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 one 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. Core & Shell projects are the only project type that earn a point for reaching 75% savings (for up to three points total).
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.
SITES-LEED equivalency is not offered for this credit. The related SITES credit cannot be used to automatically earn this LEED v4.1 credit.
What’s New in LEED v4.1
- The maximum number of points available for Core and Shell projects has increased from two to three (for both Option 1 and Option 2). Additionally, a 75% threshold has been added for CS projects only (for Option 2).
- SITES-LEED equivalency is no longer offered for this credit.
Should I upgrade?
Core and Shell projects that do not have irrigation systems or can reach a 75% or 100% reduction should upgrade to v4.1, to earn an additional one or two points. Projects that want to use a SITES credit to comply will need to stay with v4. There’s no reason for other project types to do a one-off credit upgrade.