LEED for Neighborhood Development

LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) is a joint development of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) to integrate the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design.

LEED ND is a rating system for green communities with multiple properties. It awards communities who address many facets of sustainable development, such as buildings, transportation systems, mixed-use spaces, environmental protection and conservation, and renewable energy.

It launched a pilot program in 2007, which certified almost 240 projects. Now, cities and neighborhoods can earn certification under LEED Neighborhood Development 2009. This version has multiple stages of certification, so an area can be Stage 2 certified, for example. This makes this very large-scale project easier to achieve.

To date, over 100 projects have been certified under both the 2007 and 2009 systems and over 100 projects are in the pipeline for certification. Some examples of projects that have already achieved certification include Sunnydale Hope in San Francisco, California (Stage 1), OneC1TY in Nashville, Tennessee (Stage 2), and Foshan Lingnan Tiandi Development in China.

The new version of LEED, v4, was released in November 2013.  Currently, both the 2009 and v4 rating systems are available, but v4 will become the sole rating system (and replace LEED 2009) in June 2015.  Now, LEED v4 ND has two phases: Plan and Project.  The "Plan" certification addresses the neighborhood's planning phase, including prerequisites such as Smart Location, Wetlands and Water Body Conservation, Walkable Streets, and Compact Development.  The "Project" section has similar prerequisites and credits, but awards points for constructing and building the neighborhood that way rather than just designing it that way.

Professionals who can help with LEED for Neighborhood Development projects will hold the LEED AP ND credential. The LEED AP Neighborhood Development credential demonstrates the exceptional expertise of green building professionals participating in the planning, design and development of sustainable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.


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