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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 012 - A rating system for green neighbourhoods

012 - LEED for Neighbourhood Development

        LEED-Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND) is a system for rating and certifying sustainable neighbourhoods. LEED-ND expands the scope of LEED, an environmental assessment method for buildings similar to BREEAM, beyond that of the individual building to a more holistic consideration of how to create great places.

LEED-ND originates in the USA where it has been developed by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) working in partnership with US Green Building Council (who developed the LEED system) and the Natural Resource Defence Council. LEED-ND stems from the idea that no matter its environmental credentials, no building can be truly sustainable unless it forms part of a socially, economically and environmentally successful neighbourhood. The system integrates concepts for sustainable growth (strategic planning), neighbourhood design and green building design into a standard that considers the principles of sustainable design at all stages of the development process.

The system rates neighbourhoods according to four categories:

  • Smart location and linkage – the position of the development in relation to existing development, transport systems, jobs and services.
  • Neighbourhood pattern and design – a focus on compact, walkable and mixed-use neighbourhoods as promoted by the CNU.
  • Green infrastructure and buildings – the use of environmentally-responsible building techniques for both individual buildings and infrastructure.
  • Innovation and design process – the use of exemplary and innovative features.

Like other LEED systems, each category includes core prerequisites as well as dozens of additional characteristics, which projects must meet to gain any of the four levels of LEED certification: certified, silver, gold, and platinum.

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UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seed 

LEED-ND takes a holistic view of sustainable development, promoting socially, economically and environmentally successful communities. It awards
developments that apply the design principles promoted by the Congress for New Urbanism, such as Afton Village in Concord, North Carolina.

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