Can you earn LEED credits for building a green roof?

Yes! But not directly. Green roofs can contribute to LEED credits in the following categories of the USGBC’s green building rating system:

PART 1: Sustainable Sites

  • Reduced Site Disturbance, Protect or Restore Open Space
  • Reduced Site Disturbance, Development Footprint Credit
  • Landscape Design That Reduces Urban Heat Islands

PART 2: Water Efficiency

  • Storm Water Management
  • Water Efficient Landscaping
  • Water Use Reduction
  • Innovative Wastewater Technologies

PART 3: Energy and Atmosphere

  • Optimize Energy Performance
  • Renewable Energy
  • CFC and Ozone Depleting Substance Reduction

PART 4: Materials and Resources

  • Storage and Collection of Recyclables
  • Recycled Content Materials

PART 5: Indoor Environmental Quality

PART 6: Innovation in Design

Presently, the only widely-accepted, established standards for green roof construction are those developed in Germany by the Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau. e.V. (FLL). These standards and guidelines are comprehensive, and include industry standard tests for the weight, moisture, nutrient content, and grain-size distribution of growing media. FLL also certifies laboratories to conduct critical tests, such as the root penetration resistance of waterproofing membranes.

Good Earth Plant Company has and follows the English translation of the original German FLL.

Within the past few years, the American Standard Testing Methods (ASTM) convened a Green Roof Task Force to create green roof standards. Charlie Miller, P.E., President and founder of Roofscapes, Inc., (for whom we are licensed installers) has been a very active member of this Task Force from the beginning and has been instrumental in drafting these standards.

The methods described in the new ASTM standards establish a common basis for comparing fundamental green roof properties, such as maximum weight and moisture retention potential.  These methods are designed to measure critical material properties for green roof materials under conditions similar to those encountered in the field.