LEEDS: The Mark of Excellence
Redefining the way we think about the places we live and work.
LiveRoof and LEED Credits
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the green building rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED system’s intent is to provide a standard certification process that registers and quantifies buildings for design and construction methods that promote five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. LEED provides a roadmap for measuring and documenting success for every building type and phase of building lifecycle. LiveRoof’s advanced green roof system can help you achieve LEED certification in several categories—above and beyond that of just any green roof system. Below are the major categories of the LEED BD+C (2009 edition) rating system and potential credits that can be influenced by the LiveRoof system.
Protect or Restore Habitat and Maximize Open Space
If you think about it, wherever there is a building, there once was some type of vegetation. Green roofs help to reclaim green space, and in the process they provide habitat (for songbirds, butterflies and a host of other invertebrate species) therefore helping to promote biodiversity.
|Potential Credits:||SS 5.1 Site Development,
Protect or Restore Habitat, 1 point
SS 5.2 Site Development,
Maximize Open Space, 1 point
Storm Water Design
LiveRoof systems help to prevent excess storm water discharge. They also help to filter and detoxify storm water by removing suspended solids and other pollutants.
|Potential Credits:||SS 6.1 Quantity Control, 1 point
SS 6.2 Quality Control, 1 point
Urban Heat Island Effect
Typically used on roofs and sometimes at grade, LiveRoof significantly reduces roof temperatures during the summer months and the USGBC specifies green roofs as a means of mitigating the urban heat island effect.
|Potential Credits:||SS 7.1 Heat Island Effect–Non-Roof, 1 point
SS 7.2 Heat Island Effect–Roof, 1 point
When vegetated with drought resistant LiveRoof plants, LiveRoof installations require little irrigation. In comparison to conventional plant material, LiveRoof plants require significantly less than 50% of typical irrigation, and in some climates can thrive with little or no supplemental irrigation. Additionally, the LiveRoof growing medium acts as a sponge to collect and filter excess rainwater. In heavy rains, of course, runoff will occur and this can be channeled into a cistern for reuse on the LiveRoof, to a rain garden, or to parts of the ground-level landscape. Effective use of such collected water can contribute.
|Potential Credits:||WE 1.1 Water Efficient Landscaping,
Reduce by 50 %, 2 points
WE 1.2 Water Efficient Landscaping,
No Potable Use or No Irrigation, 4 points
Energy & Atmosphere
Optimize Energy Performance
The LiveRoof system offers substantial energy saving benefits. The precise benefits will vary with climate, for example in the northern temperate zone the savings of energy expended on air conditioning is expected to exceed 25 percent. In warmer climates, the energy savings period will last for a longer percentage of the year. In either case, the exact savings will be based upon site, exposure, atmospheric conditions, and moisture content of the LiveRoof soil. During the winter, because the LiveRoof is relatively moist, its R value will be about 1.9.
|Potential Credits:||EA 1.1 to 1.19, 1 to 19 points|
Materials & Resources
Construction Waste Management
Your LiveRoof® grower is happy to take back the removed soil elevators from the job site and recycle them. The installer need only bag them and send them back with the truck driver.
|Potential Credits:||MR 2 Construction Waste Management, 1 to 2 points|
LiveRoof modules are composed of 100 % recycled polypropylene (avg. 10% post consumer, 90% post industrial), and in many cases the LiveRoof soil contains recycled materials such as compost or reclaimed mineral aggregates (verify with individual grower). By using recycled plastic and reclaimed components, LiveRoof helps to make good use of resources that otherwise might go to a landfill.
|Potential Credits:||MR 4.1-4.2 Recycled Content, 1 to 2 points|
LiveRoof modules are manufactured within a 15-mile radius of distribution and LiveRoof plants are grown at local nurseries, typically with soil components from that region.
|Potential Credits:||MR 5.1-5.2 Regional Materials, 1 to 2 points|
Rapidly Renewable Materials
LiveRoof plants, for the most part, are plants that are grown and repeatedly harvested like bamboo. In other words, the source plant material is harvested without disturbance to the soil and without the need to repeatedly replant the original plantings. This has the effect of reducing carbon and fertilizer inputs and protects the farmland from erosion.
|Potential Credits:||MR 6 Rapidly Renewable Materials, 1 point|
Innovation in Design
LiveRoof systems may contribute to innovation and design credits in a number of obvious and not so obvious ways. By helping to create a better work environment, LiveRoof can create greater workplace productivity. LiveRoof installations can be used for meetings and relaxation, education, creating beautiful vistas, and for fostering better health, reduced healing time, and increased positive social interaction. Green roofs may be integrated with patios and outdoor kitchens. For advanced green roof innovation, owners may tailor roofs to grow herbs and vegetables, farm honeybees and create high quality honey, reduce exterior sound, to sequester carbon, and to increase the overall shared “green” footprint of the neighborhood when added to adjoining buildings. One LiveRoof owner, Haworth Corporation, even used some of their own waste plastic in the creation of their LiveRoof modules!
Innovation can include Wildlife Friendly Design, Plant Preservation, Restorative Use of Vegetative Waste (e.g. compost and compost tea), Non-Chemical Water Treatment, the buffering of acid rain, and earth friendly growing and maintenance methods. Indeed, innovation can take into account that LiveRoof is grown using Integrated Pest Management (see LEED SS/EQ) and in some cases (e.g. our Midwest growing operation) using Natural Predator Pest Management or even organic growing methods. Likewise, once installed, LiveRoof may be maintained using Organic Landscape Management, Biological or Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and Eco-Roof Monitoring. The sky is the limit when it comes to innovation, and it seems that everyday someone thinks of some new way to employ LiveRoof toward the betterment of people and the environment.
LiveRoof modules help to save money which can be applied to other sustainable building methods in other areas of the project.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that LiveRoof can contribute to over 20 LEED points, depending on the size of the green roof and the degree to which the various features described above are incorporated into the overall building design.
Regional Priority Credits
Potential Credits: 1-4 Possible Points
Depending on geographic region, additional points may be available for having a green roof. LiveRoof is the most advanced green roof system on the market, offering a significant LEED impact compared to other green roof systems.