NC-v2.2 SSc5.1: Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat

  • NC_v-2-2_SSc5-1_Type1_SiteDev Diagram
  • Site conditions are the deciding factor

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

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

    If your site has been previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development.", you must protect or restore 50% of the total site area, minus 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., with native or adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive.

    Don’t confuse with SSc5.2

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

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

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

    What’s a green roof got to do it?

    If your project is previously developed and earning SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity, you are allowed to include a vegetated roof with native or adapted species in your calculations. In this case 20% of the site are, including building footprint, must be vegetated. 

    This clause allows dense urban sites to earn this credit even though they may not have enough exterior site area to qualify otherwise. In order to comply with SSc5.1, green roofs must provide a diversity of native or adapted species that provide habitat. Urban projects approaching zero-lot-line may find a green roof their only means of credit compliance.

    Potential conflicts on previously developed sites

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

    Also on previously developed sites, if the project owner or developer desires non-native landscaping over a significant portion of a site, such as lush greenery in an arid climate, this may also present difficulties—with this credit as well as with WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping.

    Greenfield sites can also be a challenge

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

    Successful construction and development within these strict parameters is not standard practice—it will require careful mapping of the site plan to identify allowable areas for disturbance, and staking out the site to clearly communicate construction boundaries to all teams working onsite. 

    The contractor has such an important role in executing the credit that making credit compliance a contractual obligation is important.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • All Projects


  • What kind of site do you have? 

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

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


  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


  • Calculate the rough site area that you’ll need to restore. Determine the area that 50% of your site (minus building footprint) will be. Will this be feasible under the rough design? 


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


  • Turf grass is an example of a monoculture species. Monoculture plantings are essentially the opposite of a biologically diverse landscape, where only one species is planted over an extensive area. 


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


  • Urban Sites


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

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

Schematic Design

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


  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


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

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

  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Design Development

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  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


  • Create a site plan that delineates the development boundaries. 


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


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


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


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


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


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


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

Construction Documents

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  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


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


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


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


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


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

Construction

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  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


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


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


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


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

    1. Upload construction documents that show your site’s limited disturbance boundaries for credit compliance.
    2. Provide project site area, building footprint area, and a narrative on the approach taken. 

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


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


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


  • Provide the total site area restored or protected, total site area (including the building footprint), the building footprint, a site plan showing all natural areas contributing to credit compliance and a copy of the landscape plan showing the restored area and plantings used.  

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Case 1: Greenfield Sites


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


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


  • Case 2: Previously Developed Sites


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

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    SS Credit 5.1: Site development - protect or restore habitat

    1 Point

    Intent

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

    Requirements

    Option 1

    On greenfield sites, limit all site disturbance to 40 feet beyond the building perimeter; 10 feet beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking and utilities less than 12 inches in diameter; 15 feet beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches; and 25 feet beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities and playing fields) that require additional staging areas in order to limit compaction in the constructed area.

    OR

    Option 2

    On previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." or graded sites, restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site area (excluding the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint.) with native or adapted vegetationAdapted (or introduced) plants reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal winter protection, pest control, fertilization, or irrigation once their root systems are established. Adapted plants are considered low maintenance and not invasive.. Native/adapted plants are plants indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds. Projects earning SS Credit 2 and using vegetated roof surfaces may apply the vegetated roof surface to this calculation (if the plants meet the definition of native/adapted), in which case the requirement is 20% of the total site area. This option is intended for urban sites with little or no building setback (i.e. zero lot line).

    Greenfield sites are those that are not previously developed or graded and remain in a natural state. Previously developed sites are those that previously contained buildings, roadways, parking lots, or were graded or altered by direct human activities.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    On greenfield sites, perform a site survey to identify site elements and adopt a master plan for development of the project site. Carefully site the building to minimize disruption to existing ecosystems and design the building to minimize its footprint. Strategies include stacking the building program, tuck-under parking and sharing facili- ties with neighbors. Establish clearly marked construction boundaries to minimize disturbance of the existing site and restore previously degraded areas to their natural state. For previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." sites, utilize local and regional governmental agencies, consultants, educational facilities, and native plant societies as resources for the selection of appropriate native or adapted plant materials. Prohibit plant materials listed as invasive or noxious weed species. Native/adapted plants require minimal or no irrigation following establishment, do not require active maintenance such as mowing or chemical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and provide habitat value and promote biodiversity through avoidance of monoculture plantings.

Publications

National Invasive Species Information Center

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


Ecological Restoration

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

Organizations

North American Native Plant Society

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


Society for Ecological Restoration International

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


Soil and Water Conservation Society

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


Nature Conservancy

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


Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center

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

Site Plan Documentation

Option 1: Greenfield Site

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

Site Plan Documentation

Case 1: Greenfield Site

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

Site Plan Documentation

Case 2: Previously Developed Site

If your previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." site project documents this credit through the use of a site plan you will need to provide a document similar to this example.

Site Plan Documentation

Case 2: Previously Developed Site

If your previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." site project documents this credit through the use of a site plan you will need to provide a document similar to this example.

LEED Online Sample Template – SSc5.1

 

This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.

 

USGBC

Official LEED Online Forms

Construction Submittal

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

60 Comments

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Jim Houk
Jun 17 2013
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

SS5.1 and tree planting

In the scope of the credit and meeting local landscape codes, can new native trees (limited) be planted in non-disturbed areas of the site without impacting the preservation credit?

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

Jim, if your question is whether tree planting counts as site disturance under Option 1 of this credit, I don't think you need to worry about that.

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Adi Negara, LEED AP BD+C Green Building Facilitator PT. Indonesia Environment Consultant
May 31 2013
LEEDuser Member
685 Thumbs Up

greenfield or previously developed land?

Can anybody tell me in what category does the paddy (rice) field would fall under?

And how about if the case is like this: A company owner bought 20 ha paddy field from some of paddy field owners in 2009. Then they alter the 20 ha paddy field into graded land (covered by soil) because they have planned to develop a factory on the land in 2012. So, in LEED project terms, is it consider as previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." or greenfield?

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

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

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Sharon Samuels solquest design unlimited
Mar 06 2013
LEEDuser Member
20 Thumbs Up

Can an urban roof farm qualify for this credit SS5.1?

My client wants to use the roof for urban farming--mostly vegetables to be sold locally. We are well over the coverage requirement and will qualify for SS2. I was under the assumtion that becuase of the requirements for upkeep of Urban Farms, we may not qualify for this credit. Does anyone know if this use will qualify for this credit? Any thoughts?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 06 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Sharon, I don't think it could qualify. Depending on the project specifics, you might look at LEED-ND NPDc13 as an ID credit, though.

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Sharon Samuels solquest design unlimited Mar 06 2013 LEEDuser Member 20 Thumbs Up

Tristan--Thanks for the speedy reply. I will suggest the ID credit

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Joyce Kelly Consultant Architectural Fusion
Oct 04 2012
LEEDuser Member
44 Thumbs Up

Limited Site Disturbance within limitations of Site Contours

On a hillside, Greenfield site Contractor breached limits where significant site contours prevented his equipment from staying within the original fenced area. All disturbed areas were restored with native/adaptive planting.
Have we lost this credit or are there any exceptions that might apply?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 22 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Joyce, most likely you have lost the credit. However, check the LEED 2009 version of this credit. There have been some relaxation in the limitations that may help you, and while they don't automatically apply to v2.2 projects, you might be able to make a case that they should.

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Saud Abdul Rasheed LEED Engineer Al Yamama Company
Aug 08 2012
LEEDuser Member
262 Thumbs Up

NC v2.2 SSc5.1

Hi guys,
I wanted to ask about this project, basically a hospital being built here in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. We are pursuing LEED Certifications for two buildings. One is Gold and the other is Certified. Can the site contribute to SSc5.1? As its built on a desert site and its not previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." can we call it a green site? There is also no form of living species over here. And all vegetation is in primeland.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 30 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Saud, it is a greenfield and you can earn the credit under Option 1. "Greenfield" doesn't mean green in color due to vegetation—it means that it has not been previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development.".

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Saud Abdul Rasheed LEED Engineer, Al Yamama Company Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 262 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan but I wasn't talking about the color. I was asking that the buildings are built on a desert in Saudi Arabia and would the site be considered as a Greenfield?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

If it is not previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." then it is is by definition a greenfield. It sounds like this site meets that definition.

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Regina Ng
Jun 19 2012
LEEDuser Member
1047 Thumbs Up

Can turf contribute to this credit?

In the new version 2009 reference guide, it was stated that monoculture planting (turf) cannot contribute to credit requirement even if it is considered native and adaptive. However, this is not specified in Version 2.2.

Does this mean that I cannot plant turf at all? Or if the entire landscape is a combination of trees, shrubs and also turf then it is ok. And can grasscrete pavers contribute to the credit requirement as turf as well?

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Devon Bertram Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jul 01 2012 LEEDuser Member 3446 Thumbs Up

Regina,
As the intent of the credit is to conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity, I would not count on turf contributing towards the credit requirements. For your areas that are a combo of vegetation, only count the areas that are considered native or adapted species. Turf and grasscrete pavers can likely contribute to SSc5.1, but I wouldn't include them in your calcs for this credit.

Good luck!

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Carolina Civarolo Architect Orange Made LLC
Mar 01 2012
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

LEED Boundary for a shared site

Our project is a Nature Center which is located on property within a City Park. There are existing asphalt drives and parking areas. Both facilities share the parking and the driveways in and out of the property. The City is re-striping and re-surfacing the existing parking and we are adding 4 parking spaces closest to our project. Do we need to include the existing drives and parking areas when delineating our LEED boundary for this credit? If so, do we only include the numbers of spaces our project requires?

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Emily Catacchio Sustainability Specialist, Wight and Company Mar 07 2012 Guest 7802 Thumbs Up

You must include the parking you are adding. The rest is open to your interpretation but limited to no gerrymandering. The site must be reasonable, but you can include parking for your building which is existing and outside your LEED boundary.

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John Ida President Urban Works, Inc.
Nov 18 2011
LEEDuser Member
983 Thumbs Up

Constructed Wetlands in lieu of tying into public sewer lines

Hi, our project is on a Greenfield site and thus pursuing Option 1. How would we classify the constructed wetlands cells and septic tanks that are being used on site? We are not tied to the city sewer lines and are treating all waste on site. The septic tanks and wetlands are the only means for blackwaterBlackwater is wastewater containing urine or fecal matter that should be discharged to the sanitary drainage system of the building or premises in accordance with the International Plumbing Code collection and treatment. Would they be classified as utility branch trenches or pemeable surfaces? Trying to determine the site disturbance limitations. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 19 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

John, I"m not totally sure—I could see an argument either way. Ideally you would be able to take the conservative approach.

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JOHANNA SENOTT Architect / Environmental adviser EA Energia y Arquitectura
Nov 04 2011
LEEDuser Member
727 Thumbs Up

Green Walls - vertical gardens

Hi,
I´m working on a project which is located in a urban site and has achieved EP with SScr2. I wonder whether green walls/vertical gardens (if the plants meet definition of native/adapted) are elegible for being added to the total restored site area. Or if only green roof is accepted.
Many thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 08 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

I don't think this would normally be approved. You would have to make a strong case that it should be considered equivalent, or at a fractional value of, regular open space. Since it doesn't seem functionally equivalent, I doubt this would be approved. Let us know how it goes if you do it.

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JOHANNA SENOTT Architect / Environmental adviser, EA Energia y Arquitectura Nov 08 2011 LEEDuser Member 727 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan!!!! I´ll let you know if so... :)

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant, Community Environmental Center Jun 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 82 Thumbs Up

This is 3 years late, but I think a green wall may apply f provided its native and biodiverse. 5.1 is for restoring habitat. 5.2 is for providing open space for pedestrian use, too different goals. I'd file a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide.

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Jin Sunwoo
Jun 17 2011
Guest
171 Thumbs Up

Get i combine option 1 and option 2?

We have project site located right next to the river which consist of Greenfield sites (closer to the river) and previously graded site for parking and some open green space. I was wondering if I can add Greenfield areas to option 2 formulas and use those areas toward 50% of site requirement. Currently, I’m getting 39% with only option 2. However, with addition of Greenfield site, I can get 56% which meets the requirement.

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jun 20 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17833 Thumbs Up

It sounds reasonable, as long as you're use this area as your LEED site boundary and use that same boundary for all the credits consistently. Thus, you'll also have to account for that area in your stormwater calculations for SSc6 and other credits such as SSc7 and 8.

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Jin Sunwoo Jun 20 2011 Guest 171 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your reply. Those Greenfield areas are also part of project site boundary which I believe they are part of LEED site boundary. I guess as long as we are consistent with areas we are using for the calculation, we should be okay. I’m not sure by adding those areas would benefit us to get other credits, but I will certainly mention to our civil engineers.
Thank you,

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Chris Miller Chief Mechanical Engineer, Design Alaska Jun 30 2011 LEEDuser Member 942 Thumbs Up

My understanding is that if a site has a combination of greenfield and previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." land, than the site needs to be divided (for calculation purposes) according to their pre-development state.
In other words, greenfield areas need to be treated according to case 1, and previously developed areas need to be treated according to case 2, such that 50% of the PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED area (excluding bldg. footprint) needs to be protected or restored. Is that not accurate?

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jul 01 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17833 Thumbs Up

Design Alaska - That's an interesting question regarding how you define the combination of previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." and greenfield areas of site. The interpretations for this credit I saw that seem partly relevant are #499, #1972, #1935, #1804, where there was some flexibility given in how the boundaries were defined, especially in #1972. Do you have any examples or guidance language that has contributed to your understanding of it?

My impression of Jin's scenario was that the greenfield areas were being left undisturbed, and the new construction was happening on the previously developed site. What's probably worth mentioning is that if the greenfield/ open space areaOpen space area is usually defined by local zoning requirements. If local zoning requirements do not clearly define open space, it is defined for the purposes of LEED calculations as the property area minus the development footprint; it must be vegetated and pervious, with exceptions only as noted in the credit requirements section. Only ground areas are calculated as open space. For projects located in urban areas that earn a Development Density and Community Connectivity credit, open space also includes nonvehicular, pedestrian-oriented hardscape spaces. gets included in the LEED site boundary, it would be the intent of LEED to see that space remain protected and undisturbed in the future.

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Chris Miller Chief Mechanical Engineer, Design Alaska Jul 01 2011 LEEDuser Member 942 Thumbs Up

I got that impression from the LEED BD&C (2009 version - different than v2.2, I know). Page 79: "For sites that contain both greenfield and previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." areas, the project must comply with those site conditions' specific criteria. For example, if a 10-acre site contains 5 acres of greenfield and 5 acres of previously developed land, site disturbance must be limited in the greenfield area, and native and 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. must be protected or restored for at least 50% (excluding the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint.) of the previously developed site area."

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Devon Bertram Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jul 27 2011 LEEDuser Member 3446 Thumbs Up

Design Alaska, I agree with your approach for complying with SSc5.1 and think this is the best way to deal with a site that has both greenfield and previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." land within the project boundary.

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Sonrisa Lucero Owner / Energy Engineer / Sustainability Consultant Sustainnovations, LLC
Jun 06 2011
LEEDuser Member
1514 Thumbs Up

AGMBC and Remote Land

Under the 2005 AGMBC, you can use a remote parcel of land on campus, but not adjacent to the building for the open space areaOpen space area is usually defined by local zoning requirements. If local zoning requirements do not clearly define open space, it is defined for the purposes of LEED calculations as the property area minus the development footprint; it must be vegetated and pervious, with exceptions only as noted in the credit requirements section. Only ground areas are calculated as open space. For projects located in urban areas that earn a Development Density and Community Connectivity credit, open space also includes nonvehicular, pedestrian-oriented hardscape spaces. requirement. Does anyone know if we can also use the remote land for the restoration of habitat credit? This assumes, of course, Case 2.

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jun 20 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17833 Thumbs Up

I've not heard of any projects earning this credit under NC using the restoration of remote land - only EB O&M and AGMBC as you mention. This makes sense, given the intent and assumptions of different rating systems. With EB O&M you typically have less ability to protect or restore habitat working with an existing building than in NC where the design team has more ability to control the site plan, 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., structure and roof design. Under NC, the intent of this credit is to increase green spaces, habitat and ecosystem functions within urban and developed areas. You could always try a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or possibly submitting it as an ID credit, but I wouldn't consider it highly probable one to be accepted.

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Sonrisa Lucero Owner / Energy Engineer / Sustainability Consultant, Sustainnovations, LLC Jun 20 2011 LEEDuser Member 1514 Thumbs Up

David,

Thank you for your reply. However, I didn't make it clear that this project is using AGMBC and is utilizing the campus apporach and a remote parcel of land for SS C5.2. I want to know if I can use this same parcel of land for SS5.1. I would think the logic would be the same and should still apply.

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Jun 20 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17833 Thumbs Up

Sonrisa,
Thanks for clarifying that - the 2005 AGMBC wording is a bit vague on this question for 5.1, but your interpretation agrees with my understanding of it, especially given the last sentence of the credit guidance that says "For multiple buildings, consider aggregating any restored previously degraded parts of the the site as larger areas of habitat are more effective."
There are some past CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide rulings (#499, 1934, 1935, 2022) in the Interpretations database for this credit that appear to confirm this.

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Varunika Bove Green Building Consultant ELAN, Paris FRANCE
May 09 2011
Guest
275 Thumbs Up

Green Roof or not?

Hello,

The project located on a previously developedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." rural site is targeting to achieve credit SS5.1. Several stories of the project are located underground and they close over on top by a landscape of regional vegetation. Even if the roof is at ground level would this roof be considered a green roof? There are 5 other buildings rising above ground around these buildings below grade. If it is considered a green roof the project would not be able to obtain this credit. If this isn’t considered a green roof then would it be best to get confirmation in the form of a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide from GBCI? Thank you for sharing your ideas on this green roof question.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 19 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Devani, it sounds like a roof to me, since it's over conditioned space in the building.

Since it is at grade and has a native landscape, it seems like you could have a case for requesting a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide, although I can't comment on your chances of succeeding with it.

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Varunika Bove Green Building Consultant, ELAN, Paris FRANCE May 24 2011 Guest 275 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan for your response. As is it appears that obtaining this credit might not be possible with or without the greenroof in the calculations.

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Patrick MacPherson Project Consultant Sustainable Design Consulting
Apr 28 2011
LEEDuser Member
427 Thumbs Up

Large Site to Survey

I am working on a LEED-S project in which one of the credits that we are researching is SSc5.1 Protect and Restore Habitat. The school is located on a 30 acre site. How would the project go about surveying the existing plants on such a large site to determine whether or not they are considered Native/Adaptive, or Invasive?

Let me know if you have had any experience with this issue!

Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 19 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Patrick, I would assume that a good landscape architect, native plants expert, or forester (if it is wooded) could help with this. 30 acres is a lot of ground to cover, but I'm sure there are some patterns to the landscape, and that it can be analyzed in separate sections, with selected areas of typical sections "audited" by a plant expert.

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Christopher M Sawyer
Mar 10 2011
LEEDuser Member
490 Thumbs Up

sedums and biodiversity

I am designing a green roof in New York City for a public client. It is 50,000 square feet of 4 inch deep trays with sedums. We have a zero lot line and the green roof is almost half of the site and 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..

It has be dicussed that there might be an issue with the plant mix we use. The 4 inch trays have a very limited number of species that will perform well. We do not want to provide irrigation or go to a deeper system to support more kinds of plants.

Will I have trouble attaining this credit with just sedums?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 11 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Christopher, I have advised people in your situation that there is an issue with this approach. See a more extensive discussion on the NC 2009 version of this credit, which also links to a good EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 discussion.

I'd appreciate thoughts from others, and if you go down this path and get a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or any other ruling, please keep us posted.

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Lauren Ford Project Architect Cooper Carry
Mar 02 2011
LEEDuser Member
675 Thumbs Up

LEED Boundary revision

Our site was previously graded and had significant asphalt parking areas, some large trees and grass. We removed much of the paving keeping only a small amount for parking. We preserved the existing trees and added native/adapted planting to much of the site as well as a vegetated roof. However, we do have a few areas of sod which will prevent us from meeting the threshold (we are not earning SSc2). We have already submitted for Design Review. Can we revise the LEED boundary when we submit for Construction review so that the boundary does not include a portion of the existing paving areas as long as we revise and resubmit all credits dependent upon the LEED boundary?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 11 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Hm, that's hard to say for sure. Is it justifiable to exclude some of the existing paving in that way? Does it go with another building, or is it really part of your project building?

If this is justified, and you recalculate all credits, I would think this would work, but I may want to communicate with your reviewer about it in case it raises any red flags for them.

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant Sustainable Design Consulting
Feb 24 2011
LEEDuser Member
2040 Thumbs Up

Native "low-mow" grasses on previously developed site

Previously DevelopedPreviously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development." Site:
Our Team has received a clarification request noting the CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide that disallows using tree canopies from calculations - instead one is required to address the groundcover. The project site's groundcover is largely native "low mow" grasses (only requiring 1-2 times a year of mow) which achieves the credit's threshold requirement--without including it, the point is lost. Can we include these native, low-mow grasses in the calculation for compliance?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

I don't see why they wouldn't be allowed. Is there a reason you think they might not be?

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant, Sustainable Design Consulting Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Member 2040 Thumbs Up

We are concerned that the fact that the grasses need to be periodically mowed to be maintained may be of concern--fossil fuel consumption, pollution creation, etc. Although mowing is not required necessarily, the low-mow grass is typically specifed as a turf grass replacement, and will be mowed to create the given aesthetic affects similar to turf grass as groundcover. Do you see this as a problem?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 24 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

I would look back at the intent of this credit—preserving habitat and protecting biodiversity.

In the area where I live, there are fields that require mowing once or twice a year to maintain then as fields—otherwise they will be encroached on by the forest. These are exceptionally diverse habitats, and the mowing (ideally taking place after nesting of certain ground-dwelling birds is complete) supports that.

If what's envisioned here is a more sterile, turf-like environment, I would not try to pursue this credit.

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Jordan Friedberg Aug 15 2013 Guest 527 Thumbs Up

Regarding tree canopies and CIRs, I can see ruling #2324 10-17-2008 mentions using tree canopies over sidewalk/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.. Have there been CIRs regarding using tree canopies over grasses/lawn/etc?

I have a grass/lawn area in my project designed for low maintenance/mowing and no irrigation, but was denied due to monoculture of species. Did I not make my case sufficiently or is this a dealbreaker? My owner is willing to add trees or other plants to the lawn area (or even replace it all), and I am trying to develop some feasible options.

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Benjamin Lombardo Operations Manager Catamount Constructors, Inc
Feb 17 2011
Guest
69 Thumbs Up

Storm drainage swales for limits of construction

We are designing on a Greenfield site using engineered storm drainage swales in lieu of underground storm drainage pipe to control the onsite storm drainage conveyance to the detention pond. Can the drainage swales be considered a utility in lieu of storm drainage piping and be used to help determine the limits of construction disturbance?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 23 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Benjamin, I am not sure I understand your question. The limits of construction disturbance are determined by just that, the limits of disturbance—not by a boundary line set by piping, swales, or something else. Does that make sense?

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Lauren Ford Project Architect Cooper Carry
Dec 10 2010
LEEDuser Member
675 Thumbs Up

PV shading in Parking area

Our team is considering replacing some parking lot shade trees with PV shading devices. Some of these tree areas were being counted as restored. We are rather close on this credit, and if we eliminate the areas under the PV shades we might just barely miss it. Is there any precedent for dealing with this? We can plant native or adapted species below the PV shades - but they might not do well with so much shade. Is there any precedent to deduct the PV areas from the denominator in the same way you do on the roof?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 08 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Lauren, I don't think so with this credit, since the intent is to promote biodiversity... it's a different environment than the rooftop, so to speak.

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Tysa Tenebro
Aug 20 2010
Guest
614 Thumbs Up

Woodland Improvement Zone

Hi,

I just want to ask if we could still achieve this credit even we have a woodland improvement zone (wood which falls or becomes hazardous will be cut but wood chips will be disposed of or spread within this zone) 20' from site disturbance limit. Please advise. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 20 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Are you trying to earn the credit under Option 1 or Option 2? Based on your question I assume you mean Option 1.

I don't think the activity you mention would qualify as "site disturbance" in terms of what's intended under Option 1. It's more about construction activity. As long as the "woodland improvement" isn't too heavy-handed and doesn't disturbe the habitat too much, I think you're fine.

I would note, however, that standing-dead trees, and piles of dead branches, and other things that may look unsightly, have value as wildlife habitat, so as a best practice I would, again, make sure the activity doesn't go overboard.

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Tysa Tenebro
Jun 17 2010
Guest
614 Thumbs Up

Roadway grading across the brook

Hi,

I have a query about the 5' limit of site disturbance along roadways. We have a project on a contour site that has a brook perpendicularly across the proposed roadway. Our civil engineer reviewed that the driveway grading across the brook will exceed the 5' limit or should we say the toes of the slope will extend beyond 5'. Is there an exception on the grading across the brook? Or is the 5' limit start from the toes of the slope? Please advise. Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 17 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Do you mean 15 feet beyond primary roadway curbs? There is no 5-foot requirement for this credit that I know of. The requirement is "curbs," not grading, so it seems fairly clear that this situation will not meet the requirement. However, it might help if you clarified the distance question.

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Tysa Tenebro Aug 03 2010 Guest 614 Thumbs Up

Hi,

I would like to ask the limitation of constructing a retention pond. What are the things that I need to consider regarding LEED expectation of a retention pond? Please advise. Thanks. Does 15' limit apply to this?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 03 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

According to the credit language, stormwater detention facilities appear to be an allowed site disturbance—the credit rules restrict the disturbance you can cause beyond them.

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Tysa Tenebro Aug 03 2010 Guest 614 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan,

So, is there a specific disturbance limit beyond detention pond? Is there a reference that I could get about that rules?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 03 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, it's right in the credit language. See above.

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