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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

Samantha Longshore

Transwestern Sustainability Services
Sustainability Advisor

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Frank advice from LEED experts

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Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To minimize effects on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats by reducing heat islands.

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.

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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 »

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What's the difference between SR and SRI?

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(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?

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(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

Samantha Longshore

Transwestern Sustainability Services
Sustainability Advisor

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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To minimize effects on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats by reducing heat islands.

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.)

LEEDuser expert

Samantha Longshore

Transwestern Sustainability Services
Sustainability Advisor

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