Implementation of LEED-ND in Urban Local Bodies with Ward Committees

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED – ND) – Mission:

i. LEED encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted standard, tools and performance criteria. Simply put, LEED is focused on environmental responsibility and the processes of being responsible, therefore, they have created different certification standards for different types of development. Initially LEED started as a classification standard for individual buildings, but the need for large developments called for a whole new type of standard. LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) takes a grouping of buildings and their infrastructure into account. Applied across an entire region, the benefit to the environment would be measurable and noticeable.

ii. LEED-NC was the original standard of certification but since there are other types of construction than fully-fitted new commercial buildings, other standards were created. LEED-EB is for renovation of existing buildings. LEED-CI is for commercial interiors and for tenant improvement. LEED-CS is for core and shell buildings, structures without built out interiors and will be modified by the future tenant. LEED-CI and LEED-CS were designed to work complimentary to each other. LEED-H is for residential homes. LEED-ND is for neighborhood development and works closely with the LEED homes standards.

iii. According to the USGBC, LEED-ND is the first national standard for neighborhood design. LEED-ND is being developed by the USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council. It focuses on smart-growth and new-urbanist best practices which include more pedestrian friendly areas and reduction of automobile trips. The importance of LEED-ND is that it is the first standard in the LEED stable that deals with more than just one buildings site. The vision and hope for the program is “ that LEED-ND will have a similarly positive effect to encourage developers and community leaders to revitalize existing urban areas, reduce land consumption, reduce automobile dependence, promote pedestrian activity, improve air quality, decrease polluted storm water runoff, and build more livable, sustainable, enduring communities for people of all income levels.”

iv. The process of getting a development LEED-ND certified is not complex or vague. A credit based system is used to determine a projects certification after completion. There are 114 possible points in the credit system and different certification status’s can be achieved based upon a certain level being achieved. Basic level “Certified” status requires 46-56 points, or a minimum 40% of the total possible. “Silver” certification requires a minimum of 50% of the points or a score of 57-67. “Gold” certification requires a minimum of 60% of the points or a score of 68-90. “Platinum” certification requires a minimum of 80% of the points or a score of 91-114. Within the point system, there are prerequisite points and non-required points. To achieve any type of certification all pre-requisites must be met along with a large number of non-required points. If a pre-requisite cannot be met the project cannot be given LEED certification, it can still be built however as LEED is a voluntary standard. Additionally points can be awarded as “Innovation Credits” for “innovative designs, approaches, measures taken, technologies used, etc.”

v. The point system for LEED-ND is divided into 5 categories, ‘Location Efficiency’, ‘Environmental Preservation’, ‘Compact, Complete, & Connected Neighborhoods’, ‘Resource Efficiency’, and ‘Other’. Within these categories, there are prerequisites, credits, and various levels of points per credit. It is a clean system that makes tallying a projects credit’s easier.

vi. Location Efficiency is a small credit category that covers the initial phase of a project, choosing the site. The two pre-requisites for the category call for transportation efficiency and water and sewer infrastructure efficiency. To be a Greenfield development the site would have to be within a ¼ mile to a ½ mile of six public amenities. A potential compromise exists if the site can be proven to generate lower trip levels than the regional average, or be located in a site where such a scenario exists. The goal is to be infill or Brownfield development. For water and sewer the pre-requisite is simple, the neighborhood must be within limits of existing utilities or where they are currently planned or it cannot be certified, if the infrastructure is planned the developer must build them. Within the category differing levels of credits can be assigned for specific site location, high cost Brownfield redevelopment, reduction of auto dependence and several other criteria.

vii. Environmental Preservation is a larger category that focuses on site ecology and preservation.It also has five pre-requisites and must preserve natural heritages and protest natural habitats, for example to protect wetlands and water bodies, riparian areas, water bodies. Credits can be achieved for restoring wetlands onsite, preserving steep slopes, minimizing site disturbances, reducing runoff, preventing pollution, and other ways that benefit the environment as a whole. The goal of this credit category is to protect delicate environments and restore habitats that have been previously damaged.

viii. Compact, Complete, & Connected Neighborhoods credits cover the actual physical design and various uses. The category offers 42 potential credits which cover 37% of total points making it the largest category. It also has 3 pre-requisites which call for a dense, open and diverse built form. Ensuring access to services is important in the LEED-ND program. Credits within the category can be achieved by making dense development, affordable housing, uses diverse, streets walkable, and a diverse and superior pedestrian experience. Access to other communities is a major part of the LEED-ND program and points are given for something as simple as connecting streets.

ix. Resource Efficiency has no pre-requisites that must be completed for the site to be capable of applying. It is also the category that deals with the region the most. Credits can be obtained for having LEED certified buildings, the more buildings the more points. Reducing the heat island effect on the local microclimate over time is important. Impervious surface, shade, and colored concrete will help the site to get points for reducing reflected energy thereby keeping the temperature down. A site supplying 5% of its total energy used will receive points. A site that reuses 50% or more of its storm water will receive points. Using certain percentages of recycled material and certain percentages of on-site material will receive points. Perhaps the most innovative part of the Resource Efficiency category is the Regionally Provided Materials credit. It calls for 20% of materials to be manufactured, extracted, harvested, or recovered within 500 miles of the project. While it is not worth a large amount of points to do this, it is a unique idea that leads builders and developers to learn more about the origins of their materials.

3. The Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the Commissioner &Director of Municipal Administration, Hyderabad and the Director of Town and Country Planning, Hyderabad will evaluate the existing LEED-NP ranking of localities and prepare action plans to improve their rankings within set timelines.

G.O.Ms.No. 72 Dated19.02.2014

G.O.Ms.No.1, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department, Dated:01.01.2014.

  1. Govt. Memo No.1034/UBS/2014 MA, MA & UD Department, Dated:03.02.2014.
  2. From the Director of Town and Country Planning, Hyderabad Letter No.1094/P1. Dated:12.02.2014.


In the G.O. first read above, instructions were issued to design Ward Development Plans in all Urban Local Bodies in the State by the Ward Committees and Area Sabhas. The goal of the Ward Development Plans is to create Neighborhood compliant to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND).

2.       Government have decided to entrust the responsibilities of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) for effective implementation in Urban Local Bodies to the Ward Committees and Area Sabhas. Accordingly the following instructions are issued:

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