Site development - protect or restore habitat | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Healthcare | v4 - LEED v4

Site development - protect or restore habitat

Possible 1 point


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


Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).


Option 1. on-site restoration (2 points except healthcare, 1 point healthcare)

Using native or adapted vegetation, restore 30% (including the building footprint) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Projects that achieve a density of 1.5 floor-area ratio may include vegetated roof surfaces in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

Restore all disturbed or compacted soils that will be revegetated within the project’s development footprint to meet the following requirements2 :

  • Soils (imported and in situ) must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
  • Imported topsoils or soil blends designed to serve as topsoil may not include the following:
    • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
    • soils from other greenfield sites, unless those soils are a byproduct of a construction process.
  • Restored soil must meet the criteria of reference soils in categories 1–3 and meet the criteria of either category 4 or 5:
  1. organic matter;
  2. compaction;
  3. infiltration rates;
  4. soil biological function; and
  5. soil chemical characteristics.

Project teams may exclude vegetated landscape areas that are constructed to accommodate rainwater infiltration from the vegetation and soils requirements, provided all such rainwater infiltration areas are treated consistently with SS Credit Rainwater Management.


Option 2. financial support (1 point)

Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.40 per square foot (US$4 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

Financial support must be provided to a nationally or locally recognized land trust or conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

2 Components adapted from the Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, Credit 7.2: Restore Soils Disturbed During Construction

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