Prohibiting smoking indoors is the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve this prerequisite. The key to this approach is to establish a building-wide policy prohibiting smoking indoors and within 25 feet of the building’s entrances, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. These policies can be enforced through strategic placement of cigarette receptacles, signage indicating where smoking is prohibited, and passive discouragement of smoking near the building openings. Building managers, housekeeping, and security personnel should address occupants who are smoking in or near restricted areas to ensure that they are aware of the policies and the reasons for enforcement.
This prerequisite can be challenging for projects that permit smoking in designated smoking rooms or residential units. If you choose to designate interior smoking areas in your project, you will need to ensure that tobacco smoke does not transfer into nonsmoking areas. Doing so usually requires both well-enforced policies and costly mechanical intervention.
Yes, if local regulations are not as strict as LEED, you must create a policy that complies with LEED standards (and communicate this policy to building users) to achieve this prerequisite. Exterior signage which communicates the policy is required so that all occupants, visitors, and passersby are made aware of the exterior smoking policy.
The Reference Guide doesn’t explicitly make a distinction between a regular door and an emergency exit, making this a bit of a gray area. The safest bet is to assume they’re treated the same way under this prerequisite, which would require relocation of the smoking area to a compliant distance. If you’d like a definitive answer to this question you can 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.
If smoking inside public buildings is prohibited by law in your state or locality, acquire a copy of the law or regulation to confirm its alignment with LEED requirements.
Measure the distance from designated outdoor smoking areas to all building openings and air intakes to ensure a distance of at least 25 feet.
Remove butt receptacles from entryways.
Communicate the policy to occupants through signage, email communications, and incorporating it into employee or occupant handbooks.
Smokers may object to the decision to relocate smoking areas. Collaborating with occupants who smoke at the outset of this effort to hear their concerns and meet their needs as best as possible may ease this resistance.
If smoking is prohibited across the entire building and grounds, there should be zero or minimal costs associated with developing the policy and subsequent communication plans.
Moving more elaborate smoking areas, such as shelters or benches, may come with some added costs.
If smoking is currently allowed indoors, owners or facility managers should switch to a policy that prohibits smoking wherever possible.
If you choose to allow smoking in designated interior areas, determine areas where possible air leaks may need to be sealed in preparation for blower-door testing. Perform blower-door testing to measure air leakage rates throughout the building.
For buildings that allow smoking, common problem areas that may require sealing to prevent room-to-room transfer of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) include bathroom exhaust vents, doors and locks, shared drain risers, electrical and telecommunications receptacles, plumbing and heating chases, at the floorplate behind baseboards, under doors leading to shared hallways.
For multi-unit buildings, it may be most cost-effective for project teams to buy testing equipment, receive training, and perform the blower door testing in-house.
Blower-door testing can be expensive and time-consuming depending on the number of units that require measurement.
Monitor common areas and grounds to verify that occupants are observing the smoking policies.
Address smokers who do not observe the smoking policy and confirm that they aware of the policy.
Changes to exterior smoking areas may lead to noncompliant behaviors and
create custodial problems; for example, smokers may leave butts on the ground in areas where there are no longer butt receptacles. Anticipate this problem by asking custodial staff to check such areas regularly. Keeping these areas clean will discourage such littering.
If local regulations exist but are not as stringent as LEED, the building smoking policy must comply with LEED standards in order to achieve the prerequisite.
Ongoing monitoring and enforcement does not typically involve any added costs.
Perform blower-door testing to measure air leakage rates throughout the building.
Blower-door testing can be expensive and time-consuming depending on the number of units that require measurement
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
To prevent or minimize exposure of building occupants, indoor surfaces and ventilation air distribution systems to environmental tobacco smoke (ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer.).
1If the common hallways are pressurized with respect to the residential units then doors in the residential units leading to the common hallways need not be weatherstripped provided that the positive differential pressure is demonstrated as in Option 2, Case 1 above, considering the residential unit as the smoking room.
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
Prohibit smoking in the building or provide negative-pressure smoking rooms. For residential buildings, a third option is to provide very tight construction to minimize the transfer of ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. among dwelling units.
1 If the common hallways are pressurized with respect to the residential units then doors in the residential units leading to the common hallways need not be weather-stripped provided that the positive differential pressure is demonstrated as in Option 2, Case 1 above, considering the residential unit as the smoking room.
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 test method covers a technique for measuring the rate of air leakage through a building envelope under controlled pressurization and depressurization.
This document establishes requirements for certifying the energy efficiency of residential buildings in accordance with the California Home Energy Rating System Program (California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Chapter 4, Article 8, Sections 1670
HERS determines the sampling rate for blower door testing for residential units.
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.
Guidelines for proper air sealing techniques.
Provides general background on blower door tests.
This guide condenses statistical information into lay language, provides a form to assess one's exposure to ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer., and suggests ways to eliminate it from one's world. Several examples of policies from a variety of governmental units in the United States and Canada are cited. Arlene Galloway, (Gordon Soules Book Publishers, 1988).
This publication from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights details the legal basis for constructing a smoke-free workplace policy.
This study finds that the percentage of gamblers who smoke is not significantly different from the percentage of the general population who smoke, undermining claims that barring smoking in casinos would have a devastating economic impact.
This EPA document summarizes environmental tobacco smoke research and provides information on national laws targeting the issue.
Complete LEED Online documentation for achievement of IEQp2 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.
Provide a narrative explaining how the smoking policy is communicated to occupants, and example communications.
Provide drawings, data, and a narrative explaining pressurization and leakage rate testing protocols.
Establish a building smoking policy, enforcing the requirements of the chosen compliance path.
Provide a map showing that designated outdoor smoking areas are 25 feet or more from building openings.
This annotated version of the IEQp2 LEED Online form demonstrates how to document this preqrequisite.
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."
I'd like a little more clarity on "posting information regarding the building's nonsmoking policy in prominent locations throughout the building."
We are a winery with a production facility, offices, and a tasting room. While we already have in place a no smoking policy, we do not have permanent "No Smoking" signs. For our main entrance, which is the entrance our customers use, is it acceptable to place a standing sign at the roads edge (near the main entrance) that reads "No Smoking Within 25ft of our Building"? The key parts that I'd like direction on are the location of the sign and the wording. An earlier post recommended adding the "25 feet" wording as it is one of the main requirements in this prerequisite, but not necessarily the "building entries, outdoor air intakes, etc."
This would be similar to our "Open for Tasting/Closed for Tasting" sign as it is free-standing and at the roads edge. The issue here is mostly aesthetic- we have very few permanent signs on our buildings, except where mandated by code.
We are more flexible for our other entries- the main production entry, main admin entry, etc. but I'd like to be very clear about how many signs really need to go up. Is it acceptable to place typical signage (not free standing) at one major entrance of each of our buildings instead of every single possible entrance?
We would also post the complete No Smoking Policy on our bulletin board in the employee break room and other high-traffic areas.
In general, your strategy seems great. The free-standing sign near the main entrance should be fine and signage isn't required at all possible entries. I would try and meet the test of including "high visibility signage" as suggested by the Implementation section of the reference guide. Another idea would be to post signage in areas where operationally, there's the highest chance of people being tempted to break the rules.
Does the 25ft referring to a straight line measurement? Or, it's following the building footprintBuilding footprint is the area on a project site used by the building structure, defined by the perimeter of the building plan. Parking lots, parking garages, landscapes, and other nonbuilding facilities are not included in the building footprint.? Or, as a radius?
The reason of this question being an existing ashtray is located at the corner of our building, while the main entrance is located at ~10ft from the corner on the other side. Historically, the designated smoking area is vaguely located where the ashtray is.
As we are making the Entrance Area a smoke-free zone, would this very ashtray be exempt due to its location at the other side of the corner?
We need to explain to the tenant why on-property smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows. Is there any techinical advice on it?
Tam, There is VAST evidence that second hand smoke is a killer. The introduction of smoke into the buildings occupied spacesOccupied Spaces are defined as enclosed spaces that can accommodate human activities. Occupied spaces are further classified as regularly occupied or non-regularly occupied spaces based on the duration of the occupancy, individual or multi-occupant based on the quantity of occupants, and densely or non-densely occupied spaces based upon the concentration of occupants in the space. MUST be prevented at all costs (the litigation costs alone out-way the capital costs of smoking prevention within a building). The USGBC (in conjunction the ALL health advisers) have designated that smoking should be prevented closer than 25ft from the described areas. The only problem with this is that a city center building cannot control who smokes and where in a public street (unfortunately) but as attitudes changes, which they are...and legislation is further enhanced, this problem will go away. This rules INCLUDE the newest toy electric cigarettes.
As for 'why' I think it comes from separate ventilation in the codes and 25' was the strictest setting. We do healthcare work and the standards were to always separate an exhaust vent by 25' to an intake. It allows the pollutants to be dispersed. My assumption has been that this is where the standard was set. Notice the words assumption and were. Do I have an exact code citation? No, this is my interpretation. You might try digging around in the EPA website for air quality standardsThe level of pollutants prescribed by regulations that are not to be exceeded during a given time in a defined area. (EPA).
Hello. We have a building located downtown in Chicago, and have a question regarding required verbiage for the signage posted at building entrances. If we do not allow smoking anywhere in the building or on the site, are we allowed to post signage indicating "Smoke Free Environment," or must we use the 25' language?
Hi Ryan, I'd be sure that the signage indicates 25 feet, since that's the core part of the policy that's intended to be communicated through the signage.
In our hotel project, most rooms are non-smoking. Do they comply or do we have to test on all rooms even when they are designated as non smoking?
From my experience, you only have to test the rooms that are designated as smoking rooms. And in some instances sampling is permitted. For example, we had a ~100 room hotel where smoking was allowed in some rooms, and we were able to demonstrate compliance by testing 1 in 7 smoking rooms where the layout was identical (i.e. all queen suits).
Our building has a no smoking policy and will be posting no smoking signage at all entrances "No smoking within 25 feet of building entrance." However, the windows on the second floor are operable and within range of 25 feet from the sidewalk (some less than 25 feet some more than 25 feet from the ground). What are the best options for the building with this scenario? To prevent all second floor windows from opening would cost $5,000. To change the signage to read "no smoking anywhere" doesn't seem to make sense either. It is a NYC building with only a portion of the sidewalk on the property. How best to meet this prerequisite?
Basically you can't succeed....and GBCI know this. While you can 'request' that there is no smoking within 25ft, if it's a public sidewalk you're stuck...if it was private ground then of course you could dictate. Create a narrative and site plan for GBCI explaining the layout...the prereq will pass.
What is the consensus on entryways from an underground parking garage into the building? Would signage need to be posted at the doors into the building from the garage area? What about level 1 and level 2 entrances into an elevator lobby?
A second question regards loading docks. What if the overhead door is way, way beyond 25 from the public sidewalk? Contractors and vendors have to drive past automatic doors to get into the loading dock area, so technically there are two sets of automatic doors to get to the actual building entrance. Does signage need to specify no smoking within 25 feet anywhere in this circumstance?
Elizabeth, does the building and/or parking garage management company currently allow people to smoke in the underground parking garage? I'm a little surprised by that, but if it isn't a U.S. building, then I understand that it may be an issue. If smoking is allowed in the garage, then you'll need to post signage at all relevant locations to do your best to ensure that smoke will not get into the project building.
Regarding loading docks: yes, your signage is really geared more towards building occupants and vendors who have business at the property than the general public who just happen to be walking by. If your loading dock is part of your LEED Project Boundary, then it must meet the requirements of IEQp2.
When researching this credit, I found info stating that when using Option 1, the building owner should provide a smoking shelter. Is this true? I've not found any other references to this requirement but want to be sure. The building has a bench with ash receptacles outside of the 25 foot boundary and the required signage.
Julie, where did you see that? Clearly this is not referenced in the credit language (see above) and would conflict with many building and campus smoke-free policies. I don't think it's good advice.
Thanks, Tristan. It was on a website offering LEED tips - which, of course I can no longer locate to verify it. But since I couldn't find anything in the ref guide or LEEDUser, I thought I would ask. So, my understanding is that if smoking is allowed on the site- but not in the building -we only need to provide an outdoor designated smoking area outside of the 25 ft non-smoking boundary, and appropriate signage - but not a shelter from the weather?
LEED does not dictate anything about the qualities of a designated exterior smoking area, except for the location.
We've conducted the differential pressure test and the average is around 7 pa.
We've had the contractor test the room and report the results on the LEEDUser form. The form has a space to report the d. pressure average, d. pressure average with the doors closed and the d. pressure average compared with adjacent rooms. As the pressure test was conducted with doors closed, we don't really understand the difference here. Also, the information on the form appears to be different from that required in the LEED Online form.
Our understanding is that we need to report the average (min 5 Pa) and minimum (min 1 Pa) pressure differential from the test report(s).
Michael, can you clarify what question you are asking or clarificaition you are looking for? Thanks.
For those of you working with zero lot line buildings: we have seen the reviews vary in the past pertaining to documentation submittals. We have decided to clarify this by using an "unofficial" ruling via email correspondence w/ GBCI.
"For zero lot line buildings, smoking must be prohibited on the property that is under the building/management control, and the building should still have signage indicating that smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of entries. The rule is not required to be enforced on public sidewalks that are not under the building/management control, but appropriate signage needs to be in place."
Has there been any commentary on whether how "e-cigarettes" align or do not align with the intent of this credit?
well...I think it is not the same as "tobacco smoke." I am not aware of this being covered in the scope of the prerequisite and we have not had any review comments asking about this but maybe if you were working on a bar or restaurant you might want to address this.
For the building management's benefit (after the building is occupied) you may want to prohibit these....since some people confuse them for traditional tobacco cigarettes. My friend at a bar was told he couldn't use his e-cigarette because the owner said others take this as a cue that smoking is allowed and light up their tobacco cigarettes.
The e-cigarette "juice" sometimes (not always) has nicotine. It might be good due-dilligence to see if this is harmful to people when exhaled. I don't know off the top of my head. If it is then it would be advisable to prohibit its use in a certified "green" building!
I just spoke with a USGBC / GBCI affiliate on this topic, and here is the response:
The prerequisite does not apply to e-cigarettes and only applies to tobacco smoke. It may still be beneficial for the building/management to discourage people from using e-cigarettes within 25 feet of building entries, since others may see them and may think that regular smoking is allowed within 25 feet of the building.
I am working on a project where blower door testing is required for a multi-family facility. The building is 36 stories tall with a mechanical penthouse. The ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services standard states in section 8.4:
"Measure and record the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the beginning and the end of the test and average the values. If the product of the absolute value of the indoor/outdoor air temperature difference multiplied by the building height, gives a result greater than 200 m °C (1180 ft °F), the test shall not be performed, because the pressure difference induced by the stack effect is too large to allow accurate interpretation of the results."
If my building is too tall to perform blower door testing because the results will be inaccurate, what other alternatives does LEED accept to comply with the credit?
If the internal and external temperatures are the same then the building height can be infinite and the test can still be performed.
Temp difference * height < 1180, so
height/1180 = maximum temperature difference
Good luck with the weather!
Wondering the testing requirements (blower door) for residential buildings that allow smoking in the suites. Do we have to test every suite or just 10% of the first x and 5% of the remaining x? Where can I find this information, thanks.
Curtis - did you ever receive or find any guidance for the blower door testing requirements?
no I did not...
With respect to sampling, the v2009 rating system language references Chapter 4 of the Residential Manual for Compliance with California's 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards and includes a link to that standard.
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. 5170 summarizes the sampling methodology from that standard as follows.
... residential units will be grouped together based on unit type. Testing will be conducted on one (1) in seven (7) units in each group. Should any of the residential units fail the test, the construction contractor can resolve the issue prior to re-testing that unit. Should any of the remaining 1 in 7 units in that group fail the test, the entire group will be deemed to fail. The contractor will then correct every unit in that group prior to every unit being tested.
Thank you Ben - wondering if you can also help with another related question:
I am working on a a large multifamily building for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. with over 500 units. The owner does not want to eliminate smoking in the apartments. The building is pressurized and each apartment is exhausted 100% of the time. We can easily prove the pressure differential between the hallways and apartment units. Is this sufficient to satisfy the tobacco smoke prerequisite or is blower door testing required for occupied units to prove that smoke does not transfer between apartments? The blower door testing will be very intrusive to tenants and costly. Have you completed a similar project with a large number of apartment units? Or Jason Franken - have you?
Interested to hear how others have approached this...
Blower door testing is still required as far as I know. Are there any vacant units that could be tested? Maybe if you could at least conduct the testing for the vacant units and then adopt a policy to verify leakage for other units when they turnover, it might be plausible. But, this type of strategy would need to be confirmed through a project specific 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..
Thanks Ben - we are moving forward with the blower door testing following the sampling rate in the reference guide. For a building this size, it really is quite an effort!
Another question for you: Is it fair to assume we are to use the same sampling rate for the pressure differential testing as we are using for the blower door testing? The doors to the residential spaces are not weather-sealed requiring us to perform the pressure differential testing for the smoking rooms. With every apartment considered a smoking room, we can't be expected to test every apartment - right?
I look forward to your input! Thank you!
has anyone experience in conducting the differential air pressureThe difference in air pressure between two spaces, potentially leading, in the case of a pressure difference, to the migration of contaminants from one space to another. When using a designated smoking room ror environmental tobacco smoke control, you may need to test the differential air pressure in the smoking room with respect to each adjacent area and in each adjacent vertical chase with the doors to the smoking room closed. The testing will be conducted with each space configured for worst case conditions of transport of air from the smoking rooms to adjacent spaces with the smoking rooms' doors closed to the adjacent spaces. The test can be conducted by a mechanical engineer. The test should involve 15 minutes of measurement, with a minimum of one measurement every 10 seconds. With the doors to the smoking room closed, operate exhaust sufficient to create a negative pressure with respect to the adjacent spaces of at least an average of 5 Pa (0.02 inches of water gauge) and with a minimum of 1 Pa (0.004 inches of water gauge). measurement of a smoking room with respect to each adjacent vertial chase? This requirement seems very difficult to meet. Is it required to test each cabel or service duct that is adjacent? Or is it required to conduct additionally a blower door testA blower door test gives an overall value for airtightness of a space, and can help identify air leaks. The testing unit consists of a calibrated fan that is sealed onto the unit entrance. The fan creates a continuous flow of pressure into the unit (or out of the unit when using theatrical fog to locate leaks). Devices detect the rate of pressure retention and loss due to possible air leaks in the construction. to verify proper sealed chases?
Thank you very much
Good question, we are dealing with the same problem. Does anyone know something about testing vertical chases and if cabel channels or service ducts can be excluded, if openings are not accessable?
In our experience, it has been sufficient to conduct differential pressure testing for spaces that share an opening with the smoking room. It may help your cause to also provide a description of the conditions/construction of the room that ensures that smoke doesn't migrate to other spaces.
We have not been required to address cable channels or service ducts.
The guard house is totally isolated and placed away from the whole building, but is located inside the project boundary. The proposed smoking area is within 25 feet from the guard house. Can this proposed location be considered compliant?
Mary Ann, I don't see an argument for that being compliant—do you?
My worry is that the guard house is regularly occupied and has an opening (a door and window).
To elaborate more on my situation, inside the project boundary is the main building and an isolated guard house. In between those areas are parking lots. So the client proposed to place the smoking area away from the main building, but not so close to the guard house. The problem is that the proposed smoking area is within 25 feet away from the guard house which is regulary occupied.
To verify, this is proposed area is compliant? Thanks.
Mary Ann, I don't see it being compliant. I agree with you that the fact that the guard house is occupied is problemtic for this proposed area.
"Prohibit on-property smoking within 25 feet of ENTRIES, outdoor air intakes and operable windows."
I didn't found a definition, which entries are meant? Perhaps main entries for building occupants?
Can some entries be excempted? Such as:
emergency exits (only used in the event of fire) or
entries for delivery (used once a week)
Wolfgang, I agree, it would be good for USGBC to define this. However, my understanding is that the definition would be very broad—encompassing pretty much any opening in the envelope, including the examples you gave.
Is there already an official interpretation or definition from USGBC/GBCI regarding the building entries and excemptions for some entries, if any?
This also concerns our project where the owner proposes a smoking area at roof deck but near a storage room. The storage room has an opening (a door) and nothing else; it will not introduce ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. inside the building because the wall partitons are concreted from floor to ceiling, and it is also rarely used. While all other building opening that may introduce ETS inside the building is 25 feet away.
Would appreciate your thoughts.
Mary Ann, what is being stored there? Thirdhand smoke is a real problem.
I am working with an apartment building that does include some smoking residential units and some nonsmoking units. Can we weatherstrip and seal and conduct blower door tests (using appropriate sampling method) for the smoking units only? It doesn't seem necessary that we go through the expense of weatherstripping and sealing all of the nonsmoking units as well. It's just not clear in the Reference Guide, which does not draw this distinction.
I believe the answer to your question is under the first section of the Checklists tab above, have you looked there?
Is it an issue if the door to the smoking room is under 25 feet away from a door that leads to a porch area? Is it an issue if the smoking room has a door that leads to the outside that is fewer than 25 feet away from the other door that also leads outside? Thanks -
Elizabeth, that sounds to me like it would not meet the credit requirements.
Yes...it looks like we will be transitioning to a non smoking building - was pretty sure that this would not work, but thought it best to ask -
We are considering locating a prefabricated smoking room on a building terrace (on the top floor of the building). The room meets the technical requirements for a smoking room located within the building (negative pressure, etc.) and filters the air before exhausting it to the outside. The exhaust will be "away from air intakes and building entry paths (and windows).
It seems to me that this should be compliant, however there will not be any smoking in the building and the location of the smokers within the smoking room will be within 25 feet of building windows and doors. A strict interpretation of the credit language could prevent us from achieving this prerequisite.
Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on how to proceed?
Michael, can you clarify how this does not meet the 25-foot requirement? I'm a little unsure of the specifics from your description.
The proposed smoking cabin is located at the edge of the terrace. There are windows on the floor below and the door to the building is also within 25 feet.
The smokers will be within a self-contained, filtered room that is on the premises but not in the building and the manual did not anticipate this possibility. The requirements for venting a smoking room are actually not as specific as those for the location of an external smoking area - although in this case it appears we can locate the vent to meet the 25 foot requirement if necessary.
Michael, if you can keep any openings from the smoking area 25 feet away from any openings to the building, I think you should be okay.
Our signage currently reads:
"The Fulton County
Clean Indoor Air Ordinance
In this Building"
Just received this comment from the GBCI,
"However, although the signage communicating the smoking policy prohibits smoking within the building, the signage does not prohibit smoking within 25 feet of all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows, as required.
TECHNICAL ADVICE: Please provide photographs of building signage communicating the exterior smoking policy prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows."
Project Team Clarification: We will install (and photograph) additional language to the signage to clarify a buffer.
Question to LEED Users: Is it sufficient to add,
‘And Within 25 Feet of All Entries’
must we explicitly state,
'within 25 feet of all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows'?
notes: The building does not have any operable windows, and the average FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. does not know what an outdoor air intakes looks like. Adding these words will a) make the sign too long for people to actually read and b) seems irrelevant to this specific project.
We cannot afford to have this denied again so I'd really appreciate some feedback on specific language used on signage.
Lastly, I've had this credit approved on 3 project with signage that states 'no smoking' so it is odd that all the sudden the requirements are much more specific and stringent.
I can't give any advice based on previous GBCI reviews. That said, I believe you should be able to add signage or language only as appropriate, provided you clearly explain in the review response that there are no operable windows and what the situation is re: air intakes.
Your strategy would vary depending on the project's circumstances: If there are places where a person *could* smoke within 25' of an air intake (vertically, as well as horizontally), then you should post additional signage at those locations indicating no smoking within 25'. Or you could include the entry and air intake language on all signage, at entries as well as at any site entry points if someone could travel past air intakes before they reach the signage at an entry.
In any case, be sure to explain why you've omitted some of the typical language. You might also consider marking up a site plan or floor plan showing entries, air intakes, and signage locations.
Thanks for the quick reply Michael. I like the idea of marking up a mechanical plan to show where outdoor air intakes are. I will submit that as well.
It just seems excessive to post signage at seemingly 'random' locations that may be within 25 vertical feet of an OA intake....since we know that people often ignore signage.
What does the community think about this language.
The Fulton County
Clean Indoor Air Ordinance
In this Building
And Within 25 feet of Building, Except at
Designated Area on 2nd floor of Parking Garage
(the format is with the intention to leave existing language in place and only add whats necessary)
We would like to direct smokers to the designated area that happens to be up against the building, but 25' away from door, OA intake, and operable windows.
Can you please comment on whether the following approach would be acceptable to achieve this prerequisite:
A project building is attached to a loading dock on the property, and the designated smoking area is located inside the loading dock under cover, and at least 25 feet from all building entrances, operable windows, and air intakes. The building is pressurized, so the air from the loading dock doesn't enter the building, but there is a door that connects the loading dock to the building.
Is the loading dock considered "interior", or is it considered exterior, and we would meet the requirements of the prerequisite by having an exterior designated smoking area?
I would consider the loading dock as an interior space that is the workplace for regular building occupants, therefore the smoking area as you describe it would not be exterior to the project building. It would probably be good to consider the opening to the loading dock (i.e. bayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. doors, missing fourth wall, etc.) as a building aperature and work to place the smoking area at least 25 feet from that opening as well.
I have a building with several ground-floor retail spaces. Are these retail entrances required to display no smoking within 25' feet signage, even though they do not serve regular building occupants and have no direct entry to the rest of the building?
Since those locations are part of the building being certified, I would say that should be treated in the same way, with the proper signage. Make sense?
My question is whether an inoperative door qualifies as an entry, and thus needs a 7.5 m buffer area. My project site holds large events and needs to create a temporary fenced smoking area to accomodate large amounts of people for a short amounts of time (one evening a month for example). Does a smoking area need to be 7.5 from an entry if the door is locked and no one can enter or exit this door? Doing this seems to be the only way to satisfy this prerequisite, and hoards of people needing a smoke...
Emma - In contrast to Lori's situation below, this one is thornier. It sounds like you are proposing making operable doors (which are operable under normal conditions) temporarily inoperable when you have to set up the smoking area. If I were a reviewer, that would make me nervous simply because it requires someone to remember, and enforce, that door-locking plan every month. I don't want to say that its a dealbreaker, but I'm not sure it would fly. Sorry I can't offer a more definitive answer.
Thanks for your response Dan,
I understand it's a bit of a make-shift fix, but what if the door locking plan was enforced? Our smoking pits currently have security personnel monitoring them anyways, and locked doors are high on their list of priorities.
My main concern however was whether these temporarily locked doors would be considered airtight enough to constitute as temporariy walls basically. People would potentially be smoking next to these locked doors, not 7.5 m away.
Emma, how airtight are these doors? That would make me a bit nervous—most doors would not be airtight enough.
It's an interesting one - Is there any way you could perform some kind of airflow testing (I am imagining some combination of a blower door to provide negative pressure and a smudge stick) to give the reviewer confidence that the closed/locked doors are an effective barrier to cigarette smoke? Theoretically, just documenting that the building has positive pressure would ensure that no smoke could come in that way, but this is all kind of hazy and I wonder if we are really working at the margins of concern for this issue. A closed/locked door is going to be pretty effective I would think, but not as effective as a wall. It's a tough one!
Thanks Dan and Tristan. If we go ahead with this plan I will provide proof about the air tightness through airflow testing or something of the like.
We have a building that used to be muti-tenanted to a far greater extent than it is now and has many unused doors that once acted as dedicated entrances to a number of small suites but no longer serve a real purpose.
With that being said, there were two 'unused' doors that interfered with the current location of the designated smoking area. The building management hired a Glasing contractor to seal both of these doors shut by caulking sealed joints and gaps. They also removed the door handles, lock cylinders and capped openings and bolted door. All signage that indicated these doors were entrances or exits were removed. Is this an acceptable 'fix' to comply with the LEED requirements to achieve this prereq? Thank you.
Totally acceptable fix Lori - you've turned that door into a wall, which means no smoke will be coming in the building when people open it.
We have disignated smoking rooms in the building. Now we are planning to carry out negative pressure defferetial test for thes rooms. There are 2 questions.
1. Even if the spaces are devided by slab to slab wall, do we need to measure the difference between spaces?
2. As they are located in same place per floor, smoking rooms have other smoking rooms as their vertical adjaceny rooms. In this case we believe there is no need to have negative pressure or defference between these rooms. Are we on the right track?
Shoko, you do need to "verify" the pressure differential, even with slab to slab partitions.
I think you could probably get away with skipping the measurement between smoking rooms, but it's probably necessary to note that approach in your narrative, as it's not the standard approach.
If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETS and to pass the blower door tests.
Separate ventilation systems to contain smoking areas can increase energy consumption, affecting performance under EAp2 and EAc1.
Address smoking-related contaminants in the building in conjunction with other sources of air pollutants considered for IEQc1.1.
If smoking is allowed in the building, factor the separate ventilation system used to contain it into your plan for increased ventilation.
If smoking is allowed in or around the building, monitor its effects on occupants as part of an occupant survey.
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