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LEED v2009
New Construction
Sustainable Sites
Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat

LEED CREDIT

NC-2009 SSc5.1: Site development - protect or restore habitat 1 point

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April Brown

Green Bridge Consulting
Sustainable Building Consultant

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Credit language

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

Intent

To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

Requirements

Case 1. Greenfield sites1

Limit all site disturbance to the following parameters:

  • 40 feet (12 meters) beyond the building perimeter and parking garages;
  • 10 feet (3 meters) beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking and utilities less than 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter;
  • 15 feet (4.5 meters) beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
  • 25 feet (8 meters) beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities and playing fields) that require additional staging areas to limit compaction in the constructed area.
Case 2. Previously developed2 areas or graded sites

Restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site (excluding the building footprint) or 20% of the total site area (including building footprint), whichever is greater, with native or adapted vegetation.3 Projects earning SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity may include vegetated roof surface in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

Projects with limited landscape opportunities may also donate offsiteland in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust mustadhere to the Land Trust Alliance 'Land Trust Standards andPractices' 2004 Revision.

1 Greenfield sites are sites not previously developed or graded that could support open space, habitat, or agriculture..

2 Native or adapted plants are plants indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds.

Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

This credit has a pilot ACP available in the LEED Pilot Credit Library. See Site development - protect or restore habitat - alternative compliance path for more information.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I count green roofs toward this credit?

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Can I count green walls toward this credit?

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How should we document the off-site restoration option?

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Can turf grasses contribute to 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

April Brown

Green Bridge Consulting
Sustainable Building Consultant

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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

Requirements

Case 1. Greenfield sites1

Limit all site disturbance to the following parameters:

  • 40 feet (12 meters) beyond the building perimeter and parking garages;
  • 10 feet (3 meters) beyond surface walkways, patios, surface parking and utilities less than 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter;
  • 15 feet (4.5 meters) beyond primary roadway curbs and main utility branch trenches;
  • 25 feet (8 meters) beyond constructed areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities and playing fields) that require additional staging areas to limit compaction in the constructed area.
Case 2. Previously developed2 areas or graded sites

Restore or protect a minimum of 50% of the site (excluding the building footprint) or 20% of the total site area (including building footprint), whichever is greater, with native or adapted vegetation.3 Projects earning SS Credit 2: Development Density and Community Connectivity may include vegetated roof surface in this calculation if the plants are native or adapted, provide habitat, and promote biodiversity.

Projects with limited landscape opportunities may also donate offsiteland in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including the building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust mustadhere to the Land Trust Alliance 'Land Trust Standards andPractices' 2004 Revision.

1 Greenfield sites are sites not previously developed or graded that could support open space, habitat, or agriculture..

2 Native or adapted plants are plants indigenous to a locality or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds.

Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

This credit has a pilot ACP available in the LEED Pilot Credit Library. See Site development - protect or restore habitat - alternative compliance path for more information.

XX%

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

Got the gist of SSc5.1 but not sure how to actually achieve it? LEEDuser gives step-by-step help. Premium members get:

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

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

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

Can I count green roofs toward this 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.)

Can I count green walls toward this 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.)

How should we document the off-site restoration option?

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

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

Can turf grasses contribute to this 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.)

LEEDuser expert

April Brown

Green Bridge Consulting
Sustainable Building Consultant

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