Sustainable sites in LEED v4 | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Published on
Written by
Posted in Greenbuild
Published on
Written by
Posted in Greenbuild

Learn more about LEED v4 Sustainable Sites credits at Greenbuild Boston.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, between 1982 and 2001 in the U.S. alone, about 34 million acres of open space was lost to development—approximately four acres per minute, or 6,000 acres a day. This is equivalent to the size of Illinois. With this rapid development came an increase in hardscapes, which increased polluted rainwater runoff into natural water bodies, in turn increasing harm to aquatic species and ecosystems.

The Sustainable Sites (SS) credit category of LEED v4 was created to ensure that a project’s natural environment would be valued and respected throughout every step of the building process, from planning to construction to management. SS credits reward projects that acknowledge that buildings do not exist separately from the landscapes on which they are built, and that the environmental integrity of those landscapes should be preserved.

Projects that comply with SS credits can protect sensitive ecosystems by completing an early site assessment and planning the locations of buildings and hardscape areas. These steps will help avoid harming habitats, biodiversity, open space and water bodies.

The Rainwater Management credit within the Sustainable Sites category is intended to reduce runoff volume and improve water quality by replicating the natural hydrology and water balance of the site, based on historical conditions and undeveloped ecosystems in the region. Learn more about this crucial aspect of site planning by attending the Greenbuild session below:

"Understanding Water and LEED: From Rainwater to Metering and Everything in Between": Fri., November 10, 8–9 a.m.

In LEED v4, buildings can earn up to 3 points by achieving the new Rainwater Management credit and earn exemplary performance in this credit by managing 100 percent of rainwater using Low Impact Development and green infrastructure. This session will present an overview of resources, strategies and tips for successful credit achievement. Attendees will hear from USGBC and GBCI experts about how water is addressed in LEED today and what's on the horizon for future development.

Register for Greenbuild

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play