To assess site conditions before design to evaluate sustainable options and inform related decisions about site design.
Complete and document a site survey or assessment1 that includes the following information:
- Contour mapping
- Unique topographic features
- Slope stability risks
- Special Flood Hazard Areas (SPFHA) as determined by FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.)
- Delineated natural water bodies wetlands, lakes, streams, and shorelines (refer to U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Act or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.)
- Rainwater collection and reuse opportunities
- Impervious and pervious surfaces within the site boundary
- Solar exposure and shading opportunities
- Heat island effect potential
- Seasonal sun angles
- Prevailing winds
- Average monthly precipitation and temperature ranges
- Primary vegetation types
- Greenfield area
- Significant tree mapping
- Federal or state threatened or endangered species lists; for projects outside the U.S., International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened
- Invasive plant species listed by regional, state, or federal entities
- EPA Level III ecoregion description (or local equivalent)
- Natural Resources Conservation Service soils delineation (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.)
- U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (or local equivalent for projects outside the United States) prime farmland, unique farmland, farmland of statewide importance, or farmland of local importance
- Healthy soils
- Previous development
- Disturbed soils
- Adjacent transportation infrastructure, bicycle network, and bicycle storage
- Adjacent diverse uses
- Construction materials with existing recycle or reuse potential
Human health effects.
- Proximity of vulnerable populations
- Adjacent physical activity opportunities
- Proximity to major sources of air and water pollution
The survey or assessment should demonstrate the relationships between the site features and topics listed above and how these features influenced the project design; give the reasons for not addressing any of those topics.
1 Components adapted from the Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, Prerequisite 2.1: Site Assessment.
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