Site development - protect or restore habitat | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Our "watch" feature allows you to stay current on all aspects of this specific credit. In your account, you can control what you get updated on and how you receive your notifications. Hide

LEED BD+C: New Construction | v3 - LEED 2009

Site development - protect or restore habitat

SSc5.1 | Possible 1 point


To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.


Case 1. Greenfield sites1

Limit all site disturbance to the following parameters:

  • 40 feet (12 meters) beyond the building perimeter and parking garages;
  • 10 feet (3 meters) beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking and utilities less than 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter;
  • 15 feet (4.5 meters) beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
  • 25 feet (8 meters) beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities and playing fields) that require additional staging areas to limit compaction in the constructed area.
Case 2. Previously developed2 areas or graded sites

Restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site (excluding the building footprint) or 20% of the total site area (including building footprint), whichever is greater, with native or adapted vegetation.3 Projects earning SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity may include vegetated roof surface in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

Projects with limited landscape opportunities may also donate offsiteland in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust mustadhere to the Land Trust Alliance 'Land Trust Standards andPractices' 2004 Revision.

1 Greenfield sites are sites not previously developed or graded that could support open space, habitat, or agriculture..

2 Native or adapted plants are plants 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.

Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

This credit has a pilot ACP available in the LEED Pilot Credit Library. See Site development - protect or restore habitat - alternative compliance path for more information.

Join LEEDuser

Ask questions, share tips, and get notified of new forum posts by joining LEEDuser, a tool developed by BuildingGreen and supported by USGBC!

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Print to PDF
Sample forms
Version: v03
Active Form Static Form
Version: v04
Active Form Static Form
Version: v06
Active Form
View all sample forms