NC-2009 IEQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy

  • NC_CI_Schools_IEQc3-2_TypeXJA_FlushOut Diagram
  • It’s about good IAQ for occupancy

    The idea behind this credit is to ensure good indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) for a project for occupancy. IEQc3.2 can be seen as a belt-and-suspenders credit: even if the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits are pursued, along with IEQc3.1: Construction IAQ Management—During Construction, IEQc3.2 ensures that the building ends up with the intended result. (Although it’s typical to do so, you don’t have to pursue any of those credits to go after this credit.)

    The credit has a direct impact on occupant health and comfort, and it is often very important to the owner and occupants, that their new, LEED-certified building should smell “green” when they move in.

    Flush out or testing?

    The flush-out of indoor air required under Option 1 is frequently pursued by projects seeking a certain and predictable path.

    Performing testing under Option 2 leaves open the possibility that despite all other efforts, the building could fail the tests, putting the credit in jeopardy.

    You might wonder why, if a building earns the IEQc4 credits and IEQc3.1, there would be any chance of failing IAQ testing. For whatever reason, it happens. This might be due to VOC emissions from materials not covered by IEQc4, or from the undetected use of materials not meeting the spec.

    Another reason for pursuing Option 1 is that the costs of IAQ testing are commonly greater than those of a building flush-out. Testing costs vary depending on the size of the building, the number of samples tested, and the travel and field work the testing agency needs to perform. Large buildings, or buildings with multiple independent HVAC systems, require more testing samples. One test is required for each separate ventilation system within the building, with not less than one sample per 25,000 ft2 of contiguous floor area.

    On the other hand, the energy expenditure for flush-out under Option 1 can be large, and there may not been enough time after installation of finishes but prior to occupancy to conduct the flush-out. The tenant may also prefer the solid results of a test. All of these factors can push a project toward Option 2.

    Two flush-out options

    Under Option 1, you have two paths for performing the flush-out. Path 1 is performed prior to occupancy: provide 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot of building space. Relative humidity must be maintained at 60% or below and temperature must be maintained at 60 degrees or above.

    If there isn’t enough time prior to occupancy to follow Path 1, Path 2 allows you to reach the 14,000-cubic-foot threshold in phases. Path 2 requires an initial flush-out of 3,500 cubic feet per square foot, and then a daily flush-out that begins three hours before occupancy and continues until the end of occupancy for the day. During this period, a ventilation rate of 0.3 cfm per square foot must be maintained. This may be higher than the designed ventilation rate, so plan ahead for this. 

    Common pitfalls to avoid

    This credit is typically easy to achieve if you plan ahead and avoid these common pitfalls:

    • Early in the design of the mechanical systems, take into account the requirements for flush-out to ensure that the HVAC system is able to supply the required ventilation rate which is often higher than normal design conditions.  Once the mechanical design is confirmed, the mechanical engineer should provide the contractor with the flush-out duration so that it can be worked into the construction schedule as soon as possible. 
    • If a flush-out is performed during very cold or very humid weather, maintaining minimum temperature and humidity levels may be impossible or require a lot of energy loss. Consider the testing path if these conditions are likely for your project.
    • All permanent finishes have to be installed prior to flush-out. Also, all construction must be completed including punch-lists. Make sure that subcontractors are informed of the credit requirements and that all work is appropriately scheduled so as to not introduce contaminants after the flush-out.
    • If you go for testing (Option 2) and fail, you can opt to do a flush-out and retest prior to occupancy, but your schedule needs to allow for it. Build in some schedule and budget contingency in case retesting is required. 

    Alternative approaches

    In naturally ventilated buildings or other situations where using the HVAC is not possible or desired, alternatives such as temporary supply and exhaust fans placed in the windows are also possible. (Simply opening the windows is not enough, however.) Like natural ventilation in general, this approach works best for relatively dry, moderate climates where the temperature and humidity conditions required by the credit are easy to maintain.

    If using fans, ensure correct placement of fans to provide an even flow of fresher outdoor air across each space, preventing short-circuiting. Check the EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools Controlling Pollutants and Sources information on exhaust or spot ventilation practices during construction activity (although written for schools, it is applicable to any type of project). (See Section 5: Ventilation Techniques). 

    Consider these questions when approaching this credit

    • Ask your mechanical engineer to run these preliminary calculations:
      • Is the HVAC system capable of performing the ventilation rates required for flush-out?
      • Can indoor temperature and humidity levels be maintained during the flush-out considering the scheduled season of the flush-out?
      • What is the estimated duration of the flush-out under Path 1 and Path 2 and how will this affect the construction schedule?
    • Important conversations that need to occur between the general contractor, building owner and occupants:
      • When do occupants need to move in? Is the date flexible? 
      • Can the schedule allow time for a flush-out after construction completion and prior to occupancy? How much time is available?
      • Will the project pursue a full flush-out (Option 1 – Path 1), or will occupancy occur during the flush-out (Option 1 – Path 2)?
      • How will the basic requirements for having all finishes installed and construction complete be communicated to subcontractors?
    • Things to consider when implementing IAQ testing:
      • Does your building have multiple, separate ventilation systems?
      • How many samples are required? 
      • Is your construction team confident that it can ensure contamination levels below credit limitations at the end of construction?
      • Is there time at the end of the construction schedule to allow for flush-out and retesting if initial test results are above allowable levels for contaminants?
  • How this credit is addressed in different building types

    • A phased flush-out is possible if different sections of the building are completed at different times, which is common in multi-tenant or mixed-use project types.
    • In facilities where air quality is particularly critical, such as healthcare and laboratory buildings, owners may require IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing as part of standard building practice. 
    • Buildings with large numbers of identical rooms with separate ventilation zones—such as hotel rooms or apartment units—have been allowed to perform random sampling as an alternative approach in situations when the delivery of outside air—on an air-change-per-hour basis—and the materials in a ventilation zone are identical. Project teams should confirm with GBCI that this is still applicable in LEED 2009.
  • FAQs for IEQc3.2

    Is it possible to combine Options 1 and 2 for different spaces in the same building?

    This is not officially permitted in LEED. It might make sense in some projects, but teams should get 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 or 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. in order to proceed.

    Is it possible for the flush-out start date to vary by ventilation zone?

    Yes. Areas served by completely separate ventilation systems—where air serving these spaces is not mixed with air serving any other spaces—can be flushed independently, as long as each such area is also isolated completely from all non-flushing areas per SMACNA guidelines.

    Should a parking garage be included in a flush-out, if it is in a basement and not fully open to the outdoors?

    No, parking garage space should not be included in this credit.

    Do the outdoor air minimum quantities have to be met for each individual space, or for the building square footage as a whole?

    Ideally, the flush out will be designed to provide the minimum volume to each individual space, and the LEED Reference Guide indicates that teams must take reasonable measures to ensure there is no obvious short-circuiting of the airflow. However, the requirements only address the "total air volume," so, for LEED credit compliance purposes it is only necessary to quantify the total outside air volume supplied to the entire building.

    Do non-regularly occupied areas such as bathrooms and corridors have to be flushed-out?

    Yes. All occupied gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.) (both non-regularly occupied and regularly occupied) must be included.

    For LEED NC addition projects, do existing non-renovated areas need to be flushed-out or tested?

    No, not if the project team is only certifying the addition, per se, as a separate LEED project.  But the addition should be isolated from the existing, unrenovated areas in accordance with the SMACNA IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Guidelines for Occupied Buildings under Construction.

    Should we install furniture and furnishings before IAQ testing or flushout?

    It's optional. In the past that has been unclear, and in an addendum issued 10/1/12, USGBC clarified that it is optional to install furniture and furnishings before IAQ testing or flushout for IEQc3.2. The word "optionally" has been inserted in the last paragraph of page 466 in the LEED BD&C reference guide, before "including furniture and furnishings."

    For IAQ testing, how many sample points are necessary in non-mechanically ventilated spaces?

    This is left to the discretion of the industrial hygienist or other qualified professional who is performing the testing and employing the EPA Standard.

    Can testing be done over various days?

    Yes, as long as it complies with the EPA standard.

    I'm confused about the 11/1/2011 LEED addendum that removed the "1/25,000 SF or each contiguous area whichever is larger" language from the credit requirement. How do we determine the number of sampling locations for testing?

    According to USGBC, the addendum was intended to give project teams more flexibility in testing locations. The 1/25,000 SF testing rate is still a good rule of thumb and is acceptable. USGBC is trusting that the project's industrial hygienist will have the best understanding of how to accurately test the spaces in the project. Select spaces to be tested so that each occupiable space type is adequately represented. Additional guidance can be found in the pilot prerequisite for performance-based IAQ.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Depending on which of the two options you choose for this credit (see Schematic Design), you should start to consider the following two things during predesign:

    • If you pursue a flush-out, you’ll need a mechanical system with the capacity to meet the credit requirements for air volume, humidity and temperature.  If using natural ventilation, you can meet the air volume requirements with temporary fans and HVAC units. 
    • If pursuing the testing option, pursuing all of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, along with IEQc3.1: IAQ Management Plan: During Construction, will significantly increase the likelihood of passing the testing and earning the credit. If not pursuing the testing option, then earning those credits won’t directly help with IEQc3.2, but they will contribute to good IAQ.

Schematic Design

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  • Choosing an option


  • Consider whether Option 1 or Option 2 is a better match for your project. Review the following tips, along with more details on each option below.


  • If you follow the flush-out procedures required under Option 1, you will earn this credit, while if you follow the testing procedures under Option 2, you may earn the credit if your project passes the tests. This lack of certainty under Option 2 leads many project teams to pursue Option 1.


  • If your goal in pursuing this credit is to provide good IAQ at the start of occupancy, IAQ testing is the best way to confirm it, even though it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll earn the credit. (If you initially fail testing, you can do a flush-out and retest, however.) 


  • Many teams consider Option 1, but ultimately choose Option 2 for one of two practical reasons:

    • Scheduling the flush-out is not possible.
    • The building’s HVAC will not be able to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels for the duration of the flush-out. Doing so will also be energy-intensive.

  • Pursuing this credit through Option 2: Air Testing can allow for an earlier move-in date than might be possible when pursuing a building flush-out. IAQ testing can be a quicker process if your project team can ensure that the air contains very little contamination at the time of testing. However, there is always a risk of failing the test, which results in the need to flush-out the building again and retest—or forfeit the credit. 


  • Depending on your climate and the time of year the flush-out will be completed, the energy costs of doing a flush-out could vary significantly. Estimate this early on, to help inform your chosen compliance path.


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Consider the minimum flush-out rate of the building’s ventilation system that will be required for this credit.


  • Consider whether your HVAC system will be able to power a flush-out while maintaining temperature and humidity levels during seasonal extremes in a timely fashion, without major scheduling impacts. A total of 14,000 cubic feet of outside air must be exchanged for every square foot of floor area. The amount of outside air prescribed during a phased flush-out (0.3 CFM) may be several times greater than the normal rate required for a project’s occupancy, based on ASHRAE 62.1-2007, as required by IEQp1: Minimum IAQ Performance


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If considering IAQ testing, design the building in a way that maximizes the likelihood of passing the testing. This should include specifying low- and no-VOC materials as part of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, at a minimum.


  • IAQ testing is rigorous and not at all a sure thing, so take steps to increase the probability of passing the testing on the first try. This might include specifying low- and no-VOC products that go beyond those recognized by LEED credits. 

Design Development

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  • Both Options


  • Include the requirements for building flush-out or IAQ testing in the IAQ Management Plan and the project specifications. If you are pursuing both IEQc3.1 and IEQc3.2, then include the requirements for both in a single plan.


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Once the mechanical system is confirmed, establish the required time required for flush-out with the mechanical engineer (which should be a relatively simple calculation) and coordinate the flush-out with the contractor’s construction schedule. 


  • If the mechanical system is not capable of moving the required volume of air in a reasonable amount of time, establish a plan for credit compliance that either includes using temporary fans or IAQ testing.


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If planning to pursue Option 2, also plan to pursue IEQc3.1 and all of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits to ensure the best chances of passing the IAQ testing on the first try. 

Construction Documents

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  • Both options


  • Include requirements for a flush-out or air quality testing in Division 1 of your construction specifications.


  • Include details for writing an IAQ Management Plan in your specifications with the requirements for complying with IEQc3.2 included in the plan.


  • Require that your contractor submit an IAQ Management Plan early in construction, before interior work has begun. The plan should detail the approach to this credit, as well as IEQc3.1 if both credits are being pursued. Either of these credits can be pursued independently; IEQc3.1 is not a prerequisite for IEQc3.2. However, pursuing the credits in tandem is the most effective way to ensure the best IAQ at the time the building is turned over to the owner. 

Construction

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  • Both options


  • Develop an IAQ management plan detailing your project’s approach to IEQc3.1 (if your project is pursuing it) and this credit.


  • Your project team should clearly define who will be responsible for managing flush-outs and IAQ procedures. 


  • If not completed in pre-construction, your IAQ management plan should be developed by the general contractor and incorporate input from your entire project team, specifically the technical requirements for flush-out identified by the mechanical engineer and any special scheduling required by the building owner or tenants. The plan should be shared with the whole project team, including all subcontractors who will be working with any interior materials and fittings. 


  • The requirements of this credit apply to all spaces within the building envelope. This credit does not differentiate between regularly occupied and non-regularly-occupied spaces. 


  • Jobsite safety meetings or regular subcontractor meetings are a good place to educate your construction team about LEED requirements for IAQ management, as well as other related requirements for construction waste management, low-emitting materials, and other similar issues.


  • The following work must be completed prior to flush-out or testing to ensure that the air quality isn't compromised afterward.

    • All interior finishes must be installed.
    • All punch-list items must be complete. 
    • All cleaning must be finalized.
    • Final testing and balancing of HVAC systems must be complete. Other commissioning tasks can occur during flush-out or testing only if they do not introduce any additional contaminants into the building.
    • Temporary filters and duct coverings used as part of the construction IAQ management plan must be removed.
    • Filters must be replaced with new filtration media, unless the system is configured to filter only outside air. If your project is pursuing IEQc5: Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control, these filters must be MERV 13 or higher.
    • For BD&C projects, it is optional to install furniture and furnishings prior to testing or flush-out. For ID&C projects, movable furnishings must be installed prior to testing or flush-out.

  • Prior to move-in, ensure that the requirements of either Option 1: Flush-Out, or Option 2: Air Testing, have been met. 


  • Check filters after the flush-out is complete. Some or all of the filters may be ready for replacement, although this is not required by the credit.  


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Once a general construction schedule has been established, your project’s mechanical engineer should calculate the estimated time expected for completing a flush-out according to either Path 1 or Path 2, based on climatic conditions for the given time of year. 


  • Ensure that you include time for building flush-out or testing in the construction schedule as early as possible.

    • For Path 1 (continuous flush-out), 14,000 ft3 of air must be moved while not exceeding 60% relative humidity and 60ºF. This may take up to two weeks depending on system capacity.
    • For Path 2, a continuous flush-out of 3,500 ft3 of air must be completed and then a phased flush-out until 14,000 ft3 of air has been moved. This duration varies: 3,500 ft3 may take just a few days, but the remaining phased flush-out may take several weeks.

  • Perform full Flush-out (Path 1) or the first step of a phased flush-out (Path 2) prior to any occupancy.


  • During flush-out, record exact dates, occupancy patterns (if any, per Path 2), outdoor air delivery rates, and internal temperatures and humidity levels. 


  • Per the credit requirements, during flush-out, the rate of outside air should not cause the interior temperature to drop below 60oF, and relative humidity should not exceed 60%.


  • For projects with multiple independent HVAC systems, portions of the building can be flushed out separately, as they are completed, as long as no additional construction work occurs in an area where a flush-out has begun. Completed areas should be isolated from those under construction per SMACNA IAQ guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction, which is the same standard that defines the requirements for IEQc3.1 (see Resources).


  • If you are pursuing a phased flush-out under Option 1, Path 2, ensure that the flush-out continues after move-in until a total of 14,000 ft3 of outside air has been supplied per ft2 of floor area before the HVAC system is switched into its normal operational mode. 


  • During the occupied phase of a flush-out under Option 1, Path 2, a minimum ventilation rate must begin at least three hours before daily occupancy and continue while the space is occupied (through the end of the business day, or other occupancy duration) at a minimum rate of 0.30 cfm per ft2, or the design minimum rate determined in IEQp1, whichever is greater. 


  • Whether you have completed a full or a phased flush-out, record the performed flush-out dates, schedule, humidity levels, temperatures and total air volumes and provide this information in a narrative for credit documentation.   


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • IAQ testing should be worked into the construction schedule as it will occur close to project close-out, generally when the construction schedule is most critical. Testing will take a least one day, but could take longer depending on the number of tests required. If any tests are failed, flush-out and retesting are required and will have significant scheduling impacts. This could require several additional days. 


  • Testing will take at least one day, but could take longer.


  • Select an IAQ specialist, industrial hygienist, or testing facility to perform the testing.


  • Extra attention must be paid to ensure strict adherence to the requirements for low-emitting materials (IEQc4) and the successful implementation of a construction IAQ management plan (IEQc3.1)—including a thorough cleanup using low-VOC cleaning supplies. (Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration can also help remove particulates.) 


  • Perform IAQ testing in accordance with the recommended EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air. This document defines methodology and procedures for IAQ testing required for credit compliance. (See Resources.)


  • The cost of IAQ testing varies widely depending on the number of tests needed for your project, the availability of local testing firms, and the type of test. Check your options early in order to factor this in, but plan to pay $500-$1,500 per testing location.


  • Other protocols can be followed if they are equally or more stringent and you provide a valid justification. Most projects simply follow EPA’s rules.  


  • IAQ testing requires at least one sample for every 25,000 ft2 in each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system. Sampling locations should be in areas with the least ventilation and the greatest presumed potential for contaminant source strength.


  • IAQ testing must occur prior to occupancy, but conditions should be as similar as possible to the air that occupants will breathe. Tests should be performed during normal operation of the building’s HVAC system, including normal daily start times. 


  • Samples should be collected in the breathing zone—three to six feet above the floor—during hours when the building will normally be occupied. Record the exact locations in which samples are taken in case follow-up samples are required. 


  • If IAQ test samples exceed any of the maximum concentration levels, the space must be flushed out with an increased rate of outside air, as recommended by the testing agency, and re-sampled to confirm compliance before allowing occupants to move in. 


  • Some projects fail the first round of testing, and have difficulty scheduling or budgeting for the required flush-out and re-testing. Those projects are, unfortunately, forced to give up on this credit.


  • Record information on IAQ testing, including:

    • a description of the IAQ testing process, test dates, and scope; 
    • sampling locations with respect to floor area, size, and ventilation system; 
    • and any corrective measures implemented to achieve credit compliance. 

    Provide all finalized testing reports from your testing agency as documentation of credit compliance, along with a narrative outlining the testing procedure.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The strategies required by IEQc5: Indoor Chemical Pollutant Source Control are intended to help buildings minimize sources of indoor air contamination during continued building operation. Pursuing IEQc5 can help enhance the effects of building flushout or testing. 


  • Periodic IAQ testing during occupancy is not required, but can be used to help ensure a healthy indoor environment. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification several credits will help ensure good air quality during occupancy, such as IEQc1.1: Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices—Indoor Air Quality Management Program. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Credit 3.2: Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) problems resulting from construction or renovation to promote the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.

    Requirements

    Develop an (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) management plan and implement it after all finishes have been installed and the building has been completely cleaned before occupancy.

    Option 1. Flush-out1
    Path 1

    After construction ends, prior to occupancy and with all interior finishes installed, install new filtration media and perform a building flush-out by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (4,500 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60° F (15° C) and relative humidity no higher than 60%.

    OR

    Path 2

    If occupancy is desired prior to completion of the flush-out, the space may be occupied following delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (1,000 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area. Once the space is occupied, it must be ventilated at a minimum rate of 0.30 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per square foot (0.1 cubic meters per minute per square meter) of outside air or the design minimum outside air rate determined in IEQ Prerequisite 1: Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance, whichever is greater. During each day of the flush-out period, ventilation must begin a minimum of 3 hours prior to occupancy and continue during occupancy. These conditions must be maintained until a total of 14,000 cubic feet per square foot (4,500 cubic meters per square meter) of outside air has been delivered to the space.

    OR

    Option 2. Air testing

    Conduct baseline IAQ testing, after construction ends and prior to occupancy, using testing protocols consistent with the EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air or as the ISO method listed in the table below. Testing must be done in accordance with one standard; project teams may not mix requirements from the EPA Compendium of Methods with ISO.

    Demonstrate that the contaminant maximum concentrations listed below are not exceeded:

    Contaminant Maximum Concentration EPA Compendium method ISO method
    Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. 27 parts per billion IP-6 ISO 16000-3
    Particulates (PM10) 50 micrograms per cubic meter IP-10 ISO 7708
    Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) 500 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
    4-Phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) * 6.5 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
    Carbon monoxide (CO) 9 parts per million and no greater than 2 parts per million above outdoor levels IP-3 ISO 4224
    *This test is required only if carpets and fabrics with styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex backing are installed as part of the base building systems.


    For each sampling point where the maximum concentration limits are exceeded, conduct an additional flush-out with outside air and retest the noncompliant concentrations. Repeat until all requirements are met. When retesting noncompliant building areas, take samples from the same locations as in the first test, although it is not required.

    Conduct the air sample testing as follows:

    • All measurements must be conducted prior to occupancy, but during normal occupied hours with the building ventilation system started at the normal daily start time and operated at the minimum outside air flow rate for the occupied mode throughout the test.
    • All interior finishes must be installed, including but not limited to millwork, doors, paint, carpet and acoustic tiles. Movable furnishings such as workstations and partitions should be in place for the testing, although it is not required.
    • The number of sampling locations will depend on the size of the building and number of ventilation systems. For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system, the number of sampling points must not be less than 1 per 25,000 square feet or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger. Include areas with the least ventilation and greatest presumed source strength.
    • Air samples must be collected between 3 and 6 feet from the floor to represent the breathing zoneThe breathing zone is the region within an occupied space between 3 and 6 feet above the floor and more than 2 feet from walls or fixed air-conditioning equipment. (AHSRAE 62.1–2007) of occupants, and over a minimum 4-hour period.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Prior to occupancy, perform a building flush-out or test the air contaminant levels in the building. The flush-out is often used where occupancy is not required immediately upon substantial completion of construction. IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing can minimize schedule impacts but may be more costly. Coordinate with IEQ Credit 3.1: Construction IAQ Management PlanA construction IAQ management plan outlines measures to minimize contamination in a specific project building during construction and describes procedures to flush the building of contaminants prior to occupancy. — During Construction and IEQ Credit 5: Indoor Chemical & Pollutant Source Control to determine the appropriate specifications and schedules for filtration media.

    The intent of this credit is to eliminate IAQ problems that occur as a result of construction. Architectural finishes used in tenant build-outs constitute a significant source of air pollutants and must be addressed to qualify for this credit.

Technical Guides

IEQ Space Matrix - 2nd Edition

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.


IEQ Space Matrix - 1st Ed.

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.

Publications

SMACNA IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction

Project management guidance in maintaining satisfactory IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. of occupied buildings undergoing renovation or construction. 


EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air

Provides step-by-step sampling and laboratory analysis procedures for the determination of selected pollutants in indoor air. The section of this document that is dedicated to testing methodology and procedures is most relevant for credit.


Indoor Air Pollution Report, July, 2005 California Air Resources Board

Outlines the health effects of indoor air pollution.


State of Washington Program and IAQ Standards

 

This standard was the first state-initiated program to ensure the design of buildings with acceptable IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.

 


Indoor Air Quality: A Facility Manager’s Guide, Construction Technology Centre Atlantic,

This publication is written as a comprehensive review of IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. issues and solutions.


Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Inorganic Compounds in Ambient Air, U.S. EPA

 

These methods have been prepared to provide regional, state and local environmental regulatory agencies and other users with step-by-step sampling and analysis procedures for the determination of selected inorganic pollutants in ambient air.

 

Web Tools

Healthy Building Network

Articles and resources on healthier building materials and issues of toxicity in the building industry. 


EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools Controlling Pollutants and Sources

Reference for best practices and strategies to implement IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. management in Schools. 


Controlling Pollutants and Sources, IAQ Design for Schools U.S. EPA

This EPA website offers detailed information on exhaust or spot ventilation practices during construction activity. 

Organizations

Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. (SMACNA)

SMACNA is an international organization that developed guidelines for maintaining healthful indoor air quality during demolitions, renovations, and construction. The professional trade association publishes the referenced standard as well as Indoor Air Quality: A Systems Approach, a comprehensive document that covers air pollutant sources, control measures, IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. process management, quality control and documentation, interpersonal communication , sample projects, tables, references, resources, and checklists.

Construction IAQ Management Plan

All Options

A construction IAQ management planA construction IAQ management plan outlines measures to minimize contamination in a specific project building during construction and describes procedures to flush the building of contaminants prior to occupancy. like this sample is required for both options of this credit, along with IEQc3.1. This example details a plan meeting both flush-out and testing requirements, leaving it open which one will be used.

Flush-Out Volume

Option 1 - Flush Out

This sample calculation demonstrates how one project figured out how long its flush-out needed to be, and how rental equipment was added to make it possible.

IAQ Testing

Option 2 - Testing

These test results and testing report from a LEED-CI project demonstrate the kind of information that needs to be gathered to document IEQc3.2, Option 2.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 IEQ

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 IEQ credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

217 Comments

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Apr 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
1321 Thumbs Up

Do all units have to run at 100% OA for this credit?

We have 4 A/C Units providing air conditioning to a building, two of them are 100% OA units and two of them are providing the total air supply cfm (OA + recirulated air) is 7000 cfm and 8600 respectively, including 1100 cfm of OA in each. I was wondering the guide does NOT specifically says that for the flush the equipment needs to provide 100% OA, but instead 14000 cf/sf. even if through the process you are recirculating air. Is this assumption correct? The project is located in Florida, if the equipment provides OA 100% 24hr/day it may humidify the drywall indoors and cause a problem.

Thanks

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Apr 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5774 Thumbs Up

Victor- the required volume of air (14,000 cubic feet) has to all be "outside air". This does not mean that the system has to deliver 100% OA, but rather, that if the system is delivering a mix of OA and recirculated, you can only count the OA portion toward the total volume.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Apr 18 2014 LEEDuser Member 1321 Thumbs Up

Great, if that is the case we can definitely provide that volume in about 40 days, system running as originally intended. Is there any reference in regards to that I can forward to our engineers for clarification? There is a believe out there that the equipment have to run 100% OA to be considered "flush out". Any reference? Do we need to maintain the min ventilation per sf of 0.3 cfm of option 2?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Apr 18 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5774 Thumbs Up

LEED NC 2.2 used to refer to "100% Outside Air", so that could be where the percepion is coming from. The equivalent credit in LEED 2009 does not refer to a need for 100% outside air anywhere, it just gives a total volume of outside air. It also doesn't specifically say it doesn't have to be 100% OA, though, so I know it's not exactly what you're looking for. We have done flush outs that do not use 100% OA several times and we have not had problems on review.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Apr 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 1321 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your reply Allison, really helpful

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Regina Ng
Apr 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
930 Thumbs Up

Meeting the 0.3cfm/sqft

Hi

Want to check if the space comprises of office areas served by AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. and FCU, but the FCU areas cannot meet the requirement of 0.3cfm/sqft during occupancy. However, this is a 24 hour operating building, where the fresh air can be supplied at maximum all the time but at only 0.15cfm/sqft). Is it possible to do the flushing for a longer time to meet the 14000cf/sqft during occupancy at the lower rate?

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MT A Moriyama & Teshima Architects
Mar 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
109 Thumbs Up

Definition of 'occupancy'

We are planning to pursue this credit and would like to better understand if occupancy is tied to 'substantial completion' occupancy or is occupancy understood as a more high level idea - when the building is being used for its intended purpose?
Substantial completion from the City's perspective is when the building is determined as being able to be occupied for its intended use. The owner wishes to start moving in the furnishings & furniture & setting up in the two months following substantial - during which time some staff may be working (it's a library). What is considered the time of occupancy: substantial / any one working in the space / the space being used for its intended purpose?

Thank you!
Emmanuelle

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Mar 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 309 Thumbs Up

The Supplemental Guidance to the Minimum Program Requirements defines typical physical occupancy as "the state in which normal building operations are underway and the building is in use by the average number of 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. occupants for which it was designed". The case you described appears that the building will not initially be considered "typical physical occupancy".

However, I interpret the credit to require a flush-out or air testing prior to occupancy of the first person. Afterall, how many buildings are 100% occupied (or considered typical physical occupancy) the very date occupancy is declared by the authority having jursidiction?

I believe it would be very difficult to provide a narrative to the LEED reviewer explaining how staff occupied the building before the completion of the required flush-out or air testing.

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Sandi Carney
Mar 07 2014
Guest
3 Thumbs Up

Option 2 fails TVOC - will Retest Pass?

I was the responsible party who ran the baseline IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing event a a newly constructed 6,000 SF teaching facility. The TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. results came back yesterday and were 4,900 ug/m3. This is ten times the allowable maximum for the LEED credit. The next step is a flush out and re-test, right? I was asked what the likelihood of passing with below 500 ug/m3 TVOC is after completing the flush out. Do you have experience that would lend way to an answer?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Sandi, I personally couldn't say. It sounds pretty high—like you have some source within the building that could continue to offgas and cause problems. If I were you I would do some detective work and try to see if there is a source within the building for starters.

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Dale Walsh Mar 07 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Sandi,
What method did you use for the TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. analysis? Did you ask your lab if they can tell you the specific VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. that make up your TVOC result? If you can find out about the constituents of the TVOCs it can give a clue as to the source or cause of the high levels. For example, pentane can be from exterior styrofoam insulation, petroleum hydrocarbons can be from roof mastics or vehicle exhaust or fuels being entrained into the building, chlorinated hydrocarbons could be from leaking air conditioning coolant or freon used as a propellant for touch up painting, limonene could be associated with citrus based cleaning products, etc.

If you can get the main individual VOCs that were detected I'd be happy to look at them and give you an idea as to what may causing the high TVOC reading. This could help you more efficiently remove the source and pass on the re-test.

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Sandi Carney Mar 10 2014 Guest 3 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan and Dale. The construction had completed the week before the testing including the placement of a tile floor and a composite (paint chip/resin) lab floor. Potentially these products are still off-gassing. I am not in my office today so I do not have the report in front of me, but I do remember the top three VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.. In order from highest to lowest - ethanol, acetone and pentane. I appreciate the feedback.

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Zach Hoffman Commissioning Agent/IAQ Technician, MBO, Inc. Mar 10 2014 Guest 84 Thumbs Up

Hello Sandi,

It sounds like your culprit may be hand sanitizer. I've had a similar experience in the past with a project that yeilded results with extremely high VOC concentrations. Further investigations pinned down the main offenders to ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and acetone. Ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are the main ingredients in hand sanatizer and sure enough, there was a "Costco-sized" jug of the stuff in the testing area. I hope that helps, good luck.

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Sandi Carney Mar 11 2014 Guest 3 Thumbs Up

Thanks Zach. We are currently investigating the products that were used to clean the facility the day before. Against advisement- perhaps some sanitizing and disinfectants were used to clean the floors. This could be right in line with your suggestion of hand sanitizer.

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Dale Walsh Mar 12 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

In addition to hand sanitizer ethanol can be found in a variety of other products such as cleaners (Window cleaners), personal care products, perfume, etc. It is ubiquitous in the indoor air. Another indicator of cleaning product use is limonene which is the citrus in citrus-based cleaners. Was there any limonene detected?

Acetone is a very common solvent and can be found in paints, degreasers, adhesives, and even nail polish remover. Pentane is a “Green” blowing agent (replacing Freons) for Styrofoam and other insulation. Its boiling point is near 100 F, and it may off-gas when exposed to the radiant heat of the sun on the exterior of the building. Styrofoam packing peanuts can be another source. If the exterior insulation is Styrofoam, then a potential solution would be to make sure the building is positively pressurized.

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Maggie Pipek
Mar 03 2014
Guest
12 Thumbs Up

Pre-occupancy Cleaning

If you are not pursuing a green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices. credit, is there anywhere in the credits (IEQc3.1/IEQc3.2 Construction IAQ Management PlanA construction IAQ management plan outlines measures to minimize contamination in a specific project building during construction and describes procedures to flush the building of contaminants prior to occupancy. or elsewhere) that dictate requirements for post-construction/pre-occupancy cleaning? This is just basic cleaning as part of the turnover of the project - I am looking for guidance on actual cleaning product restrictions and policies.

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Dale Walsh Mar 03 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

As far as I know there are no specific product restrictions; however, Chapter 3 of the SMACNA IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Guide (required as part of EQ Credit 3.1) has some good general guidance. Other parts of the SMACNA guide address housekeeping and cleaning to a limited extent with an emphasis on HVAC cleanliness. The place to address this issue would be a good quality IAQ Management Plan.

If you are going to do air testing (EQ Credit 3.2) watch out for the cleaning chemicals used. I had furniture polish cause one project to fail the Total VOC maximum. Also, a chemical that is commonly advertised as "natural" or "citrus" is limonene which is derived from oranges. No matter how it is advertised it is still a VOC and can cause the air testing to fail. Pinene (Pine-Sol) and other terpenes are also naturally derived, but that doesn't mean they are safe. Remember - poison ivy is "natural". HEPA vacuums, mirco-fiber cloths and mild, unscented soap and water are the best cleaners, in my opinion. The best chemical to use for cleaning is elbow grease.

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Kelly Searle LEED Green Associate, Sustainable Innovation Specialist Clark Builders
Mar 03 2014
LEEDuser Member

IAQ Testing

I am working on a major renovation project - 11 story office building. Due to the time constraints/cost of flushing we have decided to try for testing.

Facts are:
- Nov 26th, 2014 date for total substantial completion (building turnover)
- floors will be completed From June 26th until Nov 17th (each floor completed every week or so)
- Heating is by hot water coils in vavVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas. boxes, cooling by chilled beams, ventilation by two large roof-top units for the entire building (through the vav boxes)
- every floor's ventilation can be closed off - both return and supply air
- it is not phased occupancy - but size of building and owners requiements means that some floors will be completed ahead of others
- the building will not be turned over until after Nov 26th - no owner suppyed materials will be brought in
- basement and floors 2 through 11 will be occupied fully by the government
- main floor will have some tenent spaces to be determined

Questions are:
#1 - can we phase the IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing as the floors become available?
#2 - will we have to wait until the entire building is completed before testing?
#3 - on the main floor, there are a few tenent spaces - will they need to be tested?

Thanks in advance!

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Dale Walsh Mar 03 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Per my experience doing more than a dozen LEED air testing projects over the last several years I would say the answer to question 1 is YES. Question 2's answer is NO. Question 3's answer is YES. As far as the number of samples needed see my Comment dated March 3 below.

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Farah A.
Feb 23 2014
Guest
78 Thumbs Up

Air Sampling

If a building is 25,000 sq feet, does that mean only one air sample needs to be taken? Or is it more dependant upon the number of HVAC systems/building area?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 24 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Farah, this is a tricky question. The last FAQ under the Bird's Eye View section covers this in detail. I would recommend reviewing that guidance.

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Farah A. Mar 02 2014 Guest 78 Thumbs Up

What about a 65,000 sq foot space with only one ventilation system?

I guess I'm asking if the number of systems takes precedence or whether the square feet does. My assumption is that three sampling points are needed- one for every 25,000 feet. Since this exceeds 50,000 by 15 feet, I assume a third sampling point is needed. Is this assumption correct?

Thanks for clearing any confusion!

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Dale Walsh Mar 03 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

One part of the LEED 2009 Reference Guide states "For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system, the number of sampling points must not be less than 1 per 25,000 square feet or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger." Another part states "Take at least one sample per 25,000 square feet in each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system." LEED 2009 states "The number of sampling locations will depend on the size of the building and number of ventilation systems. The number of sampling locations must include the entire building and all representative situations. Include areas with the least ventilation and greatest presumed source strength."

Clear as mud, right? The approach I have taken starts with the number of contiguous floors in the building. Each floor is going to get at least one sample. Then I find out the square footage (sf) of each floor. If <25K sf then one sample set on the floor. If >25K and <50K, then two sample sets per floor and so on in 25K increments. Then I find out how many ventilation units serve each floor. I define a ventilation unit as an outdoor intake air location. VAVVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas. boxes are not counted. If two ventilation units serve a <25K sf floor then two sample sets are collected on that floor. If multiple floors are served by one ventilation unit then the square footage takes precedence. For example, a ten story building with the top eight stories having a square footage of 20K sf each, the second story having a square footage of 40K sf and the first story (ground floor) being 80K sf would have fourteen (14) sample sets collected. This assumes no more than one ventilation unit per each of the top 8 floors, no more than two units for the 2nd floor and no more than 4 for the ground floor. If the ground floor had 5 separate ventilation units (i.e., outdoor air intake locations), then the total sample sets would be fifteen (15) (one for each of the top 8 floors, 2 on the 2nd floor, and 5 for the 1st floor).

I hope this helps.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 04 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Farah, again I recommend reviewing the guidance above to understand how USGBC will review documentation for this credit.

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Dale Walsh Mar 04 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Tristan,

I clicked on the Birds Eye View and I didn't see any FAQs. When I clicked it didn't seem to do anything. How can I review the guidance you are speaking of above? Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 04 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Dale, it looks like you are not a LEEDuser member. You will need to sign up in order to see that guidance. Our basic membership costs $9.95/month, and you should also see an offer for a free trial at the top of this page.

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Mar 05 2014 LEEDuser Member 284 Thumbs Up

Farah,
If you have 65,000 sf and on ventilation zone for the entire 65 this would require 3 IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. test areas. This assumes all 65 is on one floor.

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Juliane Muench
Feb 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
564 Thumbs Up

Definition contiguous floor area

Hi! I was wondering how to interpret the term "contiguous floor area" in IEQ CREDIT 3.2 Option 2 Air Testing. The LEED requirements state that "For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system, the number of sampling points must not be less than 1 per 25,000 square feet or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger"
Does contiguous floor area mean a sample per room, or per floor (which means that several rooms can be clustered for under sampling point)?
Thanks.

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Feb 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 284 Thumbs Up

Hi Juliane,
Continuous floor means sample per floor, not room. Several rooms can be in one sampling point if the rooms are being supplied by the same ventilation zone.
Also, one sampling point can not cover more than one floor. For example, 10,000 sf that consists of 2 floors = 2 sampling points even if they are all one ventilation zone.
Also, you can not have one floor >25000 sf even if it is one ventilation zone and only have one sample point. (25001 = 2 sampling points).
I hope this helps.
If you describe your situation I can possible provide insight into the # of required zones.

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Juliane Muench Feb 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 564 Thumbs Up

Hi Thomas,
Our building is kind of really complex with a lot of ventilation units on each floor. I understand, that each area belonging to a different ventilation aggregate (ventilation zone) has to have their own sample point and if one ventilation area goes over more than one floor there has to be more than one sample point. Furthermore if the area that is served by one unit on one floor is more than 25.000 sf, it needs more than one sample point. I was just wondering, if there are rooms with different kinds of floor materials in one area (under one ventilation unit, on one floor and area is less than 25.000 sf), does that still require one sample or several ones?
Thanks.

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Feb 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 284 Thumbs Up

Different material specifications such as flooring would not require additional sampling points. If all flooring has off gassed enough to pass the testing requirements you all set.

Material specifications become a factor in IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. sampling when you have multi unit residential or educational buildings where each room has its own individual ventilation unit. In that situation you would default to HERS protocol of 1 in 7 like rooms must be tested.

I hope this helps.

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Juliane Muench Feb 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 564 Thumbs Up

Helps a lot, thanks!! Our building is an office building. Is there any requirement with regard to when the sampling has to be done, f.ex. 2 weeks after the corresponding areas are finished? Could not find anything on writing about that.. if there is no requirement the sampling could be done when the materials are off gassed as you said, but before occupation.

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Feb 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 284 Thumbs Up

Sampling can take place when punch list is complete, no painting, cutting or installing left to be completed. The HVAC system balancing must be completed and HVAC Filters must be changed prior to testing. The building must be set to occupied mode on BAS and at minimum outside air setting during testing Depending on version of LEED furniture installation is either optional or required. (CI is required).
Correct, before occupation.

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Donald Green Project Manager Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC
Feb 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
336 Thumbs Up

IAQ Testing - Maximum Concentrations

Can anyone tell me where the Maximum Concentrations listed in the reference guide came from? Who established them, is there a document or website that can be visited?

Thank you,

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Dale Walsh Feb 17 2014 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Donald,
If you have read some of my posts in the past you would know I have been discussing the inappropriateness of the contaminants in Credit 3.2 Option 2 and their maximum levels for quite a while. I have been commenting on LEED for a decade in this regard and have been ignored along with my peers who are experts in indoor air quality (professional or certified industrial hygienists).

Some history on this explains some of the problems. In the mid-1980s I was doing my Master’s Thesis on new carpet odor (4-phenylcyclohexene [4-PC] – note its presence in LEED). After my work was done and my thesis was published (mid-1986) the EPA Headquarters building in Washington D.C. was experiencing indoor air quality problems (1988), which had been ongoing but worsened due to a renovation project. After some initial testing, which didn’t reveal significant problems, the union for federal employees found my research and presented it to management. Suddenly 4-PC, as a byproduct of the latex backing manufacturing process for carpets, was the smoking gun. In my opinion, it played a minor role because there were many problems with ventilation and other renovation activities that likely outweighed the new carpet issue. However, one of EPA management’s decisions in response to this episode was to require the hiring of an “indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) oriented” architect (whatever that meant in the late 1980s). This architect was to draft a “major IAQ component” to be included in “technical facility requirements” for the future construction of EPA headquarters buildings. If you wish to read a summary of this event EPA document EPA/400/1-89/001B titled “Report to Congress on Indoor Air Quality Volume 1: Federal Programs Addressing Indoor Air Quality” has a 3 page summary starting on page 23.

On with the story – I believe the document that was developed by the “IAQ oriented” architect resulted is a document called “EPA Protocol for Environmental Requirements, Baseline IAQ and Materials, for the Research Triangle Park Campus, Section 01445”. I believe this was developed in the early 1990s. It had a variety of requirements for air testing including testing at 16 locations over three consecutive days. It included testing for carbon monoxide, formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings., total volatile organic compounds, total particulates and 4-PC (sound familiar?). However the allowable levels were somewhat different than the currently are in LEED. For example, formaldehyde was 20 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/M3) above outside air concentrations compared to 27 ppmParts per million. (different units) in LEED 2009, TVOCs were 200 ug/M3 above outdoor air compared to 500 ug/M3 in LEED 2009, and particulates were 20 ug/M3 compared to 50 ug/M3. In addition to these parameters, the 01445 document required sampling for carbon dioxide in an empty building, which is useless, and sampling for microbial materials and EPA primary air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, lead, and ozone. This document still exists with some minor changes. For example, carbon dioxide monitoring is no longer required and there are not as many samples required. The document is now called “Testing for Indoor Air Quality Section 01 81 09” dated December 2007. It is referenced in Green Globes as the means to do IAQ testing and I have seen it incorporated into federal building project specifications. It basically costs about ten times to do that sampling compared to LEED 2009 sampling.

In my opinion, the “IAQ oriented” architect was not the most appropriate professional to develop this document and likely did not get the input of professionals who investigate IAQ problems for a living (i.e., professional or certified industrial hygienists). The parameters identified in the EPA specification are not health based and in many ways where pulled out of a hat.

You may ask what does this have to do with LEED 2009 EQ Credit 3.2 Option 2. Well guess what document was specified in LEED version 2.0 for baseline IAQ testing. That’s right – good old 01445. I can just see the creators of LEED contemplating what they should adopt for IAQ testing. Voila – there it is, a specification (architects know specifications) created by the “Environmental” Protection Agency - perfect. As we went through LEED versions 2.1 and 2.2 and then 2009 the requirements morphed a little bit with a new source being referenced as the State of Washington’s IAQ standard which no longer exists. I commented each time a new version was up for adoption but I was ignored each time including LEED version 4.

You may infer from my tone that I am a bit bitter about the whole thing and you are correct. As you can see in a small way my Master’s Thesis research led to where we are now with LEED IAQ testing. If you look at the IAQ testing parameters in LEED version 4 you will see that 4-PC has finally been removed. However, most of the other questionable parameters remain with the addition of the California target chemicals which come from a document for product emissions and not IAQ. Also note that the EPA IP Compendium Methods are still recommended. IAQ professionals don’t use those methods and most labs won’t analyze per those methods. It would be nice if the people at USGBC would listen to the experts. The American Industrial Hygiene Association is currently working on recommendations for testing and other approaches to help assure good IAQ in a Green building. I hope this long winded explanation answers your question.

Dale Walsh, MS, CIH, LEED-AP BD+C

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Donald Green Project Manager, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC Mar 04 2014 LEEDuser Member 336 Thumbs Up

Thanks Dale, your response helps a great deal.

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PAULA HERNANDEZ MRS. INGENIERO MARIO PEDRO HERNANDEZ
Dec 26 2013
LEEDuser Member
471 Thumbs Up

Flush out in a Warehouse

Hello to everyboty and Merry Christmas,
I have to make the flush out in a building which is mostly a Warehouse, that will be regularly occupied, with mechanical ventilation but no air conditioning.
Inside the warhouse there will be a smaller office construction, that counts with it´s own mechanical ventilation and air conditioning system.
Do I have to flush out the hole builiding including the warehouse or is it enough to flush out the office spaces?,
Thank you

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 26 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Paula, from your description it sounds like the entire warehouse is regularly occupied, and should be flushed out. Happy new year!

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PAULA HERNANDEZ MRS., INGENIERO MARIO PEDRO HERNANDEZ Dec 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 471 Thumbs Up

I thought so, because as you say the place is regularly occupied,
Thank you and Happy New Year!!

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Regina Ng
Dec 03 2013
LEEDuser Member
930 Thumbs Up

Is it possible to do Option 1: path 1 and 2 at the same time

Is it possible to go for Option 1-Path 1: do building flush out for 14000 cf per sq ft before occupancy for some areas and then Path 2: do building flush out for 3500cf per sq ft before occupancy and then provide 0.3cfm/sqft of ventilation after occupancy for other areas?

The reason being that for some rooms, the equipment is not sized adequately to be able to provide for 0.3cfm/sqft of ventilation after occupancy hence Path 2 is not possible. Hence for rooms like that, a building flush out using Path 1 to supply 14000cf per sq ft of outside air will be done prior to occupancy. But for other spaces where the equipment can provided for 0.3cfm/sqft, Path 2 will be used. However, these spaces are separated so there is no risk of any contamination.

Thanks

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Dec 09 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6117 Thumbs Up

Seems reasonable to me. They give you an area to describe your flush out plan. Just describe your plan to do a mix of both.

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Andres Schwarz Principal, NRG-AR Dec 27 2013 LEEDuser Member 3 Thumbs Up

Hi Regina, Just to back up the reasoning, LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. ID#2320 allows for flush-out and IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing. Maybe you can substantiate your case using this precedent

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 27 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Andres, I don't think LI #2320 really helps here because it's about a separate issue, and it's not applicable to NC v2009. Our advice to teams is that Options 1 and 2 cannot be combined without 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 or 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..

I do think this may be possible, but I would contact GBCI for clarification before proceeding. How certain can you be that the spaces are separate and cannot cross-contaminate?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jan 09 2014 LEEDuser Expert 6117 Thumbs Up

I gave a short reply the first time around, but I'll elaborate this time to describe why I believe this is fine.

The question is - can you flush out some spaces all the way to 14K cfm/sf by day one (option 1) and some spaces to 3.5k cfm/sf by day one and 14k cfm/sf during occupancy while maintaining 0.3 cfm/sf during occupied hours (option 2).

I would argue that this is just option 2 and therefore acceptable. The spaces that had 14K cfm/sf by day one are just complete with Option 2 early.

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Regina Ng Apr 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 930 Thumbs Up

Thanks for all your reply. As a continuation to this discussion, if i cannot supply the particular space with 0.3cfm/sq ft, can I flush for a longer period of time until i achieve my 14000cf/sf volume? The rationale is, if I am going to run the FCU for 24 hours, this means that even I am providing the fresh air at a lower rate, there will not be any accumulation of the contaminants and VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. as compared to one that is not run 24 hours.

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Chad Mapp Principal, Sr. LEED Project Manager Sustainable Building Services LLC
Nov 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
42 Thumbs Up

Air Testing Requirements - TICs

Our team decided to perform air quality testing before occupancy on a recently completed building. We have had some question over which method is required for tVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. testing and for what compounds. The manual states that the testing protocols should follow the guidelines in the EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Indoor Air Pollutants. This guide references methods IP-1A and IP-1B for tVOCs, however when we got the results back from the lab, they referenced method TO-15 and included a separate list of compounds called Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs). The TO-15 method comes from a much later EPA publication, the Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Toxic Organic Compounds in Ambient Air. So now we have two VOC totals - one tVOC without TICs and another tVOC with TICs included. The list of VOC compounds in the TO-15 method contain the same compounds as listed in the IP-1A and IP-1B methods. None of the three methods talk about or list the TIC compounds. Are TICs required to be included in tVOC?

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Dale Walsh Nov 15 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

This is an unfortunate consequence of the USGBC's IEQ TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. not consulting with those professionals who have been doing this air testing in the field for decades (e.g., industrial hygienists) though help has been offered for more than a decade. The main problem is that there is no consensus definition for TVOCs or a consensus method for determining TVOCs. Each lab does it differently.

The IP methods that have been specified by LEED for years are not the methods IHs and IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Professionals use. Industrial Hygienists use the EPA TO methods, NIOSH methods, OSHA methods, and direct reading instruments (based on my 27+ years of IAQ consulting experience). The USGBC finally realized this and started referencing methods other than the IP methods in LEED v.4 though many of those newly referenced methods are also not used by the field practitioners.

None of the methods identified previously are for identifying TVOCs. They are for identifying the presence and quantity of specific compounds on a limited list of common airborne VOCs. The Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) are an added analysis for which many labs charge extra. Most labs do not just add up the listed compound amounts and the TIC amounts and call that number TVOCs. They take the total area of a gas chromatograph of the air sample and normalize it to toluene, hexane, or another internal standard depending on the lab. The added list/TIC total and normalized chromatograph total are often very different. Also, whether toluene or hexane or some other standard is used can make the difference between LEED pass and fail for TVOCs. I did a mini-study of this about five years ago comparing different methods and collection media and found data to be all over the place (presented at the American Industrial Hygiene Association [AIHA] conference in Denver 2010 – PO128).

Now that I have thoroughly confused you with gobbledygook (you must be because I am confused) I’ll try to answer your question. The answer is “adult diapers” (e.g., Depends). It depends on whoever reviews you submittal for the credit and whether they have an opinion on TICs or not or simply want a TVOC number without the listed compounds plus TICs or the listed compounds without TICs. If you ask your lab strictly for a TVOC result and nothing else you will likely get a number that exceeds both the listed/TIC total. If you just ask the lab for the analytical report for the listed compounds only and then add them up yourself you would likely get a lower number. Since there is no standardized method for identifying TVOCs and the USGBC or GBCI has not clarified what it is looking for (as far as I know) presenting the total of just the listed VOCs and ignoring the TICs would be just as valid as any other method. However, in my opinion, the chromatograph area total normalized to toluene will eventually become the norm. That is what I use for my LEED air testing projects.

The main point of my whole discussion is that TVOCs are not a good parameter to be using to determine whether the indoor air quality is good or will be good in a newly built LEED building. I know many of my fellow Certified Industrial Hygienist colleagues agree with this statement. Also, in my opinion, the addition of the “target chemicals listed in CDPH Standard Method v1.1, Table 4-1” found in LEED v.4 will not improve the current air testing requirements but will make them even more onerous and difficult to achieve with the same lack of value. Besides, the CDPH target chemicals are for chamber testing of building materials regarding their off-gassing of VOCs. They have little to do with the potential health impacts of VOCs in the occupied environment. Members, including myself, of the AIHA (www.aiha.org) have just begun writing a White Paper on VOCs in Construction that will address the issues brought up here and offer reasonable alternatives for evaluating a building to help assure good indoor air quality for the occupants both in the short and long terms.

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Nov 14 2013
LEEDuser Member
387 Thumbs Up

punch list for air testing option?

the LEED reference manual states that punch list must be completed prior to flush out. However, it doesn't state either way if punch list must be completed prior to air testing. Does anyone know their position on this?

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Dale Walsh Nov 15 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

I have done air testing before punch list completion on numerous ocassions and, as far as I know, have not had the air testing submittal rejected. However, that is no guarantee that the reviewer will not have a different opinion.

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Nov 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
387 Thumbs Up

air testing in a mechanical room??

1) Do mechanical rooms need air quality testing?

2) There is an air handler unit that supplies air to multiple floors. On one of these floors, the only room supplied by the air handler is a portion of the mechanical room. Does this room need to be tested?

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Dale Walsh Nov 15 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Since mechanical rooms are usually not a regularly occupied space it would seem to go against the stated intent of the air testing credit of "to reduce indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) problems resulting from construction or renovation to promote the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants" it would appear that testing a mechanical room is not needed. I am not sure how air testing after construction and before occupancy promotes the well-being of construction workers but that is for another discussion.

I usually determine the number of samples based on number of floors, square footage per floor, and number of outdoor air (OA) intakes. For example, a 30,000 square foot single story building with one OA would require two sample sets. If it had three OA intakes I would take three sample sets representing the zones served by each OA intake. A ten story building with each floor less than 25,000 square feet and two OA intakes for each floor would get 20 sample sets. If each floor was greater than 25,000 square feet and less than 50,000 square feet the building would still get 20 sample sets. Of course, residential projects with each unit separately ventilated would require a different approach that would not include sampling each unit. I would not recommend less than two sample sets for any building because a single sample set is statistically meaningless (two are not much better but economics usually play a role). Of course, this is simply my approach and not approved by the USGBC or GBCI. However, I have not had it rejected when my clients (approximately 10 projects so far) have submitted my air testing report for the credit.

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Michael Johnson Architect, Chenevert Architects Nov 18 2013 LEEDuser Member 387 Thumbs Up

Thanks Dale. A follow up question to your reply:

Unfortunately in this project I am working on, the "ventilation systems" are anything but straight forward. for example, some air handlers provide air to multiple floors. Some air handlers provide air to two remote areas of a building on the same floor (but everything is open between them). Some open into atrium from above, and mixed with air from 3 other air handler units. There really isn't a simple way I know of (or that LEED manual prescribes) to determine testing locations. It is a 127,000 sq ft building (ish) and trying to be on safe side we currently show 15 testing locations. That seems very high but with so many AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork.'s supplying so many multiple floor situations/atria/and non-contiguous spaces - not sure there is any other way. I wish LEED was more forgiving in this regard. It is problematic that a team of professionals trying very hard to satisfy a requirement can faithfully do their best (and have owner spent a lot of money in the process) only to learn many months later the review team isn't satisfied over something that didn't exist in the LEED manual.

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Nov 07 2013
LEEDuser Member
387 Thumbs Up

four IEQc3.2 questions....

1) ive looked at space matrix (this is a library project)... from what i gather EVERY space has to count.. even spaces not regularly occupied (mech closet, janitor closet, etc). Is this correct?

2) building has a large two story atrium. the floor of the atrium gets air from more than one air handler unit. how would I break this down in terms of area/AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork.?

3) my understanding is that there needs to be at the very minimum, one test done per air handler unit (can be more tests if a AHU supplies more than 25,000 sq ft).. Is this correct?

4) what if there is an AHU that supplies less than 25,000 sq ft - but it supplies rooms on different floors? Would a space on each floor need to be tested?

would greatly appreciate any advice. thanks....

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Dale Walsh Nov 15 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Refer to my previous reply. The main question that LEED does not answer is "What is a ventilation system?" If you count every VAVVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas. box and every associated thermostat in a building with this type of ventilation then you would be collecting way too many samples (in my opinion). That is why I look at number of outdoor air intakes and the areas served by each one of those. I would also recommend sampling the outdoor air at the OA intakes and using that data to correct the indoor numbers if the indoor samples fail LEED criteria. The intent statement says the credit is to reduce IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. problems resulting from construction or renovation - not from bad outdoor air.

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Lilian Seow LEED Manager Vancouver, BC Canada
Oct 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
182 Thumbs Up

Swimming pool Amenity facility

There's a swimming pool located in the lobby area as part of the amenity facilities for a multi-residential building. Is this a required area for IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. c3.2 [flushout or air test] ?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, as an occupied space it would be included.

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Dale Walsh Nov 15 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

I would agree with Tristan. If you are doing air testing one sample set should be adequate in the pool area unless it is really big.

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Tes .
Oct 15 2013
Guest
36 Thumbs Up

IAQ Flush-out for building with multiple, isolated HVAC zones

I would like to understand the requirements for calculating the flush-out duration for a project which is served by multiple HVAC units. This project contains several buildings with isolated rooms which are served by its own AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. or FCU. Should each HVAC zone be calculated separately based on each HVAC unit and the area it serves? The capacities of each AHU/FCU vary as do the square footages of each space served by the different units, so it would seem that summing the total area of different, isolated HVAC zone in a building and dividing by the total cfm of multiple units was NOT the correct way to do this calculation.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Tes, if the spaces are separate and the HVAC systems are separate, then I agree that any calculation that averages or lumps things together across the building is not correct.

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Lilian Seow LEED Manager Vancouver, BC Canada
Oct 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
182 Thumbs Up

Testing sampling location for independent ventilation system

Each of the 400+ residential suites is designed with an independent stand-alone ventilation system. According to the air testing requirement in pp. 497 of the LEED Canada guide 2009 below, does it mean there are 400+ separate zones to be tested?

Per LEED guide 2009 NC, pp. 497, " For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilaion system, thenumber of sampling points must not be less than 1 per 2300 m2, or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger."

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Dale Walsh Oct 12 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

400 sample sets would not be practical nor necessary, in my opinion. Even if you got the sampling done super inexpensive at $500 per sample set (if the sampling requirements are the same as U.S. LEED 2009 and you get a volume discount) that would be $200,000 and would take at least a month if all went well and nothing failed the first test series (very unlikely).

How are these suites arranged (e.g., a lot of seperate low rise buildings with 4 to 10 suites per building, a single high rise building, several high rise buildings)? What is the square meterage of the footprint of the building(s)? How are the common areas ventilated if there are common areas? How much square meterage is in a suite (or what range)?

Depending on the size of the footprint and how many floors I would probably just determine the number of sample sets on that information. For example, a 10 story building with a 4,000 square meter footprint would have two sample sets randomly arranged on each floor for a total of 20 samples ($12K to $20K cost done in a week or less if nothing failed - again unlikely).

Of course, before you pursue such a course of action I would try to get approval beforehand. I can't imagine a reasonable reviewer would expect a sample set in each suite.

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei
Oct 04 2013
LEEDuser Member
4429 Thumbs Up

Floor Area

In pursuit of flush out for the project, should "gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.)" be used or "net occupiable area" for the calculations?
The "FAQs for IEQc3.2" section on this page states "all occupied gross floor area."
However, IEQp1, with reference to ASHRAE 62.1, uses "net occupiable area" for outdoor air ventilation calculations.
Shouldn't the area used in IEQc3.2 match that of IEQp1 since it's the same area that is occupiable and serviced by outdoor air ventilation?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Simon, you should be looking at occupiable spaces for this credit.

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Regina Ng Apr 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 930 Thumbs Up

So the area to be flushed in this credit should just match the area in IEQp1?

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Regina Ng
Sep 25 2013
LEEDuser Member
930 Thumbs Up

Building Flush Out for 24 hour building

Hi

Just want to check on the building flush out procedure for a 24 hour airport. If I go for Option 2, and do a flush out meeting the 3500cf/sqft before occupancy and then the remaining during the operation, can it still be considered to fulfil the requirement because during operation, not all the air is exhausted out, there will be some recirculation of air.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Sep 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6117 Thumbs Up

The situation you described is acceptable. You can recirculate some of the air during the occupied phase of Option 2. You just need to provide minimum ventilation or 0.3 cfm/sf of outside air which ever is greater. You'd need to ventilate that much all times until you've provided the balance of the 14K cfm/sf requirement (because you're occupied 24/7).

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Yasir Nurrahman Mr. Yasir PT. Indonesia Environment Consultant
Sep 24 2013
LEEDuser Member
557 Thumbs Up

Flush out in climate zone 1

Hi, does anyone here have ever implement flush out in a tropical climate area (climate zoneOne of five climatically distinct areas, defined by long-term weather conditions which affect the heating and cooling loads in buildings. The zones were determined according to the 45-year average (1931-1975) of the annual heating and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees Fahrenheit). An individual building was assigned to a climate zone according to the 45-year average annual degree-days for its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Division. 1 --> high temperature and humidity) and succeed obtaining this credit point?

and what flush-out strategies we can consider for building without mechanical ventilation system? For the reference, the building is only served by natural ventilation (window openings) and the AC system is a VRF system (ceiling cassette type), which is a multiple AC system that can operate independently. Thank you.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Sep 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6117 Thumbs Up

I don't see you meeting this credit without a mechanical system if you're in a high temp high humidity climate. Recommend going the testing route. Not all credits are good credits for every projects - that's why there are over 100 points.

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Yasir Nurrahman Mr. Yasir, PT. Indonesia Environment Consultant Sep 29 2013 LEEDuser Member 557 Thumbs Up

Thank you Dylan for the comment. How about using portable mechanical system such as fan? If we can use that, what elements do we have to consider?
As for testing, we have difficulties to find lab that can use EPA compendium or ISO method for all parameters. There are some labs offering us to use NIOSH method, however I don't think this method have the same minimum detection limit to those of EPA or ISO. Any ideas?

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Dale Walsh Sep 30 2013 Guest 160 Thumbs Up

Yasir, The LEED 2009 Reference Guide on page 466 says other methods for air testing may be used if justification is provided. Also, the requirement says to use testing protocols "consistent with" the EPA methods. The EPA methods referenced in LEED 2009 are archaic and not used by IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. professionals. LEED V.4 has finally recognized that flaw. Having done IAQ testing for over 25 years and done over a dozen LEED air testing projects I use a set of testing protocols that mix EPA TO methods and NIOSH methods that have the appropriate detection limits. Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. is NIOSH 2016 with a UMEX100 passive sampler; TVOCs is a modified TO-17 method with a Radiello passive sampler and ID of all compounds including TICs; carbon monoxide is a direct reading datalogging monitor; and PM10 is NIOSH 0500 which measures total particulates (an overestimation of PM10). None of my reports have been rejected for LEED credit. These methods are relatively easy, use minimal equipment, and are cost effective. The lab I use is ALS Environmental in Salt Lake City, UT which has been doing industrial hygiene lab work for decades and was once the OSHA lab. If you want more specifics I can be contacted at dwalsh@walshcih.com. Good luck.

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