Surrounding density and diverse uses | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction | v4 - LEED v4

Surrounding density and diverse uses

Possible 5 points

Submittal Tips (click to expand)

LT Credit: Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses

Option 1: Surrounding Density
  • The required vicinity map must clearly label the project boundary, the density offset (which includes surrounding land one-quarter mile (400 meters) from the project boundary) and the location of existing residential and non-residential buildings. Note that the area of surrounding density is NOT measured as a circular radius from the project's geographic center.
  • Ensure that all buildable land within one-quarter mile from the project boundary (the density offset) is included within the denominator of the density calculations, less noted exceptions.
  • The density claimed toward compliance must be existing, rather than zoned.
  • LEED BD+C: Schools projects may exclude from the density calculations outdoor physical education spaces such as playing fields and associated buildings used only during sporting events, playgrounds, and play equipment associated with the project building.
Option 2: Diverse Uses
  • Ensure that all contributing diverse uses are existing and available to the public. For any uses where public availability may not be clear to reviewers (e.g. fitness or library facilities within a campus), provide a narrative to confirm compliance.
  • To be eligible, uses that are planned but not currently operating must be occupied within one year of the date of the LEED project’s initial certificate of occupancy.
  • Measure walking distances along infrastructure that is safe and comfortable for pedestrians, including sidewalks, all-weather-surface footpaths, crosswalks, or equivalent pedestrian facilities.
  • Ensure that the counted uses represent at least three of the five categories listed in Appendix 1, Use Types and Categories, exclusive of the project building's primary use.
  • A use may be counted as only one type. For example, a supermarket that also contains a pharmacy may contribute only once as either a supermarket use type or a pharmacy use type, at the project team's discretion.
  • No more than two uses in each use type may be counted. For example, if five restaurants are within walking distance, only two may be counted.
  • Remember that uses without a stationary postal address (e.g. mobile food vendors), automobile-oriented services (e.g. gas stations, repair shops) and automated facilities (e.g. ATMs, vending machines, touchscreens) do not contribute.
Option 1: Development and Adjacency (Warehouse and Distribution Centers)
  • Ensure that the project is located on a previously developed site.
  • To achieve three points via Development and Adjacency, the project site must also meet the LEED definition of an adjacent site, and the bordering parcels must currently be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
  • Ensure that the site either was used for industrial or commercial purposes immediately prior to the project or is adjacent to other previously developed sites that are currently being used for industrial or commercial purposes.
Option 2: Transportation Resources (Warehouse and Distribution Centers)
  • Clearly label on a vicinity map all transportation resources claimed. Include the project location and the driving distance from the project to each resource.
    LT Credit: Access to Quality Transit
  • Measure walking distances along infrastructure that is safe and comfortable for pedestrians, including sidewalks, all-weather-surface footpaths, crosswalks, or equivalent pedestrian facilities.
  • Keep in mind that only transit that provides regular service in both directions along a set route (paired route service) can contribute. Note that private shuttles can't be used to comply with the credit requirements.
  • Ensure that the documentation confirms the transit frequency for each contributing service type. If formal, published frequencies are not available, supplemental information confirming how the frequencies were determined is acceptable.
  • Ensure that contributing stops are totaled correctly. For each qualifying transit route, only trips in one direction are counted toward the threshold. If a qualifying transit route has multiple stops within the required walking distance, only trips from one stop are counted. Note that weekend trips are not included in the calculations for LEED BD+C: Schools projects.
  • Future transit stops may be counted if they are sited, funded, and under construction by the date of the certificate of occupancy and are completed within 24 months of that date.
Option 1: Transit-Served Location (Schools)
Option 2: Pedestrian Access (Schools)
  • Based on the school's attendance boundary and associated locations where concentrations of students are expected to live, determine the percentage of the student population within the walkshed boundary with safe, walkable access between a functional entrance to a school building and their homes. Precise student addresses are not required.
Lessons Learned from a LEED v4 Project

Walking Distance vs. Straight Line Radius

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