LEED 2012 – 3rd Public Comment – SS (Sustainble Sites) Section
Key changes in the the SS section of LEED-NC (part of LEED BD&C) in the third public comment draft of LEED 2012 are discussed below. Do you have comments or questions on this draft? Discuss them below with your fellow LEED professionals. Substantive comments submitted here during USGBC's third public comment period here will be submitted to USGBC and considered "official" public comments.
The Construction Activity Pollution Prevention prerequisite remains the same after seeing minor changes for the first draft. The only revision is that the 2008 EPA Construction General Permit is now referenced—not 2003.
For schools, the Environmental Site Assessment prerequisite maintains a minor but important change: the blanket exclusion of sites on former landfills has been removed. The wording now also allows non-U.S. standards for site assessments.
The Site Assessment credit, new in the second draft, remains and only gets mild tweaks here. The credit requires a “site survey/assessment,” taking into consideration topography, hydrology, climate, vegetation, soils, and human uses. The credit appears to be a nudge toward integrative design, requiring a narrative on how each topic influenced the project design. A greater social element has been added in this draft: a “human health impacts” assessment, looking at proximity of vulnerable populations, adjacent physical activity opportunities, and proximity to large sources of air pollution.
Brownfield Redevelopment is now Brownfield Remediation, but it has become a LEED-ND credit and is not being offered to building design and construction projects, having essentially been folded into the High Priority Site credit.
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With minor changes, Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat keeps similar requirements that go back to the first 2012 draft, with a focus on protecting portions of the site from development. The most significant change in this draft is to the option for financial support of offsite protection. Instead of committing $1 per square foot for 20% of the total site area, projects would have to commit only $0.05 per square foot—but for the whole site area.
Since being simplified for the first public comment, Site Development—Open Space again has only minor wording changes. Projects must provide outdoor space equal to 30% of the total site area, including building footprint—stricter than LEED 2009’s comparable Case 3. A minimum of 25% of the outdoor space must have ground or overhead vegetation, not and overhead vegetation. Urban food production is explicitly encouraged.
After the two stormwater credits from LEED 2009 became one credit in the first draft, Rainwater Management, we get more minor wording changes this time. The two options now have names: 95th Percentile and 98th Percentile, with the second option earning an extra point.
Heat Island Reduction remains one credit, not two as in LEED 2009, and in this draft the requirements have narrowed after broadening in the last draft. The building façade is not considered part of the relevant surface area in this draft. Three-year aged SRI values are now referenced, but only as an option, not a requirement.
The requirements behind the Light Pollution Reduction credit have been tweaked, on contrast with the ovehauls of the last two rounds of drafts. The wording of uplight and light trespass requirements have changed, but key metrics have not.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Register your public comment below.