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LEED v4
Existing Schools
Sustainable Sites

Heat island reduction

LEED CREDIT

Schools-EBOM-v4 SSc3: Heat Island Reduction 1-2 points

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SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser expert

emily reese moody

LEED AP BD+C, GGP, GPCP, ENV SP, Fitwel Ambassador, GCP

Jacobs
Sustainability Director, Certifications & Compliance

SPECIAL REPORT

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Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

Choose one of the following options:

Option 1. nonroof (1 point)

Establishment

Use any combination of the following strategies for a minimum of 50% of the site paving.
  • Use the existing plant material or install plants that provide shade over paving areas (including playgrounds) on the site within 10 years of planting. Plants must be in place at the time of certification application.
  • Install vegetated planters. Plants must be in place at the time of occupancy permit and cannot include artificial turf.
  • Provide shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines,
  • Provide shade with architectural devices or structures that have a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation,
  • Provide shade with vegetated structures.
  • Use paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% unbound).

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance paving surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance.

OR

Option 2. roof (1 point)

Establishment

Use either roofing materials with a SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1 for a minimum of 75% of the roof area, or a vegetated roof for a minimum of 50% of the roof area, or both. If using both high-reflectance and vegetated roof surfaces, meet the following criterion:

Area of High-Reflectance Roof

 

Area of Vegetated Roof

 

Total Roof Area

——————

+

——————

0.75

 

0.5

 

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance roof surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

OR

Option 3. nonroof and roof (2 points)

Establishment

Meet the following criterion:

Area of Nonroof Measures

 

Area of High-Reflectance Roof

 

Area of Vegetated Roof

 

Total Site Paving Area

 

Total Roof Area

——————

+

——————

+

——————

+

0.5

 

0.75

 

0.50

 

 

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance. Use any combination of the following strategies. Nonroof measures Use the measures listed in Option 1. Plant material must be in place at time of certification application. High-reflectance roof Use roofing materials that have an SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1. Meet the three-year aged SRI value. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials that meet the initial SRI value.
Table 1. Minimum solar reflectance index value, by roof slope

 

Slope

Initial SRI

OR

3-year aged SRI

Low-sloped roof

≤ 2:12

82

 

64

Steep-sloped roof

> 2:12

39

 

32

Vegetated roof Install a vegetated roof.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

OR

Option 4. Parking under cover (1 point)

Establishment

Place at least 50% of parking spaces under cover. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must (1) have a three-year aged SRI of at least 32 (if three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SRI of at least 39 at installation), (2) be a vegetated roof, or (3) be covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all SRI surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition. 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

Can we attempt multiple options and achieve more LEED credits?

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.)

What's the difference between SR and SRI?

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.)

Should we include motorcycle parking spaces in our total parking count for the Parking Under Cover 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.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

4/6/2018Updated: 4/23/2018
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
BD+C:
Option 2. Parking under Cover,
Step 1. Determine total vehicle parking spaces in project
Replace both bullets with this "Do not count motorcycle or bicycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces"

O+M:
Step 1 Identify parking, hardscape and roof area
Replace first bullet with "Do not count motorcycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces. Exclude bicycle parking area."

Option 4. Parking under cover
Step 1 Evaluate compliance
Replace first bullet with "Do not count motorcycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces. Exclude bicycle parking area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015Updated: 7/1/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Edit the guidance to read:
"Group Approach
All buildings in the group may be documented as one.
Campus Approach
Option 1: Eligible.
Option 2: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually.
Option 3: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually.
Option 4: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015Updated: 4/16/2015
Form Update
Description of change:
Revisions to exemplary performance for Option 3 to match credit requirements.
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015Updated: 4/1/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the bullet points to read:

"- Option 1 is for projects with compliant at-grade (i.e., nonroof) strategies.
- Option 2 is for projects with compliant roofs.
- Option 3 is for projects with compliant roofs and at-grade (i.e., nonroof) systems.
- Option 4 is for projects with only parking under cover."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Option 1, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SR and paving permeability, as applicable, to verify compliance. Selected materials may meet either the initial SR threshold or the 3-year aged SR threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 2, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SRI, as applicable, to verify compliance with credit requirements. Selected materials may meet either the initial SRI threshold or the 3-year aged SRI threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 3, Step 2. Change the last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SR, SRI, and paving permeability, as applicable, to verify compliance. Selected materials may meet either the initial threshold or the 3-year aged threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 4, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SRI, as applicable, to verify compliance with credit requirements. Selected materials may meet either the initial SRI threshold or the 3-year aged SRI threshold. They are not required to meet both.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/27/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this credit is to reduce the heat island effect created by large expanses of pavement. For a building to earn option B of the credit, they must provide shade for at least 50% of the provided parking. This can be underground, under a deck, under a roof, or under the building itself. In addition, a building that provides 100% of its parking under cover is eligible to earn an exemplary performance point. One of our project buildings is located in downtown San Francisco and does not provide any parking for building tenants. We believe that this fulfills the intent of the credit because there are no paved parking areas whatsoever that would contribute to the heat island effect. The net heat island effect is the same as a building that provides 100% of parking underground. However, the building that does not have parking at all gets 0 points where as a building that provides 100% parking underground gets 2 points. An existing building that was designed many years ago to reduce heat island effect should still be rewarded under a rating system that was incepted later on. We would like to petition the USGBC to consider awarding 1 point under Option B to projects that have no parking provided.

Ruling:

April 6, 2018 Update: LEED Interpretation 5370 is now applicable to both LEED v2009 and LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C, and O+M projects.

A project building with no onsite parking facilities may be eligible for 1 point under LEED v2009 SSc7.1 and LEED v4 SSc Heat Island Reduction, provided that no nearby offsite parking facilities are leased or owned by the building owner, property manager, or tenants for use by the building occupants. The project team must supply evidence of this by, in single-occupant buildings declaring that no such parking is provided, or in multi-tenant buildings by declaring that no such parking is provided and by detailing the method by which this was assessed. If such offsite facilities are leased or owned, the project team may document compliance with the credit by showing that 50% (O+M) or 75% (BD+C) of the provided spaces meet the Heat Island Reduction Roof requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can v4 projects use typical solar reflectance (SR) values, or data from a previous project, for documentation of hardscape materials?

Ruling:

The following typical SR values can be used for standard nonroof materials, in lieu of project-specific testing data:

Typical Solar Reflectance Values for Standard Nonroof Materials
Gray cement concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.26, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.18
White cement concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.70, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.35
Asphalt concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.05, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.10

*Three-year aged SR values are based on no cleaning.

Alternatively, documentation showing that the current concrete mix and sealant are equivalent to a tested mix and sealant from a previous project is acceptable, provided that all ingredients are the same and have not changed.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
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

emily reese moody

LEED AP BD+C, GGP, GPCP, ENV SP, Fitwel Ambassador, GCP

Jacobs
Sustainability Director, Certifications & Compliance

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.

Requirements

Choose one of the following options:

Option 1. nonroof (1 point)

Establishment

Use any combination of the following strategies for a minimum of 50% of the site paving.
  • Use the existing plant material or install plants that provide shade over paving areas (including playgrounds) on the site within 10 years of planting. Plants must be in place at the time of certification application.
  • Install vegetated planters. Plants must be in place at the time of occupancy permit and cannot include artificial turf.
  • Provide shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines,
  • Provide shade with architectural devices or structures that have a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation,
  • Provide shade with vegetated structures.
  • Use paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% unbound).

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance paving surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance.

OR

Option 2. roof (1 point)

Establishment

Use either roofing materials with a SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1 for a minimum of 75% of the roof area, or a vegetated roof for a minimum of 50% of the roof area, or both. If using both high-reflectance and vegetated roof surfaces, meet the following criterion:

Area of High-Reflectance Roof

 

Area of Vegetated Roof

 

Total Roof Area

——————

+

——————

0.75

 

0.5

 

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance roof surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

OR

Option 3. nonroof and roof (2 points)

Establishment

Meet the following criterion:

Area of Nonroof Measures

 

Area of High-Reflectance Roof

 

Area of Vegetated Roof

 

Total Site Paving Area

 

Total Roof Area

——————

+

——————

+

——————

+

0.5

 

0.75

 

0.50

 

 

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance. Use any combination of the following strategies. Nonroof measures Use the measures listed in Option 1. Plant material must be in place at time of certification application. High-reflectance roof Use roofing materials that have an SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1. Meet the three-year aged SRI value. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials that meet the initial SRI value.
Table 1. Minimum solar reflectance index value, by roof slope

 

Slope

Initial SRI

OR

3-year aged SRI

Low-sloped roof

≤ 2:12

82

 

64

Steep-sloped roof

> 2:12

39

 

32

Vegetated roof Install a vegetated roof.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

OR

Option 4. Parking under cover (1 point)

Establishment

Place at least 50% of parking spaces under cover. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must (1) have a three-year aged SRI of at least 32 (if three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SRI of at least 39 at installation), (2) be a vegetated roof, or (3) be covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all SRI surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

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 we attempt multiple options and achieve more LEED credits?

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.)

What's the difference between SR and SRI?

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.)

Should we include motorcycle parking spaces in our total parking count for the Parking Under Cover 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.)

4/6/2018Updated: 4/23/2018
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
BD+C:
Option 2. Parking under Cover,
Step 1. Determine total vehicle parking spaces in project
Replace both bullets with this "Do not count motorcycle or bicycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces"

O+M:
Step 1 Identify parking, hardscape and roof area
Replace first bullet with "Do not count motorcycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces. Exclude bicycle parking area."

Option 4. Parking under cover
Step 1 Evaluate compliance
Replace first bullet with "Do not count motorcycle parking spaces as vehicle parking spaces. Exclude bicycle parking area."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015Updated: 7/1/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Edit the guidance to read:
"Group Approach
All buildings in the group may be documented as one.
Campus Approach
Option 1: Eligible.
Option 2: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually.
Option 3: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually.
Option 4: Ineligible. Each LEED project may pursue the credit individually."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015Updated: 4/16/2015
Form Update
Description of change:
Revisions to exemplary performance for Option 3 to match credit requirements.
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015Updated: 4/1/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the bullet points to read:

"- Option 1 is for projects with compliant at-grade (i.e., nonroof) strategies.
- Option 2 is for projects with compliant roofs.
- Option 3 is for projects with compliant roofs and at-grade (i.e., nonroof) systems.
- Option 4 is for projects with only parking under cover."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Option 1, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SR and paving permeability, as applicable, to verify compliance. Selected materials may meet either the initial SR threshold or the 3-year aged SR threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 2, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SRI, as applicable, to verify compliance with credit requirements. Selected materials may meet either the initial SRI threshold or the 3-year aged SRI threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 3, Step 2. Change the last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SR, SRI, and paving permeability, as applicable, to verify compliance. Selected materials may meet either the initial threshold or the 3-year aged threshold. They are not required to meet both.”

Option 4, Step 2. Change last bullet to read “Collect manufacturers’ documentation of SRI, as applicable, to verify compliance with credit requirements. Selected materials may meet either the initial SRI threshold or the 3-year aged SRI threshold. They are not required to meet both.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/27/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this credit is to reduce the heat island effect created by large expanses of pavement. For a building to earn option B of the credit, they must provide shade for at least 50% of the provided parking. This can be underground, under a deck, under a roof, or under the building itself. In addition, a building that provides 100% of its parking under cover is eligible to earn an exemplary performance point. One of our project buildings is located in downtown San Francisco and does not provide any parking for building tenants. We believe that this fulfills the intent of the credit because there are no paved parking areas whatsoever that would contribute to the heat island effect. The net heat island effect is the same as a building that provides 100% of parking underground. However, the building that does not have parking at all gets 0 points where as a building that provides 100% parking underground gets 2 points. An existing building that was designed many years ago to reduce heat island effect should still be rewarded under a rating system that was incepted later on. We would like to petition the USGBC to consider awarding 1 point under Option B to projects that have no parking provided.

Ruling:

April 6, 2018 Update: LEED Interpretation 5370 is now applicable to both LEED v2009 and LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C, and O+M projects.

A project building with no onsite parking facilities may be eligible for 1 point under LEED v2009 SSc7.1 and LEED v4 SSc Heat Island Reduction, provided that no nearby offsite parking facilities are leased or owned by the building owner, property manager, or tenants for use by the building occupants. The project team must supply evidence of this by, in single-occupant buildings declaring that no such parking is provided, or in multi-tenant buildings by declaring that no such parking is provided and by detailing the method by which this was assessed. If such offsite facilities are leased or owned, the project team may document compliance with the credit by showing that 50% (O+M) or 75% (BD+C) of the provided spaces meet the Heat Island Reduction Roof requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can v4 projects use typical solar reflectance (SR) values, or data from a previous project, for documentation of hardscape materials?

Ruling:

The following typical SR values can be used for standard nonroof materials, in lieu of project-specific testing data:

Typical Solar Reflectance Values for Standard Nonroof Materials
Gray cement concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.26, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.18
White cement concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.70, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.35
Asphalt concrete- Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.05, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.10

*Three-year aged SR values are based on no cleaning.

Alternatively, documentation showing that the current concrete mix and sealant are equivalent to a tested mix and sealant from a previous project is acceptable, provided that all ingredients are the same and have not changed.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

emily reese moody

LEED AP BD+C, GGP, GPCP, ENV SP, Fitwel Ambassador, GCP

Jacobs
Sustainability Director, Certifications & Compliance

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Schools-EBOM-v4 SSc3