Question: Mohammed asks: If I have a 3-floor building, is the gross area the total area of all the floors? In the reference guide, it says: “Building density is the floor area of the building divided by the total area of the site.”

Do they mean the sum of all the floors divided by the total area? Thank you for answering.


Hello Mohammed, thank you for your question concerning Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 2, Developmental Density and Community Connectivity.

You are correct in your assumption of gross square feet equaling the entire building floor area of all three floors in your example. In order to calculate the density in SF/acre, you would take the entire building gross square feet (GSF) and divide by the site area in acres. In order to qualify for this credit, the density must be greater than 60,000 SF/

However, you must also calculate the density radius. Here you must convert the total site area from acres to square feet, then take the square root of that number. Once you have this radius calculated, you would then overlay the radius on a site map that includes the surrounding areas (originating from the center of the project site), to define the density boundary.

For each property in the boundary you must collect the building area (GSF) and site area (acres) and tabulate that data so that you can total the entire building area and site area in within the density boundary. Divide the total building area (GSF) by the total site area (acres). If that number is more than 60,000 SF/acre, your project will earn the credit.

Good luck!


imageDavid M. Pratt

David M. Pratt, P.E., CEM, LEED AP is an Energy Management Consultant for Sustainable Climate and Energy Solutions group of MWH Americas, Inc. MWH is the global leader of the wet infrastructure sector. The MWH organization is driving the wet infrastructure sector globally, and we are leading the world in results-oriented management, technical engineering and construction services to build a better world.

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