Monday, April 11, 2005

Carsharing and LEED

A credit for carsharing is being proposed as a standard measure in the US Green Building Council LEED program (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) rating system. The current proposal, part of the parking measure, would give a LEED point if the developer provides "calculations demonstrating that the Flexcar fleet will serve 5% of building occupants, within a 5% margin of error."

I love the bogus attempt at accuracy - "within a 5% margin of error" - any creative genius in carsharing marketing could come up with those calculations! And presumably the reference to a specific carsharing company will be changed in later drafts! Other transportation points in the draft include hybrid and alt. fuel vehicles, location within 1/2 mile (!) of transit, etc. The draft specs are version 2.2 for new construction and major renovation, dated Dec. 2004.

Here are some criteria I suggested to the the local sustainability guy for how to incorporate carsharing into the LEED program. My goal is to keep it simple for the developer, make it verifiable to local jurisdiction and, most importantly, make it likely to succeed:
• No parking should be "included" in any tenant leases (or only way below industry norm ratios).
• The developer should have a multi-year contract with the carsharing company for some minimum number of hours of
vehicle usage per month based on the estimated population of the building (residential or commercial).
• The building should have ground floor bike parking (in the current draft)
• There should be a transit stop within X blocks of the front door (in the current draft)
• The developer must have a memorandum of understanding with the transit agency to do X marketing events on site each year