With limited publicity, a 60-day window to apply, and only 120 slots available, 370 developers across the country submitted proposals for the new LEED-ND pilot program, displaying a massive interest in the new groundbreaking rating system that rewards implementation of smart growth principles. The new program builds upon the success of the LEED certification for environment-friendly buildings administered by the Green Building Council.
Recognizing the need to also evaluate a building’s context while building in more sustainable patterns, LEED-ND incorporates “principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design,” according to a news release. The system evaluates the development’s use of existing infrastructure, proximity to existing areas, connections to transit, walkability and many other elements. The program’s managers will soon be narrowing the applicant pool to 120, and then measuring and certifying those that meet the detailed smart-growth and green building qualifications. LEED-ND is a collaboration among the U.S. Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.