LEED-ND: How Does Your Product Fit In?

LEED for Neighborhood Developments is now available for project registration. As one might expect, the emphasis is on sustainable sites, but there are opportunities for many building materials to contribute to LEED-ND points.

First and foremost, LEED-ND requires at least one building in the development to be certified under a green building rating system such as LEED for New Construction. In addition, 90% of the buildings, excluding single-family homes, must meet the minimum energy efficiency prerequisite, similar to the LEED-NC energy efficiency prerequisite. Together, these two prerequisites bring the top LEED priorities for materials and energy efficiency right into LEED-ND. Additional credits are available for increased energy efficiency, so envelope materials that improve building performance are still well-rewarded in LEED-ND.

That perennial favorite of green designers, recycled content, is alive and well in LEED-ND. Not only is it involved in the certified-building prerequisite, but it gets its own credit, too, for neighborhood infrastructure. If you make a paving, utility, or landscaping product with recycled content, your product contributes to a LEED-ND credit.

Products that assist with stormwater management have the potential to affect several credits in LEED-ND. Not only are there directly applicable credits for maintaining or restoring the site's pre-development hydrology, but systems that can reduce the overall footprint of development can also contribute to several credits. If your product combines stormwater management within the footprint of another function like paving, several credits may become available.

Exterior lighting products can contribute to two credits if they are both energy-efficient and glare-reducing. Roofing and paving materials that reduce the heat-island effect contribute to a credit. There is even a credit for centralizing the heating and cooling of multiple buildings in a single district plant.

LEED-ND is worth exploring for building product manufacturers, but especially for manufacturers of landscape, utility, and paving products.