NC-2009 SSc5.1: Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat

  • NC_CS_Schools_SSc5-1_Type1_SiteDev Diagram
  • Site conditions are the deciding factor

    This credit promotes biodiversity by encouraging project teams to protect existing onsite native habitat or restore the site with native species.

    How you go about earning this credit will depend on the existing conditions of your project site. If you have a greenfield site—one that has not been built, graded, or otherwise altered by human activity—you are required to limit site disturbance during construction.

    If your site has been 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.", you must protect or restore a portion of the site—50% of the total area minus 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., or 20% of the total site area, whichever is greater—and plant with native or adapted species. The protected or restored area can include vegetation, water bodies, soils, or other ecosystems. 

    Don’t confuse with SSc5.2

    It’s easy to confuse the requirements of this credit, SSc5.1, with those of SSc5.2: Site Development—Maximize Open Space. While they both have the stated intent of promoting biodiversity, they’re actually quite different.  

    This credit focuses on protecting and restoring native habitat or limiting construction disturbances—depending on existing project conditions. Use of native or adapted species in landscaping is a key aspect of this credit.

    SSc5.2, on the other hand, is aimed at increasing open space relative to local zoning requirements. It has no requirements for native vegetation—turf grass and even pedestrian-oriented hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. could apply—and does not put restrictions on construction site disturbance. 

    What’s a green roof got to do it?

    If your project is previously developed and earning SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity, you are allowed to include a vegetated roof with native or adapted species in your calculations. This clause allows dense urban sites to earn this credit even though they may not have enough exterior site area to qualify otherwise.

    In order to comply with SSc5.1, green roofs must provide a diversity of native or adapted species that provide animal habitat. This means that extensive roofs with sedum monocultures won't contribute to this credit, as USGBC spelled out Iin 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. #10231. Containerized plants are also unlikely to contribute. USGBC is looking for at least six inches of depth of growing medium—in line with an "intensive" green roof—and multiple species that are suited to provide native habitat. The Interpretation gives six species of sedum, on a six-inch growing medium, as an example of an acceptable green roof, as far as contributing to this credit.

    Other options for urban sites

    Projects with limited landscape opportunities can also use off-site land to earn this credit. They must donate offsite land in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust must adhere to the Land Trust Alliance ‘Land Trust Standards and Practices’ 2004 Revision.

    Potential conflicts on previously developed sites

    If you have a previously developed site, you might have a harder time with this credit if the nature of your project requires you to have a large surface parking area. Previously developed projects that can limit surface parking will have a much easier time.

    Native grassesProtecting native habitat like these plantings in the Rice Creek Open Space area in northern Shoreview, Minnesota, is a key focus of this credit. Photo Courtesy Shoreview, MNAlso on previously developed sites, using non-native landscaping over a significant portion of a site, such as lush greenery in an arid climate, may present difficulties—with this credit as well as with WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping.

    Greenfield sites can also be a challenge

    Meeting the requirements for a greenfield site can be challenging due to the limited range of site disturbance permitted under the credit. The limited buffers allowed for site disturbance may make contractors nervous about this credit because of the large turning radius of construction equipment.

    Successful construction and development within these strict parameters is not standard practice—it will require careful mapping of the site to identify allowable areas for disturbance, and staking out construction boundaries to clearly communicate them to all teams working onsite. Caution tapeThe contractor has such an important role in executing the credit that making credit compliance a contractual obligation is important.

    Buffer requirements eased up

    Although still a challenge, the buffer requirements were eased up under a November 2010 LEED addendum. The addendum introduced a new calculation method that could be very useful for teams that are meeting three of the buffer parameters, but having some difficulty with the fourth. See Checklists for more detail.

    FAQs for SSc5.1

    Can I count green roofs toward this credit?

    In order to comply with SSc5.1, green roofs must provide a diversity of native or adapted species that provide animal habitat. This means that extensive roofs with sedum monocultures won't contribute to this credit, as USGBC spelled out Iin LEED Interpretation #10231, issued 10/1/2012.

    Can I count green walls toward this credit?

    No. LEED Interpretation #5310 issued 3/4/2008, states that "Although living walls or vertical landscaping may provide limited habitat for certain species adapted to urban areas, the credit language does not currently allow for use of this approach in calculating area compliance." This Interpetation also notes that green walls cannot contribute to SSc5.2.

    How should we document the off-site restoration option?

    As recently as version 04, the LEED Online form doesn't mention this option. We recommend that teams document it as an alternative compliance path, by providing a letter on letterhead that includes the EPA Level III Ecoregion, confirms the offsite conservation easement is in compliance with the Land Trust Standards, and notes the size of the designated area.

    Can turf grasses contribute to this credit?

    Common turf grass is not considered native. However, it is possible that a variety of grasses, rather than a monoculture, that are selected with the native habitat in mind and are adpated to the local habitat, can contribute to the credit.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

Expand All

  • All Projects


  • What kind of site do you have? 

    • Greenfield site—in a natural state, has not been altered by humans. Follow Case 1.
    • Previously developed site—has been developed, graded or altered by human activity. Follow Case 2.
    • Urban site—see below for special considerations.

  • Projects that are part greenfield and part previously developed need to work out a hybrid plan whereby you follow Case 1 requirements in the greenfield area and Case 2 requirements in the previously developed area. Case 2 requires you to protect a specific percentage of the site. In a hybrid situation, use the area of the previously developed portion of the site, not the total site area, to follow these requirements.


  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Determine the building footprint and the likely locations of other site features:

    • surface walkways, patios, surface parking, and utilities less than 12 inches in diameter;
    • primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
    • constructed areas with permeable surfaces such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities, and playing fields.

  • Create a site plan with the required buffer areas (see credit language). You may decide to alter the site plan to accommodate the designated boundary of site disturbance. For example, you may find that keeping sidewalks (which have a 10-foot buffer) within the 40-foot buffer of the building when possible will make sidewalk construction easier, because construction vehicles will have more room to maneuver. 


  • Consider the slope of your site. A steeply sloped site may mean that the required minimum buffer areas don’t leave enough room for construction vehicles. 


  • A new "landscape budget method" has been added for this credit through the November 2010 LEED addenda. This method could be very useful for teams that are close to meeting the buffer zone requirement, but having some difficulty. If a project is meeting 3 of 4 requirements but can't meet the fourth, it can do the following calculation to demonstrate compliance. As a baseline calculation, calculate the area of site disturbance that would take place if you met all four of the requirements exactly. Then, calculate the actual area of site disturbance. If the actual amount is less than the baseline, then you meet the requirement. In essence, you are allotted a "budget" of disturbance and you are allowed to overspend in one parameter if you make for it by under-spending in the other three parameters.


  • The general contractor is responsible for executing the plan for minimal site disturbance and verifying that the credit requirements and site parameters were attained. Incorporate adherence to these requirements in contractual language or in the project specifications and plan, as this credit requires more than standard practice, and you need to be sure contractors fully understand the requirements for credit compliance. 


  • The general contractor may charge an additional fee for meeting the credit requirements, as it requires the general contractor to monitor all site activities more closely than they would on a conventional project.  


  • Adhering to the strict site disturbance parameters is challenging, so the general contractor needs to educate the subcontractors about these requirements and watch for any activities that could potentially fall outside of the limited boundary.  


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • Determine if a registered landscape architect will be involved in the project. If so, you can document this credit through the LPE streamlined path, in which the landscape architect signs off on the whole credit. Doing so requires much less documentation.


  • Calculate the rough site area that you’ll need to restore. Is 50% of your site (minus building footprint) or 20% of the total site (including building footprint) larger?  Whichever is larger, you will need to restore an area of that size. Will this be feasible under the rough design? If you have a small site with a large building footprint, you may not be able to achieve the requirement. 


  • Discuss with the landscape architect the possibility of including native or adapted species on the required area of the site. 


  • Minimize site hardscape and surface parking. This generally opens up more area for the restoration of green space, which can be used as an amenity or for natural stormwater management (helping with SSc6.1 and SSc6.2).


  • You can also protect or restore water bodies, soils, and other ecosystems to meet the credit requirements. Doing so may require the help of a biologist or ecologist, whereas protecting or restoring vegetation may only require a landscape architect. ”Other ecosystems” is a fairly open-ended term, and a project that tries to protect or restore something outside of the defined list will be approved or denied based on your ability to justify it to the LEED reviewer on a project-by-project basis. 


  • Walk the site with a biologist, ecologist, or landscape architect to determine whether you have invasive or non-native species (which would need to be removed), and to assess whether the land and water bodies need work to support native habitat. During this walk, note any native or adapted species that you can protect for credit compliance. 


  • Determine whether you will restore or protect portions of your site. You may find that it takes a combination of the two to meet the area requirements. 

    • Protecting a site involves determining natural site elements that are native or adapted and preserving them. Protecting a site may also involve a covenant or conservation easement.
    • Restoring a site involves removing non-native, non-adapted, invasive, and monoculture species and replacing them with native or adapted species that promote biodiversity and provide habitat for native animals and insects. 

  • Adapted plants are non-invasive species that, once established, can survive in the local climate and ecosystem without the assistance of irrigation and fertilizers. 


  • Turf grass is an example of a monoculture species that is not compliant with the requirements of this credit. Monoculture plantings are essentially the opposite of a biologically diverse landscape, where only one species is planted over an extensive area. 


  • Restoring or protecting portions of a site is a relatively low-cost option to pursue, and compliance with these requirements contributes to the achievement of other LEED credits such as:


  • Urban Sites


  • For urban sites with limited landscape opportunities, you have two options:

    • If also earning SSc2, you can include green roof area in your calculations, if the vegetation is native or adapted, provides habitat and promotes biodiversity. Note that many shallow, or extensive, green roofs use drought-tolerant sedums that probably do not meet these criteria.
    • In all cases, you can donate offsite land in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site.

Schematic Design

Expand All

  • Your LEED site boundary needs to be consistent across all LEED credits. 


  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Unless following the "budget method" discussed above, check to make sure that the building footprint will allow the construction team to stay within the site disturbance parameters set forth in the credit language. You need to limit site disturbance to:

    • 40 feet beyond the building perimeter;
    • 10 feet beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking, and utilities less than 12 inches in diameter;
    • 15 feet beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
    • and 25 feet beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities, and playing fields. (This larger buffer zone recognizes that these surface features may require wider staging areas to prevent compaction while they’re being built.)

  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • Which is greater?

    • 50% of site excluding building footprint. Subtract the building footprint from the total site area, then divide by two.
    • 20% of total site. Find the total site area (including the building footprint) and divide by five.
    • Whichever is greater is the total area of the site that needs to be restored or protected. 

  • Will your project earn SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity? If so, you can include in your calculations the area of a green roof that contains native or adapted non-monoculture species. 


  • Depending on the landscape choice of your green roof, you might find it difficult to meet this credit without an intensive roof. Some sedum selections could be considered monoculture and not able to support biodiversity. Discuss this with your landscape architect or green roof designer. Also, see the LEEDuser strategy on green roofs for more details.


  • If you have a zero-lot-line or dense urban site, carefully consider whether attempting the credit is realistic. Many such sites don’t have enough site area. To create more area, consider stacking the building footprint, incorporating a green roof, or minimizing parking (which would also contribute to SSc4.4: Alternative Transportation—Parking Capacity). You can also donate off-site land to earn the credit (see below).


  • The preserved area can become a special space in the site design—an amenity for occupants and the neighborhood, and a connection to native habitat. 


  • The landscape architect should begin researching native and adapted species for your region. Most cities have local gardens, conservancies, universities or regional organizations that provide a list of native and adapted species. For example, FloridaYards.org is a collaborative effort to provide listings of Florida-friendly and native plant species. 


  • Purchasing native or adapted species is typically less expensive than buying non-native, imported, or tropical species that must be transported in. In some states, plants are available through state nurseries or university extensions at low prices.


  • Depending on the extent and types of invasive species, the removal of non-native and aggressive species could be costly. If your invasive species need eradication, monitoring, and constant control, you could be looking at an expensive investment. However, removing those plants will improve the local ecosystem and possibly avoid irreversible damage to your land and greater community. See the Resources section for more details.


  • Native and adapted species typically require less watering and maintenance, saving operational costs as well as the cost of installing irrigation equipment. 

Design Development

Expand All

  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Create a site plan that delineates the development boundaries. You have the option to provide the site map to document LEED credit compliance, or your contractor can sign the LEED Online credit form saying that the credit requirements were met. Either way, you will want to create a site map with clearly defined limits of site disturbance.


  • The site plan with a clearly defined boundary for minimized site disturbance should include the installation of fencing or other barriers to the non-disturbance area. 


  • Consider what needs the contractor may have for staging areas and site access. You may want to provide dedicated areas for delivery and storage of building materials. Consulting with a contractor at this early stage can make it easier to achieve the credit.


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • Create a site plan that delineates the areas of native or adapted species and ecologically appropriate site features, and develop a list of all native and adapted species on the project site. 


  • Verify that your project meets the required percentages of restored or protected vegetation according to the calculations outlined above in the Schematic Design section. 


  • If you plan on counting a green roof in your calculations, verify that you will earn SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity


  • If your project does not have a landscape architect, the project architect (or other qualified person) should document credit compliance. However, projects with a registered landscape architect can pursue this credit through the Licensed Professional Exemption (LPE) route. In this case, you do not need to provide a list of all native and adapted species on the site.  


  • To support the survival of your native and adapted plants without the use of permanent irrigation, landscape with the natural contours of the land to make good use of rainwater and natural site hydrology. 

Construction Documents

Expand All

  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Before construction activities begin, the general contractor should educate contractors and subcontractors on the project goals for limited site disturbance and detail a plan for meeting these requirements. 


  • Incorporate carefully defined staging areas for construction activities and contained construction entrances to minimize damage to the protected greenfield area. 


  • Incorporate physical markers around the site areas that are not to be disturbed. Use signs as well as flags, silt fencing, and hay bales.


  • Consider instituting an incentive policy for contractors and subcontractors to encourage compliance. 


  • Regularly remind contractors and subcontractors of the limited site disturbance plan. Orient new contractors as they come to the project during later stages of construction.  

Construction

Expand All

  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Implement plans for construction staging areas, physical barriers, and regular meetings to ensure continued compliance with site disturbance requirements. 


  • Contain all construction activities away from site disturbance boundaries to minimize damage to natural areas. 


  • Monitor the site for compliance with the limited site disturbance requirements.


  • Upload documentation to LEED Online after construction activities have ended. You have two documentation options:

    1. The contractor can declare that the requirements have been met by signing credit form, confirming credit compliance. 
    2. You can upload construction documents that show your site’s limited disturbance boundaries for credit compliance.

  • Taking date-stamped pictures of the protected areas at designated times throughout the project helps ensure compliance and provides supporting documentation if there are any questions about your project’s compliance. 


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • Upload documentation to LEED Online after construction activities have ended.


  • Provide the total site area restored or protected, total site area (including the building footprint), the building footprint, a site plan showing all natural areas contributing to credit compliance and, if you are providing full documentation (not attempting the streamlined LPE path), a list of the native and adapted vegetation that contributes to credit compliance. If you are providing documentation through the streamlined LPE path, a Registered Landscape Architect needs to sign off stating that the requirements for native or adapted plantings have been achieved. 

Operations & Maintenance

Expand All

  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Work with the management team to ensure that continued protection protocols are put in place for the buffered areas, to help preserve them and the natural areas beyond. 


  • Installing signage to educate users about the value of protected land helps ensure that natural areas remain respected and protected. 


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • You may need to set up a temporary irrigation system for a vegetation establishment period of up to one year (going beyond one year would conflict with the intent of this credit, and WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping). The system should be designed for easy removal.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    SS Credit 5.1: Site development - protect or restore habitat

    1 Point

    Intent

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

    Requirements

    Case 1. Greenfield sites1

    Limit all site disturbance to the following parameters:

    • 40 feet (12 meters) beyond the building perimeter and parking garages;
    • 10 feet (3 meters) beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking and utilities less than 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter;
    • 15 feet (4.5 meters) beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
    • 25 feet (8 meters) beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities and playing fields) that require additional staging areas to limit compaction in the constructed area.
    Case 2. Previously developed2 areas or graded sites

    Restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site (excluding 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.) or 20% of the total site area (including building footprint), whichever is greater, with native or adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive..3 Projects earning SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity may include vegetated roof surface in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

    Projects with limited landscape opportunities may also donate offsiteland in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust mustadhere to the Land Trust Alliance 'Land Trust Standards andPractices' 2004 Revision.

    1 Greenfield sites are sites not previously developed or graded that could support open space, habitat, or agriculture..

    2 Native or adapted plants are plants indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds.

    Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

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

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Survey greenfield sites to identify site elements and adopt a master plan for developing the project site. Carefully site the building to minimize disruption to existing ecosystems and design the building to minimize its footprint. Strategies include stacking the building program, tuck-under parking and sharing parking facilities with neighbors. Establish clearly-marked construction boundaries to minimize disturbance of the existing site and restore previously degraded areas to their natural state. For 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." sites, use local and regional governmental agencies, consultants, educational facilities and native plant societies as resources for the selection of appropriate native or adapted plants. Prohibit plants listed as invasive or noxious weed species. Once established, native/adapted plants require minimal or no irrigation; do not require active maintenance such as mowing or chemical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; and provide habitat value and promote biodiversity through avoidance of monoculture plantings.

Publications

National Invasive Species Information Center

This website provides links to local information on invasive species, provides an overview of the problem and regulations associated with invasive species, and provides information on grants and funding opportunities. 


Ecological Restoration

This quarterly print and online publication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum provides a forum for people interested in all aspects of ecological restorationEcological restoration is the process of assisting in the recovery and management of ecological integrity and includes biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices.


Land Trust Alliance

This website can help locate land trusts that may help a project with the offsite restoration option within this credit.

Organizations

North American Native Plant Society

NANPS is a nonprofit association dedicated to the study, conservation, cultivation, and restoration of native plants. Its website contains links to state and local associations. 


Society for Ecological Restoration International

The mission of this nonprofit consortium of scientists, planners, administrators, ecological consultants, landscape architects, engineers, and others is to promote ecological restorationEcological restoration is the process of assisting in the recovery and management of ecological integrity and includes biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices. as a means of sustaining the diversity of life and to reestablish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture. 


Soil and Water Conservation Society

This organization focuses on fostering the science and art of sustainable soil, water, and related natural resource management.


Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a conservation organization that works to protect ecologically important lands and water. 


Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center

The center, located in Austin, Texas, has the mission of educating people about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants. The website offers a number of resources, including a nationwide native plant information network and a national suppliers directory.

Site Plan Documentation

Case 1: Greenfield Site

If your greenfield project documents this credit through the use of a site plan you will need to provide a document similar to this example.

Site Plan Documentation

Case 2: Previously Developed Site

If your 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 project documents this credit through the use of a site plan you will need to provide a document similar to this example.

Site Plan Documentation

Case 2: Previously Developed Site

If your 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 project documents this credit through the use of a site plan you will need to provide a document similar to this example.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 SS

Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

261 Comments

0
0
Alejandro Macias
Jan 27 2016
LEEDuser Member

Building Footprint

Project Location: Mexico

For the calculation of the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint., if the project is located in 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." area .Which area of the building footprint should I use? The footprint of the building currently built or new project building footprint? For example, in the project the land is 5859 m2 currently there is a construction of 430 m2 , but within the new project is contemplating an area of ​​1500m2 . For the calculation should consider which of the areas ?

1
1
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M, Revitaliza Consultores Jan 28 2016 Guest 882 Thumbs Up

Use your design project, and NOT the current development.

Post a Reply
0
0
DI LU
Jan 26 2016
Guest

Off Site restoration for previously developed area

Project Location: United States

We are currently working on obtaining LEED certification for one of our projects: Coppin State University Science and Technology Center, Baltimore, MD, an urban campus. We would like to receive SS5.1 Credit Site Development- Protect or Restore Habitat. However, we won’t be able to meet the requirements on site. Our landscape architectural design provided 25.5% (50,697 square feet /199,000 square feet) of the site with native or adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive.. In addition, to meet the Baltimore City forest conservation requirements, we proposed to plant equivalent to 1.47 acre (64,033 square feet) of forest in Baltimore’s largest historic park, Druid Hill Park, designed by Fredrick Olmstead. This Forest Conservation Plan has been approved by Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks and will be executed within the next two years. We would like to explore the possibility of using this off-site forest establishment to fulfill the remaining requirements of SS5.1 credit.

Could you please advise us if this approach is feasible? Who should we submit the request of using off-site forest establishment to fulfill the requirement for review? What are the submission requirements?

We would greatly appreciate it if you can help us out. I thank you in advance.

Post a Reply
0
0
Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory Colliers International
Dec 15 2015
LEEDuser Member
3258 Thumbs Up

Limiting site disturbance

Project Location: Kazakhstan

We have a site which meets the definition of greenfield. It was previously in agricultural use, and is now located in an industrial park. Our project includes landscaping using native/adaptive species in those site areas for which site disturbance must be limited.

The question is whether landscaping works are allowed in these areas, provided that they are staked off and not disturbed by the construction work (preventing soil compaction), or whether the area must be retained entirely in it's original condition.

Post a Reply
0
0
Agata Mozer GO4IT SP Z OO SP K
Nov 27 2015
LEEDuser Member
399 Thumbs Up

Previous coal mine area

Project Location: Poland

Is a site which is located on a teritory of a previous coal mine considered perviously developed? Coal mine works were limited only to underground works, the aboveground site was not affected at all. Now this site is not used by anyone. It is classified as post-mine rural area.

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Agata, it sounds 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." to me based on the aboveground area not being affected.

Post a Reply
0
0
Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory Colliers International
Nov 16 2015
LEEDuser Member
3258 Thumbs Up

Greenfield site disturbance statement

The SSc5.1 form does not indicate who should provide the signed statement. It would seem most appropriate for the contractor to sign, but as this is a design credit it seems that either the architect or owner would be most appropriate.

Do review teams question who signs these statements now that the requirements for specific project team members to sign has been removed?

1
2
0
Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Nov 17 2015 LEEDuser Member 3258 Thumbs Up

Sorry - I misread the checklist. I'll have the contractor sign the statement.

I'm still interested in whether anyone has had an issue where the review team questions the signatory since the requirement for specific project team members to sign has been removed.

I'm also curious where the design/construction credit distinction is noted other than on the checklist (and presumably in the reference manual.) It does not appear to be in the credit library or the LEED Online credits unless I'm missing something.

2
2
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M, Revitaliza Consultores Nov 17 2015 Guest 882 Thumbs Up

I've never had an issue with this signature. Good luck!

Post a Reply
0
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M Revitaliza Consultores
Nov 04 2015
Guest
882 Thumbs Up

Withered grass

Project Location: Peru

Our client has planted a mixture of grass species in a vegetated area. Some of the species have withered and only one has remained and keeps growing.

Has anyone had the same case in a project and still earned the credit?

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Gustavo, it sounds like you need to find a new species mix, or use temporary irrigation, or some other solution, to establish grass there.

Technically LEED isn't checking on your grass to make sure it is alive, but in good faith I would use a different strategy to make sure it is established effectively.

Post a Reply
0
0
SAMY Chamy Enginneer T&T Green
Oct 05 2015
Guest
118 Thumbs Up

Planters for Roof garden & Nearest part of Building

As per local regulation Roof garden with grass, other trees using sand in roof is not allowed, Landscape near Building construction area is not allowed

for this type of building can we use planters for roof garden and nearest part of building

is it acceptable method to get this credit

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

I think it will be difficult to earn this credit with planters unless they are very large and carefully designed to support native species. This credit is focused on supporting biodiversity. Read some of our guidance above to get a sense of the kinds of considerations you should think about, and post back here with more thoughts!

Post a Reply
0
0
Veronica Reed Founder SDSARCH CIA. LTDA.
Oct 03 2015
LEEDuser Member
324 Thumbs Up

Major renovation historic district includes off-site green area

Project Location: Ecuador

Hello

We are working on a major renovation project on a 1890's historic building in a very dense historic district. The site is the exact footprint of the house, which includes two stone covered patios which cannot be modified due to historical preservation regulations, so we cannot include a vegetated surface to achieve the restore or protect habitat. The project however includes an urban agriculture and green 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. on what is the roof of an adjacent building, which will be leased from the local city authority for urban agriculture for a period of 20 to 100 years. The adjacent roof area which will be used in half the size of project site, but can this be taken into account?, if so, how do you define the project boundary?

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Veronica, this would be an interesting question for our MPR3 forum. Also look under the guidance there for situations involving taking credit for area outside of the project boundary.

Post a Reply
0
0
Candice Rogers Paladin, Inc
Sep 10 2015
Guest
341 Thumbs Up

Interpretation for Underground Stormwater Retaining System

Project Location: United States

Good morning -
We have a project that is greenfield. We are seeking some clarification on whether our underground stormwater retaining system falls under the allowance of 1) 15' beyond...main utility branch trenches OR 2) 25' beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces.

Our stormwater retaining system is overlain with permeable landscaping. It is on the utility side of the water quality unit, but is holding water on behalf of the site to restrict the flow of water to the utility. The system is made up of 36" pipe, but is connected to the local municipal system with 12" pipe. We just want to make sure that we are applying the correct site disturbance limits as we enter the final stages of design.

Would you be willing to help clarify that we are correct in applying the 25' condition?

Many thanks for your expertise -
Candice Rogers

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Candice, I think you're ok applying the 25' limit.

Post a Reply
0
0
Roberto Meza Sustainable Building Consultant SPHERA Sustainable Building Consultants
Aug 07 2015
LEEDuser Member
613 Thumbs Up

Minimum Protected area

Project Location: Costa Rica

Hi, I was wondering if there is a minimum percentage for the protected area for SSc5.1 compliance. In our green field project almost all of the project boundary will be disturbed, the building, inner streets and hardscapes are about 90% of the boundary. Thank you!

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Roberto, I am a little confused about your question. If you are going with Option 2 of this credit there are specific requirements for what % must be protected. Can you clarify what you're asking?

Post a Reply
0
0
Roberto Meza Sustainable Building Consultant SPHERA Sustainable Building Consultants
Jul 10 2015
LEEDuser Member
613 Thumbs Up

Planting in conservancy areas

Project Location: Costa Rica

Hi everyone,
We have a project in a greenfield, it's conservancy areas consist of vegetation that is mostly dry grass. For this reason most of the protected areas are originally designed for landscaping.

Could we plant native or adaptive plants that require low irrigation in these spaces since the current scarce vegetation and deteriorated ground will benefit greatly from a more dense and colourful vegetation, take into consideration that fauna will also take advantage of these plants.

Areas outside the allowed disturbance space will be properly protected.
Thank you!

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Roberto, if I'm reading your question properly, the crux of it is whether irrigation is allowed in the protected area. As long as you have native vegetationPlants indigenous to a locality (native) and adapted to the local climate; they require limited irrigation following planting, do not require active maintenance such as mowing, and provide habitat value., I would say yes—irrigation falls as a question under the WE credit.

Post a Reply
0
0
Marissa Hebert
Jun 26 2015
Guest
23 Thumbs Up

Protect Habitat on Campus

Project Location: United States

Our project is a large medical campus with multiple buildings on a greenfield site. However, only one building on the site is seeking LEED certification, and so the LEED Project Boundary does not contain the entire medical campus. It only contains the land that directly supports the one building seeking LEED certification. The entire campus is being constructed concurrently, so there will be disturbance outside of the Project Boundary. Do we have to show that we followed the disturbance requirements on the entire campus or just the Project Boundary?

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jul 02 2015 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

The disturbance requirements only apply to the land within your LEED boundary.

Post a Reply
0
0
Yiwei Koh Sustainable Design Consultant WSP Ng Pte Ltd
Jan 28 2015
Guest
13 Thumbs Up

Relocation of existing trees within site

Hi,

A project I am working on has some existing mature trees, there are intention to relocate the trees within the site. In this case, how can i account this under SSc5.1?

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

That depends on which case you will follow - greenfield or 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."? If greenfield then you will need to follow the disturbance parameters. If your site is previously developed, the trees may or may not contribute based on whether they are native/adaptive species.

Post a Reply
0
0
Katherine Carlin
Jan 21 2015
LEEDuser Member
456 Thumbs Up

Protect or Restore Habitat - 2.5 acre Pond

Project Location: United States

We are restoring a pond by removing invasive plant species and replanting with native plant species. May we count the surface area of the pond into the acreage calculations to meet the requirements for NC-2009 SSc5.1: Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat? We are confident that it meets open space requirements, but cannot find guidance on this issue under native and adapted landscaping/habitat restoration. Because native species (frogs, insects, spiders, birds, fish) inhabit this area we think the we should be able to count it.
Thanks!

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

According to 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. ruling #5755: The intent of SSc5.1 is to conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. It is theoretically possible for a pond to achieve these functions, but there is not enough detail in your question to verify whether this is the case. In your credit submittal, provide details about the nature and construction of the pond, the habitats created, the plant and animal species that are supported, and the hydrologic processes.

Post a Reply
0
0
CT G
Dec 22 2014
LEEDuser Member
449 Thumbs Up

Variety of species on green roof

We are working on a project that includes a green roof. The design of the green roof incorporates 8 different native or adapted species, ranging from different grasses and sedum species to larger shrubs. The design, however, does not mix all species together: it creates different planting areas for different species, all within one large green 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.. Which means that all species are on the same green roof, but each one is planted in a group within its type. Would this count towards credit compliance?

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jan 05 2015 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

The guidance in 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. 10231 does not specify how the variety of species should be laid out. There is much greater emphasis on how the design will support wildlife habitat. Therefore, I think as long as you have an intensive roof system, where the depth of the growing medium is 6 inches or more, and you can explain how the native or adapted plants selected for the roof support the endemic wildlife populations of the site, your green roof design will comply with these credit requirements.

Post a Reply
0
0
Emmanuel Pauwels Owner Green Living Projects s.l.
Nov 06 2014
LEEDuser Member
3298 Thumbs Up

off-site land outside USA

Project Location: Spain

In order to comply with the alternative option we would choose to donate land to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust must adhere to the Land Trust Alliance ‘Land Trust Standards and Practices’ 2004 Revision. Is there any alternative definition for a land trust in a European context?

1
1
0
Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator, Lake/Flato Architects Jan 13 2015 LEEDuser Member 1635 Thumbs Up

I don't see any resources for this in the GACP:
http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/LEED%202009%20RG%20BD+C-Supplem...

Sorry!

Post a Reply
0
0
Stella Stella
Oct 15 2014
Guest
455 Thumbs Up

Native species

Hi,
We are working on a project in Singapore. We had provided native species in our project and to document compliance for this credit we included a list of native species from the Country’s national parks website as a supporting document. But since most of the species in the website says “Native to Southeast Asia” and not specifically as “Native to Singapore”; GBCI has requested us to get the list of native species endorsed by a registered landscape architect for compliance. But we don’t have any registered landscape architect in our project.is there any other way to demonstrate compliance for this credit?

1
2
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Stella, can you find a landscape architect in Singapore, maybe someone who works for the government or a university, etc., who would provide such a list?

2
2
0
Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Member 3258 Thumbs Up

Someone at BCA may also be able to help as long as they don't perceive this as a threat to Green Mark.

Post a Reply
0
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M Revitaliza Consultores
Oct 14 2014
Guest
882 Thumbs Up

Expansion areas

Our LEED Project Boundary includes a future expansion area. This area has grown native species naturally. Can this vegetated area be counted towards this credit?

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Dec 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

As long as you include the area in your LEED site boundary, then yes, it will count.

Post a Reply
0
0
Razan Nejem Environmental Engineer, LEED AP BD+C
Sep 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
401 Thumbs Up

Site Condition

If a site 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.", However its a desert site with no type of vegetation and located in an Urban area. so its also not considered a green field site because there is nothing to protect.
does this credit apply in this case? if yes to which option?

1
3
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M, Revitaliza Consultores Oct 14 2014 Guest 882 Thumbs Up

Hi Razan,
I think you should look into the "greenfield" definition: one that has not been built, graded, or otherwise altered by human activity

2
3
0
Flavia Marques Ramboll May 17 2015 Guest 18 Thumbs Up

Hi Razan,

I am having a project which is in desert and I was not sure if this credit apply to it or we should drop it. I saw your query above and I was wondering if you found the answer to your question. I would be greatful if you could get back to me.

3
3
0
Andrew Carman Sustainability Consultant, Sebesta Jul 16 2015 LEEDuser Member 52 Thumbs Up

The crux of "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."" status is being able to demonstrate that your site has been altered or disturbed previous to this project (roads, buildings, or previous infrastructure).

Regarding the terms/intentions of the credit:
The crucial terms in the credit language are "Limit site disturbance" and preserve and enhance natural site elements including..." While some of the items in the list of site elements would not necessarily apply to your site, if for example there is actually zero plantlife on the site. That is possible depending on the site, but it is unlikely that the site includes no elements that would be called soil conditions, ecosystems, etc. Even sites that have very limited biomass can still be protected and preserved according to their specific native ecological characteristics.

Post a Reply
0
0
Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M Revitaliza Consultores
Sep 10 2014
Guest
882 Thumbs Up

Striped grass

Is striped grass considered monoculture? Our client has planted a different specie in each stripe:

-1 meter width stripe: specie "grass specie A"
-1 meter width stripe: specie "grass specie B"

I know this is weird, but the grass is already planted like this.

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 26 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Gustavo, it sounds like a monoculture to me. Even if we put aside the striping, there are only two species?

Post a Reply
0
0
Melissa Wrolstad Senior Project Manager CodeGreen Solutions
Sep 10 2014
LEEDuser Member
2585 Thumbs Up

Atrium Plants

Hello,

Our client is planning a large interior atrium in their building located on a zero-lot-line site. There is no green roof planned given project constraints. The atrium will contain several large 20' trees, shrubs, bushes, etc.

Could this atrium count towards the credit?

Thanks,
Melissa

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Dec 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

This would be worth submitting 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. Request. Seems like you could make a case for it.

Post a Reply
0
0
EBRU UNVER LEED AP BD+C
Sep 10 2014
LEEDuser Member
238 Thumbs Up

what is the exact definition of footprint

hi everyone,
we re working on a project in Turkey İstanbul in which we will be applying for this credit. But we re having a hard time on deciding what the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint. is. we have placed concrete water tanks on the basement floor and covered the top with vegetation as a continious part of the vegetated open grid. so my concerns is that; do these water tanks count as a part of the building footprint or not? and if they do; does the vegetated space over them count as a roof top?
Thank you in advance

1
1
0
Daniel Hartsig Sustainability Analyst, Transwestern Oct 01 2014 Guest 72 Thumbs Up

Ebru -
We have had this problem before. The guidance we've been given was that the footprint is the perimeter of all structures on site, when viewed from above. However, you will need to use your best judgement and the intent of all LEED credits when it comes to structures below ground and overhanging structures above ground.

What you describe sounds like a green roof, but it might depend on the depth below ground.

In cases like this, you must develop a solid argument, communicate it to the reviewer through the LEED credit forms, and use it consistently across all credits.

I hope that helps.

Post a Reply
0
0
Mónika Egyed
Sep 09 2014
Guest
64 Thumbs Up

agricultural site, previously graded?

Hi, the project of ours has a site with current agricultural use, there is only 1-2% of the site with native vegetationPlants indigenous to a locality (native) and adapted to the local climate; they require limited irrigation following planting, do not require active maintenance such as mowing, and provide habitat value.. In this case, can we use Option 2 - 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." or graded? I could not find a definition for graded sites. Does anyone have a recent experience, how USGBC evaluates sites where no previous construction has occured but because of agricultural use, there is no native vegetation or wildlife to be saved? Thanks!

1
3
0
Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Sep 09 2014 LEEDuser Member 7135 Thumbs Up

Hi Monika,
I have had experience with this situation. The current definition presents a problem for this kind of site. You are technically 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." per the definition. However, the lack of anything worth saving makes that distinction kind of spurious. If you are determined to get the point, you can pursue construction limits despite the lack of vegetation. The limits themselves are the compliance rather than any specific amount of native vegetationPlants indigenous to a locality (native) and adapted to the local climate; they require limited irrigation following planting, do not require active maintenance such as mowing, and provide habitat value. saved, but the effort isn't generally worth it.

If you are actually able to restore better than 50% of your LEED boundary area with native vegetation either on the site or somewhere dedicated, you might be able to make an argument. I was successful one time with a project that was previously a sod farm, had no native vegetation to speak of, but was providing a sizable buffer zone of restored vegetation between the site and a river. I am aware of one other individual who also had a similar project and I believe was also successful making this argument. BUT you must be restoring significant native vegetation to have any shot at this. Good luck.

2
3
0
Mónika Egyed Sep 10 2014 Guest 64 Thumbs Up

Thank you, Michelle!

3
3
0
Daniel Hartsig Sustainability Analyst, Transwestern Oct 01 2014 Guest 72 Thumbs Up

Monika -
We deal with this issue regularly: LEED v2009 defines 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." as graded or otherwise altered by human activities. In LEED v4 the definition changes to exclude agricultural sites.

If you're still using v2009, farms and some variations of grazing areas would count as altered due to the types of clearing and planting activities. Derelict sites become questionable depending on how much they're overgrown.

Sites with a mix of types use both sets of guidance, for each area.

I hope that helps,

Post a Reply
0
0
Sara Greenwood Green Building Consultant Cadmus Group
Sep 04 2014
LEEDuser Member
139 Thumbs Up

Transplanting trees as a means to save them

Hello,
Unfortunately, the trees on this site will need to be removed for the building but the owner would like to donate the trees to a nursery rather than a woodchip mill. Can this be applied to this credit in some way or pursued as an ID point?

Thank you!

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Dec 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

No, technically, repurposed as wood chips or some other functional material is the same in terms of construction waste diversion. It makes for a much better story though!

Post a Reply
0
0
Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C KILTIK Consultoría
Aug 31 2014
Guest
1521 Thumbs Up

Urban agriculture in high density, zero lot line project.

Hi everyone,
I have a project in Mexico where we are trying to create a rooftop food garden. I found this 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. #10155 regarding urban agriculture and WEc1, but I don't know if I could count the "food vegetated" area towards SSc5.1 compliance... It's a mixed used project where, appart from having regular ornamental vegetation in many areas of the building terraces; the residential component would have access to rooftop terraces with permanent planters where the appartment owners can grow vegetables of their choice, because planters will be their "private property". Since you can't really tell them what and what not to grow, I can't guarantee that all species would be native/adapted, but surely there would not be monoculture practices, and many plants are likely to attract biodiversity. Also, it is considered that gardening practices will be organic. We are in a zero lot line project, high density area, in a city where 99% of built areas are low density.
Do you think this could count towards SSc5.1?

Thank you in advance.

1
1
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Dec 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

No, I don't think it would count because it sounds like the green roof design would not meet the credit requirements for green roofs to count toward SSc5.1 (see above FAQs). Furthermore, the vegetation is dependent upon the tenants, as opposed to being permanent.

Post a Reply
0
0
Jennifer Rennick Principal In Balance Green Consulting
Aug 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
20 Thumbs Up

Disturbance Limits and LEED Boundary

I am documenting a Winery that is being built on a Greenfield. We have set the limits of construction of the project in accordance with the LEED requirements. What I am inquiring is if the limits of construction need to be within the LEED Boundary or if the limits of construction are able to go outside the LEED boundary. Since the certification is only within the LEED boundary should the limits of construction also fall within this area?

1
1
0
Rustem Saitov Aug 06 2014 Guest 36 Thumbs Up

Dear Jennifer,
While the text of SSc5.1 does not clearly define whether these limits should be established within LEED or else, there is a SSp1 where the team is required to develop Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan in accordance with 2003 EPA Construction General PermitEPA's Construction General Permit. Outlines the provisions necessary to comply with Phase I and Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. (or local codes). Fortunately, Construction General Permit does not allow any construction activity beyond LEED boundary, hence it can be concluded that the right answer is that the limits of SSc5.1 are contained within LEED boundary.

Post a Reply
0
0
CT G
Aug 04 2014
LEEDuser Member
449 Thumbs Up

Required Vegetated Area

Hello,

We have a project with the following site constraints:
The LEED Project Boundary includes 2 new buildings: an office tower, and a small bank building. The office tower is part of the LEED Certification, but the bank building is not. However, because the underground parking takes up the entire site area, we have drawn the LEED Project Boundary at the underground perimeter, which means that, above grade, the small bank building is within the Project Boundary.
The PIf4 LEED Boundary plan clearly shows that the small bank building is excluded from the LEED Certification. However, on the template, we have included the entire site area as the LEED Project Boundary, since that is true underground.
For this particular credit (SSc5.1), the template automatically calculates the amount of open vegetated space as the LEED Project Boundary - 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. (in this case we have only accounted for the office tower) x 50%. However, this calculation does not account for the footprint of the small bank building.
Therefore, the question is: how do we account for the footprint of the small bank building which we need to subtract from the LEED Project Boundary in order to arrive at the correct calculation for vegetated space? Should we include that footprint as part of the Building Footprint value (adding it to the office tower)? Or, since the roof of the bank is vegetated with native species, should we include that area as part of the vegetated area (we are achieving SSc2), even though the building itself is excluded from certification?

Thanks for any advice!

Post a Reply
0
0
Donald Green Operations Manager ai Design Group
Jul 24 2014
Guest
1787 Thumbs Up

Coastal Coral Reef

We have an international client with a large campus along a coast line that is forming a landbank to protect existing mangrove areas. Per previous strings it would seem that water plantings (mangrove areas) would qualify for SSc5.1 as mangroves are both on land and in water. However as an extension of these mangrove areas the coast line is highly irregular and there are coastal coral reefs that will be included within this landbank. The question is can these coral reef areas be counted toward SSc5.1 as the Owner wishes to protect these natural habitats as well?

The LEED Reference Guide notes that ecologically appropriate features that maintain or restore the ecological integrity of the site including water bodies are acceptable. A coral reef connected directly to large mangrove areas would then seem to be inclusive within acceptable areas for SSc5.1.

Thank you,

1
2
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Donald, it seems to me that this should be able to help you earn the credit. However, to comment on it in a meaningful way I would ask how you are setting your LEED boundaries and how you would calculate credit compliance?

2
2
0
Donald Green Operations Manager, ai Design Group Jul 25 2014 Guest 1787 Thumbs Up

Tristan,

The landbank is outside of the Project's LEED Boundary however still within the overall contiguous campus boundary. Using Case 2 and per a couple LI's - this still allows us to use the 50% or 20% rule which ever is larger. In this case the 20% of site including building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint. is larger so that area is what we would be using. We will show that much area from the landbank and dedicate it for this project.

Thank you,

Post a Reply
0
0
Julien Lafond Altanova, LLC
Jul 08 2014
LEEDuser Member
12 Thumbs Up

Sun Control Window Films

This project with large window areas is installing sun control window films which rejects 72% total solar energy and gives 66% of solar heat reduction. We are doing an energy model for the HVAC performance, but there is no credit awarded for energy reduction from the window film, is there anywhere else we could incorporate this energy saving? Does anyone have experience with a similar ID credit for this situation?

1
2
0
Sylvain laporte GASD-Co Jul 08 2014 Guest 190 Thumbs Up

Vous pouvez re-poster votre commentaire dans la section EAC1. Je ne pense pas que en dehors de EAC1 d'autres points soient possibles. Cordialement.

Excuse my French !

2
2
0
Stella Stella Jul 08 2014 Guest 455 Thumbs Up

Hi Julien,
I agree with Sylvain’s suggestion to post this query on EAc1. Anyways to answer your query,i believe that the solar control film manufacture would be able to provide you with the reduction in U value & Shading coefficient value of the glazing (thermal properties) through the use of the solar control film and these values could be inputted into the energy model to reap the savings from the film.

Post a Reply
0
0
Marni Punt Associate Aurecon
Jul 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
43 Thumbs Up

Offsite restoration for greenfield developments

Could anyone confirm if the case 2 addenda (11/3/2010) could be relevant to Greenfield developments as well? What would the documentation that must be submitted be?

1
1
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Marni, not the way the credit language is written. You would have to get 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. to get this allowed.

Post a Reply
0
0
Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Jun 25 2014
LEEDuser Member
854 Thumbs Up

A site with large building footprint

Hello, Mine is a greenfield site that has a 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. that takes almost the entire land. So once I add the allowed clearances for site disturbance the entire site becomes eligible for disturbance.

Is there any specific guidance on how we can attempt this credit for this particular project? Thank you.

1
2
0
Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Magda, I don't think credit compliance is affected by this situation. If you meet the disturbance limits, you're all set.

2
2
0
Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Mar 25 2015 LEEDuser Member 3258 Thumbs Up

Magda - Have you gone through review with this credit yet? Other LEED credits specifically state that you can't achieve a credit that doesn't apply to your site and I'm a little concerned that a fully disturbed site might not be considered as meeting the credit intent, in spite of the fact that it meets the credit requirements.

Post a Reply
0
0
Stella Stella
May 29 2014
Guest
455 Thumbs Up

Native Plant Species

We are doing a project in Singapore and we are considering providing native or adaptive species in the project. I would like to know if the native species includes only species found in Singapore or species found in Southeast Asia could be included.

1
3
0
April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 928 Thumbs Up

Native species are typically defined locally, based on your microclimate and/or ecosystem. I would suggest that you consult with a local garden or nursery, conservancy, or university to determine was is deemed "native" or adapted the specific region that the building is located.

More replies to "Native Plant Species" on next page...

Start a new LEED comment thread

Feb 06 2016
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.

Copyright 2016 – BuildingGreen, Inc.