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

Open space

Possible 1 point


To create exterior open space that encourages interaction with the environment, social interaction, passive recreation, and physical activities.


Provide outdoor space greater than or equal to 30% of the total site area (including building footprint). A minimum of 25% of that outdoor space must be vegetated (turf grass does not count as vegetation) or have overhead vegetated canopy.

The outdoor space must be physically accessible and be one or more of the following:

  • a pedestrian-oriented paving or turf area with physical site elements that accommodate outdoor social activities;
  • a recreation-oriented paving or turf area with physical site elements that encourage physical activity;
  • a garden space with a diversity of vegetation types and species that provide opportunities for year-round visual interest;
  • a garden space dedicated to community gardens or urban food production;
  • preserved or created habitat that meets the criteria of SS Credit Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat and also includes elements of human interaction.

For projects that achieve a density of 1.5 floor-area ratio (FAR), and are physically accessible, extensive or intensive vegetated roofs can be used toward the minimum 25% vegetation requirement, and qualifying roof-based physically accessible paving areas can be used toward credit compliance.

Wetlands or naturally designed ponds may count as open space if the side slope gradients average 1:4 (vertical: horizontal) or less and are vegetated.

For projects that are part of a multitenant complex only
Open space can be either adjacent to the building or at another location in the site master plan. The open space may be at another master plan development site as long as it is protected from development. If the open space is not adjacent to the building, provide documentation showing that the requirements have been met and the land is in a natural state or has been returned to a natural state and conserved for the life of the building.

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