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 VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) 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. 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 GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). 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 SMACNAThe Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is an international association of union contractors, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. 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.

    The air temperature and/or relative humidity went out of the credit requirement specifications for a portion of the flush-out. What do we do? Can we extend the flush-out for the equivalent amount of time to make up for it?

    GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). is denying credit compliance on this basis. It does not offer a path for making up for this issue. The LEED Reference Guide states: "Not all outside air is equal. Depending upon geography and season, it can be very cold or damp. Because of this, prudent limits have been set to ensure no harm comes to the building and potentially to the occupants." While this is not stated explicitly in the reference guide, the logic is that this air potentially damages the building in a way that cannot be mitigated by additional flushout time or volume. Considering this, projects in hot, humid climates should consider using air testing instead of flushout to attempt this credit.

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 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 buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, etc. 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. 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.
    • 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)

SMACNAThe Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is an international association of union contractors, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. 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

Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.

342 Comments

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Daniel Smith Environmental Engineer Golder Associates
Oct 28 2016
LEEDuser Member
10 Thumbs Up

Option 2 Meaning of "Contiguous Area"

Project Location: Canada

Some of the air handling units at the site (police station) where I will be conducting air testing serve more than one area on a given floor, and these areas are not directly connected to each other (i.e. an area served by another 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. lies in between). Would I need to sample in each of these areas served by the same AHU?

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Oct 31 2016 LEEDuser Member 442 Thumbs Up

Daniel,
My short answer is not necessarily. If each 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. serves a total area less than 25000 sf and the area served is on one floor (contiguous area) you would be required to test one area in that zone.

If the AHU serves more than 25000 sf in the one contiguous area than you would add an additional 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 at 25001 and so on.

The area chosen in that zone should be the "least ventilated" . This information should be used to guide you when deciding where to test in the areas served by the same AHU.

I hope that helps.

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Daniel Smith Environmental Engineer, Golder Associates Oct 31 2016 LEEDuser Member 10 Thumbs Up

Thanks very much Thomas, much appreciated!

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator Ecostrategic Construction Solutions
Sep 27 2016
LEEDuser Member
282 Thumbs Up

Filtration Change Prior to Flush-out

Project Location: United States

On one project, the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. replaced construction filters at AHUs with final filters two months ago. However, delays in TAB and commissioning has delayed the start of the building flush-out. During this time, only TAB and commissioning, and no other construction work has been performed. My general feeling is that due to the two month lapse, the filters should again be replaced prior to beginning the flush-out, which is now due to begin in a week. However, I cannot necessarily confirm the need to for the GC to do this based on information presented in the LEED reference guide. Has anyone else had a similar situation and can provide some feedback?

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Thiago Bondini
Jul 11 2016
LEEDuser Member
467 Thumbs Up

Combine options

Project Location: Brazil

We are certifying a Project and we are preparing the documentation for the EQ credit 3.2 Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan – Before Occupancy.
This building is a 3 floor, LEED BD+C v2009 Major Renovation, and was divided in two phases (1st Phase-2nd Floor and 2nd Phase: 1th Floor and Ground floor). For the 1st phase it was possible to do the flush-out but for the 2nd phase it will not be possible to implement the flush-out because this will impact on the delivery schedule.
We would like to know if it is possible to perform an Air Testing for the 2nd Phase of this building and have the credit documented with Flush-out in the 2nd floor and Air Test for the 1st and Ground Floor.

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Jul 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

The FAQ above addresses this.

While It is not officially accepted by USGBC, the reference guide states "Option 1 OR Option 2" and the credit template states "Select one of the following".

Also, LEED v4 reference guide has been written such that the options cannot be combined.

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 may be required, but my opinion is that USGBC will not allow both options.

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Louis Chavez Project Manager, McKissack and McKissack Aug 31 2016 Guest 11 Thumbs Up

How does one use or prepare a 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. Plan (IEQc3.1) for establishing guidelines for a HVAC Contractor's IAQ report ?

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Sep 01 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

The v2009 NC EQ c3.1 'Documentation Toolkit' section on LEEDuser has 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. During Construction template.

It includes all the items required to be addressed to demonstrate compliance with EQc3.1.

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Nanechka Pagan Architect, LEED GA Bayside Contractors, Inc.
Jun 08 2016
Guest
219 Thumbs Up

IAQ Testing path option 2

Hi

During construction preliminary review our team received a technical advice that states the following:
" it does not appear was performed for each area of the building served by a ventilation syste,. Specifically, it apperas that testing was not performed for ACF- and ACF-4, EF-2 and EF-7 ."

The ACF are big ass fans installed in a storage hangar, naturally ventilated, the big ass fans were only installed for thermal comfort purpose only, the storage hangar doors are always open during shift hours. It is our understanding that this type of space does not need to be tested, because it is technically an open space with a roof (due to the size of the hangar door) that is almost the long and height of one side of the hangar. Does anyone knows if we really need to do a testing point in that space?
The project is located in Puerto Rico which is very common to not use air conditioning in many places.
The other systems are EF-2 and EF-6 are two exhaust fans located in a pump room separated from the building and the compressor room, both rooms are mechnical rooms and are not considerer part of the occupable space, moreover the equipment is an EXHAUST system, which in neither case are require to be tested. Please advice.
Nanechka

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Jul 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

Storage hangers are occupiable and hence require flushout OR air testing per the credit language regardless of the openables.

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Omar ElRawy Building Engineer, LEED AP BD+C EA Building Consultants
May 08 2016
Guest
1295 Thumbs Up

Maximum Temperature

Project Location: Egypt

Dear All,
I need to ensure that in the 60/60 rule, I do not find anything about the maximum indoor temperature during flush-out, please advice if I can maintain any indoor temperature as long as it is above 60 F.

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services May 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

There is no maximum temperature limit for v3 projects. However v4 projects cannot exceed 80 F (27 C).

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Omar ElRawy Building Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, EA Building Consultants May 12 2016 Guest 1295 Thumbs Up

Thanks David. I need also to know the minimum acceptable measurement interval. Meaning that I will be preparing a log for CFM, Temp, Humidity, and commutative CF over time, and flush-out will take a total of 30 days, so; is it OK to take two readings per day for example?

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services May 12 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

There is no required minimum measurement interval. However from Landry Watson's post below, GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). asked for hourly readings during the flushout.

Two readings per day should suffice, if taken 12 hours apart and there are no significant outdoor temperature drops and no significant outdoor relative humidity increases.

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Amy Harmon Scheeser Buckley Mayfield
Apr 20 2016
LEEDuser Member
196 Thumbs Up

Option 1 Path 2 Mechanical & Electrical Rooms

Project Location: United States

I am working on a project that has multiple AHUs serving different types of spaces and we also have several large mechanical and electrical rooms. Each of the mechanical and electrical rooms have a dedicated AHU. The electrical room AHU will have both heating and cooling and the mechanical room AHU will only have heating and is used only to ventilate the mechanical room. Since these types of rooms are not "occupied" with people, do they need to be flushed-out to comply with IEQc3.2?

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Apr 20 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

All occupiable (regularly/non-regularly/unoccupied) areas of the project building must be included within the flushout.

Mechanical rooms that are considered to be "unoccupied" per the ventilation calculations must be included in the flush-out calculations.

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Amy Harmon Scheeser Buckley Mayfield
Apr 18 2016
LEEDuser Member
196 Thumbs Up

Option 1 Path 2 Temperature and Humidty Requirements

Project Location: United States

Path 1 indicates flush-out needs to be accomplished with 14,000 cu ft. of OA per sq. ft. of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60 deg F and no more than 60% RH. However, as I'm reading through Path 2, there is no mention of maintaining a certain internal temperature or relative humidity. When I go to submit the temperature and humidity readings using Path 2 along with all the supporting documentation, will I be denied credit for this point if I have any out of range temperature and/or humidity points even though Path 2 does not temperature and humidity limitations? Thanks!

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Apr 20 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

The corrective action flush out is not specified to meet a pre-determined duration or temp/RH limit.

I am not aware of any 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. or 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 that sets precedence on this issue.

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Amy Harmon Scheeser Buckley Mayfield Apr 22 2016 LEEDuser Member 196 Thumbs Up

David,
By corrective action flush-out, do you mean the "post-occupancy" flush-out?
Thanks!

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Apr 22 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

Corrective action flush-out must occur pre-occupancy. Resample and confirmation must also occur before occupancy.

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Michael Boyle AESG
Apr 13 2016
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

Number of IAQ samples required ?

Project Location: Qatar

Our project consists of (5 townhouse + multipurpose room). This is considered as one building.

townhouses are 3-5 floors and each is served by 1 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. = total 5 AHUs
The multipurpose room has its own AHU.
The townhouses are not typical.

Is it sufficient to take one sample for each townhouse + 1 for the multipurpose room = Total 6.

following the guidelines, each floor of each town house must be sample, which means 4-5 samples must be taken per townhouse since the AHU is serving multiple floors. ??

Please advise

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Apr 13 2016 LEEDuser Member 442 Thumbs Up

Michael,
Based on our testing experience, your interpretation of the guideline is correct. "In each area served by a single air handler, samples must be collected for each 25,000 square feet of floor space, or each contiguous floor space....". Each floor must be sampled to comply with the credit requirements. Only in situations such as schools, dormitories or hotels have we seen "identical" rooms be sampled under a different protocol but even in those cases that did not eliminated the requirement for at least one sample per continuous floor.

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Courtney Royal, LEED AP BD+C Sr. Sustainability Consultant Taitem Engineering
Feb 26 2016
LEEDuser Member
1885 Thumbs Up

majority residential

Our project is a multifamily building with several common spaces on the cellar, main level, and top level of the building. However, majority of the building is apartment units. How should the flush out be handled? Can we pursue the LEED for Homes credit for the residential units flush out and follow Option 1, flush out requirements for the common spaces in the building? Has any pursued this credit for a residential multifamily building? If so, how did you go about it? Thank you!

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Landry Watson DPR Construction
Feb 25 2016
LEEDuser Member
170 Thumbs Up

Purpose behind the 60% RH parameter?

Project Location: United States

The reference guide is clear that 14,000 CFM of OA per SF (that is >60deg and <60% RH). But the reference guide also notes that the 60/60 are used (and I paraphrase) to limit danger to occupants or workers and also to limit the risk of damage to recently installed finishes. It is a good guideline and makes sense; however, for all of the projects in coastal zones, the overnight likelihood of outside RH values above 60% is almost guaranteed.

If the purpose behind the 60% is simply to reduce the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. risk to damage, then can we confirm that everyone agrees that flush out will still work in conditions above 60%....but that they have associated risks?

I'm not a particulate pollutant engineer, but my position is that you are still flushing out pollutants when you have RH above 60%.

I'm going to submit an ACM that demonstrates a Path 1 (option 1&2) hybrid approach and has known times where RH will likely exceed 60% but if the owner/contractor accepts that risk then there shouldn't be an issue. Unless of course, someone has evidence to the contrary. I'll report back how that goes :)

Also, it would seem that Path 1 (option 2) is noticeably missing the 60/60 language in that section. My guess is that the 60/60 applies and it simply wasn't repeated...but it is clearly not there. Any ideas?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Mar 09 2016 LEEDuser Expert 7391 Thumbs Up

Other areas of LEED (especially in LEED for Schools) indicate that RH of over 60% creates greater potential for mold growth, so I have always assumed that is what is behind the 60% RH requirement, but I don't know that to be fact.

I have also also assumed that 60/60 applies to Path 1, Option 2 as well, but also do not have concrete proof of that. Keep us posted on how it goes! We have steered clear of this credit (or opted for testing) in many case because of being in humid Ohio.

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Erin Holdenried Sustainable Design Manager, AECOM Apr 12 2016 LEEDuser Member 316 Thumbs Up

@Landry, did you submit your project? How did the reviewer respond?

I have a project in a similar situation, though in a cold climate where 60 deg F cannot be maintain for one of the zones. The spaces served by this 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. are mechanical rooms and unoccupied. The system is designed to maintain a 55 deg F in the winter. As this area is unoccupied and humidity control will not be an issue, would the reviewers accept a lower temperature for this zone?

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Apr 12 2016 LEEDuser Member 2089 Thumbs Up

Temperature control is often a challenging part of this credit for us in Alaska. The 60%RH requirement makes sense to me, but I don't get the 60F requirement. Any insight would be appreciated.
Also, how do you guys show 60/60 compliance? I've been asking contractors to log temp/RH in the return air via the DDC, but does the reviewer really need to see thousands of hours of data?

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Landry Watson DPR Construction May 04 2016 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

UPDATE - Submitted credit and as expected was set to pending/denied with the following comments. "Please provide an hourly log of the interior RH/Temp to demonstrate compliance throughout the flush-out process". So, I set up a conf. call to discuss with GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). and I got some additional information -- and please be gentle in quoting since I'm paraphrasing here - GBCI Response/Guidance - Project flush-out that violate the 60/60 guidelines "a couple of times" will be considered on their merit and documented corrective action. So...what we can deduce here, is that ultimately a project must provide a log of RH/temps throughout the flushout to demonstrate compliance (not surprising, since the Ref guide tells us that). What I further dug into with GBCI is that they DO agree that Mech systems provide a component of dehumidification; however, it was not provided what % that they considered reasonable. AND...it was further determined that without a log, that GBCI uses any number of local weather station (NOAA or other) archives to simply back check the potential of maintaining 60/60 conditions at a given OA rate that you are indicating to achieve flush-out. BOTTOM LINE: Keep a log.

Hybrid approach with Path 1&2 was not an accepted approach if the 60/60 parameters appeared to have been violated more than "a couple of times" and there was no log to contradict weather conditions during your flush out dates.
And...60/60 parameters apply to both paths.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska May 04 2016 LEEDuser Member 2089 Thumbs Up

Very useful information, Landry. Thank you!
Regarding your mech system dehumidification comment, it sounds to me like you may be measuring temp/RH in the supply duct. I have always felt that the return ducts are a more accurate sensor location to represent indoor air conditions since the supply air is tempered quite a bit by indoor conditions (latent heat, etc.). For example, cooling air at discharge point could be set to 55F in order to maintain 70F for thermal comfort. Often for me, the air is for ventilation only, with heat provided by radiant slabs for example, so return air temp/RH is more indicative of what the "room air" conditions are.
Does that sound reasonable to you?

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Sara Zoumbaris Sustainable Design Consulting
Nov 23 2015
LEEDuser Member
988 Thumbs Up

Fluch Out Complete - Fire Happened Near Building

Project Location: United States

We have a facility that has been complete and turned over to the owner for a few months but has not yet been occupied; the building is waiting for all furniture to be delivered and put into place. During this time of vacancy, the building has completed the flush out requirements per the LEED credit. Unfortunately over the weekend, a fire took place on the exterior of the facility which was close enough to affect interior elements near the glazing (un-related to this credit) and leaving behind a strong smoke odor on the interior. Has anyone had any experience similar to this "after the fact" and will a new flush out be required for credit compliance? Thanks in advance.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Sara, I'm sorry to hear that! Unfortunately the smoke and odor could carry a lot of contaminants. I would do a flush out and possibly other housekeeping measures both in the spirit of LEED and for good 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..

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Amy Harmon Scheeser Buckley Mayfield
Nov 03 2015
LEEDuser Member
196 Thumbs Up

Path 2 Flushout

Project Location: United States

Our project went with Path 2 Post-occupancy flush out. All AHUs required 2-4 days of flush out before occupancy could occur and about 24 days post occupancy. As we are reviewing the results, we notice that there were several instances where the humidity rose above 60%RH. All instances occur after the occupancy date. What do you recommend that we do in this case when the humidity rises above 60%RH? We had the contractor extend temperature and humidity readings for the hours it was out of range. Is that sufficient?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Amy, I'm not sure what the benefit is for extending the readings as you suggested. If the RH rose above that level, you're not meeting the credit reuqirements, unfortunately. To the letter of the LEED language, you're not complying for the flush-out occurring during that time. I would either extend the flush out, or if it's too late to fix the situation, note the issue in your narrative and hope that GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). doesn't get too fixated on it.

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Ara Massey Sustainability Director , Hord Coplan Macht Apr 13 2016 LEEDuser Member 341 Thumbs Up

Tristan does LEED allow for the flush out to be extended to offset periods of time that RH or temperature could not maintained?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 13 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, that's the solution—if you're not meeting the specs for part of the flushout, just extend it.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 14 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

Okay, so someone emailed me and said that GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). had not accepted this approach on a project. But it was secondhand info and they did not have details. Has anyone else had trouble with this?

I can see an issue if RH gets really off the charts and is not handled properly, but I would be surprised if there is an issue, otherwise.

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Renee Azerbegi Ambient Energy Apr 27 2016 LEEDuser Member 208 Thumbs Up

In March 2016 we had GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). deny IEQc3.2 for to this same issue on a LEED-S project and were not given the option of providing additional documentation to address the comment. We heard from a contact at GBCI that this review was done by a consultant, not by GBCI in house (not that it should matter but interesting nonetheless).
This approach has been approved by GBCI several times in the past so the outright denial was a surprise to us.
Here is the reviewer's comment:
"The LEED Form states that 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.) Management Plan was developed and implemented and that the project complies with Option 1, Path 2: Early occupancy flush-out. However, the documentation does not demonstrate compliance. This credit requires the rate of outside air should
not cause the interior temperature to drop below 60 degrees and relative humidity should not exceed 60%. The documentation indicates that these parameters were exceeded on several occasions."
Any recommendations on how we should proceed?

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Dale Walsh Apr 27 2016 Guest 362 Thumbs Up

Renee - By the literal interpretation of the Credit with no considerations for common sense, previous scientific studies, or real world applications it appears you are out of luck. The issue is the flushout Credit and procedure itself. I would ask for the scientific peer reviewed studies that show flushout has any significant value regarding improving indoor air quality. I am sure the sound of crickets will be deafening. The professional indoor air quality professional and industrial hygiene community has known for decades that flush-out is pretty much useless for improving indoor air quality, especially long term. Reference a study in Washington state cited as: James Burt , Nancy A. Nelson & Nancy A. Nelson (1996) Effects of Ventilation Flushout on Indoor Air Quality in a Newly Constructed Office Building, Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 11:6, 546-552, DOI:10.1080/1047322X.1996.10389372. This document concludes "flushout procedure offers only minimal potential as a means to reduce airborne contaminants, particularly VOCs, that off-gas from construction materials and furnishings". This study was done at the time the State of Washington was requiring its new buildings to be flushed out before occupancy. I believe that the flush out Credit in the first and subsequent LEED systems was, in part, based on this requirement from Washington state. I also believe, not positive, that the State of Washington removed this requirement after getting data such as that presented in the article showing the flushout had little value. My point would that if flushout is practically worthless as is, then why does the temperature and humidity it is conducted under even matter.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 03 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

To update my previous comments on this topic, I have heard directly from GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). that they are interpreting the temp/humidity requirement quite strictly. If you go outside of those bounds it's "game over" for the credit, on the logic stated in the LEED reference guide: "Not all outside air is equal. Depending upon geography and season, it can be very cold or damp. Because of this, prudent limits have been set to ensure no harm comes to the building and potentially to the occupants..."

Another reason to consider air testing as the better path for this credit, particularly in a region and season where air quality requirements might not be met.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska May 03 2016 LEEDuser Member 2089 Thumbs Up

So, does this mean that if there are 2 minutes out of a 72-day flushout where the recorded temperature is 59.4F (eg. if contractor uses a 61F setpoint and the HVAC doesn't respond quick enough), the credit will be denied?

How does the reviewer verify that 60/60 was met to this level of scrutiny?

If the data logger has missing data, is the credit denied?

What is the harm of sub-60F temperatures "to the building and potentially to the occupants" if RH is maintained below 60%?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 04 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

Lyle, all good questions. In my contact with GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). they indicated they are looking at this ths pretty strictly, so I would assume the worst.

I hope the EQ TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. will look at this more closely. If in the meantime you need specific project guidance I would contact GBCI or submit an 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. And let us know what you learn.

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Landry Watson DPR Construction May 04 2016 LEEDuser Member 170 Thumbs Up

@Lyle's comments - see my post above on how the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). will backcheck the narrative and log of your flush out. I was specifically requested for hourly log information; however, I'm guessing there are other reasonable durations. Now; all that said....if you are running equipment with OA and it is showing 100% RH outside by weather archives - we can infer that GBCI will request to confirm that your indoor reading on RH/temp were maintained. Further, I would expect there are some basic charts on "reasonable agreement" windows for OA percentages vs. outdoor RH values that would trigger comments - meaning "I question your log since you are showing 75% OA was set for the system and it was 100% RH on the weather archive". I did ask though if there was a minimum time for a Path 2 flush out could be maintained - answer was no. So...after achieving your 3500 CF/SF....It would be logical that you could present an approach to compliance (with a RH/temp log of ongoing data) despite it taking an extended length of time to achieve the balance of the full 14k requirement. Of course, 60/60 conditions must be met for the duration of a Path 2 as well.

Agree with Tristan on this credit...it is time for the EQ TAG to take a good look at purpose and endstate of this process.

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Joann Lee Heitman Architects Inc.
Sep 23 2015
LEEDuser Member
731 Thumbs Up

Air Testing before Occupancy for phased move-in

Project Location: United States

How does LEED interpret occupancy date? Our project is consisted of warehouse, manufacturing and corporate office and they are moving in by phase for each space type with Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. Is air testing required to be performed before the first move-in or as long as it's done before CO, IEQc3.2 would comply? Thanks.

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Sep 24 2015 LEEDuser Member 442 Thumbs Up

Hi Joanne,
This site states: 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.
We have tested dozens of projects that have occupied in phases and as long as the areas and the dates are defined in 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. report is has never been an issue with the LEED reviewer.

I hope that helps

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Sahar Abi-Ziki
Sep 01 2015
Guest
175 Thumbs Up

flush out possible by phase

Hello
the first phase (parking garage) of our project will be delivered to client for occupancy now, but the rest of the project will still be under construction for a while. we will apply 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 building under construction SMACNAThe Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is an international association of union contractors, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil..

We might consider a flush out at the end of the project for the whole building, would it be still possible even if part of the building was occupied without flush out? or we have to flush out the completed phase (parking garage) now and seal it from the rest of the building that still under construction and then flush out the rest of the building when it is completed?
please clarify
Thank you!!

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Steve Loppnow Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jan 12 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3227 Thumbs Up

This is addressed under Implementation in the 2009 BD&C Reference Guide (p.465). You can't earn the credit if portions of the LEED scope have been occupied without a flush-out (at least 3,500 cf/sf). An isolated flush-out of completed portions of phased construction is the way to go.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M Design Alaska
Aug 26 2015
LEEDuser Member
2089 Thumbs Up

What "floor area" to use

Project Location: United States

Since the credit template is not linked to the 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.) in PIf2 (as it is in other relevant credits), does that mean the floor area in the flushout calcs should be net area, as it is done for IEQp1?
It would make sense to only count the area inside the air barrier, but since IEQc4.x credits incorrectly refer to breathable space as "inside of the weather-proofing system", I'm not sure if the reviewer will have a similar view of what should be counted for flushout calcs.
With about 2 feet separating the air barrier and "weather-proofing system" in some of our Alaskan walls, should I use gross floor area (which is akin to "inside of weather-proofing system") or should I use breathable space (inside air barrier, which is what is used for ASHRAE 62.1 calcs).

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Member 2089 Thumbs Up

Any input would be appreciated. Bueller?.... Bueller?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Expert 9260 Thumbs Up

I've always used gross. I've never been questioned on it. There isn't even much to fill out in the credit.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Member 2089 Thumbs Up

Thank you, Dylan. Given the thickness of our walls, and the difficulty of keeping the space above 60 degrees during a winter flushout, the ~30 million cf difference between gross and net area makes a difference.

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

We also use gross and do not get questioned.

A few years back we received the following review comment "please note that all spaces that are occupiable must be flushed out".

So technically you could subtract the "non-occupiable" (walls, columns, mechanical shafts,etc.) floor area from the 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.) and meet the intent of the credit. I'd recommend you clarify the area difference between GSF and area flushed out before submitting to GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). for review.

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Mehdi Kardehi Mechanical Engineer Hyder Consulting
Aug 19 2015
Guest
114 Thumbs Up

Path2 - ventilation to begin 3 hours prior to occupancy

Our project is a resort with number of guest rooms, spas, restaurants , etc
We are going with path 2 but there is a sentence under path 2 saying " During each day of the flush out period , ventilation must begin a minimum of 3 hours prior to occupancy and continue during occupancy"

The question is when the guestroom is occupied 24/4 how can we start ventilation 3 hours prior to occupancy each day?

Any clarification is greatly appreciated.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Expert 9260 Thumbs Up

If 24/7 just ventilate 24/7

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Nate Steeber Project Manager, Sustainability Sol design + consulting
Jul 29 2015
Guest
289 Thumbs Up

Testing with multiple systems in one space

Project Location: United States

I've looked deeply into all the comments here, but I can't seem to find an answer - I apologize if this is a repeat, or too simple of a question:

My project has many AHUs, in some cases two different AHUs serve on space - some spaces are less than 5,000 square feet. Since all AHUs have a separate OA intake, am I required to do two tests in this one space since there are multiple AHUs?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Oct 08 2015 LEEDuser Expert 9260 Thumbs Up

Good question. Just one test for the room. It's the contaminants in the room from off gassing not the supply air quality.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser BuildingGreen, Inc.
Jul 13 2015
LEEDuser Moderator

cost of IAQ testing?

What costs have you found 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. testing under this credit? Per SF? Per test? Every project is different but I'm curious for your anecdotal experience, for updating our Cost of LEED report. Please post here or email me. Be sure to give a little context. Thanks!

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Thomas Nichols LEED AP (O+M), 4 Elements Group Jul 13 2015 LEEDuser Member 442 Thumbs Up

We propose 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 on a per test basis. Often times we are asked to determine the required number of test areas for the project teams and the lab fees directly correlate with the number of test areas. I'm not sure how pricing by SF would be possible.

The fees are run between $700-$1100 per test area for 3 or more test areas. They decrease at certain breakpoints. This price always includes RUSH lab turnaround, 24 hrs from lab receipt.
There can be 100% price premium from the labs for RUSH results but standard lab turnaround can be 7 business days. If the team had 7 business days plus testing dates in the schedule they would probably choose the flush option and not risk failing the IAQ test.

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Zach Hoffman Commissioning Agent/IAQ Technician, MBO, Inc. Jul 13 2015 Guest 132 Thumbs Up

Our proposal process is almost identical to the aforementioned. The major difference being we bid for standard lab TAT (turn around time) and breakdown the fee increases for the expedited TAT in our proposal.
Per sampling location our fees typically run between $500-$1000 depending on the sampling frequency. In addition, site visits, report time and travel time are factored into the final fee; all factors which are project specific.
I like Thomas's approach as far as bidding all projects for expedited TAT. I'd estimate 90% of the projects I've been involved in are completed at the very last minute with no time in the construction schedule for re-testing. I call it the "Hail Mary" 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!

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Laura Charlier LEED Services Director Group14 Engineering
Jul 09 2015
LEEDuser Member
674 Thumbs Up

Apparatus bay of Fire Department

Project Location: United States

HI there,
Would the apparatus bayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. of a fire department need to be included in the building flush-out? I see a typical garage would not need to be included but this isn't a typical garage.
Thanks,
Laura

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jul 09 2015 LEEDuser Expert 6044 Thumbs Up

Yes, according to the IEQ Space Matrix, IEQc3.2 should include the apparatus bays of a fire station garage.
For the latest version of the Matrix, see http://www.usgbc.org/resources/eq-space-type-matrix.

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Asa Posner Senior Sustainability Consultant Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
May 13 2015
LEEDuser Member
1333 Thumbs Up

Option 2 for a Partially Enclosed Building (LEED NCv2.2)

Project Location: United States

We performed 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 to meet IEQc3.2 on a subway station. The IAQ levels passed easily, and our approach was recognized by the LEED reviewer as an appropriate approach. However, this credit is being denied, because they are claiming the credit is not appropriate for an "unenclosed" building. We feel that the intent is being met. Any experience or advice with this?

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services May 13 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

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. #2259 states that the unenclosed spaces of the project may be excluded from the requirements of EQc3.2.

If the entire project is defined as "unenclosed" I believe this credit cannot be achieved. I also suspect USGBC would not allow project teams to certify a building if the entire building was defined as unenclosed.

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Zach Hoffman Commissioning Agent/IAQ Technician MBO, Inc.
May 11 2015
Guest
132 Thumbs Up

Upload IEQc3.2-1. Provide the IAQ Management Plan...

Project Location: United States

Hello,

I have been successfully completing 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 under Option 2 for a few years now and always wondered about this section of the credit template. It states to "Provide the IAQ Management Plan for the project building
with IAQ management practices implemented during construction highlighted." I always over looked this section and assumed it applied to IEQc3.1 and was administered by the general contractor. I have since taken the time, while uploading a project I am currently working on, to re-read this section at the beginning of the credit template and noticed it mentions this in the LEED guide as well under IEQc3.2. I guess the question I am posing is whether anyone has an example of this documentation? As the testing PM/technician, it seems this would be more appropriate for the construction team to document; which is the approach I have taken on all projects in the past.

Thanks!

Zach

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David Hubka Director - Operations, Transwestern Sustainability Services May 13 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3501 Thumbs Up

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. management plan during construction is most applicable to be the responsibility of the construction manager/general contractor.

the documentation toolkit within this credit has a good example.

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Katherine Wilde Edifice Rx
Apr 09 2015
LEEDuser Member
22 Thumbs Up

Air Quality Testing - Elevator Lobbies in Parking Garage

Our project has 4 garage levels. There are 3-4 elevator lobbies on each level. The lobbies are small and receive OA from RTUs serving the offices above. In the past, we have generally sampled these locations.

Our client is concerned about the additional cost to test these locations. Wondering if anyone out there has ever worked on a project where the elevator lobbies have been omitted from the testing strategy?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Katherine, I don't have experience with this kind of situation. I would be concerned about excluding the lobbies because they are a different space type then the other spaces. I think you'd want to at least sample them.

I see this question was posted a while back—let us know how you approached it.

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Tyler Zhu
Feb 11 2015
Guest
33 Thumbs Up

Indoor air quality test methods for PM2.5 and PM10

Project Location: China

From my understanding, in order to pass the test for PM2.5 and PM10, EPA Compendium Method IP-10 has to be used. However, the current PM2.5 and PM10 monitors are all based on the new laser technology which counts the particles and converts the count into mass per volume. This doesn't align with the IP-10 method. Are there any newly updated requirements for testing PM2.5 and PM10? Is there a list of approved devices which can be used for the testing?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 19 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Dale or Ian or any other experts on this forum, can you help with this question? I don't know, Tyler—been asking around.

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Dale Walsh Mar 20 2015 Guest 362 Thumbs Up

I submitted an answer to this a month or so ago but for some reason it wasn’t posted. Anyhow, the LEED 2009 Reference Guide (pg. 466) says “but others may be used [provided] valid justification is provided” when it discussed the Compendium methods (published in 1990, not updated since, and typically 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). PM2.5 and PM10 are for outdoor air – not indoor air. Current ISO and ACGIH categories for human exposures to particulates include “total”, “inhalable”, “thoracic”, and “respirable”. The two of these that most closely resemble PM10 and PM2.5 and are readily available from industrial hygiene laboratories are the total and respirable, respectively. Both of these will overestimate the PM10 and PM2.5 levels so if the levels for these meet the LEED criteria then you can be assured the actual PM10 and PM2.5 levels would be similar or lower. I have done this for PM10 measurement for the LEED air testing credit numerous times and have never had it rejected.

The most common method for total particulates is the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) method 0500 (see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2003-154/pdfs/0500.pdf). The respirable method is NIOSH 0600 (see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2003-154/pdfs/0600.pdf). They are easy to do, inexpensive and some labs provide the sampling equipment if you have them do the analysis. You can find a list of labs accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association at http://apps.aiha.org/qms_aiha/public/pages/reports/publicScopeView.aspx?.... Most any IH lab should be able to do the NIOSH 0500 or 0600 methods.

Remember that PM2.5 sampling is only required if you are using LEED Version 4 and the building is in an EPA PM2.5 non-attainment area. In other words, the outdoor air is too dirty to meet the PM2.5 standard so you, as builders of buildings, have to make the indoor air cleaner than the outdoor air while the EPA itself says “Indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally, more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels”. You should have to worry about what particles the building contributes to indoor air and not what is outside, which you cannot control. The USGBC 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. strikes again and continues to exclude those who know what they are talking about regarding IAQ.

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CAROLINE PIN In charge of environmental certification on a jobsite EIFFAGE CONSTRUCTION
Feb 11 2015
Guest
209 Thumbs Up

Number of sampling location

Project Location: France

Dear all,
Does anyone know if there is an ACP rule for sampling points for the air quality tests. I didn't find an ACP in LEED 2009 BD+C Supplemental Reference Guide with Alternative Compliance Paths for Europe.

The project I work on is composed of 5 identical buildings over 645,000 square feet. I wanted to know if I could consider one building as a baseline building instead of doing tests in 5 buildings.
Thank you for your help.

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