ND-v2009 SLLc5: Housing and jobs proximity

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  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development

    SLL Credit 5: Housing and jobs proximity

    Intent

    To encourage balanced communities with a diversity of uses and employment opportunities.

    Requirements

    OPTION 1. Project with affordable residential component (3 points)

    Include a residential component equaling at least 30% of the project’s total building floor area (exclusive of parking structures), and locate and/or design the project such that the geographic center (or boundary if the project exceeds 500 acres / 200 hectares) is within 1/2-mile (800 meters) walk distance of existing full-time-equivalent jobs whose number is equal to or greater than the number of dwelling units in the project; and satisfy the requirements necessary to earn at least one point under NPD Credit 4, Mixed-Income Diverse Communities, Option 2, Affordable Housing.

    OR

    Option 2. Project With residential component (2 points)

    Include a residential component equaling at least 30% of the project’s total building floor area (exclusive of parking structures), and locate and/or design the project such that the geographic center (or boundary if the project exceeds 500 acres / 200 hectares) is within 1/2-mile (800 meters) walk distance of existing full-time-equivalent jobs whose number is equal to or greater than the number of dwelling units in the project.

    OR

    Option 3. Infill project with nonresidential component (1 point)

    Include a nonresidential component equaling at least 30% of the project’s total building floor area (exclusive of parking structures), and locate on an infill site whose geographic center (or boundary if the project exceeds 500 acres / 200 hectares) is within 1/2-mile (800 meters) walk distance of an existing rail transit, ferry, or tram stop and within 1/2-mile (800 meter) walk distance of existing dwelling units whose number is equal to or greater than 50% of the number of new full-time-equivalent jobs created as part of the project.

12 Comments

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Tom Hootman Director of Sustainability RNL
Aug 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
158 Thumbs Up

Large park

Hello again!

We decided to pull GIS employment data from the City Office of Economic Development rather than using the sqft/employment chart I mentioned earlier. We now see that our project is falling short on the employment numbers need to meet this credit. Our development is expected to have at least 850 units when complete. There are currently about 600 jobs within a 1/2 mile walking distance. A large 200 acre park is directly adjacent to the north face of the development. This unique circumstance lowers the number of potential jobs accessible within a 1/2 mile walking distance, basically cutting our potential job area in half. Do you know of a CIR strategy that might allow for a slight handicap given this condition?

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Aug 15 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

Tom, you're raising an interesting point about accounting for surrounding areas that can't have jobs, in the same way the calculation of intersection density excludes surface water and parks.There haven't been any CIRs addressing job density, but it does have some logic. There are 500 acres in a half-mile radius around a project center, and for illustrative purposes let's assume a pedestrian network allows a half-mile walk to reach 75% of the 500 acres, or 375 acres. If your project is, say 5 acres, that's 370 acres for job counting. Because of your dwelling unit count you need at least 850 jobs, or a minimum job density of 2.3 jobs/acre across the 370 acres. If you were permitted to exclude the 200-acre park (assuming all of it is within the 370-acre area), the 600 jobs you've found in the remaining 170 acres has a job density of 3.5 jobs/acre, well above the minimum. There are some details and counter agruments to consider, but overall it's an interesting notion. Before trying a CIR, you might bounce the idea off USGBC staff.
Eliot

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Tom Hootman Director of Sustainability RNL
Aug 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
158 Thumbs Up

Park Jobs

Hello,
I am using the default occupancy chart on page 319 of the reference manual to document the number of jobs based on sqft of each type of business. There is a large park adjacent to the project site that employs maintenance personnel. Is there an accepted metric for park sqft per park employee?
Thanks!

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Aug 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

Tom, I've never encountered a metric that expresses park employees per acre of park land. I suspect park employment may be influenced more by visitation levels or facility types rather than land area. And I want to caution you about using the GIBp3 table on page 319 that's intended for gauging building water demands. Rather than using employees/bldg sq ft multipliers, SLLc5 requires actual job counts using the data sources described in the first full paragraph of page 119. If you have an unusual circumstance that prevents use of the listed data sources, I recommend you check with USGBC staff about using the GIBp3 table before relying on it for SLLc5.
Eliot

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Laura Slater
May 12 2014
Guest

Existing jobs within the LEED ND boundary

Hi Eliot,

Our LEED ND boundary includes some existing buildings that house existing jobs (numbers TBD). I am wondering if we can count these jobs towards our FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. counts, even though they are within the LEED boundary?

Thanks,
Laura

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG May 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

You bet, Laura, existing jobs inside a boundary are countable. As long as they're within a half-mile walk of the project's geographic center (or from either side of the boundary if the site's over 500 acres), they can be included.
Eliot

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Katie Bachman Project Coordinator Environmental Building Strategies
Nov 19 2013
LEEDuser Member
11 Thumbs Up

Employment Resources

I am trying to calculate how many existing jobs are within 1/2 mile of a current project site, does anyone know if there are there any available resources out there that might help figure this out? The project is in a neighborhood that has many small businesses and taking a survey of employment by researching and calling each would be pretty time consuming. Additionally, the City has not been a helpful resource. Thanks for the help!

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Nov 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

Katie, too bad about the City since the planning or fire departments, or business licenses, often have employment data. Alternatives include: purchasing parcel-level job counts from national data vendors like InfoUSA, Claritas, or ESRI; obtaining traffic analysis zone jobs from the local Metropolitan Planning Organization transportation model (assuming you're in an MPO); using county assessor building sq ft records, and typical sq ft/employee, to estimate jobs; or absent county assessor data, using aerial photographs and number of stories to estimate building sq ft, and then applying sq ft/employee factors. Note that you only need to document the minimum number of jobs needed, and sometimes you can get to that threshold with a few large employers instead of having to count all establishments in the half mile.
Eliot

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Paola Figueiredo Director SustentaX
Nov 05 2012
LEEDuser Member
275 Thumbs Up

Existing jobs within the project area? (Option 1)

For Option 1: Project with Affordable Residential Component, can jobs created within the project area be considered, or can we count only jobs within the 1/2-mile radius but outside the project area?

Here's the context: a project has a residential component equal to 56% of the total building square footage. But the 44% non-residential component includes 3 commercial towers, a shopping center, hotel, and university. In all, 11,000 new jobs will be existing once the project is completed. There are 2,836 dwelling units.

Do these 11,000 jobs count towards credit compliance, or does the project team have to go ahead and count all the pre-existing jobs within 1/2 mile of the geographic center, outside the boundary? I'm trying to avoid the humongous effort of listing all these jobs if the credit can be achieved with the new 11,000 jobs!

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Nov 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

Paola, SLLc5 only allows existing jobs to be counted, and 'existing' is defined as the date of project submission for cert review. Note that you only need to identify 2,836 jobs to achieve the threshold, and sometimes that can be accomplished through a few major employers rather than a full survey of all businesses within the 1/2-mile radius.
Eliot

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Alexandre Schinazi Sustainability Manager, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, VINCI Energies Nov 26 2012 Guest 41 Thumbs Up

Hi Eliot,

Say the project is entering Stage 1. So if the project team demonstrates that at least 2,836 of the new jobs to be created within the project will be existing by the time Stage 3 is submitted for certification review, than these new jobs can be counted fulfilling credit requirements. Is my understanding correct?

The difficulty is that the surrounding area has many small, informal commercial establishments, but doesn't have major companies. So the collection of data would be extremely time-consuming and painstaking. And the project itself will provide so many jobs that it would be unfair for the project not to achieve the credit. So if Stage 3 submission date is after at least 2,836 new jobs have been created within the project, then they can be counted, correct?

Thanks,
Alex

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Nov 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 2323 Thumbs Up

Alex, I'm afraid your work-around is not acceptable for a Stage 1 submission where the job number would have to be counted as of the Stage 1 submission date, not a future Stage 3 submission date. This is because the objective of SLLc5 is to encourage project location where favorable circumstances already exist, rather than have the project create those circumstances.
Eliot

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Aug 20 2014
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