Entry Type ID Date Applicable Rating System Primary Credit Inquiry (LIs) Ruling (LIs) Related Addenda/LIs Related Resources Campus Applicable Internationally Applicable Country Applicability Reference Guide (Addenda) Page (Addenda) Location (Addenda) Description of Change (Addenda) "LEED Interpretation" "10231" "2012-10-01" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction, Healthcare, Data centers - New Construction, Hospitality - New Construction, Retail - Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "What qualities must a vegetated roof have in order to count towards SSc5.1? Can roofs that provide a plant mix shown to promote appropriate biodiversity be eligible to earn SSc5.1? Does an all-sedum plant mix meet the SSc5.1 intent of providing habitat and promoting biodiversity?" "The primary goal of this credit is to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. To satisfy the intent of the credit, the vegetated roof must be an intensive roof system, where the depth of the growing medium is 6 inches or more. Where the vegetated roof is a combination of intensive and extensive roof systems, only the intensive portions of the roof can count towards SSc5.1 Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat. Applicable Internationally.\n\nIntensive roofs are vegetated roofs that support a wider variety of plants (including shrubs and trees) than extensive roofs, and have greater soil volume. The depth of the growing medium is an important factor in determining habitat value. The native or adapted plants selected for the roof should support the endemic wildlife populations of the site. More information on vegetated roofs can be found at Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (http://greenroofs.org/).\n\nSedums used on vegetated roofs should provide a level of species diversity similar to the native habitat of the project\'s region. Generally, green roofs with less than six varieties of sedum are considered a monoculture and cannot be used to earn this credit (though they may contribute to the achievement other credits). Project teams considering the use of sedum should note that the selected species should enhance the biodiversity of the region and blend with the local habitat." "1898" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1207" "2005-08-23" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc4: Reduced Site Disturbance" "The campus at Callaway Gardens includes 14,000 acres of land. This is a naturally biodiverse region where the Piedmont, Coastal Plain and Appalachian Mountain plant communities overlap. Over 93% of our property is in greenspace despite being a venue that up to three quarters of a million people visit each year. Historically, portions of our land were severely impacted by erosion and poor farming practices. Most of the construction and building on this property has occurred on already severely impacted sites. In order to further protect the land Callaway recently placed 2507 acres of our most biologically diverse land in a permanent conservation easement under the Federal Forest Legacy program. We gave up the development rights but retained the rights to manage the land pro-actively for biodiversity and quality wildlife habitat. The Georgia Forestry Commission monitors our compliance with the terms of this easement on an annual basis. The land under permanent conservation protection at Callaway has been dedicated as the Preserve at Callaway. A board of conservation professionals guides activities on The Preserve. The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Columbus State University are all represented on our Board. In 2002 Callaway designated 5.27 acres adjacent to the conference center as open space. Due to the success of the conference center, there is now a need for additional lodging space to serve the conference center. Callaway would like to locate the hotel adjacent to the conference center for a variety of reasons. - Infrastructure (roads, parking, water, sewer, electricity, gas, telephone) serving the conference center can also serve the hotel. - Conference center attendees can walk from the hotel to the conference center rather than being shuttled from another site at the Gardens. - Service deliveries (food, waste disposal, supplies) can be combined for the both the conference center and the hotel. These reasons reduce both economic costs and the environmental impacts of the new hotel. In order to locate the new hotel next to the conference center, the hotel will sit on a portion of the land designated as open space in 2002. Callaway intends to register this new project as a LEED-NC project and pursue SS Credit 5.2 using the ""campus setting"" approach in coordination with the proposal below. Callaway proposes the following in regards to the land it designated in 2002 as open space: - Using the campus setting, it is our desire to synergistically preserve additional bio-diverse greenspace adjacent to land already under permanent conservation protection. We propose to designate 5.27 acres of bio-diverse land currently owned by Callaway that is adjacent to land already being preserved under its Forest Legacy project. This land will aid in protecting a creek by providing a broader vegetative buffer. In addition this land will help protect a population of Southern Twayblade a plant listed as rare by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The public will have access to this land through naturalist-guided hikes. - Stewardship of these 5.27 acres will be transferred to The Preserve at Callaway. The Preserve\'s mission is: To operate The Preserve as a model of responsible land and wildlife stewardship through conservation, habitat management, sustainable forestry and watershed protection as well as to promote responsible public enjoyment of the land. - Allow construction of the hotel to occur on the land designated as open space in 2002. While this land is open space, in the context of our property it is considered to be ""brownfields."" The land is highly impacted, there is low species diversity and the health of many of the trees is poor. The land set aside that we want to trade for the one established originally is richer, biodiverse land that protects a watershed and provides nature education opportunities. Is this acceptable?" "The project is planning to build on 5.27 acres of land previously designated as open space and set aside and preserve 5.27 acres of land located within the 14,000 acre boundary of the Callaway property, and next to biologically diverse land already under permanent conservation protection. The proposal is acceptable but project must demonstrate that the land being declared as open space meets the requirements of the credit and also confirm that the land is not also being counted for another LEED project. (If the conference center was a LEED-NC project for which the land was previously designated then the total area of land set aside as open space must fulfill the requirement for both projects.) In addition, the new conservation easement must be at least as biologically valuable as the land now being developed (provide a short narrative within the LEED submittal). If the building site is designated as a ""brownfield"" by LEED requirements the project is encouraged to apply for credit SSc3, Brownfield Redevelopment." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1511" "2006-07-23" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our question refers to the method of calculation for compliance with Credit SSc5.1- Protect or Restore Habitat of LEED NC 2.2; particularly how to calculate total applicable site area when including a vegetated roof surface. Credit requirements state that on previously developed sites, a project must restore a minimum of 50% of the site area (excluding building footprint) with native or adapted vegetation. It also states that projects in dense urban areas (earning SSc2) may apply vegetated roof surface to this calculation if the plants meet the definition of native/adapted. Our project site, located in Manhattan, New York, is 80,332 square feet and includes a building footprint of 48,090 square feet, leaving an applicable site area of 32,242 square feet excluding building footprint. The project has 16,447 square feet of vegetated roof and 4,000 square feet of plaza planters, all with native/adapted plantings. This totals 20,447 square feet of native/adaptive vegetation within the 32,242 square foot site (excluding building footprint), and restores 63% of the habitat. Please confirm that this calculation methodology is acceptable." "Your inquiry uncovers an omission in the credit requirements regarding the green roof option. This ruling provides clarification regarding credit calculation to address your project as well as those with little or no building setback (i.e. zero-lot-line). When including a green roof in the calculations for this credit, the requirement is 20% of the TOTAL site area (including building footprint). As a result, calculations will have the total native/adapted vegetated area in the numerator and the total project site area in the denominator. In your case, this would be 20,447 sq.ft. / 80,332 sq.ft. = 25%. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1560" "2006-09-04" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project site is previously developed and over 50% of it is currently vegetated with bahia grass. We would like to achieve credit compliance by protecting this existing grassed area. Previous credit interpretations have stated that a monoculture of a single species turf grass does not meet the intent of this credit for providing habitat and promoting biodiversity. They have also stated that the maintenance effort of mowing is not in line with a truly native/adapted installation. We plan to overseed the existing grass with native wildflowers in order to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Implementation will utilize best management practices for design, construction, and management to promote natural regeneration and dispersal of native wildflowers. Wildflower species will be selected using various criteria including but not limited to: color, height, length and season of bloom, compatibility, tolerance to weeds, cultural requirements i.e. tolerance of poor soils, low maintenance, and drought tolerance. Maintenance requires seasonal mowing and alternate mowing patterns during the bloom season to encourage these native species to become established. Will this approach meet the intent of this credit?" "Overseeding an existing area of bahia grass with native wildflowers does not fully meet the intent and requirements of SS Credit 5.1. As noted in the credit\'s requirements, native/adapted plants are indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service lists bahia grass on their list of Invasive and Noxious Weeds. Additionally, Bahia grass forms a tough dense mat that allows it to compete successfully with other species, precluding the restoration and establishment of native or adapted vegetation." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1793" "2007-06-05" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "We wish to pursue credit in both SSc5.1 and SSc6.1. We are limiting site disturbance within the prescribed distances listed in credit SSc5.1. The site is suburban, and the stormwater detention/retention facility feeds into an existing seasonal stream. The stream is otherwise outside the boundary of the development footprint. For SSc6.1 the slope of the stream base is relatively steep (approximately 7 percent) and the base is narrow with a steep bank (approximately 2:1) that varies from 6 to 60-feet deep. Consequently, we would like to implement a strategy of placing rock-check dams or log dams to prevent excessive stream channel erosion in addition to limiting the post-development runoff rate and quantity to pre-development values for the 1 and 2-year design storms. There are two questions. 1. Do the stream protection measures fall into the same category as constructed areas with permeable surfaces (like stormwater detention facilities)? If so, we will include those areas (and any necessary construction access) within the Development Footprint. 2. If the stream protection measures are not classified as constructed areas, can permanent stream protection measures be installed outside of the development footprint? The intent will be to place the stream protection measures, and then restore the landscape where site disturbance is required to install the stream protection measures." "The applicant would like to incorporate stream stabilization into their stormwater management plan. The applicant is asking if the stream stabilization would be included in their development area, and if not could the stream protection measures be installed outside of the development footprint. Stormwater and retention facilities are normally upstream from the existing seasonal stream to demonstrate that the post-development increase in site generated runoff from the 2-yr 24 hour storm is accounted for on-site. As the project team is pursuing this strategy in addition to limiting the post-development runoff rate and quantity to pre-development values for the 1 and 2-year design storms, the requirements of SSc6.1 have been satisfied, without the stream protection measures. If the project team demonstrates proof of ownership for this area and expands the project boundary to include the seasonal stream then the protection of this area with rock-check dams, etc. into the project submittal is acceptable. Though it is not necessary for SSc6.1, restoring habitat in this area may help with SSc5.1. 1) Once included in the LEED Project Boundary, stream restoration and construction access must be included in permeable area calculations. The intent of SSc6.1 is to ""Implement a stormwater management plan that protects receiving stream channels from excessive erosion by implementing a stream channel protection strategy and quantity control strategies"" which may already be accomplished as mentioned above by ""limiting the post-development runoff rate and quantity to pre-development values for the 1 and 2-year design storms"". Since expanding the LEED project boundary is proposed, and protecting what is now considered an on-site section of the stream, the downstream section of this channel must also be protected from excessive erosion. Rehabilitating a heavily impacted section of this channel effectively moves the area that we need to be protecting (to satisfy SSc6.1) downstream of the new project boundary. The downstream channel section adjacent to the LEED Project Boundary becomes the receiving stream channel and the project team must demonstrate that the stormwater management plan will protect that section from excessive erosion. 2) Stream protection measures could be conducted outside the project as a part of the project\'s stormwater projection plan (please note that Corps of Engineers, Fish & Game, and relevant local agency approval is necessary). This approach would protect the on-site receiving waters from excessive erosion. The applicant must demonstrate that check dams are the best erosion control measure and that they meet SSc5.1 intent of providing habitat and promoting biodiversity. Generally, it is more effective to deal with runoff on the project site rather than to attempt to stabilize sections of river downstream. If this option is pursued, then the receiving waters keep moving further downstream while project expenses and overall impact tend to increase. Retaining or infiltrating increased runoff on-site is likely a more cost effective option,and will satisfy SSc6.1, while limiting impact to the steep channel section. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1804" "2007-07-02" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Under LEED-NC v2.2, Sustainable Sites Credit 5.1 it is necessary to determine whether the site is considered a greenfield or previously developed. Greenfield sites must limit site disturbance in a prescribed way. Previously developed sites must protect or restore 50% of the site area. Our project is a mixed use high-rise residential building with commercial space located in New York City located on two sites. Both sites were previously developed, but all buildings were cleared from one site by 1938 and form the other by 1983. The sites have long reverted to a vegetated state, populated with native or adapted species. However, it is unknown whether the sites have the same mix and density of species as were present before the original development. Please rule as to whether this would be considered a greenfield site or a previously developed site. Notes: SS 5.1 Ruling as of 10/07/2002 talks about previously agricultural land having established a ""stable natural ecosystem""" "The sites would both be classified as previously developed sites, as defined by the LEED-NC Reference Guide, page 70. ""Previously developed sites are those that previously contained buildings, roadways, parking lots, or were graded or altered by direct human activities."" Although the sites may have reverted to a vegetated state, it would not meet the classification of a greenfield, which are defined as sites not previously developed or graded, and remaining in a natural state. Applicable Internationally. " "100001765" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "185" "2002-07-22" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "This credit has no sample calculations. Our assumption for 5.1 is that remaining open space is any area that is not a building. This seems to be confirmed in the CIR dated 8/10/2001, where the project site is 40,000 sf, building is 20,000 sf and remaining open space is 20,000 sf. Our site is 81,500 sf total with a building footprint of 23,500. Therefore, our remaining open space is 58,000. Divide by 2 and we get 29,000 sf of area that must be approved, adaptive vegetation. Please confirm this math. This would seem to be in keeping with the credit intent as it discourages large parking areas. What we found confusing is that in credit 5.2 the manual is quite clear that ""open space"" is everything that is not ""development footprint including building, roads and parking"". This is not consistent with the 5.1 definition of open space. If one is allowed to subtract parking and building footprint from total site in 5.1 then there would be less area required to have approved vegetation. Secondly, we have questions about what constitutes approved, ""adaptive, restored, native trees shrubs and grass"". Specifically, we wish to know if our turf areas can count toward the required area. Our turf is part of a mixed landscape of all native trees, shrubs, groundcovers and fountain grasses. The turf is selected specifically for this region and requires less mowing and watering than other species we could have selected. The turf constitutes about 60% of our vegetated area. It should also be noted that our site was a former mill and had nothing on it when purchased but old concrete slabs, volunteer growth and unimproved earth." "The proposed calculation listed in the inquiry is correct and follows the methodology from the referenced LEED Interpretation, Inquiry Number 230. The language in SSc5.1 is focused on what is done with the non-building portion of the site, while the language in SSc5.2 is focused on how much built area actually goes onto the site. Both aim to reduce the development impact on the site to conserve and rehabilitate natural habitats, but do so with different calculations. A landscape architect can determine if a specific plant species qualifies as \'native or adaptive\' for a project location. If predevelopment conditions are not known for a previously developed site, the landscape architect can select plants that are native or adaptive for the local microclimate. ""Turf selected for this region"" does not provide enough information for a credit ruling on whether your plan uses native or adaptive grass species. Within your LEED application, please provide a narrative from your landscape architect stating how your landscape design and materials selected meet the intent and requirements of the credit. If you can demonstrate that the lawn selection, as part of your mixed landscape, meets the intent of the credit, then the lawn area can count towards this credit. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1898" "2007-10-25" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "This inquiry is about the accepted non-native sedum based plant mix that will meet credit requirements for green roof system. The facility is located in Boston MA area, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6a. Native New England is heavily forested, relatively damp and contains soil with high organic content. A roof top in New England is in full sun, windy, dry and includes mostly inorganic lightweight minerals for soil media with relatively low organic content. Based on this most native species will not survive the rooftop environment without significant levels of maintenance including regular watering and fertilization. The sedums, succulents and other hardy plants that compose traditional green roof plant palettes are ideally suited for the New England rooftop climate. They would be the lowest maintenance for a green roof system, requiring no permanent irrigation, limited fertilization (annual slow release only), no herbicide or pesticide treatments and overall minimal attention from humans. The green roof system we are asking for acceptance on is: Primary - system  15% Sedum spurium, Dragon\'s Blood  15% sedum kamtschaticum var., floriferum, Weihenstephaner Gold  15% Sedum album, Murale  15% Sedum ternatum, (North American native)  10% Sedum oreganum, (North American native)  10% Sedum rupestre, Angelina  10% Sedum spurium, John Creech  10% Sedum kamtschaticum Secondary - system - 25% of the primary palette to be replaced with mix of at least two of the following:  Allium schoenoprasum (North American native)  Opuntia humifusa (North American native)  Sedum cauticola, cauticola Lidakense or cauticola Betram Anderson  Sedum reflexum  Sedum spurium Tricolor" "The project is inquiring about the acceptability of a non-native plant mix for their vegetated roof. While the stated plant list (predominantly varieties of sedum) meets the definition of native/adaptive, it does not meet the SS Credit 5.1 intent of providing habitat and promoting biodiversity. While a number of sedum varieties are proposed, the planting is still essentially a monoculture of species similar in size and lacking in habitat value. The proposed extensive green roof approach could be used towards achieving SS Credit 5.2. Applicable Internationally. " "10231" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1934" "2008-01-18" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our multi-building LEED-CS v.2.0 project located in a dense urban area consists of one contiguous site. The project is scheduled in two construction phases and is registered as two separate LEED projects. The first project (Phase 1) consisting of an office tower, hotel and underground retail will be constructed over two years and the second (Phase 2) with two additional office towers is scheduled for completion three years later. We are targeting most of the site credits through a campus approach since all of the buildings have been designed to be components of the whole site. The buildings will be connected through plazas and green space, rendering the partitioning of the whole site into two project sites rather difficult. Additionally, each building will have a portion of its roof as vegetated and the truck ramp leading to the shared underground parking will also have a vegetated roof. It is our intention to use the campus approach for credit SS-5.1, (Reduced Site Disturbance - Protect or Restore Open Space) and reference a CIR dated 7/23/06 which stipulates that when vegetated roofs are included in the calculation a minimum of twenty (20%) percent of the total site area is needed to earn the credit. Our proposed approach is to combine all of the green areas on the site, including all vegetated areas on the building roofs for both Phases 1 and 2, thereby incorporating all green areas in our calculation for both phases. Please rule on the acceptability of this approach." "This inquiry requests clarification of calculation requirements for projects using green roofs in a campus setting. The CIR references a similar CIR dated 7/23/2006 under LEED-NC v2.2, which allows urban projects using green roofs to calculate the required open space area based on 20% of the TOTAL site area rather than on 50% of the site area excluding building footprint, and seeks to expand this alternative calculation method to projects using the Core and Shell system as well as to projects using the campus approach defined in the Multiple Buildings Application Guide. This is an acceptable alternative calculation approach. Note that in order to use this approach, the project must achieve SSc2 to include green roofs in the calculation. In addition, plants must be native or adapted as described in the credit requirements. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1935" "2008-01-18" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project is one of three LEED-NC buildings under development at a community college campus in Northern California. The campus consists of 147 acres --- although only 47 acres have been developed to date, with the remaining land currently undeveloped. The campus master plan calls for development of approximately 20 additional acres for new buildings, parking, and athletic fields --- with the remaining approximately 80 acres of campus land to remain undeveloped. The entire campus site has been identified as a habitat for three endangered or threatened species: the California tiger salamander, the California red-legged frog, and the San Joaquin kit fox. For this reason, our project and other LEED projects at the college do not qualify for and will not be pursuing SS Credit 1, Site Selection. The College has proposed to mitigate the impact of its development on sensitive habitat areas by acquiring a 400 acre area immediately adjacent to the campus, which is currently undeveloped, but which is owned by private party holding development rights to the land. The College will place a conservation easement on 208 acres immediately upon purchase. The College intends to allow other entities to utilize the remaining acreage for habitat mitigation and is in conversation with potential partners for this endeavor. The proposed 400 acre land acquisition is in addition to approximately 80 acres of undeveloped campus land that will remain undeveloped in the long term master plan for the College. This will ultimately result in the college protecting and reserving approximately 480 acres of undeveloped habitat area within its control --- over 6 times the developed area of the campus. We feel this commitment by the College meets the Intent of Credit 5.1: Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat to ""Conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity."" The conserved, undeveloped, natural area would be adjacent to the campus as a whole, however, it would not be within the site boundaries and limit-of-work for our LEED project. Would this strategy satisfy the Intent and therefore earn credit under SSc5.1?" "This inquiry seems to be requesting clarification on how to classify a large campus that contains both previously developed and greenfield conditions when using a campus approach to credit achievement for multiple buildings. The project may approach this situation in multiple ways. One would be to use an individual approach to each building instead of using the campus approach, and utilize the appropriate compliance path on a case by case basis. Alternatively, the project can utilize the campus approach and select the previously developed site option due to the fact that more than half of the total development footprint has already been developed." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1972" "2007-12-02" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our natural history museum project site is an existing play field which will be landscaped with native plants on a drip irrigation system. This landscaping and storm water retention area will have exhibit signs to educate and demonstrate the variety of plant habitats in the region as well as the storm water system for the site. The exhibits will explain the importance of the habitat to the wildlife and the part man takes in preserving the environment. However, funding is limited and one section of the property will remain untouched throughout this stage of the museum\'s development. The existing turf and hedge will remain in that area. The proposal is currently to indicate that area as not a part of the project site. Is that exclusion acceptable? As such, this affects several credits in addition to this main credit where site calculations are required. If we exclude this untouched area, the site area that will be restored to natural habitat including landscaping with natives, planted retention basins, decomposed granite paths, and delta water areas are approximately 50% of the project site. Should we proceed with this interpretation of project site limits for this credit and/or should the native habitat education program be an innovative design credit?" "Project teams are allowed to define the ""LEED project site"" boundary themselves. As such, it is acceptable to exclude areas of the site from the ""LEED project site"" boundary. Teams are encouraged to establish a reasonable and logical site boundary for LEED purposes. The project scope of work and the site area affected by the construction generally suffice to inform this definition. Once defined, the site boundary must be used consistently throughout all credits. Generally speaking, when different site boundaries are under consideration, it is advisable to analyze the impact on all affected credits to determine which site boundary definition is most beneficial. Given that no work is being done on the area of the site in question here, it seems logical that it could be excluded from the LEED project site boundary. With regards to the signage program described for the native landscaping and stormwater system: This effort would fall under Green Building Education and could be part of a comprehensive signage program to help earn an innovation credit for Green Building Education. Please see the Innovation CIR dated 9-24-01 for a full description of what is required to earn an innovation credit for Green Building Education. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2015" "2008-02-13" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "This previously developed and graded site currently provides minimal (to no) habitat value. It\'s location on an urban waterway is very suitable for wildlife habitat, (especially birds) as it potentially provides food, cover, and water in close proximity. We are proposing an integrated native and adaptive planting strategy that provides multiple vertical layers of habitat on site and is sufficiently complex to be suitable habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds. This strategy includes planting layers of understory, thicket, tree canopy and a variety of height tree snags. It is also possible we could provide a nesting platform on one of these snags. The best trees for snags are cedar, preferably live cedar (from 20\' to 25\') that needs to be cut down from an existing site. Cedars rot more slowly than other species and so is lower maintenance in the long term. Cottonwoods and Alders are also potentially useful trees for snags although considerably less desirable because they degrade faster. Potential sources for these furnishing are harvesting sites under development as well as contacting mills or lumber yards who occasionally cull crooked or rotten wood from their yard. Snags are used as a staging/feeding/perching habitat for birds of prey such as osprey, bald eagles and hawks species along open waters in the Pacific Northwest. Relative to the urban setting this kind of habitat is scarce so distributing as many snags as possible along the water front is a desirable option for habitat creation. These large bird species are extremely charismatic and dramatic and could provide a framework for education and interest in native ecology and urban habitat. The Osprey is the most successful species at nesting in artificial/human provided nesting platforms with several cases of successful nesting pairs in the Puget Trough region. Additionally, snags in this location could provide habitat function for flickers, purple martin, kingfishers, wood duck, hooded merganser, bufflehead and goldeneye. Snags also harbor insects and bugs which provide food and nesting materials for many species. Wildlife Habitat Design Strategy Recommendations Install 9 snag trees on site Height: 8\' - 25\' Size: minimum 14"" diameter coniferous tree with large branches Distance: Approx. 35\' to 65\' apart Install 1 nesting platform on site Height: 19\'-30\'. Size: 4\' X 4\' on single pole. In the broadest terms, we are attempting to provide perching/staging habitat for large birds or prey by providing snags and secondly, a nesting feeding habitat for smaller birds, with a layered landscape of trees, thicket and understory. Since the credit intent is to provide habitat and promote biodiversity, I am unclear if our design strategy to include snags and a nesting platform assist in acquiring this point or maybe an innovative point? My research with local federal and local agency biologists has shown that these furnishing would be a very desirable asset to this location and would improve habitat value significantly, (especially while the site matures) and are very important to the species we are targeting." "The project team is asking if the strategy of including snags and a nesting platform assist in obtaining SSc5.1 or if it falls under an innovation credit. The intent of this credit is to restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. The proposed strategy would assist in obtaining SSc5.1 as part of an overall habitat restoration strategy that includes native and adaptive planting sufficient to meet the credit requirements. An innovation point for exemplary performance under SSc5.1 is available for projects on previously developed or graded sites that are restoring or protecting a minimum of 75% of the site area (excluding the building footprint) with native or adaptive vegetation. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2022" "2008-01-18" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "This project consists of seven separate buildings on a shared contiguous ""campus"" site, including four office buildings, one retail building, one hotel, and one multifamily residential building. The project will be designed concurrently, and then built by the same owner in two successive phases, with each phase expected to take two years. Our intent is to pursue LEED certification of the buildings as follows: - Certification #1: One office building (Phase I, core and shell) - Certification #2: Four office/retail buildings (Phase II, core and shell) - Certification #3: One Hotel, residential, retail building (Phase I, new construction) - Certification #4: One Multifamily residential building (Phase II, new construction) The project boundary includes all seven buildings, including shared parking, and other site infrastructure including stormwater systems, etc. Given that the project will be submitting each phase separately, and under multiple rating systems (CS and NC), we are seeking guidance as to how to document those site credits which are common to the ""campus"" site. Can the Application guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects be used across rating systems (CS and NC) for credits for which the requirements for each rating system is the same (e.g. SSc5.1)? Similarly, can the Campus Guide be used across different Phases? For example, for SSc5.1, the project would like to demonstrate that in aggregate, the project has sufficient open space, per the LEED requirements (in both CS and NC), to meet the credit for each of the buildings, even if individual buildings per their allocated LEED boundaries do not. The Campus guide supports this approach: ""For previously developed sites where there are multiple buildings in the project scope, enter aggregate data in the Submittal Template, as appropriate"". Furthermore, we believe that the CIR dated 4-18-2003 regarding SS credits and campus approach further supports this approach. We would like clarification as to whether this approach is acceptable where there are multiple rating systems (CS and NC) at play. Or whether open space requirements will need to be met for each individual LEED building / project boundary (four in all) for the project." "The applicant is inquiring about using the Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects for a ""campus"" development with multiple buildings. The project will use two rating systems and be built over two phases. It would be acceptable to document all applicable site-related credits based on the overall development site and associated boundaries, provided the overall development takes account of ALL buildings, and is able to demonstrate compliance to the requirements of both rating systems. Further, the building projects should also be registered under the same rating system version (e.g. NC v2.2, or CS v2.0). This approach should be clearly identified in all LEED certification submissions.\n\nUpdate April 15, 2011: Please note that all 2009 projects in multiple building situations must follow the 2010 Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects, located here: https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=7987. 2009 project teams should check this document for up to date guidance on all multiple building issues. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2092" "2008-04-24" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "The FM Global Headquarters project is a new 350,000 SF office building, with detached parking garage, on a Greenfield site. The project is seeking to achieve SS Credit 5.1, which requires very specific ""limits of disturbances"" on the project, minimizing said disturbances to be within a maximum distance from proposed roadways, utility lines, storm-water management facilities, etc. Due to the existing topography changes, this project needs considerable amount of retaining walls in an effort to meet this LEED Credit requirement. Our questions are as follows: " "For Greenfield sites, the intent of this credit is to ""conserve existing natural areas."" Credit requirements recognize that there are a number of reasons for disturbing a given area during the construction/operation of a building and rewards the minimization of these disturbances. It should be noted that NCv2.1 CIR Ruling dated 9/19/2005 allows for a budget-based compliance path and therefore limits of disturbance (including those addressed below) can actually exceed the prescribed limits, given the guidance of the CIR. For this Greenfield site; 1) Are retaining walls considered an allowable disturbance, or must they be located within the limitations of disturbance? Retaining walls must be located within the disturbance limits of the site and building components listed in the credit requirement language. If a building foundation wall is also a retaining wall, the 40\' limit of disturbance would apply. 2) Are landscaped areas considered an allowable disturbance? Landscaped areas are disturbed areas and must fall within limits of disturbance. 3) When constructing roadways, is there an allowance beyond credit requirements of 15\' beyond the curbline? No, roadway construction must be limited to a disturbance zone of no more than 15\' beyond the curb. 4) Are there any exceptions to the prescribed limits of disturbance? NCv2.1 CIR Ruling dated 9/19/2005 allows for limited exceptions to the prescribed limits of disturbance through the use of a budget-based compliance path. No other exceptions are allowed. Applicable Internationally. " "100000738" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2281" "2008-08-22" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "In a same site, it will be built a large complex construction including three different projects: a Shopping Center, a Hotel Tower and an Office Tower. Each of the three projects belongs to different owners. The Shopping Center\'s Owner had decided not to include its Project into LEED\'s Certification scope. So, our LEED\'s Projects are restricted only to the Hotel and Office Tower. Therefore, we were contracted for two LEED\'s Projects individually. All construction will involve the following structures: - 6 underground parking floors which must serve the whole complex; - Shopping Center\'s structure placed over the whole site area composed by main ground floor and 3 mall floors; - There will be separated and identified areas belonging to the Shopping (mall, fast food area), Hotel (reception, restaurant, conference rooms, auditorium) and Office Towers (lobby, administration rooms, etc.) placed in the 6 parking floors and Shopping floors (ground floor + 3 mall floors) - The Hotel and Office towers typical floors will be built over the Shopping structure. Some others information: - All building facilities projects (energy, potable water, non potable water and gas) are separated in their construction (per building), except common areas as underground parking floors; - There will be separated contracts for whole project, formalizing (according to the owner\'s requirements) percentage rates, based on each gross square footage of the constructions compared to the total area, which will be applied to share construction budgets in common areas (parking floors). So, we are considering the following procedures for LEED\'s calculations and boundary areas definitions: - We will only consider areas belonging to each construction (Hotel and Office towers only) to get the areas (gross square footage, vegetated areas, etc.) for LEED\'s calculations; - In common areas as underground parking floor, we will consider the Hotel and Office tower contractual percent rates to all LEED\'s calculations, including Energy Simulation considerations and results; - With the same percent rate as above, concerning to Materials and Resources, we will consider that rate as an index to separate and count materials and resources related to common area construction activities as underground and shopping floors. Are these considerations acceptable by the USGBC?" "The applicant is requesting confirmation about their approach to the scope of the project as it pertains to LEED. The intent of the CIR process in to provide feedback on a project scenario within a specific credit. Inquiries must request guidance on just one credit or prerequisite (unless there is technical justification to do otherwise) and generally contain one concise question or a set of related questions. It is often helpful to discuss the inquiry within context of the credit\'s intent. As this inquiry has been submitted under SSc5.1, questions pertaining to that credit can be answered. As with all LEED projects, it is necessary to define a LEED Project Boundary. Please see LEED-NC v2.2 SSc5.1 CIR ruling dated 12/2/2007 for guidance. Similarly, it will be up to the project team to establish a reasonable and logical basis for determining things such as building footprint and site area that need to be apportioned to the Hotel and Office Tower as opposed to the Shopping Center. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "230" "2001-08-10" "New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Intent: Conserve natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Our project is located on a 200\' x 200\', 40,000 sq. ft. city block in a dense urban area of Portland, Oregon. The existing historic building occupies 20,000 sq. ft., or half of the site, the remaining half of the site area is dedicated to a loading dock/porch, street seating adjacent to the new streetcar line, bioswales, stormwater planters, and parking. The roof of the building also has 5,836 sq. ft. of new green roof and 3000 sq. ft. of wood deck with potted trees and plants for use by building occupants. Local zoning does NOT require open space or landscape area and allows for zero lot line construction on all four sides of the site, in an effort to promote urban density. SS 5.1 Requirement: On previously developed sites, provide a narrative describing restoration of degraded habitat areas. Include highlighted site drawings with area calculations demonstrating that 50% of degraded habitat areas have been restored. We feel that we have achieved this credit based on having 5,216 sq. ft. of bioswales and stormwater planters, and 5,836 sq. ft. of green roof for the project totaling 11,052 sq. ft. or 55% of the 20,000 sq. ft. degraded habitat area. The bioswales, stormwater planters and the green roof are all densely planted with native and adapted vegetation that was specifically selected to represent the native conditions of the bioregion and will provide habitat for birds, insects, and other fauna. Have we achieved this credit?" "From the narrative provided the remaining open area after development is 20,000 square feet. To capture the credit half of the remaining open area, or 10,000 sq. ft., of restored habitat is required. As natural habitat is terrestrial or ground based, it is not possible to transfer this restoration to rooftops or elevated areas. As described the project does not capture this credit. Pursue points for the stormwater planters under the Stormwater Management Credit, and points for the green roof under the Heat Islands Credit. Applicable Internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2324" "2008-10-17" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "This CIR seeks clarification on whether tree canopy area can be counted in the area calculations for native/adaptive vegetation restoration. The project is a 500,000 SF mixed-use tower in a dense urban environment located on an infill, previously developed site. The site is bordered by bike lanes and light rail and is located within blocks of the city\'s mass transit hub. The project replaces an older 2-story building and the owner voluntarily dedicated the neighboring block (formerly surface parking) to the City to be developed into a park. This park is an extension of the City\'s ""Park Blocks"", which are natural areas that stretch from North to South through the City providing passive/active open space for people and birds. The project site area is 20,000 sf (full block) and the building footprint is approximately 18,000sf. Per SSc5.1, the required restored area is approximately 1,000sf. The project is adding street trees in the sidewalk. In plan, each tree canopy is shown to cover about 100 square feet. In this urban environment, avian species are the most common and the tree selection criteria balances code requirements, drought tolerance and capacity to support birds. The project will also include some vegetation on the upper floor terraces, the area of which is still being determined. Being located adjacent to the Park Blocks, the trees will provide some natural connection to these other heavily wooded areas in the City. When calculating ""vegetated area"", may I include any (or all) of the tree canopy area in the calculation of restored area?" "This urban infill project is proposing to include the tree canopy area as restored area. This approach does not meet the intent of conserving existing natural areas and restoring damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. While tree canopies allow for a limited amount of species to return and live, the resulting hardscape below prevents the area from being truly restored to a natural condition. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2432" "2009-01-23" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project is a 33-story mixed use tower located on a 20,000-sf block within a dense downtown setting. The project replaces an existing low-rise structure which will include residential, retail and office space to serve the city. The project is under no requirements from the city to provide open space as part of the site development. The context and limited availability of site area to provide habitat-supportive vegetated area make SSc5.1 very challenging. However, the owner\'s goal is to fulfill the intent of this credit and to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The intent of this CIR is to propose an alternative compliance path for SSc5.1 Protect and Restore Habitat. The project owner owns approximately 4 acres of ecologically-functional wetlands approximately 10 miles from the site and just outside of the downtown area. The wetland area represents one increment in a greater connected ecosystem that provides habit to local wildlife and critical flood storage capacity for the district. A popular pedestrian path passes by this area as well. The wetland is zoned to allow development in the future but the local regulating body has expressed an interest in preserving this land for its public benefit. The project team would like to propose that by fulfilling the requirements of Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance SSc5 Reduced Site Disturbance, the project may take credit for SSc5.1 Protect and Restore Habitat. The project team will document alignment with SSc5 requirements through the donation of the off-site wetland to the regulating body, through signed contract, to be protected in perpetuity and maintained only with native vegetation. Additionally, the project team will provide a scaled drawing of the proposed wetland site indicating that it is at least 25% of the project site area, excluding the building (every 2 feet off-site is to be equal to every 1 square foot on-site in accordance with the credit requirement). We feel that this approach adequately addresses the intent of SSc5.1, ""Conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity."" The habitat value gained by protecting this land and avoiding fragmentation of existing functional landscapes is significantly greater than the value gained by allocating the required area in this urban setting. The team evaluated a green roof options but a combination of subsurface soil structural conditions, cost and program issues disabled this option. We will be able to provide an aerial map of the site indicating the size and location of the proposed site as well as documentation of the binding agreement with the regulating body. The extremely small footprint available to this tall building and structural implications preclude achievement of this credit through the prescribe method within the LEED NC reference guide. In the interest of alignment, we feel that this approach is valid." "The project team is proposing to pursue LEED-NC v2.2 SSc5.1 through an alternative compliance pathway. The alternative compliance path proposed follows the guidelines for LEED EB:OM SSc5-Option 3, Off-site protection or restoration of open space. This approach does not meet the intent of LEED-NC v2.2 SSc5.1. New construction projects have a unique design opportunity to preserve open space & biodiversity; existing buildings do not necessarily have this opportunity to preserve on-site open space and are therefore given an opportunity to do so off-site. EB:OM compliance is thus not appropriate in this context. Not all credits are appropriate for all projects. Applicable Internationally.\n\n **Update 4/2/2014: Note that the offsite land compliance path established in Correction #100000737 on 11/3/2010 is applicable to 2009 NC, Schools, CS, and HC projects. The LEED Interpretation above is not applicable to 2009 projects\n\n" "10370, 100000737" "None" "X" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2542" "2009-04-06" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project is a new building in a technology energy park located in a currently undeveloped forested area in Malta, NY. The project is a higher education building consisting of classrooms and laboratories. The academic program offers students opportunities to learn sustainable energy technologies. Together the design team and the client have designed special features into the building and the landscape to feature the building as its own learning object. One of these features is two 5.8kw wind turbines located onsite that will contribute to the building energy load and the educational program of the school. The design team has already located the turbines on the site to take advantage of constructed clearings such as the parking lot and the building, but there are still some areas that will need to be cleared for construction of the wind turbine mast and maintenance access to the turbines. The team proposes that a turbine be considered a type of utility subject to the parameters for utility-related clearing as described in SSc5.1 and that the utility area needed to be cleared around the turbine be considered a ""turbine utility easement."" The area cleared for the ""turbine utility easement"" will be replanted with native grasses and low native shrubs that will be drought resistant and will not require irrigation. Additionally, the project team will submit a site plan locating the turbines and their respective ""turbine utility easement"" areas along with all of the set back distances of the tree lines of the site. The project team believes this is an adequate solution to the situation because it allows the school to maintain its sustainable goals and values while preserving the local forested environment around it." "The project team is seeking guidance on SS credit 5.1 and, in particular, clarification on Greenfield disturbances as defined by LEED. This particular project is including two wind turbines on the campus. The area used to construct and raise the turbines will be replanted with native grasses and low native shrubs. It is assumed that the project is located entirely on a site that is a defined Greenfield, or a site that is not previously developed or graded and remains in a natural state. In order to meet the requirements of the credit, the project team may consider the wind turbines as utilities for use in this credit. Therefore, limit all site disturbance to 10 feet beyond the utility and 15 feet beyond the main utility branch trenches." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "3119" "2005-09-19" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "TOPIC: SITE CLEARANCE ACTUAL VS ALLOWABLE\n\nOur project is on a large previously undeveloped site, and limiting site clearance was a primary goal to the client and design team. We were unable to limit the roadway clearing to less than 5 feet; however, the project far exceeds the clearing limitations for the building and other constructed areas. We calculated the area of Allowable Clearing using the LEED maximums in each category and compared this to the area of Actual Clearing. The Actual Clearing was far less than the Allowable Clearing, so we believe that the credit intent was met.\n\n(* Incidentally, the reason that we could not meet the roadway clearance limitation was partially due to other environmental considerations, such as positioning the road to avoid impacting specimen trees.)" "The alternative compliance path you have described meets the intent of this credit by conserving existing natural areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. The following documentation must be provided to demonstrate compliance: \n\n1) Two of the three site disturbance limitations (building perimeter; roadways, walkways and utilities; permeable surfaces) have been met per LEED requirements.\n\n2) Highlighted site drawing with calculations demonstrating that the amount of actual site disturbance is less than the amount of site disturbance allowed under LEED requirements for greenfield sites.\n\n3) A detailed narrative describing why the roadway clearing limitation requirement was not obtainable, and how the alternative compliance path resulted in a net environmental benefit greater than what could have been achieved by adhering to the LEED requirements. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "414" "2002-11-04" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Based upon our understanding of the LEED Reference Guide, we are expecting to receive one LEED credit (SS5.1) for restoring a minimum of 50% of the remaining open area with native and adapted meadow grasses. Please confirm our understanding (supported by our landscape architect) that the use of meadow grasses will meet the criteria. A spec section could be forwarded for your review if necessary." "The LEED Interpretation for Inquiry Number 185 states that ""a landscape architect can determine if a specific plant species qualifies as \'native or adaptive\' for a project location."" Therefore, your submittals should include a statement from your landscape architect confirming that the species of meadowgrass selected for the project is appropriate for your region, and will contribute to the restoration of your previously developed site to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Keep in mind that the credit requirements are different for greenfield vs. previously developed sites. Please also note that the LEED Reference Guide should read \'adaptive\' vegetation rather than adapted, on Page 39. Applicable Internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "499" "2003-02-20" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "The credit presumes that only two mutually exclusive site conditions - greenfield or previously developed - define all sites. In the case of large campuses, portions of a site may rightfully be described as developed while others may be Greenfield. If a building project is located on an undeveloped portion of a site with clearly established construction limits within a contiguous undeveloped area, does that site comply with LEED\'s definition as a ""Greenfield""? If the answer is no, the building project\'s site must be considered in the context of the entire site, then it\'s doubtful that any owner with extensive grounds could meet the restoration of open areas requirement. If the answer is yes, what guidelines should be applied to establish the project limits? Does that same interpretation apply in instances where the additional parking necessitated by the new project is not collocated with it (e.g. the use of common campus lots or ramps)? Within the context of our Harley-Davidson project, the owner considered two on-site options for siting their new Product Development Center (PDC) expansion. One was to build immediately south of the current PDC on the existing parking lot; the second was to build immediately east in the only remaining undeveloped portion of the site. From an environmental perspective the southern location was clearly superior and would have preserved the wooded area that both owner and design team valued highly. But the southern site also required the addition of a parking structure to offset the lost surface parking, forced the dislocation of a significant amount of parking off-site for the duration of the construction, and seriously compromised internal circulation between the two buildings without significantly remodeling the original PDC. Because of the significant increases in cost and schedule incurred with the south location option the east location was chosen. Efforts have been made to minimize the building\'s impact in the wooded setting and the construction limits for the project are contained within the undeveloped area except for the construction trailers which are located on the current parking lot immediately to the south of the wooded area. The Harley-Davidson site is an old industrial site in an urban setting. The southern half of the site has been occupied for decades by a large manufacturing plant with very little unbuilt area available for reclamation. The development of the northern half of the site began only in the 1990s with the resurgence of interest in the Company\'s motorcycles. The question remains whether the appropriate LEED classification for this project site is a 6 acre ""greenfield"" site with construction limits confined to an undeveloped portion of the property (where preservation efforts predominate) or whether it\'s a 49acre previously developed site? Credit 5.2: Reduced Site Disturbance, development footprint. Our question involving this credit is dependent upon the ruling of Credit 5.1 above. The Harley-Davidson project is subject to the City of Wauwatosa\'s zoning ordinance with a minimum open space requirement of 20%. Attainment of the credit requires the project to exceed the City\'s open space requirement by 25% (1.25 x 20% = 25%). The issue again is how to interpret the credit language in light of a site with multiple buildings. If the project site is defined, for the purpose of LEED, as the immediate building site then the calculation for credit compliance is straightforward. If the project site is defined as the total site, however, then each building added to the campus clearly decreases the aggregate amount of open area. Each new building project would nonetheless still capture the credit as long as the 1.25 multiplier still applied to resultant campus change. And, if the campus site was large enough or the development of the site in its infancy, then even inefficient or land intensive designs could conceivably claim the credit without apparent penalty. While the Harley-Davidson site would likely comply in either interpretation the question for us still remains: What is the proper interpretation of the site?" "In the case of campus buildings, LEED allows some flexibility in determining the extent of the site area for purposes of LEED. However, a specific site area must be defined and used consistently for achievement of all credits. Typically, campus projects define an area associated with the specific construction site as the site area, rather than addressing the campus as a whole. If the building is located on a greenfield portion of a site, then the construction limits for greenfield sites apply. The limits of the project for the purpose of this credit would be the \'limits of work\' for the construction of the building and associated paving and parking. If parking is added to a site as part of the project the requirements of this credit apply to the construction limits of the new parking area, whether or not the parking area is adjacent to the building or elsewhere within a campus. If the parking is on a greenfield, the site disturbance limits apply. If the parking is on previously developed land, restoring open space would be required. It is not possible to cover all possible permutations in the CIR process. If a project with an unusual case occurs, a CIR can be submitted that addresses a specific question. Otherwise, the project must do it\'s best to comply with the spirit and intent of the credit, and make a clear case that this was achieved. Applicable Internationally." "100001766" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5083" "2007-10-25" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Sustainable Sites: Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat (Credit 5.1) Forest Duff. The site is previously undeveloped forest land. The documents show limiting the site disturbance within the distances prescribed by the credit. The development consists of the building and associated walkways and parking. At those areas, excavation to allow for construction will produce substantial amounts of clean topsoil (forest duff consisting primarily of partially decomposed needles and debris from the surrounding hemlock forest) that aren\'t suitable for fill under the constructed areas. There are no local sites accepting this type of clean fill, and contractors are reporting that they may have to haul the material over 60 miles to the nearest dumping site. We have two questions. Are there ways to redistribute the excavated soil (forest duff) on site beyond the boundaries of the development area? This seems to violate the ""undisturbed"" nature of those areas. But it simply adds more forest duff to existing surrounding areas that consist of the same material. It also seems much more sustainable than trucking the soil offsite for long distances. In some ways it makes more sustainable sense to leave the soil onsite and risk losing the credit point but we would prefer not to lose that point. Is the subject of removal/relocation of excavated soil otherwise addressed under the Sustainable Sites category?" "The credit intent is to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. It is unclear from the request the volume of excavated soil (forest duff) being considered. If the forest duff is redistributing, elsewhere on site, the credit could still be achievable, if the project team could provide documentation that this will not have any adverse effect on the site\'s ecosystem. An additional path to consider would be the creation of a contained compost pile, if appropriate to the site. Redistributing the forest duff constitutes grading and insufficient information is provided to determine the depth and volume of the fill being proposed. Grading in most cases would be considered disturbance of the undeveloped forest land and make those areas ineligible towards credit compliance. Placing fill, even if native material, could have negative impacts on the root zones of surrounding native vegetation. For credit consideration, the applicant would need to provide further documentation from a qualified professional outlining how the means of placement of material would have no impact on the native area, and a statement that the redistribution of forest duff fill would have no adverse impact on the site\'s ecosystem. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5242" "2002-10-07" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Core and Shell" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "For credit 5.1 does land previously used for agricultural use qualify as ""developed"" under this credit?\nUnder SS105- Credit 5.2 Inquiry 1999.11.03-010 the committee ruled ""as the landscape has been disturbed by agricultural use, the 50 foot restriction does not provide any site protection in this case....""\nA ""Greenfield"" in the LEED reference guide is defined as ""undeveloped land or land that has not been impacted by human activity""\nAs curent agricultural practice requires extensive ""human activity"" is it not reasonable then to define agricultural land as ""developed"" and provide exclusion from the disturbance limitations?\nApplication of this credit assumes that a minimum of 50% of the land previously used for agricultural purposes is restored to native or adapted conditions." "As suggested, agricultural land may qualify as \'developed\' based on current agricultural practices. The determination of whether it is \'developed\' or \'greenfield\' is dependent on the post-agricultural disposition of the land. If lying fallow, the land will revert to a more natural state relatively quickly compared to more intensive development types. If the former agricultural land has not been worked or planted recently and has proceeded toward natural succession, the flora and fauna may be well on it\'s way towards establishing a stable natural ecosystem. Based on this, the project should provide information about recent use and condition of the land to support the contention that the site should be treated as developed. The project should also clearly indicate that 50% of the remaining open areas have been restored. Applicable Internationally. \n" "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5296" "2008-02-22" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "The site in question is a 42.3 acre site that was a previous homestead with adjacent farm ground. This 42.3 acres is a portion of a larger overall piece of ground that has been recently designated and rezoned as an Industrial Park by local city officials. City officials have also designed the new infrastructure for the entire Industrial Park and will put it in place as new facilities come on line. Since this land was previously used for agriculture activity and has been ""altered by direct human activities""- does this site qualify as ""previously developed"" - thus allowing us to follow the guidelines of a previously developed or graded site as outlined in the Reference Guide? Please rule if this site would be consistent with the intent of this credit." "The CIR is inquiring if a site that was used for agricultural activity can be considered as ""previously developed."" As agricultural activity impacts and alters a site from its natural state through human activities, land that is used for agricultural purposes should be considered previously developed for the purposes of this credit. For further guidance, please see the CIR Ruling for this credit, dated 7/2/2007." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "5310" "2008-03-04" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project is a high rise commercial office tower and public plaza developed in a high-pedestrian traffic area of downtown San Francisco. The limited area of public plaza required the majority of exterior, horizontal plaza surface area be dedicated to the high volume pedestrian uses thus limiting our ability to protect or restore enough area with vegetation to achieve the open space requirements of SSc5.1 In an effort to find an alternative and creative way to both meet the high volume pedestrian traffic needs of urban downtown development and increase the planting and habitat possibilities beyond the limits of the ground plane, we have designed a living wall along the west edge of the site. This living wall will cover 3,750 SF of vertical space (making use of otherwise useless space in front of the adjacent building\'s blank concrete lot line wall) and consists of four levels of planters supported by a structural frame and is faced with cables to promote spread of vines. Plantings will consist of locally adapted vines and native interplantings to limit required irrigation and to promote biodiversity. Much like a green roof, a suggested strategy for meeting the SS5.1 requirements, the living wall will create habitat for local bird and insect species. For example, we have specified native California Lilac (Ceanothus spp.) to attract bumble bees and adapted Blue Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) to attract Heliconian butterfly species. (A complete list of native and adapted plant materials would be included in the credit submittal.) Additionally, this type of vertical for open space, will also create a stepping stone habitat creating urban oasis\'s that will encourage the return of regional bird, bee and butterfly species into the urban core of downtown San Francisco. We believe this site will also serve as an early link in a greater future habitat corridor of living walls and green roofs (including a few others already in design and construction) This corridor will eventually allow for regional species to move through the city and result in a downtown environment that supports a much greater biodiversity. Although the methods proposed for a living wall design are not directly spelled out in the suggested SSc5.1 implementation strategies, we believe the above approach is consistent with the intent and meets the restoration requirements through vertical application of native and adapted plants. Please confirm it will be acceptable to include the living wall design, as described above, as a vertical landscape habitat and therefore be allowed to be included in the area calculations demonstrating compliance for SSc5.1 and SSc5.2. If this is not an acceptable approach, please state what would qualify a living wall to satisfy the intent of open space for SSc5.1 and SSc5.2" "The intent of SS Credit 5.1 is to protect natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Although living walls or vertical landscaping may provide limited habitat for certain species adapted to urban areas, the credit language does not currently allow for use of this approach in calculating area compliance. The proposed vegetated cable trellises described in this CIR do not meet SS Credit 5.1credit requirements. The vertical approach also does not meet the intent or requirements of SS Credit 5.2. Open space is calculated as horizontally defined area. Urban examples of applicable open space described in the Reference Guide include pocket parks, accessible roof decks, plazas and courtyards with a minimum of 25% of the area being vegetated. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5385" "2009-07-27" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "Our project proposes to use a large facade as a vertical \'green\' wall. The wall will be fully planted with appropriate vegetation and climbers. The final details of the wall, the supporting planter points and type of vegetation are still be assessed, but can you advise whether this wall surface can contribute to the vegetation calculations for SS-C5.1?" "A vertical \'green wall\' cannot be applied to the vegetation calculations under SSc5.1. NC v2.2 SSc5.1 CIR ruling dated 3/4/2008 clearly states that although living walls or vertical landscaping may provide limited habitat, the intent of this credit is to protect natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity. Under this credit open space is calculated as horizontally defined area. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "572" "2003-06-26" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "SSc5.1: Site Development-Protect or Restore Habitat" "We would like to confirm the applicability of our project to meet the requirements of this credit. The project involves the development of a new four-story 125,000 SF Health Sciences Center on the existing North Central Technical College Campus in Wausau, Wisconsin. This structure is positioned directly south of an existing campus parking lot that will be adapted to work with the new facility, but will remain as shared parking for other adjacent buildings. In fact the overall number of parking spaces, in the shared lot, will be decreased to allow for the new building. The proposed building site, as the entire campus, was mass graded and planted with turf grass with the development of the college and the adjacent roadways. The existing turf grass area provides a limited amount of habitat for wildlife and does little to create biodiversity. As part of this development we plan to remove approximately 2-acres of adjacent turf grass area and replace it with a native tall grass prairie, which will do much more to enhance the habitat area and the biodiversity. We feel that we have met the intent of the credit by restoring damaged areas of the landscape with native vegetation that will enhance the entire campus while increasing the perviousness of the site with native grasses. Will the area of turf grass constitute a previously developed site? Will we be able to achieve this credit even though we are replacing somewhat pervious, not impervious, surfaces with native vegetation? Additionally, there is some question as to how we should measure the area calculation with the adjacent shared parking lot. Should the project boundary, for this credit SS Credit 5.2, and SS Credit 7.1, include the entire parking lot, the portion of the parking lot stalls that can be attributed to this building, or just the area of the parking lot that must be constructed for the development of the building?" "In your project application, provide further narrative supporting justification to classify the site as ""previously developed"". This justification could be based on the prior removal of native vegetation and subsequent human impacts such as mass grading, structures, paving, other surfaces, or high maintenance ornamental landscape improvements not meeting the intent of ""native or adapted"". To achieve SS Credit 5.1, a minimum of 50% of the site area (excluding the building footprint) should be restored with native or adapted vegetation. With regard to the project boundary limits, it is acceptable to include the square footage of the parking lot that is required to serve this building and its uses. This includes all spaces exclusively for this building as well as any that may be considered shared spaces with other buildings at different times of the day. The same project boundary must be used for all credits." "None" "None"