17 June 2013 — Projects certified under the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating tool lead to a large decrease in driving compared with average developments, research shows.

Research by University of Utah transport expert Reid Ewing and colleagues found that estimated vehicle miles per person for 12 LEED-ND projects were between 24 and 60 per cent of their respective regional averages, reported Atlantic Cities.

The LEED for Neighborhood Development tool integrates green building, urbanism and smart growth principles into a tool for neighbourhood design.

The article states: “Even the ‘worst’ performing of the LEED-ND projects is predicted to generate 40 per cent less driving than an average development in its metropolitan region, according to the study’s sophisticated transportation models. This is largely because LEED-ND, a development rating system based on a set of voluntary standards, guides projects to locate within or adjacent and connected to already urbanised areas, and to be designed with walkable streets and densities. LEED-ND also rewards transit access, with increasing credit given to projects served by more frequent and plentiful transit options.”

The Green Building Council of Australia has a similar Green Star – Communities rating tool currently in pilot. Lend Lease’s Barangaroo South project was this year accepted as a pilot project for the tool.

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