To earn this credit, 30% of your cleaning products and materials purchases must meet the credit criteria. You can earn exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for this credit if 60% of your purchases meet the credit criteria.
If you take a look at all of the products you currently purchase and can find compliant alternatives for each one that does not currently comply, you can easily achieve 100% compliance. Finding compliant products shouldn’t be hard.
Using environmentally friendly cleaning products is one of the easier and more effective green operations strategies to implement and can usually be achieved at no cost premium. It can be challenging, though, to get the proper product information from vendors and to determine how effective the products will be in practice. While there are plenty of green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. products available, the results of any given product may vary, and it may take your team time to switch to new products and assess them.
To achieve IEQp3: Green Cleaning Policy, you have to develop a policy that addresses the requirements of this credit. The purpose of this credit is to get you to implement that policy to a certain threshold.
Sourcing products can be the most difficult aspect of this credit. Doing it may mean working with your vendor to find compliant products, or doing research on your own—which can be time-consuming.
Having a trusted vendor who understands the LEED requirements can save time, but teams still need to independently assess the products their vendors recommend to ensure the products are compliant. Review the MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products and other documentation provided with products and make sure that they explicitly demonstrate credit compliance. Also take note that while many companies promote their products as “green,” they have to meet the specific requirements of this credit.
Finding cleaning products that meet this credit is getting easier all the time—most major cleaning supply companies offer compliant products. You may find that your cleaning staff is resistant to switching away from products whose performance they know and trust.
Once you source new cleaning supplies that comply with this credit, plan on a staff evaluation period before you commit to any bulk purchases. This will help determine whether the products work and will give staff the opportunity to adjust their expectations and become accustomed to the new products.
Project teams often forget to include hand soaps and hand sanitizers when documenting the credit. Also, it’s important to include janitorial paper products and trash bags here, and not under MRc1.
USGBC has a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide that is more or less viewed as standard review criteria that allows you to exclude trash can liners that have a thickness of 0.7 mil or less.
No need to track those items, and in fact there are a lot of cleaning-related items that aren’t covered under the purview of this credit. Rather than looking at the whole universe of cleaning products, it’s a lot easier to approach this credit by looking at the four major categories that are covered in the credit: cleaning products, cleaning chemicals (disinfectants, metal polishes, floor strippers, etc.) disposable paper products, and hand soaps and sanitizers.
Work with all of your vendors to identify alternative cleaning products that meet the credit criteria. Remember that only purchases that take place during the performance period apply to the credit calculations and so cleaning activities that occur infrequently may not be included if they take place outside of the credit performance period.
While microfiber rags are considered an environmentally preferable cleaning product, they are not currently recognized in the credit criteria and should be completely excluded from your calculations.
You can use screenshots of the Green Seal website as long as you indicate the products that are actually being used at the project building by highlighting, underlining, circling, etc. Also, be sure that the product name that you include in the LEED Credit Form precisely matches the information listed on the Green Seal website to ease the review process.
For multitenant buildings, up to 10% of the floor area may be exempted from almost any credit, if the area is not under management control. If you do not control the cleaning in more than 10% of your building, you will have to work closely with your tenants in order to achieve the relevant green cleaning credits. For IEQp3, on the other hand, the scope of the green cleaning policy can be limited to the areas directly controlled by building management. This applies to the IEQp3 policy only, and not to the IEQc3 credits.
Products certified under an international third party certification may be compliant with the credit criteria. But it’s incumbent upon the project team to provide documentation demonstrating that the certification is comparable to or more rigorous than the accepted Green Seal and Environmental Choice standards.
Start by creating an inventory of the cleaning products and materials—including hand soaps and hand sanitizers and janitorial paper products—currently in use at the facility. Some project teams will already have access to a comprehensive list of products currently in use. Other teams will need to take some time to put together this inventory.
Check the product inventory against the LEED criteria for each product classification.
The products currently in use may already comply with the credit criteria. In most cases, though, the project team will have to source new cleaning products in order to meet the sustainability criteria.
Establish a system for tracking the cost of all cleaning products and materials, including both compliant and non-compliant purchases. See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample tracking spreadsheet.
Consult your cleaning product supplier or vendor before your team takes on hours of research to identify credit-compliant products. Many suppliers and vendors are familiar with green cleaning products and may be able to offer guidance as to which chemicals best suit the facility’s needs and meet the credit criteria. Take care to verify your vendor’s claims by asking for product literature that highlights LEED-compliant attributes. See the Documentation Toolkit for samples of compliant and non-compliant product literature.
Especially if you get all of your products from one vendor, your vendor may be able to handle the credit tracking and documentation more easily than the project team. It can be very helpful to rely on this—simply make sure that a project team member checks the vendor’s work, and that your cleaning staff can provide feedback on what works.
If your team does not currently use a supplier to purchase cleaning products and materials, you will need to spend some time researching compliant alternatives. Begin by looking into the products offered by your current distributors. Many common manufacturers and retailers offer compliant green cleaning products.
Hand cleaners are often overlooked in the process of pursuing this credit. Be sure to ask suppliers for (or personally research) hand cleaners that do not contain anti-microbial agents.
Avoid purchasing any “green” cleaning product without documentation demonstrating that the product complies with the requirements of IEQc3.3, obtained either through the supplier or through personal research. Note that just because a company claims that its product is green, does not necessarily mean that it is Green Seal certified. Products must be certified to comply with the credit requirements.
The classification of a product determines the applicable certification program. For example, surface cleaners must have the appropriate Green Seal or Environmental Choice certification, and it is not acceptable to claim compliance by meeting CA Code VOC limits for this product class (even though this is listed as one of the product criteria, there are only certain types of products that can meet the credit requirements by complying with the CA Code of VOC limits). This is one way that project teams often go wrong.
In many cases, the MSDS does not specify the environmental standards with which a chemical complies. This may be the case even for compliant products. In the likely event that an MSDS does not contain information regarding LEED criteria, secure other documentation with this information, such as product data sheets from the manufacturer.
There is generally no cost premium associated with green cleaning products.
Dispose properly of old cleaning products if your team has replaced conventional products with more sustainable ones. Locate the appropriate hazardous waste facility in your area and send your old chemicals there. All old chemicals should be disposed of at household hazardous waste facilities – chemicals should never be thrown in landfills.
Order small quantities of new products before committing to a large bulk purchase in order to make sure that the products meet your needs.
Switching to alternative cleaning products may require retraining staff. Some alternative products may require different techniques, tools, or other new practices. For example, some green cleaning products may require fewer applications than conventional cleaning products.
Make sure to track all cleaning product purchases throughout the performance period. This includes both compliant and non-compliant purchases. See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample tracking form.
Track green cleaning product purchases in a tracking sheet separate from the LEED Submittal Form so that it is easily accessible throughout the performance period.
Remember that to earn this credit, you need to demonstrate that 30% of the purchases made during the performance period comply with the relevant credit criteria.
In credit calculations, shipping and handling costs from products must be consistently included or excluded.
The tracking form will do all of the calculations for you and should match up with the math in the LEED submittal template.
Submit product cut sheets for at least 20% of your green cleaning products, by cost. These documents should clearly demonstrate how the product complies with the credit criteria. See the Documentation Toolkit for samples of compliant and non-compliant sheets.
Cleaning staff may be averse to using new products. It is crucial to work with staff to change their expectations about cleaning products (not all green cleaning products are as potent as conventional products) and to help them understand that green cleaning products are viable alternatives to the conventional, toxic cleaning chemicals. Communicate the benefits of green products compared to the conventional products: green cleaning products are much safer to use, and will have less negative impact on indoor air quality.
Antimicrobial hand sanitizers should never be placed near sinks where they can be mistaken for hand soaps and washed down the drain. Any sort of antimicrobial agent should be kept away from sources of water, including sewer systems.
This credit applies only to the products that are purchased during the performance period. It is not necessary to replace your existing stock.
Upload all of your purchasing data into the LEED Online credit form.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
To reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning products, disposable janitorial paper products and trash bags.
Implement sustainable purchasing for cleaning materials and products, disposable janitorial paper products and trash bags. Cleaning product and material purchases include items used by in-house staff or outsourced service providers. One point is awarded if 30% of the total annual purchases of these products (by cost) meet at least 1 of the following sustainability criteria:
For projects outside the U.S., any Type 1 eco-labeling program as defined by ISO 14024: 1999 developed by a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network may be used in lieu of Green Seal or Environmental Choice standards [Europe ACP: Green Seal and Environmental Choice Equivalent].
The materials and products described above must be purchased during the performance period to count toward the credit.
Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green Seal and Environmental Choice:
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
When purchasing materials or supplies, specify that they meet 1 or more of the sustainability criteria.
This updated version of the spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. Up to date, 2nd Edition.
This spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. This is the 1st edition.
Database of EcoLogo-certified products.
Database of Green Seal-certified products, including paper products, cleaning chemicals and hand soap.
Offers a database of green products and services and tools for managing the green purchasing process. An index makes it easy to find and evaluate information about green products and services, calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices, and manage green purchasing processes.
Lists the amounts of VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. allowable in various products according to the California Code of Regulations Standards Percent Volatile Organic Compound by Weight.
Us this tracking sheet to monitor your purchases of sustainable cleaning products for IEQc3.3 credit compliance.
Complete LEED Online documentation for achievement of IEQc3.3 on a certified Gold LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. 2009 project in Denver, Colorado.
Document credit-compliant purchases with cut sheets showing how the product specifically meets the credit requirements. A credit-compliant and a non-compliant cut sheet are shown here.
Purchasing and data tracking must cover the entire building, including tenant spaces, with the exception that teams may exclude purchases for up to 10% of your building's floor area if that area is under separate management. This sample calculation shows the impact of non-participating tenants on purchasing credit calculations.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.-2009 IEQ credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
v06 forms (newest):
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
We have available in the market toilet paper with FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. label. This criterion can be accepted in this case?
I am working on compiling a list of our Green Chemicals used onsite for a LEED certification. Most of our chemicals are compliant under the GS or Ecologo certifications, but a couple do not but are VOC compliant under the California Code of Regulations. What documentation do I need to provide when listing these chemicals in the policy? I am looking at a furniture polish, stainless steel polish and soft scrub chemical. Normally I provide the spec sheets and compliance documentation from the GS or UL websites.
MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products/SDS sheet.
The MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products / SDS sheet does not state the VOC levels of the chemical. Does that matter? Or do I need something that shows the VOC content?
the manufacturer has to have some documentation of any claim that you have found
While I recognize that laundry detergent is not part of this credit, I see a comment in this thread stating that you could make a case to add it. The person asking the question was working with a hotel, which I am as well right now. Laundry detergent is not only a enormous part of their budget, but they are looking to replace the entire system. While they already use laundry waste for irrigation, the new system will save more energy and water. ANYWAY, there are no GS-51 laundry detergents that have been approved or Ecologo. EPA's DfE program, however, has listed laundry detergents. So two things: 1) they want to switch to a better product in support of LEED but if they aren't going to get to "count it", and they are spending more money on the product, it's going to be tough to explain to the client later and 2) they are asking my opinion of the new system including what products could be used, and I back to the dilemma that comes with question #1. Thoughts are appreciated! Thanks!
I know this is a healthcare resource but it should be a great place to start on evaluating laundry detergents. It cites resources and has a list of questions to ask when you are evaluating.
Also, if you can get them to do a robust laundry program and tie it into chemical reductions as well as water reductions, it seems like a candidate for an Innovation Credit.
Fantastic point Susan!
Hi there! I am having a really hard time implementing a green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. program for existing buildings to comply with the Purchasing of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials. Currently we buy branded proprietary products and using international standards in cleaning methodology and overall have no complaints from the Client. However, I am now asked to prove my products against Green Cleaning Policy and need Green Seal or Environmental CCD category products. Our project is in Saudi Arabia and all the product information on the Leeduser site are from companies in America or similar and nothing for the middle east. Help!?!
Did you ever hear on this or identify a solution? I am having similar issues.
Hi Nate - I have now found a very professional supplier here in KSA who are one of the sole suppliers of Ecolab products and many of these are Green Seal GS37 and GS40 certificated. This company supply and install the chemical dosing systems free of charge and will conduct staff training. The products are not cheap and I have had to produce a robust justification to our Head Office to persuade them to buy but hopefully due to the dilution system the products will work out cost effective over the coming year. Abu Dawood operate in six Middle East countries.
Thank you Rosemary. They did move to all EcoLab products for housekeeping. However, there are some used in the kitchen and by the night cleaners that are locally purchased and locally made. I just hate taking away from the local economy. It's a small island. In some cases, the ingredient look harmless but there is no testing that can be done. Anything that requires special laboratory procedures is sent to the states and it's expensive. It's just a bummer. Hopefully we make it with housekeeping. It just seems wrong to take away from the local economy. One EcoLab distributor on the island versus many other jobs. Thank you and good luck!
Finally here in Chile, we have now available cleaning products certified under EPA's Design for the Environment criteria. I know this eco-logo is allowed for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. v4 but it has not been listed yet as permitted by LEED EBOM 2009. Does any one knows if it is possible to be presented and what are the steps to follow so that for countries outside the US registered pursuing LEED EBOM v2009 to achieve IEQ c3.3 credit?. Thanks so much for your help!!!
Take a look at this article released by the USGBC on v4 credits that can be used in v2009. http://www.usgbc.org/articles/use-v4-credits-your-v2009-project
You can likely submit the v4 template in your v2009 project.
Hope this helps!
Thanks so much! this information is very very helpful!
Does anyone know of an approved food contact sanitizer or of a standard that certifies this type of sanitzer? Green Seal indicated they did not have one.
In regards to the chemical products that we are currently using, I have found that several of them are Green Seal certified, but not the GS37 or the GS40.
To meet the LEED credit standards, does the product need to be Green Seal GS37 or GS40 or can it be just Green Seal certified?
Can the installation of a Lotus Pro High Capacity Dispenser contribute with points in EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. certification?
Yes, but it would be under Innovation in Design, not IEQc3.3. Target Field in Minneapolis, MN used a similar system and that credit can be referenced.
Do I need to submit the product purchase tracking sheet when submitting for this credit?
Hi Teresa, its best to complete the credit form, but submitting the tracking sheet is also an option.
thank you for your reply, We completed the credit form online but wasn't' sure if we needed to include the tracking sheet.
That's great - you're good to go with the form completed. The tracking sheet is meant to offer a useful way to record purchases over time since the LEED Online forms can sometimes be a pain to use.
Hello! Can anyone help?
Could ECNZ certified toilet paper meet the criteria of toilet tissue in IEQc3.3? I think ECNZ (Environmental Choice New Zealand) is GEN member and also falls into Type 1 eco-labeling program as defined by ISO 14024: 1999. Thanks!
Hi Lily, sorry for the late reply. Yes, Environmental Choice New Zealand is accepted by GBCI as a Type-1 global ecolabel.
the IEQc3.3 list only mentions "handsoaps". do hand sanitizers fall under this ? or is there some other regulation for these?
Hand sanitizers must be non-antimicrobial / alcohol-based and waterless to be considered compliant with the sustainability criteria. This is touched on in the Reference Guide under the Implementation section of IEQp3. There's also some information in the Checklists tab on this page that could be useful.
Hope this helps,
We currently purchase our cleaning products from a small local company. The products we are purchasing meet the Green Standard criteria, however they do not carry the Green label due to the cost of certification. If documented properly, can these products be used to achieve IEQ3.3?
Independent 3rd party verification is a cornerstone of the LEED system.
Amber, I agree with Garrett—proper documentation in this case means certification. Perhaps the local company would find a broader market if they sought certification.
Hello ... we have a client that has a specified exterior stone and precast cleaner which they use approximately every ten years. We are trying to figure out what the requirements are for cleaners of similar applications because it appears that Green Seal and Eco Logo do not address cleaning of stone or precast concrete and the California Code of Regulations, which defines VOC limits for products that do not fit under GS or CCD, does not have requirements for stone or concrete either.
If it is used every 10 years, it is highly unlikely that it will be purchased during the performance period (and you can plan this). In addition to the infrequent use, if it is being used on the exterior it would have little effect on the indoor environment. I would not include it in the calculation for IEQc3.3.
Thanks fo rthe quick reply, Garrett ... Just our luck, though, it seems they are planning to clean around the time of the performance period. We are considering planning it as you suggest, but this still leaves the question out there. SSc2 states that IEQc3.3 requirements must be met for exterior and hardscapeHardscape consists of the inanimate elements of the building landscaping. Examples include pavement, roadways, stone walls, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. cleaning products. What are the requirements if the Reference Guide does not provide a suitable standard for our application?
If the guidelines do not provide a suitable standard, then the product would be outside the scope of IEQc3.3, and not included in the calculation. For SSc2, the fact that it is only used once every 10 years means you mean the 20% adoption criteria. I would also include in the plan document any methods used to contain and/or properly dispose of the runoff.
Hi, we have a project using a product that has not been certified by any of the LEED required third-party verifiers but has successfully met all requirements for the SCAQMD Clean Air Solvent Certification. Has anyone experienced this for IEQc3.3 as an acceptable cleaning product avenue? Thanks!
I don't think this is acceptable. The Green Seal standard is multi-attribute, not just focused on solvent emissions.
Our building purchases generic toilet tissue and paper towels that state "100% recycled paper product" and "100% recycled fiber" on the box. Will this meet the EPA CPG criteria or do we need to determine the % pre-consumer content and % post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content in both products?
The EPA CPG lays out minimum requirements for recycled content in terms of post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content. It's extremely likely that your products meet the CPG minimum requirements, but I think to be sure you'd need to try to track down the % post-consumer information.
You will need to determine the post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content. Towel and tissue manufacturers consider industrial waste (not post consumer) as recycled.
It needs to say something like 100% recycled fiber including 40% post-consumer waste (for bath tissue) in order to meet the requirement.
Thank you very much for the feedback!
I will try and determine the amount of post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content. Would a statement from the manufacturer or vendor on the percent post-consumer be sufficient as documentation to prove it meets EPA CPG?
At least for things like toner cartridges where the amount of pre- and post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content is not explicitly stated (just something like "20% recycled content"), we've had success just assuming that the content is pre-consumer and thus having to meet the higher 20% recycled content threshold for credit rather than the 10% required for post-consumer content. Might be worth a shot if you still can't find the breakdown.
Elizabeth, a statement will work as documentation (and it can just be an email - it doesn't need to be on letterhead or anything fancy).
A few sources online do state "meets or exceeds EPA CPG guidelines," but I've learned to take those statements with a grain of salt until officially confirmed. Unfortunately, I have contacted the vendor and further breakdown of % post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. has not been available. I have contacted other procurement companies and the information just doesn't seem to be readily available. Do you think the "100% recycled fibers" will be questioned?
Yes, that will be questioned, because it does not meet the requirements. Major manufacturers certify, label, and market their items that meet LEED requirements to make it easy to determine what is and is not acceptable. I will be glad to help you find a source that meets the requirements, you can contact me at email@example.com.
Is CCD-083 accepted to meet criteria for facial tissue for LEED?
Even though CCD-083 not explicitly listed in the Rating System credit requirements, I think it would be acceptable since the Ecologo/Environmental Choice program is approved as an acceptable standard for this credit in general. I'd be really surprised if you get any push-back from a reviewer.
How does laundry detergent fit into this credit, if at all? If we should include it, how do we show that it's sustainable?
I think you're safe to exclude it entirely from your application since laundry detergent isn't a product category covered by the credit requirements. Interestingly, Green Seal just came out with a new standard for laundry care products in January 2013 - http://www.greenseal.org/Portals/0/Documents/Press%20Releases/GS-48-GS-5.... I'm not sure if any products have been certified yet, but if you found one I think a case could be made for including it under this credit. Of course the detergent would need to be part of your custodial cleaning program (e.g. used to wash microfiber cloths).
Hope that helps!
Thanks for your quick reply, Trista. I'll plan to exclude it.
Just a sidenote: the project in question is a hotel and all of the guestroom linens & towels are laundered in-house. The detergent is a huge part of the cleaning supply budget, not to mention it represents a significant part of what the building occupants come into contact with, both as guests and employees. I guess this is just another example of how LEED is better equipped to deal with office buildings than any other space type -- perhaps something for the USGBC to consider for the future!
Our custodial team uses White and Apple Cider Vinegar Cleaner as a part of their cleaning procedure. How does LEED qualify the use of non-chemical cleaners without established sustainable criteria?
I hope this topic has already gone through an interpretation review. The credit language defaults to third-party certified products.
As a clarification, cider vinegar is a common name for a chemical solution. It contains a mild, organic acid in a typical concentration of around 8%. If a manufacturer were to repackage cider vinegar labeled for sale as a commercial/institutional cleaning product, a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) would disclose the presence of acetic acid as an OSHA hazardous material. Acetic acid has an established Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for respiratory exposures and is an eye and skin irritant. Other organic acids that would require MSDS disclosure in this percentage range include citric, phosphoric and glycolic acids.
For reference, this link leads to a GHS conformant Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for vinegar with a concentration of 3-7%:
It appears that this manufacturer did not classify the solution as causing “serious eye damage”; a classification that would preclude certification under GS-37.
Thank you for your response. I have looked at the product and it is a kitchen-style vinegar for both the cider and white vinegar. Nothing different from what a person purchases at a grocer to cook with. I know that LEED requires the third-party certified review, but I do not know how to account for something that is not chemically-based.
Does everyday vinegar fall into the category of these chemical solutions? If not, is it required to track the purchase of a non-chemical cleaner? If so, how is it to be accounted for in the tracking?
It seems like there should be a separate category for sustainable purchasing if the product is a truly natural, non-harmful, non-chemical (therefore, not certified by a third-party) cleaning product? IE. We shouldn't be acquiring a negative when the product is neutral or even good.
Has anybody ever included ambient scenting fragrance cartridges in their IEQc3.3 calculations? The language doesn't specifically include such products, but there seems to be some wiggle room in the second category (other products not addressed by the above standards). There is an Environmental Choice standard for odor control agents, and the product I'm exploring already meets California VOC thresholds.
Any thoughts appreciated...THANKS!
Scenting product don't seem like cleaning products to me, but that's just my two cents. Just the opposite, they can mask lack of cleaning.
No real argument there, Tristan. That said, these agents are in buildings more and more ... so I wonder where, if anywhere, they could fit into LEED. Much like cleaning agents, we know chemicals are being introduced into indoor environments for a variety of reasons and we should collectively limit, if not eliminate, toxic components.
Also ... the IEQc3.3 language cites "other products not addressed by the above standards" and "Environmental Choice CCD-115, for odor control additives" and "California Code of Regulations maximum allowable VOC levels for the specific product category" ... which all makes me think there's at least a chance to include these agents. And the CA VOC document does include several listings for air fresheners.
Is there any way to confirm this thinking besides submitting an EB O&M application to test it on our GBCI reviewer friends?
This underscores an irony in the IEQ credits. With LEED V4, we are proposing to require VOC emissions testing of every permanently installed bit of drywall, paint, carpet, resilient flooring, adhesive, ceiling tile and furniture in order to gain credit. If enough project teams and manufacturers buy in to make the system viable, a LEED V4 building would open with essentially no odor.
This means that maintenance products and anthropomorphic behavior will be the single largest source of VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. in a building. Think of post-occupancy VOC emitting products as being the equivalent of plug load on the energy side.
If you can smell a material, it is because a molecule is interacting with a receptor in your head. Most of those molecules are VOCs; some are PAHs and synthetic semi-volatiles like synthetic musk.
Not every VOC is bad. A brewed pot of coffee smells good because of the 1,200 or so VOCs inside. However, a single blended fragrance can contain hundreds of VOCs; some natural and some synthetic. Many fragrance formulations use synthetic musk to hold other scent molecules on skin. Some synthetic musks are suspected endocrine disruptors and tend to last forever absobing and desorbing from various interior finishes. Not every natural odor creating molecule is intrinsically non-toxic. Conversely, not every synthetic molecule is toxic. The mercaptan placed in natural gas so we can detect it smells horrible, is natural and has an odor threshold far below the level where it can cause health effects. As with any chemical, natural or synthetic, the dose makes the poison.
To get an idea of the range of VOCs found in fragrance materials, go to
I'm not sure how robust the reference CCD-115 standard is and whether it can be applied to ambient scent emitters. It appears to have been nullified and rolled into CCD-107 at some point in time.
The USEPA Design for Environment program has been engaged in a multiple stakeholder standard setting process for fragrances for several years to address the added fragrance in cleaning products. DfE uses Clean Production Action's Green Screen as its reference standard using many of the same baseline assumptions that are baked into the Health Product Declaration.
In my opinion, a credit for added ambient odor would require substantive technical and policy review. GBCI may have a different opinion or might pass it to the IEQ TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. for review. Given the complexity of this issue, my guess is that the review would not happen quickly. Controlling the toxicity of the chemicals emitted is a positive. On the other hand, the V4 Draft EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. Purchasing - facility and maintenance credit also has an option for rewarding a project team for doing nothing to an interior space.
Jared - I have to agree with Tristan here. If a building is cleaned properly, I would expect that ambient scenting fragrance products are not needed. However, if you do decide to list these products in your IEQc3.3 submission -ensure that you include ALL ambient scenting fragrance products, not just the ones that meet the Environmental Choice standard.
Let us know what the reviewers say!
Was there ever a resolution about the fragrance question? We have recently been asked to provide a LEED certificate for a air freshener we sell for the Industrial & Institutional market and I am wondering how to get started or if we can obtain one.
Has anyone heard of a product called E-Cloth? If so, do you know if it meets any of the criteria for this credit?
Documenting the use of an E-Cloth for this credit is similar in nature to the use of using ionized tap water in lieu of chemical cleaning solutions, assuming that you are only using water with the E-Cloth and no chemical cleaners. You will want to reference LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. ID#10141. This Interpretation explains how to document a water-based cleaning program with 3 performance metric options.
1) the project team can show, based on one year of historic cleaning chemical costs, that use of the E-Cloth during the performance period has reduced the purchase of chemical cleaning and material products by at least 30%;
2) the project team can track the total cost of all cleaning and material products purchased during the performance period, plus the amortized cost for the E-Cloth cleaning system (amortized over 12 months); or
3) the project team can track the total volume of cleaning and material products and water used during the performance period and showing that 30% meets the existing IEQc3.3 criteria or is water.
From the FAQs for LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. IEQc3.3 above this comment area:
Are microfiber rags included in these credit calculations?
Hi Garrett, I think this comment is more about using the E-Cloth as part of a water-based cleaning program. Rather that documenting the purchase of individual cloths, the optional performance metrics are based on reducing chemical cleaners by using water solutions. While the use of microfiber cloths are considered environmentally preferable, this does not mean that they are used without chemical cleaners. I would argue that the E-Cloth program is similar to the ionized water cleaning program by reducing chemical cleaning solutions.
I am trying to find the LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. information referenced in your first comment and I cannot seem to find it on the USGBC website. Do you have a link to the information?
We are going to try to use the E-cloth as a part of a water-based cleaning program, to try to reduce the use of chemical cleaners in our building.
Thank you for your help.
go to www.usgbc.org/leedinterpretations. Sign in. And then search for "10141" in the Interpretations database. It should pop right up.
It turns out that we meet the credit requirements for 30% of sustainable cleaning purchases using the normal compliance path. That said, we can also show a 30% reduction of chemical cleaners through the use of water based solutions (Ecloths). Do you think it would be accepted if we combine these for an EP? In other words, document credit compliance normally for the credit and for the EP upload documentation showing the additional 30% reduction in cleaning chemical costs via Ecloths?
If you are trying to pursue exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements., the EP credit form for EQc3.3 will not be activated unless you are demonstrating a minimum of 60% sustainable purchases within the credit form itself. What you can do is pursue the alternative compliance path in the credit form, upload everything including the Ecloth, reference the LIR, and pursue the Innovation in Operations option in the IO category. Once this option is selected, a narrative box will open up and you can include your explanation of exemplary performance and the LIR #.
I'm hoping to receive credit for a 100% recycled content seat cover by Ambitex, but I don't see guidelines on the EPA CPG website for seat covers. Can you use this standard for seat covers or must they strictly be Green Seal or Eco Logo?
Hi Samantha, I would make the case that while the EPA CPG does not specifically state seat covers, they clearly fall within the Commercial/ Industrial Sanitary Tissue Product category. And 100% recycled content well exceeds the strictest minimum threshold in this category. Since the Ambitex product is not GS-01, I would list this product’s sustainability criterion as US EPA CPG within the LEED Online Form and upload documentation showing the 100% recycled content.
Thanks for the reply. EPA CPG does tend to require some post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content. If this product ended up being 100% pre-consumer, do you feel it would still qualify? Or is the recycled content types an either/or?
Post Consumer material is required.
Use this guide to find cleaning products that are compliant with the various sustainability criteria for this credit.
Senior Project Manager
This prerequisite requires you to write a policy covering the same cleaning product purchasing criteria as IEQc3.3, but does not require a certain level of performance.
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