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LEED SS - Sustainable Sites

Good Site Planning principles include how to properly site your home, properly managing construction practices for the site, surface storm-water control, minimizing environmental impact with heat island control and non-toxic chemicals.

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Good Site Planning principles include how to properly site your home, managing construction practices for the site, surface storm-water control, minimizing environmental impact with heat island control and non-toxic chemical.

Early decisions on all these items can have long-term effects on our ecosystems including water demand, chemicals and pesticides.

Appropriate design decisions can lend themselves to attractive landscaping, reduced maintenance, reduced potable water demand and less dependence on air-conditioning and storm water conveyance systems.

After occupancy, there is the care and management of the site. LEED Sustainable Sites addresses all of these aspects of site planning.

Site Stewardship: LEED SS 1

Landscaping: LEED SS 2

Local Heat Island Effect:LEED SS 3

Surface Water Management: LEED SS 4

Non-Toxic Pest Control: LEED SS 5

Compact Development: LEED SS 6

Total LEED SS Points Available= (22)

Minimum LEED SS Points Needed = (5)

  • SS 1.1
  • SS 1.2
  • SS 2.1
  • SS 2.2
  • SS 2.3
  • SS 2.4
  • SS 2.5
  • SS 3
  • SS 4.1
  • SS 4.2
  • SS 4.3
  • SS 5
  • SS 6
Site Stewardship LEED SS 1 (1 point) Intent:

Minimize long-term environmental damage to the building lot during the construction process.

Prerequisites: Erosion Control During Construction LEED ID SS 1.1

Prior to construction, design and plan appropriate erosion control measures. During construction, implement these measures. Erosion control measures must include all of the following:

    Stockpile and protect existing topsoil from erosion. (for reuse).
    Control the path and velocity of runoff with silt fencing or comparable measures.
    Protect on-site storm water inlets, streams, lakes etc. with hay bales. silt fencing silt sacks, rock filters, or other comparable measures.
    Divert surface water with swales.
    If soils in a sloped area (i.e., 25% or 4:1 slope) are disturbed during construction, use tiers, erosion blankets, compost blankets, filter socks and berms, or some comparable approach to keep soil stabilized.
Overview:

Each year roughly 80 to 100 tons of soil per acre are lost because of erosion due to construction practices. This runoff can carry pollutants into the regions streams, lakes and reservoirs and damage stormwater infrastructure.

Proper control of storm water discharge during the construction process can preserve the quality of our lakes and streams and at the same time confine valuable topsoil from eroding.

This prerequisite requires that certain specific measure be put in place both prior and during the construction process to ensure control of the storm water runoff and limiting erosion.

Approach:

Design a plan for the entire site that addresses erosion control, no-disturbance zones for tree and plant preservation (if applicable), and placement for construction materials.

Prior to construction, conduct informal survey of site to identify strategy for erosion control. Incorporate these measure very clearly in the construction documents.

Articulate control measures with project team very clearly. Share all information with construction crews and point out the purpose of control and the sensitivity of the issue. Point out no-disturb areas to the crew as well.

Conduct regular inspections, especially before and after heavy rain events.

Sites larger that 1 acre may require a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) or local, county or state regulations. Determine whether the project is required to comply to this regulation.

Measures to control erosion:

    Use mulch & seeding for stabilization
    Keep heavy machinery off site as much as is practical
    Preserving existing vegetation and restore landscape as soon as possible, even during construction.
    Avoid grading during wet months
Calculations:

None

Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Builder/Project Team: Provide erosion control plan to Green Rater

Green Rater: Visually verify work has be done correctly.

Resources:
    USGBC Web site
    CPESC Inc.
    EPA Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinances
    Erosion Control Technology Council
    International Erosion Control Association
    Great Lakes Sedimentation Control
    Vermont Department of Environmental conservation, Water Quality Div.
Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Minimize Disturbed Area of Site (1 point) LEED SS 1.2

Minimize disturbance to the site by meeting the following:

Where the site is NOT previously developed:

    Develop a tree or plant preservation plan with "no-disturbance" zones clearly delineated on drawing and on the lot.
    Leave at least 40% of the buildable lot area undisturbed, not including area under roof. Only softscapes can be counted toward this credit; projects cannot receive credit for preserving pre-existing hardscapes, such as driveways.

-OR-

Where the site IS previously developed

    Develop a tree or plant plan with "no-disturbance" zones clearly shown on drawings and on the lot. Rehabilitate the lot by removing invasive species, undoing soil compaction and meeting all requirements of LEED SS 2.2.

-OR-

Build on a site with a lot area of less than 1/7 acre or with a housing density for the project that is equal to or greater that of 7 units/acre. For multifamily buildings, the average lot size shall be calculated as the total lot size divided by the number of units.

Notes:

    Any "no-disturbance" zones must also be protected from parked construction vehicles and building materials storage. Soils compacted by vehicles or stored materials can cause major difficulties in establishing any new landscaping.
    Homes on previously developed lots that disturb the entire lot during construction can earn this credit by meeting the requirements in part (c) above.
Overview:

Construction can kill natural vegetation, including shrubs and trees, destroying the habitat and displacing wildlife. Construction vehicles and stored materials can compact soils, making it difficult to reestablish vegetation and it can take years for a site in this condition to recover fully.

This credit rewards project teams that look at the site with great sensitivity, limit construction traffic, control the eradication of vegetation on site and are forward-looking for utilizing measure to more quickly establish the site to its prior condition. Approach:

    Utilize site selection strategies to benefit from existing natural site features.

    Minimize excavated area for home and preserve existing trees and shrubs where ever possible as they provide additional ecological benefits to the home environment.

    Carefully schedule construction in phases to minimize disturbance.
    In order to earn this credit, previously developed sites must rehabilitate the site rather than preserving it.
    Craft contract language to subcontractors to penalize them for tree removal, extra excavation etc.
    Carefully identify areas of disturbance prior to construction.
    Maintain existing vegetation as long as possible.
Calculations:
    Calculate the buildable lot area. Do not include roads, ROW's, and subtract area under roof.
    Calculate buildable area being preserved and subtract any preserved hardscapes (e.g. drives, walks etc.)
    Divide #1 by #2. This must exceed 40% to qualify for this credit.
Exemplary Performance

None

Verification and Submittals:

Builder/Project Team: For LEED SS2.2 present a tree and plant preservation plan and/or site drawings to the Green Rater. For LEED SS 2.2, present calculations for the undisturbed area of the site to the Green Rater.

Green Rater: Visually verify the tree and plant preservation plan and/or site drawings. Visually verify that the calculations are completed. Visually verify that no-disturbance zones are marked on-site.

Resources
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
    North American Native Plant Society
    Plant Native
    Society for Ecological Restoration International
    Soil and Water Conservation Society
Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Landscaping LEED SS 2 (13 point max) Intent:

Design landscape features to avoid invasive species and minimize demand for water and synthetic chemicals.

Note that invasive plant species vary by region. Consult the local Cooperative Extension Service or state agencies. A list of regional resources is available from the US Department of Agriculture. Not all nonnative species are considered invasive.

Also Note: Points shown are for homes that are fully landscaped. A project that has not completed the designed landscaping may earn up to 50% of the points for each credit as long as 50% or more of the designed landscaping is completed upon certification. In this case, 100% completion of the landscaping must be required by homeowner association or other rules within a specific time period not to exceed one year after occupancy. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measure must be robust enough to be effective for one year. The builder or project team must also develop a landscaping plan that meets the requirements in SS2 and provide it to the homeowner.

Prerequisites: No Invasive Plants (Prerequisite) LEED SS 2.1

Introduce no invasive plant species into the landscape.

Note: Invasive plant species vary by region. Consult the local Cooperative Extension Service or state agencies. A list of regional resources is available from the US Department of Agriculture. Not all nonnative species are considered invasive. Intent:

Design landscape features to avoid invasive species and minimize demand for water and synthetic chemicals.

Overview:

Native plants on sites are rarely preserved due to the fact that conventional building practices rarely include ecological protection for them. Where a site is disturbed for construction, quite typically the ground covers, shrubs and trees are significantly eradicated.

An invasive plant is defined in US Executive Order 13112 as any species that in nonnative (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

The US reportedly spends over 100 billion dollars annually on the containment or managing the effects of invasive species infestations. Nearly 1/2 of the endangered species are affected considerably by invasive species. Not all non-native species are considered invasive though. This prerequisite allows for non-native species, but not invasive species on the building site.

Approach:

    Use native or indigenous species of plants. Try to preserve existing species on the site by minimizing disturbance on the site. (Refer to LEED SS 1.2).

    When selecting plantings and groundcover for the site, use native or adapted plantings and avoid any turf except mixes of native grasses.

    Consult with local experts on native or adaptive plant species to identify appropriate plantings for your particular area.
    Applies to all designed landscape. Areas of the site that are left undisturbed by construction (see LEED SS 1.2) are not required to undergo inspection. Project are strongly encouraged to replace any known invasive species on the site, since invasive vegetation will creep onto the remainder of the site.
Calculations:

None

Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Trades persons; provide list of plants considered to the builder or project team leader. Sign an Accountability Form to insure proper plants are being installed.

Building/Project Team; Present list of proposed plants to Green Rater. If Landscape Professional is not used, sign Accountability Form to indicate that the plants that are installed match those on the list provided to the Green Rater.

Green Rater: Visually verify plants installed and insure none are invasive. Verify Accountability Form is signed properly.

Resources:
    Agricultural Cooperative Extension
    Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
    National Invasive Species Information Center
    North American Native Plant Society
    Plant Native
    US Forest Service "Celebrating Wildflowers"
Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Basic Landscape Design (2 point max) LEED SS 2.2

Note: Points in the category are for homes that are fully landscaped. A project that has not completed the designed landscaping may earn up to 50% of the points for each credit as long as 50% or more of the designed landscaping is completed upon certification In this case, 100% completion of the landscaping must be required by homeowner association or other rules within a specific time period not to exceed one year after occupancy. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to be effective for one year. The builder or project team must also develop a landscaping plan that meets the requirements in SS2 and provide it to the homeowner.

Many conventional practices, such as planting turf in sloped or shaded areas, can lead to an unsustainable site that required considerable water, chemicals, and time to maintain. The use of drought-tolerant species and the application of mulch reduce irrigation demand and conserve local and regional potable water resources.

LEED SS 2.2 applies to the area of the lot that is disturbed during construction.

Meet all of the following requirements for all designed landscape softscapes:

    Any turf must be drought-tolerant.
    Do not use turf in densely shaded areas.
    Add mulch or soil amendments as appropriate. Mulch is defined as a covering placed around plants to reduce erosion and water loss and to help regulate soil temperature. In addition, upon decomposition, organic mulches survey as soil amendments. The type of mulch affected can affect soil PH. To find out about mulching, visit GLME's Mulch page. To find out more about Soil PH, visit GLME's Soil PH page.
    Do not use turf in areas with a slope> 25%. (i.e., 1:4 slope)
    All compacted soil (e.g., from construction vehicles), must be tilled to 6" in depth.
Overview:

Often an unknowledgeable builder or homeowner will plant turf or plantings in locations that require a lot of maintenance or water requirements, such as a steep slope, facing south. This is not a very sustainable solution and this credit with give guidance to basic proper landscaping. LEED SS 2.2 applies to the are of the lot that is disturbed during construction. Approach:

    Work with professionals to minimize irrigation requirements by selecting drought-tolerant species. Refer to Water Saving Tips and Drip Irrigation sections to reduce your consumption of potable water effectively.
    Install climate appropriate landscaping.
    Minimize turf area and utilize mulch. Refer to Reduce Your Turf and Landscape Mulch Pages.
    Plant turf only for functional purposes
    Use mixed native grasses rather than conventional turf
    Incorporate shading as part of your landscape scheme. Refer To Heat Island Effect.
Calculations:

None

Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Trade: Sign Accountability Form that requirements have been met.

Builder/Project Team: If Landscape Professional not used, sign Accountability Form.

Green Rater: Verify Accountability Form is signed properly.

Resources:
    USGBC Web Site
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
    North American Native Plant Society
    Plant Native
    Soil and Water Conservation Society

-AND/OR-(See Next Tab)

Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Limit Conventional Turf LEED SS 2.3 (3 points max)

Limit the use of conventional turf in the design landscape softscapes. Hover Mouse HERE for Table of Limited Conventional Turf Points Awarded.

Overview:

Conventional turf usually forms a shallow but tight root system. This characteristic sheds water during a heavy storm event and not much precipitation is absorbed into the soil. Because turf reduces the soils capacity to store water, keeping your turf health requires regular watering and in considerable amounts.

Another characteristic of turf is regular mowing and maintenance duties that go hand in hand with a large amount of turfed area. This uses gas in mowers, insect control and weed control. Therefore minimizing turf has a great deal of benefits and this credit rewards the homeowner and builder who minimizes turf area to pick up these points. Approach:

    Conventional Turf is any turf that requires regular mowing, irrigation and chemicals. Refer to these Organic Lawn Tips to reduce maintenance and chemicals.
    Attempt to use landscape beds with native or indigenous plants in lieu of turf.
    Consider use of herbaceous perennials or coniferous shrubs.
    Plant native drought-tolerant turf where grass is necessary.
    Avoid planting turf on sloped or shaded areas.
Calculations:

The undisturbed portion of the site is not used for these calc's.

    Determine total designed landscape area. Exclude public ROW, area under roof, and any hardscapes.
    Estimate the total designed landscape softscapes area planted with conventional turf.
    Calculate percentage of total designed landscape softscapes area that is planted with convention turf.
    Hover Mouse HERE for Table of Limited Conventional Turf Points Awarded.
Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Trade: Provide calculations to Builder verifying percentages. Sign Accountability Form

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater If no Landscape Professional, sign accountability form.

Green Rater: Visually verify that calculations are accurate Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    USGBC Weskit
    USGBC Web Site
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
    North American Native Plant Society
    Plant Native
    Society for Ecological Restoration International
    Soil and Water Conservation Society
    US Forest Service "Celebrating Wildflowers"

-AND/OR-

Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Limited Conventional Turf Table
% Turf Points
41-60% 1
21-40% 2
<20% 3
Drought Tolerant Plants LEED SS 2.4 (2 points max)

Install drought-tolerant plants. Hover Mouse HERE for Table

Overview:

The most logical approach to minimize water use in the landscape in to plant drought-tolerant plants and minimize the demand for water usage up-front. Reducing the need for water during periods of drought maximizes soil quality and minimizes this valuable resources during the most critical times.

Also run off is minimized and the soil is allowed to absorb more moisture during periods of rainfall. This section rewards the user for utilizing drought tolerant plants in lieu of conventional plantings. Approach:

    Work with Landscape Professional and Extension Service on plant list.
    Choose plants that are drought-tolerant and appropriate to local climate
    Plant trees and bushes that are water-savers. Native or adapted plants are a good choice.
    Zone irrigation to optimize watering for different watering requirements.
    Practice active weed control by removing them as soon as they appear.

    Plant drought-tolerant plants in where they will not receive an abundance of water.

    Refer to Green Living Made Easy sections on Water Saving Tips, Landscape Mulch and Drip Irrigation for excellent water-saving tips that parallel this credit.

Calculations:
    Calculate number of drought-tolerant plants as a percentage of total installed plants.
    Include only new plants, not existing.
Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Trade: Provide calculations to Building indicating proper percentages attained. Provide list of plants and identify drought-tolerant plants. Sign Accountability Form.

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Present list of plants and drought-tolerant plants to Green Rater. If no Landscape Professional, sign accountability form.

Green Rater: Visually verify that calculations are accurate. Verify that plant lists are correct. Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    USGBC Web Site
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
    North American Native Plant Society
    Plant Native
    Soil and Water Conservation Society
Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Drought-Tolerant Plants Table
Drought -Tolerant Points
45-89% 1
> 90% 2
Reduce Overall Irrigation Demand by at Least 20% LEED SS 2.5 (6 points max)

Hover Mouse HERE for Reduction in Water Demand Table

Overview:

Outdoor usage of potable water accounts for approximately 30% of our 26 billion gallons of the daily water usage in the U.S. The agreed-upon best method of utilizing water conservation is the usage of drought-tolerant plant species. It is also a proven fact that planting species that are indigenous to the area are already acclimated to the existing climate and watering conditions and should be used wherever possible. Along with this approach, reduction in the amount of water used for irrigation is rewarded in this credit. Approach:

    This credit is a performance based credit and is to be used along with LEED WE 2.1 You cannot combine with credits from SS 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4, and WE 2.1. Use either -or-.
    This credit provides more flexibility but requires more verification and calculations.
    Minimum water reduction of 20% and rewards for savings up to 45%. If over 45% you are eligible for WE 2.3.
    Choose vegetation that required little or no irrigation.
    Avoid turf grasses. Refer to our sections on Organ Lawn Design for water-saving tips in the landscape.
    Use high-efficiency irrigation systems such as drip irrigation. Refer to our section on Drip Irrigation.
    Integrate rainwater, rainwater harvesting systems, graywater irrigation systems etc. into your irrigation needs.
Calculations:
    Obtain Species Factor (Ks)Hover Mouse HERE for Species Factor Table.(Kmc)
    Obtain Microclimate Factor. Hover Mouse HERE for Micro-Climate Factor Table.(Kmc)
    Obtain Irrigation Efficiency (IE). Hover Mouse HERE for Irrigation Efficiency Table.(Kmc)
    Obtain Evapotranspiration Rate (ET)
    Calculate Product of Ks x Kmc = Kl
    Calculate ET x Kl = ETl
    Calculate Baseline Usage = Landscaped Area x ET x .62
    Calculate Design Case Usage = (Landscaped Area x ETl/IE) x CF x .62
    Calculate Percentage of Reduction = (1-Design Case Usage/Baseline Usage) x 100

Note: Value of CF is estimate value base on manufacturer's specification for percentage water savings.

Verification and Submittals:

Trade: Provide calculations to builder Provide listing of plants to builder Sign Accountability Form

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Present listing of plants to Green Rater

Green Rater: Visually verify all calculations are completed Verify accountability form is signed properly

Exemplary Performance:

None

Resources:
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    International Center for Water Technology
    The Irrigation Association
    Watertight
    US EPA WaterSenseSM: Efficiency Made Easy
    Water Efficient Landscaping
    Water Wiser
Synergies and Trade-Offs

LEED SS 4.2 rewards homes for the installation of permanent erosion controls. If the project does not include full landscaping, homeowner association or other rules must require homeowners to have the site fully landscaped within one year; see LEED SS 2. Erosion controls and soil stabilization measures must be robust enough to function until landscaping is in place (i.e., up to one year).

Reduction in Water Demand Table
Water Reduction SS2.5 Points WE 2.3 Points Total Points
20-24% 2 0 2
25-29% 3 0 3
30-34% 4 0 4
35-39% 5 0 5
40-44% 6 0 6
45-49% 6 1 7
50-54% 6 2 8
55-59% 6 3 9
> 60% 6 4 10
Plant Species Factor Table
Vegetation Type Low Average High
Trees 0.2 0.5 0.9
Shrubs 0.2 0.5 0.7
Gr. Cover 0.2 0.5 0.7
Turf 0.6 0.7 0.8
Micro-Climate Factor Table
Micro-Climate Impacts Low Average High
Shading 0.5 0.8 1.0
High Sun Exp. 1.0 1.2 1.5
Prot. From Wind 0.8 0.9 1.0
Windy Area 1.0 1.2 1.5
Irrigation Efficiency Table
Irrigation Type Low High
Fixed Spray 0.4 0.6
Impact & Microspray 0.5 0.7
Rotors 0.6 0.8
Multistream Rotors 0.6 0.8
Drip Source 0.7 0.9
Local Heat Island Effect LEED SS 3 (1 point) Intent:

Design landscape features to reduce local heat island effects.

Prerequisites:

None

Credits: Reduce Local Heat Island Effects LEED SS 3

Do one of the following:

    Locate trees or other plantings to provide shade for at least 50% of the hard surfaces within 50 feet of the home. Shading to be calculated for June 21. Landscape can be based on 5 years' growth.
    Install light-colored, high-aldebo materials or vegetation for at lease 50% of the hard surfaces within 50 feet of the home, including:
    1. white concrete
    2. gray concrete
    3. open pavers
    4. material with solar reflectance > 29
Overview:

Heat Island refers to the absorption and radiation of heat from the sun into the surrounding atmosphere. This problem becomes the most severe in urban areas where there are large areas of dark pavement, little vegetation and dark colored roof areas. This can cause a significant rise in summer temperatures in urban areas, required the need for more air-conditioning and the possible disruption of municipal electrical services.

Reducing the heat island effect can cool down areas of our micro-climate thus reducing the need for artificial air-conditioning and improving human health related problems such as lung diseases. This credit awards users who install heat island reduction methods and make for a more comfortable micro-climate around the dwelling unit. Approach:

    Where possible reduce the size of the garage and home footprint
    Design landscaping to shade and overhang the house
    Use deciduous trees for summer shading and winter solar advantages (shed leaves in winter). Refer to Green Living Made Easy tips on Landscape Design for everything you need to know for the organic landscape.
    Minimize paved areas
    Use porous pavement and open grid pavers

    Use white concrete pavement in lieu of asphalt.

    Refer to Green Living Made Easy sections on Heat Island Effect and Natural Air Conditioning for great tips on reducing the heat island effect and practicing natural air-conditions in lieu of artificial air-conditioning.

Calculations:
    % non-roof shaded hardscape = shaded area of hardscape /total area of hardscape.
Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Sign Accountability Form

Green Rater: Visually verify all calculations are completed Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    USGBC Web Site
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    American Concrete Pavement Association
    US EPA
Synergies and Trade-Offs

Shading hardscapes around the home can reduce irrigation needs as well as temper the home's outdoor environment and reduce cooling loads.

Providing shade in addressed in two other credits: LEED EA 1.2 (Exceptional Energy Performance) and LEED SS 4.3 (b) and (c) (Vegetated Roofs)

Locating fences, trees, shrubs, or other plantings appropriately can capture or deflect seasonal breezes.

Surface Water Management LEED SS 4 Intent:

Design site features to minimize erosion and runoff from the home site.

Prerequisites

none

Credits: Permeable Lot LEED SS 4.1 (4 points max)

Design the lot so that 70% of the built environment, not including area under roof, is permeable or designed to capture water runoff for infiltration on-site. Area that can be counted toward the minimum includes the following:

    Vegetative Landscape (e.g., grass, trees, shrubs).
    Permeable paving installed by an experienced professional. Permeable paving must include porous above ground materials (e.g., open pavers, engineered products) and a 6-inch porous subbase, and the base layer must be designed to ensure proper drainage away from the home.
    Impermeable surface that are designed shall direct flow of water to swales, on-site water gardens or rainwater harvesting system.

Hover Mouse HERE for Points Available for Permeable Area

Overview:

Overloading the storm systems can lead to flood damage, erosion problems on site and down stream, transport of chemicals, fertilizers and sediment, greatly affecting the lake and stream systems.

Runoff can be greatly reduced by maintaining a high level of permeability that creates the opportunity for stormwater to infiltrate the ground on the project site. Increased permeability has multiple benefits: reduced burden on stormwater management infrastructure: reduced transport of fertilizer and chemicals in runoff; reduced erosion of valuable topsoil, which is essential for healthy landscape plants; reduced sedimentation of downstream rivers and lakes; and replenishment of underground aquifers.

Approach:

    Use pavers and porous paving where possible.

    Build a smaller home and minimize patios, drives etc. Refer to Minimize your Home Footprint.

    Design run-off areas to allow capture of rainwater.
    Coordinate run-off with requirements of LEED SS 4.2 and 4.3
    Conventional turf is much less porous than native grasses
    For Vegetative Swales and Rain gardens, estimate water run-off for a heavy rain. Select appropriate species.
Calculations:
    Calculate total built environment. This would include entire lot EXCEPT, areas under roof, public ROW's.
    Estimate % of area calculated in the above step that is vegetated, covered with porous pavement, or designed with runoff features.
    Refer to this table for the amount of credits.
Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Sign Accountability Form

Green Rater: Visually verify all calculations are completed Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    USGBC Web site
    Maryland Storm water Management Program
    2001 Storm water Management Manual for Western Washington: Volume II, Construction Storm water Pollution Prevention
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Erosion Control Technology Council
    International Erosion Control Association
    NAHB Research Center Tool Base Service Permeable Pavement
    Storm water Best Management Practice Design Guide
    The Center for Watershed Protection's Storm Water Center
Synergies and Trade-Offs:

LEED SS 1.1 addresses erosion control during construction.

Trees, shrubs, or groundcover installed for erosion control can be designated as drought-tolerant or otherwise preferable: See LEED SS 2 for more information on landscaping. Conventional turf is less permeable than other plantings and consequently less effective at managing runoff.

Permeable Lot Area Table
% of Buildable Lot Points
70-79% 1
80-89% 2
90-99% 3
100% 4
Permanent Erosion Controls LEED SS 4.2 (1 point)

Design and install one of the following permanent erosion control measures:

    For steep sloped site areas design terraced areas or retaining walls.

-OR-

Plant one tree, four 5-gallon shrubs, or 50 s.f. of native groudcover per 500 s.f. of disturbed lot area, including area under roof.

Overview:

Overloading the storm systems can lead to flood damage, erosion problems on site and down stream, transport of chemicals, fertilizers and sediment, greatly affecting the lake and stream systems.

Runoff can be greatly reduced by maintaining a high level of permeability that creates the opportunity for stormwater to infiltrate the ground on the project site. Increased permeability has multiple benefits: reduced burden on stormwater management infrastructure: reduced transport of fertilizer and chemicals in runoff; reduced erosion of valuable topsoil, which is essential for healthy landscape plants; reduced sedimentation of downstream rivers and lakes; and replenishment of underground aquifers.

Approach:
    Install permanent erosion controls concurrently with earthwork
    Build terraced, benching or retaining walls with drainage systems for steep sloped areas.
    Plant trees, shrubs and groundcover in areas disturbed during excavation quickly with closely spaced plants.
Calculations:

No calculation are required for the first option of steep sloped site. For the second part of the credit, calculate the number of trees, shrubs, or groundcover plants as follows:

Trees Required = total disturbed lot area / 500 s.f..

Shrubs Required = (total disturbed lot area / 500 s.f.) x 4

Native groundcover plants required = 10% x total disturbed lot area.

A combination fo trees, shrubs, and groundcover can be used to meet the credit requirements. For example a project with 4,000 s.f. of disturbed land, the installation of two trees, eight 5-gallon shrubs, and 200 s.f. fo groundcover will earn 1 point.

Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification:

Trade: Provide calculations to builder Provide listing of number of trees, shrubs and plants to builder Sign Accountability Form

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Present listing of plants to Green Rater

Green Rater: Visually verify all calculations are completed Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    USGBC Web site
    2001 Storm water Management Manual for Western Washington: Volume II, Construction Storm water Pollution Prevention
    American Society of Landscape Architects
    Erosion Control Technology Council
    International Erosion Control Association
    NAHB Research Center Tool Base Service Permeable Pavement
    Storm water Best Management Practice Design Guide
    The Center for Watershed Protection's Storm Water Center
Synergies and Trade-Offs:

LEED SS 1.1 addresses erosion control during construction.

Trees, shrubs, or groundcover installed for erosion control can be designated as drought-tolerant or otherwise preferable: See LEED SS 2 for more information on landscaping. Conventional turf is less permeable than other plantings and consequently less effective at managing runoff.

Management of Water Runoff From Roof LEED SS 4.3 (2 points max) Overview:

Erosion problems are made worse by impervious areas such as roofs, decks. drives and walkways. Erosion not only erodes soils by it also carries sedimentation, fertilizers, chemicals and other toxic waste to our streams and lakes, causing property damage, fish health issues and drinking water problems.

This credit encourages homeowners and buildings to install runoff control measures for the roof of the new home and collect it for other uses such as water gardens, roof gardens etc. Credit:

Design and install one of the following options:

    Install permanent storm water controls, such a s vegetated swales, on-site rain garden, dry-well or rainwater collection system to manage water runoff from roof (1 point).
    Install vegetated roof to cover 50% of the roof area (.5 point).

-OR-

    Install vegetated roof to cover 100% of roof area (1 point)
    Have Landscape Architect or Engineer design whole site to manage water runoff through an on-site element. (1 point)
Approach:
    As part of Durability Assessment, determine water runoff areas.
    Try to minimize roof areas, go with multi-levels to reduce footprint. Refer to the Green Living Made Easy page on Minimizing Your Home Footprint for additional information.
    Consider vegetated roof. Design flat roofs to accommodate this. Refer to the Green Living Made Easy page on Roof and Balcony Gardening for more information.
    Consider rainwater harvesting system for entire roof to reuse all rainwater. Refer to the Green Living Made Easy page on Rainwater Harvesting Systems for more information.
Calculations:
    Estimate % roof covered by vegetation.
Exemplary Performance:

None

Verification and Submittals:

Trade: Provide calculations to builder and Sign Accountability Form

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater Present listing of plants to Green Rater

Green Rater: Visually verify all calculations are completed Verify accountability form is signed properly

Resources:
    The Center for Watershed Protection's Storm Water Center
    Greenroofs
    Storm water Best Management Practice Design Guide
Synergies and Trade-Offs:

LEED SS 1.1 addresses erosion control during construction.

Trees, shrubs, or groundcover installed for erosion control can be designated as drought-tolerant or otherwise preferable: See LEED SS 2 for more information on landscaping. Conventional turf is less permeable than other plantings and consequently less effective at managing runoff.

Nontoxic Pest Control LEED SS 5 (2 points max) Intent:

Design home features to minimize the need for poisons for control of insects, rodents, and other pests.

Prerequisites:

None

Credits: Nontoxic Pest Control (1/2 point each) LEED SS 5

Implement one or more of the measures below. All physical action must be noted on construction plans. (1/2 point for each, max 2 points)

    Keep all wood 12 inches above grade. (i.e., siding, trim, structure). The code typically requires 8 inches.
    Seal all external cracks, joints, penetrations, edges and entry points with caulking. Use rodent and corrosion proof screen (e.g. copper or stainless steel mesh). Protect exposed foundation insulation with moisture-resistant, pet-proof cover. (e.g., fiber cement board, galvanized insect screen).
    Include no wood to concrete connections or separate any exterior wood to concrete connections with metal or plastic fasteners or dividers. (e.g., at posts, deck supports, stair stringers).
    Install landscaping with all parts of mature plants a minimum 24 inches from home.
    In areas of moderate to heavy to very heavy termite infestation probability implement one or more of the following measures. Hover HERE to see termite infestation probability map.
    1. Treat all cellulosic wood framing with borate to minimum of 3 feet above foundation.
    2. Install a sand or diatomaceous earth barrier.
    3. Install a steel mesh barrier termite control system.
    4. Install nontoxic termite bait system.
    5. Use non wood or non straw framing. (e.g., use steel studs)
    6. Use solid concrete foundation walls or masonry wall with top course of solid block bond beam pr concrete-filled block.
Approach:

Most of these points focus on strategies for limiting points and means for entry by pests:

    Limit landscaping immediately adjacent to the house. Maintaining a buffer zone between landscaping and the house perimeter limits the habitat suitable for insect infestation.
    Seal any external cracks and penetrations and use screens and other pestproof covers on any potential access points. This may include sheet metal or metal mesh termite shields on the foundation stem wall.
    Install physical barriers, such as sand or diatomaceous earth, outside the home foundation to prevent penetrations through foundations and slabs. These barriers are particularly effective against termites.
    Treat lumber and cellulose with borate, a natural chemical alternative that controls insects but is benign to humans.

The following other strategies are not rewarded in this credit but are encouraged.

    Use a sealed-to-wall vapor barrier for homes with crawl spaces on the floor or beneath a concrete slab to limit moisture intrusion and suitable habitat for insects.
    Design and install plastic barrier systems around pipes and electrical conduit extending through slab foundations.
    Install plantings and landscaping elements that repel pests and encourage bio diversity. Mono cultures, such as turf grass, are more likely to host a single type of insect that can become an infestation risk.

Manu of the above measures also have general durability benefits, such as reducing the risk of water damage and decay.

Calculations:

None

Exemplary Performance:

Projects that implement nontoxic pest control measures beyond the maximum four rewarded in this credit can earn additional points, to be counted under Innovation and Design LEED 3. Each additional measure is worth 1/2point, with a maximum of 1 exemplary performance point total.

Verification:

Green Rater: Visually verify that above measures have been installed.

Resources:
    USGBC Web site
    Bio intensive Integrated Pest Management
    Bio-Integral Resource Center
    Integrated Pest Management Practitioners Association
Synergies and Trade-Offs:

Limiting conventional turf and installing native plants (LEED SS 2) can help reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides that contain toxic chemicals.

Termite Infestation Probability Map Termite Probability Map
Compact Development LEED SS 6 (4 points max) Intent:

Make use of compact development patterns to conserve land and promote community livability, transportation efficiency and walkability.

Prerequisites:

Note

Credits: Moderate Density (2 points) LEED SS 6.1

Build homes with an average housing density of 7 or more units per acre of buildable land. Also, a single home on 1/7 acre qualifies.

-OR-

High Density (3 points) LEED SS 6.2

Build homes with an average housing density of 10 or more units per acre of buildable land. Also, a single home on 1/10 acre qualifies.

-OR-

Very High Density (4 points) LEED SS 6.3

Build homes with an average housing density of 20 or more units per acre of buildable land. Also, a single home on 1/20 acre qualifies.

Note: Buildable homes land area is calculated as follows:

    Exclude public streets or public rights-of-way, land occupied by nonresidential structures, public parks, and land excluded from residential development by law.
    For multiple-lot developments, include only the sum of the lot areas for homes benign built for LEED for Homes.
    The numerator is the number of housing units in the project, and the denominator is the buildable land area included in the project (subject to the above exclusions). Both relate to the project only, not the surrounding area.
Approach:
    Try to minimize landscape/yard size and maintenance by developing higher density.
    Try to locate compact development projects near public open space.
    Try to locate compact development projects near areas with public transportation.
Calculations:

Average Density = Housing Units/Acres of buildable land.

Exemplary Performance:

Projects with a density greater than 40 dwelling units per acre of buildable land may submit a request for an exemplary performance point through their LEED for Homes Certification Provider.

Verification and Submittals:

Builder/Project Team: Present calculations to Green Rater demonstrating density requirement met.

Green Rater: Verify density requirements have been met.

Resources:
    USGBC Web site
    Affordable Housing Design Advisor
    The Congress for the New Urbanism
    Smart Growth Network
    Urban Land Institute
Synergies and Trade-Offs:

LEED SS 1.2 automatically granted to moderate, high, or very high-density homes because of the reduced impact of compact development.

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