Site development: maximize open space | 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 BD+C: Retail | v1 - LEED 1.0 pilot

Site development: maximize open space

SSc5.2 | Possible 1 point


Provide a high ratio of open space to development footprint to promote biodiversity.


Option 1

Reduce the development footprint (defined as the total area of the building footprint, hardscape, access roads and parking) and/or provide vegetated open space within the project boundary to exceed the local zoning’s open space requirement for the site by 25%.

Option 2

For areas with no local zoning requirements (e.g., some university campuses, military bases), provide vegetated open space area adjacent to the building that is equal to the building footprint.

Option 3

Where a zoning ordinance exists, but there is no requirement for open space (zero), provide vegetated open space equal to 20% of the project’s site area.

All options:
  • For projects located in urban areas that earn SS Credit 2, vegetated roof areas can contribute to credit compliance.
  • For projects located in urban areas that earn SS Credit 2, 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 if the side slope gradients average 1:4 (vertical: horizontal) or less and are vegetated.
For projects that are part of a master plan development

Open space can be either adjacent to the building or at another location in the master plan. It must be aggregated and contiguous, not divided and dispersed. The open space may be at another master plan development site as long as it is placed in a permanent reserve status. Where the choice is made to have the open space set aside not adjacent to the building, provide documentation showing that the requirements have been met and the land is in a natural state or been returned to a natural state and conserved for the life of the building.

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
View sample forms