ID#499 made on
SSc5.1 - Reduced site disturbance - protect or restore open space
LEED BD+C: New Construction, LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, LEED BD+C: Schools
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 descri...
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.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)