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LEED v2009
Commercial Interiors
Sustainable Sites
Site Selection

LEED CREDIT

CI-2009 SSc1: Site Selection 1-5 points

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Credit achievement rate

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LEEDuser expert

Susann Geithner

Dipl. Ing (FH), MSc., LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ID+C, WELL AP

Emerald Built Environments
Principal

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Credit language

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To encourage tenants to select buildings that employ best practices systems and green strategies.

Requirements

Option 1
Select a LEED certified building (5 points).

OR

Option 2
Locate the tenant space in a building that has in place 1 or more of the following characteristics at time of submittal (1 – 5 points). Each of the following options may also be met by satisfying the requirements of the corresponding LEED 2009 for New Construction credit.
Path 1. Brownfield Redevelopment (1 point)
A building developed on a site documented as contaminated by an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. OR A building on a site classified as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent. Effective remediation of site contamination must have been completed.
Path 2. Stormwater design - quantity control (1 point)
A building that prior to its development had less than or equal to 50% imperviousness and has implemented a stormwater management plan that is equal to or is less than the predevelopment 1-1/2 year 24-hour rate and quantity discharge. OR A building that prior to its development had more than 50% imperviousness and has implemented a stormwater management plan that reduced predevelopment 1-1/2 year 24-hour rate and quantity discharge by 25% of the annual on-site stormwater load. This mitigation can be achieved through a variety of measures such as perviousness of site, stormwater retention ponds, and harvesting of rainwater for reuse. Stormwater values are based on actual local rainfall unless the actual exceeds the 10-year annual average local rainfall, in which case the 10-year annual average should be used.
Path 3. Stormwater design - quality control (1 point)
A building that has in place site stormwater treatment systems designed to remove at least 80% of the average annual site area’s total suspended solids (TSS) and 40% of the average annual site area’s total phosphorus (TP). These values are based on the average annual loadings from all storms less than or equal to the 2-year, 24-hour storm. The building must implement and maintain best management practices (BMPs) outlined in Chapter 4, Part 2, Urban Runoff, of the EPA Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters, January 1993 (EPA 840-B-92-002) or the local government’s BMP document, whichever is more stringent.
Path 4. Heat island effect - nonroof (1 point)
A building that provides shade (or will provide shade within 5 years of landscape installation), and/or uses light-colored or high-albedo materials with a solar reflectance index (SRI)1 of at least 29, and/or has open-grid pavement areas that individually or in total equal at least 30% of the site’s nonroof impervious surfaces, such as parking areas, walkways, plazas, and fire lanes. OR A building that has placed a minimum of 50% of parking spaces underground or covered by structured parking. OR A building that has an open-grid pavement system (less than 50% impervious) for 50% of the parking lot area.
Path 5. Heat island effect - roof (1 point)
A building whose roofing has a solar reflectance index (SRI) of the following minimum values for at least 75% of the roof surface: See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

Do SSc1 paths pertain to the whole building or just your own space? What if our own space meets one of the SSc1 paths but the whole building does not?

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What if my base building is LEED registered and not yet certified—can I still earn five points under SSc1?

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Is exemplary performance available for this credit, in addition to the five points?

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See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under the first bullet, add a second bullet with the following text:For projects where asbestos is found, prepare executive summary-levelcontent from the investigation\'s report explaining the extent of thecontamination and required action as well as documentation indicatingan acceptable level of remediation was achieved based on anacceptable standard, such as RCRA or NESHAPs.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line "Total Area," replace "14,660" with "19,166"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the entire section\'s text and insert new text as indicated in the supplemental documentation.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
The second paragraph should read: "A building on a site classified as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the second paragraph to say, "Certification of a building under any of the Building Design and Construction Rating Systems or Building Operations and Maintenance Rating Systems signifies that building owners have already taken significant steps to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, conserve valuable resources, and provide healthful indoor environments for building occupants."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line of the paragraph, replace "50%" with "49%"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the first sentence with, "Blackwater is wastewater containing urine or fecal matter that should be discharged to the sanitary drainage system of the building or premises in accordance with the International Plumbing Code."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below the section title, replace the "
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace "whose use" with "or the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the term "photovoltaic panels" with "solar energy panels" and add "other appurtenances" to the list of things deducted from the roof area so that the sentence reads "Projects may earn an Innovation in Design (ID) credit for exemplary performance by demonstrating that 100% of the project\'s roof area (excluding any mechanical equipment, solar energy panels, skylights, and other appurtenances) consists of a vegetated roof system."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the first paragraph, replace the "?" with "1/2" in the text so it becomes "...predevelopment 1 1/2 year 24-hour rate..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "solar reflectance (SR)" with "the fraction of solar energy that is reflected by a surface on a scale of 0 to 1. Black paint has a solar reflectance of 0; white paint (titanium dioxide) has a solar reflectance of 1. The standard technique for its determination uses spectrophotometric measurements, with an integrating sphere to determine the reflectance at each wavelength. The average reflectance is then determined by an averaging process, using a standard solar spectrum, as documented by ASTM Standards E903 and E892."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term "Tenant space" in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second line of the paragraph, replace the text "1-year and 2-year" with "1 1/2 year" so it becomes "...the 1 1/2 year 24-hour design storms..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term "An appurtenance is any built-in, nonstructural portion of a roof system, such as skylights, ventilators, mechanical equipment, partitions, and solar energy panels."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, insert a "be" between the words "should" and "treated" so the text becomes "...on-site wastewater should be treated..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment." after first sentence.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under the word "Websites," add the following resources:U.S. EPA, Asbestoshttp://www.epa.gov/asbestos/index.htmlThis website provides information on the health effets of asbestos, whereit is commonly found, and the laws and regulations governing testing ofsites containing asbestos.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the seventh line "Total Impervious Area," replace "8,100" with "9,001"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the first paragraph, replace the "?" with "1/2" in the text so it becomes "...predevelopment 1 1/2 year 24-hour rate..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third paragraph, remove the text "If Occupancy is not known, see Appendix 1, Default Occupancy Counts, for requirements and guidance."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following footnotes to the bottom of the page: 1Bus rapid transit an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail. 2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers. 3Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
At the end of the paragraph, add the following text:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the sixth line "Total Area," replace "14,660" with "19,166"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
In the second sentence, delete "Particularly in urban areas"; revise the last clause so that it reads, "Other sources may include vehicle exhaust, air-conditioners, and street equipment. Reduced airflow because of tall buildings and narrow streets exacerbate the effect."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the fifth line of the second paragraph, replace the word "note" with "not" so the text becomes "...on-site but does not store..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "graywater" with "Graywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term "Building footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line of the paragraph, replace the text "47%" with "55%" so it becomes "...an imperviousness of 55% and the..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "graywater" with "Graywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term Tenant space in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term "Tenant space" in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In item 2, add "skylights" to the list of things deducted from the roof area so that the sentence reads, "Determine the area of the roof covered by mechanical equipment, solar energy panels, skylights, and other appurtenances, and deduct these areas from the total roof surface area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the box, replace the numerator "Total Pervious Area (sf)" with "Total Impervious Area (sf)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Remove "or" before "subway station"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace SRI for "Typical new gray concrete" with 38
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line "Imperviousness," replace "55%" with "47%"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term, "Roof area is the area of the uppermost surface of the building which covers enclosed Gross Floor Area, as measured when projected onto a flat, horizontal surface (i.e. as seen in Roof Plan view). \'Roofs\', or portions of roofs, covering unenclosed areas (e.g. roofs over porches and open covered parking structures) are not included in the areas used to evaluate compliance with Path 5, though they may be applicable to Path 4."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the text "There are no definitions for this credit." and insert the following:Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Remove parentheses surrounding "by an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of SS-C1 is the selection of a sustainable and efficient performing building. LEED is identified as the rating system to confirm this. Our project is a Commercial Interiors project in Hong Kong. The local building rating system is Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Methodology (BEAM) and to our knowledge their are no LEED rated buildings. Our client has selected a building for their tenancy conforming to the highest BEAM rating(Platinum level) and has therefore demonstrated the selection of a sustainable and efficient performing building. Will a BEAM Platinum rated building meet the credit intent?

Ruling:

Your selection of a Platinum-rated BEAM rated building, while commendable, is not acceptable for achievement of this credit. Since there is no established equivalency between LEED and BEAM, your selection does not meet the intent of the credit. Applicable Internationally; China.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can LEED NC 2009 projects earn SSc3 for asbestos remediation?

Ruling:

Yes. The credit submittal must include the following:1. Executive summary-level content from the investigation\'s report, explaining the extend of the contamination and required action2. Documentation indicating an acceptable standard for remediation, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Cleanup and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)3. A narrative describing the site contamination and remediation efforts.Submit these with the forms, as well as a copy of this CIR ruling. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/20/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Options G and H for landscape irrigation: This project is a commercial interiors project in a dense urban site. The existing project is on a site with no irrigation system and no landscaping. According to the LEED CI reference guide (3rd edition p. 55) states "...Also if the project site has no irrigation these points do not apply." However, the credit interpretation of 11/3/2005 for WE CR 1 (LEED NC), "Yes, projects that do not have landscaping may earn two points under WE Credits 1.1 and 1.2 since potable water is not being used for site irrigation. As the credit is about performance and not action taken by the project team, the intent of the credit in this situation is met." in addition, a CIR ruling from 7/29/06 about a different aspect of SS credit 1 for LEED CI stated that "To clarify, note that SS Credit 1 addresses the attributes of the building selected for the tenant space..." We believe that selecting a building that does not include a potable water irrigation system meets the intent of this point. Please advise whether we can expect to receive the two half-points (e.g. 1 point total) associated with Credit 1 options G and H for this project.

Ruling:

The applicant has inquired whether LEED-CI v2.0 credits SSc1 G and H are available for projects with no landscaping based on LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 11/3/2005. The LEED-CIv2.0 reference guide states that "if the project site has no landscaping these points do not apply." This is intended to overrule the LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 11/3/2005. Therefore, LEED-CI project sites with no landscaping cannot be awarded SSc1 G and H. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 1: Site Selection, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10093 and 10094 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team is planning on installing a Cogeneration System that will take Biogas and turn it into Electricity to be used wholly on-site. The heat produced by this Cogeneration system will also fully be used on-site to preheat heating hot water and domestic hot water via a heat exchanger and potentially to power an absorption chiller.The building will receive the Biogas from a local Biogas provider and plans to enter into at least a 10 year contract with this provider to supply enough Biogas to the building to fully power the planned Cogeneration system. The contract will stipulate both that enough Biogas will be fed into the pipeline to meet required demands of the Cogeneration system and that the Biogas will be metered to prove that the actual amount of Biogas supplied meets the contracted requirements at all times.Though the Biogas is not being piped exclusively to the site (contractually it is supplied exclusively via project ownership funds), it is transported directly to the site in the existing natural gas pipeline. This approach achieves the exact same net result on the Natural Gas grid as piping Biogas exclusively to the project site in its own dedicated pipeline and allows the project to avoid having to dig up 100s of miles of land and lay a brand new pipeline to the project, something that would have a significantly detrimental effect on the local environment. In an urban environment like where the project is located, there is little or no option to be able to refine and extract Biogas on-site or even very close to a site, so the approach the project team is suggesting is the best and most reasonable alternative.Is this approach acceptable in accordance with the Reference Guide and Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011)?

Ruling:

Directed Biogas purchase is not considered on-site renewable energy based on the current EAc2 credit requirements, addenda and LEED Interpretations, because the gas consumed on-site is not the same as the biogas that the project purchased. Please note that the referenced Addendum 100001081 does not allow for the fuel used on site to be different than the fuel that was purchased for the project. The referenced addendum applies for situations such as landfill gas piped directly to the project from a nearby landfill, or wood pellets from wood mill residue that are trucked to the project. In either case, it would not be acceptable for the landfill gas or pellets generated from wood mill residue to be "purchased" by the project, used in another project, and replaced in the project with natural gas or wood pellets produced from tree tops. Also, note that NREL refers to directed biogas as off-site renewable energy.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is a stainless steel tube veil that covers the complete building. The tubes are placed with a 1 mm spacing between each other, and the material interior cannot be seen. Therefore, we would like to conduct a test to verify if the SRI of the tubes will comply with the LEED requirements (equal or greater than 78). Due to the originality of the exterior facade, we would like to know what type of test should be conducted:
Option 1 - Test using a 4mx4m mock up of the roof assembly and test the reflectance per ASTM 1918,
Option 2 - A flat sample test of all the materials installed on the roof
Please advise if there are any other tests that would need to be conducted.

Ruling:

The Referenced LEED Standard of ASTM 1918-97 has been superseded by ASTM 1918-06. For a roof with a veil design, or similar non-homogenous materials, the project should perform a SRI test to ASTM E1175 - 87(2009) Standard Test Method for Determining Solar or Photopic Reflectance, Transmittance, and Absorptance of Materials Using a Large Diameter Integrating Sphere. When submitting for LEED Certification, please include a copy of this interpretation and a summary of any testing results that document the SRI rating for the installed veil surface.Projects may wish to test any mock-up to assess credit compliance before testing installed materials, but the testing for certification should be done for the installed roofing assembly. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/18/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

SS Credit 1 Option D: Heat Island Reduction, Non-Roof Intent: Reduce heat islands to minimize impact on habitat. Requirement: Select a building that has a minimum of 50% of parking spaces underground or covered by structured parking. The project meets both the intent and requirement. The project building site was selected for the covered parking benefit. Later in the process, the tenant decided not to have any parking spaces allotted to the project. Therefore, the project has also targeted SS Credit 3.3 Alternative Transportation, Parking Availability - Case A 2nd option - "No parking will be provided for tenant occupants". Is it allowed for this project to obtain both credits?

Ruling:

Yes, the project is eligible to attain both SS Credit 1 Option D for 1/2 point and SS Credit 3.3 for 1 point. To clarify, note that SS Credit 1 addresses the attributes of the building selected for the tenant space, whereas SS Credit 3.3 recognizes actions taken by the project occupant. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/5/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The building, built in 1994 is currently being renovated using the Commercial Interiors rating system. The building has never been certified under LEED. I am request that consideration be given for Option L - "Other Quantifiable Environmental Performance". My understanding is that this allows credits from other reference guides to be used towards this project for 1/2 point of credit. We request that the project be given consideration for the LEED-NC SS credit 5.2 "Site Development - Maximize Open Space". The existing site is 420,222 SF (which includes a geo-thermal coupled pond). The existing coverage, including buildings, parking and other impervious areas total 113,530 SF and will not be changed as a result of our current project. This calculates to 27% of total lot coverage. The local zoning regulations allow a 70% total lot coverage. In order to exceed the local requirements by 25% we could theoretically be able to cover 52.5% of the lot. We intend to maintain a 27% lot coverage per the above mentioned figures. The actual open space requirement exceeds the local zoning requirement by 51.4% and theoretically apply for exemplary performance - is this a possibility for a total of 1 point?

Ruling:

Yes, the project can achieve a 1/2 point under Option L of this credit by demonstrating that the building selected for tenant space meets the SSc5.2 requirements within the current version of the LEED NC Rating System. An additional 1/2 point can be achieved for exemplary performance by demonstrating that the project has exceeded the credit requirements by doubling the required threshold. To verify credit achievement, the project must include the documentation required by LEED NC SSc5.2. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect- Non-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 1: Site Selection, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10092 and 10094 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/18/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

SS Credit 1 Option D: Heat Island Reduction, Non-Roof Intent: Reduce heat islands to minimize impact on habitat. Requirement: Locate the tenant space in a building where at least 30% of the site\'s non-roof impervious surfaces including parking areas, walkways, etc., uses light-colored/high-albedo materials with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of at least 30. Situation: Tenant is municipal employees who will be located in the administrative area of a building that is part of a water treatment plant. There are two large circular in-ground water storage tanks that are a part of the water treatment process on the site. These tanks have permanent, impervious covers that have a durable coating with a high SRI value, and will be in place at the time of submittal for this project. Strategy under consideration: Consider the tanks to be a part of the site\'s non-roof impervious surfaces with an SRI index greater than 30, in order to provide the required percentage of light-colored, non-roof impervious surface area on the site (30%) needed to earn 1/2 point under Option D. Are we allowed to include the surface area of these tank covers in our calculation of the percentage of non-roof impervious surface area materials having SRI of 30 or higher?

Ruling:

The applicant is requesting clarification as to whether impervious covers to permanent in-ground equipment can be considered as non-roof impervious surfaces for the sake of meeting Option D requirements. Based on the description provided, it is assumed that the covers are exposed at or near grade, in which case the covers may be considered as non-roof impervious surface for the purpose of meeting this credit. All similar equipment covers within the scope of the project need to be consistently addressed.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect- Non-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2: Roof, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10093 and 10092 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Would aggregate and chat covered areas be considered hardscape or a non-hardscape, pervious paving type surface? If the aggregate and chat are considered hardscape, what SRI values should be used, or how is the SRI value for these materials determined? If no industry standard is available, is it permissible to compare the aggregate/chat to a material with a known SRI value? Or could we use the value from a comparable color on the Munsell Color Code (or similar)?

Ruling:

Aggregate and chat areas must be considered hardscape, and would not count as open-grid pavement systems, for the purposes of this credit. To determine the SRI for materials that do not have recognized standard values (e.g. new gray concrete), the materials must be individually tested (per LEED NC v2.1 CIR Ruling dated 6/27/2003). As stated in the credit description, it is necessary to provide the documentation indicating the solar reflectance index of the aggregate/chat as meeting the requirement. It is not acceptable to compare materials used on the project to a material with a known SRI value. Color values do not have direct correlation to emissivity and solar reflectance values which are the basis for the SRI calculation. Aggregate may be tested using ASTM E1918-06 (Solar Reflectance) and ASTM E408-71(2008) (Thermal Emittance) and then the SRI may be calculated using ASTM E1980. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To encourage tenants to select buildings that employ best practices systems and green strategies.

Requirements

Option 1
Select a LEED certified building (5 points).

OR

Option 2
Locate the tenant space in a building that has in place 1 or more of the following characteristics at time of submittal (1 – 5 points). Each of the following options may also be met by satisfying the requirements of the corresponding LEED 2009 for New Construction credit.
Path 1. Brownfield Redevelopment (1 point)
A building developed on a site documented as contaminated by an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. OR A building on a site classified as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent. Effective remediation of site contamination must have been completed.
Path 2. Stormwater design - quantity control (1 point)
A building that prior to its development had less than or equal to 50% imperviousness and has implemented a stormwater management plan that is equal to or is less than the predevelopment 1-1/2 year 24-hour rate and quantity discharge. OR A building that prior to its development had more than 50% imperviousness and has implemented a stormwater management plan that reduced predevelopment 1-1/2 year 24-hour rate and quantity discharge by 25% of the annual on-site stormwater load. This mitigation can be achieved through a variety of measures such as perviousness of site, stormwater retention ponds, and harvesting of rainwater for reuse. Stormwater values are based on actual local rainfall unless the actual exceeds the 10-year annual average local rainfall, in which case the 10-year annual average should be used.
Path 3. Stormwater design - quality control (1 point)
A building that has in place site stormwater treatment systems designed to remove at least 80% of the average annual site area’s total suspended solids (TSS) and 40% of the average annual site area’s total phosphorus (TP). These values are based on the average annual loadings from all storms less than or equal to the 2-year, 24-hour storm. The building must implement and maintain best management practices (BMPs) outlined in Chapter 4, Part 2, Urban Runoff, of the EPA Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters, January 1993 (EPA 840-B-92-002) or the local government’s BMP document, whichever is more stringent.
Path 4. Heat island effect - nonroof (1 point)
A building that provides shade (or will provide shade within 5 years of landscape installation), and/or uses light-colored or high-albedo materials with a solar reflectance index (SRI)1 of at least 29, and/or has open-grid pavement areas that individually or in total equal at least 30% of the site’s nonroof impervious surfaces, such as parking areas, walkways, plazas, and fire lanes. OR A building that has placed a minimum of 50% of parking spaces underground or covered by structured parking. OR A building that has an open-grid pavement system (less than 50% impervious) for 50% of the parking lot area.
Path 5. Heat island effect - roof (1 point)
A building whose roofing has a solar reflectance index (SRI) of the following minimum values for at least 75% of the roof surface:

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11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under the first bullet, add a second bullet with the following text:For projects where asbestos is found, prepare executive summary-levelcontent from the investigation\'s report explaining the extent of thecontamination and required action as well as documentation indicatingan acceptable level of remediation was achieved based on anacceptable standard, such as RCRA or NESHAPs.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line "Total Area," replace "14,660" with "19,166"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the entire section\'s text and insert new text as indicated in the supplemental documentation.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
The second paragraph should read: "A building on a site classified as a brownfield by a local, state, tribal or national government agency, whichever is most stringent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the second paragraph to say, "Certification of a building under any of the Building Design and Construction Rating Systems or Building Operations and Maintenance Rating Systems signifies that building owners have already taken significant steps to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, conserve valuable resources, and provide healthful indoor environments for building occupants."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line of the paragraph, replace "50%" with "49%"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the first sentence with, "Blackwater is wastewater containing urine or fecal matter that should be discharged to the sanitary drainage system of the building or premises in accordance with the International Plumbing Code."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below the section title, replace the "
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace "whose use" with "or the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the term "photovoltaic panels" with "solar energy panels" and add "other appurtenances" to the list of things deducted from the roof area so that the sentence reads "Projects may earn an Innovation in Design (ID) credit for exemplary performance by demonstrating that 100% of the project\'s roof area (excluding any mechanical equipment, solar energy panels, skylights, and other appurtenances) consists of a vegetated roof system."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the first paragraph, replace the "?" with "1/2" in the text so it becomes "...predevelopment 1 1/2 year 24-hour rate..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "solar reflectance (SR)" with "the fraction of solar energy that is reflected by a surface on a scale of 0 to 1. Black paint has a solar reflectance of 0; white paint (titanium dioxide) has a solar reflectance of 1. The standard technique for its determination uses spectrophotometric measurements, with an integrating sphere to determine the reflectance at each wavelength. The average reflectance is then determined by an averaging process, using a standard solar spectrum, as documented by ASTM Standards E903 and E892."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term "Tenant space" in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second line of the paragraph, replace the text "1-year and 2-year" with "1 1/2 year" so it becomes "...the 1 1/2 year 24-hour design storms..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term "An appurtenance is any built-in, nonstructural portion of a roof system, such as skylights, ventilators, mechanical equipment, partitions, and solar energy panels."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, insert a "be" between the words "should" and "treated" so the text becomes "...on-site wastewater should be treated..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment." after first sentence.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under the word "Websites," add the following resources:U.S. EPA, Asbestoshttp://www.epa.gov/asbestos/index.htmlThis website provides information on the health effets of asbestos, whereit is commonly found, and the laws and regulations governing testing ofsites containing asbestos.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the seventh line "Total Impervious Area," replace "8,100" with "9,001"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the first paragraph, replace the "?" with "1/2" in the text so it becomes "...predevelopment 1 1/2 year 24-hour rate..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third paragraph, remove the text "If Occupancy is not known, see Appendix 1, Default Occupancy Counts, for requirements and guidance."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following footnotes to the bottom of the page: 1Bus rapid transit an enhanced bus system that operates on exclusive bus lanes or other transit rights-of-way; it is designed to combine the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail. 2 Rideshare is a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders. Rideshare options must hold 4 or more passengers, except for human-powered conveyances which must hold 2 or more passengers. 3Public transportation consists of bus, rail, or other transit services for the general public that operate on a regular, continual basis.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
At the end of the paragraph, add the following text:Projects where asbestos is found and remediated may also earn thiscredit. Testing should be done in accordance with EPA Reg 40CFR part763, when applicable.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the sixth line "Total Area," replace "14,660" with "19,166"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
In the second sentence, delete "Particularly in urban areas"; revise the last clause so that it reads, "Other sources may include vehicle exhaust, air-conditioners, and street equipment. Reduced airflow because of tall buildings and narrow streets exacerbate the effect."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the fifth line of the second paragraph, replace the word "note" with "not" so the text becomes "...on-site but does not store..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "graywater" with "Graywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term "Building footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line of the paragraph, replace the text "47%" with "55%" so it becomes "...an imperviousness of 55% and the..."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "graywater" with "Graywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term Tenant space in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Insert the term "Tenant space" in alphabetical order with the accompanying text "Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In item 2, add "skylights" to the list of things deducted from the roof area so that the sentence reads, "Determine the area of the roof covered by mechanical equipment, solar energy panels, skylights, and other appurtenances, and deduct these areas from the total roof surface area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the box, replace the numerator "Total Pervious Area (sf)" with "Total Impervious Area (sf)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Remove "or" before "subway station"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace SRI for "Typical new gray concrete" with 38
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the eighth line "Imperviousness," replace "55%" with "47%"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In alphabetical order, add the term, "Roof area is the area of the uppermost surface of the building which covers enclosed Gross Floor Area, as measured when projected onto a flat, horizontal surface (i.e. as seen in Roof Plan view). \'Roofs\', or portions of roofs, covering unenclosed areas (e.g. roofs over porches and open covered parking structures) are not included in the areas used to evaluate compliance with Path 5, though they may be applicable to Path 4."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the text "There are no definitions for this credit." and insert the following:Tenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Remove parentheses surrounding "by an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment or a local voluntary cleanup program"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of SS-C1 is the selection of a sustainable and efficient performing building. LEED is identified as the rating system to confirm this. Our project is a Commercial Interiors project in Hong Kong. The local building rating system is Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Methodology (BEAM) and to our knowledge their are no LEED rated buildings. Our client has selected a building for their tenancy conforming to the highest BEAM rating(Platinum level) and has therefore demonstrated the selection of a sustainable and efficient performing building. Will a BEAM Platinum rated building meet the credit intent?

Ruling:

Your selection of a Platinum-rated BEAM rated building, while commendable, is not acceptable for achievement of this credit. Since there is no established equivalency between LEED and BEAM, your selection does not meet the intent of the credit. Applicable Internationally; China.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can LEED NC 2009 projects earn SSc3 for asbestos remediation?

Ruling:

Yes. The credit submittal must include the following:1. Executive summary-level content from the investigation\'s report, explaining the extend of the contamination and required action2. Documentation indicating an acceptable standard for remediation, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Cleanup and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)3. A narrative describing the site contamination and remediation efforts.Submit these with the forms, as well as a copy of this CIR ruling. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/20/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Options G and H for landscape irrigation: This project is a commercial interiors project in a dense urban site. The existing project is on a site with no irrigation system and no landscaping. According to the LEED CI reference guide (3rd edition p. 55) states "...Also if the project site has no irrigation these points do not apply." However, the credit interpretation of 11/3/2005 for WE CR 1 (LEED NC), "Yes, projects that do not have landscaping may earn two points under WE Credits 1.1 and 1.2 since potable water is not being used for site irrigation. As the credit is about performance and not action taken by the project team, the intent of the credit in this situation is met." in addition, a CIR ruling from 7/29/06 about a different aspect of SS credit 1 for LEED CI stated that "To clarify, note that SS Credit 1 addresses the attributes of the building selected for the tenant space..." We believe that selecting a building that does not include a potable water irrigation system meets the intent of this point. Please advise whether we can expect to receive the two half-points (e.g. 1 point total) associated with Credit 1 options G and H for this project.

Ruling:

The applicant has inquired whether LEED-CI v2.0 credits SSc1 G and H are available for projects with no landscaping based on LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 11/3/2005. The LEED-CIv2.0 reference guide states that "if the project site has no landscaping these points do not apply." This is intended to overrule the LEED-NC v2.1 CIR ruling dated 11/3/2005. Therefore, LEED-CI project sites with no landscaping cannot be awarded SSc1 G and H. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 1: Site Selection, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10093 and 10094 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team is planning on installing a Cogeneration System that will take Biogas and turn it into Electricity to be used wholly on-site. The heat produced by this Cogeneration system will also fully be used on-site to preheat heating hot water and domestic hot water via a heat exchanger and potentially to power an absorption chiller.The building will receive the Biogas from a local Biogas provider and plans to enter into at least a 10 year contract with this provider to supply enough Biogas to the building to fully power the planned Cogeneration system. The contract will stipulate both that enough Biogas will be fed into the pipeline to meet required demands of the Cogeneration system and that the Biogas will be metered to prove that the actual amount of Biogas supplied meets the contracted requirements at all times.Though the Biogas is not being piped exclusively to the site (contractually it is supplied exclusively via project ownership funds), it is transported directly to the site in the existing natural gas pipeline. This approach achieves the exact same net result on the Natural Gas grid as piping Biogas exclusively to the project site in its own dedicated pipeline and allows the project to avoid having to dig up 100s of miles of land and lay a brand new pipeline to the project, something that would have a significantly detrimental effect on the local environment. In an urban environment like where the project is located, there is little or no option to be able to refine and extract Biogas on-site or even very close to a site, so the approach the project team is suggesting is the best and most reasonable alternative.Is this approach acceptable in accordance with the Reference Guide and Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011)?

Ruling:

Directed Biogas purchase is not considered on-site renewable energy based on the current EAc2 credit requirements, addenda and LEED Interpretations, because the gas consumed on-site is not the same as the biogas that the project purchased. Please note that the referenced Addendum 100001081 does not allow for the fuel used on site to be different than the fuel that was purchased for the project. The referenced addendum applies for situations such as landfill gas piped directly to the project from a nearby landfill, or wood pellets from wood mill residue that are trucked to the project. In either case, it would not be acceptable for the landfill gas or pellets generated from wood mill residue to be "purchased" by the project, used in another project, and replaced in the project with natural gas or wood pellets produced from tree tops. Also, note that NREL refers to directed biogas as off-site renewable energy.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is a stainless steel tube veil that covers the complete building. The tubes are placed with a 1 mm spacing between each other, and the material interior cannot be seen. Therefore, we would like to conduct a test to verify if the SRI of the tubes will comply with the LEED requirements (equal or greater than 78). Due to the originality of the exterior facade, we would like to know what type of test should be conducted:
Option 1 - Test using a 4mx4m mock up of the roof assembly and test the reflectance per ASTM 1918,
Option 2 - A flat sample test of all the materials installed on the roof
Please advise if there are any other tests that would need to be conducted.

Ruling:

The Referenced LEED Standard of ASTM 1918-97 has been superseded by ASTM 1918-06. For a roof with a veil design, or similar non-homogenous materials, the project should perform a SRI test to ASTM E1175 - 87(2009) Standard Test Method for Determining Solar or Photopic Reflectance, Transmittance, and Absorptance of Materials Using a Large Diameter Integrating Sphere. When submitting for LEED Certification, please include a copy of this interpretation and a summary of any testing results that document the SRI rating for the installed veil surface.Projects may wish to test any mock-up to assess credit compliance before testing installed materials, but the testing for certification should be done for the installed roofing assembly. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/18/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

SS Credit 1 Option D: Heat Island Reduction, Non-Roof Intent: Reduce heat islands to minimize impact on habitat. Requirement: Select a building that has a minimum of 50% of parking spaces underground or covered by structured parking. The project meets both the intent and requirement. The project building site was selected for the covered parking benefit. Later in the process, the tenant decided not to have any parking spaces allotted to the project. Therefore, the project has also targeted SS Credit 3.3 Alternative Transportation, Parking Availability - Case A 2nd option - "No parking will be provided for tenant occupants". Is it allowed for this project to obtain both credits?

Ruling:

Yes, the project is eligible to attain both SS Credit 1 Option D for 1/2 point and SS Credit 3.3 for 1 point. To clarify, note that SS Credit 1 addresses the attributes of the building selected for the tenant space, whereas SS Credit 3.3 recognizes actions taken by the project occupant. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/5/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The building, built in 1994 is currently being renovated using the Commercial Interiors rating system. The building has never been certified under LEED. I am request that consideration be given for Option L - "Other Quantifiable Environmental Performance". My understanding is that this allows credits from other reference guides to be used towards this project for 1/2 point of credit. We request that the project be given consideration for the LEED-NC SS credit 5.2 "Site Development - Maximize Open Space". The existing site is 420,222 SF (which includes a geo-thermal coupled pond). The existing coverage, including buildings, parking and other impervious areas total 113,530 SF and will not be changed as a result of our current project. This calculates to 27% of total lot coverage. The local zoning regulations allow a 70% total lot coverage. In order to exceed the local requirements by 25% we could theoretically be able to cover 52.5% of the lot. We intend to maintain a 27% lot coverage per the above mentioned figures. The actual open space requirement exceeds the local zoning requirement by 51.4% and theoretically apply for exemplary performance - is this a possibility for a total of 1 point?

Ruling:

Yes, the project can achieve a 1/2 point under Option L of this credit by demonstrating that the building selected for tenant space meets the SSc5.2 requirements within the current version of the LEED NC Rating System. An additional 1/2 point can be achieved for exemplary performance by demonstrating that the project has exceeded the credit requirements by doubling the required threshold. To verify credit achievement, the project must include the documentation required by LEED NC SSc5.2. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect- Non-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 1: Site Selection, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10092 and 10094 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/18/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

SS Credit 1 Option D: Heat Island Reduction, Non-Roof Intent: Reduce heat islands to minimize impact on habitat. Requirement: Locate the tenant space in a building where at least 30% of the site\'s non-roof impervious surfaces including parking areas, walkways, etc., uses light-colored/high-albedo materials with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of at least 30. Situation: Tenant is municipal employees who will be located in the administrative area of a building that is part of a water treatment plant. There are two large circular in-ground water storage tanks that are a part of the water treatment process on the site. These tanks have permanent, impervious covers that have a durable coating with a high SRI value, and will be in place at the time of submittal for this project. Strategy under consideration: Consider the tanks to be a part of the site\'s non-roof impervious surfaces with an SRI index greater than 30, in order to provide the required percentage of light-colored, non-roof impervious surface area on the site (30%) needed to earn 1/2 point under Option D. Are we allowed to include the surface area of these tank covers in our calculation of the percentage of non-roof impervious surface area materials having SRI of 30 or higher?

Ruling:

The applicant is requesting clarification as to whether impervious covers to permanent in-ground equipment can be considered as non-roof impervious surfaces for the sake of meeting Option D requirements. Based on the description provided, it is assumed that the covers are exposed at or near grade, in which case the covers may be considered as non-roof impervious surface for the purpose of meeting this credit. All similar equipment covers within the scope of the project need to be consistently addressed.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many of the ASTM Standards we reference have been withdrawn, upgraded, or superseded. Provide guidance on which updated standards should be used.

Ruling:

The withdrawn ASTM Standards listed- ASTM E1980-01 and ASTM E903-96- are still the correct references for SSc1: Site Selection, SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, and SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect-Roof. These two standards were not withdrawn for technical reasons, but were withdrawn because they had not been updated within 8 years. Testing can still be performed for these as well as the superseded standards. The updated versions of the superseded standards can be used, but are not required:Old: ASTM E408-71(1996), Current: E408-71(2008)Old: ASTM C1371-04a, Current: C1371-04a(2010)Old: ASTM E1918-97, Current: E1918-06 Old: ASTM C1549-04, Current: 1549-09Note: This Interpretations is also applicable to Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect- Non-Roof and Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2: Roof, see LEED Interpretations dated 8/1/2011 ID number 10093 and 10092 respectively. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Would aggregate and chat covered areas be considered hardscape or a non-hardscape, pervious paving type surface? If the aggregate and chat are considered hardscape, what SRI values should be used, or how is the SRI value for these materials determined? If no industry standard is available, is it permissible to compare the aggregate/chat to a material with a known SRI value? Or could we use the value from a comparable color on the Munsell Color Code (or similar)?

Ruling:

Aggregate and chat areas must be considered hardscape, and would not count as open-grid pavement systems, for the purposes of this credit. To determine the SRI for materials that do not have recognized standard values (e.g. new gray concrete), the materials must be individually tested (per LEED NC v2.1 CIR Ruling dated 6/27/2003). As stated in the credit description, it is necessary to provide the documentation indicating the solar reflectance index of the aggregate/chat as meeting the requirement. It is not acceptable to compare materials used on the project to a material with a known SRI value. Color values do not have direct correlation to emissivity and solar reflectance values which are the basis for the SRI calculation. Aggregate may be tested using ASTM E1918-06 (Solar Reflectance) and ASTM E408-71(2008) (Thermal Emittance) and then the SRI may be calculated using ASTM E1980. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Susann Geithner

Dipl. Ing (FH), MSc., LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ID+C, WELL AP

Emerald Built Environments
Principal

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