NC-2009 WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping

  • NC CS Schools WEc1 Credit Req's Diagram
  • Can be either simple or complex—it's up to you

    You can earn this credit simply by eliminating turf grass, planting native and adaptive species, and not installing an irrigation system. If those measures go too far for your project, you can still achieve the credit as long as you have some flexibility with plant species selection, and irrigation system design and controls. You may need a landscape designer to identify local or adaptive plant species that require little irrigation, to design water-efficient irrigation systems, to address the potential use of non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems., and to reduce irrigation needs through zoning, grouping, and grading of the landscape.

    If you install irrigation

    If you do install irrigation, you must perform calculations to show the savings of the project design versus a baseline. Usually done by the landscape architect or architect, these calculations determine the percent reduction of total water applied and total potable water applied. Projects with landscaping on less than 5% of their site area cannot earn points here, so consider planters or small gardens to meet that threshold.

    FAQs for WEc1

    Can non-potable well water that is used for irrigation contribute to potable water reduction?

    No, non-potable groundwater used for irrigation (other than nuisance groundwater, i.e. water pumped away from a foundation) is considered a potential potable source and would not count towards earning this credit. GBCI has upheld this rule even in cases where the local groundwater has mineral or other content that requires treatment before it can be potable.

    Can surface water, such as water from an irrigation ditch or a local creek, be used as nonpotable water?

    No. This approach has been rejected by LEED reviewers, who state that these are potential sources of potable water and their use does not meet the credit intent. The LEED Reference Guide makes reference to groundwater in specifically allowing use of nuisance water that needs to be pumped away from the building—but other groundwater is not mentioned as compliant.

    Is the area of the baseline case the same as the design case?

    The baseline and design cases are the same, and they are based on the total landscaped area in the design case.

    What is the minimum required irrigated area that will achieve the credit?

    There is no minimum required irrigated area to achieve the credit.  Projects without vegetation on the grounds must have vegetated areas such as courtyards, planters, or vegetated roofs equal to at least 5% of the total site area to pursue the credit. Projects with no landscaping are ineligible for the credit.

    Does existing landscaping have to be included in the calculations?

    Yes, all landscaping (existing and new) must be included in the documentation.

    Do vegetated roofs count in the calculation?

    Yes.

    Do interior planters count in the calculation?

    No. LEED defines the scope of the credit as landscaping outside 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..

    Does installing artificial turf, pavers, or hardscape in place of landscape plantings improve your chances of getting the credit?

    Although this may contribute to reducing irrigation demand, this does not help with achieving the credit, as landscaped area in both the baseline and design case has to be the same (see the LEED Reference Guide for acceptable methods to earn the credit, and LEED Interpretations #6039 and #731—which have not been applied officially to LEED 2009). Although decreasing vegetated space may be a sensible option for some projects, it is not allowed to contribute to this credit. It would not match the intent of this and other credits for LEED to include an incentive to reduce vegetated area.

    How long can a temporary irrigation system for plants to be established remain on site and have the project still be able to achieve the credit?

    According to a LEED Reference Guide addendum from 7/19/2010, the time period has been increased from 12 months to 18 months.

    How is "temporary" irrigation system defined? What do I have to do to show that a system is temporary?

    LEED does not distinguish what characteristics make an irrigation system "temporary." However, teams have had success by installing irrigation systems with plans to disable them in some way, such as removing sprinkler heads, cutting up pipe, or causing some other severe, if not unalterable, damage to the system.

    We are using non-potable water for irrigation. For drought conditions, can we hook up to a potable water source for backup and still earn this credit?

    Yes. According to LEED Interpretation #998, "The approach of designing rainwater storage for a 'normal' rainfall year and providing potable water as backup is acceptable."

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Eliminating turf grass, planting native and adaptive species, and not installing an irrigation system is the simplest and cheapest way to achieve this credit. It will also have several additional environmental and financial benefits not necessarily recognized by LEED, such as reducing mowing costs, energy use, emissions, pesticide and fertilizer needs, and maintenance. Start by evaluating this option, taking into account the owner’s expectations, the climate, and site conditions.


  • Native plantsLawn as the default landscape planting doesn't make sense in dry climates, where its lushness can only be maintained at the cost of frequent watering. Xeriscaping such as shown here, using native and drought-resistant plants, is a better choice. Las Vegas Valley Water DistrictEvaluate the project’s landscaping needs and develop water savings goals. Consider opportunities to use 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. to reduce irrigation needs. Look for all water sources on the site, such as stormwater, graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area., treated wastewater, and note opportunities for using that water for irrigation. Include water savings goals in the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPROwner's project requirements (OPR) is a written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project.) for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning.


  • If your landscaping is limited to planters and small gardens, calculate vegetated area as a percentage of the total site area (including building footprint). If the planter and garden area is at least 5% of the total site, you’re eligible for both credit options. If you’re just below that amount, you're ineligible for this credit. Consider adding planters as an amenity for the building and a way to earn the credit.


  • Using alternative water sources for irrigation may add costs compared with conventional irrigation. For example, a rainwater cistern will be an added cost, and space must be found for it. However, this may lead to cost reductions in other areas, such as reduced stormwater retention infrastructure, or lower water and sewer costs.

Schematic Design

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  • Research native or drought-tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems and controls. Check for local incentives for efficient systems and controls.


  • Evaluate the potential for nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. sources, including rainwater reuse and graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. reuse. If non-potable water use seems feasible for your project evaluate the water demand for your landscape and the quantity of water reuse available to your project. Calculations, usually done by the landscape architect, have to account for annual rainfall on a monthly basis for the project location. Rainwater, which may need basic filtration but not usually additional treatment, can be piped directly to plantings to reduce the need for potable irrigation water. Evaluate the potential for graywater. Research graywater or rainwater regulations, and local incentives. Check with local authorities on acceptable rainwater and graywater capture, collection, and reuse methods. Local codes may place limits on some uses of alternative water supplies. Develop a water budget, both project-wide and for landscape irrigation.


  • Work with the whole project team to evaluate synergies and tradeoffs with other LEED credits or green building strategies. These may include using rain gardens for stormwater infiltration, trees for shading the building and hardscapes for cooling-load reduction, porous surfaces, soil selection encouraging infiltration, windbreaks, water reuse, rainwater capture and acoustical barriers.


  • The following water sources count as reused for credit purposes: graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. (lavatory, sink and shower water), harvested rainwater (cistern, underground, or pond), nuisance water (water that must be pumped away from the building), treated wastewater, air-conditioner condensate, reverse-osmosis reject, and sump-pump water. All well water is counted as potable for credit purposes.


  • Starting the LEED calculations early, along with early completion of a compliant landscape design can avoid costly redesign due to non-compliance.


  • For Option 2: No Potable Water Use or No Irrigation, projects have to achieve a 50% reduction in total water applied in addition to eliminating irrigating with potable water. That is, even if a project uses non-potable water for irrigation, it must also reduce the total water use for irrigation by 50%. To use non-potable water to pursue Option 2, projects must provide a detailed narrative on the actual source and available quantity of the non-potable water as well as the anticipated schedule for implementation of the non-potable system.


  • You can avoid submitting calculations for credit compliance by not using permanent irrigation. In this case, no permanent irrigation system can be installed, even with the intent to turn it off. Irrigation for plant establishment, allowable for one year, must be manual, or through temporary, above-grade systems. Using hose bibs to water when plants are being established and during drought conditions is allowed as “temporary irrigation.”


  • Look for local incentives for sub-grade irrigation, efficient irrigation, irrigation controls, and/or irrigation sub-metering. For example, one city provides up to $7,000 per acre-foot of water saved, and another program provided rebates up to $1,000 per acre for weather-based irrigation controls. Some municipalities even support “cash for grass” programs that provide rebates for the replacement of turf and with native plantings. For example, one pilot program provides $1.00 per square foot of replaced turf grass.

Design Development

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  • Evaluate a number of scenarios to achieve the credit. Look for options that work best for the design, and see if there are any trade-offs or overlaps with other LEED credits.


  • Drip irrigation   If irrigation is necessary, drip irrigation is a water-efficient way to deliver it where it is needed, with minimal evaporative losses. City of San Luis Obisbo Utilities DepartmentDesign landscape and irrigation systems to maximize native and adapted species, use efficient irrigation technology, and reuse water where possible. Evaluate the different irrigation technologies for their efficiency and suitability to the project. These include subsurface, bubbler, drip, and rotor sprinkler. Installing weather controls or soil moisture sensors can greatly reduce unnecessary irrigation. Consider directing rainwater to planting beds to reduce the need for potable irrigation water.


  • Detailed calculations to demonstrate irrigation efficiency will be required from the landscape architect. The study “Performance and Water Conservation Potential of Multi-Stream, Multi-Trajectory Rotating Sprinklers for Landscape Irrigation” (see Resources) provides expected water conservation percentages derived from measured data. Efficiency ratings provided by manufacturers for irrigation components and controls can be used for calculations, but most manufacturers do not provide this data, so you’ll need additional calculations.


  • Drip irrigation systemUse of drip irrigation helps to conserve water. BuildingGreen ImageThe design cost of a drip irrigation system is generally comparable to a standard system. However, installation might be more expensive for drip irrigation, particularly as plant density increases.


  • The landscape architect calculates the potential for rainwater reuse and corresponding cistern sizes to accommodate landscape and other rainwater reuse applications. Calculations must account for annual rainfall of the project location.


  • There are fewer codes and associated costs for collecting and using rainwater for irrigation than for interior water reuse. Harvested rainwater can often be reused for irrigation purposes with minimal treatment, although filtration is usually needed.


  • The mechanical engineer calculates the potential for graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. reuse and applicable treatment methods.


  • Perform LEED calculations to evaluate compliance. Only “softscape” areas are included in calculations. Projects that replace landscape irrigation with hardscape to reduce irrigation needs cannot count this area in their calculations.Use the calculator provided in the LEED Online credit form to evaluate compliance.


  • The landscape architect develops a baseline outdoor-water-use calculation based on mid-summer (July) and compares that to a calculation for the planned project design case water use (also for July). The difference is the percent reduction and identifies credit achievement. Factors included in the calculations are: plant species, density, microclimate, evapotranspiration rate, irrigation efficiency,, and non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use, and controller efficiency (gains from controller efficiency cannot exceed 30% in July). The local project baseline case is a subjective calculation that will vary by city and is based on standard practice in that region. The landscape design case is created by setting the irrigation variables to values representative of the actual designed landscape plan. The landscape water efficiency boundary used must be the same project boundary used for all other LEED credits. (See the documentation toolkit  for more information.)

Construction Documents

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  • The landscape architect runs final outdoor water use calculations for the project’s design case annual water usage. These calculations should confirm that the landscape water reduction goals are met. If the goals are not met, adjust the landscape and irrigation design as needed.


  • The landscape architect provides LEED documentation for submittal to LEED Online.

    • Provide landscape drawings.
    • If installing irrigation, provide area, species factor, density factor, microclimate factor, project evapotranspiration rate, and irrigation type for reach landscape type. You must provide the information for both baseline and design case.
    • If using non-potable water, provide information on source, and other documents that support proof of non-potable water use.
    • If no irrigation is installed, the landcape architect or architect must sign the LEED Online credit form stating that permanent irrigation will be removed after plant establishment.
    • If no irrigation is installed, write a narrative describing the landscape used.

Construction

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  • The commissioning agent commissions irrigation and water reuse systems to ensure they operate as designed.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Create a maintenance plan to ensure ongoing, as-designed performance of irrigation systems and equipment. Doing so will also contribute to LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. credit compliance. Along with the maintenance plan, provide product manuals for irrigation systems including weather and moisture controls to maintenance personnel, and discuss irrigation and planting maintenance needs. When operational, verify that the sprinkler system is not spraying the building, to avoid water waste, mold and termite damage. Also avoid wasting water spraying on other 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. surfaces like roads and sidewalks.


  • Minimize irrigation frequency in an effort to conserve water. Apply irrigation at the lowest rate required to keep plants healthy. New plants may need to be irrigated more, in order to establish them.  Change irrigation schedules on a regular basis to adjust for seasonal variations in watering needs, including turning them off in the fall. Use an irrigation system that is tied directly to weather forecasts, or manually program irrigation clocks weekly or more often, based on projected rainfall and weather patterns.


  • Incorporating mulch and using mulching mowers will help keep moisture in the soil, and reduce irrigation needs.  Adding compost to the soil will help maintain plant health over time and aid in moisture retention.


  • Creating an Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. plan will offer environmental and health benefits, while contributing to the ongoing attractiveness of the landscape. Doing so will also contribute to LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. credit compliance.


  • Installing a sub-metering system for irrigation water can help operators monitor water usage and detect problems early on. Doing so will also contribute LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. credit compliance.


  • The cost of maintenance will vary depending on the strategy employed. For example, subsurface or drip irrigationDrip irrigation delivers water at low pressure through buried mains and submains. From the submains, water is distributed to the soil through a network of perforated tubes or emitters. Drip irrigation is a high-efficiency type of microirrigation. systems can be more difficult to maintain, because malfunctions are more hidden.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    WE Credit 1: Water efficient landscaping

    2–4 Points

    Intent

    To limit or eliminate the use of potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the project site for landscape irrigation.

    Requirements

    OPTION 1: Reduce by 50% (2 points)

    Reduce potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. consumption for irrigation by 50% from a calculated midsummer baseline case or using the month with the highest irrigation demand.

    Reductions must be attributed to any combination of the following items:

    • Plant species, density and microclimate factorMicroclimate factor (kmc) is a constant used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It adjusts the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the climate of the immediate area.
    • Irrigation efficiency
    • Use of captured rainwater
    • Use of recycled wastewater
    • Use of water treated and conveyed by a public agency specifically for nonpotable uses

    Groundwater seepage that is pumped away from the immediate vicinity of building slabs and foundations may be used for landscape irrigation to meet the intent of this credit. However, the project team must demonstrate that doing so does not affect site stormwater management systems.

    OR

    Option 2: No potable water use or irrigation1 (4 points)

    Meet the requirements for Option 1.

    AND

    PATH 1

    Use only captured rainwater, recycled wastewater, recycled graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. or water treated and conveyed by a public agency specifically for nonpotable uses for irrigation.

    OR

    PATH 2

    Install landscaping that does not require permanent irrigation systems. Temporary irrigation systems used for plant establishment are allowed only if removed within a period not to exceed 18 months of installation.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Perform a soil/climate analysis to determine appropriate plant material and design the landscape with native or adapted plants to reduce or eliminate irrigation requirements. Where irrigation is required, use high-efficiency equipment and/or climate-based controllers.

    Additionally the credit can be met when landscape irrigation is provided by raw water (excluding naturally occurring surface bodies of water, streams, or rivers, and ground water) that would otherwise be treated specifically for nonpotable uses. Only ponds designed solely for the purposes of stormwater retention or detention can be used for this credit.

Organizations

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

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


Center for Irrigation Technology

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


Irrigation Association

This nonprofit organization focuses on promoting products that efficiently use water in irrigation applications.

Articles

American Water Works Association, Water Wiser: The Water Efficiency Clearinghouse

The clearinghouse includes articles, reference materials, and papers on all forms of water efficiency.

Web Tools

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center

The NCDC site is useful for researching local climate information such as data for rainwater harvesting calculations, and it also includes links to state climate offices.


World Water and Climate Atlas

Enter your project latitude and longitude—easily taken from Google Earth—and you will get the ETo for pretty much anywhere on earth. A note of caution: spot checking reveals that data may not be reliable in all locations. Make sure that data such as precipitation and temperatures checks out before using the ETo values proposed by the model.

Software Tools

Rain Bird® ET Manager™

This free software provides sufficient local evapotranspiration data for the United States and Canada.  Access data from the closest or most climate-appropriate location. 

Technical Guides

Texas Water Development Board website

This website provides data from the state of Texas regarding water resources and services such as groundwater mapping and water availability modeling.  The site also provides brochures on indoor and outdoor water efficiency strategies.


Performance and Water Conservation Potential of Multi-Stream, Multi-Trajectory Rotating Sprinklers for Landscape Irrigation

This study provides expected water conservation percentages derived from measured data, which can be used to support water efficiency calculations for this credit.

Publications

U.S. EPA, Water Efficient Landscaping: Prevening Pollution and Using Resources Wisely

This manual provides information about reducing water consumption through creative landscaping techniques.

Landscape Plan and Narrative

All Options

Use a site plan and narrative to approach and document credit compliance, like these examples from the Denver School of Science and Technology Landscape Design.

Narrative – Water Use Reduction

Option 1

Use a narrative like this to demonstrate a 50% reduction in potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use.

Narrative – No Water Use

Option 2

Use a narrative like one of these to demonstrate no potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use for irrigation, or no irrigation.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 WE

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 WE credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

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.

318 Comments

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Nicole Kimoto Architects Pacific, Inc.
Mar 21 2014
LEEDuser Member
287 Thumbs Up

No irrigation, No landscape - option 2 compliance

I'm working on a project where the existing site is 100% concrete paving. We are not providing any landscape, thus no irrigation. Does this mean we comply with option 2?

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Saud Abdul Rasheed LEED Engineer, Al Yamama Company Mar 22 2014 LEEDuser Member 76 Thumbs Up

No you are not complying. To comply with the credit intent your site must have atleast 5% landscape/vegetation area of the total site area. Its clearly written in the Bird's Eye View of this credit "Projects with no landscaping are ineligible for the credit".

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FRAGISKOS LEVANTIS LEED AP BD+C SUSTAIN O.E.
Mar 18 2014
LEEDuser Member
43 Thumbs Up

Playing fields exclusion

Projects other than Schools: Can they exclude playing fields in certain credits just like Schools can? (eg the training playing grounds of a soccer team, in a site that"ll accommodate the team"s guest house/dormitories building)

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 26 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Fragiskos, I don't think you'd be able to do this, although you could contact GBCI and ask for permission.

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FRAGISKOS LEVANTIS LEED AP BD+C, SUSTAIN O.E. Mar 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 43 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan, will follow your advice and contact GBCI (although not in much hope...)

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Scott Fornaciari Principal Landarc Associates, Inc.
Mar 12 2014
Guest
3 Thumbs Up

Controller Efficiency

How do I calculate controller efficiency. I am using a Rainmaster-i Eagle with central control, on-site weather station, rain sensor, flow sensor and master valve.

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Luis Huertas Principal Luis G Huertas, Architect
Mar 11 2014
Guest
58 Thumbs Up

Natural landscape to recover on site

Our project is going to allow the natural landscape to return to the landscape areas of the project. Can I claim no potable use and achieve the credit using this strategy?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Mar 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 1524 Thumbs Up

Yes as long as the landscaping is at least 5% of your site.

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Alexia Anastassiadis
Jan 20 2014
Guest
156 Thumbs Up

Landscaping in phases

Hello everyone,

I'm working on a project that contains a very large green area. The project will not have irrigation of any kind, since the project is situated in a temperate-humid region. The thing is: the landscaping will consist of two phases: first, as the project is completed, there will not be any planting per se. A variety of different plant grow naturally on the site and they will be cultured (i.e. cut in the correct frequency) as to obtain a spontaneous prairie, and the existing trees are preserved. due to budget reasons, the actual planting of the landscape project will occur after the project has submitted for construction review. There will not be any irrigation at any point, not in the first phase nor in the second. Should I make any special clarifications as I submit the information?

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

Alexia, as you have no irrigation planned now or in the future you should easily meet the credit requirements. Perhaps a short narrative describing your approach would be worth including.

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Lew Bonadies Vice President, Operations, LEED AP O+M Sol design + consulting
Dec 31 2013
LEEDuser Member
159 Thumbs Up

Existing landscaping, including turf, and no irrigation

We're renovating an Army barracks, with minimal changes to the existing landscaping, which includes turf. The landscaped area exceeds 5% of the site area. There is no permanent irrigation, nor will we add it.

Can we retain the turf and still qualify for Option 2, Path 2? Or must we replace the turf with native/adapted plants? Or do we exclude all the existing landscaping from our 5% minimum area? Can we submit a narrative and site plan without the need for calculations? Thanks.

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Christine Robbins-Elrod Studio Director, 5G Studio Collaborative,llc. Mar 10 2014 LEEDuser Member 228 Thumbs Up

I completed the WEc1 documentation for a project that was certified a few months ago under LEED-NC v2.2. Our project had a similar situation since it was located on an Army base, and the USACE's landscape plan included turf grass in addition to native/adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive.. The USACE Project Manager confirmed in writing that permanent irrigation would not be installed within the LEED Project Boundary; I submitted this along with the landscape plan, information about the water use requirements and drought tolerance of each species of vegetation, and a narrative describing the landscape design (including a statement that there would be no permanent irrigation). The credit was earned, and irrigation demand calculations were not required. I would think that existing landscaping would be included if it is within the LEED Project Boundary, but I haven't encountered that particular situation previously.

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Alfred Servodidio Project Manager JMV Consulting Engineering
Dec 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
22 Thumbs Up

Landscaped park across from project building

Our project is an historic building in downtown NYC. The owners of the building are contributing to the restoration of the small park directly across the street from the building. Would it be possible to include this landscaping as part of the calculation of the site area although technically the park is not part of the building site?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 11 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Alfred, you would need to include the park in your LEED project boundary in order to take credit for it. Which might be reasonable if it's in the scope of the construction project, although it might be awkward and better avoided if it is under different ownership. More on boundaries in MPR2.

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Valentin Grimaud Thermal Engineer TERAO Green Building Engineering
Dec 03 2013
LEEDuser Member
715 Thumbs Up

Temporary landscape in the case of phased project

Dear community,

We have a project with two phases. We are now certifying the first phase. We have not used crédits SSc5.1&5.2 because there shall be a future phase changing the metrics of green spaces.
Now towards this credit, I am not sure whether I must include the landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. covering the footprint of the future phase in my landscape calculation or not. This area is quite large thus has big impact on my calculation.

Thank you very much!

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William Weaver Partner, Ecotekt, PLLC Dec 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

For the purposes of the water efficient landscaping calculations, you can choose to either include or exclude this landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios., provided that the total area you use is consistent from base to design case.

Given that a structure is proposed for the future phase area, any irrigation provided now - if any at all - would be temporary. I would tend to exclude this zone from the irrigated landscaped area in both the base and design case.

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Valentin Grimaud Thermal Engineer, TERAO Green Building Engineering Dec 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 715 Thumbs Up

Thank you William, this is very clear.

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Alfonso Ponce Assistant Director Deloitte
Dec 02 2013
LEEDuser Member
2 Thumbs Up

Option 2 Path 2

In order to prove that landscaping does not require permanent irrigation and that it is only irrigated on the first year of installation (local landscape which does not need irrigation when they are well settled), we will obtain a written confirmation by the landscape architect. This confirmation will contain the list of the landscape design and of the species.
Do you know a model of such confirmation exists? And is it enough to obtain the credits?

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Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator, Lake/Flato Architects Dec 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 1180 Thumbs Up

The template for this credit also requires an owner's signature. Does this answer your question?

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jorge calderon earth lab
Nov 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
46 Thumbs Up

green wall

Hi, i like to know if green walls applies for this credit
thank you in advance

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jorge calderon earth lab Nov 28 2013 LEEDuser Member 46 Thumbs Up

Hello again, I posted this comment two weeks ago but i havend had news. Can anyone please tell me if green walls are includded in this credit. Tank you in advance.

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jorge calderon earth lab Nov 28 2013 LEEDuser Member 46 Thumbs Up

and another question, if i have a part of my landscape with permanent irrigation system and other part for 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. with temporary irrigation (hose), how should I fill the online table wec1-1 in irrigation type, irrigation with hose means option "other"?
thank you in advance

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2170 Thumbs Up

Hello Jorge,

Note that the Calculations section (under Standard Assumptions and Variables) of the LEED Reference Guide states that for landscape types that don’t require irrigation once established, a species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. (ks) of “0” (zero) can be utilized in the calculations. The total landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. must be the same in the baseline and design cases, but the irrigated area does not have to be identical.

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Erika Duran Sustainability Consultant, Dagher Engineering Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 529 Thumbs Up

Jorge,

The response posted below referencing addendum #100000352 adds some information to your question although not a full clear response.

The addendum states: " The landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. of the site is the total site area less the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint., paved surfaces, water bodies, areas being left in a natural state and patios."

I also recently posted about including green roofs in this credit which I have read is possible. However the response from the GBCI also referenced the above mentioned addendum which in essence does not require that a vegetated green roof be include in the calculation. But, the option to include it is still possible. All this to say that I think you could make an argument for including or excluding the green wall in your calculation.

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jorge calderon earth lab Dec 03 2013 LEEDuser Member 46 Thumbs Up

Carlie and Erika I appreciate your comments, any response about how should I fill the online table wec1-1 in irrigation type, for irrigation with hose, is "other" ok?
thank you in advance

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Victoria Lockhart Arup Associates
Oct 23 2013
LEEDuser Member
1095 Thumbs Up

Irrigation of internal planting areas

Hi all,
does anyone have experience of a project with irrigation demand for internal landscaping? Our project has ca. 4 trees in an atrium, for which a permanent irrigation system is being considered, but the remaining external planting will be manual watering only. The query is whether we can document using the "no permanent irrigation" option, or whether the criteria also apply to internal irrigation systems.
Thoughts and experience much appreciated!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

To my knowledge this is an area that has not been addressed in official LEED rulings or language. I think that most projects could consider a couple planters in the lobby and a few potted plants as outside the scope of this credit. However, a large atrium incorporating trees that may warrant a permanent irrigation system could be crossing a line, in my opinion. Does it meet the credit intent better to include them, or not?

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Victoria Lockhart Arup Associates Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 1095 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Tristan. I agree it makes sense for a more holistic approach and maximum WE-benefit to consider and include the internal space, which has been my advice to the team.

For everyone's info, feedback from the GBCI 's customer services team was slightly different (and a little surprising!): "An addendum, ID#100000352 dated 07/19/2010, defines the landscaped area to be considered. It excludes 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. so interior plantings are not considered. In any case, interior planting cannot avoid irrigation."

While clear interior plants cannot rely on precipitation, there is nothing in my mind to stop internal irrigation from being manual, or addressed using 100% non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems..

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

Victoria, thank you for sharing that GBCI response. I hadn't read that addendum with that question in mind, so it's nice to know that there is a clear definition.

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Erika Duran Sustainability Consultant Dagher Engineering
Oct 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
529 Thumbs Up

Determining Baseline case

I had the following question which I am sending to the GBCI as well but I wanted to consult with you guys to understand what you have seen based on experience:

Establishing the baseline case- WEc1 Water Efficiency

Based on what I have read on this forum, the baseline case is representative of conventional equipment and design practices. The area of the baseline and design cases are the same and they are based on the total landscaped area in the design case.

If the building is a residential high-rise in NYC and were to have a green roof and apply for this credit - would the baseline case be the landscape design with typical irrigation, sprinklers and no irrigation controls and design case have more efficient irrigation and irrigation control ?

OR

Is the baseline case what is typical for a building in NYC which is no vegetation at all therefore effectively there are no potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. savings unless you are using cisterns or rain catchment?

If you are using sedum green roof, what is the baseline case in that instance?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Erika, the baseline case and the design case always have the same landscaped area. So you will not be penalized for including a green roof, vs. a conventional building with no green roof.

The exact configuration of the baseline case always leaves some room for judgement. I don't know what to advise beyond that, especially when a green roof in NYC is not typical in any sense of the word, and for projects installing green roofs, "typical" practices are probably fairly efficient. However, I'm sure there are plenty of water-wasting rooftop landscapes out there that you could emulate for your baseline case.

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Sep 30 2013
LEEDuser Member
390 Thumbs Up

building fills site...

Im documenting LEED credits for a building that re-uses an existing site in downtown area (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. completely fills the site).

Thus, there are no vegetated areas (no green roof either).

Since there is nothing to irrigate, does this mean the credit can be achieved? Or is it not eligible?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Sep 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 1524 Thumbs Up

only if you have at least 5% of the site landscaped... you'd have to use planters. Not sure if you have enough room for planters for 5% of the site area?

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Omar ElRawy
Sep 18 2013
Guest
278 Thumbs Up

Unit of the NonPotable Water Usage

Dear all,
I'am using HVAC condensate water for landscape irrigation, with an average rate of 8 gpm, in need to know in what units should I document that? the scorecard form states (Gal), does that means the total gallons per month (July), or Gallon per one day in July or what?
any help would be highly appreciated

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

That's total for the month of July.

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Anne Harney Senior Associate Ayers Saint Gross Architects + Planners
Sep 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
200 Thumbs Up

Option 1: Combination of Efficient Irrigatation & Non-Irrigated

To achieve requirements for Option 1, can we include areas that are landscaped areas not requiring irrigation as well as areas designed with an efficient irrigation system? If so, what CE and IE values should be input for the non-irrigated areas in the template for both baseline and design cases?

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Sep 10 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2170 Thumbs Up

Hi Anne,

As outlined in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, 2009 Edition (Calculations section, under Standard Assumptions and Variables) if a species does not require irrigation once it is established, then the effective ks = 0 and the resulting KLThe landscape coefficient (KL) is a constant used to calculate the evapotranspiration rate. It takes into account the species factor, density factor, and microclimate factor of the area. = 0.

However, note that natural or undisturbed vegetation should not to be included in the calculations.

Hope helpful!

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MM K
Sep 10 2013
Guest
904 Thumbs Up

Daily or monthly?

The table on the form calculates the irrigation in July (month with higest demand). Is this the irrigation requirement for the whole month or for one day during July only?

Thanks!!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

That's for the month with the highest demand (July).

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MM K
Sep 10 2013
Guest
904 Thumbs Up

Water requirements much higher in LEED

The LEED form gives a certain amount of water based on the calculations. However, the landscape designer has calculated detailed water requirements and has showed the water requirements are much lower.

Can the landscaper designer figure be used to size our rainwater tanks as the water is from rainwater only?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I don't really understand the question. The LEED Online form is designed to document credit compliance, not to be a tool for sizing your rainwater tanks. Your designer should have the tools to do that.

However, if the LEED Online form is giving you output that seems to exceed your actual water requirements, then this could negatively affect the points you are earning for the credit. Examine the inputs and calculations to be sure that they are in line with your design.

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MM K
Sep 05 2013
Guest
904 Thumbs Up

Mix of species and baseline case

The 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. of the project consists of a mix of trees, shrubs and sedum species.
1-On the form, in comparing the baseline and the target do those species need to be listed individually or does one row stating 'Mixed species' suffice?
2-Also, how should one determine the baseline case? Should it be the same as the design case, just omitting the controller efficiency?
Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Regarding the species mix, I think it really depends on your design—what is the most reasonable accurate reflection of what you are doing. If the species are very intermixed, for example, then I would go with that. But if you can say clearly delineate different areas then why not do that on the form.

There are no hard and fast rules for defining the baseline case. To answer your question, if the main thing you are relying on to achieve savings is controller efficiency, then yes, it might be the same as the design case except for that variable. However, one would normall step back and look at typical practice for the area and seek to define that, and then separately define what you are designing.

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd. Mar 04 2014 LEEDuser Member 1182 Thumbs Up

MM K,

You should use the same microclimate factorMicroclimate factor (kmc) is a constant used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It adjusts the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the climate of the immediate area. (kmc) for both the baseline and the design cases. The baseline case may not be turf only (species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. - ks 7). The baseline will use sprinklers, so you can expect some savings if your design case has drip irrigationDrip irrigation delivers water at low pressure through buried mains and submains. From the submains, water is distributed to the soil through a network of perforated tubes or emitters. Drip irrigation is a high-efficiency type of microirrigation.. If the drip irrigation controller has moisture or rain sensors you will have extra savings, otherwise you should use a CE=1.

Good luck!

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

Full credits achieveable for less than 1% landscape?

Our project has less than 1% landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. vs site area and therefore negligible potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. consumption for irrigation. According to the LEED criteria, this means that 4 credits will be lost (or 'not eligible') despite meeting the same credit intent as projects that provide lots of landscape and use recycled water to irrigate it.

Has this issue been raised with the USGBC previously since it seems as though projects are penalised for not installing any landscape even though the same outcome is being achieved?

In other rating tools, projects with no landscaping are rewarded for not using potable water for landscaping.

Any experiences you can share will be much appreciated.

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MM K Sep 05 2013 Guest 904 Thumbs Up

Hi Mary,

LEED asks for a minimum of 5% landscaped area in order to target this credit. I don't think they would accept water reduction targets if the landscaped area is really small.

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Geoffrey QUINTAS NEVES Sep 13 2013 Guest 3 Thumbs Up

Hi,

where can I find the "minimum 5% landscaping area" rule?

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Erika Duran Sustainability Consultant, Dagher Engineering Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 529 Thumbs Up

Geoffrey - you find this in the LEED NC 2009 reference guide under STEP 6 in my reference guide it is page 182

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leonard sciarra architect, gensler Feb 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 59 Thumbs Up

Hi - the reference guide talks about "without vegetation on the ground". (see previous posts for page numbers) I take that to mean for projects with NO in ground landscape, (urban, zero lot line projects, all sidewalk, etc...) the 5% rule applies.
For urban projects where one perhaps has 3 or 4 street trees "IN" the ground, does the 5% rule apply? I suppose it comes down to the definition of "on the ground"? thoughts?

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Anne Harney Senior Associate Ayers Saint Gross Architects + Planners
Aug 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
200 Thumbs Up

Calculating Planting Area for Tree

What is the standard for calculating a planted area for a tree? Dripline?

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William Weaver Partner, Ecotekt, PLLC Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

There is no hard defined standard. For my projects, I will use either the drip lilne, or the tree well, depending on context. If the tree is directly in the ground, then I use the drip line as a rule of thumb. If in a plaza, or other location that would require a tree well, then I use the area of the well as the planted area for the tree.

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John Covello LEED and Sustainability Manager Development Management Group
Aug 02 2013
LEEDuser Member
244 Thumbs Up

Retention pond off site

Hello,

We are considering creating a retention pond area that would be adjacent to the LEED project but not in the LEED project boundary. The owner has some open space they may partially develop later that will contain the retention pond. Can water from there still be used to meet the requirements for this credit?

John

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

There are two questions here, one about using a feature not within your LEED boundary, and the other about using surface water for irrigation. 

A nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. source outside your project boundary (a good example is a municipal "purple pipe" system) can be used. 

However, surface water is not considered a nonpotable water source for the credit. See the credit language and the FAQ above.

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Melissa Merryweather Director Green Consult-Asia
Jul 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
1711 Thumbs Up

Pop-up irrigation systems

My guess is "no" but are pop-up systems any more efficient than conventional irrigation? I'm not getting a verifiable answer from my supplier. Any links or old LEEDuser thread appreciated.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Melissa, I'm not aware of anything more efficient about a pop-up sprinkler head. Isn't their main selling point that they are concealed, and out of the way of maintenance equipment?

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Joel Simonyak Shultz + Associates Architects
Jul 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
27 Thumbs Up

Calculating Total Irrigated Area with existing conditions

We have a large site in an industrial park. We plan to include a 24 Acre parcel in our project site boundary that is owned by our client and part of this area will contain the water detention pond and the rest will be left in its existing field grass condition. The detention pond will have an adaptable pond seed mix applied with no irrigation. How should these areas be factored into our irrigation efficiency calcs. Since they are not irrigated will they help us achieve this credit, or will LEED consider this as turf which to my understanding requires irrigation?

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William Weaver Partner, Ecotekt, PLLC Jul 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

You can exclude the non-irrigated areas from your calculations, but the total irrigated area must be equal from your baseline to your design case.

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Joel Simonyak Shultz + Associates Architects Jul 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 27 Thumbs Up

Thanks William - So we can't include the area in our baseline calc as area that might have been irrigated turf and then include the area in the design calc as area that isn't irrigated listed as native or adaptive plantings which would seem to help our efficiency percentage, correct?

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William Weaver Partner, Ecotekt, PLLC Jul 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

I haven't tried this before, but you may be able to list the area as turf grass in your baseline case. Then, in your design case, lable the same area as 'adative/native plantings (non-irrigated). Assign the design case an IE of '0' so that the TWA shows zero usage.

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Lewis Hewton Cundall Jul 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 277 Thumbs Up

My comment would be to remember that the baseline case is representative of "conventional equipment and design practices" and not representative of the pre-existing conditions.

i.e. if it is standard practice not to irrigate the surrounding grounds to an industrial park, then the design case would not achieve any savings over the baseline. If however, it is standard practice to provide irrigated trees/shrubs/groundcover etc. then it would be possible to demonstrate savings. My understanding is that LEED does not prescribe site specific "standard practice" but refers the judgement to a suitably qualified professional such as the project landscape architect.

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Drew Cheatham
Jul 08 2013
Guest
6 Thumbs Up

WEc1

Can someone direct me to where in the Reference manual it states that the ratio of landscaped area to site area has to be greater than 5%?

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Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C, KILTIK Consultoría Jul 09 2013 Guest 978 Thumbs Up

Drew, you can find it in the first paragraph, page 183 in the hard copy version, page 210 if you have the pdf version. "If the planters and garden space cover less than 5% of the building site area, the project is ineligible for this credit" (meaning WEc1 credit).

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Alicia Silva CEO Revitaliza consultores
Jul 08 2013
LEEDuser Member
1242 Thumbs Up

Ks Species Factor

We need some help selecting the ks in our project. We are considering the following factors:

Ks=0 for native species (no irrigation)
Ks= Low. For adaptative species. Low watering.
Ks= Average. For adaptative species. High watering.
Ks= High. For invasive species.

Is this correct?

The Reference Guide states that this factor is somehow subjective and we would like to have someone else's insight.

GH

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Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C, KILTIK Consultoría Jul 08 2013 Guest 978 Thumbs Up

Gustavo,

As you said, this is merely subjective and it would require a landscape specialist. Nevertheless, I find your initial category sorting very accurate. My only comment would be to consider that invasive species could also have low watering needs. In this credit, you don't really have to pay special attention to the plant's origin, it's more about the watering needs. If we were considering to achieve the protect and restore habitat credit, then you would need to comply with the adaptive and native species as well. I would consider average watering as "medium" watering. Maybe the plant needs a large amount of water but not so frequently. And in the high Ks, we could place the foreign and local species that require a lot of water in a frequent fashion, i.e. aquatic species.

I hope it helps. Saludos desde GDL.

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Alicia Silva CEO, Revitaliza consultores Jul 08 2013 LEEDuser Member 1242 Thumbs Up

That makes sense to me. Thank you!

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Inés Alomar
Jul 03 2013
LEEDuser Member
127 Thumbs Up

Non-potable water sources

We are participating in the certification of a building in the Europe Square in L’Hospitalet, Barcelona.
The Europe Square area was previously and industrial area. According to the change of activity, the groundawer level is being increased in all the area.
In order to avoid seepage problems, the City Hall developed a central plant in the Square for capturing, treating and distributing the high groundwater level.
The installation is being placed in the underground of a building located in the Square, but not really adjacent to our site.
The installation works in this way: normally, the water is stored and treated in a group of tanks that is afterwards used in the irrigation of all the sites of the Square; if there is a risk of seepage due to a high level of the groundwater and no irrigation needs, the installation will derive the excess to the general sewage system.
The owner has not got the chance to manage the seepage in-site according to the urban laws. On the other hand, the water used for irrigation comes from this installation.
Even it is not exactly in-site, we consider that the irrigation system comes from the groundwater seepage that is pumped away from the immediate vicinity of the LEED-NC building slabs and foundations. In fact, we see some advantages than doing in-site: there is no the consumption related to the pumping system and it is a centralized system instead of doing it on every site. All the buildings in the Square area supplied by the same system.
In the design review we have been stated that this system does no accomplish with the definition defined in the LEED Guide.
Do you think it can be a matter of explanation or do you consider this would never meet the requirements for LEED?
Thank you for your help.

Inés

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

In my opinion this meets the credit requirements. The source of irrigation water does not have to be onsite, and "nuisance" groundwater is a valid source of nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents..

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Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator Lake/Flato Architects
Jun 27 2013
LEEDuser Member
1180 Thumbs Up

Potable water backup

Can a project still earn 4 points under option 2 if a cistern has potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. backup? Could we demonstrate that it wouldn't be used through the path 1 calculations?

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William Weaver Partner, Ecotekt, PLLC Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

The cistern can not have a permanent potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. backup and still count. If the backup is temporary - let's say, installed only for a specified time for plant establishment - then it may contribute. But, if you install a permanent potable water backup system, it will negate your ability to achieve the points.

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2170 Thumbs Up

Hi Heather,
Will is correct. Also, I don't believe a potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. backup system to the cistern would be an acceptable temporary irrigation system, primarily because there is no way to ensure that the system will be disconnected at the end of the landscape establishment period. If helpful, note that LEED Interpretations 2207, 5766 and 5962 address acceptable temporary irrigation strategies.

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