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LEED v2009
Existing Building Operations
Water Efficiency
Water Efficient Landscaping

LEED CREDIT

EBOM-2009 WEc3: Water Efficient Landscaping 1-5 points

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Credit language

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

Intent

To limit or eliminate the use of potable water or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the project site for landscape irrigation.

Requirements

Reduce potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource consumption for irrigation compared with conventional means of irrigation. If the building does not have separate water metering for irrigation systems, the water-use reduction achievements can be demonstrated through calculations. The minimum water savings percentage for each point threshold is as follows:

Percentage Reduction Points
50% 1
62.5% 2
75% 3
87.5% 4
100% 5

For buildings without vegetation or other ecologically appropriate features on the grounds, points can be earned by reducing the use of potable water for watering any roof and/or courtyard garden space or outdoor planters, provided the planters and/or garden space cover at least 5% of the building site area (including building footprint, hardscape area, parking footprint, etc). If the planters and/or garden space cover less than 5% of the building site area, the project is ineligible for this credit.

Three options are available to demonstrate compliance with the above requirements. Project teams that do not separately meter their actual irrigation water use during the performance period must choose Option 2.

Choose 1 of the following options:

OPTION 1

Calculate the baseline irrigation water use by determining the water use that would result from using an irrigation system typical for the region using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand and compare this with the building’s actual irrigation potable water use, which can be determined through submetering. Use the baseline and actual water use values to calculate the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. More detail about completing this calculation is available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

OR

OPTION 2

Calculate the estimated irrigation water use using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand by determining the landscape area for the project and sorting this area into the major vegetation types. Determine the reference evapotranspiration rate (ET0 ) for the region and determine the species factor (ks ), density factor (kd) and microclimate factor (kmc ) for each vegetation type. Use this information to calculate the landscape coefficient (KL ) and irrigation water use for the design case. Calculate the baseline case irrigation water use by setting the above factors to average values representative of conventional equipment and design practices. Use the estimated and baseline case to determine the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. Factor values and other resources for completing these calculations are available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

OR

OPTION 3

If independent irrigation performance and ranking tools are available from local, regional, provincial, state, territorial or national sources, use such tools to demonstrate reductions in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource for irrigation purposes.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I still use Option 1 if I have metered irrigation water use data but it’s only for a couple of months or not the whole irrigation season?

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The site already uses reclaimed water for irrigation provided by the water utility or reuses graywater from the building for irrigation. Can the building still qualify for the credit?

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To determine the baseline for Option 1, how can we determine what “conventional” practices are?

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What if the building has no irrigation systems?

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Credit achievement rate

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LEEDuser expert

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To limit or eliminate the use of potable water or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the project site for landscape irrigation.

Requirements

Reduce potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource consumption for irrigation compared with conventional means of irrigation. If the building does not have separate water metering for irrigation systems, the water-use reduction achievements can be demonstrated through calculations. The minimum water savings percentage for each point threshold is as follows:

Percentage Reduction Points
50% 1
62.5% 2
75% 3
87.5% 4
100% 5

For buildings without vegetation or other ecologically appropriate features on the grounds, points can be earned by reducing the use of potable water for watering any roof and/or courtyard garden space or outdoor planters, provided the planters and/or garden space cover at least 5% of the building site area (including building footprint, hardscape area, parking footprint, etc). If the planters and/or garden space cover less than 5% of the building site area, the project is ineligible for this credit.

Three options are available to demonstrate compliance with the above requirements. Project teams that do not separately meter their actual irrigation water use during the performance period must choose Option 2.

Choose 1 of the following options:

OPTION 1

Calculate the baseline irrigation water use by determining the water use that would result from using an irrigation system typical for the region using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand and compare this with the building’s actual irrigation potable water use, which can be determined through submetering. Use the baseline and actual water use values to calculate the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. More detail about completing this calculation is available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

OR

OPTION 2

Calculate the estimated irrigation water use using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand by determining the landscape area for the project and sorting this area into the major vegetation types. Determine the reference evapotranspiration rate (ET0 ) for the region and determine the species factor (ks ), density factor (kd) and microclimate factor (kmc ) for each vegetation type. Use this information to calculate the landscape coefficient (KL ) and irrigation water use for the design case. Calculate the baseline case irrigation water use by setting the above factors to average values representative of conventional equipment and design practices. Use the estimated and baseline case to determine the percentage reduction in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource use. Factor values and other resources for completing these calculations are available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition.

OR

OPTION 3

If independent irrigation performance and ranking tools are available from local, regional, provincial, state, territorial or national sources, use such tools to demonstrate reductions in potable water or other natural surface or subsurface resource for irrigation purposes.

XX%

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  • 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.

Can I still use Option 1 if I have metered irrigation water use data but it’s only for a couple of months or not the whole irrigation season?

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.)

The site already uses reclaimed water for irrigation provided by the water utility or reuses graywater from the building for irrigation. Can the building still qualify for the credit?

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.)

To determine the baseline for Option 1, how can we determine what “conventional” practices are?

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 if the building has no irrigation systems?

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

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about EBOM-2009 WEc3