Site development - protect or restore habitat | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Retail | 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
Option 1

Restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site area (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, and using vegetated roof surfaces may apply the vegetated roof surface to this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.


Option 2

Donate land equivalent to a minimum of 50% of the site area (excluding building footprint) or 20% of the total site area (including building footprint), whichever is greater, to a land trust with the following provisions:

The project team donates the land within its own watershed as determined by EPA at


The land trust must adhere to the Land Trust Standards and Practices guide, available at or

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.

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