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LEED v4.1

Core and Shell

Sustainable Sites
Rainwater Management

LEED CREDIT

CS-v4.1 SSc4: Rainwater management 2-3 points

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SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser expert

Michael DeVuono

PE, CPESC, LEED AP BD+C

Arcadis North America
Senior Water Engineer

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To reduce runoff volume and improve water quality by replicating the natural hydrology and water balance of the site, based on historical conditions and undeveloped ecosystems in the region.

Requirements

Treat run-off from pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (i.e. vehicle pavement, service courts, trash enclosures) using low-impact development (LID) practice.

Percentile of Rainfall Events (1-3 points except Healthcare, 1-2 points Healthcare)

In a manner best replicating natural site hydrology processes, retain (i.e. infiltrate, evapotranspirate, or collect and reuse) on site the runoff from the developed site for, at minimum, the 80th percentile of regional or local rainfall events using low-impact development (LID) /green infrastructure (GI) practices. GI and LID strategies can be either structural or non-structural. Points are awarded according to Table 1.

For all projects, the use of coal tar sealants shall be prohibited in any application exposed to stormwater, wash waters, condensates, irrigation water, snowmelt, or icemelt.

Examples of acceptable techniques include the following:

  • planting rain gardens with native or adapted plant material (e.g. trees shrubs);
  • installing a vegetated roof;
  • using permeable paving, consisting of porous above-ground materials (e.g., open pavers, engineered products), a base layer designed to drain water away from the building, and (often) a 6-inch-deep (150 millimeters) subbase; and
  • installing permanent infiltration or collection features (e.g., vegetated swale, rain garden, rainwater cistern) that can retain 100% of the runoff from at minimum, the 80th percentile of regional or local rainfall events.

A combination of LID approaches are recommended (but not required) as they are holistic measures which maximize benefits. In contrast to LID, conventional stormwater techniques include grey infrastructure, such as detention or retention ponds, pipes, and vaults. Conventional grey infrastructure devices may be accepted only if integrated within a holistic LID system (ie. a combination of LID techniques).

Use daily rainfall data and the methodology in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Technical Guidance on Implementing the Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Projects under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act to determine the percentile amount to be retained.

Table 1. Points for percentile of rainfall retained

Percentile of Rainfall Retained Points Points (Healthcare)
80th Percentile 1 1
85th Percentile 2 2
90th Percentile 3 -

Zero Lot Line projects only (1-3 points except Healthcare, 1-2 points Healthcare)

The following requirement applies to zero lot line projects in urban areas with a minimum density of 1.5 FAR. Treat run-off from pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (i.e. vehicle pavement, service courts, trash enclosures) using low-impact development (LID) practice/green infrastructure (GI) (or a traditional stormwater treatment device if LID/GI is not feasible for lack of space). Any above-ground setback area must be designed and used as a pedestrian-oriented space (e.g. restaurant seating, outdoor displays, private vendors, or related public purpose).

In a manner best replicating natural site hydrology processes, retain on site the runoff from the developed site for, at minimum, the 70th percentile of regional or local rainfall events, using LID/GI. Points are awarded according to Table 2.

Table 2. Points for percentile of rainfall retained on Zero Lot Line projects

Percentile of Rainfall Retained Points Points (Healthcare)
70th Percentile 1 1
75th Percentile 2 2
80th Percentile 3 -

If the Zero Lot Line project meets the credit requirements and achieves at least the minimum percentile threshold of rainfall retained, additional volume can be retained offsite so long as the LID/GI system is designed to accommodate use by the project.

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LEEDuser expert

Michael DeVuono

PE, CPESC, LEED AP BD+C

Arcadis North America
Senior Water Engineer

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To reduce runoff volume and improve water quality by replicating the natural hydrology and water balance of the site, based on historical conditions and undeveloped ecosystems in the region.

Requirements

Treat run-off from pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (i.e. vehicle pavement, service courts, trash enclosures) using low-impact development (LID) practice.

Percentile of Rainfall Events (1-3 points except Healthcare, 1-2 points Healthcare)

In a manner best replicating natural site hydrology processes, retain (i.e. infiltrate, evapotranspirate, or collect and reuse) on site the runoff from the developed site for, at minimum, the 80th percentile of regional or local rainfall events using low-impact development (LID) /green infrastructure (GI) practices. GI and LID strategies can be either structural or non-structural. Points are awarded according to Table 1.

For all projects, the use of coal tar sealants shall be prohibited in any application exposed to stormwater, wash waters, condensates, irrigation water, snowmelt, or icemelt.

Examples of acceptable techniques include the following:

  • planting rain gardens with native or adapted plant material (e.g. trees shrubs);
  • installing a vegetated roof;
  • using permeable paving, consisting of porous above-ground materials (e.g., open pavers, engineered products), a base layer designed to drain water away from the building, and (often) a 6-inch-deep (150 millimeters) subbase; and
  • installing permanent infiltration or collection features (e.g., vegetated swale, rain garden, rainwater cistern) that can retain 100% of the runoff from at minimum, the 80th percentile of regional or local rainfall events.

A combination of LID approaches are recommended (but not required) as they are holistic measures which maximize benefits. In contrast to LID, conventional stormwater techniques include grey infrastructure, such as detention or retention ponds, pipes, and vaults. Conventional grey infrastructure devices may be accepted only if integrated within a holistic LID system (ie. a combination of LID techniques).

Use daily rainfall data and the methodology in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Technical Guidance on Implementing the Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Projects under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act to determine the percentile amount to be retained.

Table 1. Points for percentile of rainfall retained

Percentile of Rainfall Retained Points Points (Healthcare)
80th Percentile 1 1
85th Percentile 2 2
90th Percentile 3 -

Zero Lot Line projects only (1-3 points except Healthcare, 1-2 points Healthcare)

The following requirement applies to zero lot line projects in urban areas with a minimum density of 1.5 FAR. Treat run-off from pollutant-generating impervious surfaces (i.e. vehicle pavement, service courts, trash enclosures) using low-impact development (LID) practice/green infrastructure (GI) (or a traditional stormwater treatment device if LID/GI is not feasible for lack of space). Any above-ground setback area must be designed and used as a pedestrian-oriented space (e.g. restaurant seating, outdoor displays, private vendors, or related public purpose).

In a manner best replicating natural site hydrology processes, retain on site the runoff from the developed site for, at minimum, the 70th percentile of regional or local rainfall events, using LID/GI. Points are awarded according to Table 2.

Table 2. Points for percentile of rainfall retained on Zero Lot Line projects

Percentile of Rainfall Retained Points Points (Healthcare)
70th Percentile 1 1
75th Percentile 2 2
80th Percentile 3 -

If the Zero Lot Line project meets the credit requirements and achieves at least the minimum percentile threshold of rainfall retained, additional volume can be retained offsite so long as the LID/GI system is designed to accommodate use by the project.

LEEDuser expert

Michael DeVuono

PE, CPESC, LEED AP BD+C

Arcadis North America
Senior Water Engineer

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