LEED 2012 – 2nd Public Comment – LT (Location and Transportation) Section
Do you have comments or questions on this draft? Discuss them below with your fellow LEED professionals. Substantive comments submitted here during USGBC's second public comment period here will be submitted to USGBC and considered "official" public comments.
The new Location and Transportation (LT) category still consists mostly of credits from the old Sustainable Sites category that aren’t so much about the site itself as where it’s located.
The biggest overall change to this draft is the new LEED for Neighborhood Development Location credit (5–17 points). If you’re wondering how building in a LEED-ND pre-certified Stage 2, or certified Stage 3 project can be worth that many points—this credit would become an alternate compliance path for the whole LT section.
There have been some big changes in the rest of the LT section since the first public comment. Apparently a "Bicycle Storage" prerequisite didn’t go over big with commenters (too many projects would have been ineligible?), and has been removed completely.
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What had been the "Site Selection" credit has morphed into a prerequisite and a credit. The prereq, Sensitive Land Protection (required), is structured very much like the current SSc1, but as a prerequisite, those requirements would have bumped a lot of projects out of LEED consideration. Accordingly, each of the requirements for greenfield sites now has “mitigation requirements.” For example, if you must build some or all of your project on prime farmland, you can purchase or donate conservation easements for similar land elsewhere.
A credit titled Enhanced Site Protection (1 point) offers a higher bar. There are three options: locate on an infill location within a historic district; locate on a brownfield; or locate on a site listed for preferential development by one of seven federal programs, such as the EPA National Priorities List. This new approach appears to have allowed for a raising of the bar on brownfield remediation (see the SS section), and a new credit for historic buildings that appeared in the first public comment period has been rolled in here.
The old Development Density credit (SSc2) is now titled Development Density and Diverse Uses (1–8 points). The basic intent has still not changed, but as with the first public comment draft, there are some changes to the documentation requirements. Pedestrian-friendly streets are now a key part of the credit, and credit for locating in a LEED-ND project has been moved to its own credit (see above).
The Low-Emitting and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles credit (1 point for Schools) had already been tightened up significantly for the first public comment, and it has been tightened again. Actually, it has disappeared for most projects: only schools and warehouses are eligible for it now, and the requirements are to provide a low-emitting vehicle fleet for the facility.
The new Reduced Automobile Dependence credit is now Quality Transit and Reduced VMT (1–4 points)—with “VMT” meaning vehicle miles traveled. Other than the name change, and a change to intent that matches it (a more positive focus on mass transit options), and some changes to point thresholds, this is mostly consistent with the first draft.
There have been only minor changes to the Bicycle Network, Storage, and Shower Rooms (1 point), including the credit name (they’re not “changing” rooms anymore). Notably, the credit now defines minimum requirements for a bike rack: that it allow use of a U-lock, have a two-point support system, be accessible without moving other bikes, and that it be securely anchored.
Walkable Streets is now Walkable Project Site (1 point), with requirements that have been simplified since the first draft. The requirements focus on designing the building frontage to be friendly to pedestrians, with features like entry off of a public space, and continuous sidewalks that connect to public sidewalks.
The new Parking Reduction credit is now Reduced Parking Footprint (1–2 points). The key requirement remains from the first draft: reduce capacity over a “base ratio” given in the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Parking Planning Handbook. The requirements are tougher for transit-served projects. A change is that the language codifies the long understanding that fleet and inventory vehicles are excluded from parking credit calculations.
What do you think of these proposed changes to the LT section? Please post your comments and questions below.