Step-by-step method for compliance to LEED Credit Surrounding density and diverse uses
Compliance to LEED Credit Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses
As the world becomes more urbanized, building design and construction must adapt to create sustainable communities. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides a framework for sustainable building practices that aim to minimize the negative impact of buildings on the environment while also promoting human health and well-being. One of the LEED credits that encourage sustainable development is the Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses credit.
The Surrounding Density credit is awarded based on the project’s location within a ¼-mile radius of the project boundary, and it encourages building in areas with high population densities. The Diverse Uses credit, on the other hand, encourages the development of mixed-use neighborhoods, making it easier for people to access essential services and reduce the need for car trips. In this article, we will discuss the five steps to comply with the LEED credit surrounding density and diverse uses.
Step 1: Locate the Project within ¼-mile radius of Existing Density
To earn the Surrounding Density credit, the project must be located on a site whose surrounding existing density within a ¼-mile radius of the project boundary meets the values specified in Table 1. The density is calculated using either separate residential and non-residential densities or the combined density values. The project must meet the minimum density values specified in the table to earn points.
Step 2: Calculate the Density of the Project Site
To calculate the density of the project site, divide the buildable land area by the number of dwelling units (DU) per acre or per hectare for residential density and by the floor area ratio (FAR) for non-residential density. The physical education spaces that are part of the project site, such as playing fields and associated buildings, are excluded from the development density calculations.
Step 3: Determine the Points Awarded
The number of points awarded for the Surrounding Density credit depends on the density of the project site. Projects that meet the minimum density requirements can earn two to four points in Core and Shell projects and two to three points in Building Design and Construction (BD&C) projects.
Step 4: Locate the Project within ½-mile radius of Diverse Uses
To earn the Diverse Uses credit, the project must be located within a ½-mile walking distance of the main entrance of four to seven existing and publicly available diverse uses for one point and eight or more diverse uses for two points. Appendix 1 provides a list of diverse uses, including education, food, recreation, worship, and retail.
Step 5: Verify the Compliance with Documentation
Documentation is necessary to verify the project’s compliance with the Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses credit. For the Surrounding Density credit, the documentation includes the buildable land area, the number of dwelling units per acre or per hectare, and the FAR. For the Diverse Uses credit, the documentation includes the location of the project and the distance to diverse uses within a ½-mile radius.
Documentation Requirements for Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses Credit
Table 2 summarizes the documentation requirements for the Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses credit.
|Surrounding Density Credit
|Documentation of the buildable land area, the number of dwelling units per acre or per hectare, and the floor area ratio
|Diverse Uses Credit
|Documentation of the location of the project and the distance to diverse uses within a ½-mile radius
In conclusion, the Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses credit promotes sustainable development by encouraging the construction of buildings in areas with high population densities and diverse uses. Compliance with these credits involves locating the project within a specified distance, calculating the density of the project site, and verifying