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LEED v4 Education Series
Sustainable Sites

GBCI: 0920008642

LEED v4 education suites make connecting with the v4 SS credit category easier than ever.
Eligible for 1 CE HOUR.
  • 1 CE

  • LEED Green Associate

Rating system: v4

Published on: May 06, 2016



Three ways to learn more about LEED v4 and sustainable sites

LEED v4 education suites present a range of engagement opportunities in a number of formats to accommodate every learning style and schedule.

Explore courses

The following courses will be available free of charge for on-demand viewing for the entire month of May. Each session takes a credit-by-credit format, presenting technical requirements and strategies that work to achieve them. After watching the course video, don't forget to take the quiz. Once you have passed the quiz, your hours will be reported to GBCI and AIA, and you will have access to a PDF certificate of completion.
LEED v4 Rating System Review (BD+C and ID+C): Sustainable Sites (1.5 CE hours)
LEED v4 Rating System Review (O+M): Location and Transportation and Sustainable Sites (1.5 CE hours)

Ask the experts

Ask the Expert live discussion sessions offered an opportunity to hear form the subject matter experts and ask questions.
Please note: the dates for this webcast have passed. A recording of the webcast is available for viewing above. This recorded version of the session is not registered for GBCI CE hours.Some of the top questions asked are below.

Download the full list of questions and answers.

What are the main differences between the SS category in LEED 2009 and LEED v4?

  • Many credits moved to the new credit category, LT. SS is now more focused on what is happening within the project boundary. Location/transportation issues have a separate category.
  • Rainwater: a shift in the way we approach the credit, the calculations, and the documentation
  • Heat island: combined to focus on the overall performance of a project (building and site together), added alternative performance metrics (SR, weighted average, etc)
  • Financial support option added to SS credit Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat; support goes to conservation organizations
  • Removed interior lighting requirements

BD+C specific

  • New credits: Site Assessment
  • Combined credits: heat island credits, stormwater management credits
  • Light pollution simplified to allow for the “BUG” method

O+M specific

  • New prerequisites: site management policy
  • New credits: site management, site improvement plan, joint use of facilities (schools)
  • Combined credits: heat island credits, stormwater management credits
  • Removed credits: LEED certified design and construction

ID +C specific

  • There are no longer any IDC SS credits (either moved to LT or removed)

Do small projects with under an acre of disturbance require Erosion Control and Sedimentation Plans/Reports in order to obtain credits?
Yes. While the U.S. EPA’s Construction General Permit does not require projects under an acre to develop an erosion and sedimentation control (ESC) plan, all LEED all projects, regardless of size, must do so.

How does v 4 promote biodiversity--especially as it relates to plants?
LEED v4 addresses biodiversity in a number of ways:

  • The system goals (Impact Categories) developed for v4 answer the question: “What should a LEED project accomplish?” One of these goals is to “Protect, Enhance and Restore Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”.
  • Biodiversity plays a bigger role in the SS credit category of v4 in general. For example, the requirements of SS credit Site Development- Protect or Restore
  • Habitat reflect the credit’s intent: “To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.”

  • LEED requires the restoration of site areas to be made with native or adapted vegetation (invasive species not allowed).
  • Monocultures of plant species are generally not allowed.

What regional credits will be available in the SS section?
The available Regional Priority credits will depend on your location. They are credits that carry extra weight due to regional significance of the issues addressed by that credit. International regional credits or regional Alternative Compliance Paths are different credits developed specifically for a region or country. They can be found in the Credit Library.

Discover resources

Looking for more? Check out these resources in the web-based reference guide located within the LEED Credit Library (subscription required). Click on the videos in the right-hand column of the page. Learn more about accessing the guide.


  1. Support project teams, decision makers and influencers looking to explore LEED v4 SS credit category
  2. Learn more about the select technical differences from LEED 2009 to v4, pertaining to BD&C, ID&C and EBOM
  3. Access technical experts to help address your general questions about how best to implement credit requirements
  4. Acquire insight on emerging technologies that are important within the credit category and develop a better understanding of the business case for pursuing EQ credits


This course is a part of the following series:
LEED v4 Education Series

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Created by

U.S. Green Building Council
Washington, DC
United States
USGBC National Capital Region
Washington, DC
United States


  • 7
    Jason Hercules made 7 contributions in the last 6 months

Jason Hercules

Manager U.S. Green Building Council

Mark Brumbaugh

Partner Brumbaugh & Associates
  • 8
    Theresa Backhus made 8 contributions in the last 6 months

Theresa Backhus

Sustainable Program Manager Sustainable Building Partners
  • 2
    MICHAEL DEVUONO made 2 contributions in the last 6 months


Sr. Water Engineer ARCADIS
Mark Brumbaugh
Michael DeVuono
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Other sessions included in that series:

LEED v4 Education Series
Federal Green Buildings Update

LEED v4 Education Series
Energy and Atmosphere

LEED v4 Education Series
Documentation tips for project teams

LEED v4 Education Series
Indoor Environmental Quality

LEED v4 Education Series
v4 Curriculum Webinar: Material Resources

LEED v4 Education Series
Location and Transportation

LEED v4 Education Series
Sustainable Sites

LEED v4 Education Series