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LEED v4.1

Schools – New Construction

Location & Transportation
Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses

LEED CREDIT

Schools-NC-v4.1 LTc4: Surrounding density and diverse uses 1-5 points

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Deborah Lucking

AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Fentress Architects
Director of Sustainability

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Requirements

Option 1. Surrounding Density and Connectivity (2–3 points)
Path 1. Surrounding Density
Locate on a site whose surrounding existing density within a ¼-mile (400-meter) offset of the project boundary meets the values in Table 1. Use either the “separate residential and nonresidential densities” or the “combined density” values.
Table 1a. Points for average density within 1/4 mile of project site (IP units)

Combined density

Separate residential and nonresidential densities

Points
BD&C (except Core and Shell)

Points BD&C (Core and Shell)

Points
ID&C

Square feet per acre of buildable land

Residential density (DU/acre)

Nonresidential density (FAR)

 

 

 

22,000

7

0.5

2

2

3

35,000

12

0.8

3

4

6

Table 1b. Points for average density within 400 meters of project site (SI units)

Combined density

Separate residential and nonresidential densities

Points
BD&C (except Core and Shell)

Points BD&C
(Core and Shell)

Points
ID&C

Square meters per hectare of buildable land

Residential density (DU/hectare)

Nonresidential density (FAR)

 

 

 

5,050

17.5

0.5

2

2

3

8,035

30

0.8

3

4

6

DU = dwelling unit; FAR = floor-area ratio. Physical education spaces that are part of the project site, such as playing fields and associated buildings used during sporting events only (e.g., concession stands) and playgrounds with play equipment, are excluded from the development density calculations. OR
Path 2. Connected Site
Locate the project on a previously developed site that also meets one of the connected site conditions listed below.
Table 2. Points for connected site
Type of Site Points
Adjacent 1
Infill 2
  • To qualify as an adjacent site, at least 25% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
  • To qualify as an infill site, at least 75% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
  • Bordering rights-of-way do not constitute previously developed land; it is the status of the property on the other side of the right-of-way that contributes to the calculation. Any part of the boundary that borders a water body is excluded from the calculation.
AND/OR
Option 2. Diverse Uses (1–2 points)
Construct or renovate a building or a space within a building such that the building’s main entrance is within a ½-mile (800-meter) walking distance from the following number of uses (see Appendix 1), as listed below.
Table 1. Points for proximity to uses
Uses Points
4–7 1
≥ 8 2
The following restrictions apply.
  • A use counts as only one type (e.g., a retail store may be counted only once even if it sells products in several categories).
  • No more than two uses in each use type may be counted (e.g. if five restaurants are within walking distance, only two may be counted).
  • The counted uses must represent at least three of the five categories, exclusive of the building’s primary use.
OR
Option 3. Walkable Location (1-5 points BD+C except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)
Locate on a site with a Walk Score® or equivalent third-party walkability assessment for the following thresholds, as listed below.
Table 1. Points for walkable location
Walk Score Points Points (Healthcare)
90-100 5 -
80-89 4 -
70-79 3 -
60-69 2 -
50-59 1 -
≥ 50 - 1
Projects attempting Option 3 are not eligible to earn points under Option 1 or Option 2. See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Addenda

4/9/2021Updated: 4/20/2021
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Revise the below LT credit intents as follows:

LTc Sensitive Land Protection
"To cultivate community resilience, avoid the development of environmentally sensitive lands that provide critical ecosystem services and reduce the environmental impact from the location of a building on a site."

LTc High Priority Site and Equitable Development
"To build the economic and social vitality of communities, encourage project location in areas with development constraints and promote the ecological, cultural, and community health of the surrounding area while understanding the needs and goals of existing residents and businesses."

LTc Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses
"To conserve land and protect farmland and wildlife habitat by encouraging development in areas with existing infrastructure. To support neighborhood and local economies, promote walkability and low or no carbon transportation, and reduce vehicle distance traveled for all. To improve public health by encouraging daily physical activity."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 3/1/2021
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Under the Schools Only section, add Option 1, Table 1a and Table 1b from the requirements for NC, CS, Retail, and Hospitality. After the Option 1 heading, add "Path 1. Surrounding Density."

After the paragraph beginning "Physical education spaces..." add the following language for Path 2:

Path 2. Connected Site

Locate the project on a previously developed site that also meets one of the connected site conditions listed below.

Table 2. Points for connected site
Type of site Points
Adjacent 1
Infill 2

- To qualify as an adjacent site, at least 25% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
- To qualify as an infill site, at least 75% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
- Bordering rights-of-way do not constitute previously developed land; it is the status of the property on the other side of the right-of-way that contributes to the calculation. Any part of the boundary that borders a water body is excluded from the calculation.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 2/3/2021
Form Update
Description of change:
Updated Option 1 to reflect new path for Connected Site
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 2/3/2021
Form Update
Description of change:
Added new "Option 3. Walkable Location"

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 12/2/2020
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
After Option 2 for the Healthcare adaptation insert the following new requirements for all projects:

All Projects

Option 3. Walkable Location (1-5 points BD+C except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)
Locate on a site with a Walk Score® or equivalent third-party walkability assessment for the following thresholds, as listed below.

Table 1. Points for walkable location
Walk Score® Points BD+C Points HC
90 to 100 5 -
80 to 89 4 -
70 to 79 3 -
60 to 69 2 -
50 to 59 1 -
≥ 50 - 1

Projects attempting Option 3 are not eligible to earn points under Option 1 or Option 2.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 11/25/2020
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under Beta Update, after the first paragraph beginning "Updates clarify that surrounding existing density is measured within a 1/4-mile (400-meter) offset...", insert the following language:

A new option has been added for all projects to recognize the benefit of walkable locations as assessed by Walk Score® and equivalent walkability assessment tools. Walk Score® measures surrounding density, road network metrics, and destinations within walking distance and is a reasonable proxy for the metrics in Option 1 and Option 2.

Under Further Explanation, add the following language:

Walk Score measures the walkability of an address on the following scale:

Walk Score® Description
90-100 Walker's Paradise
Daily errands do not require a car.
70-89 Very Walkable
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50-69 Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25-49 Car-Dependent
Most errands require a car.
0-24 Car-Dependent
Almost all errands require a car.
Source: Walk Score

While quantitative walkability assessment tools, including Walk Score, provide valuable insight into the relative potential for walking in a measured location, these tools have acknowledged limitations for reflecting the actual conditions on the ground and the safety and efficacy of walking. Project teams are encouraged to utilize other resources, including but not limited to multimodal transportation data collection and analysis, travel surveys, and pedestrian safety audits. For more information, refer to https://www.walkscore.com/methodology.shtml

In addition, a project’s design has the potential to influence walking and other active modes as alternatives to driving through the orientation of the building on the site and connectivity between the site and the surrounding street network, and by including high-quality sidewalks and crossing facilities that enhance multimodal travel on and around the project.

Under "Required Documentation" and a new bullet with the following language:

For projects attempting Option 3, attach a screenshot of the resulting Walk Score, making sure to include the project’s address and score.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/9/2020Updated: 11/25/2020
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under Behind the Intent, after Beta Update insert the following language:

A new path for schools project has been added to Option 1 to recognize the unique circumstances some schools project face during site selection, especially for communities outside of dense urban areas. Path 2, Connected Site recognizes the benefit of locating new schools near existing development.

Under Step-by-Step Guidance, after the first bullet item beginning "Data Centers have been added..." insert a new bullet item:

"For Schools projects attempting Option 1, Path 2, follow guidance below for determining adjacent and infill site status.

Step 1. Identify qualifying previously developed parcels around the project site

On a vicinity map, identify parcels adjacent to the project’s perimeter. For each parcel, calculate the percentage of previous development area.

Qualifying parcels have at least 75% previous development coverage. If a portion of a lot smaller than 1 acre is previously developed, the entire lot’s area may be considered previously developed.

Start with parcels that look most developed and skip those that appear marginal.

Step 2. Confirm that the project is an adjacent site or infill site

Measure the project’s entire perimeter, the length of perimeter segments adjacent to waterfront (if any), and the longest continuous perimeter segments adjacent to qualifying parcels. Use Equation 1 to determine the percentage of the project boundary adjacent to previously developed parcels.

Equation 1. Percentage of boundary adjacent to previous development

% adjacent boundary = continuous perimeter adjacent to previously developed parcels / (total perimeter – any waterfront perimeter) x 100

To qualify as an infill site, at least 75% of the site boundary must be adjacent to qualifying previously developed parcels.

To qualify as an adjacent site, at least one continuous segment of the site boundary adjacent to qualifying previously developed parcels must be 25% or more of the net perimeter length.

If no continuous segments are at least 25% of the net perimeter length, the site does not qualify as an adjacent site.

Under Required Documenation, after the first bullet item beginning "Data Centers have been added..." insert a new bullet item with the following language:

For Schools projects attempting Option 1, Path 2, a map of surrounding land and its status (previously developed, per the definition in Step-by-Step Guidance) is required documentation.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
See all forum discussions about this credit »

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AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Fentress Architects
Director of Sustainability

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

Requirements

Option 1. Surrounding Density and Connectivity (2–3 points)
Path 1. Surrounding Density
Locate on a site whose surrounding existing density within a ¼-mile (400-meter) offset of the project boundary meets the values in Table 1. Use either the “separate residential and nonresidential densities” or the “combined density” values.
Table 1a. Points for average density within 1/4 mile of project site (IP units)

Combined density

Separate residential and nonresidential densities

Points
BD&C (except Core and Shell)

Points BD&C (Core and Shell)

Points
ID&C

Square feet per acre of buildable land

Residential density (DU/acre)

Nonresidential density (FAR)

 

 

 

22,000

7

0.5

2

2

3

35,000

12

0.8

3

4

6

Table 1b. Points for average density within 400 meters of project site (SI units)

Combined density

Separate residential and nonresidential densities

Points
BD&C (except Core and Shell)

Points BD&C
(Core and Shell)

Points
ID&C

Square meters per hectare of buildable land

Residential density (DU/hectare)

Nonresidential density (FAR)

 

 

 

5,050

17.5

0.5

2

2

3

8,035

30

0.8

3

4

6

DU = dwelling unit; FAR = floor-area ratio. Physical education spaces that are part of the project site, such as playing fields and associated buildings used during sporting events only (e.g., concession stands) and playgrounds with play equipment, are excluded from the development density calculations. OR
Path 2. Connected Site
Locate the project on a previously developed site that also meets one of the connected site conditions listed below.
Table 2. Points for connected site
Type of Site Points
Adjacent 1
Infill 2
  • To qualify as an adjacent site, at least 25% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
  • To qualify as an infill site, at least 75% of the project boundary must border parcels that are previously developed sites.
  • Bordering rights-of-way do not constitute previously developed land; it is the status of the property on the other side of the right-of-way that contributes to the calculation. Any part of the boundary that borders a water body is excluded from the calculation.
AND/OR
Option 2. Diverse Uses (1–2 points)
Construct or renovate a building or a space within a building such that the building’s main entrance is within a ½-mile (800-meter) walking distance from the following number of uses (see Appendix 1), as listed below.
Table 1. Points for proximity to uses
Uses Points
4–7 1
≥ 8 2
The following restrictions apply.
  • A use counts as only one type (e.g., a retail store may be counted only once even if it sells products in several categories).
  • No more than two uses in each use type may be counted (e.g. if five restaurants are within walking distance, only two may be counted).
  • The counted uses must represent at least three of the five categories, exclusive of the building’s primary use.
OR
Option 3. Walkable Location (1-5 points BD+C except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)
Locate on a site with a Walk Score® or equivalent third-party walkability assessment for the following thresholds, as listed below.
Table 1. Points for walkable location
Walk Score Points Points (Healthcare)
90-100 5 -
80-89 4 -
70-79 3 -
60-69 2 -
50-59 1 -
≥ 50 - 1
Projects attempting Option 3 are not eligible to earn points under Option 1 or Option 2.

LEEDuser expert

Deborah Lucking

AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Fentress Architects
Director of Sustainability

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about Schools-NC-v4.1 LTc4