Log in
LEED v2009
Core & Shell
Sustainable Sites
Development Density and Community Connectivity

LEED CREDIT

CS-2009 SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity 5 points

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Credit achievement rate

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

LEEDuser expert

Ellen Mitchell

HKS
Director of Sustainability

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Frank advice from LEED experts

LEED is changing all the time, and every project is unique. Even seasoned professionals can miss a critical detail and lose a credit or even a prerequisite at the last minute. Our expert advice guides our LEEDuser Premium members and saves you valuable time.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To channel development to urban areas with existing infrastructure, protect greenfields and preserve habitat and natural resources.

Requirements

Option 1: Development density

Construct or renovate a building on a previously developed site AND in a community with a minimum density of 60,000 square feet per acre net (13,800 square meters per hectare net). The density calculation is based on a typical two-story downtown development and must include the area of the project being built.

OR

Option 2: Community connectivity

Construct or renovate a building on a site that meets the following criteria:

  • Is located on a previously developed site
  • Is within 1/2 mile of a residential area or neighborhood with an average density of 10 units per acre net
  • Is within 1/2 mile of at least 10 basic services
  • Has pedestrian access between the building and the services

For mixed-use projects, no more than 1 service within the project boundary may be counted as 1 of the 10 basic services, provided it is open to the public. No more than 2 of the 10 services required may be anticipated (i.e. at least 8 must be existing and operational). In addition, the anticipated services must demonstrate that they will be operational in the locations indicated within 1 year of occupation of the applicant project. Examples of basic services include the following:

  • Bank
  • Place of Worship
  • Convenience Grocery
  • Day Care Center
  • Cleaners
  • Fire Station
  • Beauty Salon
  • Hardware
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Medical or Dental Office
  • Senior Care Facility
  • Park
  • Pharmacy
  • Post Office
  • Restaurant
  • School
  • Supermarket
  • Theater
  • Community Center
  • Fitness Center
  • Museum

Proximity is determined by drawing a 1/2-mile radius around a main building entrance on a site map and counting the services within that radius.

Credit substitution available

You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

Streamlined path available

Achievement of this credit can be documented via a LEED ND v2009 submittal. For more information check out this article.

SITES-LEED Equivalency

This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.

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

Is my site previously developed?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

What exactly does LEED mean by residential neighborhood or area?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Only a portion of my complying residential development lies within the ½-mile radius. Will this suffice for credit compliance?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Where do I draw the radius from?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Is one building or residential area enough to satisfy the residential density requirement?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

My project has access to services that seem to be basic, but are not listed in the LEED Reference Guide—like insurance company, nail salon, auto repair shop. Will these count?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

My project is on a base or campus where some services are available to the population of the project, but not the general public. Do these count?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

For Option 2, does the residential neighborhood with average density of 10 units per net acre have to be existing, or can planned neighborhoods count towards earning this option?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

What site area should be used for an interiors project when figuring out the density radius? The building site area, or building footprint?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Checklists

Step by step to LEED certification

LEEDuser’s checklists walk you through the key action steps you need to earn a credit, including how to avoid common pitfalls and save money.

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

Credit achievement rate

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

LEEDuser expert

Ellen Mitchell

HKS
Director of Sustainability

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To channel development to urban areas with existing infrastructure, protect greenfields and preserve habitat and natural resources.

Requirements

Option 1: Development density

Construct or renovate a building on a previously developed site AND in a community with a minimum density of 60,000 square feet per acre net (13,800 square meters per hectare net). The density calculation is based on a typical two-story downtown development and must include the area of the project being built.

OR

Option 2: Community connectivity

Construct or renovate a building on a site that meets the following criteria:

  • Is located on a previously developed site
  • Is within 1/2 mile of a residential area or neighborhood with an average density of 10 units per acre net
  • Is within 1/2 mile of at least 10 basic services
  • Has pedestrian access between the building and the services

For mixed-use projects, no more than 1 service within the project boundary may be counted as 1 of the 10 basic services, provided it is open to the public. No more than 2 of the 10 services required may be anticipated (i.e. at least 8 must be existing and operational). In addition, the anticipated services must demonstrate that they will be operational in the locations indicated within 1 year of occupation of the applicant project. Examples of basic services include the following:

  • Bank
  • Place of Worship
  • Convenience Grocery
  • Day Care Center
  • Cleaners
  • Fire Station
  • Beauty Salon
  • Hardware
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Medical or Dental Office
  • Senior Care Facility
  • Park
  • Pharmacy
  • Post Office
  • Restaurant
  • School
  • Supermarket
  • Theater
  • Community Center
  • Fitness Center
  • Museum

Proximity is determined by drawing a 1/2-mile radius around a main building entrance on a site map and counting the services within that radius.

Credit substitution available

You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

Streamlined path available

Achievement of this credit can be documented via a LEED ND v2009 submittal. For more information check out this article.

SITES-LEED Equivalency

This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

Got the gist of SSc2 but not sure how to actually achieve it? LEEDuser gives step-by-step help. Premium members get:

  • Checklists covering all the key action steps you'll need to earn the credit.
  • Hot tips to give you shortcuts and avoid pitfalls.
  • Cost tips to assess what a credit will actually cost, and how to make it affordable.
  • Ideas for going beyond LEED with best practices.
  • All checklists organized by project phase.
  • On-the-fly suggestions of useful items from the Documentation Toolkit and Credit Language.

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

Is my site previously developed?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

What exactly does LEED mean by residential neighborhood or area?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Only a portion of my complying residential development lies within the ½-mile radius. Will this suffice for credit compliance?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Where do I draw the radius from?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Is one building or residential area enough to satisfy the residential density requirement?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

My project has access to services that seem to be basic, but are not listed in the LEED Reference Guide—like insurance company, nail salon, auto repair shop. Will these count?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

My project is on a base or campus where some services are available to the population of the project, but not the general public. Do these count?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

For Option 2, does the residential neighborhood with average density of 10 units per net acre have to be existing, or can planned neighborhoods count towards earning this option?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

What site area should be used for an interiors project when figuring out the density radius? The building site area, or building footprint?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

LEEDuser expert

Ellen Mitchell

HKS
Director of Sustainability

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about CS-2009 SSc2