This credit is an extension of the outdoor water use prerequisite. As with the prerequisite, Option 1 is for projects where the landscape design does not require permanent irrigation. This option is the most straightforward way to maximize points for this credit, as long as programming and operations and maintenance practices align with a non-irrigated landscape. And teams should remember that there is a two-year establishment period for new vegetation where hand watering and/or temporary irrigation can be used.
Option 2 uses the same methodology and awards 1 point for exceeding the prerequisite requirement of 30% and reaching 50% savings. A second point can be earned by demonstrating 100% savings, but this path requires teams to use alternative water sources such as non-potable, recycled, or reclaimed water.
Teams should be aware that using alternative water sources can be very feasible but will take some extra planning to ensure that the water will be consistently suitable for use onsite (considering both water quality and availability), which may impact design. This path will also take some additional effort to document, as the availability of alternative water sources for peak watering months will need to be justified.
What’s New in LEED v4
- The U.S. EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool is now the referenced calculation tool.