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 systems. 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 systems. 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 systems. 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.

403 Comments

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Annalise Reichert LEED Project Coordinator Environmental Building Strategies
Jul 29 2015
LEEDuser Member
139 Thumbs Up

Future Reclaimed Water Service

Project Location: United States

I am working on a project that is installing reclaimed/recycled water lines to the project, with the goal to offset 60% of irrigation water with recycled water. However, the local water service currently does not have the capacity to provide reclaimed water to the site. This service may become available in the next few years, but a definitive time frame has not yet been given.

Can we still claim the 60% 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 offset for the purposes of the irrigation credit? Is there a specific time frame that project needs to actually be provided with recycled water (i.e. within 2 years of operation?)

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PAULA HERNANDEZ MRS. INGENIERO MARIO PEDRO HERNANDEZ
Jul 27 2015
LEEDuser Member
720 Thumbs Up

Green Wall

Hi, our project is considering a green wall with 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.. How do you declare that? I'm thinking of adding a spread sheet describing the types of spaces (green roof, planters, vegetation on ground and green walls) describing the size of each, plant composition and which is considered for each credit (ie, the green wall would count towards water consumption in WEc1 but NOT count towards 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. or open space in SSc5.1 and SSc5.2). Am I on the right track? Thanks!!

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jul 27 2015 Guest 5055 Thumbs Up

You're definitely right regarding SSc5.1, per 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. #5385.

For WEc1 I'd think the evapotranspiration rate could be really high. I had a palette planter of herbs leaned up against my metal balcony and the water evaporated so fast.

I'm not sure that vertical vegetation would actually fall under the strict definition of "landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios.." The landscape area 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." ID#100000449

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PAULA HERNANDEZ MRS., INGENIERO MARIO PEDRO HERNANDEZ Jul 27 2015 LEEDuser Member 720 Thumbs Up

Thanks Kathryn! So, what do I do?Do I declare the consumption in WEc1? This wall is in a shaded area, so I'm not so afraid of ETEvapotranspiration (ET) is the loss of water by evaporation from the soil and by transpiration from plants. It is expressed in millimeters per unit of time., but of the overall water balance

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JOHANNA SENOTT Architect / Environmental adviser EA Energia y Arquitectura
Jun 05 2015
LEEDuser Member
896 Thumbs Up

Turf grass with trees

Good evening everyone,

I had some doubts determining the species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. while filling out the credit form. The landscaped areas in our proyect includes turf grass mixed with trees. In addition, the trees have low watering needs while the turfgrass' species factor is high.

Which vegetation type is more suitable in relation to it's water consumption for this situation?

In cases of mixed vegetation (shrubs, trees and groundcover) with different water consumption needs, is it posible to adjust the Ks value or do I have to consider the highest?

Thanks in advance!

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Alexia Anastassiadis Jul 27 2015 Guest 419 Thumbs Up

Hi Johanna,I would use the Mixed Vegetation category with the high Ks value, since I figure the whole area under the tree is turf. I had a project where half of the area under the tree was turf and the other half was a gravel path, so we declared half as Mixed Vegetation with a high Ks value and the other half with just the Ks value corresponding to the tree (and that was quite some work!). Hope I helped!

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability Manens-Tifs s.p.a.
Jun 04 2015
LEEDuser Member
937 Thumbs Up

Greenroof, water retention with perlite

I was wondering if anyone had already used a roof garden including the perlite.

Perlite is a volcanic rock effusive varying in color between gray and pink, whose chemical composition is similar to that of dacites and rhyolites. It has the ability to expand its volume up to 20 times when compared to the original flow rate.
The peculiarities of the system including the perlite is due to the limited thickness of the package that allows engraftment and development of plant species provided in 11 cm thickness, bringing the storage value total water up to 45 l / m2 (perlite's saturation value)

I think this roof system can be included into WEc1 calculation by reducing the Ks factor since this is not a typical cistern or pond retention system but it releases water directly at the roots without use of any irrigation system.

Any suggestion?

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Alexia Anastassiadis Jul 27 2015 Guest 419 Thumbs Up

Hello Fabio,
Ks is the Species FactorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species., it is a characteristic of the plants you will use, the soil type should not affect the Ks.
We do lots of projects with green roofs, all of them have special substrates that we engineer, according to the type of planting, exposure, rainfall patterns, etc and we still use a High 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. for the green roofs, since the conditions there are usually far worse than those on the ground, still what substrate engineering allows us to do, is to still use low Ks species and no permanent irrigation on those roofs, so that's plenty of help in making a low water consumption project.

What we do in such cases is that we declare the area a non-irrigated and leave the Ks space blank and the irrigation space blank so you don't add a water consumption for that category on the LEED form.

For instance, lets say that your project earns credit SSc2 (if not, you can not include the green roof in your calculations) and have an irrigated garden in the ground level and then the non-irrigated green roof (usually an extensive green roof is all made up of ground covers).
So, you would have all the irrigated categories of your garden (trees, shrubs, mixed, groundcovers, etc) and then the Non-Irrigated Groundcovers of your roof, with a 0 Ks value and no irrigation (the plants don't have 0 ks, it is just what you do in order to fill the form and have zero consumption for that category).
Hope this helped!! All the best!

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Margaret Manuel Tetra Tech
May 14 2015
LEEDuser Member
16 Thumbs Up

"Landscape = 5% of the total site area" Rule

Project Location: Djibouti

I've seen a couple different comment threads on this, so I just want to make sure we're doing the right thing, as we have 5 points pending. The "Bird's Eye View" of this credit (above) states the following: "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."

It seems to me this requirement has been taken out of context. If one reviews the instructions from LEED User online for filling out this credit - the 5% is required if using PLANTERS ONLY to achieve this credit. On page 1 of the LEED template, if you click on the box that states "Project conditions do not allow for installation of vegetation on the grounds. Therefore planters, a vegetated roof, and/or a courtyard landscape have been installed to achieve credit compliance. (Optional)" ...then, and only then - 5% becomes criteria, correct?

We have a project in Djibouti, Africa. There are many many miles and miles, where the ground is basically dirt and rocks. We are providing 30+ native trees in the ground, surrounded by white rock mulch. We have 1 large planter, but everything is irrigated 100% with reclaimed grey water.

After submitting for Design, we received the following comment from USGBC:
"1. The landscaped area reported in the form (450 square feet) is significantly less than 5% of the total site area reported in PIf2: Project Summary Details (97,865 square feet). As outlined in the LEED BD+C v2009 Reference Guide, the vegetated area must cover at least 5% of the project site area (including building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint., hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. area, parking footprintParking footprint refers to the area of the project site occupied by the parking areas and structures., etc.) to be eligible for this credit. Note that reducing 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. for watering any roof and courtyard garden space or outdoor planters is an acceptable approach to earn this credit, provided the planters and garden space cover at least 5% of the total site area. Provide documentation confirming that the landscaped area is equal to at least 5% of the total site area reported in PIf2. Note that the hardscape and rock mulch areas below the tree canopies are not considered vegetated."

Would we be wrong to challenge the USGBC Reviewer on this? Our site DOES allow for vegetation on the grounds. We are providing trees on/in the ground. Does the 5% rule apply to our case? If so, how and where is this specifically documented?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace May 15 2015 Guest 5055 Thumbs Up

I'm not sure if you'd have any luck but maybe you could use the logic from 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. #2487...project in Dubai got approval to count desert "natural open space mimicking the surrounding ecosystem" as "vegetated open space."

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Margaret Manuel Tetra Tech May 15 2015 LEEDuser Member 16 Thumbs Up

Thanks Kathryn! We submitted onSSc5.2 and I had given up hope...but will now use #2487 as justification. :-)You're awesome! I'm still curious on how you & others view the 5% rule. Do you think it's applicable if we have palm trees and olive trees planted in the ground? Or do you think the intent is to provide a 5% oasis in the desert?

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Andrey Kuznetsov Green Building and Sustainability Consultant (LEED AP BD+C), Signy Group May 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

"...then, and only then - 5% becomes criteria, correct?" - I suppose it's correct.

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Cindy Estrada LEED AP BD&C SDS Architects, Inc.
Apr 22 2015
LEEDuser Member
717 Thumbs Up

Option 1 - Reduction Combination?

Project Location: United States

We are looking at this credit for our project and after reading a few posts and reviewing the WEc1 form in LEED online my question is; the NC 2009 reference guide states that "Reductions must be attributed to any combination of the following items." And then it goes on to list the items, but the LEED WEc1 form doesn't seem to request more than baseline vs. design case calculations does this become apparent within the calculation tables?

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Renaud Gay Shanghai Pacific Energy Center
Apr 20 2015
LEEDuser Member
140 Thumbs Up

water retention agent

Project Location: China

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone already used water retention agents added in the soil, such as acrylamide in any project and how this was documented.

Thanks!

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Apr 20 2015 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

I think this concept was discussed a while back when someone was proposing a hidrogel underlayer. The easiest thing to do, from a documentation standpoint, would be to use the 'low' species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. for the vegetation type(s) on your design case, and assign either the 'average' or 'high' species factor for the same vegetation type(s) on your baseline case. That would enable you to account for the differentiation with the soil additive included.

I'm not suggesting it will be the most accurate tabulation of your water use, but I don't believe there's really any other way to account for it.

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Laura Charlier LEED Services Director Group14 Engineering
Apr 13 2015
LEEDuser Member
473 Thumbs Up

Open planters definition

What does “Open Bottom Planters” mean? I assume they drain to ground water – and not to a weep hole in the face of the wall, and then to storm? Thanks.

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Yueling Chen HVAC engineer ECO
Jan 19 2015
Guest
5 Thumbs Up

Sample download

I just purchase a premium membership, but i can't download the word & excel version sample in Documentation toolkit, like Sample Narrative for WEC1-Option 1, Option2 Path1 & Path 2 in WE C1. Can you tell me why?

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Alicja Bieszyńska Skanska
Jan 07 2015
LEEDuser Member
1238 Thumbs Up

Irrigation area

Project Location: Poland

If my project consists of 10,000sf of greenery but only 3,000sf is irrigated, do I need to insert 10,000sf or 3,000sf as a total area in the LEED Online form (both baseline and design case)?

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jan 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

Use only the area that is irrigated.

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Alicja Bieszyńska Skanska Jan 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 1238 Thumbs Up

Thank you William!

I was worried that this area will not be equal to the amount I have in SSc6. stormwater calculations.

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jan 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

You could use the 10,000sf number, but you would label the 7,000sf as non-irrigated in both the baseline and design case, and set your IE to 0. The resultant will be the same.

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Tamary Alvarez Sustainability & Commissioning Specialist Commissioning Agents Inc.
Dec 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
7 Thumbs Up

Runoff/Gully Water

Project Location: United States

Our project's environmental site assessment has documented a gully resulting from the runoff of the adjacent siteA site having at least 25% of its perimeter bordering sites that has been previously developed. Any fraction of the perimeter that borders waterfront will be excluded from the calculation. For the purposes of this definition, a street or roadway does not constitute previously developed land. dumping into our site. We are using this water for our cooling towers and irrigation. I think we can consider this nuisance water and comply with this credit's intent. Thoughts? Thanks!

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jan 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

That's a tough one. Some reviewers will probably interpret the gully as a drainage/irrigation ditch and consider it a potential source 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.. Your best bet is to provide a narrative describing it as nuisance water, and explain how it is being captured for reuse along with details of the size/capacity of the containment.

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Tamary Alvarez Sustainability & Commissioning Specialist, Commissioning Agents Inc. Jan 21 2015 LEEDuser Member 7 Thumbs Up

Thanks William!

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator Opsis Architecture
Dec 12 2014
LEEDuser Member
1124 Thumbs Up

Success substituting the LEEDv4 approach for WEc1 in v2009?

Has anyone had success using the LEEDv4 approach for WEc1 in v2009? It is not in the list of officially approved substitutions but it seems like a logical substitution.

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Mary Ann Santos
Dec 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
2569 Thumbs Up

Temporary Irrigation but Reused Water

Has anyone secured a point under WEc1 without using either drip or sprinkler irrigation system? Our project outside US is looking to achieve points through manual irrigation (hose bib), however the water will come from 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. sources i.e. rainwater and STP. I understand that to secure two (2) points there should be a calculated reduction of 50% non-potable for irrigation. If the calculated amount of water processed by the STP managed to offset 50% of the potable water demand for irrigation, are we qualified to earn two points?

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Nov 23 2014
LEEDuser Member
6783 Thumbs Up

Controller Efficiency

I see several threads attempting to get an answer on how one demonstrates controller efficiency and the most prevalent answer seems to be just use 1 because no other values can be substantiated by manufacturer documentation. Is that still the prevailing opinion?

It seems clear that a value of 1 is meant to reflect the default position of not using weather based smart controllers for irrigation. So it seems obvious that a weather based controller would be preferable and incentivized by a lower value. The USGBC guidance does not seem to suggest complex exceptional calculations are required in their reference to just provide manufacturer backup. Yet, they also suggest a possible range and do not just provide a default value to be used with such a controller.

Given that manufacturers do not seem to provide a CE in their documentation, do we actually believe that a high efficiency 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. system with a weather based controller should have to use a CE of 1 and has to somehow find an exceptional way to achieve this credit? Or ultimately is it simply sufficient to provide normal product data backup that indicates a weather based controller is being used?

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Nov 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2906 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle,

You are correct, if the irrigation system has no weather-based controllers or moisture sensor systems, a CE value of 1.0 should be used in the calculation (and no back up data is required).

Note that for projects registered after the February 2, 2011 Addenda, any percentage reduction in water use from controllers cannot exceed 30%; therefore, the CE may range from 0.7 to 1.0.

I am not aware of any default values that can be used for controllers. To claim the CE value utilized, data and/or supporting calculations from the manufacturer must be provided to verify the savings. If the manufacturer data states that the controller provides a range (for example, 20% – 30% efficiency) then I would utilize the lower value (0.8) in the calculations.

Hope this helps!

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Nov 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 6783 Thumbs Up

Hi Carlie,
Thanks for the response. The manufacturer's data is not providing us with a helpful xx% efficiency claim. So I am trying to determine what "detailed calculation" done by the landscape architect would substantiate this.

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Cindy Estrada LEED AP BD&C, SDS Architects, Inc. Jul 20 2015 LEEDuser Member 717 Thumbs Up

I too have question about this; we just received preliminary design review comments on the credit citing the 2/2/2011 addenda. Does this mean that I have to set the CE value in the design case to .70 to comply with the 30% rule, even though the manufactures documentation indicates .56 CE? This is a bit confusing.

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Gustavo De las Heras Izquierdo Arch. Eng. LEED AP BD+C; O+M Revitaliza Consultores
Oct 15 2014
Guest
555 Thumbs Up

Expansion area

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?

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Angela Fiorenza LEED AP BD+C, LEED Project Reviewer, Senior LEED Specialist , Epsten Group Nov 13 2014 Guest 10 Thumbs Up

No, these areas can't be counted towards compliance. 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. 5195 indicates that areas that are intended to be left in a natural state and do not require irrigation may not be included in the calculations. Only landscaped areas can be included in the calculations.

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Angela Fiorenza LEED AP BD+C, LEED Project Reviewer, Senior LEED Specialist , Epsten Group Nov 13 2014 Guest 10 Thumbs Up

No, vegetated areas that are intended to be left in a natural state cannot count towards compliance for WEc1. For example, 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. 5195 states that "a project may not include planted areas in the irrigation calculations if these areas are intended to be left in a natural state, and do not require irrigation. Only landscaped areas can be included in the calculations."

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Dec 12 2014 LEEDuser Member 1124 Thumbs Up

I am trying to find a way to justify this interpretation to a client, and quite frankly I am having a hard time doing it. We could go into a naturally preserved area, rip it up, install landscaping, and be eligible for this credit but if we leave it natural we can't count it. I suppose if the natural area is so large that it outweighs the landscaped areas to the degree that basically no water efficiency measures are required to still gain 2 pts, I can see the logic. But if the natural area is fairly small - or if the decision not to landscape it is based on water conservation values - it doesn't seem fair.

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jan 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

Hi Heather, I understand you're line of thinking. However, the intent of the credit is really to examine irrigation practices. Where irrigation is used, the idea is to reduce potable and total water applied via efficient practices and/or captured water. The tradeoff, in your case, would be that you could potentially obtain the Protect/Restore Habitat credit in lieu of the water efficient irrigation credit.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace May 15 2015 Guest 5055 Thumbs Up

totally agree, Heather.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace May 15 2015 Guest 5055 Thumbs Up

That 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. is not listed as applicable to v3.0 projects. So?

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E H Sustainability Architect
Sep 18 2014
Guest
3655 Thumbs Up

hand-watering?

I am working on a project that has courtyard with planters which will be planted with species that have very minimal watering requirements. The planters will be hand-watered when needed. Can this credit be pursued if there is no irrigation system, but the plants will be hand-watered ocassionally? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Andrey Kuznetsov Green Building and Sustainability Consultant (LEED AP BD+C), Signy Group Oct 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

Yes, it counts, but it's unclear, does your project have other vegetation than courtyard on ground on the site area. If not, be sure, that the total area of planters covers at least 5% of the building site area (including building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint., hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. area, parking, etc.), otherwise your project is not eligible to achieve the credit.

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Chinthaka Jagodaarachchi Jul 21 2015 Guest 116 Thumbs Up

Dear Andrey,
when you said "it counts" did you mean to say that hand-watering should be counted as a permanent irrigation system?

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Kevin Gilleran
Sep 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
298 Thumbs Up

Landscaped area included or only irrigated landscape areas?

Are all landscaped areas within the LEED project boundary included in the calculations for this credit or just irrigated landscaped areas?

In the definitions section for this credit, the LEED 2009 NC reference guide page 191 has the following definition: "The landscaped area 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 and patios."

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Kevin Gilleran Sep 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 298 Thumbs Up

Just found reference to a key addenda in the LEED 2009: The Missing Manual, that any area being improved must be included in the in the landscaped area. The date of the addenda is not listed, but the guidance seems to indicate that only newly improved landscaped areas must be included in this calculation and therefore existing (even existing irrigated landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios.) and undisturbed landscape area can be excluded.

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Andrey Kuznetsov Green Building and Sustainability Consultant (LEED AP BD+C), Signy Group Oct 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

I suppose, that your statement isn't true - you can see the answer for the question, in the bird's eye view section:

Does existing landscaping have to be included in the calculations?
Yes, all landscaping (existing and new) must be included in the documentation.

If existing irrigated landscape areaThe landscape area is the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, and patios. is in the LEED boundary, I don't think it's wise to exclude it.

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Renaud Gay Shanghai Pacific Energy Center
Aug 26 2014
LEEDuser Member
140 Thumbs Up

ETo units and ETo calculation software

Hi all,

I'd like to ask again the same question that in LEED form ETo is expressed in inch/month for July. This is not super clear but looks like this.

Also for people like me who are struggling to get a proper ETo for international projects, I'd like to share a soft that I found (for free) on the FAO website... Not so hard to handle.
You'll also find some literature.

To get the software:
http://www.fao.org/nr/water/eto.html

Cheers,

Renaud

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EBRU UNVER LEED AP BD+C
Aug 11 2014
LEEDuser Member
213 Thumbs Up

rainwater calculation

lansdcape water calculation montly/daily and rainwater

Hello,
we are collecting rainwater, so to use at the landscape irrigation and to have addition 2 point. The captured rainwater amount should be calculated in July? Or yearly peak amount is enough?
Thank you

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Scott Adams Principal, Sustainable Integration LLC Aug 12 2014 Guest 105 Thumbs Up

Yes, it should be calculated in July. July is when there will be peak demand for irrigation so you need to show that you will be able to capture enough rainwater to meet that demand.

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Nadia Ayala Architect / LEED AP BD+C, KILTIK Consultoría Aug 12 2014 Guest 1441 Thumbs Up

Scott, Ebru, I have to disagree, or at least, it depends on the location of the project. In the LEED Reference Guide with Alternative Compliance Paths for Projects outside the US, you can find the following statement:
6. Calculations
See the LEED 2009 Green Building Design and Construction Reference Guide for calculations regarding this credit. The following should replace the first bullet under Standard Assumptions and Variables:
 All calculations are based on irrigation during the month with the highest irrigation demand.
The evapotranspiration rate (ETo) for the month with the greatest irrigation demand should be determined by the project’s landscape designer based on local climate data; project teams may also refer to the International Water Management Institute (http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/WAtlas/Default.aspx) or the EPA Water Budget Data Finder in determining the peak watering month with the greatest irrigation demand (http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/new_homes/wb_data_finder.html).

I'm located in Mexico, so this approach has been useful for project documentation here. Let's not forget that every region has its particular features.

Cheers!

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Scott Adams Principal, Sustainable Integration LLC Aug 22 2014 Guest 105 Thumbs Up

Yes, I agree with Nadia. I only really gave have an answer without considering regional needs. The month of June is less important than determining the actual month of peak irrigation demand. This will most likely not be during annual peak but during the dry season when captured rainwater availability will be at its lowest.

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Ryan McEvoy Owner Gaia Development
Aug 04 2014
LEEDuser Member
214 Thumbs Up

5% including footprint?

At least 5% of the site area must have landscaping to qualify for the credit - does this include 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 can the footprint be excluded?
Thank you.

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LEEDme STRATEGIE SRL STRATEGIE SRL Aug 05 2014 Guest 164 Thumbs Up

The footprint is included. The glossary indicates site area as synonymous of property area, that is the total area within the legal property boundaries of a site; it encompasses all areas of the site, including constructed and non-constructed areas.

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EBRU UNVER LEED AP BD+C
Aug 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
213 Thumbs Up

lansdcape water calculation montly/daily and rainwater

Hello, actually I have very basic question.
1-The amount of water that we have calculated by the leed formula is the monthly or daily water necessity?
2-we are collecting rainwater, so to use at the landscape irrigation and to have addition 2 point. The captured rainwater amount should be calculated in July? Or peak amount is enough?
Thank you

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Pedro Ribeiro Director of Sustainability Edifícios Saudáveis Consultores
Aug 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
962 Thumbs Up

Rainwater reuse for irrigation and flush discharges

In case a given project is predicted to feed both the irrigation system and the flush discharges with harvested rainwater, which criteria shall be used to "divide" the rainwater contribution for each system?

There is any problem if the project team decide to adopt a "seasonal mode of operation" for this system, giving priority to the irrigation system, for example between April and September and to the flush discharges between October and March?
Do you have any experience on documenting such an strategie?

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Jens Apel
Jul 25 2014
LEEDuser Member
1148 Thumbs Up

Baeline K_MC

The reference guide states that the same K_MC value nust be used in botzh design case and basline. Just to make sure: this refers to the low / average / high classification, doesn't it?
If there is no turf grass in the design case but some in the baseline I would use K_MC turf grass = 0.8 if I have a situation with low K_MC, correct?

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

Jens, I'm not totally sure if I understand your question, but yes, K_MC of turf grass = 0.8.

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Jens Apel
Jul 25 2014
LEEDuser Member
1148 Thumbs Up

Definition of "on the grounds"

IMO the question what the 5% area requirement refers has been clarified (see post headed"Full credits achieveable for less than 1% landscape?" futher down below).
What stays is the definition "on the ground". Assuming a project where the plot has a basement on 100% of the plot size. But there are no portable planters / pots or similar, but the project installs a planting bed with a depth of approx. 1.5 meters. IMO this would be vegetation on the ground and not a planter.
Any thoughts on this?

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

Yes, it sounds like regular planted vegetation and not a planter.

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Ghaith Moufarege
Jul 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
9016 Thumbs Up

Identifying the Baseline Areas

Dear All,

I want to double check on how to allocate the Baseline areas for my project.

My proposed project has 100 sq.m of trees, 300 sq.m of shrubs, and only 5 sq.m of turf grass.

Shall I allocate the same areas for my baseline scenario (100-300-5), or do I have to lookup the typical landscaping schemes in my country and adjust accordingly?

I believe that the typical project in my country includes a larger area for turf grass (~20% of landscaped area). Am I obliged or do I have the option of changing the baseline areas (increasing the turf grass percentage while decreasing the trees / shrub percentages)?

Thanks!

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jul 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

Hi Omar,

The baseline should represent what the typical scenario would be in your area. If the typical project would have 20% turf area, then you would use 20% turf area, and adjust the other vegetation types accordingly in your baseline.

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prerana tuladhar leed
Jul 10 2014
Guest
4 Thumbs Up

selecting controller efficiency manufacturer company

how to select the controller effciency manufacturer company? which company is the best and supplies worldwide??

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Juliane Muench
Jun 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
904 Thumbs Up

Option 2, path 1 - 50% reduction of total water applied

HI! We would like to pursue Option 2, path 1 and dimension the rainwater tank for supplying 100% of the irrigation needs. I just came across Equation 7 Percentage Reduction of Total Water (Portable AND reuse, %), which has to be 50% or more. This means, that there has to be a 50% reduction of Design (TWA) compared to Baseline (TWA). The only way to do that is to adjust irrigation efficiency, controller efficiency, species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species., density factorDensity factor (kd) is a coefficient used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It modifies the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the water use of a plant or group of plants, particularly with reference to the density of the plant material. and microclimate factorMicroclimate factor (kmc) is a constant used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It adjusts the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the climate of the immediate area.. Is that correct?
Thanks

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead, JLL Jun 05 2014 LEEDuser Member 1583 Thumbs Up

To effect the total water applied, you can do any combination of strategies including changes in landscape type (effecting species factorSpecies factor (ks) is a constant used to adjust the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the biological features of a specific plant species. and density factorDensity factor (kd) is a coefficient used in calculating the landscape coefficient. It modifies the evapotranspiration rate to reflect the water use of a plant or group of plants, particularly with reference to the density of the plant material.), irrigation type, and controller efficiency. Please note that the 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. cannot change - it must be consistent between the baseline and design cases. Please also note that you can assign sprinkler as the irrigation type for all landscape types in the baseline case.

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Juliane Muench Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 904 Thumbs Up

Thanks William. So I got that correct, that it is NOT possible to ONLY rely on installing measures for water-reuse (using rainwater for 100% for irrigation needs). In order to score 4 points you ALSO have to minimize the rainwater required by 50% with regard to the baseline. I am asking because I think that this is not really cleary stated in the credit language, but is part of the formula (calculation). Thanks.

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2906 Thumbs Up

Correct, a minimum 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. is required in order to pursue Option 2 Path 1 (no potable water use).

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Juliane Muench Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 904 Thumbs Up

Thanks Carlie, but isn't that a contradiction: minimizing portable water, if I don't use portable water to start with? I understood that a minimum of 50% reduction in total water (in this case rainwater) is required in order to pursue Option 2 Path 1.

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2906 Thumbs Up

Hi Juliane,

The credit intent here is an "efficiency first" approach; to reduce the amount of water needed for landscaping (potable or nonpotable) in an effort to use alternative sources of water (i.e. rainwater) wisely. Hope helpful!

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Juliane Muench Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 904 Thumbs Up

Hi Charlie, yes I understand that. The case is just that we have a lot of rainwater, that we need to tread locally (pursuing credits under Stormwater Management) and we would rather like to use on the plants, than finding other ways to get rid of it.

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Johanna Phelps
May 29 2014
Guest
5 Thumbs Up

Partially Irrigated Site / Form

I have a partially irrigated site. Under irrigation types there are three choices, drip, sprinkler and other. What should I put for the non-irrigated areas?

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio May 30 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2906 Thumbs Up

Hi Johanna,

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. Therefore, the total landscape
area must be the same in the baseline and design cases, but the irrigated area does not have to be identical.

However, note that natural/undisturbed vegetation should be excluded from the calculations.

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Kevin Gilleran Sep 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 298 Thumbs Up

Should natural/undisturbed vegetation within the LEED project boundary be included in the calculations? In the definitions section for this credit, the LEED 2009 NC reference guide page 191 has the following definition: "The landscaped area 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 and patios." I don't I understand why natural and undisturbed vegetation should be excluded from the landscaped area calculations. We have a project with a similar condition; an irrigated living roof, irrigated grape vines and irrigation native landscaping, and protected area without irrigation.

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Terry King Architect Ross and Baruzzini
May 28 2014
LEEDuser Member
37 Thumbs Up

Does Seeding Apply

Does seeding (hydroseeding) apply toward the needed 5% landscaped area? Thanks

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Sep 03 2015
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