Site selection | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction | v3 - LEED 2009

Site selection

SSc1 | Possible 1 point


To avoid the development of environmentally sensitive lands and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site.


Do not develop buildings, hardscape, roads or parking areas on portions of sites that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Prime farmland as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 (citation 7CFR657.5). Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent.
  • Previously undeveloped land whose elevation is lower than 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the elevation of the 100-year flood as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an equivalent local regulatory agency, or a professional hydrologist. [Europe ACP: Flood Plains]
  • Land specifically identified as habitat for any species on federal or state threatened or endangered lists.Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent. [Europe ACP: Habitat]
  • Land within 100 feet (30 meters) of any wetlands as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR, Parts 230-233 and Part 22, or a local equivalent definition outside the U.S., and isolated wetlands or areas of special concern identified by state or local rule, OR within setback distances from wetlands prescribed in state or local regulations, as defined by local or state rule or law, whichever is more stringent.
  • Previously undeveloped land that is within 50 feet (15 meters) of a water body, defined as seas, lakes, rivers, streams and tributaries that support or could support aquatic life, recreation or industrial use, consistent with the terminology of the Clean Water Act.
  • Land that prior to acquisition for the project was public parkland, unless land of equal or greater value as parkland is accepted in trade by the public landowner (park authority projects and projects which are operated by and support the function of the park are exempt).
  • Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

    Europe ACP: Flood Plains

    Projects in Europe may use the Directive 2007/60/EC definition of floods with a medium probability (likely return period ≥ 100 years).

    Europe ACP: Threatened and Endangered Species

    Projects in Europe may use the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the European Red List.

    SITES-LEED Equivalency

    This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.

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