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Evaluating Transportation and Built Density of LEED Gold Certified Municipal Buildings Open Access

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This study focuses on transportation and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings. Four custom metrics, reflecting environmentally progressive concepts in transportation were developed to provide a method of analyzing transportation and density-related credits awarded by the LEED program. Specifically, custom metrics were designed to measure transportation density, built density, and public transportation usage. Two transportation density metrics were generated using line density within a GIS and were calculated using TomTom/Tele Atlas roads data. The local transportation density metric used line density surfaces that incorporated roads within close proximity of each building in the study. The global transportation density metric used a single line density surface for the entire United States. The built density metric was calculated using landcover data that was analyzed within a GIS and reflected the total built up area around each LEED building in this study. The public transportation metric was calculated using Census 2000 data regarding commuting habits. Statistical analysis was completed on all of the custom metrics to include comparisons between custom metrics and the corresponding transportation and density related LEED credits. Key findings of the study were that there was no correlation between the LEED transportation credits and the custom metrics from the study. There was a weak correlation between the public transportation metric and a metric that combined all five transportation and density related LEED credits into one aggregate metric. A strong correlation was observed between the built density custom metric and the global and local transportation density metrics. The final finding was that most of the sampled buildings attained some or all of the transportation or density related LEED credits with only one building failing to receive any. The study provides a starting point for greater analysis of transportation related LEED credits.

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