January 27, 2021
Steps Toward Sustainability: Earn LEED Points with goDCgo
by Korrea Johnston
Did you know prioritizing sustainable transportation at your new development can put you on the path to LEED certification? goDCgo gathered information about the transportation-related LEED points and discovered the many ways you can earn points to become LEED Certified™ and rise the ranks as a goDCgo Transportation Ambassador.
What is LEED?
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is one of the most widely used and recognized rating systems for green building today. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is the governing body of the LEED program and sets its rules, while The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is responsible for managing the certification process. You can learn more about the LEED certification process for residential buildings on the USGBC website.
What are LEED points?
There are three components to LEED certification: prerequisites, credits, and points. Prerequisites are the minimum requirements that all buildings need to meet in order to achieve LEED certification, serving as a foundation to certification. Credits vary by rating system and earn you points. Points determine what level of LEED certification a project receives. There are four levels of certification:
- Certified (40–49 points)
- Silver (50–59 points)
- Gold (60–79 points)
- Platinum (80+ points)
How do I get LEED points for sustainable transportation?
Build near transit
Locating a new project near transit offers future residents a choice in how they get around. By building residential buildings ¼ mile from a bus or streetcar stop, you encourage transit use and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and other environmental and public health harms associated with motor vehicle use. The LT Credit: Access to Quality Transit can earn residential multifamily buildings 1-3 points.
In DC, two-thirds of commuters already live less than one mile away from a bus stop. Discover more about DC’s bus network.
Create a bike-friendly community
LEED also encourages buildings to include bicycle facilities “to promote bicycling and transportation efficiency and reduce vehicle distance traveled.” By building near a bicycle network and providing bicycle storage, a residential multifamily building can earn 1 point from the LT Credit: Bicycle Facilities.
Download our Residential Vendor Amenity Guide for a list of preferred vendors for bicycle amenities and more.
By offering bike storage, your building is also eligible to become a goDCgo Residential Ambassador. Learn more about goDCgo’s Transportation Ambassadors.
Residential multifamily buildings can earn 1 point by reducing parking or offering alternatives, too. Requirements for the LT Credit: Reduced Parking Footprint suggests multifamily buildings minimize the environmental harms associated with parking facilities by doing one of the following:
- Not provide off-street parking
- Offer limited parking (no more than the local minimum parking requirements)
- Provide parking for carsharing
- Unbundle parking (sell parking separately from all property sales and leases)
There are several companies that offer carsharing in DC: Zipcar, Free2Move, and GetAround. The services vary, so find the company that meets your needs best.
Providing carsharing and offering unbundled parking are ways to advance your goDCgo Transportation Ambassador designation.
Support electrical vehicle ownership
Earn 2 points by providing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for on-site parking with the LT Credit: Electric Vehicles. This effort helps to reduce pollution by promoting alternatives to conventionally fueled automobiles.
There are so many ways to demonstrate your commitment to sustainable transportation. By adding EV charging to your garage, you’ll climb the ladder of goDCgo Ambassador designations.
You can read the further explanations for the credits mentioned above in the LEED v4 Residential Multifamily Homes Guide.
Making the choice to prioritize sustainability is an exemplary effort that will give your property a competitive edge in the marketplace. Becoming a goDCgo Transportation Ambassador will put you on the path to earn LEED credits.
Reach out to Casey Auch, goDCgo’s Residential Client Services Manager for assistance.