math, making sure you're really covering both bases adequately, and email GBCI with the query. Let us know what you find out.

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emily reese Sustainability Consultant / Facility Planner, Jacobs Engineering Nov 01 2013 LEEDuser Member 388 Thumbs Up

We may be considering a very similar strategy, and have not found any good precedent for this approach. We have around 300 spaces. We will likely put together our approach and ask our GBCI contact for feedback.
I will also post when this occurs. It should be sooner than the above project.

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V B Nov 01 2013 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

Great, thank you all. Will let you know what I find out.

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V B Jan 07 2014 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

Emily, I am curious to know if you got any feedback on this strategy from your GBCI contact?

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emily reese Sustainability Consultant / Facility Planner, Jacobs Engineering Jan 09 2014 LEEDuser Member 388 Thumbs Up

Hi there,

Our client decided to change their approach and just supply enough charging stations alone to meet the credit intent; they were only 2 shy of the LEED requirement after being required to provide 8 by the city. So, unfortunately for the forum (though easier for us), we did not seek guidance on the alternative approach. Sorry!

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Brianne Smith Architect, RB+B Architects Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Member

Is it possible to assume that a charging station near the building is a preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. location for low-eLow-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor./fuel efficient vehicles?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

I would not 100% count on this because it's mixing compliance options 1 &2. It might get through but it'd be a gamble without 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. It would probably get marked pending in the initial review and maybe if you have a great narrative it could get approved in the final review.

See the FAQs. "Can a project pursue this credit via a combination of Option 1 (preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system.) and Option 2 (alternative fueling stations)?"

Answer: "This would probably be approved by LEED, depending on specifics, but you would need to get an official ruling—either a CIR 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.."

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Helen Kessler President HJKessler Associates
Oct 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
185 Thumbs Up

New parking on an existing campus

Our project is a new classroom building on an existing campus. The campus has a large existing parking lot which is adjacent to our project and which will serve the occupants of our building and other buildings on campus. It is not within our LEED project boundary. Our project will be adding 61 new parking spaces, which are within our LEED boundary. Our team plans to designate 4 preferred spaces for LEV/FEV parking as part of the additional parking that we are adding. We plan to ignore the existing parking lot.

My question - are we meeting the intent since we are designating 5% of the new parking for LEV/FEV vehicles? Have others with a similar situation been asked to designate 5% of all potential parking for the project, or has the credit been satisfied with just designating 5% of the new parking? (Note, I have successfully done what we are proposing on other projects, but it was over 5 years ago.)

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Oct 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Helen,
I have done this twice before in cases where we could clearly demonstrate that our project was adequately served by the new parking alone, i,e, code requirement or by SF. And that the other parking was existing and already required by the other uses. With of course a suitable LEED boundary that is consistent across the credits. If the existing parking is needed to serve your building occupants however that may present a challenge.

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Helen Kessler President, HJKessler Associates Oct 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 185 Thumbs Up

Thanks Michelle. That is, of course, my concern. I'd be interested to see what experience others have had.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Oct 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

I tend to agree with Michelle - if you can substantiate in some way that the 61 spaces are adequate to serve your classroom building (maybe look at the local parking code even if your campus is exempt), then you should be okay.

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Brooks Critchfield Principal Open Field Designs, Inc.
Sep 26 2013
LEEDuser Member
981 Thumbs Up

LE/FE: Mixed-Use Project--Preferred Parking for Retail Too?

We have an urban mixed-use project--about 90% residential and about 10% retail. We are building new parking for the residential units only. Parking for retail is provided on the street and in an adjacent lot down the street which the project owner does not own/control (and is therefore not in our LEED boundary).

Our USGBC reviewer is asking that we also provide preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for the retail as well. If the leased lot owner will not set these spaces aside, can we work with the municipality to reserve LE/FE spaces in the parallel parking spots in front of our retail spaces?

Eager to hear your thoughts--thanks very much

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Sep 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

I'd include spaces based on whether your LEED Project Occupants/visitors could be expected to use them. The Supplemental Guidance to the Minimum Program Requirements says:
The LEED project boundary may not include land that is owned by a party other than that which owns the LEED project unless that land is associated with and supports normal building operations for the LEED project building. (pg 23)

There is also guidance on how to divvy up spaces if the spaces will be used by multiple buildings. (pg 27)

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Brooks Critchfield Principal, Open Field Designs, Inc. Sep 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 981 Thumbs Up

Thanks very much, Kathryn--especially for the quick response

To clarify--specifically, do you see the parallel parking spots at the city street in front of the stores reserved for LE/FE vehicles an acceptable approach? (again, despite ownership by city).

And I believe you are also arguing that the LEED project boundary should be adjusted to grab these spots and the sidewalk between these spots and the project?

Much appreciated--

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Sep 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 438 Thumbs Up

I would argue that you have provided the required 5% preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. in the NEW parking areas - those areas within the scope and control of your project. Negotiating with the leased lot owner or local municipality is a nice idea, but I do not believe your project can be expected to have control over EXISTING parking outside your scope - and control.

I might suggest submitting a formal request for clarification through GBCI: http://www.gbci.org/org-nav/contact/Contact-Us/Project-Certification-Que...

Before submitting that formal request for clarification, you might look through LI's on this subject to see if there is a precedent that you can cite to strengthen your case: http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations

One final consideration: the list of approved "LE/FE" vehicles is quite extensive. This might assuage any concerns by the leased lot owner or municipality:
http://www.greenercars.org/news.htm

Good luck and please let us know what you find out.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Sep 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

Correction: It looks like on page 25 of the Supplemental Guidance to the MPR they address this and you're good to include them in the parking calculations but not the LEED project boundary.

The problem the LEED reviewer is pointing out is that the intent of the credit isn't met for the retail portion of the building if none of the retail customers can get "preferred" parking for using a LE/FE vehicle. Kind of annoying since it's not covered in the reference guide! I'm sure there is a 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. on this I just don't have time to research that at the moment!

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Chris Brown Architect Opsis Architecture
Sep 16 2013
Guest
62 Thumbs Up

Campus parking division

This question relates to both SSc4.3 and SSc4.4. I am working on a student union building for a college campus. The city is requiring 278 spaces for our project, so it seems to make sense to use this as the 'vehicle parking capacity' for the project, although the spaces will be located outside the LEED boundary. The new parking spaces will be located in a new retail center and parking garage building nearby, which is also pursuing LEED Certification. This parking garage will serve several buildings and contain 650 spaces.
We are planning to include 14 LE/FEV spaces and 14 carpool spaces in the garage to meet the requirements of SSc4.3 and SSc4.4. However the design team that is working on the parking garage is pursuing credit SSc4.3 as part of their 'Core and Shell' LEED project, and plans to include 33 LE/FEV spaces as part of their LEED submittal.
Is the appropriate approach to this situation to have 278 of the parking spaces in the new garage allocated to our student union project, and the remaining 372 spaces allocated to the retail center/parking garage project, in spite of the fact that all 650 spaces are located within the LEED Boundary of the retail center/parking garage building?

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Sep 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 438 Thumbs Up

Your strategy sounds reasonable. With regards to the "appropriate approach," this is always a bit of a guessing game because in my experience, it depends on the interpretation of your project's particular set of reviewers. In your situation, because the parking structure is part of a separate project beyond the scope or control of your project (at least that is how I interpret what you have said), you could almost claim "No new parking" - but, that could carry some risk - again, dependent on the specific reviewer's interpretation.

I would suggest digging through the endless 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's and LI's (on the USGBC website) to see if anyone else has had a situation like yours. That might help inform your specific approach.

In the meantime, stick with your approach and I don't see why you couldn't claim 14 out of the 33 spaces being designated by the parking structure's design team - you will just need to plan this with them to distribute the spaces to be closest to the respective buildings utilizing the preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system..

There is one thing of particular note to coordinate with that other design team: a recent LI ruling #10202 (see string below) dictates that ALL preferred parking must essentially be on the first level (with very few exceptions) citing "shortest combined driving and walking distance to building entrance". If you read the string below on this issue, you will find that most in here do not concur with the ruling and understand that assigning all preferred parking to the first level is counterproductive to the intent of these credits (SSc4.3 and SSc4.4). But, that is the LI ruling that is currently held to by the GBCI until further notice.

Good luck!

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Mary Haw Senior ESD Consultant Cundall
Sep 04 2013
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

Australian equivalent of fuel-efficient vehicles

Our project is based in Australia and is targeting certification under both LEED and the local rating system, Green Star.

The project is providing 10% small car parking spaces dedicated to fuel-efficient vehiclesFuel-efficient vehicles have achieved a minimum green score of 40 according to the annual vehicle-rating guide of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. which will be physically reduced in size according to Australian Standards for small vehicles (2.3m x 5m max), as well as providing signage in accordance with the LEED and Green Star requirements for this credit.

Can anyone comment on whether our project can target this credit even though LEED references the American standard ACEEE? In LEED v4.0 I note that the wording states ACEEE or a local equivalent standard) so I assume that a local equivalent will be accepted however the 'Missing Manual 2009' suggests otherwise.

Many thanks in advance.

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Tyra Sorensen
Aug 29 2013
LEEDuser Member
399 Thumbs Up

Credit Language - USGBC and Forum - and Addenda

Does the posted credit language for the Credits, both in the USGBC's online Credit Library and here on the forum, reflect the addenda?

Or is the credit language the published language and we need to track down the Addenda?

Specificially, I am looking at SSc4.3 NC 2009 and the posted Addenda under option 1 states
"Delete the following text, "Providing a discounted parking rate is an
acceptable substitute for preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. for carpool or vanpool
vehicles. To establish a meaningful incentive in all potential markets,
the parking rate must be discounted at least 20%. The discounted
rate must be available to all customers (i.e., not limited to the number of customers equal to 5% of the vehicle parking capacity), publicly posted at the entrance of the parking area, and available for a minimum of 2 years." "

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

Tyra, the text shown on LEEDuser and on the USGBC credit library incorporates addenda to date. 

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Denise Dauplaise Architect Berners Schober
Aug 21 2013
LEEDuser Member
137 Thumbs Up

No new parking with LE and FE spaces

Our project is on a campus, where there is an existing parking ramp nearby. There will be "no new parking" used on SSc4.4. If we can come up with a reasonable percentage of the parking ramp to be utilized for the new project building for PIf2, can we use that to establish the 5% required for this credit using Option 1? The owner does have control of the ramp, and could install the required signage.

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Aug 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

Yes, you can still achieve SSc4.3 with preferred parkingPreferred parking, available to particular users, includes designated spaces close to the building (aside from designated handicapped spots), designated covered spaces, discounted parking passes, and guaranteed passes in a lottery system. signage for spaces that serve your building, even if you qualify for the no new parking option for SSc4.4. If the spaces on the ramp are intended to serve more than one building, there is a chance that the reviewers are going to make you state that the reserved spaces are for the LEED building only. I often get a lot of pushback from clients about doing this so my approach is usually to try to achieve the credit without it until I get a comment back specifically directing me to add that verbiage to the sign.

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Jennifer Martin Project Manager DRLT
Aug 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
35 Thumbs Up

Option 4: Vehicle Sharing Program - Table - BioDiesel

Option 4: Provide building occupants access to a low-emitting or fuel-efficient vehicle sharing program.

The vehicle sharing program to which our building users have access is a fleet of four (4) vehicles. One (1) is an all-electric LEAF. This vehicle is both zero-emissions and has an ACEEE Green Score. Therefore, it tallies automatically in the submittal form table. The other three (3) vehicles are biodiesel. They are not zero-emissions nor do they have ACEEE Green Scores. Therefore, they do not tally in the table. However, they are low-emitting and should qualify the project for the credit.

What is required on the submittal form to show the three (3) biodiesel vehicles as low-emitting and qualify the project for the credit?

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

I think you will have to find some way to back up your statement that they are low-emitting to have a chance (even though it seems obvious that they would be). I have not had much luck deviating beyond the ACEEE Green Score list, but I would probably try to document it under alternative compliance and see what they say.

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Denise Dauplaise Architect Berners Schober
Aug 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
137 Thumbs Up

Very alternate transportation

I'm not exactly sure where to place this question. We have a new client who may be interested in LEED for their building. They serve a rural area with a good percentage of Amish/Mennonite population. We have discussed the hitching post to be incorporated outside the building. What would be the best way/place to address this alternative form of transportation- horse and buggy - in LEED? Alternative compliance to SSc4.3?

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager, HKS, Inc. Aug 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2303 Thumbs Up

Interesting question. My initial reaction was that I don't think this approach will work....but it does seem to meet the intent of reducting the impacts associated with automobile use. I would say try it either under SSc4.2 or 4.3 - I will be interested to see what the reviewers say. I would make sure you have a contingency plan or are not counting on those points to reach your targeted certification level though, just in case.

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Valerie Molinski Director of Sustainability Vocon
Aug 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
917 Thumbs Up

How should I handle this?

I have a current project that has a parking lot surrounded by itself and at least two other buildings.

The project has 10 dedicated parking stalls as indicated in their lease. A company next door has 25 dedicated stalls, but the landlord also has a lease agreement requiring that he has to provide an additional 42 stalls to that company which all spill over into the property adjacent to my client's lease. There is also an additional retail building at the back of the site that also parks in this 'common area'. These spaces are not my clients to control or for their customers to use, technically.

Additionally, the project's lease line is only 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., as they do not lease the lot itself. The parking area was included in the initial LEED boundary to capture the 10 spaces given to the client's building and also to show the 1 space of the 10 was set aside for LEV parking.

I was not aware that the lease line did not include the parking area when documenting this credit. Naturally, questions came back from the review as to why I only set aside one space (for the allotment of 10 space) when so many more are shown.

Should I explain it as I did above or modify the LEED boundary line to reflect that their lot is not included in their sf of the project? Or both?

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E H Sustainability Architect Aug 12 2013 LEEDuser Member 2267 Thumbs Up

I have encountered this type of issue on a number of projects that have shared parking/bicycle storage areas (even for areas that could be perceived to be shared or have potential to be shared). Based on reviewer comments, it seems that there are two options (which I hope will be addressed definitively in an addenda soon). You can either:
1) Provide enough LEV parking for entire parking area that your building and the adjacent buildings have access to; OR
2) Provide LEV parking for your project's allotted parking only. For this option, the signage must indicate that the LEV parking is reserved for your building's use only.

I think it is reasonable to include the parking within your LEED boundary. Although it is outside the lease boundary, it is an amenity the serves the functioning of the project. I hope the owner can provide the appropriate signage to get this credit.

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Michael Gillen
Aug 01 2013
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

Usage of Designated Spaces

My company moved into a new building this year and they have recently submitted the paperwork for LEED Gold certification. There are a number of spaces in the parking garage with signs stating that they are reserved for Alternate Fuel or Hybrid vehicles. There are also spaces designated for Car Pools. Several weeks after moving into the building, it was announced that these spaces were available for general parking after 8:45 AM (Starting Time is 9AM). I sent emails to Management stating that this was a violation of the LEED certification, but they did not agree with me. Can someone tell me if this would be allowed under LEED rules? Is there any resource that would state the requirements?

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