LEED for Neighborhood Development
The LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Rating System is the product of a collaboration between the USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to devise a LEED rating system which effectively integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building. As with the other LEED rating systems, LEED-ND certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development's location and design meet accepted high levels of environmentally responsible, sustainable development.
LEED-ND is designed to:
Reduce Urban Sprawl.
In order to reduce the impacts of urban sprawl, or unplanned, uncontrolled spreading of urban development into areas outside of the metropolitan region, and create more livable communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development communities are:
* Close to existing town and city centers;
* Easily accessible by transit, bicycle, on foot, or by other non-automobile modes;
* Respectful of the natural environment;
* Mindful of historic aspects and existing conditions;
* Affordable and livable.
Typical sprawl development, low-density housing and commercial uses located in automobile-dependent outlying area, can harm the natural environment in a number of ways. It can consume and fragment farmland, forests and wildlife habitat; degrade water quality through destruction of wetlands and increased stormwater runoff; and pollute the air with increased automobile travel.
Encourage healthy living.
LEED for Neighborhood Development emphasizes the creation of compact, walkable, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with good connections to nearby communities. Research has shown that living in a mixed-use environment within walking distance of shops and services results in increased walking and biking, which improve human cardiovascular and respiratory health and reduce the risk of hypertension and obesity.
Protect threatened species.
Fragmentation and loss of habitat are major threats to many imperiled species. LEED encourages compact development patterns and the selection of sites that are within or adjacent to existing development to minimize habitat fragmentation and also help preserve areas for recreation.
Increase transportation choice and decrease automobile dependence.
These two things go hand-in-hand; convenient transportation choices such as buses, trains, car pools, bicycle lanes and sidewalks, for example, are typically more available near downtowns, neighborhood centers and town centers, which are also the locations that produce shorter automobile trips.
Our Vision: Smarter, greener development in West Michigan, informed by good planning and the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system.
The LEED-ND Member Circle meets monthly, on the second or fourth Wednesday of the month from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. We usually meet at the City of Grand Rapids Development Center, Conference Room 303, located at 1120 Monroe Avenue NW, just north of downtown Grand Rapids. Click here for a map of the Development Center.
Projects and Activities: We have just started work on a pilot project for a mixed-use neighborhood development in the city of Grand Rapids. While details are still being worked out, this project represents an exciting opportunity to be part of one of the first LEED-ND projects in the state! We also serve as a de facto LEED-ND User Group, studying each credit of the LEED-ND Rating System. Please feel free to come
What Can You Do
• Read this primer on Urban Sprawl.
• Read this report on The Relationship between Public Health and the Built Environment.
• Check out the LEED-ND Frequently Asked Questions page.
• Download and read the latest draft of the LEED-ND rating system.
Mission: To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, in a way that improves the quality of life in West Michigan.