Log in
LEED v4
Existing Retail
Water Efficiency
Outdoor water use reduction

LEED CREDIT

Retail-EBOM-v4 WEc1: Outdoor water use reduction 1-2 points

See all forum discussions about this credit »

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser expert

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Frank advice from LEED experts

LEED is changing all the time, and every project is unique. Even seasoned professionals can miss a critical detail and lose a credit or even a prerequisite at the last minute. Our expert advice guides our LEEDuser Premium members and saves you valuable time.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To reduce outdoor water consumption.

Requirements

Reduce outdoor water use through one of the following options. Nonvegetated surfaces, such as permeable or impermeable pavement, should be excluded from landscape area calculations. Athletic fields and playgrounds (if vegetated) and food gardens may be included or excluded at the project team’s discretion.

If landscape irrigation is not submetered, use Option 2.

Establishment

Option 1. No irrigation required (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Show that the landscape does not require a permanent irrigation system beyond a maximum two-year establishment period.

Option 2. No irrigation meter installed: calculated water budget (1–2 points)

Use the existing landscape to calculate the landscape water requirement using the EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool.

Install an irrigation meter.

Option 3. Irrigation meter installed (1–2 points)

The baseline is established using the annual average of at least 3 years of consecutive data out of the last 5 years.

Performance

Option 1. No irrigation required (2 points)

None.

Option 2. No irrigation meter: calculated water budget (1–2 points)

Points are earned according to Table 1.

Option 3. Irrigation meter installed (1–2 points)

Demonstrate a reduction in outdoor water use over the most recent 12 months compared with the established baseline. Points are earned according to Table 1.

Table 1. Points for reducing irrigation water
Percentage reduction from baseline Points
30% 1
40% 2
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 »

Frequently asked questions

Do the 30% and 40% reductions need to be achieved prior to the application of alternative water sources in order to earn the 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.)

When pursuing Option 2 do I have to use the EPA WasterSense Water Budget Tool or USGBC’s Outdoor Water Use Reduction Calculator?

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.)

Does the project site need to have a minimum amount of vegetation in order to pursue the 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.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

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

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To reduce outdoor water consumption.

Requirements

Reduce outdoor water use through one of the following options. Nonvegetated surfaces, such as permeable or impermeable pavement, should be excluded from landscape area calculations. Athletic fields and playgrounds (if vegetated) and food gardens may be included or excluded at the project team’s discretion.

If landscape irrigation is not submetered, use Option 2.

Establishment

Option 1. No irrigation required (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Show that the landscape does not require a permanent irrigation system beyond a maximum two-year establishment period.

Option 2. No irrigation meter installed: calculated water budget (1–2 points)

Use the existing landscape to calculate the landscape water requirement using the EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool.

Install an irrigation meter.

Option 3. Irrigation meter installed (1–2 points)

The baseline is established using the annual average of at least 3 years of consecutive data out of the last 5 years.

Performance

Option 1. No irrigation required (2 points)

None.

Option 2. No irrigation meter: calculated water budget (1–2 points)

Points are earned according to Table 1.

Option 3. Irrigation meter installed (1–2 points)

Demonstrate a reduction in outdoor water use over the most recent 12 months compared with the established baseline. Points are earned according to Table 1.

Table 1. Points for reducing irrigation water
Percentage reduction from baseline Points
30% 1
40% 2

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.

Do the 30% and 40% reductions need to be achieved prior to the application of alternative water sources in order to earn the 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.)

When pursuing Option 2 do I have to use the EPA WasterSense Water Budget Tool or USGBC’s Outdoor Water Use Reduction Calculator?

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.)

Does the project site need to have a minimum amount of vegetation in order to pursue the 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

Dan Ackerstein

Ackerstein Sustainability, LLC
Principal

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Retail-EBOM-v4 WEc1