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October 8, 2013 -
Today's tip of the day is about the heavily weighted alternative transportation credits in the LEED rating system.
If you're working on a LEED-EBOM initiative, alternative transportation is one of the highest-weighted strategies in the rating system with 15 points (second only to the Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance, which offers 18 points) is the alternative transportation credit. The goal of the credit, according to USGBC, is "to reduce pollution and land development effects from automobile use for transportation."
Facility managers can earn points based on the percentage of occupants that use alternative transportation — walking, biking, public, transit, ride shares, telecommuting, etc. — based on a baseline. For instance, if 40 percent of occupants use alternative transportation, facility managers earn 9 points toward their EBOM certification.
If it's not possible to do a survey or earn the points based on the survey for other reasons, there are a few other compliance options, as well — including developing a new-hire orientation plan to encourage alternative transportation and providing preferential parking for rideshare participants.
This credit is different than the much-maligned credit in the New Construction rating system that offers a point for including bicycle storage (bike racks) and shower facilities for bicycle commuters. That credit — despite the fact that LEED opponents love to tease LEED advocates about it — does still exist, and does appear in the next version of LEED, as well. The credit is worth only one point, so it's not a heavily weighted credit. And despite the jokes, including bike racks and shower facilities for commuters IS a legitimate sustainable strategy, is it not?