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LEED v4.1
New Construction
Sustainable Sites
Protect or Restore Habitat

LEED CREDIT

NC-v4.1 SSc2: Protect or Restore Habitat 1-2 points

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Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior Consultant

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Credit language

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

Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).

AND

Option 1. On-Site Restoration (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Using native or adapted vegetation, restore 25% (including the building footprint) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Vegetated roof surfaces may be included if the plants are native or adapted and provide habitat.

Soils

Restore all soils on site that have been disturbed or replace all soils removed by current construction activities that will later serve as the final vegetated area.

  • Restore or replace soils to a minimum depth of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) or depth of root ball for larger plant materials.
  • Provide a soils test of imported soils that includes recommended amendments. Incorporate test recommended amendments prior to planting.
  • Imported soils must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
  • Imported soils may not include the following:
    • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
    • soils from other greenfield sites
    • sphagnum peat moss

Vegetation

Use only plant species that are appropriate for the project’s EPA Level III ecoregion and that are suitable for site conditions, climate, and design intent. Both native and adapted vegetation may qualify.

  • Use only plant species not currently listed as invasive on any federal or qualifying regional lists.
  • Protect the root zone of trees found on site. Planting within the one foot (0.30 meter) radius per inch (2.54 centimeters) Diameter Breast Height (DBH) should be avoided.
  • Conserve endangered species.

OR

Option 2. Financial Support (1 point)

Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.20 per square foot (US2 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

Financial support must be provided to a conservation land trust or accredited conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

For projects outside of the U.S., the conservation land trust must either be a project supported by The Nature Conservancy or World Land Trust.

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Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior 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

Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).

AND

Option 1. On-Site Restoration (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Using native or adapted vegetation, restore 25% (including the building footprint) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Vegetated roof surfaces may be included if the plants are native or adapted and provide habitat.

Soils

Restore all soils on site that have been disturbed or replace all soils removed by current construction activities that will later serve as the final vegetated area.

  • Restore or replace soils to a minimum depth of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) or depth of root ball for larger plant materials.
  • Provide a soils test of imported soils that includes recommended amendments. Incorporate test recommended amendments prior to planting.
  • Imported soils must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
  • Imported soils may not include the following:
    • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
    • soils from other greenfield sites
    • sphagnum peat moss

Vegetation

Use only plant species that are appropriate for the project’s EPA Level III ecoregion and that are suitable for site conditions, climate, and design intent. Both native and adapted vegetation may qualify.

  • Use only plant species not currently listed as invasive on any federal or qualifying regional lists.
  • Protect the root zone of trees found on site. Planting within the one foot (0.30 meter) radius per inch (2.54 centimeters) Diameter Breast Height (DBH) should be avoided.
  • Conserve endangered species.

OR

Option 2. Financial Support (1 point)

Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.20 per square foot (US2 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

Financial support must be provided to a conservation land trust or accredited conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

For projects outside of the U.S., the conservation land trust must either be a project supported by The Nature Conservancy or World Land Trust.

LEEDuser expert

Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior Consultant

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