LEED for Neighborhood Development and BD+C

Raimi + Associates has some of the most extensive LEED-ND project qualifications in the country, and is one of the few firms to focus on full-service LEED for Neighborhood Development and sustainability implementation for multi-building development projects. R+A’s deep grasp of LEED-ND and its many applications comes from two main types of experience; developing and refining the rating system, and helping projects implement it. R+A co-wrote the U.S. Green Building Council's last three LEED-ND Reference Guides (including for LEED-ND version 4), as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council's "Citizen's Guide to LEED-ND." R+A has also reviewed pilot projects submitted to USGBC for certification, managed public comments on the initial version of the LEED-ND Rating System, and helped develop and deliver USGBC's LEED-ND training curriculum. R+A's Senior Planner Aaron Welch sits on USGBC's Location and Planning Technical Advisory Group (LP TAG), the national advisory body that provides LEED Interpretations and refines LEED credits for future Rating System versions.

R+A has worked on over a dozen LEED-ND projects nationwide, including the largest LEED-ND Platinum project ever certified in the U.S., and the only two U.S. LEED-ND Platinum projects certified under LEED-ND 2009. R+A has also taken a leadership role in innovative applications of LEED-ND such as existing neighborhood assessments and zoning code reviews, often in coordination with its role as a technical assistance provider through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Global Green USA. Raimi + Associates also offers consulting services for projects pursuing Location and Transportation Credits in any of the LEED 2009 or version 4 Rating Systems, including LEED-NC and LEED for Schools.


Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities, Technical Assistance Team

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Raimi and Associates – along with Farr Associates, the Agora Group, and the U.S. Green Building Council – was part of a team of national experts working with the non-profit Global Green to offer no-cost sustainable neighborhood design technical assistance to communities across the United States. The technical assistance program was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities, under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

The team’s three-day site visits around the country during 2012 and 2013 focused on implementation of sustainable, healthy neighborhoods During each site visit, R+A and the team used the LEED for Neighborhood Development framework to identify a neighborhood’s positive qualities, consult with community stakeholders in meetings and public workshops, and identify major opportunities to improve neighborhood health, livability, and sustainability performance.

Raimi + Associates’ 2012 assignments included visits to the 40 Arts District in Lakewood (CO) to advise on transit-oriented, mixed use, arts-supportive development around RTD’s new West Corridor Light Rail Line; to Louisville (KY) to provide sustainability criteria for the burgeoning East Market District historic neighborhood; to Eden Prairie (MN) to assist with station area planning and sustainability in anticipation of the extension of Minneapolis’ light rail; and to Oakland (CA) to contribute to ongoing infill development, urban design improvements, and neighborhood stabilization. In 2013, R+A visited Cary (NC), Burlington (VT), and at least one east community re-building from Hurricane Sandy.   

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Ward Village LEED-ND Platinum Certification/Implementation

Howard Hughes Corporation, Honolulu, Hawaii 

Raimi + Associates is directing LEED-ND implementation for Ward Village, a 65-acre mixed-use infill project that will contain over 4,000 dwelling units and a million square feet of retail near transit. Ward Village is the largest U.S. project ever to achieve LEED-ND Platinum Certification, and just the second (and the highest-scoring) since the rating system was publicly released in 2010. Since achieving certification for the Master Plan in fall 2013, R+A is working with the development team to implement design criteria as new buildings and public space are constructed. Project design features include highly walkable streets and ground-floor programming, extensive public space, and bicycle sharing. Green building features will include high energy efficiency in buildings and infrastructure, water-efficient landscaping, material recycling in infrastructure and construction processes, and an innovative deep seawater exchange system for shared building cooling.


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East Market Street Sustainability District

Louisville, KY

Raimi + Associates is leading an effort to codify and physically implement sustainability into the structure of the neighborhood through two primary tools: 1) a new zoning overlay, and 2) a transformative 8-block-long Market Street re-design. The resulting Schematic Plan will dramatically convert East Market Street from a 4-lane, 100-foot-wide thoroughfare into a two lane street with a buffered bicycle lane, extensive on-street stormwater infiltration, water-efficient landscaping, use of historic recycled materials, re-establishment of historic medians design by Frederick Law Olmstead, and a range of in-street, parklet-style “social spaces” for art and public gathering.


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LEED Reference Guide: v4, 2009, and LEED-ND Pilot

U.S. Green Building Council, Washington D.C.

Following previous work co-writing U.S. Green Building Council's 2009 and Pilot LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Reference Guide, Raimi + Associates co-wrote the LEED version 4 Reference Guide sections for all LEED Location and Transportation credits. The new Location and Transportation (LT) section of LEED is cross-cutting, including not only LEED-ND but credits in LEED-NC, LEED-EBOM, LEED for Schools, and LEED for Healthcare. LEED's LT credits are strongly informed by the thinking that has gone into LEED-ND, making Raimi + Associates a natural fit to help integrate its key concepts - such as walking distance, smart development locations, transit access, connectivity, bicycle facilities, and urban design for walkable streets - into the rest of LEED. Raimi + Associates worked with frequent partners Criterion Planners and the Agora Group to complete the work for U.S. Green Building Building Council throughout the spring and summer of 2012. Raimi + Associates' team was tasked with providing step-by-step implementation guidance, resources, and best practices tips for a total of 37 different LT credits and prerequisites from LEED v4. This complements work done by other writing teams on LEED v4's Sustainable Sites, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Water Efficiency, and Indoor Environmental Quality credits.

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Santa Monica Pedestrian Action Plan

City of Santa Monica

Raimi + Associates is a sub-consultant to Alta Planning and Design as the to create a Pedestrian Action Plan for the City of Santa Monica. The success of the City's unique Downtown, beachfront, and neighborhood commercial districts is highly depend upon their walkability and the quality of the pedestrian environment. Walking and bicycling are also key components of Santa Monica’s integrated land use and transportation approach that promotes multi-modal access. The goal of the Pedestrian Action Plan is to create a complete, safe, healthy citywide pedestrian system incorporating planning, design, and programmatic implementation. R+A's multi-faceted role is to establish and implement community health criteria for the Pedestrian Plan, guide implementation with existing city policy, and working with Alta to outline and write the plan. The Plan will be guided and supported by Santa Monica’s award-winning 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), an effort to which R+ A contributed planning and policy consulting. Once complete, the Pedestrian Action Plan will create a pedestrian network in Santa Monica that encourages and facilitates walking, removes existing barriers, expands accessibility, increases safety, and improves public health among all non-motorized travelers.

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OneCity LEED-ND Project Certification

Nashville, Tennessee

Raimi + Associates directed LEED for Neighborhood Development Gold Certification for a confidential 20 acre infill development project in Nashville, TN. The project feature high-performing green buildings and infrastructure, an excellent previously developed location, walking access to nearby parks and businesses, and a walkable urban environment that will be a destination for the surrounding neighborhood. Early in the conceptual design phase, Raimi + Associates conducted a multi-day LEED-ND design charrette with the project architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, and developer to assess initial design ideas, revise project plans, and establish basic design parameters as the project moved forward. This work, as an integrated member of the project design team, resulted in a LEED-ND credit plan for Stage 2 submittal and certification. This, in turn, guided Raimi + Associates’ subsequent work completing all mapping, data collection, and other LEED-ND documentation in coordination with the project team. The project’s designation as a LEED-ND Certified Plan by the U.S. Green Building Council occurred in early 2012.  Raimi + Associates continues to advise on LEED-ND implementation as the projects first buildings, street and infrastructure are constructed. 

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Mapleton-Fall Creek: LEED-ND Existing Neighborhood Implementation

Indianapolis, Indiana

Raimi + Associates conducted a 4-day LEED-ND design charrette for an existing, redeveloping neighborhood in inner Indianapolis, Indiana. The project was funded by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with support from the U.S. Green Building Council. It was a pilot collaboration between LISC and NRDC, providing a model for similar green community development work throughout the country. The Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood is the site of a focused redevelopment and retrofit effort by the Mapleton-Falls Creek Community Development Corporation (MFCDC), with the intention of preserving the neighborhood fabric while making targeted improvements to walkability, equity, green infrastructure, and neighborhood amenities. The work conducted by Raimi + Associates and Agora focused on assessing the existing neighborhood with LEED-ND, creating policy recommendations for the neighborhood, and generating a credit-by-credit guide for how the neighborhood could achieve LEED-ND certification. It also included proposed revisions to MFCDC building specifications for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and erosion and sedimentation control in order to meet LEED-ND prerequisites. A key focus of the event was local capacity building, and the final presentation of charrette results drew over 50 attendees from throughout Indianapolis, the neighborhood, and the region – many of whom had participated over the course of the charrette. The project continues Raimi + Associates’ commitment to expanding LEED-ND’s application in existing neighborhood planning, retrofit, and development. Mapleton-Fall Creek was recently awarded a 2012 Affordable Green NEighborhood Grant from the U.S. Green Building Council. In spring of 2013 Raimi + Associates is completing a master review of Mapleton-Fall Creek’s LEED-ND certification application.

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A Citizen's Guide to LEED-ND

Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.

Raimi + Associates wrote  A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-ND for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to guide citizens, advocates, and organizations interested in creative uses of  LEED for Neighborhood at the local, regional, or state level. NRDC has long had an active interest in smart growth and sustainable development, and was one of three organizations, along with U.S. Green Building Council and the Congress for New Urbanism, to develop LEED-ND. The purpose of the Citizen’s Guide to LEED-ND is to provide the “go-to” introduction to LEED-ND for a wide general audience. It is also to empower advocates to use LEED-ND in creative ways, such as guiding advocacy for or against specific development projects; assessing existing neighborhoods; informing neighborhood plans and zoning codes; and using LEED-ND as a required or incentivized standard. The Guide is available for free download here: www.nrdc.org/cities/smartgrowth/leed.asp  

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Paseo Verde LEED-ND Platinum Implementation

Philadelphia, PA


Paseo Verde is a mixed-use development that replaced a 1.9 acre parking lot directly adjacent to the Temple University Regional Rail Station, one of Philadelphia’s most highly trafficked transit stations. It includes affordable and market-rate housing, innovative green building techniques, health services, and retail space to serve the surrounding neighborhood. The project was jointly developed by New York City’s Jonathan Rose Company and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, a community development and service non-profit with a long track record of success in the surrounding neighborhood. In coordination with Jessica Millman of the Agora Group, Raimi + Associates led a multi-day design charrette to assess current project designs, create a credit-by-credit work plan for Platinum LEED-ND Certification and build LEED-ND capacity with local experts. The charrette, attended by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) staff and representatives from the City of Philadelphia’s Planning Commission and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, was funded in part by USGBC’s Affordable Green Neighborhood Grant Program. R + A continues to advise on the projects Platinum LEED-ND application.

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Station Park Green LEED-ND Implementation

San Mateo, CA for EBL&S Development, LLC

Raimi + Associates is the LEED-ND consultant for the Station Park Green mixed-use development in San Mateo, California. Station Park Green is one of the first projects to successfully complete a stage 1 “Gold” certification in the LEED-ND pilot program. Raimi + Associates used its in-depth knowledge of the LEED-ND rating system to collaborate with the project team of architects, engineers, and urban designers to successfully complete, review and submit the LEED-ND pilot application in a limited amount of time. Station Park Green is also a conditionally certified GreenTRIP project as a result of its innovative parking reduction and transportation demand strategies.Click here for the USGBC LEED-ND Project Case Study Profile.

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The Syracuse SALT District: LEED-ND in an Existing Neighborhood

Syracuse Center of Excellence at Syracuse University

Raimi + Associates coordinated an innovative application of LEED for Neighborhood Development in the 156-acre SALT District of Syracuse, New York, achieving Stage 1 Gold certification. The project is one of the only certified LEED-ND projects in the country to create a plan for retrofit of an existing neighborhood. The historic neighborhood’s traditional neighborhood form includes a location within walking distance of downtown Syracuse, a neighborhood park and school, a high number of jobs and neighborhood-retail services, and a diverse mix of housing types. However, decades of underinvestment had led to high vacancy rates, a run-down building stock, and disproportionate socio-economic challenges such as high poverty and unemployment rates. The neighborhood is also cut off from downtown by a freeway off-ramp and elevated railroad tracks. In response to these issues, the neighborhood is undergoing major improvement efforts by a broad coalition including the Syracuse Center of Excellence (CoE) at Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse, Home HeadQuarters affordable housing developers, arts organizations, and neighbors. Raimi + Associates used LEED-ND to assess the existing neighborhood, identify strengths and weaknesses, and generate a redevelopment plan for the neighborhood based on LEED-ND. The process developed by Raimi + Associates has been used as a model for how existing neighborhoods can use LEED-ND to guide redevelopment and enhance sustainability. 

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LEED-ND Pilot Project Review

U.S. Green Building Council, as a subconsultant to Criterion Planners

Raimi + Associates led a team of consultants to draft the pilot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighborhood Development (or LEED-ND) rating system. During the initial phase of work on the pilot project, Raimi + Associates reviewed over 4,000 public comments on the draft pilot rating system and assisted U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) staff with extensive revisions to the system. Raimi + Associates also assisted USGBC staff in developing a pilot reference guide to test the rating system and guide projects in their application of LEED-ND.

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LEED-ND 300-level Training Curriculum Development

U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.

Contracting with the U.S. Green Building Council, Raimi and Associates worked with Criterion Planners (Portland, OR) and Global Green (Santa Monica, CA) to develop a day-long 300-level LEED-ND training curriculum. The course is targeted towards professionals with previous LEED-ND experience, and focuses on advanced concepts in LEED-ND implementation. This includes clarifying unique aspects of the Rating System, defining key decision points during the neighborhood planning process, and presenting a sample project site for analysis and preliminary design according to LEED-ND criteria. The course premiered in early 2010 and is currently being used by the U.S. Green Building Council at conferences and events across the country. Raimi + Associates is one of a small number of LEED Faculty used by U.S. Green Building Council to teach 300-level sessions.

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Hercules Bayfront LEED-ND

Hercules, CA for Anderson Pacific, LLC

As the LEED-ND consultant for Hercules Bayfront, a 42-acre former dynamite factory being redeveloped as a mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood, Raimi + Associates guided the project's successful Stage 1 "Gold" LEED-ND certification. The project will comprise approximately 1,400 residential units and up to 339,000 square feet of non-residential space and will feature a first-of-its- kind intermodal transit hub with ferry, train, and bus service; remediated wetlands and open space; water and energy efficiency; and walkable streets that integrate public plazas and paseos. Raimi + Associates completed or managed all necessary documentation on behalf of the developer; coordinated the efforts of multiple sub-consultants including engineers, biologists, architects, and urban designers; and represented Anderson Pacific to the Green Building Certification Institute during all portions of the certification process.

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Twin Hills Development LEED-ND Workshop and Assessment

Calgary, Canada

Raimi + Associates led a day-long LEED-ND workshop for City of Calgary, Canada staff, using the Twin Hills Development, which is registered in the LEED-ND pilot program, as a case study. The workshop included an overview of the rating system, discussion groups about LEED-ND’s different credits, and strategies for achieving credits. As part of the process, R+A also worked with the project developer (OpenGate Properties) to prepare a preliminary assessment of the project according to the LEED-ND prerequisites and credits.

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LEED-ND Pilot Rating System Development Support

U.S. Green Building Council

Raimi + Associates led a team of consultants to draft the pilot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighborhood Development (or LEED-ND) rating system. During the initial phase of work on the pilot project, Raimi + Associates reviewed over 4,000 public comments on the draft pilot rating system and assisted U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) staff with extensive revisions to the system. Raimi + Associates also assisted USGBC staff in developing a pilot reference guide to test the rating system and guide projects in their application of LEED-ND.

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LEED-ND Public Health Study

U.S. Green Building Council*

Matt Raimi and Sarah Patrick prepared a detailed study of the relationship between public health outcomes and the built environment. The report focuses on five key public health topics – respiratory and cardiovascular health, fatal and non-fatal injuries, physical activity, social capital and mental health – among the general population. It also looks at the impact of each of these five areas on special populations including children, the elderly and people of color. The report presents a comprehensive picture of which elements of the built environment have the greatest positive impact on these public health outcomes. The study was the first to not only summarize the impact of the built environment on public health topics but also to recommend positive changes to the built environment based on public health. The findings of the study supported development of LEED for Neighborhood Development, the U.S. Green Building Council's most recent rating system.

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LEED-ND Accredited Professional test writer

U.S. Green Building Council

R+A participated with a team at U.S. Green Building Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. to create the test for those seeking to become LEED Accredited Professionals (AP) with a specialization in LEED for Neighborhood Development. R+A wrote and reviewed questions for the test, focusing on LEED-ND rating system content, process, and implementation. After initial beta testing, the LEED-ND AP test was released in summer of 2010. 

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