LEED Certification and Openlands

Under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 criteria, applicants may receive 1 point toward certification for fulfilling Option 2 of Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat, credit SSc5.1. Option 2 allows applicants to provide financial support to a land trust accredited by the Land Trust Alliance in the same state or EPA Level III ecoregion as the site seeking the certification. Credit aims to conserve existing natural areas and restore damaged ones to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

BD+C: New Construction

Developers must first preserve at least 40% of any existing “greenfield” (never-before-developed land) on the site. Applicants must then provide a one-time minimum donation of $0.40/ft² ($4.00/m²) for the total site area (including the building footprint). For exemplary performance, applicants must make a one-time minimum donation of $0.80/ft² ($8.00/m²).

O+M: Existing Buildings

Applicants seeking first-time certification or recertification must make an annual minimum donation of at least $0.05/ft² ($0.50/m²) for the total site area (including the building footprint). For exemplary performance, applicants must make a minimum annual donation of at least $0.10/ft² ($1.00/m²).

About Openlands

Openlands is the largest land trust accredited by the Land Trust Alliance in Illinois. As such, donations to Openlands can be used to fulfill credit SSc5.1 for both new and existing buildings seeking LEED certification. Openlands is a conservation non-profit that is based in Chicago and works to conserve and restore natural spaces in the Greater Chicago region, which covers the EPA Level III ecoregion 54.

How Openlands can help

In order to receive this LEED point, you must meet these criteria, and Openlands can help! Openlands will work with you to draft an agreement that confirms Openlands is a 501(c)3 non-profit, a nationally accredited land trust, and describes the amount of and use of funds as well as project location.

For more information, please contact development@openlands.org or call 312.863.6261.

Photo: DJ Glisson