NC-2009 IEQc4.1: Low-Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants

  • No reason not to earn this credit

    IEQc4.1 requirementsIt shouldn’t cost you anything to earn this credit—it will just take a little work (the same is true for the related credit, IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings). Your first priority should be to specify only adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. that comply with the credit’s VOC limits, and enforce those specifications on the jobsite. Research low-VOC adhesives and sealants before construction begins and provide lists of acceptable materials to contractors to help ensure that the right products are used. 

    Proactive communication on the jobsite

    Making sure that VOC limits are observed demands proactive communication between the designer, contractor, and all subcontractors who do work inside the building. Subcontractors have to be educated about the requirements, and their contracts should require that they document their compliance.

    If you make a mistake, you can still earn the credit

    Unlike some LEED credits where only a certain percentage of the materials have to comply, this credit is all-or-nothing—all adhesives and coatings must comply.

    However, if a non-compliant adhesive or sealant gets used by mistake, or if you need to bend the VOC limits to meet the requirements of a warranty or fire code, you can still earn the credit following the “VOC budget process.” You’ll simply have to do some calculations to show that your extra use of VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. was offset by very low use of VOCs elsewhere. You have to meet the budget for adhesives and sealants separately from paints and coatings (for IEQc4.2), though—you’re not allowed to create a combined VOC budget covering multiple IEQc4 credits.

    Multiple benefits

    Earning this credit is a key part of a construction indoor-air-quality management plan, and will help you earn another LEED point via the testing path in IEQc3.2: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan—Before Occupancy, by reducing the amount of VOCs in the air.

    Using low-VOC adhesives and sealants is not only beneficial to occupants, but can improve air quality and the health of construction workers who are constantly exposed to construction pollution.

    Verify your information

    Don’t allow the use of products that merely claim to be “low VOC.” Everyone specifying and purchasing products must actually find the VOC grams per liter (g/L) information, usually on the product’s technical data sheet or material safety data sheet, and compare that number with VOC limits listed for different uses determined by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule #1168 and Green Seal-36 for aerosol adhesives. Product sheets often provide the maximum g/L (like “<100 g/L”) rather than a specific amount. That’s okay as long as the maximum is under the allowable limit. 

    Only 20% of product cut sheets selected at random need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit although it is best to keep all product cut sheets on file in case the credit is audited.

  • FAQ's for IEQc4.1

    Is there a shortcut to the VOC budget method if you have just one product that is used minimally on a project?

    Yes, if you have just one non-compliant product, then you can balance it out with just one really good, low VOC product, as long as all your other products meet the requirement. For example, if you have two gallons of non-compliant adhesive that is 100 g/L over its required threshold, then you can balance it out with enough compliant product where you show you are at least 100g/l under the required threshold, thus balancing the VOC budget.

    How is VOC % less water determined for aerosol adhesives?

    This is usually found on a product cut sheet or MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products. If you cannot find the information, contact the manufacturer or technical services for the product and they should be able to provide this number for you. The method for dermining this is explained in SCAQMD Method 305-9, Determination of (VOC) In Aerosol Applications.

    Do products applied to the weather barrier need to comply with VOC thresholds?

    GBCI has issued a clarification that the actual barrier does not need to comply with this credit. Any applied products that are "touched by the indoor air" would need to be considered for IEQc4.1, but if they fall outside of this they can be excluded.

    Do grout and caulking need to be included, and if so, what is the application category?

    Yes, grout and caulking need to be included. There is no specific category for them, however. Projects have successfully used ceramic tile adhesive—VOC limit 65g/l—and Architectural Sealant—VOC limit 250 g/l—successfully, the latter being especially appropriate if you are using a product other than ceramic tiles. Since most mortars, grouts, and thinsets are largely cementitious, with inherently low VOC content, they will comply under most categories, anyway. Choose a logical category and explain it in a narrative if necessary.

    How do I determine what application my product falls under?

    SCAQMD Rule 1168 includes definitions of categories that can be helpful in determining where and how your product should be categorized to determine corresponding VOC thresholds.


    What are the adhesives and sealants to be included in the documentation?

    All adhesives and sealants used onsite within the weather barrier need to be included. This should address general construction adhesives, flooring adhesives, fire-stopping sealants, caulking, duct sealants, plumbing adhesives and cove base adhesives.

    Our project didn't use some common adhesive types, and our LEED reviewer asked about this. Are we supposed to justify not using certain adhesives in our documentation?

    No, but it might not hurt. Items commonly included in the credit are general construction adhesives, flooring adhesives, fire-stopping sealants, caulking, duct sealants, plumbing adhesives, and cove base adhesives. If your project doesn't report using one or more of these, your LEED reviewer might ask you to verify your list of documented items, to check that something wasn't inadvertently omitted. In LEEDuser's opinion, a brief narrative noting what you used and verifying that you're conscious of the fact that some common items weren't used might anticipate and answer this type of review comment.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Schematic Design

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  • There is no reason not to earn this credit, as long as you are willing to take a bit of extra time to specify compliant products, and make sure that only those products are used on the jobsite.

Design Development

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  • construction work applying adhesivesLow-VOC adhesives benefit both the project and construction workers. Photo – ITW TACC Start researching and selecting compliant low-VOC adhesives and sealants needed for the project.


  • First check the allowable VOC levels for each product type you are using – see the summary of VOC limits in the Low-Emitting Material Limits document (see Documentation Toolkit) and then make sure the products specified do not exceed those limits.  


  • Keep VOC requirements in mind when selecting all materials used indoors. Watch out for warranty restrictions that call for use of a manufacturer-specified adhesive or sealant (which may or may not comply). 


  • Finding adhesives and sealants that are compliant with the credit requirements may sometimes take a little extra time, but is rarely a problem.

Construction Documents

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  • Make sure low-emitting requirements have been integrated in construction specifications. Products must be at or below the recommended VOC limits. VOC levels can be found on a product’s MSDS or technical data sheet and are measured in grams per liter (g/L).


  • Guidance on incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents, along with samples, is available from MasterSpec and from the Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources).


  • Identifying VOC requirements directly on the drawings as well as in the specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements, but be careful to make sure the information is consistent between the drawings and the specs. 


  • It is best to require subcontractors to supply all LEED-required VOC information on the products they purchase at the time they are submitting products for approval. This way contractors do not wait until the end of construction to supply information, and you have the opportunity to review products for LEED compliance before products are purchased.


  • Specify compliant products by brand name whenever possible. It is best to distribute a list of acceptable products and the VOC limit chart from the LEED rating system at the contractor and subcontractor orientation meetings. 


  • Low-emitting products can be part of a more comprehensive IAQ management plan, as required for IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction. A comprehensive IAQ plan covers all adhesives, sealants, paint, coatings, composite materials, and overall construction best practices protecting air quality.  


  • Achieving this credit can also help achieve IEQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy, if your project pursues the air-testing option for this credit. Using low-VOC products improves your odds of passing the air quality tests. 


  • Only products installed within the weather barrier need to comply with VOC limits, according to the credit requirements. For adhesives and sealants that are part of the weather barrier, the LEED requirements are ambiguous, so it is best to err on the side of caution and use low-VOC products. Remember that the intention of the credit is to make sure all adhesives and sealants that have the potential to interact with indoor air are compliant. 


  • Products assembled off-site or factory-finished are exempt from this credit, because it is assumed that VOCs have off gassed before arriving at the site.


  • Using low-emitting adhesives and sealants is a no-cost measure.  


  • Some water-based adhesives and sealants that are credit-compliant may not be as strong as non-water-based adhesives and sealants. However, this is usually not a problem, as adhesive and sealants are often stronger than they need to be. 


  • Some contractors might charge a premium for implementing and documenting this credit but, in general, costs should be minor or nonexistent as more firms start incorporating these as standard best practices. 


  • Hiring construction teams with LEED experience is helpful, as is reviewing LEED requirements and responsibilities with the contractor during the bidding process. Construction teams without LEED experience can be successful with this credit, but will require more training and a closer eye on quality control to make sure compliant materials are used and that items are documented correctly.  


  • Implementing an IAQ plan and use of low-emitting materials demands accountability. It is best if subcontractors are contractually required to implement their parts of the IAQ plan. 

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


  • The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED-related issues, including IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental material tracking tools, construction waste management, and so on. A list of acceptable products for each use type, and the list of VOC limits, should be provided to aid subcontractors in product selection. 


  • The GC should hold orientation meetings with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.


  • Coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.


  • Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)

    • Materials Calculator:  This is a master tracking spreadsheet that the GC can use internally to compile product information received from the subcontractors. The spreadsheet tracks LEED values across multiple LEED MR and IEQ credits.
    • Environmental Materials Reporting Form: This is a material tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values for products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. 
    • Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form: This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
    • Low-Emitting Material Limits: These tables, found with each credit here on LEEDuser, summarize the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and flooring products. When subcontractors search for low-emitting products, they should consult these charts.

  • Research compliant, low-emitting products before construction begins. If product decisions are made after construction begins, with less time to carefully review data sheets, there is a much greater risk of using a non-compliant product. 


  • There is some room for interpretation in VOC limits, because the limits are determined by product usage and product type. For example, cove-base adhesives have a VOC limit of 50 g/L, and a multipurpose construction adhesive has a VOC limit of 70 g/L. If you use a multipurpose adhesive on a cove base, it is up to you whether to use either 50 g/L or 70 g/L as your VOC limit. Erring on the side of caution with a lower limit is generally a good idea.


  • When researching low-emitting products, double-check that the manufacturer’s information does not use misleading language. A common example is a product cut sheet that uses the term “low-emitting” without providing a specific VOC g/L value. Many cut sheets give a maximum value of, for example, VOC < 100g/L. That’s fine as long as 100 g/L meets the criteria for that product—just enter 100 g/L VOC amount for LEED documentation.


  • It is common for an MSDS to list the chemical contents of a product without giving an overall VOC g/L number. You’ll need to contact the manufacturer or check cut sheets to get the total VOC number. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample cut sheet.)


  • Obtain VOC levels, in writing, from the manufacturer, for the actual products used on the project—don’t rely on VOC quotes given over the phone.


  • The VOC value on an MSDS can be unreliable when several different products are listed on one sheet. Get clarification from the manufacturer on the actual VOC content of the product you are using.


  • The GC should be aware of any warranty issues that may exist if alternative adhesives or sealants are used. For example, a carpet company’s warranty may require a certain adhesive that does not meet the VOC requirements. To keep the warranty valid, use the adhesive or sealant specified in the warranty and use the VOC budget method to show a weighted average VOC compliance, or use carpet from a company that offers a low-VOC option.


  • If noncompliant materials are used onsite accidentally, or due to a warranty or other issue, you can use the VOC budget method. This method compares the total amount of VOCs (in grams per liter) used in the design case to the total amount of VOCs that would have been used if every product exactly met LEED VOC allowances. The calculation must be determined for adhesives and sealants separately from paints and coatings. For example, it won’t necessarily help your case to use low-VOC paints but also some high-VOC sealants. (See the compliance example below for adhesives and sealants.)


  • Using the VOC budget method is usually successful, but can be time-consuming to document.


  • During Construction


  • Throughout construction, the GC should collect material safety data sheets (MSDS) from subcontractors and completed VOC tracking forms for all products used onsite associated with this credit.


  • Assign someone to be responsible for inputting the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the master spreadsheet. A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role. 


  • Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.


  • Streamline documentation and research by keeping a master spreadsheet of all the items being tracked for each material across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, certified wood information for MRc7, and information about coatings installed on-site for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. (See the Materials Calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.)


  • A master spreadsheet helps ease information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.  


  • The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product safety data sheets and tracking forms, as well as spot checks in dumpsters to determine which products are actually being used.


  • Post signs at the construction site that reminds subcontractors to follow LEED requirements for low-VOC products. (See Documentation Toolkit for sample signs.) 


  • Schedule the application of adhesives and sealants so that offgassing does not contaminate other absorptive materials. This is required if projects are attempting IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction. For example, do not store or install acoustic ceiling tile before flooring and wall adhesives are put down, because ceiling tiles will absorb the off-gassing of paint and floor adhesives and contaminate the air over a longer time period.


  • It is usually a good idea to do a “mini air flush” (if your project is not attempting IEQc3.2) before occupancy to help remove any lingering VOCs from the construction process. This can be as simple as putting industrial sized fans in the window and pumping in fresh air overnight or running the HVAC exhaust on high for a few days. (See IEQc3.2: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—Before Occupancy if the team wants to do a full flush-out for an additional LEED point.)


  • Transfer all the data collected in the master material tracking spreadsheet to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Provide the owner with a list of compliant, low-emitting adhesives and sealants used on the project so that O&M staff can use these products for future renovations.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Credit 4.1: Low-emitting materials - adhesives and sealants

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

    Requirements

    All adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. used on the interior of the building (i.e., inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site) must comply with the following requirements as applicable to the project scope1:

    • Adhesives, Sealants and Sealant Primers must comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule #1168. Volatile organic compound (VOC) limits listed in the table below correspond to an effective date of July 1, 2005 and rule amendment date of January 7, 2005.

      Architectural Applications VOC Limit

      (g/L less water)

      Specialty Applications VOC Limit

      (g/L less water)

      Indoor carpet adhesives 50 PVC welding 510
      Carpet pad adhesives 50 CPVC welding 490
      Wood flooring adhesives 100 ABS welding 325
      Rubber floor adhesives 60 Plastic cement welding 250
      Subfloor adhesives 50 Adhesive primer for plastic 550
      Ceramic tile adhesives 65 Contact adhesive 80
      VCT and asphalt adhesives 50 Special purpose contact adhesive 250
      Drywall and panel adhesives 50 Structural wood member adhesive 140
      Cove base adhesives 50 Sheet applied rubber lining operations 850
      Multipurpose construction adhesives 70 Top and trim adhesive 250
      Structural glazing adhesives 100
      Substrate Specific Applications VOC Limit

      (g/L less water)

      Sealants VOC Limit

      (g/L less water)

      Metal to metal 30 Architectural 250
      Plastic foams 50 Roadway 250
      Porous material (except wood) 50 Other 420
      Wood 30
      Fiberglass 80
      Sealant Primers VOC Limit (g/L less water)
      Architectural, nonporous 250
      Architectural, porous 775
      Other 750
      This table excludes adhesives and sealants integral to the water-proofing system or that are not building related.



    • Aerosol Adhesives must comply with Green Seal Standard for Commercial Adhesives GS-36 requirements in

      effect on October 19, 2000.

      Aerosol Adhesives VOC weight (g/L minus water)
      General purpose mist spray 65% VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. by weight
      General purpose web spray 55% VOCs by weight
      Special purpose aerosol adhesives (all types) 70% VOCs by weight




    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Specify low-VOC materials in construction documents. Ensure that VOC limits are clearly stated in each section of the specifications where adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. are addressed. Common products to evaluate include general construction adhesives, flooring adhesives, fire-stopping sealants, caulking, duct sealants, plumbing adhesives and cove base adhesives. Review product cut sheets, material safety data (MSD) sheets, signed attestations or other official literature from the manufacturer clearly identifying the VOC contents or compliance with referenced standards.

Publications

Specifying LEED Requirements from ARCOM MasterSpec

Guidance and sample language on incorporating VOC limits into Specifications.


South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168 South Coast Air Quality Management District

Outline of Rule 1168 for adhesive and sealant applications.

Web Tools

USGBC’s LEED Resources page

Includes additional resources and technical information.

Organizations

Green Seal Standard 11 (GS–11)

Green Seal is an independent, nonprofit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment by identifying and promoting products and services that cause less toxic pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion. GS–36 sets VOC limits for commercial adhesives. 


Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) — Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Jobsite Signs

Products with VOC content not meeting credit requirements for VOC levels can inadvertently get used on the jobsite. A sign like this sample helps remind subcontractors and construction workers of their responsibilities.

Product Cut Sheets

Look to product cut sheets for information on the VOC content of adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid.. The example here clearly displays information needed for documentation.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 IEQ

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

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

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

Construction Submittal

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

413 Comments

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cathy keagle
Dec 10 2014
Guest
189 Thumbs Up

caulk

Which category is siliconized acrylic latex caulk under

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Catherine Blakemore Architect, LEED AP BC+D, HOLT Architects Dec 10 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

Architectural Sealant

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Isuru Hettiarachchi Projects Manager Green Technologies FZCO
Nov 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

Fire-stopping Sealants

Hello,

We are currently experiencing Fire-stopping sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. applied on the interior of the building Envelope on a Project we are working on.

My take is that 'fire-stopping sealants' should be counted under 'Architectural - Sealant'?. Appreciate a second opinion.

Best,
Ish

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Nov 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Ish—Intumescent fire stopping, used to seal off floor & wall penetrations, qualifies under IEQc4.1 as an Architectural Sealant. However, intumescent firproofing paint falls under IEQc4.2.

Intumescent fire stopping usually fills gaps around pipe & conduit where they pass through a wall or floor. When exposed to extreme heat, the sealant expands, puffing up like popcorn, to fill the entire opening, often crushing the pipe or conduit to prevent it from becoming an avenue for smoke or flame.

You are right. Use SCAQMD-1168’s 250g/L VOC limit for “Architectural Sealant.”

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Isuru Hettiarachchi Projects Manager, Green Technologies FZCO Nov 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 17 Thumbs Up

Thanks Jon!

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Nov 04 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Ish—Non-intumescent cementitious mortars used to fire-stop wall or floor openings at penetrations may also fall under IEQc4.1, but only if they contain organic binders, polymers, or additives. Mortars that are entirely mineral-based are just mortar, and neither IEQc4.1 nor IEQc4.2 applies.

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Shivani Langer Project Architect/LEED administrator Stantec
Oct 30 2014
LEEDuser Member
13 Thumbs Up

IEQ4 credit uploads

Project Location: United States

We are trying to submit credits IEQ4.1, 4.2, 4.4 and 4.5 under LEED for schools version 2009. We have filled in the tables for each of the credits, checked each of the credits we want to apply for in the form, but do not see an upload tab (button) for any credits but the 4.5 credit. There is no place to upload documentation for the 3 credits within IEQ4 but IEQc4.5.
Has anyone encountered this issue? What could be wrong? I have clicked on check compliance tab and it says 0 credits complaint but doesnt mark red anything that has been filled out in the forms, makes me think its because of no uploads. But how do we upload if we dont have a tab to go to the uploads page.

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Shivani Langer Project Architect/LEED administrator, Stantec Nov 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 13 Thumbs Up

Any feedback on this issue will be great. We are trying to submit our preliminary construction submittal soon. Thank you!

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Amit Ahiel Nov 04 2014 Guest 192 Thumbs Up

Hi Shivani,

I too had the same problem with the same forms.

My project was in Israel but I believe you could use the same strategy.

The issue was a technical one on the part of the LEEDOnline site: there is no place to upload supporting document....EXCEPT if you select through the Alternative Compliance Path or the "Special circumstances" buttons at the bottom of the page and upload the supporting documents there and explain that the page is not functioning or facilitating what you want to do, so you have uploaded your documents here instead.

My submission was reviewed successfully.

Good luck with yours.

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Shivani Langer Project Architect/LEED administrator, Stantec Nov 04 2014 LEEDuser Member 13 Thumbs Up

Thank you, Amit! We will select 'Special Circumstances' and upload the documentation that way. Thank you for the response.

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Yousef Zakaria LEED Manager Optimal International
Oct 30 2014
Guest

US EPA Method 24 to be mentioned in the Datasheet

Dear All
is the US EPA Method 24 important to be mentioned in the datasheet received from the manufacturer of the sealant and adhesive
if the datasheet only mentioned the value of the VOC without any reference or testing method description . it will be enough for the USGBC or not?
Thanks

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Yousef Zakaria LEED Manager , Optimal International Nov 04 2014 Guest

experts, Any feedback?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Nov 04 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Yousef— US EPA Method 24 is the default VOC standard for US-made products. If the product is made in the United States and if the VOC is reported in grams per liter (g/L), I would say no, especially if the data sheet says, “less water and exempt compounds.” However, when I have worked with data sheets from outside the US, I have found VOC reported as a percentage by volume or in g/L, but using a different basis than that prescribed by SCAQMD Rules.

If the product is made outside the United States, it might be a good idea to call the manufacturer’s non-emergency technical support number listed on their websites or on the product’s material safety data sheet. If you can reach a qualified technical representative, they should be able to confirm whether the reported measurements are compatible.

Many international projects appear to have difficulties obtaining VOC data based on US regulatory standards. If your project is outside the US, it might be wise to submit a formal inquiry to the USGBC/GBCI asking for guidance clarifying which VOC standards are acceptable for use on LEED NC-2009 international projects. A definitive ruling would resolve this issue around the globe.

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Yousef Zakaria LEED Manager , Optimal International Nov 05 2014 Guest

Thanks Jon for your reply , my projects are outside USA and i am facing this issue in all projects but what i am receiving is the VOC in g/L without any additional description

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Chris Moore Touchstone CPM, Inc.
Oct 13 2014
LEEDuser Member

Masonry Flash Mastic

Project Location: United States

Our masonry contractor submitted VOC documentation on Wire-Bond Aqua Flash Mastic with a VOC content of 270 g/L. I am first not sure if this needs to be submitted for IEQc4.1 or not. It is on the exterior of the masonry, so outside of the building, but between the masonry and the air barrier.

Second, if it does apply, I am not sure what to categorize this under. Thanks!

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Chris – Your instincts are correct. Because the flashing mastic lies outside the building’s weatherproofing system, IEQc4.1 does not apply.

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Michele Helou Principal Sage Design & Consulting
Sep 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
844 Thumbs Up

What is the Air Vapor Barrier?? Roofing Membrane still exempt?

Project Location: United States

Many wall/roof systems have more than one air barrier - what exactly defines what is inside the weather/air barrier - the most interior air barrier?
a minimum perm rating? Also, if an adhesive is used to adhere a membrane barrier - then that adhesive is exposed to the interior and should be included.

also - I just want to confirm that roofing adhesives are definitely excluded from this credit as per addenda posting 11/3/10. I'm looking at submittals now from Carlisle that advertise their low VOC adhesive primers (250 g/L) and lap sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. (348 g/L) for EPDM single ply roofing membranes along with other possible LEED attributes.

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emily reese Sustainability Consultant / Facility Planner, Jacobs Engineering Oct 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 526 Thumbs Up

Can someone help with Michele's questions? I, too, am looking at the same Carlisle lap sealant, and am not sure how to handle it.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Michele & Emily: On your projects, where is the Carlisle membrane being applied?

The November 2010 Addenda that Michele refers to removed roofing sealant categories from the VOC limits tables and noted that the tables exclude “adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. integral to the waterproofing system or that are not building related.” I have found no IEQc4.1 Addenda or Interpretations issued since that would change this requirement. LI#1767, issued in April 2007 and still valid for NC-2009, also excludes products applied in locations that are separated from occupied areas of the building by impenetrable walls or decks.

Therefore, if the adhesives and sealants are part of your roofing systems, you may exclude them from IEQ4.1 documentation. However, I have seen membrane roofing used at interior applications such as planters and water features. If your project uses interior membranes, the Carlisle VOC data may be relevant.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Concerning Michele’s first question about air & vapor barriers and the boundary separating interior from exterior:

The BD+C-2009 Reference Guide sets the boundary at the “waterproofing membrane.” Older rulings also use the term “exterior moisture protection.” This is the outermost layer intended to keep water from entering the building envelope. LEEDv4 is consistent, but more explicit, “The building exterior is defined as everything outside and inclusive of the primary and secondary weatherproofing system, such as waterproofing membranes and air- and water-resistive barrier materials.”

Air & water barriers are not necessarily vapor barriers, and vice versa. Vapor retarder placement varies by climate, typically, at the outermost layer only in hot, humid climates. Elsewhere, vapor retarders prevent indoor humidity from condensing inside the wall during cold weather. This has nothing to do with keeping exterior moisture out.

Therefore, if the membrane that you are adhering is at the outermost layer, you may exclude it. If the barrier is on the interior side, include the adhesive in your IEQc4.1 documentation.

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Dwayne Fuhlhage Sustainability and Environment Director, PROSOCO, Inc. Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1836 Thumbs Up

Thanks to Jon Clifford for his well stated assessment. I helped refine the interior/exterior language in LEEDv4. For the purposes of the Low Emitting Materials credit, the intent is to include emissions sources from parts of the assembly that are likely to migrate into occupied space. The recent proliferation of air and water resistive barrier products merited a definition update. Between the prior interior definition and the LEED 2009 for Healthcare coverage of exterior products, it was unclear where weatherproofing products belonged.

For LEED 2009, pay attention to all of the exterior, wet-applied products on Healthcare projects. South Coast Rule 1113 (2004) or California Air Resource Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) 2007 coating, and South Coast Rule 1168 sealant VOC limits are incorporated by reference. In LEEDv4, CARB 2007 coating and South Coast Rule 1168 sealant limits are expanded to both Healthcare and School projects.

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emily reese Sustainability Consultant / Facility Planner, Jacobs Engineering Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 526 Thumbs Up

Ok, thanks for the responses, guys. For my project, it seems that as described above, the lap sealant does not need to be reported under EQ Cr 4. This makes things much simpler for me!

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Dwayne – Thanks for the updated v4 language. The whole inside-out question always seemed to bog down project teams in the past. The new delineation is much clearer.

Moving off-topic, I raised a point in one of my posts above that is a bit problematic. I mentioned interior applications of roofing membranes, which could require membrane adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid.. Since the 2010 Addenda removed such products from the VOC tables, these categories are not available from pull-downs in the current LEEDonline IEQc4.1 form.

Likewise, SCAQMD-1168 Paragraph c1 says that, if an adhesive does not match any of the categories in the SCAQMD charts, the VOC limit is 250g/L. LEEDonline’s IEQc4.1 form does not include this “Other Adhesive” category either. This lapse makes it difficult to classify adhesives for non-porous, non-metal substrates if they do not match any of the “Architectural” or “Specialty” applications listed in the charts. Example: Epoxies made specifically for adhering stone or solid-surface panels.

SCAQMD-1113 includes a similar passage concerning non-categorized coating, but I cannot recall ever using a coating that did not fit one of the listed categories.

Might the 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. ultimately address these issues?

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Dwayne Fuhlhage Sustainability and Environment Director, PROSOCO, Inc. Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1836 Thumbs Up

Jon: I went ahead and forwarded your comments to the 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. staff liaison. Sometimes the form issues can be worked out between staff and GBCI. We also have a pending work list for the TAG. Of course everyone involved is in the mad rush to Greenbuild. I'll be at the LEEDUser IEQ hangout with Sara Cederberg on Thursday afternoon at Greenbuild if you want to touch base.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Sep 10 2014
LEEDuser Member
3137 Thumbs Up

Plumbing piping insulation?

Should plumbing piping insulation be considered for this credit when you are using rigid or flexible glass fiber?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Sep 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2374 Thumbs Up

I have not have an issue with reporting the insulation, but you are required to report the insulation adhesive.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Sep 10 2014
LEEDuser Member
5878 Thumbs Up

Aerosol Adhesives

The VOC content limit for aerosol adhesives is expressed as a percentage by weight per the requirements and per the LEEDuser FAQ above (though the link doesn't seem to work). Yet when I go into the EQ4.1 form to enter the aerosol product, the form tells me that I have to convert the aerosol VOC percentage back to a typical grams per liter value.

First of all, why? Is this solely because the table on the form is geared for g/l and a percentage won't fit? If so, why is the compliance based on percentage if you're going to have to convert it anyway?

I received g/l documentation first and requested the % documentation to make sure of compliance so I have both pieces of information. Thankfully since I don't know how to make that conversion. However, what is the limit then for that converted g/l value? The docs are telling me 64.8% VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. and that complies, but the g/l provided is 497 g/l less water. That figure doesn't seem to comply with any limit I have.

The form says I have to convert both the percentage and the limit, but provides no direction in either case. How is this done? And what justifies this effort if the percentage complies?

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Sep 10 2014 LEEDuser Member 5878 Thumbs Up

Hi all,
FYI, a kind GBCI reviewer has responded to me directly that there is indeed a form issue here with the table that they are apparently working on. She indicates that it is okay to put the percentage figures in both "g/l" boxes of the table and that the reviewer will understand. I very much appreciated the prompt response.

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Dwayne Fuhlhage Sustainability and Environment Director, PROSOCO, Inc. Oct 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1836 Thumbs Up

Aerosol adhesives are one of those oddball categories that slips through the cracks in LEED. In my opinion, they should be included as emissions sources in LEED projects. Their VOC contributions can be quite high.

The devil in the details is that they are covered by an entirely different regulatory framework than architectural coatings and architectural adhesives. They instead live in their own niche in the California Air Resources Board consumer and institutional product aerosol rule. Fundamental VOC content is calculated differently based on the actual ozone formation potential of the carrier solvents. For coatings and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., VOC is a binary system where a solvent either does not have ozone formation potential or is assumed to be 100% ozone forming potential.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/regs/regs.htm The acronym MIR stands for Maximum Incremental Reactivity. In some cases that means a solvent can make less than a 1:1 ratio of ground level ozone. In some cases, it can be much higher. http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/regs/2012/4mirtable50411.pdf

The GBCI workaround is an okay approach and necessary to keep documentation flowing, but be aware that the g/L numbers for aerosols don't mean quite the same thing as in coatings or sealants. I imagine this will land in the 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. at some point.

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Sahar Abi-Ziki
Sep 03 2014
Guest
57 Thumbs Up

epoxy for ceramic joints

Hello,
We are going to use epoxy sealant for joints between ceramic walls and floors in the showers, and I was wondering if this is acceptable if COV is less then 250g/l? we are also using epoxy sealant for concrete slabs in parking garage, what is the COV level required ? Thank you

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Epoxy grout used at ceramic tile qualifies as “Ceramic Tile Adhesive,” so the VOC limit is 65g/L.

If your parking garage is unconditioned and open to the outdoors, it is exempt from IEQc4 VOC restrictions. See 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. #1767:
http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=1767

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Sahar Abi-Ziki Sep 03 2014 Guest 57 Thumbs Up

Thank you but the parking garage is underground, what would be the VOC level?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Is the garage separated from the occupied, conditioned building by solid, impenetrable walls?
If so, it does not matter that the garage is underground. LI#1767 states that an underground garage that is unconditioned and open to the exterior is not technically interior space. IEQc4 VOC limits only apply to interior space.

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Sahar Abi-Ziki Sep 03 2014 Guest 57 Thumbs Up

it is not a separate garage, there is openings with rest of the building. Voc would be then 250g/l??

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

If the openings between the garage and the building have self-closing doors to prevent automotive exhaust from entering the building, then this still qualifies as an interior/exterior separation.

For sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. that fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between surfaces, the VOC limit is 250g/L for Architectural Sealants used within the weatherproof enclosure.

However, if you are asking about liquid sealersSealers are coatings applied to either block materials from penetrating into or leaching out of a substrate, to prevent subsequent coatings from being absorbed by the substrate, or to prevent harm to subsequent coatings by materials in the substrate. applied to concrete to resist water, alkalies, acids, ultraviolet light, or staining, these products would be Waterproofing Concrete/Masonry Sealers. According to IEQc4.2, the VOC limit is 400g/L for concrete sealers used inside the weatherproof enclosure.

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner Green Living Projects s.l.
Sep 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
2458 Thumbs Up

PU foam

Under what category would a 1-compnent mounting Polyurethane foam fall and consequently what would be the maximum VOC level allowed?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 02 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

If the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) product is marketed solely as insulation, IEQc4.1 probably does not apply to it.

However, SPF is often sold in cans with a nozzle for sealing around wall penetrations, filling gaps & crevices, or as a mounting adhesive. Since SCAQMD bases VOC limits on a manufacturer’s claims, one must consider all types of applications recommended on product packaging and in product data. If a manufacturer recommends the product for filling & sealing gaps, it must meet SCAQMD VOC limits for “Sealants”. If the manufacturer promotes the product as an adhesive for plastic foam, then the VOC limit for “Substrate-Specific Plastic Foam Applications” applies.

I have seen data from several makers of canned, single-component SPF that self-identify their products as “Plastic Foam Adhesives” that comply with SCAQMD-1168’s 50 g/L VOC limit.

For more information and concerns related to SPF use, see US-EPA’s SPF webpages:
http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/spf/spray_polyurethane_foam.html,
http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/spf/types_of_spray_polyurethane_foa...,
http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/spf/exposure_potential.html, and others.

If that's too much, Tristan wrote an article that summarizes this nicely:
http://www2.buildinggreen.com/blogs/epa-raises-health-concerns-spray-foa...

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner, Green Living Projects s.l. Sep 02 2014 LEEDuser Member 2458 Thumbs Up

Jon, First of all thanks for your excellent explanation. The product is saying that it can be used for insulating dividing walls, fill gaps and seal prefabricated constructions. So I guess we need to look at it as a Plastic Foam Adhesive with a limit of 50 g/L
Thanks.

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patricia vasconcellos creato consultoria e projetos ltda Sep 29 2014 LEEDuser Member 4 Thumbs Up

Hi. I need a help about spray polyurethane foam (SPF). Someone could direct me to a brand or a manufacturer that has this product with maximum VOC of 50? I can not find any here in Brazil.
Thanks

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Patricia – I have found a few SPFs here in the US that report under 50g/L VOC. I do not remember them all, but one group is by Bayer MaterialScience. This is an international company, and their website says that they operate in Brazil. I do not know whether they offer the same product there or whether their products meet your project’s requirements. Check with local distributors. There may be additional manufacturers that sell SPF in Brazil. Google it.

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Stephanie Santiago Venegas Engineering Management & Construction Inc
Jul 31 2014
LEEDuser Member
2 Thumbs Up

LOW VOC for vinyl tackboard adhesive

We are going to be installing Vinyl fabric faced tackboards at our current school project, NC v.2009, and are having trouble finding a compliant Low VOC adhesive. Currently we found one with a VOC content of 450g/l, I think it is too high and am referencing IEQc4.1 for SealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid.- Other 420g/l. Is this correct?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Jul 31 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2374 Thumbs Up

I believe you would be looking at "Special Purpose Contact Adhesive - VOC Limit 250" You may want to use "GreenGuard" or "Floorscore" for reference as to a suitable adhesive; ask your contractor if a VCT tile adhesive that meets the Floorscore criteria would be an appropriate adhesive.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jul 31 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

John-David – Is “Special Purpose Contact Adhesive” the right category? These types of contact adhesives are only for certain substrates. One type is “unsupported vinyl,” which is an unreinforced vinyl film without any kind of backing. For a “vinyl fabric faced tackboard,” Stephanie might need a regular Contact Adhesive, a Multipurpose Construction Adhesive, or a Panel Adhesive.

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LEED Consultant Green Building and Alternative Energy
Jun 20 2014
LEEDuser Member
1616 Thumbs Up

Cementious materials as adhesives

Up in the Bird's Eye View the following statement is made:

"Since most mortars, grouts, and thinsets are largely cementitious, with inherently low VOC content, they will comply under most categories, anyway."

We are using cement-based adhesives for ceramic flooring and our providers have not the VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. data about the material. Can we assume the material will comply with the requirements due to its cement-based composition?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jun 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Never assume. Always verify
First, look at your project specifications. Has your specifier required or allowed “latex-modified” or “epoxy-based” products, liquid under-tile waterproofing or crack-suppression membranes, or other products with integral organic-based binders? If so, the products may contain VOC. For these, your Specs should probably also call out the 65g/L VOC limit for “Ceramic Tile Adhesives” for these items.
If your specification do not allow such products, exclusively requiring cementitious products, you may be safe. To be sure, you should still check the contractor’s submittals to ensure that they are using the specified products and to verify whether any substitutions have allowed organic-based products. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products) should confirm whether the product is entirely cementitious.

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jack larson
Jun 05 2014
Guest
57 Thumbs Up

aDHESIVE FOR wood skiriting -

Three quick questions

1) Where would you classify adhesives for wooden skirting? Would it be under wood flooring adhesives? 100g/l, or Wood under substrate specific application

2) If the intended use of the product is rubber adhesive, and I am using this adhesive for skirting? Where and how would you classify it?

3) Can someone please expound on the section of Substrate specific application, and give me an example? For example when would use wood under substrate specific application, or metal to metal?

Thanks

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jun 05 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

If you are a Contractor or sub, work with your project’s design team and LEED-APs to determine which products are suitable to your project. SCAQMD Rule 1168 (http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/rule-book/reg-xi/rule-1168.pdf?s...) defines product categories and describes which VOC limits apply. USGBC’s LEED Interpretations database (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations) includes rulings for IEQc4.1 that describe how that standard applies to LEED.

To your specific questions:

1. I assume that “skirting” means baseboard or similar trim. SCAQMD-1168 defines “wood flooring adhesive” as one “used to install a wood floor surface” (parquet tiles, wood planks, or strips). This definition does not extend to baseboards.
See SCAQMD definitions for “Multipurpose Construction Adhesive” or “Contact Adhesive.” Review product labels & manufacturer’s data. If recommended for these uses, the VOC limit listed under “Architectural” & “Specialty” Applications applies.

2. “Off-label” use is not allowed, so you can’t use a “rubber flooring” or “cove base” adhesive on wood baseboards unless the manufacturer recommends it for wood as well. SCAQMD-1168 states that, if a product is labeled for more than one use, the lowest VOC standard applies (except as in Item 3 below).

3. The “Substrate Specific Applications” are for adhesives not covered by the “Architectural” & “Specialty” Applications in the top part of the VOC table. If bonding dissimilar substrates together, the higher VOC limit applies.
Therefore, if the product does not match any of the definitions for “Architectural” or “Specialty” adhesives, use the “Substrate Specific” VOC limits (30g/L, if gluing wood baseboards to wood or metal substrates, 50g/L, if to plastic foam or other porous substrate, or 70g/L, if to fiberglass).

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jack larson
May 17 2014
Guest
57 Thumbs Up

DOOR ADEHSIVE

I have a special synthetic resin adhesive developed for flush door construction. Designed to give strong permanent bonds on typical door components such as hardwood, wood, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder., particle board mineral based insulation, etc.

The total voc content for the product is about 43, where would you classify it? under which category ?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Jack – Chances are, if the adhesive is used for flush door construction, it is being applied entirely off-site, in the shop or factory that manufactures the door. If this is the case, IEQc4.1 does not apply. IEQc4.1 only applies to products applied on-Site, within the weatherproof enclosure.

The product sounds like it could be a composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. laminating adhesive. Remember that Credit IEQc4.4 prohibits the use of urea-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. in laminating adhesives regardless of whether they are applied in the shop or on-site. If your project is seeking IEQc4.4, you need to confirm that this product contains no added urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas. (NAUF).

It sounds as though this product should not be applied on-site because it exceeds the 30g/L VOC limit for “wood glue” set by SCAQMD-1168 & IEQc4.1. Shop application should be okay as long as the product is NAUF.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 15706 Thumbs Up

Jack - I'm not clear if you are an architect/engineer/contractor or a manufacturer. If you're an architect/engineer/contractor, Jonathan's advice is right on. If you're a manufacturer, you'll want to review and understand LEED v4 for your product since that is the new standard and it is different from v3. There are v4 boards on this forum.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Jack - Even if you are a manufacturer, if you are preparing documentation right now for a LEED-2009 Project, everything I posted above still applies to you...for now.
Since you posted your question in the LEED-2009 forum, I presume that is the version that you are working under.
USGBC has just released LEEDv4, which has a whole new set of standards for everyone on future projects.

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Nick Shaffer
May 06 2014
Guest
5 Thumbs Up

VOC budget shortcut

Is there an interpretation or language in the reference guide I am missing to support the statement above of "Is there a shortcut to the VOC budget method if you have just one product that is used minimally on a project?"

I am about to do this and wonder if I need to reference an interpretation.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 07 2014 LEEDuser Expert 15706 Thumbs Up

You can do the VOC budget method to prove you've offset the one product. No need to do all products in this credit.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

See EQc4.1 LI# 1822, dated July 7, 2007.
The Inquiry includes the question, "If a VOC Budget calculation becomes necessary, is it sufficient to demonstrate that low emissions from a limited number of low-VOC products offset excess emissions of a few non-compliant products, without calculating emissions for EVERY applicable product on the Project? . Similar issues with...VOC Budgets exist in...EQc4.2"
The Ruling states that this question is inquiring "whether all adhesive and sealant products are required for the VOC budget calculation. In this case, if VOC emissions from a few products can be offset through VOC budget calculation with VOC emissions from a different set of products due to the scale of application, the project is not required to include all other adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. used in the project in the VOC budget calculation. Applicable Internationally."
This interpretation was under LEEDv2.1. I believe that the abbreviated VOC Budget calculation has been incorporated into the current 2009 LEEDonline Credit Forms, so I am not sure that citing the LI is absolutely necessary. To be safe, citing the LI couldn't hurt.

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Nick Shaffer May 19 2014 Guest 5 Thumbs Up

Susan and Jonathan, this is just what I needed thank you!!

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Nouran Abdel-Rahman
Apr 17 2014
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

Wood Cladding adhesives

We are applying wood cladding for the walls. To assign the cladding panels, firstly we apply wood framing to the walls then fasten the panels to them. I want to know the classification of primer and paint used for wood framing. Also, the classification of Adhesive used for cladding panels.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Apr 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

The product seems to be a “Panel Adhesive”.
Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 4.1 defines categories of adhesives based on Rule 1168 of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).
By this definition, a “Panel Adhesive” is “an adhesive used for the installation of plywood…and similar pre-decorated or non-decorated panels to studs [framing] or solid surfaces.”
For Panel Adhesives, the VOC Content must not exceed 50 grams per liter.
For primers and paints, see categories defined under Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 4.2.
The VOC limit will depend on whether you are using opaque paints or clear wood finishes.

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Guillermo Hernandez Espinoza Civil Engineer, LEED Green Associate
Apr 07 2014
LEEDuser Member
397 Thumbs Up

PVC Lubricant

Hello.
Should a PVC Lubricant and a pvc cleaner be classified under the IEQc4.1?

Thanks.

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Apr 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2374 Thumbs Up

No, but be wary that your "lubricant" is not actually classified as a sealant.....

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E H Sustainability Architect
Feb 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
3266 Thumbs Up

Masonry Joint Sealant

Hello. Would Masonry joint sealant fall in under the "Other" category for a VOC limit of 420 g/L?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

Masonry joint sealant would be an Architectural Sealant, VOC limit 250g/L.
See SCAQMD 1168 for definitions of adhesive & sealant types. SCAQMD defines "Sealant" as "any material with adhesive properties that is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between two surfaces," and "Architectural Sealant" as one "applied to stationary structures." Since masonry is typically part of a stationary structure, masonry joint sealant qualifies as an Architectural Sealant.
Since IEQc4.1 addresses products used inside buildings, Architectural Sealant is typically the only sealant type relevant to IEQc4.1.
SCAQMD's VOC limit chart (shown in the LEED Reference Guide) also lists "Roadway" sealant & two types of roofing sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., but these are normally exterior applications outside the scope of IEQc4.1. Presumably, "Other" sealants would be those not intended for use on buildings--perhaps on automobiles, boats, or aircraft--also beyond IEQc4.1's scope.
The SCAQMD list also includes a couple of adhesive types that are not ordinarily applied to buildings.

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Valentin Grimaud Thermal Engineer TERAO Green Building Engineering
Jan 20 2014
LEEDuser Member
1069 Thumbs Up

PVC floor adhesive

Dear experts, we are purchasing the PVC floor adhesive, but i'm not sure which category is more suitable for this kind of adhesive in leedonline form, we considered "Rubber Flooring Adhesives" but i PVC is actually belong to plastic not rubber at all, should i select "Other Sealant" as baseline for this item?

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jan 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 15706 Thumbs Up

There is no special category for this adhesive, it is flooring adhesive and the limit is 50 g/L. Is the flooring unusual and that is leading you to thinking the VOC limit would be higher?

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Valentin Grimaud Thermal Engineer, TERAO Green Building Engineering Jan 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 1069 Thumbs Up

Thank you Susan, I'm sure worrying about the circumstance like you said, if there is no special category for this adhesive, then how can I execute this comparison with baseline through leedonline form even I have the adhesive with <50 g/L? Should I choice on casual one category has 50 g/L as baseline or treat it through Special Circumstances?

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Ralph Bicknese Principal Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects
Jan 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
203 Thumbs Up

VOC testing method

Does GBCI require a certain testing method for VOC compliance? Our contractor would like to use a waterproof silicone sealant (GE Silicone II Window & Door) and the MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products we were provided stated that the testing method used to determine it VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. was WPSTM C1454. Is there any difference between this and ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services and is that a concern to the GBCI review team?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Jan 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2374 Thumbs Up

I have yet to have a sealant refused due to the testing method, many MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products do not state the testing method.

I believe this is more of a concern for credit 4.3 and CI credit 4.5 furnishings.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Apr 15 2014 LEEDuser Member 712 Thumbs Up

You must report VOC in grams per liter (g/L) on the LEED-Online forms

LEED does not reference ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services testing methods to measure VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.. The “WPSTM” test numbers cited by the manufacturer of GE Silicones appear to be internal designations used only by that company. Since they report VOC in g/L “EXCL. H2O & EXEMPTS”, they are probably using the correct standard.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rules 1168 & 1113 describe the appropriate procedures for calculating VOC content for adhesives & sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. under IEQc4.1 and for architectural coatings under IEQc4.2. Also under IEQc4.2, Green Seal Standards cite US EPA Reference Test Method 24 for paints. These are all essentially the same procedures.

When manufactures follow these procedures, VOC content is ALWAYS expressed either in grams per liter (g/L) or in pounds per gallon (lbs/gal). Cut sheets often refer to this as “Theoretical” or “Regulatory” VOC Content, and they often include the note, “less water and exempt compounds.” If you find these words or references to SCAQMD, EPA, or “Method 24”, the manufacturer has probably used the correct method.

Also under IEQc4.1 , Green Seal Standard GS-36 sets VOC limits for aerosol adhesives as a percentage by weight. Therefore, except for aerosol adhesive, if you find VOC’s reported in units other than g/L (or lbs/gal), the wrong VOC calculation method has been used.

Just note that, under IEQc4.1 & IEQc4.2, LEED for Schools prescribes additional emissions limits (measured in micrograms per cubic meter) based on California Department of Health Services Standards.

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Susan Di Giulio Project Manager Zinner Consultants
Jan 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
1184 Thumbs Up

Products listing 0% Volatiles

Hi,
We don't have any chemists here but we were wondering if, when an MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products lists Volatiles = 0%, but does not list VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. in g/L formt, can we assume that VOCs=0 as well? We see this all the time in grouts, for example, that are inert materials plus water.
Thanks!

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Jan 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2374 Thumbs Up

I would not assume that, they are not always linked.

Volatility (chemistry)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In chemistry and physics, volatility is the tendency of a substance to vaporize. Volatility is directly related to a substance's vapor pressure. At a given temperature, a substance with higher vapor pressure vaporizes more readily than a substance with a lower vapor pressure

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Valentin Grimaud Thermal Engineer TERAO Green Building Engineering
Dec 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
1069 Thumbs Up

Adhesive for Thermal insulation material

The adhesive used for cohering thermal insulation material of piping (like Armacell) should be included in which category of LEED? I think that shold be "Sheet Applied Rubber Lining Operations" but not sure.

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Dec 20 2014
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