What is LEED? – Location and Transportation

September 3, 2014

This is the third post in a series on the LEED green building rating system.  The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category.

Public transportation connectivity

Location and Transporation

The LEED Location and Transporation category of credits is based on where the project is located, its connectibility to public transportation, and making accommodations for those using alternative transportation modes.

LEED for Neighborhood Development Location

This credit is worth 3-16 points.  If the project site is located within a development area that has qualified for LEED for Neighborhood Development, the project is awarded points based on the certification level that the neighborhood achieved.  Qualifications for LEED for Neighborhood Development include communitiy connectivity, appropriateness of the development site, and whether the development encourages physical activity.

If the project qualifies for this credit, it is not eligible to receive any other credits from the Location and Transportation category.

Sensitive Land Protection

This credit is worth 1-2 points.  To earn this credit, the project must be located in a previously developed site (worth one point), and/or not be located in one of several sensitive sites: farmland, natural habitat, floodplains, and near water bodies or wetlands (worth an additional point).

“Minor improvements” are allowed near water bodies and wetlands if they help visitors to appreciate the bodies.  “Minor improvements” include bicycle and walking paths, restoration/maintenance of native natural communities or hydrology, small single-story structures, removal of hazardous or diseased trees, and brownfield remediation.

High-Priority Site

This credit is worth 1-2 points.  One point is given for locating the project within an infill or previously developed site in a historic district, or for locating in one of several priority zoning locations, which have been determined by local or national jurisdictions.  These include EPA certification as a Nation Priority Site and Department of the Treasury certification as a low-income area.  Two credits are available for developing on a brownfield, or contaminated site.

Community connectivitySurrounding Density and Diverse Uses

This credit is worth1-5 points.  Projects receive 2-3 points for locating in an area with specific densities of occupation within a 1/4 mile radius.  The LEED Reference Guide