Compact development | 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 ND: Plan | v4 - LEED v4

Compact development

Possible 6 points


To encourage development in existing areas to conserve land and protect farmland and wildlife habitat. To promote livability, walkability, and transportation efficiency, including reduced vehicle distance traveled.To improve public health encouraging daily physical activity associated with alternative modes of transportation and compact development.


Design and build the project such that residential and nonresidential components achieve the densities per acre/hectare of buildable land listed in Table 1 at build-out or within five years of the date that the first new building of any type is occupied (excluding those portions of parking structures devoted to parking), whichever is lower.

Table 1. Points for density per acre (hectare) of buildable land.

Residential density Nonresidential density (FAR) Points
DU/acre  DU/hectare
> 10 and ≤ 13 > 25 and ≤ 32 > 0.75 and ≤ 1.0 1
> 13 and ≤ 18 > 32 and ≤ 45 > 1.0 and ≤ 1.25 2
> 18 and ≤ 25 > 45 and ≤ 62 > 1.25 and ≤ 1.75 3
> 25 and ≤ 38 > 62 and ≤ 94 > 1.75 and ≤ 2.25 4
> 38 and ≤ 63 > 94 and ≤ 156 > 2.25 and ≤ 3.0 5
> 63 > 156 > 3.0 6

DU = dwelling unit; FAR = floor-area ratio.

The scoring of a mixed-use project is calculated with a weighted average, according to the following steps.

  1. Determine the total floor area of all residential and nonresidential uses.
  2. Calculate the percentage residential and percentage nonresidential of the total floor area.
  3. Determine the density of each component as measured in dwelling units per acre or hectare and floor-area ratio, respectively.
  4. Referring to Table 1, find the appropriate points for the densities of the residential and nonresidential components.
  5. If the points are different, multiply the point value of the residential component by its percentage of the total floor area and multiply the point value of the nonresidential component by its percentage.
  6. Add the two scores.
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

No sample form available for this credit.

View all sample forms
Looking for Glossary Terms

Click here