Sustainability Assessment

LEED for Neighborhood Development – Program Implementation

LEED for Neighborhood Development is the nation’s first rating system that integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green buildings into a single set of standards for sustainable design at the neighborhood-scale. Criterion has served as the U.S. Green Building Council’s technical consultant for LEED-ND implementation since 2007. The firm’s responsibilities include rating system standards development, technical reference guide preparation, education curriculum development, and, to date, certification reviews of over 250 neighborhoods worldwide. Criterion staff are also accredited LEED Faculty for ND.

Local Planners Catalog of LEED-ND Measures

EcoDistricts Technical Support

Criterion has been a technical adviser to EcoDistricts since its inception. The firm is currently developing the Protocol certification program, including a technical handbook, training curriculum, practitioner accreditation exam, and third-party verifier procedures. Criterion also provides faculty and facilitation for the annual Incubator, a three-day immersion in the Protocol process for communities initiating a local ecodistrict; and recently assisted in developing a policy toolkit and training curriculum that EcoDistricts prepared for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.


Ithaca, New York Sustainability Audit

Having selected sustainability as an organizing principle for its comprehensive plan, the City of Ithaca New York retained Criterion and other consultants to audit existing plans and regulations for sustainability content using a LEED-ND audit checklist developed by Criterion. The team screened the City’s zoning, subdivision, and design review codes, and capital improvement program, using standards and metrics adapted from the ND rating system for community-wide application. The audit has prompted changes that strengthen the pedestrian and bicycle orientation of the updated comprehensive plan.

LEED-ND Community Audit Checklist

Lake County, California Carbon Footprint

As part of local and state climate protection planning, Lake County California retained Criterion to prepare a carbon footprint analysis of the public utilities operated by the County. The firm inventoried energy consumption and GHG emissions for water supply, storage, and distribution for ten community water systems; and energy use and GHG emissions for wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal at four regional wastewater systems. The GHG emissions were completely offset by the County’s use of solar power to operate wastewater treatment plants, and recycling of wastewater effluent to create steam for geothermal power production, giving the County utilities carbon footprint of zero.