A Smart Urban Growth: LEED for Neighborhood Development

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LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) is a rating system that integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into one system for neighborhood design. The projects under LEED: ND certification may constitute whole neighborhoods, portions of neighborhoods, or multiple neighborhoods.

What is Neighborhood? 

Neighborhood is more than territory within a boundary drawn on a map. It is a place with its own unique character and function, where people can live, work, shop, and interact with their neighbors. The most sustainable neighborhoods tend to exhibit high levels of walkability, a sense of place, social cohesion and stability and socio-political conditions. A good traditional neighborhood includes:

  • A discernible center
  • Housing within a five minute walk of the center
  • A variety of dwelling types
  • A variety of stores and commercial activity
  • Prominent civic and public activity buildings like- post office, fire station, etc.
  •  A school within walking distance
  • Playgrounds near all dwellings
  • Connected streets or shaded streets conducive to pedestrians and cyclists
  • Parking or garages placed at buildings/houses and away from street frontages
  • A community decision process for maintenance, security, and neighborhood development

The neighborhood sustainability summarizing the key strategies of the LEED-ND Rating System, which is organized into three basic sections: 

  • Smart Location and Linkage (SLL)—where to build
  • Neighborhood Pattern and Design (NPD)—what to build
  • Green Infrastructure and Buildings (GIB)—how to manage environmental impacts
  • Innovation and Design Process (IDP)- exemplary and innovative techniques
  • Regional Priority Credits (RPC) – encourages the products of local environment.


LEED: ND Certification process:-

The LEED-ND Rating System has developed a three-stage certification process. This allows projects to be recognized by USGBC as they move through the planning, entitlement, and construction process. USGBC’s three stages of LEED-ND certification are as follows: 

Stage 1- Conditional approval of a LEED-ND Plan

This stage is optional for projects in their initial planning phase, before or at the beginning of the entitlement process. Approval at this stage can be used to garner support during the entitlement process and give credibility to project designs.

Stage 2- Pre-certified LEED-ND Plan

This stage is available for projects that are approved and fully entitled to be built, but that have not yet completed construction. Pre-certification at this stage can help projects secure financing and set clear performance standards.

Stage 3- LEED-ND Certified Neighborhood Development

This stage is available for projects that are completed and ready to be occupied. Certification is finalized at this stage.

Er. Sheelam Khare

source- www.nrdc.org/cities/smartgrowth/files/citizens_guide_LEED-ND

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