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LEED Vocabulary


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Mass Transit
Public or Private operated transportation service that provides transportation, for the general public, to multiple fixed stops on a scheduled basis. Typically capable of serving 10 or more occupants
Threatened Species
An Animal or plant species that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.
The addition of soils to water bodies by natural and human related activities. It decreases water quality and accelerates the aging process of lakes, rivers, and streams.
Percent of the surface area of paving material that is open and allows moisture to pass through.
Open-Grid Pavement
Pavement that is less than 50% impervious and contains vegetation in the open cells.
Impervious Surface
Promotes runoff of precipitation volumes instead of infiltration.
Wastewater from toilets and urinals. May not be used in irrigation. Many definitions.
Unit of illuminance and is equal to one lumen of light falling on one square foot area from a one candela light source at a distance of one foot.
Solar Reflectance Index(SRI)
Measure of material's ability to reject solar heat. Black is 0 and white is 100. Material with highest SRI is coolest choice for paving.
Process of verifying & documenting that facility and all systems are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet OPR.
Building Density
Floor area of the building divided by the total area of the site(ft^2/acre)
The use of microorganisms & vegetation to remove contaminants from water and soils. Generally an in-situ remediation. Viable alternative to landfilling or incineration.
Basis of Design
Design info used to accomplish the OPR - includes system descriptions, indoor environmental quality control, and other design assumptions.
Non-potable water
Water not suitable for human consumption.
Endangered Species
Animal or plant species that is in danger of coming extinct throughout all or a significant portion of its range due to harmful human activities or environmental factors.
Total Suspended Solids
Particles or flocs that are too small or light to be removed from stormwater via gravity settling. Typically removed via filtration.
Risk Assessment
Methodology used to analyze potential health affects caused by contaminants in the environment.
Process Water
Water used for industrial processes and building systems such as cooling towers, boilers and chillers.
Automatic Fixture Sensors
Motion sensors that turn on/off lavatories and sinks. May be hard wired or battery operated.
Non-Roof Impervious Surfaces
All site surfaces with perviousness less than 50%, not counting the roof.
Enacted in 1976 to give EPA "Cradle to Grave" authority on hazardous waste.
Metering Controls
Controls used to limit the flow time of water. Commonly installed on lavatory faucets and showers.
Development Footprint
The Area on the project site that has been impacted by any development activity. Hardscape, access roads, parking lots, non-building facilities, and the building are all included.
Installation Inspection
Process of inspecting components of systems to determine if they were installed correctly and ready for performance testing.
Infrared Emittance
Parameter between 0 and 1 that indicates the ability of material to shed infrared radiation. Wavelength of this radiant energy is 5-40 micrometers. Glass has rough emittance of 0.9.
Public Transportation
Transportation service for the general public operating on a regular, continual basis that is publicly or privately owned.
Adapted (Introduced) Plants
Plants that reliably grow well in a given habitat with minimal attention from winter protection, pest protection, water irrigation, or fertilization once root systems are established. Considered non-invasive.
Preferred Parking
Parking spots that are closest to the main entrance of the project, exclusive of handicapped spaces and parking passes provided at a discounted price.
Local Zoning Requirements
Local govt. regulations imposed to promote orderly development of private lands and to prevent land use conflicts.
Commissioning Specification
Contract document that details the commissioning requirements of the commissioning contractors.
Ratio of radiation emitted by a surface to the radiation emitted by a black body at the same temperature.
Irrigation systems with small sprinklers and jets or drippers designed to apply small volumes of water
Open Space Area
Defined by local zoning requirements. OR, Property Area minus development footprint. Must be vegetated and pervious. For project that earn SS Credit 2, open space includes non-vehicular, pedestrian-oriented hardscape spaces.
Ex-situ Remediation
Removal of contaminated soil & groundwater. Treatment of contaminated media occurs elsewhere. Typical method is Pump-and-Treat.
Drip Irrigation
High-efficiency irrigation method in which water is delivered at low pressure through burried mains. Type of micro-irrigation.
Synonomous with solar reflectance
Tertiary Treatment
Highest form of wastewater treatment that includes removal of nutrients, organic and solid material, along with biological & chemical polishing.
Landscape Area
Equal to the total site area less the building footprint, paved surfaces, water bodies, patios, etc..
Systems Performance Testing
Process of determining the ability of commissioned systems to perform in accordance with OPR, BOD, and CDs.
Invasive plants
Both indigenous and non-indigenous plants that are adaptable, aggressive, highly reproductive and overrun the ecosystems in which they inhabit. A great threat to biodiversity and ecosystem stability.
Light Pollution
Waste light from bldg sites that produces glare, is directed upward or is directed off the site.
Hybrid Vehicles
Vehicles that use a gas engine to drive an electric generator and use the generator and/or storage batteries to power electric motors.
Commissioning Plan
Document that outlines the organization, schedule, allocation of resources, and documentation requirements of the commissioning process.
Basic unit of nature that includes a community or organisms and their nonliving environment linked by biological, chemical and physical process.
Solar Reflectance
Ratio of reflected solar energy to the incoming solar energy. 100% means that no energy is absorbed by the surface and all is reflected
Wastewater discharged from lavatories, bathtubs, showers, clothes washers, and laundry sinks. May or may not include kitchen sink waste.
Non-Water Using Urinal
Urinal that uses no water. Instead uses a layer of buoyant liquid that floats above the urine layer, blocking sewer gas and urine odors from the room.
Commissioning Report
Document that records the results of the commissioning process, including the as-built performance of the HVAC system.
Heat Island Effect
Warmer temps are experienced in urban landscapes due to solar energy retention on constructed surfaces. Principal surfaces include streets, sidewalks, parkings lots and bldgs.
Composting Toilet Systems
Dry plumbing fixtures that contain and treat human waste via microbiological processes.
On-site Wastewater Treatment
Uses localized treatment systems to transport, store, treat and dispose of wastewater volumes generated on the project site.
Process of cleaning up a contaminated site by physical, chemical or biological means. Typically applied to contaminated groundwater and soil.
Wetland Vegetation
Consists of plants that require saturated soils to survive, as well as certain species that can tolerate prolonged wet soil conditions.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Vehicles that use low-polluting, non-gasoline fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, propane or compressed natural gas, liqued natural gas, methanol, and ethanol. Efficient gas-electric hybrids are included for LEED purposes.
Property Area
Total Area within the legal boundaries of a site and encompasses all areas of the site including constructed areas and non-constructed areas.
Site Assessment
Evaluation of above-ground and subsurface characteristics to determine if a release has occurred. Info gained is used to support remedial action decisions.
A combination of processes in which materials of the earth's surface are loosened, dissolved or worn away, and transported from one place to another by natural agents (such as water, wind, or gravity).
Native (Indigenous) Plants
Plants adapted to a given area during a definite period of time and are not invasive.
Also known as SUPERFUND. Addresses abandoned or historical waste sites and was enacted in 1980 to create a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries. Provided federal authority to respond to releases of hazardous waster.
Conventional Irrigation
Most common irrigation system used in region where the building is located. Ex. sprinkler heads.
Stormwater Runoff
Water volumes that are created during precipitation events and flow over surfaces into sewer systems or receiving waters.
Curfew Hours
Locally determined time when greater lighting restrictions are imposed. No restriction, then use 10pm.
In-situ Remediation
In place treatment of contaminants using technologies like injection wells or reactive trenches. These methods utilize natural hydraulic gradient of groundwater & require minimal site disturbance.
Pedestrian Access
Implies that people can walk to the services without being blocked by walls, freeways, or other barriers.
Outdoor Lighting Zone Definitions
Provide general description of site environment/context and basic site lighting criteria.
Sites that have not been previously developed or built on, and which could support open space, habitat or agriculture.
An arrangement in which 2 or more people share a vehicle for transportation.
Owner's Project Requirements
Written document that details function requirements of a project & how it will be used and operated.
Potable Water
Water suitable for drinking and supplied from wells or municipal water systems.
Angle of Maximum Candela
Direction in which the luminaire emits the greatest luminous intensity.
Aquatic Systems
Ecologically designed treatment systems that utilize a diverse community of biological organisms to treat wastewater.

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