Heat island effect - nonroof | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction | v3 - LEED 2009

Heat island effect - nonroof

SSc7.1 | Possible 1 point


To reduce heat islands1 to minimize impacts on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats.


Option 1

Use any combination of the following strategies for 50% of the site hardscape (including roads, sidewalks, courtyards and parking lots):

  • Provide shade from the existing tree canopy or within 5 years of landscape installation. Landscaping (trees)
    must be in place at the time of occupancy.
  • Provide shade from structures covered by solar panels that produce energy used to offset some nonrenewable resource use.
  • Provide shade from architectural devices or structures that have a solar reflectance index2 (SRI) of at least 29.
  • Use hardscape materials with an SRI of at least 29.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% pervious).


Option 2

Place a minimum of 50% of parking spaces under cover3. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must have an SRI of at least 29, be a vegetated green roof or be covered by solar panels that produce energy used to offset some nonrenewable resource use.

1 Heat islands are defined as thermal gradient differences between developed and underdeveloped areas.
2 The solar reflectance index (SRI) is a measure of the constructed surface's ability to reflect solar heat, as shown by a small temperature rise. It is defined so that a standardblack surface (reflectance 0.05, emittance 0.90) is 0 and a standard white surface (reflectance 0.80, emittance 0.90) is 100. to calculate the SRI for a given material, obtain the reflectance value and emittance value for the material. SRI is calculated according to ASTM E 1980. Reflectance is measured according to ASTM E 903, ASTM E 1918, or ASTM C 1549. Emittance is measured according to ASTM E408 or ASTM C 1371.
3 For the purposes of this credit, under cover parking is defined as parking underground, under desk, under roof, or under a building.
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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