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Site assessment

LEED CREDIT

Pilot-Credits SSpc45: Site assessment 1 point

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Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To assess site conditions prior to design in order to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site design.

Pilot Credit Closed

This pilot credit was closed to new pilot credit registrations on 3/1/2015. It is now available in the LEED Innovation Catalog for ongoing use by project teams as an innovation point rather than a pilot credit.

Requirements

Complete and document a site survey/assessment that includes the following information:

  • Topography: Contour mapping, unique topographic features, slope stability risks;
  • Hydrology: 100-year floodplain, delineated wetlands, lakes, streams, shorelines, rain/storm water collection/reuse opportunities, TR-551 initial water storage capacity of the site, or local equivalent outside the U.S.;
  • Climate: Solar exposure, heat island effect potential, and seasonal sun angles, prevailing winds, monthly precipitation and temperature ranges;
  • Vegetation: Primary vegetation types, greenfield area, significant tree mapping, threatened or endangered species, unique habitat, invasive plants;
  • Soils: NRCS soils delineation2, USDA prime farmland3, healthy soils, previous development disturbed soils;
  • Human Use: Views, adjacent transportation infrastructure, adjacent properties,existing recycle/reuse of potential construction materials;
  • Human Health Impacts: proximity of vulnerable populations, adjacent physical activity opportunities, proximity to large sources of air pollution.

The survey/assessment should demonstrate the relationships between the site features/ topics listed above and how these features influenced the project design OR reasons for not addressing topics.

1 TR-55 (Technical Release 55) is an approach to hydrology that includes many techniques used to model watersheds including procedures to calculate storm runoff volume, peak rate of discharge, hydrographs, and storage volumes (USDA Soil Conservation Service).

2 A NRCS soils delineation is a soil survey developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service that shows the boundaries of different soil types and special soil features on the site.

3 USDA prime farmland is defined by the NRCS as land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and that is available for these uses.

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

Credit specific

Submit the completed Site Assessment Worksheet with relevant project information (both narrative descriptions and maps, as applicable). Include additional topics not listed, if any, and provide reasons for not addressing certain topics. The Site Assessment submittals should clearly demonstrate how the site features informed the choice of site as well as the ongoing design and construction of the project. The Site Assessment Worksheet can be found under Resources.

Additional questions
  1. To what extent does your firm and/or your project teams already conduct site assessments that include this information?
  2. The goal of this credit is to assess site conditions prior to design in order to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site and building design. Do you believe that these requirements achieve this intent? Why or why not?
  3. Did you encounter difficulties in gathering the information for the site assessment? If so, in what ways?
Changes from last version:
  • Changes made for 3rd Public Comment (03/01/2012):
    Incorporated global language into the requirements
    Added user-generated pilot credit recommendations, including:
    heat island effect potential
    adjacent properties
    assessment of potential human health impacts
    Updated Site Assessment Worksheet – worksheet for pre-March 2012 projects can be found under resources
  • 11/15/2013:
    Updated Site Assessment Worksheet with LEED v4 final worksheet
See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

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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.

LEEDuser expert

Batya Metalitz

USGBC
Technical Director, LEED

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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To assess site conditions prior to design in order to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site design.

Pilot Credit Closed

This pilot credit was closed to new pilot credit registrations on 3/1/2015. It is now available in the LEED Innovation Catalog for ongoing use by project teams as an innovation point rather than a pilot credit.

Requirements

Complete and document a site survey/assessment that includes the following information:

  • Topography: Contour mapping, unique topographic features, slope stability risks;
  • Hydrology: 100-year floodplain, delineated wetlands, lakes, streams, shorelines, rain/storm water collection/reuse opportunities, TR-551 initial water storage capacity of the site, or local equivalent outside the U.S.;
  • Climate: Solar exposure, heat island effect potential, and seasonal sun angles, prevailing winds, monthly precipitation and temperature ranges;
  • Vegetation: Primary vegetation types, greenfield area, significant tree mapping, threatened or endangered species, unique habitat, invasive plants;
  • Soils: NRCS soils delineation2, USDA prime farmland3, healthy soils, previous development disturbed soils;
  • Human Use: Views, adjacent transportation infrastructure, adjacent properties,existing recycle/reuse of potential construction materials;
  • Human Health Impacts: proximity of vulnerable populations, adjacent physical activity opportunities, proximity to large sources of air pollution.

The survey/assessment should demonstrate the relationships between the site features/ topics listed above and how these features influenced the project design OR reasons for not addressing topics.

1 TR-55 (Technical Release 55) is an approach to hydrology that includes many techniques used to model watersheds including procedures to calculate storm runoff volume, peak rate of discharge, hydrographs, and storage volumes (USDA Soil Conservation Service).

2 A NRCS soils delineation is a soil survey developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service that shows the boundaries of different soil types and special soil features on the site.

3 USDA prime farmland is defined by the NRCS as land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and that is available for these uses.

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

Credit specific

Submit the completed Site Assessment Worksheet with relevant project information (both narrative descriptions and maps, as applicable). Include additional topics not listed, if any, and provide reasons for not addressing certain topics. The Site Assessment submittals should clearly demonstrate how the site features informed the choice of site as well as the ongoing design and construction of the project. The Site Assessment Worksheet can be found under Resources.

Additional questions
  1. To what extent does your firm and/or your project teams already conduct site assessments that include this information?
  2. The goal of this credit is to assess site conditions prior to design in order to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site and building design. Do you believe that these requirements achieve this intent? Why or why not?
  3. Did you encounter difficulties in gathering the information for the site assessment? If so, in what ways?
Changes from last version:
  • Changes made for 3rd Public Comment (03/01/2012):
    Incorporated global language into the requirements
    Added user-generated pilot credit recommendations, including:
    heat island effect potential
    adjacent properties
    assessment of potential human health impacts
    Updated Site Assessment Worksheet – worksheet for pre-March 2012 projects can be found under resources
  • 11/15/2013:
    Updated Site Assessment Worksheet with LEED v4 final worksheet

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.

LEEDuser expert

Batya Metalitz

USGBC
Technical Director, LEED

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Pilot-Credits SSpc45