Site development - maximize open space | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Retail | v3 - LEED 2009

Site development - maximize open space

SSc5.2 | Possible 1 point


To promote biodiversity by providing a high ratio of open space to development footprint.


Case 1. Sites with local zoning open space requirements

Reduce the development footprint1 and/or provide vegetated open space within the project boundary such that the amount of open space exceeds local zoning requirements by 25%.

Case 2. Sites with no local zoning requirements (e.g. some university campuses, military bases)

Provide vegetated open space area adjacent to the building that is equal in area to the building footprint.

Case 3. Sites with zoning ordinances but no open space requirements (e.g., zero lot line)

Provide vegetated open space equal to 20% of the project’s site area.

All cases

For projects in urban areas that earn SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity, vegetated roof areas can contribute to credit compliance.

For projects in urban areas that earn SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity, pedestrian-oriented hardscape areas can contribute to credit compliance. For such projects, a minimum of 25% of the open space counted must be vegetated.

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

For projects that are part of a multitenant retail complex2

A multitenant complex is a master-planned development of stores, restaurants, and other businesses; retailers may share one or more services and/or common areas.

Open space can be either adjacent to the building or at another location in the complex. It must be aggregated and contiguous, not divided and dispersed. The open space may be at another site as long as it is placed in a permanent reserve status. If the open space is not adjacent to the project 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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