ID#5187 made on
SSc1 - Site selection
LEED BD+C: Core and Shell
The intent of LEED CS v2.0, SS Credit 1 is to avoid development of inappropriate sites and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site. The project is a B+31 floor commer...
The intent of LEED CS v2.0, SS Credit 1 is to avoid development of inappropriate sites and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site. The project is a B+31 floor commercial building. The property is within a master-planned development, and is one of several similar plots currently under design by third-party developers. The site has not been previously developed. The master developer has prepared a 23.7 million sq.ft. site for more than 100 separate building plots, to varying degrees, in anticipation of third-party developers buying individual plots. The original condition of the master development site was a section of contaminated intertidal zone and sea along the edge of an industrial area in Dubai (not previously developed, but previously tainted). Preparation of the area for development included a massive cleanup effort that removed industrial solid waste from the site (sea) and surrounding areas, thereby improving area marine quality. The master developer then performed a dredging and reclamation process which filled in the area in preparation for these third party projects. The subject site is located centrally on this master-planned area. The project team is currently trying to determine if the project meets the requirements for SS Credit 1, Site Selection. Although a previous CIR has addressed similar situations in respect to SS Credit 2 (Ruling dated 9/25/2008), the project team is seeking a formal ruling for this particular credit point and special set of circumstances. Specifically, the following two criteria are in question: "Previously undeveloped land whose elevation is lower than 5 feet above the elevation of the 100-year flood as defined by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)" "Previously undeveloped land that is within 50 feet of a water body, defined as seas, lakes, rivers, streams and tributaries which support or could support fish, recreation or industrial use, consistent with the terminology of the Clean Water Act" While the project team can document that the project site technically complies with all relevant criteria and can document compliance as the site currently stands, there is some concern that the intent of this credit is not met. Can USGBC please clarify if this credit can be attained based on the above described set of circumstances?
The CIR concerns a site that was previously not land at all, but was made available for development using reclaimed land, relocating fill to "a section of contaminated intertidal zone and sea." This approach does not meet the intent of the credit therefore the project is not eligible for this credit. The impetus of the question is whether the origin of the site affects credit achievement. LEED Sustainable Sites credits do indeed consider prior site conditions to determine the achievement of points. Examples include sites that were previously public parkland or prime farmland. In this case, the prior condition of the project site was not only within 50 feet of a water body defined as a sea, it was part of the sea itself. The project site exists because of the ecological transformation of a coastal zone through dredging and reclamation. This recent prior condition means that the intent of this credit cannot be met for this project. Applicable Internationally.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)