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LEED v2009
Existing Building Operations
Sustainable Sites
Alternative Commuting Transportation

LEED CREDIT

EBOM-2009 SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation 3-15 points

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Requirements

Reduce the number of commuting round trips made by regular building occupants using single occupant, conventionally powered and conventionally fueled vehicles. For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; rideshare options1; human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient2 or alternative-fuel vehicles; walking or bicycling. Performance calculations are made relative to a baseline case that assumes all regular occupants commute alone in conventional automobiles. The calculations must account for seasonal variations in the use of alternative commuting methods and, where possible, indicate the distribution of commuting trips using each type of alternative transportation. Points are earned for reductions in conventional commuting trips during the performance period according to the following schedule:

Demonstrated percentage reduction in conventional commuting trips Points
10% 3
13.75% 4
17.50% 5
21.25% 6
25.00% 7
31.25% 8
37.50% 9
43.75% 10
50.00% 11
56.25% 12
62.50% 13
68.75% 14
75.00% 15
1 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. 2 Low-emitting vehicles and fuel-efficient vehicles are defined as vehicles that are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy annual vehicle-rating guide.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

[view:embed_resource=page_1=4649824]
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
[view:embed_resource=page_1=4649824] See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Cost estimates for this credit

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

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Frequently asked questions

The LEEDuser survey template asks for the occupant’s home zipcode. Some of our occupants won’t want to provide this sort of personal information. Do we have to collect this data?

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The LEED Reference Guide says that the survey should not be announced in a way that might generate skewed responses or encourage unrepresentative behavior. We’ve been educating our occupants for several months on the LEED process. What should we do?

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The LEED Reference Guide says that survey results can be extrapolated to all nonrespondents if the survey response rate is 80%, but I also saw this was true for a 60% response rate. Which is correct?

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My project is a retail center. Do we need to survey shoppers? What about the retail employees?

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My project is a hotel. Do we need to survey guests?

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My project is an educational building on a university campus. Do we need to survey students?

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The LEED Reference Guide says we need to account for seasonal variations in commuting behavior, but doesn’t offer any guidance on how to do this. What should I do?

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Addenda

1/15/2016Updated: 4/7/2016
Form Update
Description of change:
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace 95% with 80% and remove "trips equivalent to an average vehicle ridership (as defined by SCAQMD) of 20"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace section with that of the supplementary document.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise the second sentence of the first paragraph to read: "For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; rideshare options1 human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient2 or alternative-fuel vehicles; walking or bicycling."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, replace the word "includesincludes" with "includes"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, replace the word "includesincludes" with "includes"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the paragraph, replace the period with a semicolon and add text so it becomes the following:...performance rates; confirm the program is of equivalent or greaterstringency than SCAQMD; and demonstrate that the programencompasses a small and cohesive enough area to assume reasonablesimilarity of transportation options across the participating buildings.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Change the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Cleaner Car Guide website to "http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Insert footnote 1 and change footnote 1 to footnote 2, "1. 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."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Change the California Air Resources Board, Certified Vehicles List website from "http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ccvl/ccvl.htm" to "http://www.arb.ca.gov/".
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace text starting from "Accounting for Diverse Modes and Populations" on page 29 of Reference Guide up to (stopping before) "7. Documentation Guidance" on page 30 of Reference Guide with the following:"Accounting for Diverse Modes and PopulationsFor non-residential projects (i.e. those using calculations based on the annual nonhome-based commuting trips per employee), only regular building occupants can be included in the occupant commute survey. Those who are absent on 1 or more days of the survey period because they telecommute or work a compressed workweek must be listed as making zero trips for the day (or using zero vehicles, per the SCQAMD metric). Employees who walk, cycle, tele-commute, use public transit, or use a fuel-efficient vehicle (as defined in this credit) are counted as making zero conventional commute trips or using zero vehicles. Those who carpool or ride-share for more than 50% of their commuting trip distance are counted according to the number of other commuters in the vehicle. For example, if 2 people carpool to work together for most of the distance to the building, each is counted as making half a trip; 3 carpoolers are counted as making 33.3% of a trip each. Employees who report vacation or sick leave days should be noted but not included in the results.Example 4Building D has 100 regular occupants, 25 of whom use alternative transportation for their daily commute. To determine the AVR for the building, divide total occupancy (100) by the number of conventional single-occupancy vehicles used for occupants\' daily commute (75). In this instance the ARV is 1.3. To calculate the RCCT, divide the number of trips avoided or reduced by the use of alternative transportation (50) by the total commuting trips (200). The RCCT is 25%. For residential projects (i.e. those using calculations based on the annual home-based commuting trips per capita), residents\' commute patterns only should be included in the occupant commute survey. For residential calculations, assign a value of zero to a trip in which a resident carpools. Example 5Apartment building E provided a survey to its 10 occupants. After a preferred parking and transit voucher program was started, seven residents commute to work only using a single occupancy vehicle in both directions, 1 resident carpools to work but drives alone on the return trip, another resident carpools to work but takes transit home and a final resident takes transit in both directions. This building is considered to have reduced its number of regular commuting trips by 25% since 5 of the 20 com-mute trips used alternative transportation. Projects containing both residential and nonresidential occupants should use a combination of the approaches listed above if the majority building occupancy type (residential or employee) comprises less than 90% of the total building occupancy. "
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the fifth line of the paragraph, replace "4" with "5" so the text becomes "(100 occupants x 2 trips per day x 5 days per week)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/16/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This CIR is requesting additional guidance on the surveying requirements for SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation. Our project is the largest building in the city, with 3,500 building occupants and is located within a densely occupied urban environment with minimal parking capacity. The only parking owned by the project is 209 spaces of under-building parking for the use of paying building occupants and complimentary parking exclusive visitors to the penthouse restaurant. Street parking is limited as the building is located on the downtown light-rail line, where the line prohibits parking on its path. Additionally, the building is located by the city\'s public transportation centers and within areas of high bicycle commuting in a Platinum rated bicycling city. The issue with our project is not getting individuals to use alternative forms of commuting, but rather in receiving a high non-response rate from building occupants for the transportation survey. As listed in the LEED EB O&M Submittal Template, "Survey non-responders are considered conventional commuters unless the survey response rate is 80% or higher. For response rates of 80% or more, the survey results may be extrapolated to the non-responders." Our project performed a one-time survey pursuant to the survey in SCAQMD Rule 2202. The survey was distributed to 1,500 of the 3,500 building occupants with a $5.00 incentive for survey completion. Of the 1,500 surveys distributed, we received 750 responses that demonstrated 89% of surveyed individuals utilized some form of alternative transportation. With the requirements for non-responders, this percentage would then be dropped down to 44% and the project would lose two points due to issues outside of management\'s control. In order to receive accurate survey responses, we would like to receive further guidance on the survey requirements for projects such as this one. As listed under LEED-EB O&M EQc2.1: Occupant Comfort, Occupant Survey, "the survey must be collected from a representative sample of building occupants making up at least 30% of the total occupants." Additionally, according to LEED NCv2.2, EQc7.2: Thermal Comfort Monitoring, the survey must be anonymous and "may be administered in person, over the phone, over networked computers, or on paper but should be consistently applied and available for participation by all regular occupants." We would like to apply these surveying requirements to SSc4 as well. In order to ensure that we are receiving a representative sample of building occupants, we would like to perform in-person surveying of building occupants using the SCAQMD Rule 2202 survey format. The surveyors will be located within the centrally-located elevators to ensure occupants entering from all doors and from the garage are being surveyed. Surveys will be captured during peak commuting windows (7:00am - 10:00am, 4:00pm - 6:00pm) for at least one day, until at least 30% of building occupants are surveyed without repetition. To ensure that this method meets the intent of the credit, all persons who do not participate will be considered "non-responders."

Ruling:

Performing an in-person survey of building occupants using the SCAQMD Rule 2202 survey format is an appropriate mechanism for determining alternative transportation use rates. Option 2 listed in the EB: O&M Reference Guide (First Edition, page 65) allows for a random statistical approach for surveying occupants and extrapolating the results to the entire building population. The sampling methodology must be documented and be systematic and representative of the entire building population. The required minimum sampling size is determined by the following formula: Required random sampling size = (# of regular occupants x 752) / (# of regular occupants + 752) 1. The proposed percentage of surveyed occupants for the project would be sufficient. Non-respondents to the survey would be considered conventional single-occupancy vehicle users. Please see the Reference Guide for details and examples of this survey method. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2013
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

On this site, the majority of occupants own flex cars (gas or ethanol), and vehicles use ethanol as fuel. Based on the CARB and California's "Alternative Fuel & Vehicle Technology Renewable" Program, ethanol is considered a renewable fuel. Is this acceptable for this credit?

Ruling:

Ethanol fueled vehicles can count towards as a portion of a qualifying alternative transportation trip equivalent to the percentage of ethanol that is in the ethanol fuel blend. The formula that must be used is (fuel ratio used*number of trips made during the week). For example, if an occupant uses the ethanol fuel blend E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) for all ten trips made to and from the project building during the week then 8.5 of the trips made would qualify as alternative transportation trips and 1.5 of the trips would count as trips made with a conventionally powered vehicle. In order to accurately account for the ethanol fuel blend the survey respondent must confirm that their flex vehicle is fueled with ethanol and provide the fuel blend.

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

This is an inquiry about the calculation of the FTE in relation to our project in Zurich, Switzerland. In the LEED Reference Guide on page 53 the calculation of the FTE is based on a 8-hour working day. That means that an 8-hour occupant has an FTE value of 1.0. The standard working day in Switzerland contains 8.5 hours of work.In a FTE calculation on the basis that is provided in the LEED Reference Guide the normal working day of one single person would have the FTE value of 1.0625. As a consequence of the, in case of 1000 people fulltime staff this FTE calculation would have additional number of 63 FTE in comparion to an FTE value of 1.0.Is it possible to calculate the FTE value for this project with an 8.5 instead of 8 hour day, so that we would have the FTE value of 1.0 for a standard 8.5 hour-working day?

Ruling:

The project team has inquired if projects in Switzerland may use 8.5-hours as their working day instead of 8-hours as in the US. Each full-time employee based on Swiss and US labor laws works an 8.5-hour day, which includes a half-hour unpaid lunch break and two 15-minute paid breaks. In order to maintain the baseline for projects everywhere when calculating FTE occupancy, all Swiss projects, including those industries that have an overtime work culture for full-time employees, should still use the 8.0-hour work day in their FTE calculations. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
6/15/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This credit interpretation request is in reference to LEED-EB requirements for a 497 000 s.f.g. Convention Centre located in Quebec City (Canada), winner of the 2006 AIPC Apex Award for the World\'s Best Congress Centre given by the International Association of Congress Centres. The Quebec City Convention Centre (QCCC) has for mission to welcome conferences, meetings and large-scale exhibits by offering an international convention facility. Three (3) user types are indicated for the congress Centre: administrators, organizers and visitors. 1. Most of the administrators (approximately 70 people) carry on their functions from an adjacent building from the convention Centre. Only three employees are working on a daily basis in the centre in period of event. These full-time employees shall be included in calculations. 2. Organizers are exclusively subcontractors. The Centre doesn\'t have any direct employee appointed to events organization. Number of organizers shall be estimated to be included in calculations. 3. Visitors represent the majority of building occupants. Visitors do not qualify as transient occupants because most of them use the Centre for at least one day/event. All events held at the Centre cover a period, in average, of 340 occupation days per years. Some events require the visitors\' presence inside the Centre for a period of more than 8 hours. Some events require the visitors\' presence for less than 8 hours. Number of visitors shall be estimated to be included in calculations. Occupants\' estimation Administrators: The number of three full-time employees will be used in calculations. Visitors: According to administrators\' projections, the number of visitors attending events held in the Centre (short and long period) can be divided on a basis of 8 hours of occupation to estimate an average of occupants/day. The Centre is monitoring the number of entrances/event. The exact number of participants from the two last years\' data would be used to calculate (on an 8 hours basis) the number of daily regular occupants. Organizers: All organizers are subcontracted by the QCCC. The QCCC doesn\'t keep track of many employees from each subcontractor is working inside of the Centre. However, the Centre administrators estimate from their experience the number of organizers/day required to set up and operate an event to 4%, in average, of the total participants attending an event. Are the 2 above estimations acceptable in order to complete calculations/requirements of credit SSc3.2 of LEED-EB V2.0?

Ruling:

The above estimations appear reasonable with the following notes: Bike racks and showers require different occupancy calculations. For showers, occupants should be considered individuals who regularly spend a full working day at the facility. This would seem to imply administrators and organizers (but not visitors) in this instance. Bike racks, however, should include visitors in the occupancy calculation as you have suggested in the \'occupants estimation\' above. Also, please note that it would be unusual for a 500,000 square foot convention center to have a full-time staff of only 3 employees. Please ensure that occupancy calculations include management, staff, food services, and particularly custodial services, (unless those services all fall within the \'organizer\' category as well, in which case you have addressed them already). Applicable Internationally; Canada.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/25/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The building we are applying for LEED-EB certification is a residential building located at the heart of a University campus. The majority (approx. 99%) of occupants (students) live in the building and either walk or bike around the campus to \'commute\' to classes. Our school has pursued an Innovation point for the institution\'s Commuter Choice program for several NC and CI projects (e.g. http://greencampus.harvard.edu/theresource/leed-submit/nc/documents/5_Co... ; http://greencampus.harvard.edu/theresource/leed-submit/nc/documents/blac... ) Since it is a campus setting and a residential building, can the reduction in drive-alone rates be shown campus-wide and applied towards the SS 4 credit for our LEED-EB project? We propose the following submittals to demonstrate compliance with this credit:

Ruling:

The reduction in single-occupant vehicle trips can be demonstrated on a campus-wide basis to achieve credit for a specific project building. Using the methodology for determining drive alone commute trip reductions established by the applicable state law is acceptable. The percent trip reduction calculations should be based on the percentage of single-occupant trips relative to the total number of trips. For example, if 28,559 trips of 84,611 total trips involved single occupant vehicles, the reduction in conventional commuting trips is 67%. Please note that the assessment of single passenger vehicle usages must occur during the LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M performance period for this credit, which may be extended to a maximum of 24 months preceding certification application. The proposed submittals should be provided in support of demonstrating compliance with the approach outlined above. Applicable Internationally.

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

If a project team is prohibited from surveying employees and almost all employees arrive by car or vanpool, can they monitor employees entering the parking lot for a week and record their carpooling habits in lieu of a survey?

Ruling:

Yes, it is acceptable to monitor vehicles, but this will not account for percent trip reductions, which must be accounted for. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many cars in Brazil are fuel efficient and low-emitting yet do not meet the requirements of two credits (BD&C SSc4.3: Alternative Transportation: Low Emitting and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles and O&M SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation) because the vehicles have not been evaluated by CARB or ACEEE. This hinders the ability of many Brazilian projects to achieve the credit. We propose that the following Brazilian standards be included in determining whether a vehicle is considered fuel-efficient or low-emitting:a. Any vehicle achieving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) system, the ratings for vehicles in this system can be found at: http://servicos.ibama.gov.br/ctf/publico/sel_marca_modelo_rvep.php. This system awards stars based on a vehicle\'s emissions reductions and fuel type. The first three stars are earned via relatively low emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons. The fourth star is awarded for vehicles that have a CO2 emissions rate of less than 80g/km (128 g/mi). The fifth star is awarded for vehicles using alternative fuels (gasoline-ethanol mix, hybrid electric, and all-electric). b. Any vehicle receiving an A or B in the Brazilian Energy Program (PBE) of INMETRO (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology) of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. This program uses many of the same techniques that the U.S. EPA has used to evaluate fuel efficiency in American vehicles. A full description of the program is available at http://repositorios.inmetro.gov.br/bitstream/10926/1290/1/2010_Novgorodc....

Ruling:

The applicant has requested that vehicles in Brazil receiving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) program or vehicles receiving an A or B in the INMETRO Brazilian Labeling Program for Vehicles (PBEV) be classified as low-emitting and fuel-efficient for the purposes of LEED NC 2009 SSc4.3 and LEED EB 2009 SSc4. Vehicles in Brazil may qualify as low-emitting and fuel-efficient by earning both of the following conditions:1. A score of Four Stars or above from IBAMA. This is the highest score for vehicles that are low-emitting but not necessarily fueled by alternative fuels (as research indicates that not all alternative fuels ensure improved environmental performance).2. An A from INMETRO. INMETRO uses relative criteria for different vehicle classifications. This differs from the absolute standards used by the ACEEE methodology. Since, in this instance, the USGBC preference for absolute metrics cannot be met, only the highest INMETRO score is accepted. This will ensure that the credit rewards the best fuel-efficiencies in current and future vehicles.Because the Brazilian labeling programs measure emissions differently, both programs are required to verify that a vehicle meets the low-emitting and fuel-efficient requirements. Vehicles receiving a qualifying score from one agency but not the other will not be considered eligible.Applicable Internationally; Brazil.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
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Principal

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Requirements

Reduce the number of commuting round trips made by regular building occupants using single occupant, conventionally powered and conventionally fueled vehicles. For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; rideshare options1; human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient2 or alternative-fuel vehicles; walking or bicycling. Performance calculations are made relative to a baseline case that assumes all regular occupants commute alone in conventional automobiles. The calculations must account for seasonal variations in the use of alternative commuting methods and, where possible, indicate the distribution of commuting trips using each type of alternative transportation. Points are earned for reductions in conventional commuting trips during the performance period according to the following schedule:

Demonstrated percentage reduction in conventional commuting trips Points
10% 3
13.75% 4
17.50% 5
21.25% 6
25.00% 7
31.25% 8
37.50% 9
43.75% 10
50.00% 11
56.25% 12
62.50% 13
68.75% 14
75.00% 15
1 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. 2 Low-emitting vehicles and fuel-efficient vehicles are defined as vehicles that are classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or that have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy annual vehicle-rating guide.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

[view:embed_resource=page_1=4649824]
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
[view:embed_resource=page_1=4649824]

XX%

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The LEEDuser survey template asks for the occupant’s home zipcode. Some of our occupants won’t want to provide this sort of personal information. Do we have to collect this data?

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The LEED Reference Guide says that the survey should not be announced in a way that might generate skewed responses or encourage unrepresentative behavior. We’ve been educating our occupants for several months on the LEED process. What should we do?

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The LEED Reference Guide says that survey results can be extrapolated to all nonrespondents if the survey response rate is 80%, but I also saw this was true for a 60% response rate. Which is correct?

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My project is a retail center. Do we need to survey shoppers? What about the retail employees?

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My project is a hotel. Do we need to survey guests?

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My project is an educational building on a university campus. Do we need to survey students?

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The LEED Reference Guide says we need to account for seasonal variations in commuting behavior, but doesn’t offer any guidance on how to do this. What should I do?

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1/15/2016Updated: 4/7/2016
Form Update
Description of change:
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace 95% with 80% and remove "trips equivalent to an average vehicle ridership (as defined by SCAQMD) of 20"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace section with that of the supplementary document.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Revise the second sentence of the first paragraph to read: "For the purposes of this credit, alternative transportation includes at a minimum, telecommuting; compressed workweeks; mass transit; rideshare options1 human-powered conveyances; carpools; vanpools; and low-emitting, fuel-efficient2 or alternative-fuel vehicles; walking or bicycling."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, replace the word "includesincludes" with "includes"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/8/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, replace the word "includesincludes" with "includes"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the last line of the paragraph, replace the period with a semicolon and add text so it becomes the following:...performance rates; confirm the program is of equivalent or greaterstringency than SCAQMD; and demonstrate that the programencompasses a small and cohesive enough area to assume reasonablesimilarity of transportation options across the participating buildings.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Change the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Cleaner Car Guide website to "http://www.driveclean.ca.gov/"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Insert footnote 1 and change footnote 1 to footnote 2, "1. 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."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Change the California Air Resources Board, Certified Vehicles List website from "http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ccvl/ccvl.htm" to "http://www.arb.ca.gov/".
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace text starting from "Accounting for Diverse Modes and Populations" on page 29 of Reference Guide up to (stopping before) "7. Documentation Guidance" on page 30 of Reference Guide with the following:"Accounting for Diverse Modes and PopulationsFor non-residential projects (i.e. those using calculations based on the annual nonhome-based commuting trips per employee), only regular building occupants can be included in the occupant commute survey. Those who are absent on 1 or more days of the survey period because they telecommute or work a compressed workweek must be listed as making zero trips for the day (or using zero vehicles, per the SCQAMD metric). Employees who walk, cycle, tele-commute, use public transit, or use a fuel-efficient vehicle (as defined in this credit) are counted as making zero conventional commute trips or using zero vehicles. Those who carpool or ride-share for more than 50% of their commuting trip distance are counted according to the number of other commuters in the vehicle. For example, if 2 people carpool to work together for most of the distance to the building, each is counted as making half a trip; 3 carpoolers are counted as making 33.3% of a trip each. Employees who report vacation or sick leave days should be noted but not included in the results.Example 4Building D has 100 regular occupants, 25 of whom use alternative transportation for their daily commute. To determine the AVR for the building, divide total occupancy (100) by the number of conventional single-occupancy vehicles used for occupants\' daily commute (75). In this instance the ARV is 1.3. To calculate the RCCT, divide the number of trips avoided or reduced by the use of alternative transportation (50) by the total commuting trips (200). The RCCT is 25%. For residential projects (i.e. those using calculations based on the annual home-based commuting trips per capita), residents\' commute patterns only should be included in the occupant commute survey. For residential calculations, assign a value of zero to a trip in which a resident carpools. Example 5Apartment building E provided a survey to its 10 occupants. After a preferred parking and transit voucher program was started, seven residents commute to work only using a single occupancy vehicle in both directions, 1 resident carpools to work but drives alone on the return trip, another resident carpools to work but takes transit home and a final resident takes transit in both directions. This building is considered to have reduced its number of regular commuting trips by 25% since 5 of the 20 com-mute trips used alternative transportation. Projects containing both residential and nonresidential occupants should use a combination of the approaches listed above if the majority building occupancy type (residential or employee) comprises less than 90% of the total building occupancy. "
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the fifth line of the paragraph, replace "4" with "5" so the text becomes "(100 occupants x 2 trips per day x 5 days per week)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/16/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This CIR is requesting additional guidance on the surveying requirements for SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation. Our project is the largest building in the city, with 3,500 building occupants and is located within a densely occupied urban environment with minimal parking capacity. The only parking owned by the project is 209 spaces of under-building parking for the use of paying building occupants and complimentary parking exclusive visitors to the penthouse restaurant. Street parking is limited as the building is located on the downtown light-rail line, where the line prohibits parking on its path. Additionally, the building is located by the city\'s public transportation centers and within areas of high bicycle commuting in a Platinum rated bicycling city. The issue with our project is not getting individuals to use alternative forms of commuting, but rather in receiving a high non-response rate from building occupants for the transportation survey. As listed in the LEED EB O&M Submittal Template, "Survey non-responders are considered conventional commuters unless the survey response rate is 80% or higher. For response rates of 80% or more, the survey results may be extrapolated to the non-responders." Our project performed a one-time survey pursuant to the survey in SCAQMD Rule 2202. The survey was distributed to 1,500 of the 3,500 building occupants with a $5.00 incentive for survey completion. Of the 1,500 surveys distributed, we received 750 responses that demonstrated 89% of surveyed individuals utilized some form of alternative transportation. With the requirements for non-responders, this percentage would then be dropped down to 44% and the project would lose two points due to issues outside of management\'s control. In order to receive accurate survey responses, we would like to receive further guidance on the survey requirements for projects such as this one. As listed under LEED-EB O&M EQc2.1: Occupant Comfort, Occupant Survey, "the survey must be collected from a representative sample of building occupants making up at least 30% of the total occupants." Additionally, according to LEED NCv2.2, EQc7.2: Thermal Comfort Monitoring, the survey must be anonymous and "may be administered in person, over the phone, over networked computers, or on paper but should be consistently applied and available for participation by all regular occupants." We would like to apply these surveying requirements to SSc4 as well. In order to ensure that we are receiving a representative sample of building occupants, we would like to perform in-person surveying of building occupants using the SCAQMD Rule 2202 survey format. The surveyors will be located within the centrally-located elevators to ensure occupants entering from all doors and from the garage are being surveyed. Surveys will be captured during peak commuting windows (7:00am - 10:00am, 4:00pm - 6:00pm) for at least one day, until at least 30% of building occupants are surveyed without repetition. To ensure that this method meets the intent of the credit, all persons who do not participate will be considered "non-responders."

Ruling:

Performing an in-person survey of building occupants using the SCAQMD Rule 2202 survey format is an appropriate mechanism for determining alternative transportation use rates. Option 2 listed in the EB: O&M Reference Guide (First Edition, page 65) allows for a random statistical approach for surveying occupants and extrapolating the results to the entire building population. The sampling methodology must be documented and be systematic and representative of the entire building population. The required minimum sampling size is determined by the following formula: Required random sampling size = (# of regular occupants x 752) / (# of regular occupants + 752) 1. The proposed percentage of surveyed occupants for the project would be sufficient. Non-respondents to the survey would be considered conventional single-occupancy vehicle users. Please see the Reference Guide for details and examples of this survey method. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2013
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

On this site, the majority of occupants own flex cars (gas or ethanol), and vehicles use ethanol as fuel. Based on the CARB and California's "Alternative Fuel & Vehicle Technology Renewable" Program, ethanol is considered a renewable fuel. Is this acceptable for this credit?

Ruling:

Ethanol fueled vehicles can count towards as a portion of a qualifying alternative transportation trip equivalent to the percentage of ethanol that is in the ethanol fuel blend. The formula that must be used is (fuel ratio used*number of trips made during the week). For example, if an occupant uses the ethanol fuel blend E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) for all ten trips made to and from the project building during the week then 8.5 of the trips made would qualify as alternative transportation trips and 1.5 of the trips would count as trips made with a conventionally powered vehicle. In order to accurately account for the ethanol fuel blend the survey respondent must confirm that their flex vehicle is fueled with ethanol and provide the fuel blend.

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

This is an inquiry about the calculation of the FTE in relation to our project in Zurich, Switzerland. In the LEED Reference Guide on page 53 the calculation of the FTE is based on a 8-hour working day. That means that an 8-hour occupant has an FTE value of 1.0. The standard working day in Switzerland contains 8.5 hours of work.In a FTE calculation on the basis that is provided in the LEED Reference Guide the normal working day of one single person would have the FTE value of 1.0625. As a consequence of the, in case of 1000 people fulltime staff this FTE calculation would have additional number of 63 FTE in comparion to an FTE value of 1.0.Is it possible to calculate the FTE value for this project with an 8.5 instead of 8 hour day, so that we would have the FTE value of 1.0 for a standard 8.5 hour-working day?

Ruling:

The project team has inquired if projects in Switzerland may use 8.5-hours as their working day instead of 8-hours as in the US. Each full-time employee based on Swiss and US labor laws works an 8.5-hour day, which includes a half-hour unpaid lunch break and two 15-minute paid breaks. In order to maintain the baseline for projects everywhere when calculating FTE occupancy, all Swiss projects, including those industries that have an overtime work culture for full-time employees, should still use the 8.0-hour work day in their FTE calculations. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
6/15/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

This credit interpretation request is in reference to LEED-EB requirements for a 497 000 s.f.g. Convention Centre located in Quebec City (Canada), winner of the 2006 AIPC Apex Award for the World\'s Best Congress Centre given by the International Association of Congress Centres. The Quebec City Convention Centre (QCCC) has for mission to welcome conferences, meetings and large-scale exhibits by offering an international convention facility. Three (3) user types are indicated for the congress Centre: administrators, organizers and visitors. 1. Most of the administrators (approximately 70 people) carry on their functions from an adjacent building from the convention Centre. Only three employees are working on a daily basis in the centre in period of event. These full-time employees shall be included in calculations. 2. Organizers are exclusively subcontractors. The Centre doesn\'t have any direct employee appointed to events organization. Number of organizers shall be estimated to be included in calculations. 3. Visitors represent the majority of building occupants. Visitors do not qualify as transient occupants because most of them use the Centre for at least one day/event. All events held at the Centre cover a period, in average, of 340 occupation days per years. Some events require the visitors\' presence inside the Centre for a period of more than 8 hours. Some events require the visitors\' presence for less than 8 hours. Number of visitors shall be estimated to be included in calculations. Occupants\' estimation Administrators: The number of three full-time employees will be used in calculations. Visitors: According to administrators\' projections, the number of visitors attending events held in the Centre (short and long period) can be divided on a basis of 8 hours of occupation to estimate an average of occupants/day. The Centre is monitoring the number of entrances/event. The exact number of participants from the two last years\' data would be used to calculate (on an 8 hours basis) the number of daily regular occupants. Organizers: All organizers are subcontracted by the QCCC. The QCCC doesn\'t keep track of many employees from each subcontractor is working inside of the Centre. However, the Centre administrators estimate from their experience the number of organizers/day required to set up and operate an event to 4%, in average, of the total participants attending an event. Are the 2 above estimations acceptable in order to complete calculations/requirements of credit SSc3.2 of LEED-EB V2.0?

Ruling:

The above estimations appear reasonable with the following notes: Bike racks and showers require different occupancy calculations. For showers, occupants should be considered individuals who regularly spend a full working day at the facility. This would seem to imply administrators and organizers (but not visitors) in this instance. Bike racks, however, should include visitors in the occupancy calculation as you have suggested in the \'occupants estimation\' above. Also, please note that it would be unusual for a 500,000 square foot convention center to have a full-time staff of only 3 employees. Please ensure that occupancy calculations include management, staff, food services, and particularly custodial services, (unless those services all fall within the \'organizer\' category as well, in which case you have addressed them already). Applicable Internationally; Canada.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
9/25/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The building we are applying for LEED-EB certification is a residential building located at the heart of a University campus. The majority (approx. 99%) of occupants (students) live in the building and either walk or bike around the campus to \'commute\' to classes. Our school has pursued an Innovation point for the institution\'s Commuter Choice program for several NC and CI projects (e.g. http://greencampus.harvard.edu/theresource/leed-submit/nc/documents/5_Co... ; http://greencampus.harvard.edu/theresource/leed-submit/nc/documents/blac... ) Since it is a campus setting and a residential building, can the reduction in drive-alone rates be shown campus-wide and applied towards the SS 4 credit for our LEED-EB project? We propose the following submittals to demonstrate compliance with this credit:

Ruling:

The reduction in single-occupant vehicle trips can be demonstrated on a campus-wide basis to achieve credit for a specific project building. Using the methodology for determining drive alone commute trip reductions established by the applicable state law is acceptable. The percent trip reduction calculations should be based on the percentage of single-occupant trips relative to the total number of trips. For example, if 28,559 trips of 84,611 total trips involved single occupant vehicles, the reduction in conventional commuting trips is 67%. Please note that the assessment of single passenger vehicle usages must occur during the LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M performance period for this credit, which may be extended to a maximum of 24 months preceding certification application. The proposed submittals should be provided in support of demonstrating compliance with the approach outlined above. Applicable Internationally.

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

If a project team is prohibited from surveying employees and almost all employees arrive by car or vanpool, can they monitor employees entering the parking lot for a week and record their carpooling habits in lieu of a survey?

Ruling:

Yes, it is acceptable to monitor vehicles, but this will not account for percent trip reductions, which must be accounted for. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Many cars in Brazil are fuel efficient and low-emitting yet do not meet the requirements of two credits (BD&C SSc4.3: Alternative Transportation: Low Emitting and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles and O&M SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation) because the vehicles have not been evaluated by CARB or ACEEE. This hinders the ability of many Brazilian projects to achieve the credit. We propose that the following Brazilian standards be included in determining whether a vehicle is considered fuel-efficient or low-emitting:a. Any vehicle achieving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) system, the ratings for vehicles in this system can be found at: http://servicos.ibama.gov.br/ctf/publico/sel_marca_modelo_rvep.php. This system awards stars based on a vehicle\'s emissions reductions and fuel type. The first three stars are earned via relatively low emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons. The fourth star is awarded for vehicles that have a CO2 emissions rate of less than 80g/km (128 g/mi). The fifth star is awarded for vehicles using alternative fuels (gasoline-ethanol mix, hybrid electric, and all-electric). b. Any vehicle receiving an A or B in the Brazilian Energy Program (PBE) of INMETRO (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology) of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. This program uses many of the same techniques that the U.S. EPA has used to evaluate fuel efficiency in American vehicles. A full description of the program is available at http://repositorios.inmetro.gov.br/bitstream/10926/1290/1/2010_Novgorodc....

Ruling:

The applicant has requested that vehicles in Brazil receiving Four Stars in the IBAMA Nota Verde (Green Note) program or vehicles receiving an A or B in the INMETRO Brazilian Labeling Program for Vehicles (PBEV) be classified as low-emitting and fuel-efficient for the purposes of LEED NC 2009 SSc4.3 and LEED EB 2009 SSc4. Vehicles in Brazil may qualify as low-emitting and fuel-efficient by earning both of the following conditions:1. A score of Four Stars or above from IBAMA. This is the highest score for vehicles that are low-emitting but not necessarily fueled by alternative fuels (as research indicates that not all alternative fuels ensure improved environmental performance).2. An A from INMETRO. INMETRO uses relative criteria for different vehicle classifications. This differs from the absolute standards used by the ACEEE methodology. Since, in this instance, the USGBC preference for absolute metrics cannot be met, only the highest INMETRO score is accepted. This will ensure that the credit rewards the best fuel-efficiencies in current and future vehicles.Because the Brazilian labeling programs measure emissions differently, both programs are required to verify that a vehicle meets the low-emitting and fuel-efficient requirements. Vehicles receiving a qualifying score from one agency but not the other will not be considered eligible.Applicable Internationally; Brazil.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

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