Green Features and LEED Certification - Sustainable Sites


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Sustainable Sites

By carefully choosing a building site, many “green” features can be incorporated into a project, potentially offering substantial cost savings over the long run. The Scout Achievement Center created a sustainable site by implementing the following features:


Native Plantingsgreen_plantings

Description: The site landscaping consists of indigenous plants that are natural to the environment and can grow without irrigation.

Benefit: Other benefits of native plantings include improved air quality, reduced air temperatures in summer, reduced heating and cooling costs, habitat for wildlife and recreation and aesthetic value.

Tip to get started: Research plants native to your geographic region, or ecoregion. Maps of various ecoregions are available from organizations such as the Nature Conservancy.


Maximized Open Space

Description: Minimized impact on land and reduced the development footprint of the building while maximizing building function.

Benefit: By maximizing open space, impervious cover is limited and more natural space exists.

Tip to get started: During the building design phase, think about how space will be used, and try to find multiple uses in each room, thereby minimizing the building space

Green 101: The term impervious cover refers to any surface in the urban landscape that cannot effectively absorb rainfall such as sidewalks, rooftops, and parking lots.


Minimized Stormwater Run-off/Maximized Stormwater Filtration

Description: Created large retention pond, a natural water filtration method, so water does not shoot off of the site into storm sewers. Directed gutters toward and surrounded building with permeable pavement, soil and plants to allow storm water to penetrate ground, rather than washing into sewers.

Benefit: A retention pond helps lessen the impact on the municipality’s storm sewer. By capturing rainfall in the retention pond, less runoff enters the sewer and the amount pollution that enters local streams, rivers and lakes is reduced.

Tip to get started: Create a rain garden with native plants around areas of natural runoff adjacent to impervious cover.


Reflective Paving

Description: Used concrete with a high solar reflectance index (SRI) from industry leader, Baker Concrete, to help prevent heat absorption and to bounce rays away from the surface. Planted trees that will provide shading for at least 50 percent of the hardscape such as the parking lot and sidewalks.

Benefit: By using reflective paving, the heat island effect is reduced.

Tip to get started: Select plants that will shade hardscape areas within five years.

Green 101: The term heat island describes built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas – heat islands can increase summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Source:


Reflective Roofgreen_roof

Description: Used light-colored roofing and wall finish materials so less heat would be absorbed. Ninety-seven percent of roof is reflective with an SRI of 109.

Benefit: When less heat is absorbed, less air conditioning is used, which helps reduce energy consumption and cut operating expenses.

Tip to get started: When researching roofs, consider a cool roof.

Green 101: Cool roof performance is a function of solar reflectance and infrared emittance, which are the two properties that define the “coolness” of a roof. Source:


Bicycle parking racks and on-site locker and shower facilitiesgreen_bikerack

Description: Provided bicycle parking racks for 10 percent (double the LEED requirement of five percent) of the building population. Locker and shower facilities for each gender were also included.

Benefit: By promoting an alternative means of transportation, harmful emissions are reduced and our carbon footprint is lessened – a healthy lifestyle is encouraged.

Tip to get started: Do an online search for commercial bike racks to research models and pricing that are a fit for your organization.


Five dedicated Fuel Efficient Vehicle (FEV) parking spaces

Description: Provided five preferred parking spaces to vehicles that receive at least 35 miles per gallon.

Benefit: By supporting fuel efficient vehicles, harmful emissions are reduced and our carbon footprint is lessened.

Tip to get started: Obtain signage and designate parking for fuel efficient vehicles. Find out if your car qualifies for the FEV parking space at


Pedestrian connectivity to 10 restaurants, banks and other local services

Description: Selected a location sited close to residential areas and commercial districts where pedestrians can easily access local services.

Benefit: By selecting a site close to restaurants, banks and other basic services, walking is encouraged and vehicles are used less frequently, thus emissions are reduced and a healthy lifestyle is encouraged

Tip to get started: When researching sites on which to build, consider the pedestrian proximity to local services.


A Scout Achievement Center
B Park - Gorman Heritage Farm
C Restaurant - Subway
D Restaurant - Penn Station
E Beauty Salon Great Clips
F School - Cincinnati State
G Restaurant - Homer's Smorgasbord
H Bank - Formica Credit Union
I Grocery - Walmart
J Restaurant - Starbucks
K Bank - Fifth Third Bank


Last Updated on Monday, 07 February 2011 12:56