This credit encourages environmental best practices for pest management and landscaping. Its minimal cost impacts and focus on practices that can be employed at any building site make it one of the most commonly pursued credits.
It is not difficult to achieve SSc3 as long as key best practices are thoroughly incorporated in vendor contracts and the building’s standard operating procedure (SOPA standard operating procedure (SOP) manual can be used to document routine operations and maintenance practices, and to encourage use of standardized best practices.) language. Most project buildings already have some credit-compliant practices. Focus on expanding and formalizing these practices in a comprehensive plan. This commonly involves working with vendors to adopt compliant best practices that:
Integrated pest management can be a complex undertaking, often requiring that modifications be made to current practices. Additionally, it is crucial for the project team to pay close attention to pesticides prior to application. Lack of oversight of vendor activities can easily result in the accidental loss of the credit, even when there's an IPM plan in place and the project team is on board.
The project team must establish a regular monitoring program, in which the responsible party logs all relevant activities. A universal notificationUniversal notification means notifying building occupants not less than 72 hours before a pesticide is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds under normal conditions, and within 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergency conditions. Use of a least toxic pesticide or self-contained nonrodent bait does not require universal notification; all other pesticide applications do. program must be developed that provides all building occupants with 72 hours advance notice of toxic pesticide applications (chemicals that are not included on the San Francsico Hazard Screening List), and within 24 hours of emergency toxic pesticide applications. This level of transparency is daunting to some. Teams must establish a tracking system to verify that universal notification has been provided to all building occupants.
The plan for erosion and sedimentation control must cover strategies for both ongoing operations as well as future construction-related activities. The plan should remedy existing erosion and sedimentation problems and establish procedures for identifying and addressing future issues.
Teams are expected to review local standards or codes and the EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for Construction Activities to determine which standards to use as guides for implementing best practices and communicating the process for planning and carrying out erosion and sedimentation control during construction activities.
A key strategy for reducing fertilizer use is to apply fertilizers based on the results of soil tests and actual plant needs rather than on a predetermined schedule. To further reduce the impacts of fertilizer applications, use organic and natural materials and slow-release formulas. Fertilizers must be applied at least 25 feet from water bodies to protect these ecosystems.
Many project buildings already use landscape waste as compost and mulch. If that’s not yet the case on your project, identify opportunities for composting or mulching waste onsite or disposing of the waste at a local composting center. Managing landscape waste is often the least complicated component of this plan.
For pest management and erosion and sedimentation control, you need to follow the plan 100% of the time. If teams are not able to use low-impact alternatives to fertilizer all of the time or cannot divert all of their landscape waste from landfill disposal, they should be able to demonstrate that at least 20% of their activities are environmental best practices. Compliance levels for fertilizer use and landscape waste diversion can be demonstrated using maintenance logs, purchasing records, or other appropriate documentation.
For nearly all projects, all three major operational elements (IPM, landscape management, and erosion control) must be addressed by the plan. The most common exception is when there are no landscaped areas or planter boxes within the LEED Project Boundary. If this describes your project, you are still eligible to pursue the credit but you do not need to create a typical landscape management plan, since no landscape waste is generated and no fertilizers are applied onsite. In this scenario, it is a good idea to include a brief clause in your plan that states that no landscaping is onsite but that in the case it is added, the plan will be updated to address landscape waste management and fertilizer use according to the credit requirements. Also in this scenario, you still do need to develop an erosion and sedimentation control plan. This is required for all projects, even urban projects with zero or minimal lot lines.
Products not listed on the SF Pesticide Hazard Screening List may qualify as least toxic, but you’ll need to provide documentation demonstrating equivalency between the products used and the cited standard. Do not assume an unlisted product is least toxic. Further evaluation and documentation is necessary for any product that is not listed.
First, if the product is so non-toxic that it is not even classified as a pesticide by the EPA, it should be straightforward to demonstrate that is equivalent to a least toxic pesticide.
Second, evaluate the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List to determine if a product with the same active ingredient and concentration of active ingredient is listed. You can generally assume that your product will have the same classification as a listed product with identical active ingredient information.
Finally, try screening your product using the criteria outlined in the “San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening Protocol,” which can be found by following the link to the San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticide List. Provide documentation of the screening results to confirm that the product meets the Tier 3 requirements.
Even if you have established landscaping, there are still many opportunities to assess your site and develop strategies for reducing erosion and sedimentation, or create protocol for quickly identifying and reacting to issues as they arise. Potential strategies to consider include:
Regardless of any current construction plans, all projects must develop best practices for potential future construction projects.
Projects that do divert 100% of landscaping waste have the easiest time showing compliance, and it’s usually an attainable goal. If you do not address 100% of waste through diversion, you’ll need to track the total quantity of green waste generated by landscaping activities and the quantity diverted from landfill disposal. Use these values to determine the overall percentage of waste diverted. You can quantify green waste either by weight or by volume; whichever is easiest for building staff or vendors to track consistently. Submit a log of this information to demonstrate your building’s performance. You are not required to submit third-party documentation to verify waste quantities, however, if this type of documentation is available you may submit it to support credit achievement.
Conduct an inventory of all the products and practices currently implemented on the project site and associated grounds relevant to the operational elements of the Integrated Pest Management, Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan.
If you are combining your outdoor and indoor integrated pest management programs, only one inventory of pest management practices is necessary when documenting compliance with this credit and IEQc3.6: Green Cleaning—Indoor Integrated Pest Management. However, in your inventory, make sure you take into account all outdoor pest management issues, including but not limited to invasive species and arboreal diseases.
There will be a lot of crossover between erosion and sedimentation controls implemented for this credit, and stormwater management features that can contribute to earning SSc6: Stormwater Quantity Control. Coordinate your documentation of both credits.
You are permitted to adopt best management practices for fertilizer reduction and landscape waste management incrementally, using a 20% minimum threshold. However, you are expected to adopt best management practices for integrated pest management and erosion and sedimentation control entirely.
Work with key operations staff and vendors (such as landscaping and pest management) to determine if any of their current methods qualify as environmental best management practices.
Make sure you’re diligent in following practices that are better than standard practices. Teams often document standard practices, believing that this is enough to earn the credit. For example, using conventional methods of fertilizing the grounds is a standard practice and will not pass LEED review. Instead, use alternative organic and natural materials to the greatest extent possible. (See below for additional guidance on use of fertilizers.)
You can use performance metrics for the landscape waste and fertilizer parts of the plan to demonstrate at least 20% compliance. You can use any metric that is reasonable and makes sense for your project, but it’s common to use the amount of product purchased or used, or the dollar value of your products, to determine your level of compliance. For example, if you purchase $5,000 worth of fertilizers annually, $2,500 of which is spent on organic products from OMRI’s list of crop products for 2009, and you fertilize only when soil tests indicate a need for additional nutrients, then more than 50% of your fertilizing activities meet the credit requirements, and your project complies with the requirements for this part of the plan.
If your facility employs vendors for some or all of the activities covered by this credit, be sure to formally incorporate environmental best management practices into their contract language.
The costs of revising vendor contracts and implementing environmental best management practices should be minimal. Some green practices or products may carry small premiums. For example, additional site visits by your contractors for proactive pest monitoring may carry additional hourly charges. At the same time there is the potential for green practices to offset these cost premiums. For example fewer fertilizers, fewer pesticides and fewer tipping fees can help to offset some of the higher costs of a green program.
Based on environmental best practices already in place and planned for future activities on the project site and grounds, develop a comprehensive plan that adheres to the LEED-EBOM Plan Model. The EBOM Plan Model lays out all of the required components (scope, goals, responsible parties, guidance and resources for implementation, performance measurements, and quality assurance and control processes) for all LEED-compliant plans. Your plan must describe the project building’s approach to the credit requirements. If the project team determines that some of the requirements are not applicable to the project site—for example, an urban zero-lot-line property with no onsite landscaping—be sure to explain your team’s reasoning.
Your plan can be created by in-house staff familiar with and responsible for maintaining the project site. Consequently, there should be minimal costs associated with creating the credit documentation.
The “plan” for this credit may not be a single unified document. Some plans consist of overall building policy supplemented by a vendor-produced IPM plan for the building and a vendor-produced landscape management plan. Working with vendors to document the credit can take the burden off of project teams.
If combining outdoor and indoor IPM programs, use the combined IPM plan submitted as an addenda for this credit and as the guiding document for IEQc3.6 as a starting point for formalizing your program.
Provide a clear and detailed description of how each each of your best management practices reduces the environmental impacts associated with conventional practices.
Begin by considering both indoor and outdoor pest management activities as two parts of one program. Indoor and outdoor IPM plans are commonly combined and carried out by a single contractor. Additionally, combining outdoor and indoor IPM makes implementing the pest management policy (including future revisions) much easier, as there is only one document to oversee. This also helps avoid redundancies as well as the risk of discrepancies in your LEED project application.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a multi-faceted approach to pest management that uses chemical controls as a last resort.
Designate a staff member who can facilitate communication between multiple vendors and ensure that their processes and methods complement one another.
If multiple vendors manage a variety of pest issues—for example, a landscape vendor for herbaceous and fungal pests throughout the grounds, a pest management provider for insect and rodent infestations in and around the facility—communicate IPM best practices to all vendors involved and formalize your expectations in contractual language.
Carefully examine pest management service offerings to verify that IPM is truly applied.
Vendors often claim to practice IPM, even if they don’t fully understand the intent or requirements of it. This is due in part to the fact that IPM is still gaining traction in the industry. For example, if your pest control provider is regularly spraying pesticides, of almost any kind, on the building grounds, there is a good chance they are not following IPM—at least not to LEED standards. If that pesticide is not known to meet San Francisco Tier III criteria (see below), it is definitely not IPM.
At least one operations staff member with a solid understanding of the LEED requirements and the contents of the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List, should oversee IPM plan implementation. If no one has been designated the point person for pest-related issues, choose a staff person who has regular interactions with pest management vendors and is willing to learn about and implement nonchemical pest prevention and resolution measures.
The San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List (see Resources) is a comprehensive list issued by the city of San Francisco that designates certain pesticides as “least-toxic,” meaning that they are safe enough so that building operators are not required to alert their occupants when these specific pesticides are applied at the project building. The IPM manager should understand how to review the list to determine if the pesticide in question is on the list and considered least-toxic.
Create an approval process whenever a vendor proposes a new chemical application. The facility’s IPM manager should review all proposed chemicals and work with the vendor to consider non-chemical solutions to pest issues before resorting to least-toxic or toxic pesticides. This review process should be included in vendor contract language.
Notification of occupants is a cornerstone of a comprehensive IPM program. Whenever the use of toxic pesticides or rodent baits is deemed necessary to combat an infestation in the building or grounds, the IPM manager must issue an alert to all building occupants:
Occupants may object to use of toxic pesticides. Use this as further motivation to avoid pesticide application.
Appropriate methods of toxic pesticide or bait application notification include:
Use the 2007 San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List(see Resources) as your guide to determining if the chemical pesticides you use on your site are considered least-toxic or if they will require universal notification prior to administration.
Pesticides not listed in the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List that meet Tier 3 criteria may also be considered least-toxic, but your project team should be prepared to demonstrate equivalency between the products used and the cited standard.
Non-rodent pesticides that do not meet Tier 3 criteria but are administered in self-contained baits and placed in inaccessible locations are are also considered least-toxic; no universal notification is required for their use.
All rodenticides, including self-contained baits, are always considered toxic and require occupant notification if used anywhere on the project site.
Define the conditions under which your facility will resort to using toxic pesticides—for example, an infestation that poses a threat to the safety or well-being of human occupants. The IPM manager and vendors must understand the circumstances under which universal notification should be carried out. This definition should be included in contractual language with the vendors that handle pest management at the facility.
Adopt the IPM program in its entirety. You may not demonstrate incremental adoption of the program as you can with other components of the SSc3 Plan.
You must address two scenarios related to erosion and sedimentation (E&S) controls to earn this credit:
All projects (including urban projects with zero lot lines) must implement ongoing E&S controls on their sites, in addition to the controls employed during construction activities. Applications stating that ongoing E&S controls are not applicable to the site are routinely rejected during the LEED review process. Think about E&S in terms of what’s leaving your site and polluting receiving waters during both normal operations and construction projects. For normal operations, urban buildings with zero or minimal lot lines tend to focus on E&S controls that keep garbage, cigarette butts, and detritus from making their way from courtyard or sidewalk areas to storm drains.
For construction-related E&S controls, review your local stormwater management code for construction codes and standards and the EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for Construction Activities. Use these documents as guides for planning and implementing E&S control best practices during construction activities. Look to them for guidance about communicating the process for planning and carrying out E&S controls with contractors.
The E&S controls program for both ongoing operations and construction activities should be adopted in its entirety. The incremental improvements that are applicable landscape waste and fertilizer use are not applicable to this component of the SSc3 plan.
If your building sends landscape waste to an off-site facility that diverts the waste from landfill disposal through composting or mulching, you meet the credit requirements.
If your facility does not divert landscaping waste from the waste stream, work with landscaping staff and vendors to either compost or mulch waste onsite, or work with off-site facilities.
You don’t have to compost or mulch all of your landscape waste. To earn the credit, project teams must demonstrate incremental implementation equivalent to 20% adoption. You could demonstrate this through measuring the volume or weight of landscape waste that is diverted versus the quantity of waste that is sent to a landfill.
Unless landscape waste is used for fuel, incinerating the waste is not an acceptable method of diversion.
Any project with vegetated landscaping, including exterior planter boxes, must establish a plan for minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers. Strategies include:
You don’t need to switch exclusively to natural and organic fertilizers, but you must demonstrate that you used best management practices during at least 20% of the time. Performance metrics include but are not limited to the amount of natural fertilizers used versus the amount of artificial chemicals used, by gallons or cost.
If fertilizers are necessary, consider the following best practices:
Some projects depend heavily on artificial fertilizers and have difficulty revamping their fertilizer program and implementing environmental best management practices. Meeting the 20% credit threshold is usually not challenging, but going all the way to 100% as a best practice can be tough.
Vendors involved in various elements of the Plan carry out tasks according to their contracts and report all relevant activities to building management.
A designated staff person should log all pest management activities. In the event that toxic pesticides must be administered, record how and when universal notification was provided. If all pertinent information is not properly documented, your credit application may be rejected. Use the log template provided in the Documentation Toolkit.
Do not submit service tickets in lieu of a pest management log, as they rarely include all the required information and are often illegible. Required information includes:
The staff person responsible for overseeing the comprehensive plan communicates regularly with all service providers and conducts routine site inspections and evaluations to ensure that the plan is in place and functioning as intended.
Have a designated staff person review all vendor practices and products annually or prior to contract renewal. Identify opportunities for improve programs covered under SSc3 and expand the environmental best practices employed at your facility.
Review all proposed activities before implementation to ensure an effective and coordinated effort, particularly if several vendors are engaged simultaneously in various components of the plan.
Track performance whenever less-than-full adoption of any environmental best management practice occurs.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
To preserve ecological integrity, enhance natural diversity and protect wildlife while supporting high-performance building operations and integration into the surrounding landscape.
Have an environmentally sensitive management plan in place for the site’s natural components. The plan must employ best management practices that significantly reduce harmful chemical use, energy waste, water waste, air pollution, solid waste and/or chemical runoffWater that transports chemicals from the building landscape, as well as surrounding streets and parking lots, to rivers and lakes. Runoff chemicals may include gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and salts. (e.g., gasoline, oil, antifreeze, salts) compared with standard practices. The plan must address all of the following operational elements:
Further, the plan must address the following operational elements, if applicable:
During the performance period, have in place a low-impact site and green building exterior management plan that addresses overall site management, chemicals, fertilizers, landscape waste and pest management. Include such green landscape management practices as reducing the use of power equipment, improving stormwater control, using fertilizer only as needed, composting landscape waste, applying integrated pest managementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment., creating wildlife habitat, removing or not installing invasive plants, protecting natural areas, and using plants to reduce heating and cooling needs. Use mulching mowers to significantly reduce yard waste generation, fertilizer needs and water consumption through retention of organic matter.
The SF Environment website provides links to the SF Pesticide Hazard Screening List, the SF Pesticide Hazard Screening Protocol, and the SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide List. Products listed on the Screening List are considered least toxic for LEED purposes. If your product does not show up on the Screening List, use the Screening Protocol to evaluate your product further and confirm it meets Tier 3 requirements. Any product that is not least-toxic requires universal notificationUniversal notification means notifying building occupants not less than 72 hours before a pesticide is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds under normal conditions, and within 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergency conditions. Use of a least toxic pesticide or self-contained nonrodent bait does not require universal notification; all other pesticide applications do. prior to application.
This is a comprehensive list of natural and organic alternatives to conventional fertilizers.
A guide to energy saving landscaping strategies.
Provides basic guidelines for composting as well as information about regional and state composting programs, the environmental benefits of composting, composting regulations, the science of composting, related publications and frequently asked questions.
This is a comprehensive tool that among many other things, provides a database of over 7,000 North American native plants.
Provides information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.
Complete LEED Online documentation for achievement of SSc3 on a certified Gold LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 project in Denver, Colorado.
Your IPM plan demonstrates the specific environmental best management practices that are implemented at the project building on an ongoing basis. This template provides a structure for an Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. (IPM) plan compliant with LEED requirements. When properly completed, this document can be submitted as evidence of compliance with IEQc3.6 and contribute to compliance with SSc3.
This template provides an example of a pesticide log for documenting pesticide applications, when they are necessary.
This template provides a structure for developing an Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. (IPM), Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan compliant with LEED. When properly completed, this document can be submitted as evidence of compliance with SSc3.
If you're looking to better understand how your practices compare with IPM best practices, this chart compares common standard practices with best practices—plus "optimal practices," for good measure.
Use flyers like this example to provide universal notificationUniversal notification means notifying building occupants not less than 72 hours before a pesticide is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds under normal conditions, and within 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergency conditions. Use of a least toxic pesticide or self-contained nonrodent bait does not require universal notification; all other pesticide applications do. of pesticide application, as required by these credits.
This SSc3 LEED Online form with annotations demonstrates how to document this credit.
Your LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. plans must include all required elements of the Program & Plan Model, which is described in this USGBC document.
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 SS 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. For more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
We have a project that sometimes treats their meadows to control thistle and invasive plant species. If this is required to be tracked, would this be more suitable tracked in SSc3 IPM or SSc2 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. Management plan? In addition, is anyone familiar with the standard used to rate plant sprays so I can check to ensure the spray my client uses is least toxic?
I need help in documenting SSc2 and SSc3 from the preliminary review comment i received for EB O&M project.I'm not clear what i need to write in a narrative from the below comments:
1. For SSc2 - Please provide an activity log summarizing the maintenance equipment, cleaning practices, and paints and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. utilized during the performance period and provide evidence that, during the performance period, environmentally preferred practices for these elements were used at least 20% of the time. This documentation must be a narrative, at minimum.
--- Is there any sample activity log you can share with me to document this credit?
2. SSc3 - Please provide documentation demonstrating that environmentally preferred practices were utilized at least 20% of the time during the performance period for the chemical fertilizer and landscape waste diversion components of the plan. This documentation must be a narrative, at minimum.
This is my first EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. project.
All - I am working a five-star resort on a small island. What is used for landscaping is nearly all least toxic (the one that isn't - we think we can replace). However, in terms of guest rooms, we have talked to other properties, as well as companies, and the consensus is that the least toxic chemicals simply do not work. As a property that makes its living on occupancy, trying other least toxic methods and documenting those is a HUGE risk that could have long-term detrimental affects. Would the fact others, on this very small island with the same flora/fauna, have found the ineffective be sufficient. Otherwise, 100% implementation could put the viability of the business on the line. Thank you.
Hi Nate, it might be the case that SSc3 (which deals with outdoor pest management) is appropriate for your project to pursue, while IEQc3.6 (which covers all interior spaces including guest rooms) is just not feasible. You're not required to document both credits - you can choose to attempt SSc3 only. Just adjust your IPM plan to focus on exterior spaces only and follow it during the performance period.
LEEDuser has updated our IPM template that is available to members in the Documentation Toolkit above. The updated template removes diatomaceous earth and pyrethrins/pyrethrum as approved least-toxic treatments. GBCI has begun flagging these so we hope to save everyone some trouble.
We have rat issues on our urban campus and our grounds staff has some concerns about limiting and slowing application of rodent pesticides in exterior use. Sometimes these applications are not associated with a specific building. Could we make a website that we would keep updated and that would be public for campus to list the date/time/application or does this need to be a flier on a door or email to the whole campus. I guess we use rodent baits fairly routinely and so would be giving notification frequently. Input would be helpful, thanks.
Universal notificationUniversal notification means notifying building occupants not less than 72 hours before a pesticide is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds under normal conditions, and within 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergency conditions. Use of a least toxic pesticide or self-contained nonrodent bait does not require universal notification; all other pesticide applications do. strategies must be capable of reaching all potentially affected people. Since everyone, including visitors to the campus, would have to be aware of the website and regularly checking it for updates, it wouldn't meet the requirement. If you posted signage in addition, then it would be fine to have the website as an additional notification strategy. But as a stand alone strategy it wont be sufficient.
I would also caution that frequent/recurring applications of non-least toxic pesticides are very likely to be flagged by the reviewer. They'll want to see some compelling evidence that alternative methods are really being used and teams aren't habitually using non-least toxic products.
Hello, I recently received a LEED review back that states: "Several chemicals listed in the IPM plan, including diatomaceous earth and pyrethrum, do not appear to be least toxic according to the definition provided in the Implementation Section of IEQc3.6 in the LEED Reference Guide. [...] Please revise the plan to ensure that it does not list diatomaceous earth and pyrethrum as least toxic pesticides approved for general use at the project building and grounds." It goes on to state that if they were used, universal 72-hr notification must be provided. We actually did NOT use any pesticide treatments during the perf period so we are not in jeopardy of losing the credit as long as we revise the Plan. But, I'm wondering why DE and other natural chemicals are no longer accepted. I've been using the same IPM plan template for years and have never had a review comment on this. DE and Pyrethrum are both listed as suitable treatments on the LEEDUser Sample IPM plan too. Anyone have any ideas why this is no longer acceptable? They seem like natural alternatives that would be supported in IPM.
Hi Alexis, DE and pyrethrum/pyrethrins are Tier 1 and 2 according to the updated SF Pesticide Hazard Screening List. This is likely why you received the flag. We'll update the LEEDuser IPM plan template to remove these from the approved products. Thanks!
We want to notify those subscribed to this forum of the LEED Committee Call for Volunteers: an opportunity to play a critical role in developing and maintaining the LEED rating system. The Call is open until next Thursday, April 10th at 8:00 pm EST. Among the committees seeking volunteers is the Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (SS TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system.).
More information is available here:
• Article: Original March 10th announcement on USGBC.org, which includes further information on the selection process. http://www.usgbc.org/articles/become-leed-committee-member
• Volunteer Opportunity Page: Background on each committee seeking volunteers and the specific expertise areas sought during this round of applications. http://www.usgbc.org/committees/volunteer-opportunities/leed-call
• Application: Online survey to submit your self-nomination. https://usgbc.wufoo.com/forms/2014-leed-committees-call-for-volunteers/
Heads up that an updated list came out in September 2013 and can be accessed here - www.sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/fliers/files/sfe_th_pesticides...
We'll be updating the LEEDuser plan template shortly,
And for those keeping track at home, LEEDuser did update our template with this shortly after Trista's note.
I am working on a project in Canada where the Pest Management vendor uses a product called "Detex Blox". Detex Blox are a non-toxic rodent bait that contains no active ingredient and are only used to determine whether or not rodents are present. They are contained in a secured bait station. The reference guide states that "rodent baits are not considered least toxic under any circumstance because of their high toxicity". Where this contains no active ingredient and poses no threat, am I safe in using it on-site? Or does notification need to be sent?
So it's a fancy way of putting out food to see if you have critters?
As a non-lethal, non-chemical management tool I don't see any LEED issues with it.
Exactly. If they check the block and find that it's been gnawed on, then they would replace it with a block that has an active ingredient and notification would be sent prior to application. I figured I would be alright, but thought I'd double check.
Thanks for the quick response!
How do I get a LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. 2009 SSc3 prerequisite form?
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. SSc3 is a credit, not a prerequisite. However, if you want to download samples of any LEED Online template form, you can visit this website: http://www.usgbc.org/sampleforms/
Just filter your search by the specific rating system you need. Hope this helps!
Our project does not have a problem with rodents but should one occur the contracted pest management company would use Havaheart traps, then remove rodents and release in appropriate areas instead of killing the animal. Is this an acceptable procedure instead of using enclosed rodent bait traps mentioned in IEQc3.6?
Absolutely, what you describe is a great non-chemical/non-lethal strategy.
Does this credit apply for a building without any landscape/lawn, outdoor planters, or courtyard garden? Thanks.
Projects that have no landscaped areas or planter boxes within the LEED Project Boundary are still eligible to pursue the credit but you do not need to create a landscape management plan, since no landscape waste is generated and no fertilizers are applied onsite. In this scenario, you still do need to develop an erosion and sedimentation control plan. This is required for all projects, even urban projects with zero or minimal lot lines. (See FAQs above)
Hope this helps!
If no landscape management plan is necessary, do I still need to provide a paragraph which summarizes the reasons for excluding any of the opertional elements?
Hi Katie - yes, you should provide an explanation for why any element doesn't apply to the project.
If the project has no outside facilities, is the credit still available?
For example I have dove defense on the roof.
Yes, you are still eligible for the credit.
We have a contractor that will chemically prepare and store our pesticides in his offices. Do we have to follow the LEED guidelines for storage and preparation even though the pesticides will not be stored or prepared in the building we are trying to certify. Thanks
This credit isn't directly concerned about where and how chemicals are prepared and stored, particularly if these activities happen off-site (although proper health and safety procedures should of course be followed when pesticides are concerned). Instead the credit requires that integrated methods are used before any pesticide is applied, and looks at the type of product used when an application is required.
If one of the product used does not have an EPA Number: are we still eligible for this credit?
If the product is so non-toxic that it's exempt from EPA registration as a pesticide, then it's also considered least toxic by the LEED program. This EPA website is a good reference for additional info - it shows active ingredients that are exempt from federal registration: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/regtools/25b_list.htm.
You can also double check the product's active ingredients against the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening Protocol, located at http://www.sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/fliers/files/sfe_th_pro....
Does anyone happen to know if GBCI will accept fertilizer certified organic by other agencies (i.e. Global Organic Alliance (GOA) or the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)) other than Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)?
Since this credit doesn't really stipulate specific certifications (the way that some of the materials credits do), I wouldn't anticipate running into trouble using the product you mention, which seem they would be clearly environmentally preferable compared to synthetic fertilizers.
We were recently denied a point on a project in which we worked with the landscape vendor to use half as much fertilizer as they were previously using. The reviewers said: "The narrative indicates that only a reduction in fertilizer use has been achieved. While reduction in the number of fertilizer applications is commendable, no environmentally preferable fertilizers were used during the performance period."
This seems odd considering the goal of the credit is to minimize the use of chemical fertilizers. Using no fertilizer certainly meets this goal and is more sustainable than using fertilizer, even if that fertilizer is less environmentally harmful than a conventional one. In the future should we really focus on using environmentally preferable fertilizers instead of working with landscape vendors to avoid using fertilizer all together?
The intent is to eliminate synthetic chemical application to the Earth where organic methods are readily available. A lot of the properties I work with use no fertilizer at all, because it just generates growth that must be trimmed and creates 'waste' (to be composted). I agree the 100%performance metric is almost unreasonable when similar intents (SSc2) allow chemical use.
Given the credit requirements, I would recommend focusing on the use of environmentally preferable products. LEED and the USGBC try to establish performance metrics that are the most reliable (for instance, how do you prove that you would have used fertilizer but chose not to?) and can be most uniformly applied across varying building types and locations.
I totally agree that the intent is to reduce and am impressed with the measures you took, but LEED draw a firm line in how tracking should be done.
Thank you for your insights. Moving forward we will look to implement the use of environmentally preferable fertilizers.
I am working on certifying an existing building in a country where non the pesticides approved by LEED are available. I read that i can get around this by informing all building occupants 72hrs before applying any pesticides. Is that true and will i get the credit like that?
This credit requires the use of integrated methods to manage and control pests. This means that teams must use other strategies before applying a non-least toxic pesticide (such as structural repairs, sanitation, or other non-chemical methods). Using least-toxic products is one of the primary integrated methods that should be employed prior to any pesticide application, and if you're not taking that step, chances are you're not meeting the requirement to follow IPM procedures. So, if a review team senses that integrated methods aren't being used and pesticides are being applied regularly (even with notification), they will not be inclined to award the credit.
the contractor on one of our project is requesting to use a first-generation rodenticide which is supplied in a solid paste form, packaged in individual sachets (not pellets), rather than in a block. would this be acceptable or should we rather request that they use solid blocks with the same active ingredients? the rodenticide is placed in locked dispensers.
For other types of pesticides, the method of application will be important (i.e. broadcast spraying, crack and crevice application, etc.). However, the important thing to remember in this case is that rodent baits are not considered least toxic under any circumstances. The reference guide seems to prefer the use of solid blocks, but if the product is in a locked dispenser and proper notification is issued, I'm not sure whether it would be a big deal to use the paste.
many thanks for the responses! in terms of the principle intent of this credit component, i also think we would be meeting the intent by using paste because all other requirements and precautions seem to be met. in the meantime we had to advise the contractor to use blocks - just to be on the safe side!
I need help determining what tier a pesticide is. I have a list of pesticides that our project uses, but none are specificailly listed on the City of San Francisco's list of reviewed products (http://sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/fliers/files/sfe_th_product...).
However, the City of SF recommends that you look to the Pesticide Action Network database (http://www.pesticideinfo.org/) to look up your pesticide information. I went to the PAN database, and it was very helpful. However, it provides the "acute hazard warning label" as the designations for products, which are: 1-danger, 2-warning, 3-caution, and 4-none.
My question is: how can I figure out how these hazard levels translate into the three Tiers from the City of SF? For example, I have a product that is level 3-caution....so would that be a tier III? or a tier II? How do I know/translate?
Helen, can you cross-reference the active ingredient for each product? If the PAN database lists the active ingredient in products that are listed as hazard levels 1 through 3, you can check the SF Hazard Screening List for the same chemicals to determine whether the product is a Tier III or not.
FYI, We were just denied the IPM credit using the LEEDuser template because it only included a link to the City of San Francisco’s Hazard Tier 3 least-toxic pesticides. The reviewer wanted the actual list of pesticides in the document.
The link has also changed to:
Geoffrey, would you mind posting the review comment (or excerpt) so that we can troubleshoot this?
I've never heard of such a ruling, as the review language I'm familiar with asks for a) a definition of least-toxic in the plan that matches the LEED RG language, and b) a list of pesticides actually applied during the LEED performance period. Some teams do list the anticipated pesticides they plan to use and will indicate whether they are Tier III in their plan, and if they are misclassified a review would note that in the review comment.
But actually embedding the full SF list into the plan is not a requirement, as far as I know. Nor is listing out all the pesticides intended for use in the project building (though I think this is often a good approach).
The copy of the Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. Plan has been provided. However, the provided IPM plan includes a link to the SF Reduced-Risk Pesticide List rather than SF Pesticide Hazard Screening List, as required.
It's curious that they gave us credit for IEQc3.6: Indoor Integrated Pest Management, acknowledging that the link was included. All they asked was in the future, a functioning link is used. I posted the correct link in my first comment.
We didn't challenge this because we earned enough points for Gold.
I'm just diving into this credit with my client, not as a LEED existing buildings ssc3 credit, but using it as an Innovation in Design credit for NC. Can you provide the ssc3 template or link to the template? Are there chemical or pest control minimum standards the client should be aware of? Thanks
Under the Documentation Toolkit above there is a link to the credit form. Also, under the Credit Language tab you will see that you must look at IEQ Credit 3.6: 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.: Indoor Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment. for minimum standards. You can see that credit page here.
Does anyone know if LEED recognizes 100% organic fertilizer (ie. manure) differently from 'organic-based' fertilizer, one that has a Nitroform base?
My landscape vendor uses an organic-based product and i'm not sure if LEED finds that acceptable.
Hi Alyson, LEEDUser's Guide to Sustainable Food Certifications may be helpful for the purpose of evaluating the fertilizer, although this credit doesn't require the use of an organic product.
Alyson, certain fertilizers are allowed and some are not under Organic farming standards (I'll capitalize organic there to make my point). I don't know what organic-based fertilizer is, but it sounds like it may simply be referring to its carbon content—the more scientific definition of organic. So it would not qualify here.
If a product is represented as a Minimum-Risk pest control product and qualifies for exemption from EPA registration under FIFRA 25b, does that mean it is least toxic for LEED purposes? The specific product in question is Essentria IC3 insecticide concentrate.
Kimberlee, the EPA exemption doesn't necessarily mean a product meets the USGBC definition of a "least-toxic" pesticide, so you should be carefull to avoid the assumption that those two standards are interchangeable. Note that a "least-toxic" product is one that is listed as a Tier 3 product on the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List, which you can find at http://www.sfenvironment.org/downloads/library/hazard_screenings_of_pest....
That being said, 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 for Essentria IC3 indicates that the active ingredients are Rosemary Oil, Peppermint Oil and Geraniol (which is essentially Rose Oil). None of these ingredients show up on the San Francisco Pesticide Hazard Screening List in Tier 1 or Tier 2 products; and Rosemary Oil and mint oil are listed as the active ingredients in several Tier 3 products. It's not the definitive proof you get from seeing the actual branded product listed as a Tier 3 product by name, but this is a pretty good sign that this pesticide would be well-received as a "least-toxic" option.
At an office park, the stormwater management control is a large retention pond that is managed by an aquatic service vendor. They provide inspection logs for the LEED documentation. Recently, they recommended adding sterile carp to control an outgrowth of vegetation.
1)How and where is the best place to document this?
On one hand, it is part of the maintenance of our stormwater control (SSc6).
On the other hand, it is an organic and low-impact maintenance of the landscape and pest control (SSc3).
2) Is it worth 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. because of a synergy among credits?
Alyson, I could see this being a part of a landscape management plan that earns this credit, although I don't think it will make or break the credit. You would need to have a set of comprehensive practices covering multiple areas. I don't see it being the basis for an EP point, simply because synergies among credits aren't considered as a basis for EP. Nice work, though!
This pond also receives algaecide to control overgrowth of...well, algae, must that be included in this credit?
Does anyone know if the SF Hazard criteria includes aquatic products/pests?
The active ingredient is cooper-a natural mineral-this seems 'organic' and 'least toxic' to me.
I read in the IEQc3.6 forum that projects can use any products not on this list with universal notificationUniversal notification means notifying building occupants not less than 72 hours before a pesticide is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds under normal conditions, and within 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergency conditions. Use of a least toxic pesticide or self-contained nonrodent bait does not require universal notification; all other pesticide applications do.. is that my best option here?
I'm not clear what i need to write as the narrative in the space given in the template. is it the outcome of the measures implemented should go in there? how comprehensive it got to be? thanks.
You should include a narrative the describes the positive environmental impacts of each sustainable measure that is implemented as part of your plan. Try to be as specific as possible.
I'd like to confirm that Round-Up Pro (EPA # 524-475) is okay to use for weed control in sidewalk cracks. The only reference to weeds I can find is that the best practice is to hand-pull-is that the only option? In a hot/humid climate, fertilizer use is minimal to none because plants grow very easily, but weed control is a big concern.
Are weed considered 'pests' and products must fall under SF Hazard criteria Tier 3?
The literal requirements of the credit focus mainly on animal and insect pests, but the credit intent is that non-chemical methods are used in lieu of herbicides wherever possible as well. The SF Hazard Screening List lists Roundup Pro (and it's active ingredient "glyphosate") as a Tier II product, therefore it would not be considered a least-toxic alternative. I'd suggest spending a bit of time researching non-chemical herbicides, as there are a number on the market, and use hand-pulling as your backup plan. Remember, if all else fails, you are allowed to use a non least-toxic product during your performance period, but you need to explain the least-toxic methods that were found to be ineffective before resorting to the toxic option.
I'd like to keep his open and ask if anyone out there (maybe a landscape vendor?) has a recommendation for non-chemical alternative to round-up? It's the one product I can't convince them to give-up, and I'd like to suggest an alternative.
Thanks for providing the template for this credit. I used the template for an EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Project I am working on, making the necessary project-specific changes.
However, under section 8: Fertilizer Use, I used the exact language you provided in the table:
Organic Feritlizer Percent of Applicable Chemicals 100%
Manual Weekly Weeding n/a complete adoption
Organic Mulching n/a complete adoption
I received an informal advance review from GBCI, and they gave me this comment:
Please provide a revised IPM, Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan that includes additional information on the performance measurement methods for fertilizer application. The performance metric must allow the project team to quantify the extent to which environmentally preferred practices are used. An example of a performance metric is the total volume of fertilizer applied to the project site.
I felt like 100% as a performance metric would suffice, but evidently they want something different. Any advice on how to make a change that will pass?
Honestly, Steve, this seems like a comment from a confused Review Team. What you have provided is an iron-clad performance metric for chemical fertilizers. Maybe they didn't like it because the word "chemical" is still in there. All I can suggest is that you provide a supporting document in the form of a log of fertilizer applications over the performance period, making sure to indicate when a fertilizer is organic and highlighting the percent of total fertilizer applications that meet the organic criteria. It wouldn't hurt to include a narrative as well stating that no chemical fertilizers are ever used on the project site.
Jason, we had a similar experience with an informal GBCI review. The comments that came back for both SSc2 & SSc3 had to do with peformance metrics and they are asking to provide some type of documentation / log to show we meet the minimum 20%. I'm advising my client to go back and pull invoices and maintenance records to come up with a log to document compliance. However, their initial review had a performance period that was over a year and a half long. Do you think it would be acceptable to change the peformance period to the 3 month minimum so they don't have to pull so many records in order to document the compliance? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
Well, to date, reviewer are correct in asking for evidence of "continuous improvement". Basically, if your plan indicates that you are shooting for anything less than 100% compliance with each aspect of site management, the reviewer needs a log that verifies that you're meeting the minimum of 20% compliance. To answer your question, I think it's fine to change your performance period to three months - just make sure that the end of all performance periods fall within 30 days of each other.
Thanks Jason. I also posted in another forum "LEED Reviews: LEED Online, Appeals, Design/Construction Submittals, and more" and the response I got there said that it was probably NOT OK but they were not sure and said I could call GBCI to ask. Has anyone else on LEEDUser had any experience with changing the performance period after the initial review?
I am working with a client that has automist dispensers for fly control near the building entrances. The dispensers are not LEED compliant, but apparently the pest control service claims there is no alternative green product to use for this service. The various material manufacturers are unable to achieve the proper droplet size with alternative products to be effective. The client has stated that removing the misters is not an option, because flies will hover near entryways if the misters are not used.
Is it possible to achieve this credit if it is infeasible to use another product? Would we have to leave signage up at all times stating the frequency of the sprays and the chemicals involved?
First, I'm curious what kind of climate or building this is where flies are constantly hovering near doorways, and this is a problem warranting constant use of pesticides? My reason for asking is to check the plausibility that this mister system is really needed.
The credit requires 100% use of IPM. Can this practice be jusified under IPM? If not, then it's not possible to earn the credit.
my client has existing pest management control policies but not as detailed as in the attached template (specific means of treating each pest - from ants, rodents, etc). will this be acceptable or does it need to address all items as in the sample template?
The pest-specific language is intended as guidance for building operators when they run into certain common pests. This language is not a required component of a LEED-compliant IPM plan. The required elements are written in black text and even some of those sections are not absolutely crucial (i.e., teams are not required to follow the LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. Plan model for IPM as this document is intended to be a technical and trade-specific).
Thank you Shira. Regards
A single IPM plan typically addresses the requirements associated with both credits.
Use of mulching and compost addresses landscape waste management concerns, mitigates the need for chemical fertilizer use, and can reduce irrigation requirements.
Native and adapted plants and habitat tend to produce less landscape waste while also reducing the need for pest management and fertilizer use.
Promoting natural infiltration using native, onsite habitat contributes to stormwater management, and can reduce maintenance needs.
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