Conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.
Have in place over the performance period, native or adapted vegetation or other ecologically appropriate features:
- SS Credit 4.1: Covering a minimum of 50% of the site area excluding the building footprint. (1 point)
- SS Credit 4.2: Covering a minimum of 75% of the site area excluding the building footprint. (1 point)
Improving/maintaining off-site areas with native or adapted plants or other ecologically appropriate features can count toward earning both SS Credit 4.1 and 4.2. Every 2 square feet off-site will be counted as 1 square foot on-site. Off-site areas must be documented with a contract with the owner of the off-site area that
specifies the required improvement and maintenance of the off-site area.
Native/Adapted Plants are those that are indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plant materials that have adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds. Such plants require only limited irrigation water for sustenance once established, and do not require active maintenance such as mowing. Native/Adapted Plants should provide habitat value and promote biodiversity through avoidance of monoculture plantings.
Other ecologically appropriate features are natural site elements beyond vegetation that maintain or restore the ecological integrity of the site, and may include water bodies, exposed rock, un-vegetated ground, or other features that are part of the historic natural landscape within the region and provide habitat value.