Nudge people to use designated smoking areas by providing amenities like seating, protection from weather, and cigarette receptacles. Photo – Cory DoctorowEnvironmental 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.) is a well-documented human health hazard. The only way to eliminate the threat of ETS is to completely prohibit smoking indoors, which is why LEED v4 gives no way around the requirement to ban indoor smoking. This is a departure from LEED 2009, which permitted designated interior smoking rooms.
Residential projects remain an exception to the interior no-smoking rule. See below for specific considerations for residential projects.
Smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. If you want to create a designated smoking area it must be located at least 25 feet away from building openings.
Additionally, if a portion of the site is used for business purposes–courtyards or a cafe with sidewalk seating, for example–this area must also be 100% smoke-free. Smoking must be prohibited in this type of area regardless of whether it’s inside or outside the property line.
No smoking signage must be placed within 10 feet of every building entrance. The only entrances exempt from this requirement are alarmed emergency exits.
The LEED Reference Guide doesn’t mandate any particular language for signage, but it does provide some suggestions: “Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas only” or “No smoking allowed within 25 feet.”
Smoking can be permitted in residential projects in specific units. However, additional work will be required to confirm that smoke isn’t moving from smoking units to non-smoking areas of the building. See the LEED Reference Guide for specific information on the requirements for this situation.
If you’re working on a LEED for Schools project you’ll need to ensure that smoking is prohibited on entire site. Signage detailing this policy must be posted at the property line, rather than near the building entrances.
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 that communicates the policy is required so that all occupants, visitors, and passersby are made aware of the exterior smoking policy.
This is acceptable as long as the emergency exit has an alarm. Emergency exits without alarms qualify as building openings and must have signage.
Smoking still needs to be prohibited in areas used for business purposes as well as public sidewalks that are within 25 feet of the building. If existing code explicitly prohibits you from extending your no-smoking zone, you should still be able to earn the prerequisite if you provide a copy of the code restriction.
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. 10388 confirms that electronic cigarettes are considered a form of smoking. It also updated the definition of smoke to include “smoke produced from the combustion of cannabis and controlled substances and the vapors produced by electronic smoking devices."
The LEED Reference Guide states that prohibiting smoking on residential balconies is a recommended strategy for protecting non-smoking units and balconies. But, it doesn’t explicitly say that smoking must be prohibited. If you do allow smoking on balconies attached to smoking units, ensure that you’re able to achieve and demonstrate proper air sealing using the strategies in the LEED Reference Guide.
To prevent or minimize exposure of building occupants, indoor surfaces, and ventilation air distribution systems to environmental tobacco smoke.
Prohibit smoking in the building.
Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas located at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) from all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. Also prohibit smoking outside the property line in spaces used for business purposes.
If the requirement to prohibit smoking within 25 feet (7.5 meters) cannot be implemented because of code, provide documentation of these regulations.
Signage must be posted within 10 feet (3 meters) of all building entrances indicating the no smoking policy.
Meet the requirements above.
Prohibit smoking in all common areas of the building. The prohibition must be communicated in building rental or lease agreements or condo or coop association covenants and restrictions. Make provisions for enforcement.
Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas located at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) from all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. The no-smoking policy also applies to spaces outside the property line used for business purposes.
Signage must be posted within 10 feet (3 meters) of all building entrances indicating the no-smoking policy.
Each unit must be compartmentalized to prevent excessive leakage between units:
Demonstrate on a regular basis (at least once every five years) a maximum leakage of 0.50 cubic feet per minute per square foot (2.54 liters per second per square meter) at 50 Pa of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceilings).
Projects that do not meet the leakage requirement may demonstrate a 30% improvement over the most recent baseline. The current measurement establishes the new baseline.
Complete documentation for achievement of EQp - Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control on the LEED v4 O+M:EB Platinum StopWaste.org headquarters office building at 1537 Webster Street, Oakland, CA. Project documentation was shared with LEEDuser through cooperation with that organization, and the LEED consultant, BuildingWise LLC
The project has a designated indoor smoking lounge located on the ground floor that has a separate entrance - more than 25 feet away from building entrances. The exhausts are fitted with filters, also more than 25 feet away. The lounge is negatively pressured. Does this qualify?
Hi Pablo! It is my understanding that in v4 smoking rooms are no longer permitted.
Thank you Gabriela. I'll relay to the client. The other option I can think of is to retain this smoking area and just make it naturally ventilated. Kindly confirm if this will suffice.
I would like to know if there are any specific requirements on the type of signage that should be put up. I have read that it the "language on the signage is up to the project team" and I have read the examples of "No smoking allowed within 25 feet" and "Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas only".
My question is, would it be possible to have the signage without any writing on it, just the no-smoking icon?
I asked GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). this same question a while back and here is their response:
"There is no firm answer to this as it depends on the overall context of the exterior smoking policy communication method on the site, but the exact language on the signage, its size, and location(s) are up to the project team (with one caveat for signage locations for v4 projects - must be within 10 feet of all entrances). That being said, the signage throughout the site must somehow effectively communicate the exterior smoking policy to all building occupants and visitors and it must be reasonably visible. For example, a single sign with a crossed-out cigarette and no text at one entrance may not be sufficient and could be misinterpreted as the interior smoking policy, but if such a sign is installed at multiple locations around the building exterior to communicate the extent of the non-smoking area or if there is additional signage to indicate the location of the designated smoking area, this would better communicate the exterior smoking policy. Another example of effective signage language is "Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas only." Also, reviewers will take into consideration other methods of communicating the exterior smoking policy in conjunction with the signage, such as policing of non-smoking areas by security staff or regular communications with occupants about the smoking policy. If the client wants to do the bare minimum, one approach could be to place a sign only at the designated smoking area saying something such as "Smoking permitted in this area only" and supplementing that with regular communications with the occupants about the site smoking policy."
Hope this helps!
Thank you very much David!
Everything seems quite clear to me, but when the response says "one approach could be to place a sign only at the designated smoking area [...] and supplementing that with regular communications with the occupants..." it seems like the caveat for signage locations is not so stringent as it seems (them needing to be within 3m away from every entrance).
So, do you think then that they are flexible on that respect?
We are finding that it may be a bit difficult to have the signage on every entrance (mainly for aesthetic reasons). And we are not planning on having a designated smoking area since the client believes this encourages smoking.
Unfortunately I am unable to determine where exactly the project's LEED reviewer will draw the line on this one.
Our v4 O+M:EB Volume program requires signage within 10 feet of all entrances. If we were to do less (e.g. not locate signage at every entrance) we would provide a policy that provides additional communication/policing strategies. ***Disclaimer*** I cannot guarantee this will be approved.
Soapbox time :)
It is interesting that we provide a policy and signage but do not physically verify where people are in fact smoking while our commissioningThe process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. team is onsite during the performance period
Thanks again David!
Very useful! :)
Currently we have no smoking signs on the residence hall's main entrances, the ones used by residents to get in and out of the building. Do we need to post signage on the single external service entrance (only used by staff to get into the basement/equipment room) or the two private sliding doors to rooms in the back of the dormitory used by two live-in families?
Hi Patricia, the credit requirements specify all entrances, so you'll need to cover those as well.
Dear all, we have a multi-tenant project that includes restaurants, currently they have a smoking policy for outdoor seating, 1.is it possible to maintain the policy for outdoor smoking, if we comply with the 25 ft distance of the entrance to that area?
2.There is a space with large openings in the wall to provide ventilation but we are not sure if we can consider it as an outdoor space. Can we somehow get a parameter on how large should be the openings be to considered it as an outdoor space?
Hi Gabriela, in this case you'll need to prohibit smoking within 25 feet of all building openings and also in the outdoor seating area for the restaurant. There's a nice graphic on page 413 of the Reference Guide that demonstrates where smoking must be prohibited when there's outdoor seating. For your second question, the opening for ventilation is treated like any other building opening, like a door or a window, and you'll need to prohibit smoking within 25 feet of that opening as well.
Are commercial buildings exempt from this prerequisite due to the "residential only" language?
No. The residential-specific language provides an added compliance option, but the main requirement is in effect for all project types.
Thanks for the clarification, Tristan.
Copyright 2017 – BuildingGreen, Inc.