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LEED v4.1

Schools – New Construction

Sustainable Sites
Protect or Restore Habitat

LEED CREDIT

Schools-NC-v4.1 SSc2: Protect or Restore Habitat 1-2 points

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SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser expert

Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior Consultant

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

Requirements

Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).

AND

Option 1. On-Site Restoration (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Using native or adapted vegetation, restore 25% (including the building footprint) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Vegetated roof surfaces may be included if the plants are native or adapted and provide habitat.

Soils

Restore all soils on site that have been disturbed or replace all soils removed by current construction activities that will later serve as the final vegetated area.

  • Restore or replace soils to a minimum depth of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) or depth of root ball for larger plant materials.
  • Provide a soils test of imported soils that includes recommended amendments. Incorporate test recommended amendments prior to planting.
  • Imported soils must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
  • Imported soils may not include the following:
    • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
    • soils from other greenfield sites
    • sphagnum peat moss

Vegetation

Use only plant species that are appropriate for the project’s EPA Level III ecoregion and that are suitable for site conditions, climate, and design intent. Both native and adapted vegetation may qualify.

  • Use only plant species not currently listed as invasive on any federal or qualifying regional lists.
  • Protect the root zone of trees found on site. Planting within the one foot (0.30 meter) radius per inch (2.54 centimeters) Diameter Breast Height (DBH) should be avoided.
  • Conserve endangered species.

Schools only:
Dedicated athletic fields that are solely for athletic uses are exempted from the soil restoration criteria. These areas may not count toward the minimum required area.

OR

Option 2. Financial Support (1 point)

Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.20 per square foot (US2 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

Financial support must be provided to a conservation land trust or accredited conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

For projects outside of the U.S., the conservation land trust must either be a project supported by The Nature Conservancy or World Land Trust.

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 »

Documentation toolkit

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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

Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior Consultant

USGBC logo

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

Intent

To conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged areas to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

Requirements

Preserve and protect from all development and construction activity 40% of the greenfield area on the site (if such areas exist).

AND

Option 1. On-Site Restoration (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Using native or adapted vegetation, restore 25% (including the building footprint) of all portions of the site identified as previously disturbed. Vegetated roof surfaces may be included if the plants are native or adapted and provide habitat.

Soils

Restore all soils on site that have been disturbed or replace all soils removed by current construction activities that will later serve as the final vegetated area.

  • Restore or replace soils to a minimum depth of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) or depth of root ball for larger plant materials.
  • Provide a soils test of imported soils that includes recommended amendments. Incorporate test recommended amendments prior to planting.
  • Imported soils must be reused for functions comparable to their original function.
  • Imported soils may not include the following:
    • soils defined regionally by the Natural Resources Conservation Service web soil survey (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) as prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide or local importance; or
    • soils from other greenfield sites
    • sphagnum peat moss

Vegetation

Use only plant species that are appropriate for the project’s EPA Level III ecoregion and that are suitable for site conditions, climate, and design intent. Both native and adapted vegetation may qualify.

  • Use only plant species not currently listed as invasive on any federal or qualifying regional lists.
  • Protect the root zone of trees found on site. Planting within the one foot (0.30 meter) radius per inch (2.54 centimeters) Diameter Breast Height (DBH) should be avoided.
  • Conserve endangered species.

Schools only:
Dedicated athletic fields that are solely for athletic uses are exempted from the soil restoration criteria. These areas may not count toward the minimum required area.

OR

Option 2. Financial Support (1 point)

Provide financial support equivalent to at least $0.20 per square foot (US2 per square meter) for the total site area (including the building footprint).

Financial support must be provided to a conservation land trust or accredited conservation organization within the same EPA Level III ecoregion or the project’s state (or within 100 miles of the project [160 kilometers] for projects outside the U.S.). For U.S. projects, the land trust must be accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

For projects outside of the U.S., the conservation land trust must either be a project supported by The Nature Conservancy or World Land Trust.

LEEDuser expert

Trista Little

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Senior Consultant

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