ND-v2009 SLLc7: Site design for habitat or wetland and water body conservation

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    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development

    SLL Credit 7: Site design for habitat or wetland and water body conservation

    Intent

    To conserve native plants, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and water bodies.

    Requirements

    Option 1. Sites without significant habitat or wetlands and water bodies

    Locate the project on a site that does not have significant habitat, as defined in Option 2 of this credit, or land within 100 feet (30 meters) of such habitat, and fulfill the requirements of Options 1 or 2(a) under SLL Prerequisite 3, Wetland and Water Body Conservation.

    OR

    Option 2. Sites with significant habitat

    Work with both the state’s Natural Heritage Program and the state fish and wildlife agency, or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S, to delineate identified significant habitat on the site. Do not disturb significant habitat or portions of the site within an appropriate buffer around the habitat. The geographic extent of the habitat and buffer must be identified by a qualified biologist, a conservation organization, or the appropriate state, regional, or local agency. Protect significant habitat and its identified buffers from development in perpetuity by donating or selling the land, or a conservation easement on the land, to an accredited land trust, conservation organization, or relevant government agency (a deed covenant is not sufficient to meet this requirement).

    Identify and commit to ongoing management activities, along with parties responsible for management and funding available, so that habitat is maintained in preproject condition or better for a minimum of three years after the project is built out. The requirement for identifying ongoing management activities may also be met by earning SLL Credit 9, Long-Term Conservation Management of Wetlands and Water Bodies.

    Significant habitat for this credit includes the following:

    1. Habitat for species that are listed or are candidates for listing under state or federal endangered species acts, habitat for species of special concern in the state, and/or habitat for those species and/or ecological communities classified as GH, G1, G2, G3, and/or S1 and S2 species by NatureServe (local equivalent standards for threatened and endangered species may be used by projects outside the U.S. if the site area is not covered by NatureServe data).
    2. Locally or regionally significant habitat of any size, or patches of predominantly 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. at least 150 acres (60 hectares) (even if part of the area lies outside the project boundary).
    3. Habitat flagged for conservation under a regional or state conservation or green infrastructure plan.

    OR

    Option 3. Sites with wetlands and water bodies

    Design the project to conserve 100% of all water bodies, wetlands, land within 100 feet (30 meters) of water bodies, and land within 50 feet (15 meters) of wetlands on the site. Using a qualified biologist, conduct an assessment, or compile existing assessments, showing the extent to which those water bodies and/or wetlands perform the following functions: (1) water quality maintenance, (2) wildlife habitat protection, and (3) hydrologic function maintenance, including flood protection. Assign appropriate buffers [not less than 100 feet (30 meters) for water bodies and 50 feet (15 meters) for wetlands] based on the functions provided, contiguous soils and slopes, and contiguous land uses. Do not disturb wetlands, water bodies, or their buffers, and protect them from development in perpetuity by donating or selling the land, or a conservation easement on the land, to an accredited land trust, conservation organization, or relevant government agency (a deed covenant is not sufficient to meet this requirement). Identify and commit to ongoing management activities, along with parties responsible for management and funding available, so that habitat is maintained in preproject condition or better for a minimum of three years after the project is built out. The requirement for identifying ongoing management activities may also be met by earning SLL Credit 9, Long-Term Conservation Management of Wetlands and Water Bodies. The project does not meet the requirements if it has negative effects on habitat for species identified in Option 2(a).

    For all projects

    The following features are not considered wetlands, water bodies, or buffer land that must be protected:

    1. 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.
    2. Man-made water bodies (such as industrial mining pits, concrete-lined canals, or stormwater retention ponds) that lack natural edges and floors or native ecological communities in the water and along the edge
    3. Man-made linear wetlands that result from the interruption of natural drainages by existing rights-of-way.
    4. Wetlands that were created incidentally by human activity and have been rated “poor” for all measured wetland functions. Wetland quality assessment must be performed by a qualified biologist using a method that is accepted by local, state or regional permitting agencies.

6 Comments

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Karyn Rodrigues Architect consultant, LEED AP-ND, BD+C
Jul 15 2014
Guest
341 Thumbs Up

Permanent Preservation Area X Habitat

Could a Permanent Preservation Area (APP - Brazilian definition)* be considered as a native habitat under the requirements of credit SLLc7?

* Protected area, covered (or not) by native vegetationPlants indigenous to a locality (native) and adapted to the local climate; they require limited irrigation following planting, do not require active maintenance such as mowing, and provide habitat value., with the environmental function of preserving water resources, the landscape,biodiversity, soil protection and so on.
.

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Jul 15 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2335 Thumbs Up

Hi Karyn. Yes, the Brazilian definition appears to meet the Option 2 subsection (b) definition of significant habitat as "locally or regionally significant habitat...or patches of predominantly 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....".
Eliot

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Karyn Rodrigues Architect consultant, LEED AP-ND, BD+C Jul 16 2014 Guest 341 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much!

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Lee Ann Walling, LEED AP ND Principal Cedar Creek Sustainable Planning Services
Dec 06 2012
Guest
88 Thumbs Up

Difference between this credit and prereq

Hi Eliot, I took your LEED-ND class in San Francisco. Even with the reference guide, I am having a hard time differentiating between the requirements for this credit and the requirements for SLL prereq 3. Thanks.

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Eliot Allen AICP, LEED AP-ND, CNU-A, Principal, Criterion Planners LEED Faculty, LP TAG Dec 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 2335 Thumbs Up

Lee Ann,
You’re correct that SLLp3 and SLLc7 are similar enough to be a little confusing. In the simplest terms, SLLp3 is a relatively narrow set of must-do requirements in contrast to SLLc7 being a voluntary and somewhat broader set of requirements.

If a project site has no wetlands, water bodies, or buffer areas around such features, then Option 1 can be used under both SLLp3 and SLLc7.

If a project site contains wetlands, water bodies, or buffer areas, under SLLp3 it must use Option 2a by avoiding impacts to the features, or Option 2b by limiting impacts based on project density and achievement of a GIBc8 stormwater point. If that same project wants to achieve SLLc7, it can use either Options 2 or 3, both of which require resource delineation, perpetual protection, and at least three years of resource management.

In all of these cases, definitions and exceptions are important, so it’s worth studying them closely for applicability to a project. Hope this helps,
Eliot

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Lee Ann Walling, LEED AP ND Principal , Cedar Creek Sustainable Planning Services Dec 10 2012 Guest 88 Thumbs Up

Thanks for the clatification.

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Dec 22 2014
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