This credit can be one of the more challenging to achieve if your project is not currently using compliant cleaning equipment—and many projects are not, particularly those that are paying attention to 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. for the first time.
The credit requirements are actually fairly straightforward. You must use at least one piece of cleaning equipment in order to be eligible, 20% of all your cleaning equipment must comply with the equipment-specific criteria, and 100% of equipment purchased during the performance period must comply with the criteria.
There are two things you have to pay attention to in order to comply with this credit:
1. Equipment inventory: A list of all equipment used in the building for cleaning, including equipment from outside vendors. 20% of this inventory must meet the applicable stainability criteria.
2. Buying new equipment: You may need to add equipment to your inventory in order to bump it up to the 20% threshold, or you may just need new equipment, but in either case, make sure it meets the applicable stainability criteria.
It’s fairly common to have a piece of equipment that meets some but not all of the criteria—the noise limit, for example, can be difficult to achieve. See the chart below for a list of equipment types addressed in this credit and the credit criteria for each.
Remember that this credit does not pertain to permanently installed cleaning equipment, such as dishwashers and washing machines. It regulates only the following portable equipment:
The other primary challenge for this credit is getting the right product information from vendors. Working with a knowledgeable, trusted vendor is good, but it’s not enough—you’ll still need to investigate their recommendations to make sure that the equipment is LEED-compliant.
If you need to purchase more equipment to make your equipment fleet 20% compliant, you might try focusing first on purchasing compliant vacuums. Vacuums often make up a large component of the cleaning equipment fleet, are less expensive than most other types of floor maintenance equipment, and they need to be replaced more often.
Yes, all vendors’ equipment is included in this credit. That said, for multi-tenant 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 IEQc3.4.
A prescriptive frequency for equipment isn’t established within the credit requirements. So, it’s up to your team to determine the appropriate frequency. However, it is important to demonstrate that there is a maintenance program in place for all of the equipment in your documentation. For example, vacuums will need bag replacements or filter changes. Examples for other less frequent maintenance will include inspections of or replacement of electrical components of equipment.
No equipment purchases need to be made during the performance period in order to earn the credit as long as your current inventory is at least 20% compliant. Note however that any purchases made during the performance period must comply with the sustainability criteria.
Begin by creating an inventory of the portable powered cleaning equipment currently in use at your project facility. The inventory should include the name, manufacturer and model number of each type of equipment, the number of pieces of each type of equipment, the date each piece was purchased, and the price at which the equipment was purchased.
Be sure to include vendor-provided as well as building-provided equipment in your inventory. Some vendors have a master list of all the equipment they use and can provide this. If your vendor can provide such a list, work together to highlight the specific equipment types, names, manufacturers, numbers, and dates of purchase applicable to your project building.
If you already have a comprehensive list of equipment currently in use, this will save time. If not, you'll need to schedule some time to compile your inventory.
Each type of equipment is subject to specific sustainability criteria. Check your equipment inventory and equipment spec sheets against these criteria, and document in the tracking form on LEED Online.
By the end of the performance period, at least 20% (by cost or number of pieces) of all cleaning equipment used in your project building must comply with the rating system criteria.
Teams usually use the number of pieces to demonstrate compliance, though cost is an acceptable approach. If you have several relatively inexpensive pieces of non-compliant equipment and one very expensive compliant piece, it may make sense to run the numbers to see if you meet the 20% threshold by cost, if you can’t meet it by number of pieces. If you don’t have cost data for existing equipment and you want to demonstrate compliance by cost, work with suppliers that carry the equipment to gather the cost data.
If at least 20% of the cleaning equipment currently used in your project building does not comply with the criteria, you’ll have to purchase enough cleaning equipment to meet this benchmark by the end of the performance period in order to earn the credit. This can make the credit costly.
Establish a purchasing goal, based on the details of your current inventory, to meet the 20% overall inventory requirement―so that you'll know exactly what purchases need to be made to meet the threshold.
Establish a system for tracking the cost and number of pieces of cleaning equipment purchased during the performance period. Remember, to earn this credit, 100% of cleaning equipment purchased during the performance period must comply with the associated criteria. You are not required to set up a tracking system, but you will need to provide this information, so it’s good to have a tracking infrastructure in place before you start making purchases.
Before your team takes on hours of research to identify credit-compliant equipment, consult with your vendor. Many suppliers and vendors are familiar with compliant equipment and may be able to offer guidance on which models best suit your facility’s needs as well as meet the credit criteria. However, always verify vendor claims by asking for product literature that demonstrates its credit-compliant attributes.
If your team does not currently purchase cleaning equipment through a supplier, you'll need to research compliant alternatives yourself. Begin by looking into the equipment offered by your current distributors. Some popular manufacturers offer compliant cleaning equipment. You can also find a list CRI Green Label compliant products on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s website (see Resources).
Your project team must obtain manufacturer data (through the supplier or your own research) demonstrating that your equipment complies with the equipment-specific standards listed in the LEED rating system. Just because the label says that cleaning equipment is “green,” ergonomic, or has safeguards that minimize damage to building surfaces, does not mean that the equipment meets all of the credit requirements.
Manufacturer literature often does not specify the environmental standards with which the piece of equipment complies. This may be the case even for compliant equipment. If the manufacturer’s literature does not contain information regarding LEED criteria, secure further documentation that includes this information—such as a letter from the manufacturer verifying compliance.
Generally, there's no cost premium associated with compliant cleaning equipment.
Dispose properly of your old cleaning equipment in an appropriate fashion. Certain equipment, such as battery-powered machines, may require special disposal procedures.
Consider testing new equipment before committing to a large bulk purchase in order to make sure that the equipment meets your facility's needs.
Implementing green alternatives may require staff retraining. Alternative equipment may require different techniques, frequency of use, etc.
Establish a system for tracking all maintenance and repairs performed on cleaning equipment during the performance period.
The LEED Reference Guide language describing the criteria for the different types of cleaning equipment is a bit confusing—it is not always clear which criteria apply to which equipment types. All equipment must be ergonomically designed to minimize noise and vibration, and must have safeguards such as rollers or rubber bumpers to minimize damage to building surfaces (this is something you’ll have to look into for yourself, since the certifications do not address ergonomics and safeguards). The following is a summary of specific cleaning equipment that IEQc3.4 addresses and the associated compliance criteria.
Since all equipment purchased during the performance period must comply with the associated criteria, make sure to track all equipment purchases throughout the performance period.
Be sure to track all equipment maintenance and repair activities during the performance period. Such activities include, but are not limited to, vacuum bag replacement, mechanical repairs, and cleaning the machines.
If your vendor is responsible for repairing and maintaining the cleaning equipment, make sure that the vendor knows how to track all relevant activities in an easy-to-use log.
It's a good idea to track your purchases on an Equipment Inventory tracking sheet separate from the LEED Online credit form so that the documentation is easily accessible throughout the performance period. See the Documentation Toolkit for an example you can use.
Shipping and handling costs must be consistently included or excluded in your calculations if you decide to track by cost.
Cleaning staff may be averse to using new equipment. It is crucial to work with them to help them understand that compliant equipment is a viable alternative. Communicate the benefits of green compared to conventional equipment. For example, green equipment captures more particulates, is quieter, and has less negative impact on indoor air quality. Also, engage staff in testing equipment replacement options.
Your project team should submit manufacturer data for all equipment purchased during the performance period. Although you are not currently required to do so in the original submission, you may be asked to provide manufacturer’s data for all compliant equipment during the review process.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
To reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants that adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment, from powered cleaning equipment.
Implement a program for the use of janitorial equipment that reduces building contaminants and minimizes environmental impact. The cleaning equipment program must require the following:
Keep a log for all powered cleaning equipment to document the date of equipment purchase and all repair and maintenance activities and include vendor specification sheets for each type of equipment in use.
Develop, implement and maintain a policy for the use of low-impact powered cleaning equipment. Evaluate the powered cleaning equipment currently being used and make a plan for upgrading to powered cleaning equipment that reduces building contaminants and minimizes environmental impact.
CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. establishes standards for emissions from small engines.
The EPA has set standards for emissions from propane-powered floor equipment.
The CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. website lists labeled vacuums and deep-cleaning extractors. Search for approved products under Cleaning and Maintenance.
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.
Use this spreadsheet to inventory your cleaning equipment and evaluate it against relevant sustainability criteria. A sample inventory is included, along with the basic credit criteria.
Use this form to track cleaning equipment maintenance, and to demonstrate that equipment was maintained throughout the performance period.
Carefully review product cut sheets to determine credit compliance, and follow up with manufacturers to check vague or incomplete information. Shown here are two cut sheets—one that required follow-up, and was found to be noncompliant, and one that provided all compliance information in the cut sheet, and met the credit requirements.
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 sytems.-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.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
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."
Can manual equipment (ex: a carpet sweeper) that is used in place of powered equipment (ex: a vacuum) be counted when trying to achieve the 20% threshold for compliant inventory equipment?
This credit looks at the sustainability criteria met by powered equipment only to determine compliance. LEED performance metrics are intended to be the most reliable way to compare performance across different projects. Using your example, it would get a little tricky for teams to prove that they would have used a vacuum but chose to use a carpet sweeper (and difficult for reviewers as well to confirm those claims). And for this credit in particular, switching out powered equipment for manual equipment may not be better for building cleanliness and indoor air quality, making it tough to determine whether different manual cleaning methods would qualify as environmentally preferred over powered methods.
I have a question concerning Part 1 of the form and how it is to be used for a property that achieved this credit and is in it's 2nd performance period.
"Existing Equipment Log": Should the equipment on this list be the combined total of the original existing equipment list and any equipment purchased during the orginal PP? Bascially we have a new beginning list.
Also, do we enter a negative value under the existing list when old, less sustainable, devices are discarded?
Robin, are you referring to Table IEQc3.4-1? In this table, you only need to identify the equipment that is currently in use at the project building. Therefore, if equipment that was used in the initial certification but has since been discarded, you should not list that equipment for re-certification (an do not use negative values).
My client is a school board and they have recently purchased a dry carpet extraction machine and cleaning product program, the machine is not CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. certified. The products used in the process are all green seal certified. The cleaning approach is quite different than the “deep restorative cleaning approach” and the carpets are easily dry within 24 hours. They have used this program with success in other schools.
Is the dry extraction machine comparable to the traditional wet extraction carpet machine and therefore must meet the requirement of being CRI certified?
Carpet extraction equipment must be certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100.) Seal of Approval testing program. Since your cleaning program is a bit different, I would submit 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 to the GBCI explaining the program, why it is sustainable, and the reason the extractor is not certified by CRI.
I am hoping for some guidance on what product category wet/dry vacuums fall into. In the past we have called them "Vacuums", but the CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. (Carpet and Rug Institute) doesn't appear to certify wet/dry vacuums. It wasn't much of a problem because the properties had already met the 20% threshold with their other equipment so one or two wet/dry vacuums didn't hurt them. However, now we have projects that have been certified and are planning for recertification. If there is a need to purchase a wet/dry vacuum prior to the recertification it must meet sustainable criteria since 100% of equipment purchased during the Performance Period must comply.
Sorry for the delayed response! I’ve looked into wet/dry vacuums and they are not eligible for the CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Seal of Approval – yet. CRI is currently developing a program for wet/dry vacs. So until the these vacuums are eligible for the Seal, any purchased wet/dry vacs should meet the other listed criteria for this credit (noise levels less than 70 dBaA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002), vacuum guards, etc.). To be sure though, I highly recommend emailing the GBCI before purchasing a new wet/dry vac.
I was wondering if any project managed to successfully document compliance with this credit in Europe (or outside the US) where CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. certified vacuum cleaners were unavailable. Thanks!
The CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. website indicates that compliant vacuums are available from some vendors/manufacturers in Mexico and Canada. Perhaps there are also manufacturers in Europe willing to apply to have their products certified under CRI's Seal of Approval testing program.
The teams in Europe, which I consult aren't applying for those credits, because there aren't any products or very few available. And you don't want to import your cleaner from the US. The USGBC is working to address issues like this and allow products with comparable certificate (European Eco label), but it's not there yet. Check the ACPs for international projects for updates in that regard.
My recommendation as of now, stay away from the credit. It's not feasible in Europe.
The credit requires all equipment purchased during the performance period to be 100% compliant to sustainable criteria. Does this imply during the recertification performance period of as long as 1 year to 5 years, all cleaning equipment purchases need to comply to the standards? and as the on-going process goes on, eventually all equipment inventory would be replaced with sustainable equipment?
Yes, that's the idea! Eventually, your entire inventory would consist of equipment that meets the credit's sustainability criteria. But also be sure to maintain equipment maintenance logs throughout this timeframe as well. Good luck!
When reading requirements in the guide, it states that the sustainable criteria to be met by an automated scrubbing machine is:
"Automated scrubbing machines are equipped with variable-speed feed pumps and on-board chemical metering OR they use only tap water with no added cleaning products"
The scrubbing machine in question at the facility does not meet these two criteria, but it does meet the following:
1. Equipment is designed with safeguards (i.e. rollers, rubber bumpers) to reduce potential damage to building surfaces.
2. Battery-powered equipment use (gel batteries)
I entered the information on the form to see what would happen and it does appear to accept the environmnetally preffered gel battery-powered and records the equipment as meeting a sustainable criteria. Is this correct? Or is this maybe a glitch in the form within LEED Online?
Mayra, have you learned anything more about this? My understanding is that the criteria you checked are required for ALL equipment, but that scrubbers must also meet the additional criteria.
Yes, Tristan is right. That appears to be a glitch. The variable speed pumps AND/OR water-only cleaning are additional requirements for automated scrubbers. Good luck, Myra!
In responding to review comments on a recent project I'm realizing that the vacuum requirement contains two separate elements, which I previously saw as one. The way the rating and online form are worded, I assumed that the dBAA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002) rating was part of the CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. certification. Apparently, this is not the case. CRI confirmed that they do not test for noise levels, which puts the responsibility back on the manufacturer. Unfortunately, I'm now having trouble verifying the dBA level for a CRI-certified vacuum.
Any other suggestions besides purchasing a Consumer Reports subscription?
Jared, I guess the obvious question is whether you've checked with the manufacturers to see if they provide this information? I'm not sure that Consumer Reports or any other organization offers this kind of data.
Yep ... manufacturer turned out to be no help. Consumer Reports has the data, but will not release it despite a formal request to the Testing Director. They confirmed that they record dBAA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002) levels to do their sound ratings, but they keep the raw data confidential. Lesson learned ... CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. and sound are separate metrics, to be documented separately.
If you do find a source for information, please post about it here. Good luck.
Jared, this might be cold comfort, but I confirmed with a colleague that most manufacturers do list this data. If the cut sheet doesn’t list it and the manufacturer can’t tell him what the dBAA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002) level is, unfortunately you probably are out of luck for that product.
Our cleaning crews purchased a vacuum that is has a built-in design feature to protect/safeguard for facilities from damage. The brochure states: 'Reduce possible damage to the facility and/or merchandise with durable polyethylene construction that bends and gives.' This is not a bumper or roller as listed in LEED requirements, but it is a safeguard to protect facilities. Will this pass review? It meets all other requirements: CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus, 69 DBAA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002), etc.
I think this should be allowed. The LEED credit language (see above) lists bumpers and rollers as examples, not as absolute requirements.
The Reference Guide states that the project needs to "Keep a log for the repair and maintenance of any cleaning equipment used at the project site". The sample maintenance log shows equipment type, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly maintenance. However, the description of a "log" implies that dates or initials would be required. This seems over the top for LEED to require signatures for daily tasks... should we follow the LEED reference guide sample? Or is it implied that initials and dates are also necessary?
Usually when they give a sample in the reference guide it's pretty safe to follow that.
I think the key thing is doing what works for your project. Would the reference guide example work on your project, or should dates be required in the log, to make sure that maintenance happens?
We rent equipment to do interim cleanings in-house, for example carpet cleaners can be rented. As long as the rented carpet cleaner meets the sustainable criteria we are still meeting the intentions of this credit, right? We do not have to actually purchase a carpet cleaner that meets the sustainable criteria?
Yes, I think your approach should work. The IEQc3.4 credit language calls for a program meeting the criteria, not for specific purchases. The same situation would also occur with vendors.
The LEED Online form for this credit, however, is a little less flexible on this point—it seems to assume that you must purchase equipment. You may need to check the box and supply alternative documentation.
If you go this route, let us know how it turns out.
We are going for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. with a multi-family (senior housing) residential building with approximately 80 units. There is limited community space and mostly outdoor corridors. Is it necessary for each occupant to use cleaning equipment the complies in order to achieve this credit or is it just the building janitorial staff that must use compliant equipment? Would that also be the case for IEQc3.3? Any advice is much appreciated!
Wish I had a definitive answer on this but I haven't seen enough M-F residential projects go through the review process to confidently predict the outcome. One might reasonably argue that only the building janitorial staff is within the bounds of this credit (effectively the areas of the building within management control) as it is functionally impossible to control the equipment choices of individual tenants. On the other hand, GBCI might conclude that without control over resident spaces (the majority of the building SF), awarding the credit would violate the basic credit intent. I see validity in both arguments, but until formal guidance exists on using EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. for residential projects, you may just have to take a shot at this with the awareness that its a 50/50 at best.
It's worth noting that for this credit (as opposed to IEQc3.3, which you're also concerned about), the only regulated cleaning equipment that tenants are likely to have is vacuum cleaners. Maybe it would not be much to ask for tenants to comply with the credit requirements for vacuum cleaners.
Hi all - one thing you might want to check out would be two EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. CIRs for residential projects, which may shed some light on this issue. Look at the EBOM 2008 CIRs for MRc1 and MRc2. It looks like no similar CIR was submitted for any of the EQ credits, but these might give insight into an acceptable compliance path.
However, it should be noted that previous CIRs do not set precedence for EBOM 2009 projects, so you will definitely want to submit a project-specific CIR outlining any proposed compliance paths.
Sustainability Operations Director, East Coast
By meeting the requirements for IEQc3.4, you are living up to the commitments outlined in your green cleaning program.
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