I have calculated this credit for a few projects and am sharing my comments:
- Overall the calculator is easy to use. On urban projects with limited landscaping area, it can be challenging to earn the open space and habitat credits. So it is nice to have this pilot credit as a way to earn credit for increasing planting over existing conditions. Through the calculation exercise I am finding that even when the project is greatly increasing the density/building footprint over existing conditions, it is also increasing the quality of planting (e.g. replacing turf grass with trees and shrubs).
- The i-tree calculator is fairly comprehensive but is missing a lot of shrubs and also some Southwest native plantings (from a project in Austin TX). I was able to show compliance with just trees, but could be an issue for projects with fewer trees and more shrubs. Especially where trees are not the most suited to the environment, the project team might need to find a different calculation tool.
- I don't think I would use this credit or the calculator in making design decisions, but I'm happy to see them line up with design decisions that were made for the pedestrian experience, shade, and visual interest.
Deborah LuckingDirector of Sustainability
231 thumbs up
March 7, 2023 - 12:06 pm
Thanks for this Emily.
We registered for this pilot when it first came out, and had a real challenge with the i-tree calculator. We put off attempting the Credit for that reason. Your post is encouraging!
Sarah LinkeGreen Building Consultant
Greenwood Consulting Group
11 thumbs up
May 22, 2023 - 4:36 pm
Emily, we learned of this Pilot credit at GreenBuild 2022 and it has been on my list of Pilot credits to investigate. I agree with you on the shrubs being missing, but overall- the Landscape Architect was able to navigate the tool although he had never used it before.