Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LEED For HOMES: LL Location & Linkages

this is the second post on our LEED goals and it concerns location and linkages.  the intent of this particular group of goals is to reduce the impact of land development practices.  this means simply developing in areas where infrastructure is already existing, and developing on lands that are not environmentally sensitive.

the first requirement concerns the 100-year flood plane.  our site is next to the animas river so consequentially the 100-year flood plane is a real concern for us.  as you may remember i thought i was getting a giant basement for storage, and a wine cellar here.  however, do to the FEMA 100-year flood plane levels we are no longer having a full basement.  rather we are having a crawl space which sits one foot above the flood plane.
durango GIS map with FEMA flood plane levels

the second requirement is that we are not building on any endangered wildlife habitat.  i don't believe we are and considering the city hasn't given us any grief about cute little animals i think we are safe on this one.  we do have some resident deer that like to hang out near the property.

this land wasn't public parkland prior to our ownership- check and we don't have any unique soils of any geologic significance- check.   we are within 100 feet of water and LEED recommend that no development occur within 100 feet of any water source- so i guess we aren't getting those points.

we will get points for developing on a piece of property in which 25% of the adjacent perimeter is previously developed.  the house to the south has been around for over 50 years so point for us!

the fourth point concerns the projects location within an existing community.  it is advisable to develop on a property which already has close by city services such as water, sewer and power.  our site is within 200 feet of all of these services so we are well within these limits.

LEED also commends projects that are within close distances to services such as a grocery store, banks, restaurants, and schools as well as transit services.  our site can qualify for the maximum points as we are within 1/2 mile from at least 14 basic community services.  we are also within 1/4 mile of two city transit routes which services most of durango.  three points for us!

the durango public library and bike path along the river- just minutes from our house!
and finally my favorite, open space.  LEED commends development that has close access to open space.  durango has done a pretty good job of creating open space for its residents. we are within 1/2 mile of several public spaces that are over 3/4 acre in size including access to a superb bike path through town and some very cute little parks.  we also have a river put in just up the street from our lot which is a nice spot for rafters and kayakers- another point for us.

overall out of a maximum of 10 points we should easily get 6 points, not to shabby considering we are building next to a water source. but you know what- i will sacrifice a couple of points for the river view and the awesome spot we have!

our river the animas

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