Performance metrics for LEED for cities and communities projects to be certified
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program has expanded to include entire cities and communities, with the launch of the LEED for Cities and Communities program. This certification program helps communities develop sustainable development plans that reduce environmental impact and improve the quality of life for citizens. To achieve LEED certification for cities and communities, there are 14 metrics of prerequisites that must be met across core areas, which include natural systems and ecology, transportation and land use, water efficiency, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, materials and resources, quality of life, and performance.
Natural Systems and Ecology To achieve LEED certification for cities and communities, the natural systems and ecology category is important. This category is based on the concept of urban ecology and recognizes the importance of protecting and enhancing the natural systems within a community. This category includes metrics that evaluate the conservation and restoration of natural habitats, the protection of biodiversity, and the management of stormwater.
Transportation and Land Use Transportation and land use are essential factors in the LEED certification process. This category focuses on how the community is planned, designed, and maintained. It also considers the availability of public transportation, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly designs, and transit-oriented development.
Water Efficiency The water efficiency category measures how communities manage and conserve water resources. This includes the implementation of efficient landscaping practices, the use of low-flow fixtures, and the management of stormwater runoff. This category also evaluates how the community manages its wastewater and stormwater.
Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions The energy and greenhouse gas emissions category measures how communities manage and reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the implementation of energy-efficient building designs and construction, the use of renewable energy sources, and the management of waste and landfills.
Materials and Resources The materials and resources category measures how communities manage and reduce waste generation, construction waste, and packaging materials. This category also evaluates the implementation of recycling programs, the use of sustainable materials, and the reduction of pollution from the disposal of hazardous materials.
Quality of Life The quality of life category measures how communities provide a healthy and comfortable environment for residents. This includes access to green spaces, the availability of healthy food options, and the provision of social services such as education and health care.
Performance Performance in these categories is tracked through an accumulation of credits and prerequisites. When applying for certification, there are 14 metrics of prerequisites that must be met across these core areas for cities and communities to be certified:
- Health & Safety
- Land Use
- Built Environment
- Regional Priority
To achieve LEED certification for cities and communities, it is essential to focus on all of these core areas and ensure that the prerequisites are met across each metric. This requires careful planning and implementation of sustainable practices and policies that reduce environmental impact and improve the quality of life for citizens.
In conclusion, the LEED for Cities and Communities program is a valuable tool for communities to develop sustainable development plans that meet LEED standards. This certification program evaluates communities across core areas such as natural systems and ecology, transportation and land use, water efficiency, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, materials and resources, quality of life, and performance. By focusing on these core areas and ensuring that the prerequisites are met, communities can achieve LEED certification and create sustainable development plans that improve the quality of life for their citizens while protecting the environment.