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LEED v2009
New Construction
Sustainable Sites
Site Selection

LEED CREDIT

NC-2009 SSc1: Site Selection 1 point

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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

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To avoid the development of environmentally sensitive lands and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site.

Requirements

Do not develop buildings, hardscape, roads or parking areas on portions of sites that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Prime farmland as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 (citation 7CFR657.5). Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent.
  • Previously undeveloped land whose elevation is lower than 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the elevation of the 100-year flood as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an equivalent local regulatory agency, or a professional hydrologist. [Europe ACP: Flood Plains]
  • Land specifically identified as habitat for any species on federal or state threatened or endangered lists.Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent. [Europe ACP: Habitat]
  • Land within 100 feet (30 meters) of any wetlands as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR, Parts 230-233 and Part 22, or a local equivalent definition outside the U.S., and isolated wetlands or areas of special concern identified by state or local rule, OR within setback distances from wetlands prescribed in state or local regulations, as defined by local or state rule or law, whichever is more stringent.
  • Previously undeveloped land that is within 50 feet (15 meters) of a water body, defined as seas, lakes, rivers, streams and tributaries that support or could support aquatic life, recreation or industrial use, consistent with the terminology of the Clean Water Act.
  • Land that prior to acquisition for the project was public parkland, unless land of equal or greater value as parkland is accepted in trade by the public landowner (park authority projects and projects which are operated by and support the function of the park are exempt).
  • Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

    Europe ACP: Flood Plains
    Projects in Europe may use the Directive 2007/60/EC definition of floods with a medium probability (likely return period ≥ 100 years).
    Europe ACP: Threatened and Endangered Species
    Projects in Europe may use the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the European Red List.[view:embed_resource=page_1=4887966][view:embed_resource=page_1=10039154]
    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 »

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Cost estimates for this credit

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Frequently asked questions

The project site is classified as "prime farmland," but is in a developed area with buildings all around. Can I still comply with this credit?

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Our project site is in what FEMA refers to as "Zone D"—an area that has possible but undetermined flood hazards, as no analysis of flood hazards have been conducted. How can we tell if we comply with this credit?

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Is it possible to be exempted from the wetlands requirements under this credit if we protect or restore equivalent wetlands elsewhere?

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See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the third bullet: "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the first bullet: "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
In the fifth bullet, replace "fish" with "aquatic life"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S. box.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the second bullet: ", an equivalent local regulatory agency, or a professional hydrologist."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
The end of the last bullet should read: "(park authority projects and projects which are operated by and support the function of the park are exempt)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the fourth bullet after "Part 22": "or a local equivalent definition outside the U.S.,"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "Previously developed sites" with "Previously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can helipads and other functional space areas be exempted from SSc7.2 Heat Island Effect- Roof calculations?

Ruling:

Roof area that consists of functional, usable spaces- such as helipads, recreation courts, and areas covered by equipment, solar panels, and appurtenances- can be exempted from the roof calculations for SSc7.2. Projects are not eligible for SSc7.2 if the exempted spaces encompass the entire roof area. 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
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can sidewalks, roads, and other hardscape areas located above a project building\'s underground parking structure, which are required by the governing municipality to be constructed of non-compliant materials, be excluded from the SSc7.2 and SSc7.1 calculations?

Ruling:

Similar to LEED Interpretations #2293 and #3101, sidewalks, roads, and areas that cover un-conditioned spaces (such as parking garages) are considered hardscape or landscape nonroof surfaces. Thus, they should be included in the calculations for SSc7.1 Heat Island Effect- Nonroof. In situations where infrastructure, materials, or surfaces are owned, operated and maintained by the local governing body, project teams may exclude the area of the material from the calculations for SSc7.2 and SSc7.1. This exemption can be applied only if projects do not have any control over the materials used for the surfaces in question. If the materials are owned and operated by the project, but the local jurisdiction specifies that they must meet certain criteria, the materials may not be excluded from the calculations. Applicable Internationally.

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
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can sidewalks, roads, and other hardscape areas located above a project building\'s underground parking structure, which are required by the governing municipality to be constructed of non-compliant materials, be excluded from the SSc7.2 and SSc7.1 calculations?

Ruling:

Similar to LEED Interpretations #2293 and #3101, sidewalks, roads, and areas that cover un-conditioned spaces (such as parking garages) are considered hardscape or landscape nonroof surfaces. Thus, they should be included in the calculations for SSc7.1 Heat Island Effect- Nonroof. In situations where infrastructure, materials, or surfaces are owned, operated and maintained by the local governing body, project teams may exclude the area of the material from the calculations for SSc7.2 and SSc7.1. This exemption can be applied only if projects do not have any control over the materials used for the surfaces in question. If the materials are owned and operated by the project, but the local jurisdiction specifies that they must meet certain criteria, the materials may not be excluded from the calculations. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Credit achievement rate

XX%

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

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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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To avoid the development of environmentally sensitive lands and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site.

Requirements

Do not develop buildings, hardscape, roads or parking areas on portions of sites that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Prime farmland as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Volume 6, Parts 400 to 699, Section 657.5 (citation 7CFR657.5). Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent.
  • Previously undeveloped land whose elevation is lower than 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the elevation of the 100-year flood as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an equivalent local regulatory agency, or a professional hydrologist. [Europe ACP: Flood Plains]
  • Land specifically identified as habitat for any species on federal or state threatened or endangered lists.Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent. [Europe ACP: Habitat]
  • Land within 100 feet (30 meters) of any wetlands as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR, Parts 230-233 and Part 22, or a local equivalent definition outside the U.S., and isolated wetlands or areas of special concern identified by state or local rule, OR within setback distances from wetlands prescribed in state or local regulations, as defined by local or state rule or law, whichever is more stringent.
  • Previously undeveloped land that is within 50 feet (15 meters) of a water body, defined as seas, lakes, rivers, streams and tributaries that support or could support aquatic life, recreation or industrial use, consistent with the terminology of the Clean Water Act.
  • Land that prior to acquisition for the project was public parkland, unless land of equal or greater value as parkland is accepted in trade by the public landowner (park authority projects and projects which are operated by and support the function of the park are exempt).
  • Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

    Europe ACP: Flood Plains
    Projects in Europe may use the Directive 2007/60/EC definition of floods with a medium probability (likely return period ≥ 100 years).
    Europe ACP: Threatened and Endangered Species
    Projects in Europe may use the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the European Red List.[view:embed_resource=page_1=4887966][view:embed_resource=page_1=10039154]
    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%

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The project site is classified as "prime farmland," but is in a developed area with buildings all around. Can I still comply with this credit?

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Our project site is in what FEMA refers to as "Zone D"—an area that has possible but undetermined flood hazards, as no analysis of flood hazards have been conducted. How can we tell if we comply with this credit?

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Is it possible to be exempted from the wetlands requirements under this credit if we protect or restore equivalent wetlands elsewhere?

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7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the third bullet: "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the first bullet: "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
In the fifth bullet, replace "fish" with "aquatic life"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the Alternative Compliance Path for Projects Outside the U.S. box.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the end of the second bullet: ", an equivalent local regulatory agency, or a professional hydrologist."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
The end of the last bullet should read: "(park authority projects and projects which are operated by and support the function of the park are exempt)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add the following to the fourth bullet after "Part 22": "or a local equivalent definition outside the U.S.,"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "Previously developed sites" with "Previously developed sites are those altered by paving, construction, and/or land use that would typically have required regulatory permitting to have been initiated (alterations may exist now or in the past). Previously developed land includes a platted lot on which a building was constructed if the lot is no more than 1 acre; previous development on lots larger than 1 acre is defined as the development footprint and land alterations associated with the footprint. Land that is not previously developed and altered landscapes resulting from current or historical clearing or filling, agricultural or forestry use, or preserved natural area use are considered undeveloped land. The date of previous development permit issuance constitutes the date of previous development, but permit issuance in itself does not constitute previous development."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can helipads and other functional space areas be exempted from SSc7.2 Heat Island Effect- Roof calculations?

Ruling:

Roof area that consists of functional, usable spaces- such as helipads, recreation courts, and areas covered by equipment, solar panels, and appurtenances- can be exempted from the roof calculations for SSc7.2. Projects are not eligible for SSc7.2 if the exempted spaces encompass the entire roof area. 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
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can sidewalks, roads, and other hardscape areas located above a project building\'s underground parking structure, which are required by the governing municipality to be constructed of non-compliant materials, be excluded from the SSc7.2 and SSc7.1 calculations?

Ruling:

Similar to LEED Interpretations #2293 and #3101, sidewalks, roads, and areas that cover un-conditioned spaces (such as parking garages) are considered hardscape or landscape nonroof surfaces. Thus, they should be included in the calculations for SSc7.1 Heat Island Effect- Nonroof. In situations where infrastructure, materials, or surfaces are owned, operated and maintained by the local governing body, project teams may exclude the area of the material from the calculations for SSc7.2 and SSc7.1. This exemption can be applied only if projects do not have any control over the materials used for the surfaces in question. If the materials are owned and operated by the project, but the local jurisdiction specifies that they must meet certain criteria, the materials may not be excluded from the calculations. Applicable Internationally.

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
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can sidewalks, roads, and other hardscape areas located above a project building\'s underground parking structure, which are required by the governing municipality to be constructed of non-compliant materials, be excluded from the SSc7.2 and SSc7.1 calculations?

Ruling:

Similar to LEED Interpretations #2293 and #3101, sidewalks, roads, and areas that cover un-conditioned spaces (such as parking garages) are considered hardscape or landscape nonroof surfaces. Thus, they should be included in the calculations for SSc7.1 Heat Island Effect- Nonroof. In situations where infrastructure, materials, or surfaces are owned, operated and maintained by the local governing body, project teams may exclude the area of the material from the calculations for SSc7.2 and SSc7.1. This exemption can be applied only if projects do not have any control over the materials used for the surfaces in question. If the materials are owned and operated by the project, but the local jurisdiction specifies that they must meet certain criteria, the materials may not be excluded from the calculations. 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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