Jun 16, 2011 Editorials
LEED boundary, site boundary, project boundary, property boundary. While each of these terms can refer to different types of boundaries, they are commonly used interchangeably and incorrectly among team members of a LEED project. This can obviously cause a lot of confusion and miscommunication, and ultimately lead to time consuming and expensive mistakes in a LEED project. For this reason, it is critical that the different types of boundaries are differentiated for project team members, and that the LEED boundary is clearly defined and established in the beginning of the project.
Organizing a meeting to discuss the LEED boundary and the credits it can affect is an important step in the LEED process. Having all team members present at the meeting is very important, as depending on any one team member or company to inform other project team members of the established LEED boundary is often not a good idea. Team members involved can include the architect, contractor, landscape architect, plumbing engineer, owner, and civil engineer. Several entities are involved because several LEED credits, each demanding the expertise of a different professional, are affected by the LEED boundary. These credits include (but are not limited to) the following:
• SSc2 – development density and community connectivity
• SSc5.1 – site development – protect or restore habitat
• SSc5.2 – site development – maximize open space
• SSc6.1 – stormwater design: quantity control
• SSc6.2 – stormwater design: quality control
• SSc7.1 – heat island effect: non roof
• SSc8 – light pollution reduction
• WEc1 – water efficient landscaping
During the meeting, CLEARLY define the LEED boundary on a project drawing. This could consist of something as simple as drawing a big bold red line on the drawing. Luckily, USGBC has made it easier to use a consistent boundary for all LEED credits in LEED version 3 with the introduction of PI forms. The PI forms require the assignee to upload a drawing with LEED boundary clearly defined, indicate the site area within the boundary (in square feet), and indicate the area of the footprint of the building (square feet). This information is then automatically exported to the affected credits. This helps to avoid having different LEED boundaries and/or site area values for different credits. It’s important to know your boundaries, know the difference between them will save money and time on your project.