LEED IEQ Space Matrix - Frequently Asked Questions

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Sustainability Manager Google Apr 05 2013 LEEDuser Expert
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IEQ space matrix sampleThe IEQ Space Matrix, currently in its third edition as of April 1, 2013, contains lists that categorize spaces for applicability to LEED Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credits. The lists are modified from the spaces in IES Lighting Handbook, 10th Edition. These lists should be used along with the general credit guidance, notes, and definitions provided in the General Credit Guidance and Notes and Definitions tabs.

Earlier editions of this spreadsheet raised more questions for some of us than they answered, but some of the frequently asked questions about the matrix have been answered with this latest release.

Note: Most of the FAQs below apply primarily to IEQc6.

Is the IEQ Space Matrix a Guidance Document or is it required?

If your project was registered after the release of the IEQ Space Matrix then LEED reviewers will expect you to use the matrix to help determine which spaces to include in various credit requirements. However, as is the case for all LEED credits, if you have an exceptional circumstance you can make a case in a narrative for why your project must take a path not outlined or clarified in the matrix.

Do only “regularly occupied spaces” or do all “occupied spaces” need to be included?

Per the IEQ Space Matrix, if a space is non-regularly occupied then it does not have to be included in IEQc6.1 or EQc6.2. The version of the matrix released 4/1/13 makes this delineation more clearly. Also, hallways and bathrooms are now officially excluded from the credit requirements.

I am working on a residential project. How many lighting controls do I need?

Per the IEQ Space Matrix, for all individual and multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations., each space must have one lighting control to be counted towards the credit. For IEQc6.2, each unit must have its own thermal control to be counted towards the credit.  More information by room for IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2:

  • Bedrooms: Yes, need to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as an individual occupant space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.1 or IEQc6 (CS), one lighting control must be included in the space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.2 or IEQc6 (CS), one thermal control must be located within the residential unit. The location of the control does not matter.
  • Dorm Room: Yes, needs to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as an individual occupant space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.2 or IEQc6 (CS), one thermal control must be located within the room.
  • Living: Yes, needs to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as a multi-occupant space.
  • Circulation/Hallways: This space is not included in the credit requirements.
  • Dining: Yes, need to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as a multi-occupant space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.1 or IEQc6 (CS), one lighting control must be included in the space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.2 or IEQc6 (CS), one thermal control must be located within the residential unit. The location of the control does not matter.
  • Bathroom: This space is not included in the credit requirements.
  • Workrooms: Yes, need to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as a multi-occupant space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.1 or IEQc6 (CS), one lighting control must be included in the space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.2 or IEQc6 (CS), one thermal control must be located within the residential unit. The location of the control does not matter.
  • Kitchens: Yes, need to be included in IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 as a multi-occupant space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.1 or IEQc6 (CS), one lighting control must be included in the space. For this space to count towards credit for IEQc6.2 or IEQc6 (CS), one thermal control must be located within the residential unit. The location of the control does not matter.
  • Laundry: This space is not included in the credit requirements.
  • Walk-in Closets: This space is not included in the credit requirements.

I am working on a Healthcare project. How has the matrix outlined spaces for my project?

See the IEQ space matrix for a full list of rooms. Some key rooms that are to excluded include: Patient Room Bathrooms, Linen Areas, Medical Records rooms, Nursing Short Term Charting Spaces, Supply and Nutrition areas, and prep and clean up areas. Critical care areas are also excluded as an exception for the credit. Also, In-patient critical care, Pediatric, Psychiatric patient rooms can be excluded from the credit requirements. The only rooms that are considered individual occupant spacesIn individual occupant spaces, occupants perform distinct tasks from one another. Such spaces may be contained within multi-occupant spaces and should be treated separately where possible. Individual occupant spaces may be regularly or non-regularly occupied spaces. are medical offices, nursing stations, and patient rooms. Operating rooms are still considered multi-occupant spaces.

The LEED Healthcare Reference Guide supplement also provides additional detailed guidance for space designations that is quite helpful. USGBC has not folded all of this content into the matrix.

I am working on a Hospitality project. How has the matrix outlined spaces for my project?

The Front Desk, Housekeeping areas, and lobby must be included as multi-occupant spaces. Hospitality guest rooms can be excluded from lighting and thermal control requirements.

I am working on a Retail project but not using LEED for Retail. How has the matrix outlined spaces for my project?

Retail projects not pursuing LEED for Retail, may pursue the LEED for Retail credit IEQc6 for 1 point in lieu of IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2 for 2 points, which allows all areas except office and administrative areas to be excluded from the controls requirements.

The categories given in the IEQ space matrix don’t really fit how some of the rooms in my project will be used. What should I do?

Use your best judgment. The matrix states, “exceptions to area use classifications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis for spaces with atypical uses or those in which strategies required for compliance may compromise the function of the space. This is not an exhaustive list.  If a space is not listed, project teams should try to find a similar space type and follow that guidance.”

Safety and code compliance have to always come first. You can always try writing a strong narrative to make your case for your project’s exception. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some project types may simply not be well aligned with the credit’s requirements. In that case, it might best to focus your efforts on other LEED credits that are more applicable.

I’m working on a project that has transient occupants. How does the matrix address transients, and are transients required to have access to the controls?

The matrix includes several space types that have transient occupants, for example: libraries, auditoriums, and transportation terminals. Controls must be provided for these spaces if they are listed as individual occupant or multi occupant and have the corresponding "Yes" in the relevant credit column—for example. For more on addressing controls in multi-occupant spaces, see LEEDuser's guidance on IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2.

Your questions

Have you looked at the new IEQ Space Matrix? Post your questions and thoughts below. Also see LEEDuser's IEQ credit pages for more guidance on specific credit-by-credit requirements.

31 Comments

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M Design Alaska
Dec 19 2013
LEEDuser Member
560 Thumbs Up

Spaces not in Matrix - Vending, Recycling, and janitor's closets

Three questions here:
-What space type should I use for a vending room (enclosed room with vending machines)?
-What space type should I use for a small enclosed room for recycling containers?
-What space type should I used for a janitor's closet?

Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 19 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Lyle, help us help you. For each space, what's your best guess and why aren't you sure?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Dec 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Lyle,

Most of those spaces sound like Non-Regularly Occupied SpacesRegularly occupied spaces are areas where one or more individuals normally spend time (more than one hour per person per day on average) seated or standing as they work, study, or perform other focused activities inside a building. or Non-Occupied Spaces. Please see the Notes and Definitions tab of the IEQ Space Matrix for more details. These spaces can be excluded.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Dec 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 560 Thumbs Up

Thanks, Lauren. I guess that is all that matters, so no need to dig deeper, but I still wanted to confirm that I am correctly applying the space matrix.
Tristan, I think the recycling and vending rooms are non-regularly occupied service spaces, so "stairways and corridors" seems like the best fit. The janitor's closet is a non-regularly occupied storage space, so I'm thinking "Warehouse and Storage: Inactive/Nonoccupied". Sound right?
I'm also dealing with a large storage area, which includes lockers for military personnel and locked caged areas for equipment storage. I'm treating the areas with lockers as "locker room", and the caged storage area as "Warehouse and Storage: Inactive/Nonoccupied". My hesitation is that the military personnel may occupy the space for longer than a typical locker room, because they use the space to assemble their gear (set up their packs). I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 23 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Lyle, I think your interpretations sound pretty reasonable. Thanks for sharing more details on your thinking.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Dec 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

I agree with your approach, Lyle. Happy holidays!

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Dec 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 560 Thumbs Up

You too, Lauren. Thank you both for your help - I'm very grateful to LEEDUser for allowing me to check my understanding.

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Aaron Luthien
Nov 05 2013
LEEDuser Member
120 Thumbs Up

Industrial Facility Large Space - Occupied?

Hi,

Our project is an industrial building with a large bottle filling facility. That bottle filling machine is situated in a large space (approx. 100,000 sf and 10 meters high). In this space there will be around 6-8 people working. They will be mobile in the space to check the process. Is this large space counted as regularly occupied?

If yes, since the space is so large, we won't be able to get any credits involving regularly occupied spacesRegularly occupied spaces are areas where one or more individuals normally spend time (more than one hour per person per day on average) seated or standing as they work, study, or perform other focused activities inside a building.... And all the improvements we do in the office area with 50 people working (5000 sf) won't have any impact in total.

Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 05 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Aaron, have you checked the IEQ Space Matrix yet?

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Aaron Luthien Nov 06 2013 LEEDuser Member 120 Thumbs Up

Yes, I did. According to sheet it may be considered as a Manufacturing facility and a regularly occupied space. However, that space is so large and very few people in it. Also, there is no stationary working places in it. I think it should be considered non-occupied like a corridor, but I don't know how reviewers will evaluate.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 23 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Aaron, I think you are correct that it should be considered a regularly occupied space. I hear you that this will introduce some complications as far as LEED credits are concerned. 

In LEED v4, there are some new credits that are more tailored for warehouses and distribution facilities. This might be worth a look. 

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Dec 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Aaron,

The space isn't like a corridor because it has people working in it. It needs to be an occupied space. I am not sure why you think you won't be able to get any of the credits involving regularly occupied spacesRegularly occupied spaces are areas where one or more individuals normally spend time (more than one hour per person per day on average) seated or standing as they work, study, or perform other focused activities inside a building. or why you think that it won't have an impact.

Happy holidays!

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Jatuwat Varodompun Dr Green Building Soultion
Sep 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
1148 Thumbs Up

Older edition of space matrix

Can anyone guide me to find the older version (version 1 and 2)?

Thanks

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Jatuwat,

That's an interesting question. I don't know where you could find the older version. Can I ask why you would like to see it? The latest version is much clearer in my opinion.

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Jatuwat Varodompun Dr, Green Building Soultion Sep 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 1148 Thumbs Up

I got the review from the reviewer that I need to provide flush-out and ASHRAE55 comfort for the locker room. They said it depents on the registeration date and the EQ space matrix version during that time. So, I just have a little hope that the past version did not rquired flush-out and comfort for the lockers (and other zone such as recycle rooms and restroom).

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 05 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I think I have inadvertently saved a link to the older IEQ space matrix.

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Shivani Langer Architect SHW Group
Apr 18 2013
Guest
315 Thumbs Up

Changing project name

Our project hasn't gone through any precertifications yet. The project was registered in one name but now the name has changed. I am the project admin and I could change it in LEED Online under the "Registration Details". Do I need to follow up this change in any other way, or changing it in the Project Registration Details is good enough. Thanks!

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Shivani,
I think that your question may be in the wrong place. This is a forum area for question about the IEQ space matrix.
To answer your question though - what you've done is correct and should be all that is needed. Just a tip though to make sure you've made that change in all places and in all forms and documents. For instance, on one project we forgot to update our Energy Star form and then had to make those corrections in our final review.

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Shivani Langer Architect, SHW Group Apr 18 2013 Guest 315 Thumbs Up

Thank you for replying! Sorry about posting it in the wrong place. I thought I was in the General forum tab.

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Wolfgang Werner
Apr 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
170 Thumbs Up

Status of corridors/hallways for IEQp1

I'm a bit confused about whether corridors/hallways are in or out? Under one of the FAQs above it is stated: "Also, hallways and bathrooms are now officially excluded from the credit requirements."
However, looking at the BD+C and ID+C matrix tab of the spreadsheet itself, under "Service Spaces" a distinction is made between "Egress stairway or dedicated emergency exit corridor" (always "N") and "Stairways and corridors" (some "N", some "Y").
- Is it correct to assume that the latter category only refers to "extraneous" corridors and stairs beyond what is required for egress?
- Are there definitions in the IES handbook (from which this table derives) of these category terms?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Wolfgang,

Which credit(s) are you interested in finding out about? In the case of EQc6.1 and EQc6.2 all Service Spaces are excluded. In the case of IEQp1/EQc2, EQc1, EQc3.2 there are some differences in how certain Service Spaces are addressed. The discussion above mostly relates to how project teams would use the IEQ Space Matrix to achieve EQc6.1 and EQc6.2.
I do not know of a free version of the IES Handbook but I can see about getting access to some definitions.

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Wolfgang Werner Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

I'm interested in IEQp1 - see my header :) - where that distinction seems to matter. I'm dealing with an LEED NC Major Renovation institutional project with a fair amount of grand staircases seamlessly connected to corridors (no doors between them) that are used for general circulation but also serve as the required means of egress. (The building is more than 100 years old, i.e. was built before the modern way of enclosed/fire-rated stairways and corridors was developed.) Therefore, I'm not quite sure how to classify them for the purpose of the IEQ Space Matrix.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Got it. Sorry. Should have read the header more carefully.

I do not know the answer to your question but I have emailed the GBCI creator of this document and I hope to hear back from her soon. I will let you know just as soon as I do. I might suggest you post the question to the IEQp1 forum as well. By the way, it may seem frustrating to post your question multiple places. I do it too, though, and it generally increases my chances in getting a response I need. It also raises awareness around an issue or question.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Wolfgang, I spoke with Larissa Oaks, our GBCI representative for this IEQ Space Matrix. She confirmed that it is correct to assume that the latter category only refers to extraneous corridors and stairs beyond what is required for egress. These would be stairways and corridors that would be used more regularly for circulation.

Unfortunately there are not definitions or additional details about the spaces. Project teams are to just their best judgement to select the appropriate space.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

She also said that your space should be classified under Services Spaces>Stairways and Corridors

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Ellen Mitchell Sustainable Design Manager HKS, Inc.
Apr 17 2013
LEEDuser Expert
2890 Thumbs Up

Guestrooms Excluded?

Why are guestrooms excluded? It seems they should be in the same realm as dorm rooms or bedrooms. They typically help me get these credits for hospitality projects - are they excluded because they make things too easy?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Ellen,

The note under the "notes and definitions" tab for hotel guest rooms is the following: "Hospitality spaces: hospitality (e.g. hotel/motel) guest rooms can be excluded from lighting and thermal comfort controls." My feeling is that this means that they can be excluded but can also be included if you like and if you think it helps your LEED submission.

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Gary Ashford Architect, Duket Architects Planners Jun 20 2013 LEEDuser Member 1358 Thumbs Up

If I understand your response to this question, Hospitality guest rooms can be included or excluded from IEQc8.1? The matrix clearly states that Hotel guest rooms are included.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15185 Thumbs Up

Hi Gary,

For EQc6.1 and EQc6.2 the IEQ Space Matrix's comment under the "Notes and Definitions" tab would apply: "Hospitality spaces: hospitality (e.g. hotel/motel) guest rooms can be excluded from lighting and thermal comfort controls."

You are correct that for EQc8,1 they are included.

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Gary Ashford Architect, Duket Architects Planners Jun 20 2013 LEEDuser Member 1358 Thumbs Up

That makes sense, in a way. Thanks for the clarification Lauren!

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Nena Elise Mar 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 3302 Thumbs Up

So if you choose to include them for IEQc6.1 and 6.2 do you count each room as one workstation? Or do you need to have multiple workstations in each room?

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