This CIR pertains to a large urban redevelopment on an abandoned industrial site. Each building project within the redevelopment will be a separate LEED project. In planning the redevelopment, the developers gifted (yes, gave) to the city an area to be redeveloped as a greenway along a major waterway. This area was generally impermeable due to its previous industrial use, but it will be restored as vegetated open space. The restoration also includes instream restoration to create habitat for endangered native salmon species. The developers also gifted to the city an area to be developed as a vegetated park in the center of the district. The total planned vegetated open space (excluding courtyards and ecoroofs) within this redevelopment district, including the greenway and the park, will be 187,500 square feet. Excluding public streets and rights of way, which will be owned by the city and not the individual building sites, the total area to be developed in the district is 19.5 acres, or 457,380 square feet. The deeded open space of 187,000 sf is equivalent to 41 percent of this to-be-developed space. There is zoning in this area, but no zoning requirement for open space (the entire district is zero lot line). We propose that by providing open space equivalent to over forty percent of the development footprint, documenting the facts as stated, and applying the 'clustering' ruling ruling from campus projects established by CIR SSc5.1 dated 9.2.03, we can qualify every project in the district for SSc5.2. Please confirm the accuracy of this analysis.
The project in this case has zoning, but the requirement for open space is zero. Thus, your proposal for credit equivalence is acceptable in relation to an allowance stated in SSc5.1 CIR ruling dated 3/9/2004: if the project is to be located in a high-density urban setting, the credit can be achieved by allocating 25% of the entire site area to open space (your project's open space is 29% of the site). The cited ruling also requires the project to first meet SS Credit 2 (Development Density) to qualify for this approach, but this prerequisite is waived for this and other large urban redevelopments so they are not penalized for being the first project in a large urban industrial area to be redeveloped. Instead, provide documentation (such as an aerial photo or the master plan for the area, and proof of zero-lot-line status) that demonstrates the project is located in an appropriate context. Note that the 'clustering' ruling for campus projects established by CIR SSc5.1 ruling dated 9/2/2003 is a documentation strategy, not a means to reduce the required amount of open space. As the open space area is attributed to the projects, it must be included in the calculations for other applicable credits (e.g., SSc1, site selection; SSc5.1, restore open space; SSc6, stormwater management; SSc7.1, heat island; WEc1, water efficient landscaping). Possible options for LEED documentation are: 1) The open space is theoretically divided and allocated to individual buildings (perhaps proportional to building footprint, but not necessarily) and each "slice" is factored into it's building's LEED calculations. 2) Calculations are done independently for the open space area, so those credits are simply checked off for the group. More specifically: a) The site is submitted on its own for certification approval of the selected credits (advisable for large developments). This is then reference in each project's submittal; OR b) The first project through certification clears it for the rest (and is reference by the rest). Note that there will be pros and cons per applicable credit, per documentation option chosen.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)