By Helen Chang
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation itself contributes to 27% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, in which 60% comes from light-duty vehicles 4.As an initiative to reduce such emission, efforts in encouraging the use of alternative transportation has been increasing in the past decades. Among all, bike share systems showed the most growth: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, and other cities have been implementing bike share systems in the past 8 years. Referring to the National Association of City Transportation (NACTO), over 88 million bike share trips were made from 2010 to 20161. In 2016 alone, 28 million bike share rides were made: a 115.4% growth since 20131.
What does SIG think of this trend?
As LEED buildings consultants, Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is trying to provide some insights on leveraging the growing trend in bike share systems in earning LEED credits. Based on the US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED guidelines, we can earn several LEED points both directly and indirectly by either simply having buildings near existing bike share systems or founding a private bike share system for tenants of the building.
By having a bike share station near buildings, we can earn one LEED V4 Location and Transportation Credit 6 (LTc6) by making some modifications. This credit has two main requirements: bicycle network and bicycle storage 2. Depending on the functions of the buildings, different percentages of short-term bicycle storage as well as long-term bicycle storage are required. Additionally, the short-term storage must be within 100 feet of any entrance; the long-term storage should be within 100 feet of any functional entry 2. For nonresidential buildings, shower rooms are also needed to earn this credit.
In addition to LTc6, LEED 2009 New Construction Sustainable Sites Credit 4.2 can also be pursued by fulfilling same requirements 3. Having a bike share system can also earn LEED V4 Neighborhood Pattern and Design Credit 8 5. It is also possible for a building to earn 1 point for Innovation if a creative bike share system is designed and implemented.
Cycling promotes a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and a bike share system encourages cycling by providing convenient access to everyone. Most importantly, a bike share system can also earn LEED credits for buildings. Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is interested in helping more clients pursue more credits in the light of such systems in the future.
1.“Bike Share in the US:2010-2016.” National Associate of City Transportation Officials, NACTO, nacto.org/bike-share-statistics-2016/
2.“CS-v4 LTc6: Bicycle facilities.” LEEDuser, LEEDuser, CS-v4 LTc6: Bicycle facilities.
3.“EBOM-2009 SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation.” LEEDuser, LEEDuser, leeduser.buildinggreen.com/credit/EBOM-2009/SSc4#tab-bev.
4.“Fast Facts on Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission.” EPA, EPA, www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/fast-facts-transportation-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
5.“ND-v4 NPDc8: Transportation demand management.” LEEDuser, LEEDuser, leeduser.buildinggreen.com/credit/ND-v4/NPDc8.
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