NC-2009 IEQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems

  • Use either inert or certified flooring

    IEQc4.3

    Resilient flooring, rubber flooring, and prefinished wood flooring all must be FloorScore or Greenguard Gold certified. Carpeting and carpet cushion need to be CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus or Green Label certified (respectively).

    In order to meet the credit requirements, any adhesives or finishes applied to flooring materials also need to meet the applicable requirements of IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2. Wood, concrete, and other flooring installed raw need not be certified as long as any coatings and finished applied to them meet the requirements of IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings

    Both designers and contractors have to understand the rules

    While this is a construction-phase credit—and the contractor will need to ensure that 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.-compliant 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. and coatings have been applied to flooring systems—it can be dealt with primarily during the design phase by choosing specific manufacturers and flooring products for the contractor to use. Allocating adequate time for product research, and identifying compliant flooring products before construction begins, helps to ensure that the right products are used. 

    This is an all-or-nothing credit, but as long as each flooring product meets one of the applicable criteria under either Option 1 or 2, the requirements will be covered. 

    Make sure the contractor and subcontractors know what information to look for. Don’t allow them to use products that merely claim to be low-VOC. Find the manufacturer’s data stating that carpets are Green Label Plus, carpet padding is Green Label, and hard-surface flooring is FloorScore or has been tested by an accredited lab and complies with the California Department of Health Services protocol.

    Carpet testing samplesCarpet samples like these are tested in closed chambers for emissions levels. Samples are fit into trays covering their edges, to avoid skewing results. Photo – Berkeley Analytical Associates Products certified to the Greenguard Gold standard (previously known as Greenguard Children and Schools) meet the California Department of Health Services protocol, but beware: the generic Greenguard standard does not. (See Resources for links to products). 

    Carpet samples like these are tested in closed chambers for emissions levels. Samples are fit into trays covering their edges, to avoid skewing results. Photo – Berkeley Analytical Associates

    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.

    FAQs for IEQc4.3

    Should track-off mats being used on the project to meet IEQc5 requirements be included in IEQc4.3 credit requirements?

    There is no definitive information from USGBC on this one way or another. It is recommended that project teams do their best to find low-emitting options for IEQc5, and that IEQc4.3 compliance is recommended. However, LEEDuser has heard that project teams have had success not including track-off mats, such as the type with grilles and small strips of carpeting. Also, mats that are removed for cleaning are not permanently installed and thus not subject to credit requirements. Carpet tiles may be used as track-off mats, and are available with the requisite certification.

    If I have no flooring products in the scope of my project, can I earn this credit?

    This situation is not definitively addressed by USGBC. However, because the credit requires the use of flooring products that meet specific requirements, it makes sense to assume that flooring must be used.

    How do I handle a polished concrete floor?

    The concrete is not considered under the credit requirements because it is not a flooring product. Any coatings used to finish the concrete would be applicable under IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2.

    Should mineral-based finish flooring products (without any integral organic-based coatings and sealants) and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring be documented on the IEQc4.3 LEED Online form, even though they are exempt from certification requirements?

    According to 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. #10267, the project team should mark the form to indicate an Alternative Compliance Path, and include a narrative with a statement that the project is applying the April 14, 2010 addenda, as well as the manufacturer and specific product description of the product claiming the exemption. Manufacturer documentation for each product claiming an exemption is not required.

    On a renovation, should flooring that is previously installed be subject to the credit requirements?

    No. The credit requirements only refer to flooring installed within the project scope.

    One flooring adhesive we are using falls under both IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.3, and is over the VOC limit. We are using the VOC budget method to meet IEQc4.1 requirements, but are we automatically disqualifed from IEQc4.3?

    Technically speaking, the IEQc4.3 credit language would not allow you to earn the credit in this situation. The budget method is not referenced in IEQc4.3. However, there has not been an official ruling on this from USGBC, and a case could be made through a narrative or a LEED Interpretation for earning the credit.

    Are throw rugs subject to the credit requirements?

    While finding low-emitting throw rugs would be a good idea, they would not be considered "permanently installed" and so would not be subject to credit requirements.

    If a ceramic tile receives a top coat after it is manufactured, is it exempt from the credit requirements?

    No. A tile or similar product that is coated after being manufactured must meet the credit requirements for flooring product certification.

    The credit requirements are allowed to exempt unfinished wood flooring from the credit requirements, but wood flooring is almost always finished. This is confusing!

    Yes, it is odd. All the same, unfinished flooring is exempt, while finished flooring must meet relevant requirements.

    I have an international project and my flooring products aren’t tested using any of the above standards. How can I tell if they still comply?

    International products may comply through the German AgBB/DIBt testing method, which is followed by GUT, EMICODE, and Blue Angel. If using the AgBB/DIBt test results, select the 3, 7, or 14 day time point. You should also check that the test parameters match the California Department of Health Services protocol—if not, USGBC will allow you to multiply the test results by a factor of 0.7 to determine compliance.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Design Development

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  • Consider using low-emitting flooring materials and systems.


  • Review the table shown in the Bird's Eye View, and the credit language, for low-emitting requirements for different flooring materials.  


  • The cost premium for low-emitting flooring varies. Carpet, for example, should not have much of a premium, if any. Many hard-surface flooring materials such as concrete and wood are typically low-emitting themselves, and simply need a low-emitting finish, which is unlikely to have much of a cost premium. With higher-end flooring products, the cost of credit-compliant and non-compliant products should be comparable for all types of flooring. 


  • Durability and performance of flooring materials that are compliant with this credit should not be an issue, compared with conventional materials. 


  • Carpeted officeBolyu's Flair carpet tile contains 85% recycled content backing and matches the company's broadloom product. Photo – Beaulieu CommercialCarpeting all of your regularly occupied spaces will make earning this credit easier, because compliant carpeting is easy to find and should be available without a cost premium. FloorScore-certified hard-surface flooring, on the other hand, is harder to find as there may be limited variety and availability. However, consider durability as part of your design—hard-surface flooring offers better durability than carpet.


  • FloorScore lists a few compliant products on its website, but a limited number of manufacturers that have had their products tested by FloorScore. Products certified under the Greenguard for Children and Schools program are also okay, because that standard meets the California Department of Health Services protocol. Beware: the generic Greenguard standard does not meet this protocol.


  • Resilient flooring, rubber flooring, and prefinished wood flooring all must be FloorScore-certified. Solid wood flooring, ceramic tile, concrete, and other flooring installed without binders or coatings need not be certified, but all coatings and finished applied to them must meet the requirements of IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings.

Construction Documents

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  • Make sure low-emitting flooring requirements have been integrated into the construction specifications.  


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


  • 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.


  • If possible, incorporate in the specifications specific, compliant low-emitting products by product line and manufacturer. 


  • Contracts for contractors and subcontractors should include their responsibility for ensuring that products they supply comply with LEED’s requirements.


  • Low-emitting requirements can also be incorporated in a more comprehensive IAQ management plan (required for IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction) specifying low-emitting flooring systems to control a source of construction pollution.


  • 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-emitting flooring products improves your odds of passing the air quality tests. 


  • Polished  concreteUnfinished concrete floors in mechanical rooms are not covered by this credit. Floor finishes like this low-VOC siliconate polished concrete finish are covered, however. Photo – ConspecThe credit only applies to flooring products installed inside. You can exclude flooring or decking in exterior spaces. Unfinished flooring, including floors in mechanical, electrical, and elevator service rooms also are not included. 


  • 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.  


  • As accountability is key to successfully implementing low VOC materials, contractors and subcontractors should be contractually required to provide LEED submittal product information. 

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. 


  • When researching low-emitting products, double check that the manufacturer’s printed information is not misleading. A common example is a product cut sheet that states: “This is low-emitting flooring” without providing the product’s certification status and number. You need a copy of the flooring certification to demonstrate the product’s compliance. 


  • You’ll have to document flooring adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings twice—once for IEQc4.1 or IEQc4.2, and again for this credit.


  • The MSDS for flooring adhesive, sealant, or coating might just list the chemical contents without providing an overall VOC g/L number. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for a VOC number.  


  • The VOC Budget method described in IEQc4.1: Low Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants and IEQc4.2: Low Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings is not available for this credit.


  • 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 insist that a specific carpet adhesive that doesn’t meet the credit requirements. In this case, you’ll have to choose whether to forgo the credit for the sake of the warranty, to get the manufacturer to approve a low-emitting alternative, or to find an alternative product that complies with this credit.


  • During Construction


  • Throughout construction, the GC collects copies of flooring certifications and VOC data from subcontractors for all flooring adhesives, sealants, and coatings. VOC content is measured in grams per liter (g/l), and VOC levels can be found on each product’s MSDS.  


  • 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.


  • 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 items being tracked for each material across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the carpet manufacturer for regional manufacturing and extraction locations for MRc5, recycled-content information for MRc4, and the CRI Green Label Plus information for this credit—all for one carpet selection. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample tracking spreadsheet.)


  • 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.  


  • Schedule the installation of absorptive flooring systems so that they are protected from construction air contaminants. This is required if your project is pursuing IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan—During Construction. For example, carpet tiles installed before walls are painted will absorb VOCs from the paint, and then offgas over a longer 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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  • Keep a list of compliant flooring systems used on the project so that O&M staff can use these products for future renovations.


  • Follow specific maintenance practices for the flooring products used. Follow a green cleaning and maintenance policy that limits products with VOCs and other indoor pollutants.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Credit 4.3: Low-emitting materials - flooring systems

    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

    Option 1

    All flooring must comply with the following as applicable to the project scope:

    • All carpet installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements:

      • Meets the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus1 program.
      • Maximum 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. concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. The additional VOC concentration limits listed in Section 9.1a must also be met.
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.
    • All carpet cushion installed in the building interior must meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program.
    • All carpet adhesive must meet the requirements of IEQ Credit 4.1: 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., which includes a volatile organic compound (VOC) limit of 50 g/L (0.4 lb/gal).
    • All hard surface flooring installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements:
      • Meet the requirements of the FloorScore2 standard (current as of the date of this rating system, or more stringent version) as shown with testing by an independent third-party.
      • Demonstrate maximum VOC concentrations less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice.
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.

      Mineral based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic-based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any 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 requirements. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and 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. must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit.

      • Concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes such as sealer, stain and finish must meet the requirements of South Coast Air Quality Management District SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings, rules in effect on January 1, 2004.
      • Tile setting adhesives and grout must meet South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168. VOC limits correspond to an effective date of July 1, 2005 and rule amendment date of January 7, 2005.
      • For carpet adhesive, concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes, and tile setting adhesives, compliance can be demonstrated with test results of:
        • Total volatiles fraction, based on one of the following, provided that water and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168:

          • ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services D2369
          • EPA method 24
          • ISO 11890 part 1
        • Total volatile organic compounds fraction, based on one of the following, provided that all VOCs with a boiling point up to 280°C (536°F) are included, and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168.
          • ASTM D6886
          • ISO 11890 part 2

        1 The Green Label Plus program for carpets and its associated VOC emission criteria in micrograms per square meter per hour, along with information on testing method and sample collection developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) in coordination with California’s Sustainable Building Task Force and the California Department of Public Health , are described in Section 9, Acceptable Emissions Testing for Carpet, DHS Standard Practice CA/DHS/EHLB/R-174, dated 07/15/04.
        2 FloorScore is a voluntary, independent certification program that tests and certifies hard surface flooring and associated products for compliance with criteria adopted in California for indoor air emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) with potential health effects. The program uses a small-scale chamber test protocol and incorporates VOC emissions criteria, developed by the California Department of Public Health.

        OPTION 2

        All flooring elements installed in the building interior must meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda. Mineral-based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any IAQ testing requirements. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealers must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit.

        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

    Clearly specify requirements for product testing and/or certification in the construction documents. Select products that are either certified under the Green Label Plus program or for which testing has been done by qualified independent laboratories in accordance with the appropriate requirements.

Organizations

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

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 


Floorscore

The FloorScore program, developed by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) in conjunction with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), tests and certifies flooring products for compliance with indoor air quality emission requirements adopted in California. 


GreenGuard Environmental Institute (GEI)

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM.  As an ANSI Authorized Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments, and buildings.


Scientific Certification Systems, Inc.

A global leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development.

Publications

South Coast Air Quality Management District - Rules and Regulations

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the smoggiest region of the U.S. We are committed to protecting the health of residents, while remaining sensitive to businesses.


Greenguard Children & Schools

Searchable List of Compliant products.

Technical Guides

Standard Practice For the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions From Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers

This is the referenced California standard that sets out the procedures and specific criteria for conducting 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. chamber tests.


MasterSpec “Specifying LEED Requirements Reference Book and CD ROM

A guide to specifying for LEED projects, with samples.

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 GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. 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 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. 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 GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Jobsite Signs

Products with 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. 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 certifications and 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. content of flooring and adhesives or coatings associated with flooring. The example here of a tile clearly states that it is FloorScore-certified, but the VOC level for the tile adhesive is not given, and will need to be requested from the manufacturer.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 IEQ

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

Construction Submittal

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

Flooring Materials Tracking Form

Provide this form to contractors or other team members to track flooring materials used on the project, and LEED compliance.

384 Comments

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
May 11 2016
LEEDuser Member
7637 Thumbs Up

Sport Flooring Vent Cove Base

I have a YMCA that is installing wood flooring for their gymnasium. They are required to install vent cove base with this kind of floor. Johnsonite has confirmed that they don't bother to get vent cove base officially certified because they don't sell enough of it to be worth the cost. There is no other provider that we can find. Does that mean that we can't achieve this credit even though there is no possible certified product that we can use? Is there any way to demonstrate the product is not significantly different than other Johnsonite cove base products that are certified? Is there any work around?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects May 26 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

Coincidentally, I have just received a submittal from the contractor for a recreation centre I am the LEED consultant; I will post my findings soon...

Post a Reply
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LEEDme STRATEGIE SRL STRATEGIE SRL
May 11 2016
Guest
302 Thumbs Up

French A+ VOC certification

Project Location: Italy

Is French A+ 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. certification accepted by EQ credit 4.3 compliance?

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0
KC Rat ESG
Mar 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
570 Thumbs Up

Al Cladding - Testing Requirements

Project Location: Sri Lanka

Hi,

Does Al cladding used for interior walls need to be tested or is it qualified for the credit without testing?

Thanks

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Mar 10 2016 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

I am not familiar with the product you are referring to, but all materials utilized on the inside of the building must meet 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. criteria.

For example, this product:

http://www.dri-design.com/why-dri-design/sustainability/

provide the necessary confirmation of compliance.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 10 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4663 Thumbs Up

KC – I too am confused.

IEQc4.3 addresses flooring products, but this appears to be an interior wall finish. Did you intend to post this question in a different credit forum?

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Robert Shields R.S. Mowery & Sons, Inc.
Mar 07 2016
LEEDuser Member
45 Thumbs Up

Smart vs. Florscore

For flooring products, for example VCT, is Smart Certification the equivalent to Florscore for LEED Certification purposes?

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Brent Ehrlich Products and materials specialist, BuildingGreen Mar 07 2016 LEEDuser Expert 323 Thumbs Up

Hi Robert,

They are not equivalent. Smart does not allow PVC due to lifecycle/dioxin concerns.

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Waterset CDD CDD Manager Rizzetta and Co
Feb 11 2016
Guest
17 Thumbs Up

Outside Mat

Project Location: United States

Hello,

We have an outside mat that needs to be replaced. It was actually glued down during instillation. I would like to know the following:

1. Do we have to have a rug on the outside prior to entering the main door? If not, no need to answer the remaining questions.
2. If so, does it have to be permanently fixed?
3. Does it have to be a certain material? if so, what?

Any other information that you would like to provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 12 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

No, you don't, unless it is part of meeting the requirements of IEQc5.

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Waterset CDD CDD Manager, Rizzetta and Co Feb 12 2016 Guest 17 Thumbs Up

Great to hear Tristan. Thanks for the information!

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Anastasia Makarenko EcoStandard
Jan 20 2016
Guest
131 Thumbs Up

baseboard

Does anyone know how to treat skirting board applying to requirements of this credit? Does it need to be floorscore/ CA section 01350? And what about metal profiles made of aluminium and steel - do they need to have floorscore certificate/ CA01350 or could they be an exception?

Thanks in advance.

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Brent Ehrlich Products and materials specialist, BuildingGreen Mar 01 2016 LEEDuser Expert 323 Thumbs Up

Yes, skirt board would have to meet Floorscore. Metal profiles are exempt but any adhesives would have to meet IEQc4.1.

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Anastasia Makarenko EcoStandard Apr 07 2016 Guest 131 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much, Brent!

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LEEDme STRATEGIE SRL STRATEGIE SRL
Dec 28 2015
Guest
302 Thumbs Up

Wood stair

Project Location: Italy

Good morning,
We have a wood stair (wooden steps covered with another wood species) that is manufactured by the millwork contractor. The scale is a custom made design. Would we have to ask for special testing of the product to validate this special product?
Thanks, best regards.
Serena

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Brent Ehrlich Products and materials specialist, BuildingGreen Jan 04 2016 LEEDuser Expert 323 Thumbs Up

Hi Serena,
I am assuming the stair treads will be finished on site. If so, special testing for the assembly should not be required, but 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. requirements for adhesives used in its construction have to meet IEQc4.1 and subsequent coatings have to meet IEQc4.2.

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Neetika Parmar Senior Engineer-Sustainable Development
Dec 16 2015
Guest
211 Thumbs Up

Ceramic Wall base

Project Location: United Arab Emirates

Does ceramic wall base have to be certified under Floorscore or does it automatically qualify similar to mineral based flooring tile ??

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 16 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Neetika, it would be subject to the same requirement.

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Frank Burkhart Advanced Architecture and Planning, PC
Nov 11 2015
LEEDuser Member
66 Thumbs Up

IEQ-4 Credit documentation

I am hoping someone can direct me as to the best way to fill out the IEQ-4 forms given the situation.

We are in a pre-bid situation filling out the LEED forms, and because it is public bid work we cannot specify any one project due to competitive bidding laws. So at this point we do not know exactly which products are going to be used. We have however specified the products we want and put in the requirements that any product used must comply with the requirements for the IEQ credits.

What is the best way to apply for the credits considering this situation?

Thanks
Frank

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Nov 11 2015 LEEDuser Member 1983 Thumbs Up

The IEQc4 suite are all construction-phase credits which mean that they cannot be submitted for review until after construction is complete and the building is occupied. As such, I'm not sure exactly why you are trying to fill out the IEQc4.3 Form at all at this point. You should really not complete any of this form until specific products are actually purchased for installation. Once construction is complete, you will then have the full comprehensive list of all the products to put in the form. Trying to pre-fill the form with potential options just sounds like more work (especially as you can't get it reviewed/approved now anyway).

While you want to look at the requirements to help evaluate materials, I don't think that filling out the actual IEQc4.3 Form is worthwhile for you at this point. You definitely should be specifying the requirements and evaluating all proposed products against the IEQc4.3 requirements (including making sure you can get the required manufacturer documentation to verify full compliance).

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Nena Elise
Sep 17 2015
LEEDuser Member
4681 Thumbs Up

Thinset Epoxy Terrazzo poured floor.

We have project using an epoxy terrazzo poured floor where the 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.'s for both components are 0 g/L. I understand that these would be listed in IEQc4.2 under floor coatings. My question is that a LEED reviewer has just recently denied IEQc4.3 on another project because we were under the impression that terrazzo was exempt, but they are saying that the epoxy terrazzo is not entirely mineral-based and that it must comply with the credit. So does that mean that it has to be FloorScore or comply with CA 01350 testing? There doesn't seem to be any clear direction as to whether a poured epoxy floor needs to comply with both IEQc4.2 and 4.3, or should it really just be under IEQc4.2.

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

Nena, I would agree with the reviewer in putting a terrazzo floor under scrutiny. We have been concerned about the epoxy in these floors. My opinion, the terrazzo itself can be confined to just IEQc4.3 and not both credits. If there is a coating on top of it, that would also be IEQc4.2.

Let us know if you got further clarity on this!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Dec 24 2015 LEEDuser Expert 10597 Thumbs Up

I had a similar poured floor that I was trying to specify correctly so I posed a question to Kristen Vachon Vogel, Certification Reviewer, at 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). Certification Work Zone at Greenbuild in DC. Sorry for my belated post. The manufacturer that I was working with noted the numerous components as an Industrial Maintenance Coatings. Kristen indicated that I should pick "Other" on the IEQc4.2 form and input the components under that heading.

She followed up with this via e-mail, which was enlightening: "All products listed in SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. Rule 1113 which are used inside the building weather-proofing system must be reported in the LEED IEQc4.2 credit form, not just the products included in the Table published in the addenda. The table only includes a list of commonly used products. A form fix has been requested of USGBC, to include all applicable products in the standard."

It'd be swell if they fixed the form.

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant
Sep 10 2015
LEEDuser Member
2675 Thumbs Up

Coco, Coir, or other fiber mats

Project Location: United States

Anyone have experience with how to treat coco fiber mats?

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

Erica—treat as a natural, unfinished product?

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Ammar Yahia Architect & Sustainablity Consultant
May 21 2015
LEEDuser Member
22 Thumbs Up

Natural Stone : Floor Score compliance required or not for ?

We have a situation here, for the scope of finishes company's materials submittals.
the query wither the compliance with Floor score or any stringent third party is applicable or not for Natural Stone?

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous May 22 2015 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

See above, if the stone is 'raw' then it is compliant because there is nothing off gassing. If you apply a sealer or use an adhesive to install the stone, those materials need to be 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. compliant.

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Rachael Vidulich Project Engineer The Augustine Company
May 14 2015
Guest
41 Thumbs Up

Ceramic Tile Reporting on LEED IEQ4.3 Form

Project Location: United States

We have ceramic tile flooring on our project and I understand this is exempt from the testing requirements but do you need to list it on the IEQ4.3 form? There's an option for "Flooring: Ceramic" and the Floorscore referenced standard comes up automatically when adding this material. Since the tile is exempt from the testing requirements and we have no documentation indicating it complies with Floorscore I would assume we don't need to include it on the form. Is this correct?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Jul 15 2015 LEEDuser Expert 10597 Thumbs Up

Rachael - While what you wrote makes sense, it is not correct.

According to LI ID #10267 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10267) exempt products must be shown on IEQc4.3's form. See details on using an Alternative Compliance Path in this LI.

Also, as a guest to LEEDuser, you can't see the FAQ above that is entitled: "Should mineral-based finish flooring products (without any integral organic-based 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.) and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring be documented on the IEQc4.3 LEED Online form, even though they are exempt from certification requirements?" but it outlines this LI.

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Arthika Saseendranath
May 03 2015
Guest
54 Thumbs Up

Is Greenguard Gold certification acceptable for carpet cushions?

Is Greenguard Gold certification acceptable for carpet cushions? Or is it mandatory that it has to CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100.-GLP certified?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 30 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Arthika, Greenguard Gold is currently the only acceptable certification for carpet cushion, to my knowledge. If it there is some demonstration of equivalence that has been made, you could potentially use that in your documentation.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M Design Alaska
Apr 30 2015
LEEDuser Member
1667 Thumbs Up

conductive rubber flooring

Project Location: United States

In the past, we've used FloorScore-certified Static Dissipative rubber Tiling for Comm rooms. The client is now asking for conductive rubber flooring instead of dissipative. The proposed flooring (Statguard) is not FloorScore certified, and I can't find a conductive rubber tile that is FloorScore-certified. Has anyone had any luck with conductive rubber tile that meets IEQc4.3?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 30 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Sorry, I'm stumped... if you find, Lyle, anything please post back here.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Dec 04 2015 LEEDuser Member 1667 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan. Client ended up going with a conductive Vinyl flooring instead of rubber. Flexco ESD Static Control Vinyl Floor Tiles are FloorScore Certified.

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Apr 14 2016 LEEDuser Member 2315 Thumbs Up

Lyle,
what kind of adhesive did you use for the vinyl floor? A VCT adhesive, or a rubber flooring adhesive? The SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. limits are different for each (50 g/L vs 60 g/L), and we are trying to determine which is correct.

thanks!

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Apr 14 2016 LEEDuser Member 1667 Thumbs Up

Flexco 66/67 Solvent-Free ESD Epoxy Adhesive.
14.3 g/L 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.,
CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus, CHPS Compliant.

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Arthika Saseendranath
Apr 27 2015
Guest
54 Thumbs Up

Green Label Plus required for Hand tufted carpets?

Hi

Can somebody please advise if the Greel Label Plus certification is required for a Hand tufted carpet?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Apr 30 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

If the carpet is permanently installed, there must be some verification that it meets 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. requirements:

All flooring must comply with the following as applicable to the project scope:

All carpet installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements:
Meets the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus1 program.
Maximum 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. concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. The additional VOC concentration limits listed in Section 9.1a must also be met.
Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.

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Arthika Saseendranath May 03 2015 Guest 54 Thumbs Up

Great thanks so much!

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Devani PERERA Green Building Consultant ELAN
Apr 13 2015
Guest
423 Thumbs Up

Wood wallbase

Project Location: France

Has anyone seen a floorscore for wood wall base? We have awood wallbase that is manufactured by the millwork contractor. Would we have to ask for special testing of the product to validate this product?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Apr 13 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

No, special testing is not required, however, you will need to supply 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. content for any stain/paint/laquer used to finish the wall base, as well as adhesive if one is used to attached the wall base to the wall/flooring.

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Devani PERERA Green Building Consultant, ELAN Apr 14 2015 Guest 423 Thumbs Up

Thank you for this quick response. On other projects, the review team has asked me to systematically provide floorscore certificate for all wallbase. I did not realise that this was not applicable to wood wallbase. Is it stated in the reference guide or another document?
If the stain / paint or laquer is applied off site do we still have to provide/verify the 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. content?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Apr 14 2015 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

If you purchased pre-manufactured wood wall-base, you would be required to provide Floorscore ( or other proof), but as your team is making it, it is not necessary.
If the stain / paint or laquer is applied off site, it would still be used on site for touch-ups. As well, you should lessen your 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. amounts for the workers applying the materials off site.

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Susan Morris
Mar 09 2015
Guest
17 Thumbs Up

Epoxy Flooring with ZERO VOC

Project Location: United States

I have a project with a large area of Epoxy Flooring, this epoxy contains 0% V.O.C.'s does it count as an inert material; or is testing required?

Thank you

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 09 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4663 Thumbs Up

Epoxy coatings are not inert. In fact, most epoxies require mixing two components, each of which actually may be high in VOCs. The two part react with one another, they catalyze into a polymer, and most or all of the VOCs are consumed. Often, the resulting coating is much lower in VOC than either component, or even zero. Epoxy product data usually lists three VOC level, one for Part A, another for Part B, and one for “A+B”. The last one is usually the lowest and the one on which SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. bases its VOC limit.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 10 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4663 Thumbs Up

A product’s Safety Data Sheet is a good place to start when determining whether the product is an “inherently nonemitting source.” If the ingredients list includes organic-based binders, polymers, resins, or additives, the product is NOT inherently nonemitting. However, if the ingredients list includes only metal- or mineral-based materials (such as Portland cement, plaster of Paris, gypsum, limestone, talc, mica, perlite, silica, or clay), there is a good chance that the product may be inherently nonemitting. Just keep in mind that 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 may not list ALL ingredients. Trace components are sometimes not listed, and manufactures can be cagy about reporting “trade secrets.”

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous Mar 10 2015 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

Jon is correct that epoxies emit VOCs when they are mixed and the standard practice is to add all the parts together to get a total VOC for the product. However, poured epoxy floors report under IEQc4.2 as a coating and not a flooring system. There are some old conversations in this forum and in the IEQc4.2 forum that would explain the reasons so I won't rehash it now.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 10 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4663 Thumbs Up

SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County., 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., and the EU 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. Standards all outline methods of measuring VOC content of multi-component products like epoxies AFTER the parts have catalyzed. For the discussion on the NC-2009 IEQc4.2 page, see http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/52270.
Note that it is not simply a matter of adding A+B. In this case, the sum is often less than the parts.

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Blanca Cespedes PROYECTO BANCO DE LA NACION - LIMA, PERU COSAPI.SA
Feb 25 2015
LEEDuser Member
15 Thumbs Up

Wall Skirting - or - Baseboards

Project Location: Peru

I have a vinyl baseboard, does it also have to be Floorscore?

Thanks,

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LEED Consultant Green Building and Alternative Energy
Feb 12 2015
LEEDuser Member
2456 Thumbs Up

ANSI A138.1 - 2011 Green Squared

Good day,
Im working on a project and I would like to know if it is sufficient if a hard surface flooring system meets the necessary qualifications under ANSI A138.1 - 2011 Green Squared.
Thank you

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Heather Appell LEED Project Manager, SEQUIL Systems, Inc. Dec 03 2015 LEEDuser Member 107 Thumbs Up

I'm interested in this as well for credit compliance. I am working on a project that is installing porcelain tile that is Green Squared certified.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Dec 04 2015 LEEDuser Expert 10597 Thumbs Up

Heather - Are you sure your tile isn't already exempt under the mineral-based finish flooring products (without any integral organic-based 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.) in the requirements?

Also, consider looking at this FAQ: http://greensquaredcertified.com/green-blog/133-tile-inherently-organic-....

Lastly, information on the Green Squared website seems out of date.

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Heather Appell LEED Project Manager, SEQUIL Systems, Inc. Dec 04 2015 LEEDuser Member 107 Thumbs Up

I believe it is already exempt and I'm referencing 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. #10267 in the LEED template, just in case. I was just wondering if I could use the G2 certification for compliance. Thank you for sharing the link!

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ethen mcmanus
Feb 12 2015
Guest
50 Thumbs Up

Rubber Flooring

I'm working on a project that is classified as "New Construction" & not a "School Project"

My LEED Reference guide for green building design & construction updated as of June 2010 states the following on page 487 (IEQ 4.3)

"All hard surface flooring must meet the requirements of the FloorScore Standard"

My rubber flooring for the project is in compliance with Green Guard, & not floorscore (which is more stringent than floorscore) however there is absolutely no reference to Green guard under IEQ 4.3 in the LEED reference guide.

IEQ 4.5 on the other hand (School Projects)... states that furniture and seating must be greenguard children and school certified.

My question is
" Will this rubber flooring meet the requirements of IEQ 4.3 given that it's not certified by floorscore standard? ........Please note that when you visit LEED online, and download the form for IEQ 4.3, it says the following

"Combination of Carpet and Rug Institute, South Coast Air
Quality Management District, and FloorScore referenced standards"

It makes no reference to green guard at all. My educated guess this rubber flooring does not meet the reqs of IEQ 4.3, only because it's not certified by floorscore. If it does not, can I challenge this 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). since green guard is more stringent than floorscore? Please note that I still have not installed the rubber flooring.

Also please note that this very website states "Resilient flooring, rubber flooring, and prefinished wood flooring all must be FloorScore or Greenguard Children and Schools certified"

Can someone please provide a solid response, and if you think my product meets the reqs of IEQ 4.3, can you please back it up with hard evidence, or tell me which website to go to. Again the LEED reference guide makes no reference to Green guard nor does the LEED Online form, which makes me think that this product won't qualify, and maybe I can challenge it with GBCI.

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous Feb 12 2015 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

Have you looked into whether the rubber flooring meets Option 2? There are many resilient flooring choices that use this pathway to meet the credit. You may also want to reach out the manufacturer and ask them how their product meets this credit intent. Or go ask your interior designer who should know why they specified this product for a LEED project without understanding the credit intents and requirements.

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos Senior Sustainability Consultant DCarbon
Dec 18 2014
LEEDuser Member
965 Thumbs Up

Existing Building Flooring Reuse

Project Location: Greece

For an existing building under major renovation would the reused flooring be exempt from the credit requirements and should only new flooring to be installed comply with the requirements in order to pursue the credit?

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous Feb 12 2015 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

What do you mean by reused? It is being taken out and put back into the building or is it staying in place? If it is staying in place, then it counts in MRc1 and not here.

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Susan Clark Technical Specialist NCC Teknik
Dec 15 2014
Guest
61 Thumbs Up

Prefinished wood flooring: alternative to emissions testing?

Project Location: Sweden

We are specifying an FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts.-certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. floor that has a white pigmented wax finish. The supplier has never been asked for emissions testing for this product, so it would be a special request to get it. Before we do this, would it be permissible to essentially use the on-site compliance path: unfinished wood flooring plus a 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.-compliant finish product, in place of emissions testing?

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Rezkar Abdulmajeed Architect/LEED AP SANA Associates LTD
Nov 14 2014
Guest
216 Thumbs Up

IEQ c4.3 Flooring

Project Location: Canada

We have a project with some floor areas designed to be ceramic and quarry tiles.
Can someone advise if the two above need to meet floorscore standrads.

your comments are appreciated

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous Feb 12 2015 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

See the above discussion about 'Key changes to this credit' regarding mineral based materials.

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Stefanie Smith AIA Stark State College
Sep 22 2014
Guest
71 Thumbs Up

New Product

Project Location: United States

Hello,
Has anyone encountered a product that is new on the market and therefore is still in the process of becoming FloorScore Certified? Other products from the company are FloorScore Certified, but we have no documentation for this particular product as of yet. Is there any way this product can still count or not?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Sep 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 3343 Thumbs Up

Can you ask the manufacturer for proof that the product is going through fourscore certification process and request estimated time for certification?

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Stefanie Smith AIA, Stark State College Sep 29 2014 Guest 71 Thumbs Up

We asked if they had some other way to verify that their product met the requirements and they said they did not...however, I think it would be worthwhile to ask them for proof that it is currently undergoing the floor score certification process.

Thanks for the suggestion. We'll try that.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18557 Thumbs Up

Hi Stefanie,

You can always pursue Option 2 as well where you engage in testing.

Unfortunately, I don't think that the USGBC will accept documentation that suggests that the product is going through the process of FloorScore certification.

Lauren

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Yuko Murata Architect, LEED AP BD+C Nikken Sekkei
Sep 10 2014
Guest
63 Thumbs Up

Stair nosing

Hi Everyone,

We have stainless steel stair nosing with anti-slip PVC strips on our stairs. I do not find any descriptions mentioning stair nosing, but have a feeling that it would need to be FloorScore certified.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Any comments are appreciated!

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Susan Walter Specifications Director, Populous Sep 30 2014 LEEDuser Expert 20374 Thumbs Up

Depending on your application, this could be a grey area. My inclination would be to include them here. Remember that you can use Option 2.

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Yuko Murata Architect, LEED AP BD+C, Nikken Sekkei Oct 23 2014 Guest 63 Thumbs Up

Susan,

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you so much for your advice!

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Oct 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 18557 Thumbs Up

I agree that applications like this can be a grey area. In principle, it is a good idea to consider all flooring products that could off-gas in your space.

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Yuko Murata Architect, LEED AP BD+C, Nikken Sekkei Oct 23 2014 Guest 63 Thumbs Up

I have received a response to my inquiry 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)..

"Those strips are not listed in the credit requirements and I don't find any addenda that mention them, so, no, they do not need to be considered."

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Lawrence Lile Chief Engineer Lile Engineering LLC
Aug 29 2014
LEEDuser Member
2606 Thumbs Up

Option 1 plus Option 2?

I have a number of products that meet floorscore, but one that meets California Section 01350 but doesn't mention floorscore. Can I mix and match option 1 and 2?

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