US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Page last updated on 2/1/2016.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the U.S. Green Building Council’s voluntary green building certification system. Under LEED Version 4, the following rating systems award up to 2 points for heat island reduction under the Sustainable Sites Credit: Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M), Neighborhood Development (ND), and Homes. LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) awards up to 1 point under Innovation: Heat island reduction. When cool roofs are used for the heat island reduction credit, the CRRC Rated Products Directory can be used to find products that meet the requirements. 

Options, requirements, and point breakdowns vary by rating system. The tabs below outline each rating system's requirements and options for seeking the heat island reduction credit.

Please note: the CRRC has summarized these credits for the convenience of CRRC users. The CRRC does not intend to interpret the credit requirements. Please visit www.usgbc.org/LEED for more information on LEED programs and to read the current rating systems.

The LEED v4 Building Design and Construction (BD+C) rating system applies to buildings that are being newly constructed or going through a major renovation. Under this rating system, up to 2 points may be awarded under the SS: Heat island reduction credit. There are 2 options for seeking this credit, listed below. 

Compare roofing products by SRI in the CRRC Rated Products Directory to find products that meet the LEED requirements for obtaining this credit.

 
Requirements

NC, CS, Schools, Retail, Data Centers, Warehouses & Distrubtion Centers, Hospitality, Healthcare

Choose one of the following options:


Option 1. Nonroof and roof (2 points except Healthcare, 1 point Healthcare)

Meet the following criterion:


Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

Use any combination of the following strategies.

Nonroof Measures

  • Use the existing plant material or install plants that provide shade over paving areas (including playgrounds) on the site within 10 years of planting. Install vegetated planters. Plants must be in place at the time of occupancy and cannot include artificial turf.
  • Provide shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines,
  • Provide shade with architectural devices or structures that have a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation,
  • Provide shade with vegetated structures.
  • Use paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% unbound).

High-Reflectance Roof

Use roofing materials that have an SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1. Meet the three-year aged SRI value. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials that meet the initial SRI value.

Table 1. Minimum solar reflectance index value, by roof slope

  Slope Initial SRI 3-year aged SRI
Low-sloped roof ≤ 2:12 82 64
Steep-sloped roof > 2:12 39 32

Vegetated Roof

Install a vegetated roof.

 

OR

Option 2. Parking under Cover  (1 point)

Place a minimum of 75% of parking spaces under cover. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must (1) have a three-year aged SRI of at least 32 (if three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SRI of at least 39 at installation), (2) be a vegetated roof, or (3) be covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.

The LEED v4 Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) rating system applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction. This rating system includes Existing Buildings, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, and Warehouses & Distribution Centers. Under this rating system, up to 2 points may be awarded under the SS: Heat island reduction credit. There are 4 options for seeking this credit, listed below.

Compare roofing products by SRI in the CRRC Rated Products Directory to find products that meet the LEED requirements for obtaining this credit.

 

Requirements

EBOM, Schools, Retail, Data Centers, Hospitality, Warehouses & Distribution Centers

Choose one of the following options:

 

Option 1. nonroof (1 point)

Establishment

Use any combination of the following strategies for a minimum of 50% of the site paving.

  • Use the existing plant material or install plants that provide shade over paving areas (including playgrounds) on the site within 10 years of planting. Plants must be in place at the time of certification application.
  • Install vegetated planters. Plants must be in place at the time of occupancy permit and cannot include artificial turf.
  • Provide shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines,
  • Provide shade with architectural devices or structures that have a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation,
  • Provide shade with vegetated structures.
  • Use paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% unbound).

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance paving surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance.

 

OR

Option 2. roof (1 point)

Establishment

Use either roofing materials with a SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1 for a minimum of 75% of the roof area, or a vegetated roof for a minimum of 50% of the roof area, or both. If using both high-reflectance and vegetated roof surfaces, meet the following criterion:

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance roof surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

 

OR

Option 3. nonroof and roof (2 points)

Establishment

Meet the following criterion:

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

Use any combination of the following strategies.

Nonroof measures
Use the measures listed in Option 1. Plant material must be in place at time of certification application.

High-reflectance roof

Use roofing materials that have an SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1. Meet the three-year aged SRI value. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials that meet the initial SRI value.

Table 1. Minimum solar reflectance index value, by roof slope

  Slope Initial SRI 3-year aged SRI
Low-sloped roof ≤ 2:12 82 64
Steep-sloped roof > 2:12 39 32

Vegetated roof
Install a vegetated roof.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

 

OR

Option 4. Parking under cover (1 point)

Establishment

Place at least 50% of parking spaces under cover. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must (1) have a three-year aged SRI of at least 32 (if three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SRI of at least 39 at installation), (2) be a vegetated roof, or (3) be covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.

Performance

Implement a maintenance program that ensures all SRI surfaces are cleaned at least every three years to maintain good reflectance, and all vegetated roofs are maintained for plant health and good structural condition.

The LEED v4 Neighborhood Development rating system applies to new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses, or a mix. Projects can be at any stage of the development process, from conceptual planning to construction. Under this rating system, up to 1 point may be awarded under the GIB: Heat Island Reduction Credit. There are 3 options for seeking this credit, outlined below.

Compare roofing products by SRI in the CRRC Rated Products Directory to find products that meet the LEED requirements for obtaining this credit.


REQUIREMENTS

ND Plan, ND

Choose one of the following options:

 

Option 1. Nonroof (1 point)

Use any combination of the following strategies for 50% of the nonroof site paving (including roads, sidewalks, courtyards, parking lots, parking structures, and driveways).

  • Use the existing plant material or install plants that provide shade over the paving areas on the site within 10 years of plant material installation.
  • Install and plant planters, either at grade or raised. Plant material cannot include artificial turf.
  • Provide shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors , photovoltaics, and wind turbines, that produce energy used to offset some nonrenewable resource use.
  • Provide shade with architectural devices or structures that have a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation,
  • Provide shade with vegetated structures.
  • Use paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value information is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% unbound).

 

OR

Option 2. High-reflectance and vegetated roofs (1 point)

Use roofing materials that have an SRI equal to or greater than the values in Table 1.Meet the three-year aged SRI value (if three-year aged value information is not available, use materials that meet the initial SRI value) for a minimum of 75% of the roof area of all new buildings within the project, or install a vegetated (“green”) roof for at least 75% of the roof area of all new buildings within the project. Combinations of SRI-compliant and vegetated roofs can be used, provided they satisfy the equation in Option 3.

Table 1. Minimum solar reflectance index value, by roof slope

  Slope Initial SRI 3-year aged SRI
Low-sloped roof ≤ 2:12 82 64
Steep-sloped roof > 2:12 39 32

 

OR

Option 3. Mixed nonroof and roof measures (1 point)

Use any of the strategies listed under Options 1 and 2 that in combination meet the following criterion:

Alternatively, an SRI and SR weighted average approach may be used to calculate compliance.

The LEED v4 Homes rating system applies to single family homes, low-rise multi-family (one to three stories), or mid-rise multi-family (four to six stories). This rating system includes Homes and Multifamily Lowrise and Multifamily Midrise. There are 2 options for seeking this credit.

Compare roofing products by SRI in the CRRC Rated Products Directory to find products that meet the LEED requirements outlined below.

 

Requirements

Homes, Midrise

 

Ensure that at least 50% of hardscapes and roofs, but not including common roads that serve multiple buildings, on the project site meet one or more of the following requirements. Points are awarded according to Table 1.

Table 1. Points for percentage area with shading or nonabsorptive material

Percentage of hardscape area Points
50-75% 1
>75% 2

 

Option 1. Shading (1-2 points)

Locate trees or other plantings to provide shading of hardscapes. Shading should be calculated when the sun is directly overhead (noon on the summer solstice), based on ten years’ growth after installation.

 

AND/OR

Option 2. Nonabsorptive Materials (1-2 points)

Install light-colored, high-albedo materials or vegetation-covered hardscapes. Acceptable strategies include the following:

  • Using ENERGY STAR qualified roof products in appropriately sloped applications (or performance equivalent for projects outside the U.S.);
  • Installing vegetated roofing;
  • Using open pavers (counting only the vegetation, not the pavers) or engineered grass pavers; and
  • Using paving materials with a solar reflectance (SR) of at least 0.28. If three-year aged value is not available, use materials with an initial SR of at least 0.33 at installation.

The LEED v4 Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) rating system applies to projects that are a complete interior fit-out. This rating system includes commercial interiors, retail, and hospitality. Under this rating system, up to 1 point may be awarded under the Innovation: Heat island reduction credit.

For more information, please visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.