LEED® Certification for New Construction – Sustainable Sites

Designing a sustainable site will have you dealing with several issues that may not otherwise have been a factor.  Propaganda” may extol the economic benefits, but green building ultimately aims to help the environment.  The following covers a portion of the sustainable sites sections:Construction Activity Pollution Prevention Plan (required)This is an outline of what you will do to keep from leaving an ecological “footprint” of the building process.  It covers such issues as how you’ll deal with material disposal; erosion and water run-off during construction; whether you plan to restore the fabric of the landscape once you’re finished and other issues.Site Selection (1 pt)The credit for site selection is awarded for avoiding prime farmland, habitation for endangered and threatened species, wetlands or wetland buffers and public parkland, among others.Development Density and Community Connectivity (1 pt)The purpose of this credit is to develop in areas that already have existing infrastructures, such as a neighborhood or town, and to protect the habitat and natural resources.  There are two options to this credit: density development, which deals with how much space the building takes up, and community connectivity, which deals with how connected the site is to the community.  Extra credits can be added for consideration to both.Brownfield Redevelopment (1 pt)The purpose of this credit is to rehabilitate environmentally contaminated sites and reduce the pressure on undeveloped land.  This is an expensive credit to earn, so there are many government incentives to help.Alternative Transportation (3 pts)The three points in this area cover public transportation access, bicycle storage and changing rooms, and parking capacity and carpooling.  The main purpose is to lower automobile pollution and reduce land development from auto use (such as more highways).Site Development – Protect and Restore (2 pts)The purpose of site development is to conserve or restore natural areas, provide habitat space and promote biodiversity.  Included in these credits is reducing your development footprint.For more information on, you can download a complete guide to Sustainable Sites here

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