Birds & LEED™

Sustainable Sites

Energy and Atmosphere

Indoor Environmental Quality

Innovation and Design Process

Sustainable Sites

The LEED Sustainable Sites criterion addresses the issue that building development is often destructive to local natural systems, both during construction and later.

Credits in this category encourage strategies-alternative transportation and storm water management are examples-to ameliorate disturbances. For several of the credits bird-safe guidelines deserve consideration.

SS Credit 5.1: Protect or Restore Habitat ~ This credit seeks to promote biodiversity by limiting disturbance on greenfield sites-or by restoring or protecting at least 50% of the site area with native (or adapted) vegetation.

BSBG Integration: While protecting or restoring habitat is a laudable aim, the presence of attractive habitat close to a dangerous structure may be a threat to birdlife.

SS Credit 5.2: Site Development: Maximize Open Space ~ Again this credit is aimed at encouraging biodiversity by encouraging a high ratio of open space-where local zoning open space requirements exist, exceeding the requirement by 25%; for areas without local requirements, providing open space equal to 20% of the site area and open space adjacent to the building equal to the building's footprint.

BSBG Integration: The same considerations as for the previous credit apply. Judicious planning for the open space is critical. The fact that the open space need not be contiguous is helpful.

SS Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect: Roof ~ This credit aims to reduce the temperature gradient between a building's roof and the undeveloped land below, either through the use of highly reflective surfaces or plantings (at least 50% of the roof area), or by a combination of the two strategies.

BSBG Integration: Here the issues for birds are to minimize reflection of attractive rooftop landscapes in adjacent structures, and to allow space for safe movement to and from roof vegetation.

SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction ~ The Light Reduction Credit seeks to reduce the escape of light from the building and its site, to reduce sky-glow, reduce glare, and to reduce impacts on nocturnal environments.

BSBG Integration: This credit coincides well with BSBG's mission. The specific ways in which this credit might be achieved-see main text-could have a significant effect on reducing buildings' allure to birds at night.

Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 5.1: Site Development: Protect or Restore Habitat.
Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 5.2: Site Development: Maximize Open Space.
Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 7.2: Heat Island Effect: Roof.
Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction.

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