To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.
Over the performance period, have in place native or adapted vegetation covering a minimum of 25% of the site area, excluding the building footprint.
Improving and/or maintaining off-site areas with native or adapted plants can contribute toward earning SS Credit 5, provided the improvement and maintenance are documented in a contract with the owner of the off-site area. Every 2 square feet off-site can be counted as 1 square foot on-site.
Native plants are plants indigenous to a locality, and adapted plants are cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds.
Other ecologically appropriate features that contribute to this credit are natural site elements beyond vegetation that maintain or restore the ecological integrity of the site, including water bodies, exposed rock, unvegetated ground or other features that are part of the historic natural landscape within the region and provide habitat value.
For projects in urban sites with little or no building setback (i.e., zero lot line), SS Credit 5 may be earned using vegetated roof surfaces if the plants meet the definition of native or adapted and if the vegetated roof surface covers at least 5% of the LEED project site area.