Warehouses-EBOM-v4 SSp1: Site management policy

  • Building a foundation for site management

    Your team must develop and adopt a compliant Site Management Policy to achieve LEED certification, since this is a prerequisite policy. However, you only have to demonstrate actual compliance with the policy if you pursue SSc5: Site Management.

    Project teams should definitely use the template created by USGBC as the foundation for the policy. Customizing the template is encouraged so that the policy reflects your building’s site and operational practices. But remember that all prerequisite requirements must be addressed, so take care when removing content. If a particular element is not applicable to your project, be sure to provide a clear explanation (either in the policy itself or as a separate narrative) for the specific reasons it is not applicable.

    What’s New in LEED v4

    • This is a new prerequisite, but the intent and requirements should be familiar to LEED 2009 teams.
    • USGBC derived the prerequisite from LEED 2009’s SSc2: Building Exterior and HardscapeThe inanimate elements of the building landscaping. It includes pavement, roadways, stonewalls, wood and synthetic decking, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. Management Plan, and SSc3: Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment., Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan.
    • Integrated pest management is no longer included in the SS credit category, and is now covered in the EQ credit category.

    Readiness Review Questions

    • What maintenance equipment is currently used onsite? How and when is maintenance equipment purchased? Are there opportunities for procuring low-impact equipment? Do opportunities exist for substituting manual practices for power equipment, or electric for gas-powered equipment? 

    • How is snow and ice removal handled on drives and walkways? Is there an opportunity to implement an “anti-icing” program?
    • How is cleaning handled for the project building’s exterior and hardscape? Are there opportunities for using less environmentally harmful products? 

    • What erosion and sedimentation issues occur, or could occur, on the project site, and how should these issues be managed? Remember that the potential for erosion and sedimentation issues exist on all properties.
    • How is landscape debris and waste handled? Are there opportunities for landfill diversion through practices such as composting the debris onsite, using it for onsite mulching needs or bringing it to a municipal composting facility? 

    • How are plantings maintained? Are there opportunities to introduce more native and adapted plantings in order to reduce fertilizer and pesticide use? 

    • Which fertilizers are used onsite, and how are they applied? 

    • Do your current vendors offer sustainable site management services? If not, are they willing to learn and adopt new practices?
    • Does your building have a staff person directly responsible for site management? If yes, involve that person in this credit from the start of the project to ensure that all environmental best management practices are thoroughly developed, included in any related vendor contracts, and implemented on an ongoing basis. If no, designate at least one point person to develop and implement the comprehensive Site Management Policy.


    We’re a zero lot line building with no vegetation. What should we do?

    All projects, regardless of site conditions, must develop and adopt a compliant policy. It’s okay to modify the policy to reflect your project specifics, just be sure to write a clear narrative that describes why particular operational elements are not applicable. Consider providing photographs of your site to help support your justifications.

    You can also address potential future changes to the site. For example, you could say that any vegetation installed in the future will be native or adapted. 

  • SS Prerequisite 1: Site management policy


    To preserve ecological integrity and encourage environmentally sensitive site management practices that provide a clean, well-maintained, and safe building exterior while supporting high-performance building operations and integration into the surrounding landscape.



    Create and implement a site management policy that employs best management practices to reduce harmful chemical use, energy waste, water waste, air pollution, solid waste, and/or chemical runoffWater that transports chemicals from the building landscape, as well as surrounding streets and parking lots, to rivers and lakes. Runoff chemicals may include gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and salts. for all of the following operational elements on the building and grounds:

    • use of low emissions maintenance equipment;
    • snow and ice removal;
    • cleaning of building exterior, pavement, and other impervious surfacesAn area of ground that development and building have modified in such a way that precipitation cannot infiltrate downward through the soil. Examples of impervious surfaces include roofs, paved roads and parking areas, sidewalks, and soils that have been compacted either by design or by use.;
    • erosion and sedimentation control (for ongoing operations and for construction activity);
    • organic waste management (returned to the site or diverted from landfills);
    • invasive and exotic plant species management (through monitoring and eradication);
    • fertilizer use (testing soils before using fertilizer to prevent overapplication of nutrients);
    • irrigation management (monitor irrigation systems manually or with automated systems at least every two weeks during the operating season for appropriate water usage, system times, leaks, or breaks); and
    • storage of materials and equipment.



Site Management Policy

These samples demonstrate how to document the key policy for this credit. This document is a GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).-approved sample used within Transwestern’s v4 O+M:EB Volume program.

Site management policy template

Use this USGBC template to meet the credit requirements. The project team can download it from the USGBC website, modify it as necessary, and provide it as supporting documentation in a LEED application.


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Jul 27 2017
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