…But you can’t make it drink. In other words, bike racks and showers will probably not be enough to encourage biking in an area that’s unfriendly to bicyclists. If you’re thinking of pursuing this credit, first consider the realities of the neighborhood around the school. Is it realistic that students and staff will ride bicycles and make use of the bike racks and storage or the shower facilities? It’s important to consider whether the intent of this credit will bear out in reality, or if your resources might be better allocated elsewhere.
This credit entails the costs of purchasing and installing the bike racks, as well as showers and changing facilities if you decide to provide those onsite. For smaller projects, the additional plumbing associated with showers and the space allocations for changing rooms and bike storage may be a disincentive to pursuing this credit. For larger projects, however, the initial cost of making a building “bike friendly” is relatively low. Remember—showers and changing facilities do not have to be onsite. They can be located anywhere within 200 yards of a building entrance, as long as they are available to occupants at no cost. (There may be a cost to the owner, however, in the form of gym memberships or access fees.)
Bike racks need to be within 200 yards of a school entrance. Photo – YRG SustainabilityMany schools have adequate showering and changing facilities as part of the gymnasium, and these can meet the credit requirements, as long as they're open to staff as well as to students.
In determining the feasibility of this credit with the project team consider the following questions:
In determining whether to pursue this credit, project teams should carefully consider climate, terrain, project location, cultural norms, and other factors that may affect bike ridership, in order to assess whether this is an appropriate strategy for your project.
Different building types call for different calculations under this credit—make sure you’re using the proper variables for your building type. Residential project teams should also keep in mind that bike storage facilities must be covered—which is not part of the credit requirements for other building types—and that this will impact building design.
Determine the project's FTE occupancy, peak and transient occupant counts, and calculate the required number of bicycle racks and shower facilities needed to fulfill the LEED requirements. (One FTE equals eight hours of occupancy. A transient occupant is a visitor, hotel guest, or customer who visits during peak periods.)
To calculate FTE occupants, use a standard eight-hour occupancy period. An FTE, therefore, has a value of one (8 ÷ 8). Each part-time staff occupant has a value of the number of hours of occupancy divided by eight (e.g., 4 ÷ 8 = ½ FTE). It follows that the total number of staff FTEs equals the total number of staff hours divided by eight.
Once you have determined total FTE and peak users, calculate how much space for bike storage and how many showers will be required.
Per numerous CIR rulings, showers can be located off-site within 200 yards of a building entrance as long as they are accessible to building occupants. For example, a building owner could provide occupants with free access to gym facilities nearby to comply with the credit requirements.
Occupants will appreciate if showers are conveniently located and accessible from the bike storage area. This will also increase use of the biking and showering facilities.
Although nonresidential projects don’t require bike racks to be covered, consider providing sheltered bike storage anyway. Bicyclists will appreciate it and may use the bike racks more often.
A bike rack comes in many different shapes and forms and doesn’t have to be a traditional sidewalk rack. Bikes can be hung in closets from hooks or stored securely in a room in the basement. Racks can be designed to stack bikes or hang bikes from a wall.
Get creative when it comes to finding space in buildings where that’s an issue. Use wall-mounted bike racks, racks designed to stack bikes over one another, or even space for bike racks on the roof.
Building occupants must have dedicated use of the bike racks—typically enforced through signage or location. While they may be a good idea, public bike racks on the sidewalk that are not specifically designated for the LEED project use do not count towards the credit.
When sizing and designing the showers and storage facilities consider the possibility of future expansion.
Bike rack capacity is calculated for peak-time building users, while showers are calculated by FTE. Peak users include transients and visitors, while FTE calculations do not. Therefore, transient occupants and residents (because they have their own showers in their residential units) are not counted in the showering facility calculation.
Make sure the calculations of FTE and peak users are consistent for the project across all credits.
If certain populations cannot be reasonably expected to arrive at a site by bicycle or to use bikes at all (for example, travelers passing through an airport or occupants of an elder care facility), you will have the option to exclude these populations, but must be able to demonstrate why these occupants (full-time or transient) should not be counted in total FTE calculations or why biking is not a realistic transportation option. Be sure to provide this information in the credit narrative and submit with credit documentation.
Make sure your project will provide sufficient space to hold the number of specified bike racks. Generally a 2’ x 6’ (12 ft2) space will adequately accommodate a standard bike.
When making credit calculations, you must round the number of showers or bike racks up to the next whole number. For example, if your calculation yields 2.1 showers, you must provide three showers; if your calculation yields 4.4 bike spaces, you must provide a minimum of five. Make sure any spreadsheets or calculators developed by your team are not rounding numbers automatically, as this may distort the actual number of spaces or showers required.
For schools, calculate bike spaces for 5% of peak users above Grade 3, and showers for 0.5% of total staff and personnel FTE. Make sure to include dedicated and unobstructed bike paths from the edge of school property to main school entrances in at least two directions in the project design.
Schools could count gymnasium showers toward this credit, as long as staff has access to these facilities.
Dedicated bike lanes need to have sufficient width. Project experience has shown the following to be good guideline.: A dedicated bike lane along a roadway must be physically marked or separated from vehicular traffic. Sidewalks are acceptable if they meet the width requirements for a shared bicycle pedestrian lane. Sample width requirements established by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials) are:
Perform the calculations based on FTE to determine the number of bike racks and showers required.
Identify the best space, either inside or outside the building, in which to locate bike racks. For projects with zero lot line and no site area, the bike racks will have to be located outside on the sidewalk or inside the building. Most of the time, the site’s parking area or garage is a suitable location for bike racks. Bike racks outside the building must be within 200 yards of the building entrance, either on the project site or on a public sidewalk.
If you are limited by budget, space or programming, your team may want to find other ways to meet the shower requirements. Consider providing employees with gym memberships that allow them to take a shower after biking or partnering with other facilities within the same building that can provide access to showers (this approach is confirmed by multiple NC CIR rulings and a CI ruling from 2/12/07 for CI SSc3.2). If pursuing gym membership or another alternate option, consult with GBCI about your approach and plan to write an alternative compliance narrative describing your approach and how it meets the credit intent and requirements.
Provide the appropriate number of secure bicycle storage facilities, showers and changing facilities. These should be clearly marked on project drawings (see the Documentation Toolkit for an example).
Complete LEED Online documentation, including:
Include a site plan indicating the bike paths leading to the edge of the school property.
Make sure that bike racks, showers, and changing facilities are built according to plans.
Educate building occupants about bike routes in the area and provide incentives for bicycle commuting. Bike routes can also be posted on the company intranet.
Consider providing bikes to building occupants or instituting a bike-share program. If well-developed, such programs could potentially become part of a comprehensive transportation management plan that could earn the project an innovation credit through IDc1.
To encourage bike ridership, consider implementing a bicycle maintenance program for employees who bike to work. This could take the form of vouchers for local bike shops or availability of basic tools and resources for bike upkeep onsite.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations
To reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use.
Provide secure bicycle racks and/or storage within 200 yards of a building entrance for 5% or more of all building staff and students above grade 3 level (measured at peak periods).
Provide shower and changing facilities in the building, or within 200 yards of a building entrance, for 0.5% of full-time equivalentFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 40 hours per week in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per week divided by 40. Multiple shifts are included or excluded depending on the intent and requirements of the credit. (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.) staff.
Provide dedicated bike lanes that extend at least to the end of the school property in 2 or more directions with no barriers (e.g., fences) on school property.
Design the building with transportation amenities such as bicycle racks and shower/changing facilities. School administrators should be aware of issues with students and staff sharing shower/ changing facilities, and ensure that both groups have access to facilities and feel comfortable using them. Administrators may consider providing separate shower facilities if there are no programmatic ways to provide privacy for staff in shared shower/ changing facilities.
Draft rating system with information on how to calculate 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. in retail situations.
This website from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine suggests ways to encourage and facilitate bike commuting.
This website outlines strategies employers can use to encourage employees to commute by bicycle.
The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Human and Natural Environment promotes access to and use and safety of bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center provides information and resources for issues related to bicycle commuting, including health and safety, engineering, advocacy, education and facilities.
This website provides information on the types and effects of air pollution associated with automobile use and links to resources for organizations interested in promoting commuter choice programs.
This program publicly recognizes employers who have exemplary commuter benefits programs. It provides tools, guidance, and promotions to help employers give commuter benefits, reap the financial gains, and achieve national recognition.
The center's mission is to reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.
Find bike paths and services available in your local area.
Bike paths in USA.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each Schools-2009 SS credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. For more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
students above grade 3 # was corrected on form 3, template student # still shows old #. GBCI says that all associated point templates cells must be filled-in with something or change won't take. Thought I filled in all cells but it's still not updating the template.
Did your problem get resolved?
it's not been resolved. Seems to be a glitch with LEED online where form 3 data is not correctly showing up on SS 4.2 template (students higher than 3rd grade) shows 264 on form 3, on SS Cr 4.2 the cell shows a # previously on form 3, which is 300, it since has been revised to 264. What that does is show a less than 5% bike racks provided, would be higher than 5% if the current # on form 3 showed on the SS 4.2 template. LEED says to explain it as a special circumstance, which in my opinion it is not really. It seems to be a fixable online glitch.
The special circumstance section is often used to explain things such as the glitch you're experiencing to the reviewers.
My building is an academic building at a 100% residential boarding school. There are walking paths everywhere, students all live within 3/4-mile, and students rarely use bicycles. It seems illogical to include them in the 5% bike calculation, as there's no way that many spaces are needed or would be used. Is this a candidate for special circumstances? Does anyone have experience with this?
What is the building used for? Who uses it?
It's a math/science classroom building used by most students at some point during the school day. 22 FTEs (2 FT staff and 32 teachers there for a portion of the 8-hour day) work there as well.
This isn't a situation addressed clearly in the BD&C Reference guide, since the building types the K-12 Schools rating is based on don't typically have a residential function. Your campus is more similar to a residential college in that sense, so the Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and Campus (Part 1 Oct 2010) might help here:
This updated 2010 document is organized differently than the 2005 guidance document: a Master Site block of overall site credits is set up in LEED Online for the credits that are applied across a whole campus, and then individual buildings are registered as separate blocks for their building-specific credits.
See 1.4 Table 1A for SSc4.2. My understanding is you'll calculate the total # of bike racks for the whole campus based on the campus 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. numbers, but still have to have a pro-rated number of racks near buildings seeking certification. When they say: "The appropriate number of bike racks and showers provided must be within 200 yards of the projects on the shared-site/campus that are attempting LEED certification" it would suggest they want to see the portion of racks (and showers!) for the classroom building's FTE within 200 yards.
Remember, the # of transients is defined as those who occupy the building for less than 7 hours. The number of transients is used for calculating bike racks, but don't have to be provided showers. It's not entirely clear to me, but I believe any full-time staff who work in that building are expected to have showers within 200 yards.
The document also states "Feedback received from project teams that use this guidance is very valuable and will be utilized to inform future versions of the guidance," so I'd encourage you to contact the USGBC or submit 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 to clarify how the guidance document should be applied to the this credit.
Does LEED require any minimum scale for drawings, either for credits or for the general project drawings?
No, I've never heard of one being enforced. I would only say that the burden is on the team to make their documents clear to the reviewers.
Does anyone have a standard or rule of thumb to generate a logical number for volunteers and visitors in an urban area? If the school district doesn't have a volunteer program, then that answers one question. However, how is a visitor count calculated? I would think most visitors would be parents - thus it would be unlikely they would be straping the kid on the bike with them. I suppose I could just take the number from the # of visitor parking spots and call it a day? Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks!
Renee, on a Schools project you don't have to account for transients to earn this credit. (See the credit language tab above.)
I see what you are saying about the credit language, but then in the LEED reference guide calculations for schools (step 1d) it lists peak transients. I would definitely prefer to NOT count them, because we get "nicer" number of required bike racks (12 vs 13).
Interesting—it's also requested in the LEED Online form. I guess they do want a number, which does make sense.
If the number of visitor parking spots is reflective of peak transients, then I would go with it. Consider whether folks arrive by other means, or with more than one person in the car.
Any suggestions or experience for meeting the requirement for a dedicated bike lane on school property for an inner-city school with no setbacks (e.g. a public school in NYC)? Children will likely using bikes to get to school, but it isn't possible to incorporate a bike lane on the actual school property. Any way around this?
We've had a project in a similar situation. However, we did have dedicated city bike lanes on one side of our school and showed those in our project drawings. Any chance there are city bike lanes nearby?
We've also used wide (8 feet) sidewalks and installed a sign that said bikers left and pedestrians right.
Both projects were approved.
Thanks Shannon. There are city bike lanes within a few blocks of the school but not along any of the perimeter streets. The tight property space will limit the ability for wide sidewalks as well. It's looking like the bike lane requirement might not be achievable for this particular project. Any other methods/CIRs people have used would be great.
We are working on a school where the bike racks will be installed in the first basement level just next to the ramp. That same ramp will be very close to the site entrance. Knowing that it is impractical to have a bike lane sharing the ramp, do you think the bike lane requirement can be omitted based on "none practical" grounds? Can we submit our design letter templates explaining why we did not specify bike lanes or should we submit 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 and err on the side of caution ?
Thanks for your help,
Given that bicycle storage and changing rooms are required only within 200 yards of the main entrance, it seems reasonable to have the bike lane go to the storage area (if it's within 200 yards of the entrance) and not all the way to the front door.
"Provide dedicated bike lanes that extend at least to the end of the school property in 2 or more directions with no barriers (e.g., fences) on school property." This requirement seems vague in the actual purpose but very explicit in the requirement. The credit purpose is to encourage bike use. The bike lane part is I assume for safety, but school campuses have many possible configurations and this requirement needs to be less rigid to allow for solutions that work with campus plan, layout and logistics.
What is the minimum bicycle path/sidewalk's width for an Elementary School project pursuing LEED credit SSc4.2? 8 foot?
During previous applications, the LEED review team has requested an 8ft path to accommodate shared pedestrian/bike use.
I haven't seen a prescriptive requirement for the width of a stand alone bike path.
Thanks for your response Mr. Stanley.
We have a suburban middle school that is bounded by neighborhood houses on three sides (E, S, W) and a street on one side (N). Access (vehicular and bicycle) to the site can only be provided from the north side. Are we meeting the credit intent if we provide a shared-use pathway (bikes and pedestrians sufficiently sized and marked with pavement painting, signage, etc.) along the east side of the site to the NE corner and along the west side of the site to the NW corner so that bicyclists and pedestrians can head off in the east and west directions?
Sounds like you meet the credit intent as long as those paths originate close enough to the buildings and bike parking areas for uninterrupted travel.
David, the shared-use pathways will originate at the building entrance/drop-off area where the bicycle parking spaces are located. And yes we would provide uninterrupted travel paths.
I have a follow-up question on the bicycle lanes. We have shared-use bicycle and pedestrian lanes. We will indicate separation between the two modes with symbols - bicycle on one side and pedestrian on the other, and signage explaining how the shared-use pathway should be used. We will not provide a divider/separation line down the middle of the pathway. Does this meet the credit intent?
That sounds reasonable - especially if the symbols appear more than just at the beginning and end of the path. The "clear separation" on pg 52 of the RG appears to be more for bike lanes alongside car travel lanes.
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
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