SS P1.0 Environmental Site Assessment
SS C2.1 Sustainable Site Use & Sensitive Lands Conservation
SS C3.1 Stormwater & Sedimentation Management
SS C4.1 Central Location & Near Public Transit
SS C5.1 Joint Use of Facilities
SS C6.1 Human-Powered Transportation
SS C7.1 Reduce Heat Islands
SS C8.1 Light Pollution Prevention



APPLICABILITY: All projects.


SS P1.0            New Buildings on New Sites

Complete a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in accordance with ASTM E1527-13. If a Phase II ESA is necessary based on the results of Phase I, follow ASTM E1903-11. The ESA must include:

  • Identification of facilities within ¼ mile that might reasonably be anticipated to emit hazardous air emissions, or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous material, substances or waste. A determination shall be made (following ASTM 1527-13) that such facilities will not adversely affect the health of students, staff or teachers.
  • A risk assessment and implementation of appropriate mitigation measures or the establishment of appropriate “buffer zones” to ensure that the proposed school site would not expose school occupants to significant health or safety risks from rail lines, hazardous material pipelines, high power transmission lines, toxic air emissions from stationary sources, or other sources of pollution including those identified under ASTM 1527-13.
  • Written findings verifying that the site is not currently or formerly a hazardous, acutely hazardous substance release, or solid waste disposal site or, if so, that the wastes have been removed in a manner that meets the referenced standard. Also, the written findings must state that the site does not contain pipelines, which carry hazardous wastes or substances other than a natural gas supply line to the school or neighborhood. If hazardous air emissions are identified, the written findings must state that the health risks do not, and will not, constitute an actual or potential danger of public health of students or staff. If corrective measures of chronic or accidental hazardous air emissions are required under an existing order by another jurisdiction, the governing board shall make a finding that the emissions have been mitigated prior to occupancy of the school.
  • Identification of train tracks, freeways, or traffic corridors within 500 feet of the site and analyses that neither short-term nor long-term exposure to air pollutants poses significant health risks to students.

SS P1.0            Additional Requirements

The ESA must also include all of the following:

  • Site the school with at least the following distances from the edge of respective power easements above ground; 100 feet for 50-133 kV lines, 150 feet for 220-230 kV lines, and 350 feet for 500-550 kV lines.
  • The site shall be self-draining, including detention ponds or other engineered systems (lakes) to control and direct water, and free from depressions in which water may stand and be allowed to stagnate. The site shall be kept free from refuse, weed overgrowth, and other hazards. Livestock or poultry shall be located more than fifty (50) feet from food service areas, offices, or classrooms except those offices and classrooms associated with animal husbandry activities.
  • The site shall not be located near an above-ground water or fuel storage tank or within 1500 feet of the easement of an above ground or underground pipeline that can pose a safety hazard as determined by a risk analysis study, conducted by a competent professional, which may include certification from a local public utility commission.
  • If the site is located in an agricultural area, identify drift problems throughout the year from highly toxic and volatile pesticides. Pesticides under concern are listed as “Restricted Use Productsby the US EPA. If highly toxic and volatile pesticides are identified and not mitigated, the school will not meet this prerequisite.
  • If the school drinking water source is an on-site private well, the well water must be tested by the local health department or authority having jurisdiction to ensure the water is free of harmful contaminants prior to occupancy. The local jurisdiction may require further testing during occupancy.
  • The site must not be within 1,000 feet of an active landfill.

SS P1.0            New Buildings on Existing Sites and Major Renovations/Modernizations

If a prior ESA was completed when the site was first developed, that ESA should be reviewed for any relevant changes and for completeness of all of the above requirements. If the ESA did not address all of the above requirements, the missing ones must be completed, and mitigation may be necessary. The requirement to be at least 1,000 feet from an active landfill does not apply to existing sites; however, if the new building is proximate to an active landfill, mitigation may be necessary. If no prior ESA was performed, a Phase I ESA should be done meeting all of the above requirements, and a Phase II ESA completed if any hazards are found.

Furthermore, identify facilities within ¼ mile that might reasonably be anticipated to emit hazardous air emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous material, substances, or waste. A determination shall be made (following ASTM 1527-13) that such facilities will not adversely affect the health of students, staff, or teachers.





SS C2.1.1         Sustainable Site Use

Do any two of the following:

  • Building Footprint: Design the building to minimize the footprint by having a ratio of gross square footage to footprint square footage of at least 1.4.
  • Parking: Do not exceed minimum local parking requirements. Comply with the following, unless they result in more parking than local minimums:

New Construction and Additions:

  • Size parking capacity not to exceed 2.25 spaces per classroom for elementary and middle schools and 2.25 spaces per classroom plus spaces for 30% of students for high schools.
  • If event parking is provided, it must be permeable.
  • Provide preferred parking spaces and signage for 10% of total parking spaces for carpools, vanpools, and Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).

Major Renovations/Modernizations:

  • Add no new parking compared to existing conditions.
  • Provide preferred parking spaces and signage totaling 10% of total parking spaces for carpools or vanpools and for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).
  • Open Space: Limit total site development so that open space is 25% more than zoning open space requirements. If no zoning ordinances apply to open space, provide a minimum of 50% vegetated open space. If a school is located in a densely populated area (SS 6.1: Central Location), provide a minimum of 25% vegetated open space.

SS C2.1.2         Sensitive Lands Conservation

Do not develop buildings or impervious surfaces on portions of sites that meet any one of the following classifications:

  • Land which prior to acquisition for the project was public parkland, conservation land, or land acquired for water supply protection.
  • Greenfields, which for the purposes of this criterion, are defined as undeveloped land or lands that are used for agriculture, forestry, or park purposes. Undeveloped lands are defined as lands that have not been in use for a period of 50 years or more and cannot be identified, by visual inspection, as having been developed.
  • Land specifically identified as habitat for any species on the federal or state threatened or endangered list.
  • Land that is prime farmland, unique farmland, or farmland of statewide importance as defined by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services NRCS.

SS C2.1.3         Additional Sensitive Lands Conservation

Do not develop buildings or impervious surfaces on portions of sites that meet any one of the following classifications:

  • Land whose elevation is lower than 5 feet above the elevation of the 100-year flood as defined by FEMA and as shown on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the site.
  • Land that is within 100 ft. of any wetland as defined by 40 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 230.3, or within setback distances from wetlands prescribed in state or local regulations, whichever is more stringent.
  • Previously undeveloped land that is within 50 feet of a water body, defined as seas, lakes, rivers, streams and tributaries that support or could support aquatic life, recreation or industrial use, consistent with the terminology of the Clean Water Act.



APPLICABILITY: All projects located near water bodies; for 3.1.1 additional applicability is contained under Implementation.


SS C3.1.1         Erosion & Pollutant Control During Construction

Control erosion and the transport of soil and other pollutants off the site during construction. Design and implement a site-specific plan that incorporates the use of best management practices (BMPs) consistent with part 2.2 of the US EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2017 Construction General Permit. (2)

The plan shall meet the following objectives:

·       Prevent soil loss by wind and water erosion, including protecting topsoil by stockpiling for reuse.

·       Prevent transport of sediment and particulate matter to storm sewers or receiving waters and/or to air.

·       Eliminate or reduce off-site discharge of construction waste.

·       Establish maintenance commitments on post-construction pollution control measures.

SS C3.1.2         Stormwater & Pollutant Control Post-Construction

Do all of the following:

Stormwater Runoff Rate:

For sites with an existing imperviousness of less than or equal to 50%, limit the post-development peak stormwater runoff discharge rate so that it does not exceed the estimated pre-development rate.

For sites with an existing imperviousness of more than 50%, implement a stormwater management plan that results in a 25% reduction in the rate and quantity of stormwater runoff.

Drainage at Trash Storage Areas:

For all sites, design trash storage areas to provide appropriate drainage from adjoining roofs and pavement to divert stormwater runoff around the trash storage areas. The trash container areas must be screened or walled to prevent off-site transport of trash.

Stormwater Management:

Provide post-construction treatment control best management practices (BMPs). Incorporate either a volumetric or flow-based treatment control design standard, or in combination, as identified below to mitigate (infiltrate, filter or treat) stormwater runoff:

Volumetric Treatment Control BMP

One of the following:


Flow Based Treatment Control BMP

The flow of runoff produced from a rain event:

  • equal to at least two times the 95th percentile hourly rainfall intensity for the area; or
  • that will result in treatment of the same portion of runoff as treated using volumetric standards above; or
  • the intensity-duration-frequency method, with a hydrograph corresponding to a 50-year storm; or
  • 0.2 inches per hour.​​​​​​​





SS C4.1.1         Proximity to Students & Community Services

Comply with any of the following 4 options:

  1. Site is centrally located in which 50% of students are within the following distances: 1 mile for elementary schools, 2 miles for middle and high schools.
  2. The school’s location is within ½ mile of at least eight basic resident services, such as: supermarket, commercial office building, convenience grocery with fresh food, day care, fitness center, hardware store, pharmacy, laundry or dry cleaner, public library, medical/dental services, senior care facility, public park, post office, bank, community center (for recreation or community education), place of worship, fire station, police station, beauty salon, restaurant, and theater.
  3. If the project is in a rural school district as defined by the National Rural and Small Schools Consortium (the district inhabitants number is fewer than 150 per square mile or if the district is located in a county where 60% or more of the population lives in communities of 5,000 or fewer), the school’s location meets at least one of the following criteria:
  • Located within ¼ mile of the historic central main street business district. Provide a direct pedestrian connection between the school and the business district that includes walking paths and bicycle paths; or
  • Located on the grounds of a historic schools: one that is or has been the site of the school building(s) constructed before 1940.
  1. If there are long-term energy use or transportation circumstances that make it more efficient to site the school in a centralized location to serve multiple districts, or between schools, submit your own proposal showing why it is more transportation and/or energy efficient.

SS C4.1.2         Availability of Public Transit System

Locate building within ¼ mile of a commuter rail, light rail or subway station, or within ⅛ mile of one bus line.





SS C5.1.1         Interior Joint Use

With community involvement, design one or more interior spaces totaling at least 2,500 ft2 for use by the community-at-large or appropriate organizations but still owned and maintained by the school. The plans shall designate this area as the "Joint Use Area." Design of the Joint Use Area must include features to keep the rest of the building and occupants separated and secure and must provide access to toilet facilities without compromising security of the non-public portions.

AND do any of the following:

      • Provide a separate, independently secured entrance for the Joint Use Area.
  • If the Joint Use Area is operated by a non-school entity, provide a separate entrance and bathroom facilities independent of the school use portions of the facility. To qualify, the third party must use the facility on a regular (at least weekly) basis.
  • Share at least 75% of library space, based on total availability, with the community as a community library. There are no additional security requirements for this option. The 75% of library space may count towards the 2,500 sf.


SS C5.1.2         School Grounds Joint Use

Do any two of the following:

  • Share at least 75% of school grounds based on total square feet of availability with the community.
  • Share at least 50% of parking spaces, based on total availability, with the community and make those spaces available outside school hours.
  • Share at least 75% of garden space, based on total availability, with the community and make that space available to community members.





SS C6.1.1         Bike Accommodation

Provide sidewalks or walkways, and bike lanes that extend at least from the school entrance to the end of the school property.

Provide suitable means for the short-term securing of bicycles and scooters outside the school and for skates, skateboards and helmets indoors (including lockers and/or cabinets). The storage must be safe, convenient, and at accessible locations at the following ratio:

  • Grades 4-12: 1.5 spaces for every 10 students planned capacity (2 spaces minimum)

For an additional point, do either 9.1.2 or 9.1.3:

SS C6.1.2         Community Bike Lanes

In addition to requirements of 9.1.1, collaborate with local organizations and the municipality to provide safe bike lanes that extend appropriately from the school site at least one mile into neighboring communities or access ways.


SS C6.1.3         Walking School Bus/Safe Routes to School

Walking School Bus/Safe Routes to School: for elementary schools that also comply with SS C5.1 Central Location, provide an active Safe Routes to School Program involving parents, students, school and city traffic officers and transportation planners. Program can include walking school buses, bike trains, bike and walk skills training, bike helmet promotion and other active transportation encouragement events.





SS C7.1.1         Non-Roof & Impervious Surfaces

Provide shade (within five years) on at least 50% of non-roof, impervious surfaces on the site, including parking lots, walkways, plazas, etc.


Use light-colored/ high-albedo materials (a Solar Reflectance Index* (SRI) of at least 29) for 50% of the site’s non-roof, impervious surfaces.


Use a combination of shading and high-albedo materials for 50% of the site’s non-roof surfaces.

*SRI or Solar Reflectance Index is calculated according to ASTM E 1980. Reflectance is calculated according to ASTM E 903, ASTM E 1918 or ASTM C 1549. Emittance is calculated according to ASTME E 408 or ASTM C 1372.

SS C7.1.2         Roofs & Walls/Trellises 

One point for any of the following options:

Cool Roof

Use roofing materials that have a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) as listed below for roof type for a minimum of 75% of the roof surface. See Resources for an SRI calculator. (4)

Roof Type



Low-Sloped Roof



Steep-Sloped Roof




Vegetated Roof

Install a green or vegetated roof equal to at least 25% of the roof surface. Develop a guide and maintenance plan for the green roof. Vegetated Roofs using potable water or reclaimed water or using an in-ground irrigation system shall not be eligible for any points.


Vegetated Wall/Trellis

Provide vegetated wall surface, shading from trees or other landscaping (within 5 years) or exterior shading device shading 30% or more of glazed surfaces that are not north facing, at 9:00am and 3:00pm at the equinox. Vegetated wall/trellis using potable water or reclaimed water for an irrigation system shall not be eligible for any points.



APPLICABILITY: All projects.


SS C8.1.1         Auto Controlled Outdoor Lighting

All outdoor non-emergency lighting will be automatically controlled to turn off after hours. Provide manual override capability for after-hours use with timed automatic shut-off (dark campus scenario).


SS C8.1.2         Outdoor Lighting Specifications

All outdoor lighting for general illumination and color rendition shall be fully shielded, except decorative lamps, which may be partially shielded if less than 2000 fixture lumens or unshielded if less than 20 fixture lumens.

Total outdoor light output per acre shall not exceed 50,000 lumens per acre, of which only 5,000 lumens may be partially shielded or unshielded in rural or park settings or 100,000 lumens per acre of which only 10,000 lumens may be partially shielded or unshielded in all other settings. Sports fields are considered separately. See below.

Sports fields shall be considered Sports Class IV as defined by the illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) (1) and lighting of them considered Class 1 (Color Rendition) lighting. Illumination of sports fields is exempt from the lumens per acre limits, but shall be designed to achieve no more than the minimum illumination levels defined for Sports Class IV by the IESNA and use only fully shielded fixtures that permit no light to be emitted above the horizontal and be extinguished within 30 minutes of the end of play.

Except for areas requiring color rendition (e.g., sports fields), outdoor lighting for general illumination shall not have a color temperature exceeding 3200 K.