Site assessment | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction | v4 - LEED v4

Site assessment

Possible 1 point


To assess site conditions before design to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site design.


Complete and document a site survey or assessment1 that includes the following information:

  • Topography. Contour mapping, unique topographic features, slope stability risks.
  • Hydrology. Flood hazard areas, delineated wetlands, lakes, streams, shorelines, rainwater collection and reuse opportunities, TR-55 initial water storage capacity of the site (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.).
  • Climate. Solar exposure, heat island effect potential, seasonal sun angles, prevailing winds, monthly precipitation and temperature ranges.
  • Vegetation. Primary vegetation types, greenfield area, significant tree mapping, threatened or endangered species, unique habitat, invasive plant species.
  • Soils. Natural Resources Conservation Service soils delineation, U.S. Department of Agriculture prime farmland, healthy soils, previous development, disturbed soils (local equivalent standards may be used for projects outside the U.S.).
  • Human use. Views, adjacent transportation infrastructure, adjacent properties, construction materials with existing recycle or reuse potential.
  • Human health effects. Proximity of vulnerable populations, adjacent physical activity opportunities, proximity to major sources of air pollution.

The survey or assessment should demonstrate the relationships between the site features and topics listed above and how these features influenced the project design; give the reasons for not addressing any of those topics.

1 Components adapted from the Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, Prerequisite 2.1: Site Assessment.
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