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Innovation
Inclusive Design

LEED CREDIT

Pilot-Credits INpc125: Inclusive Design 1 point

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Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

Encourage the design of spaces that “empower a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation.”*

Inclusive design prioritizes the experience and participation of building users by considering the full range of ability, age, gender, language, cultural understanding, and other characteristics of human diversity in the context of place. Inclusive design and the green building movement are directly related by their core value of sustainability.

Requirements

Inclusive Design Process:
Encourage responsiveness to community needs by involving the people who live or work in the community and project in design and planning and in decisions about how the project should be improved or how it should change over time. In addition, assess existing and proposed infrastructure and surrounding site conditions for accessibility.
At a minimum, engage the community and future occupants through user groups. Each activity must be led by the project team or in partnership with an existing local organization and be directly related to the project.

Refer to the following for best practices for community engagement:

AND

Meet four of the following:**

  1. Physical Access: Demonstrate increased access beyond Federal, state, or local regulatory requirements, whichever is most stringent, by including all of the following that is relevant to the project:
  • Interior:
    • Install 36-inch (0.91 meters) wide doors, at minimum, in all occupied spaces
    • Provide circulation paths that are 20% wider than required, at minimum
    • Increase clear floor space at appliances and fixtures to 30 by 52 inches (0.76 by 1.32 meters), at minimum
    • Increase the size of turning space to 72 inches (1.83 meters) in diameter, at minimum
    • Recess or protect with physical barriers (niches, rails, etc.) drinking fountains, vending machines, and wall-mounted elements such as fire extinguishers, lighting, and similar that protrude more than four inches from a wall
    • Ensure that elevators are equipped with a clearly-identified manual feature to delay door closing
    • Provide ambient lighting at levels appropriate to space use controlled by occupancy, daylight, or other auto-sensor methods; include adjustable task lighting at work or public-use surfaces
    • Install monitors and lit screens with non-glare surfaces
  • Exterior:
    • Include resting areas with seating at various heights, including seating with back rests and without arm rests
    • Provide accessible routes that are 43 inches (1.1 meters) in width, at minimum
    • Install drinking fountains, assistance animal areas, and bike racks that are easily accessed from all sides
    • Include detectable warnings (e.g. truncated domes) where at official pedestrian crossings that intersect with vehicular paths
    • Design the site with open sight lines to and from entries and public access points
  • Wayfinding: Implement strategies to help individuals navigate spaces with ease, including but not limited to:
    • Directional signage with non-text diagrams/symbols and Braille or active visual or audio signaling on dynamic signs
    • Continuous linear path indicators
    • Patterns and color blocking to identify key public access spaces (e.g. entries, exits, restrooms)
    • Haptic maps
    • Aromatic elements to guide blind and low-vision people
    • Emergency alarm signaling (audible/visual), safety zones, and clear wayfinding to ensure that emergency egress is inclusive
  • Assistive Technology: Provide at least one technology to enhance functionality for all building occupants, such as:
    • Height adjustable desks, adjustable height counters ( with fixtures, where applicable), and accessible height sales and service counters
    • Door and drawer hardware that requires no grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist
    • Voice or touch screen operated controls for devices and systems affecting occupancy of the space and user comfort, including but not limited to lighting, window shades, and thermostats
  • Emotional Health: Include strategies to support mental and emotional health, such as the incorporation of nature, art, daylight, biophilic elements and strategies, and connectivity to outdoor space.
  • Inclusive Spaces: Include at least one of the following specific spaces within the building:
    • Lactation room(s)
    • Quiet, wellness, or meditation room(s)
    • All-gender and/or family restrooms
    • Public spaces and services, such as exterior green space, public restrooms, public education areas, publicly-available event space, indoor weather shelters, and locally-designated emergency-related outreach/points of distribution
    • Fitness spaces with accessible and inclusive activities and equipment
    • Spaces that encourage frequent, casual social interaction to reduce probability of social isolation

    Refer to the following for best practices for emotional health and inclusive spaces:

    AND

    Operations, Management, and Employee Training and/or Manual

    • Provide an inclusive design training for building operations and management staff and/or develop an operations and management handbook with policies and procedures that are inclusive of people with disabilities. Ensure the training and/or manual is applicable to all occupants and visitors and available to all employees. Include the following topics at a minimum:
      • Overview of applicable laws, codes, and organizational non-discrimination and labor equality policies
      • Federal and state/local protected classes
      • Nondiscrimination policies and procedures
      • Reasonable accommodations and modifications for occupants with disabilities
      • Common structural accessibility requirements
      • Emergency preparedness elements, systems, policies, and procedures
      • Access to transportation via information on accessible transportation options for all occupants and/or free or subsidized public transit passes for employees
      • Inclusive recruitment, job profiles assessments, and access to jobs for people with disabilities
      • Online or mobile resource to identify and explain accessibility elements to visitors
      • Guidance for working with staff or welcoming visitors with accessibility, cognitive, or sensory challenges
      • Best practices for maintaining compliance with all items noted above

    Documentation Requirements

    General

    Register for the pilot credit

    Credits 116-125

    Credit Specific
    • Inclusive Design Plan (narrative) that describes the inclusive design process and the four design strategies selected for the project, providing justification for any elements not addressed or any additional elements unique to the project.
    • Drawings (site plans, floor plans, sections, elevations) and/or photos/renderings calling out the inclusive design strategies that will be/were implemented on the project.
    • Inclusive design operations and maintenance handbook and/or training materials.
    Alternative Compliance Path for Mexico & United States:

    Projects may achieve Todo Accesible’s Distintivo A label at the Silver level or above. Projects must submit their completed checklist and label, email confirmation, and a photo of their installed plaque.

    Global Alternative Compliance Path:

    USGBC welcomes the idea of alternative strategies to those discussed in the credit language for this pilot credit, as a means to learn more about other possibilities towards meeting the intent and goals of the credit, and in order to potentially incorporate good ideas into future pilot credits and/or standard LEED credits. For an alternative certification program to be considered, it must relate to the inclusive design issues in the pilot credit requirements. The following information must be included in the submission:

    1. Intent of the proposed strategy: How does it meet the intent and goals of this pilot credit?
    2. Requirements for compliance: What metric(s) are used to measure success? How is the level of effort or rigor equivalent to the existing options?
    3. Submittals: What is the documentation to demonstrate compliance?
    4. Design approach or strategies: Provide a narrative description if not sufficiently addressed in the information listed above.
    Survey Questions:
    1. To what extent would you have included these features if they were not rewarded via this pilot credit?
    2. How did the credit requirements change the floor plan layouts and other space distribution considerations?
    3. Did the local building codes and/or zoning impede your achievement of any requirements of this credit? If so, which and how?
    4. Did the local building codes and/or zoning codes facilitate your achievement of any requirements? If so, which and how?
    5. How might project teams monitor the use and success of the inclusive design features and/or programs?
    6. What other design considerations would you suggest for this credit, for future teams, and/or have you included in your project?

    * Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments by Steinfeld, E., & Maisel, J. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012
    **If a project meets the suggested strategies for physical access through regulatory requirements, choose four of the other requirement options.

    Changes
    • 2/4/2019 - original publication
  • See all forum discussions about this credit »

    What does it cost?

    Cost estimates for this credit

    On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

    Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

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

    Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

    Documentation toolkit

    The motherlode of cheat sheets

    LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

    USGBC logo

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

    Intent

    Encourage the design of spaces that “empower a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation.”*

    Inclusive design prioritizes the experience and participation of building users by considering the full range of ability, age, gender, language, cultural understanding, and other characteristics of human diversity in the context of place. Inclusive design and the green building movement are directly related by their core value of sustainability.

    Requirements

    Inclusive Design Process:
    Encourage responsiveness to community needs by involving the people who live or work in the community and project in design and planning and in decisions about how the project should be improved or how it should change over time. In addition, assess existing and proposed infrastructure and surrounding site conditions for accessibility.
    At a minimum, engage the community and future occupants through user groups. Each activity must be led by the project team or in partnership with an existing local organization and be directly related to the project.

    Refer to the following for best practices for community engagement:

    AND

    Meet four of the following:**

    1. Physical Access: Demonstrate increased access beyond Federal, state, or local regulatory requirements, whichever is most stringent, by including all of the following that is relevant to the project:
    • Interior:
      • Install 36-inch (0.91 meters) wide doors, at minimum, in all occupied spaces
      • Provide circulation paths that are 20% wider than required, at minimum
      • Increase clear floor space at appliances and fixtures to 30 by 52 inches (0.76 by 1.32 meters), at minimum
      • Increase the size of turning space to 72 inches (1.83 meters) in diameter, at minimum
      • Recess or protect with physical barriers (niches, rails, etc.) drinking fountains, vending machines, and wall-mounted elements such as fire extinguishers, lighting, and similar that protrude more than four inches from a wall
      • Ensure that elevators are equipped with a clearly-identified manual feature to delay door closing
      • Provide ambient lighting at levels appropriate to space use controlled by occupancy, daylight, or other auto-sensor methods; include adjustable task lighting at work or public-use surfaces
      • Install monitors and lit screens with non-glare surfaces
    • Exterior:
      • Include resting areas with seating at various heights, including seating with back rests and without arm rests
      • Provide accessible routes that are 43 inches (1.1 meters) in width, at minimum
      • Install drinking fountains, assistance animal areas, and bike racks that are easily accessed from all sides
      • Include detectable warnings (e.g. truncated domes) where at official pedestrian crossings that intersect with vehicular paths
      • Design the site with open sight lines to and from entries and public access points
  • Wayfinding: Implement strategies to help individuals navigate spaces with ease, including but not limited to:
    • Directional signage with non-text diagrams/symbols and Braille or active visual or audio signaling on dynamic signs
    • Continuous linear path indicators
    • Patterns and color blocking to identify key public access spaces (e.g. entries, exits, restrooms)
    • Haptic maps
    • Aromatic elements to guide blind and low-vision people
    • Emergency alarm signaling (audible/visual), safety zones, and clear wayfinding to ensure that emergency egress is inclusive
  • Assistive Technology: Provide at least one technology to enhance functionality for all building occupants, such as:
    • Height adjustable desks, adjustable height counters ( with fixtures, where applicable), and accessible height sales and service counters
    • Door and drawer hardware that requires no grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist
    • Voice or touch screen operated controls for devices and systems affecting occupancy of the space and user comfort, including but not limited to lighting, window shades, and thermostats
  • Emotional Health: Include strategies to support mental and emotional health, such as the incorporation of nature, art, daylight, biophilic elements and strategies, and connectivity to outdoor space.
  • Inclusive Spaces: Include at least one of the following specific spaces within the building:
    • Lactation room(s)
    • Quiet, wellness, or meditation room(s)
    • All-gender and/or family restrooms
    • Public spaces and services, such as exterior green space, public restrooms, public education areas, publicly-available event space, indoor weather shelters, and locally-designated emergency-related outreach/points of distribution
    • Fitness spaces with accessible and inclusive activities and equipment
    • Spaces that encourage frequent, casual social interaction to reduce probability of social isolation

    Refer to the following for best practices for emotional health and inclusive spaces:

    AND

    Operations, Management, and Employee Training and/or Manual

    • Provide an inclusive design training for building operations and management staff and/or develop an operations and management handbook with policies and procedures that are inclusive of people with disabilities. Ensure the training and/or manual is applicable to all occupants and visitors and available to all employees. Include the following topics at a minimum:
      • Overview of applicable laws, codes, and organizational non-discrimination and labor equality policies
      • Federal and state/local protected classes
      • Nondiscrimination policies and procedures
      • Reasonable accommodations and modifications for occupants with disabilities
      • Common structural accessibility requirements
      • Emergency preparedness elements, systems, policies, and procedures
      • Access to transportation via information on accessible transportation options for all occupants and/or free or subsidized public transit passes for employees
      • Inclusive recruitment, job profiles assessments, and access to jobs for people with disabilities
      • Online or mobile resource to identify and explain accessibility elements to visitors
      • Guidance for working with staff or welcoming visitors with accessibility, cognitive, or sensory challenges
      • Best practices for maintaining compliance with all items noted above

    Documentation Requirements

    General

    Register for the pilot credit

    Credits 116-125

    Credit Specific
    • Inclusive Design Plan (narrative) that describes the inclusive design process and the four design strategies selected for the project, providing justification for any elements not addressed or any additional elements unique to the project.
    • Drawings (site plans, floor plans, sections, elevations) and/or photos/renderings calling out the inclusive design strategies that will be/were implemented on the project.
    • Inclusive design operations and maintenance handbook and/or training materials.
    Alternative Compliance Path for Mexico & United States:

    Projects may achieve Todo Accesible’s Distintivo A label at the Silver level or above. Projects must submit their completed checklist and label, email confirmation, and a photo of their installed plaque.

    Global Alternative Compliance Path:

    USGBC welcomes the idea of alternative strategies to those discussed in the credit language for this pilot credit, as a means to learn more about other possibilities towards meeting the intent and goals of the credit, and in order to potentially incorporate good ideas into future pilot credits and/or standard LEED credits. For an alternative certification program to be considered, it must relate to the inclusive design issues in the pilot credit requirements. The following information must be included in the submission:

    1. Intent of the proposed strategy: How does it meet the intent and goals of this pilot credit?
    2. Requirements for compliance: What metric(s) are used to measure success? How is the level of effort or rigor equivalent to the existing options?
    3. Submittals: What is the documentation to demonstrate compliance?
    4. Design approach or strategies: Provide a narrative description if not sufficiently addressed in the information listed above.
    Survey Questions:
    1. To what extent would you have included these features if they were not rewarded via this pilot credit?
    2. How did the credit requirements change the floor plan layouts and other space distribution considerations?
    3. Did the local building codes and/or zoning impede your achievement of any requirements of this credit? If so, which and how?
    4. Did the local building codes and/or zoning codes facilitate your achievement of any requirements? If so, which and how?
    5. How might project teams monitor the use and success of the inclusive design features and/or programs?
    6. What other design considerations would you suggest for this credit, for future teams, and/or have you included in your project?

    * Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments by Steinfeld, E., & Maisel, J. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012
    **If a project meets the suggested strategies for physical access through regulatory requirements, choose four of the other requirement options.

    Changes
    • 2/4/2019 - original publication
  • See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Pilot-Credits INpc125