This credit requires compliance with a varied group of items that cumulatively help keep pollutants out of the indoor air. These requirements include self-closing doors on janitors' closets, MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration on mechanical equipment, and entryway trackoff systems.
Compliance will require the coordination of team members—including the mechanical engineer, architect, plumbing engineer, and contractor—and also impact project design and operations. The basic requirements are:
In addition to tobacco smoke, covered in IEQp2, one of the greatest sources of indoor pollutants is the dirt and other contaminants brought into buildings on people’s shoes. This material is tracked through the building interior, increasing the need and frequency for cleaning, and the wear on interior finishes. Dust can also be introduced into ventilation systems and distributed throughout a building, negatively effecting indoor air quality.
While it takes a lot of coordination to meet the many credit requirements, this is generally a low-cost credit. The most significant impact may come if MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13-compatible air-handling equipment is not initially specified, as redesigning mechanical systems can be costly. In some situations, especially when using heat pumps, HVAC systems cannot accept MERV 13 filters because they are not able to draw air through such a thick filter.
MERV 13 filtration results in an energy-use trade-off. While MERV 13 filters offer a greater level of air filtration and, consequently, increased indoor air quality, they also increase resistance to airflow and fan energy loads. If you can separate space conditioning from ventilation and use radiant systems for all or most of the space conditioning, you can minimize this energy penalty.
Multifamily residential and hotel projects may have difficulty achieving this credit due to the MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration requirement. These projects often do not have base-building HVAC systems; they use PTACs instead, which generally cannot be fitted with MERV 13 filters. If a project has forced air systems and MERV-13 filtration is not used, then you cannot pursue or achieve this credit. Naturally ventilated buildings do not have to meet the MERV 13 filtration requirement, as air filtration will not be part of system design.
When LEED 2009 was launched, this credit included language calling for containment drains in laboratory spaces where chemicals are mixed. However, the requirement was vague and it wasn't clear how to document it. Fortunately, in the July 2010 LEED addenda issued by USGBC, this requirement was removed.
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. If used as track-off surfaces, carpet tiles should be certified, however, and are available with the requisite certifications.
There is not an official glossary definition that LEEDuser is aware of. However, various references indicate that LEED views "high volume" as one or more printers in an area totaling more than 40,000 copies (20,000 double sided) per month. The number is based on "expected" use, not capacity. This definition can be found in 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. #1938 issued 1/7/2008, for example, and although that Interpretation is not applicable to LEED 2009, the number 40,000 has appeared in enough places that we view it as a solid number.
If the copiers print less than 40,000 pages/month (20,000 pages double-sided) you do not need to install dedicated exhaust, self-closing doors and deck-to-deck partitions. Additionally, if you use printers that do not emit VOC’s or other harmful contaminants into the indoor environment, you can make a case for exemption.
LEED Interpretation #10098, dated 8/1/2011, states that "The intent for the entryway system (grilles, grates, walk-off mats) is to capture dirt and dust. An exception to the 10 foot length and/or indoor location is acceptable provided your alternative solution meets this intent and is thoroughly justified."
Project teams have been successful including exterior mats that are protected from the weather and regularly cleaned. LEEDuser has not heard of a project successfully gaining an exception to the 10-foot requirement, however. In situations where an irregular shaped mat makes sense, teams should consider whether people entering the building will travel at least 10 feet over a mat, and not be able to short-circuit it. A short narrative explaining the impediments and how your solution meets the standard established by the LEED Interpretation is recommended.
These entrances are those that are used by building occupants on a regular basis. If your project has unique circumstances where certain building entrances are not regularly used or do not serve building occupants, they may be excluded. For example, emergency exits that are not used as regular entrances can often be excluded.
LEED Interpretation #5266 made on 05/30/2007 states that the requirements are applicable only to entrances from the outdoors.
Yes, carpet tile applies per LEED Interpretation Ruling #10252. Some project teams have preferred to use carpet tile due to ease of maintenance and avoidance of trip hazards. The carpet tile must be specifically designed for entryway systems. Regular carpeting that is not designed for this purpose and does not have regular cleaning is not applicable.
LEEDuser has not seen an official ruling on this, but our expert consensus is no.
One, replacing a physical control with a policy control is a bit of a downgrade. Two, 100% avoidance of hazardous chemicals in cleaning is unlikely. The green cleaning purchasing credit in EBOM, for example, considers 30% good enough to earn the credit. Also, the thresholds, categories, and standards referenced in that credit will only go so far in preventing use of any cleaning supplies that might generate gases or chemicals that should be exhausted.
Identify programming requirements for special-use spaces such as high-volume copy rooms (40,000 pages or more per month), laboratories, art rooms, chemical storage, housekeeping areas, and other spaces that may expose occupants to hazardous materials.
Identify space requirements for entryway walk-off mats. Review the impact that the required ten-foot entryway systems will have on common areas, lobbies, and other interior spaces adjacent to building entries. Remember that the entryway systems have to be installed at all regularly used entrances from exterior spaces, including entrances from a covered parking garage into the building.
The LEED Reference Guide states that entryway systems need to be on the interior of the building or in an interior vestibule. It is recommended that projects pursuing this credit with the intent of using an exterior entryway system (either permanent or rollout) consult the GBCI or your certification board via email to verify credit compliance. It is usually accepted that exterior walk-off systems are allowed if they are properly sheltered from weather; that would typically mean some kind of roof, but additional shelter may be warranted depending on local conditions.
Review the potential for using MERV 13 filtration on ventilation systems. Systems with low fan power or filtration size limits may not be able to accommodate MERV 13 filters. Also, many residential and hotel projects use PTACs, or similar packaged systems, which cannot accommodate MERV 13 filters. Any mechanical ventilation must be designed with MERV 13 filters in mind.
If you can use radiant heating and cooling for space conditioning and separate that function from ventilation, you’ll be moving a lot less air and meeting the MERV 13 requirement won’t be nearly as big a deal, due to fewer and smaller ducts and filters.
Include mechanical engineers and design consultants for special-use spaces such as science labs early in the design process.
This is usually a low-cost credit. However, the MERV 13 filtration requirement can increase operational costs for added energy use and more frequent filter changes. If your ventilation system is not typically sized to accommodate a MERV 13 filter, you may have to choose a new system or have one custom-designed, which can add cost. Customization may include resizing ductwork, increasing fan capacity to maintain air delivery despite the added resistance of MERV 13 filtration, or other modifications to system design.
Design an adequate space for ten-foot entryway systems at all regularly accessed building entries. Evaluate all other building entrances—such as employee and service doors—for regular use, which may require entryway systems or roll-out mats.
Determine the type of entryway system that's best for your project. If you install permanent grates, grilles, or slotted entry systems, you will not be required to have a plan for cleaning, although those systems will still need periodic cleaning (less frequently than roll-off mats). However, if you decide to use rollout mats, you'll need to have a contract in place for weekly cleaning. The contract for weekly cleaning can be incorporated into any existing contract but must be clearly spelled out.
While roll-off mats are acceptable, additional documentation (service contracts and schedules) is required to confirm that the mats will be cleaned on a weekly basis. They cost more up-front, but permanent entryway systems provide better performance, require less maintenance, and are easier to document for LEED compliance.
Entryway systems should be climate-specific. For example, regions with high rainfall may choose high void-volume mats—for trapping dirt below the mat surface and fast drying. In regions where mud and snow are a greater source of contaminants, open-loop entry mats may be more appropriate.
Design in space for additional ductwork that might be needed to provide designated exhaust for all garages, high-volume copy rooms, janitors’ closets, science labs, workshops, art rooms, or any other spaces that may be used for mixing and storage of chemicals or hazardous materials. You need to design the exhaust system so that each space with hazardous material has negative pressure in respect to adjacent spaces. For each of these spaces, be sure to include self-closing doors, and deck-to-deck partitions or hard-lid ceilings.
Strategies for space planning may include:
When planning for space allocation to meet credit requirements, consider strategies like merging exhaust systems into a single, main, designated exhaust, or stacking chemical use areas over each other on different floors to minimize ductwork.
Provide adequate space for storage and containment of hazardous liquids.
Hazardous storage containers should be located in a secure area outdoors and away from air intakes.
Develop an outline of all the IEQc5 requirements that apply to your project, and confirm that the schematic design accommodates each one.
Adding ductwork to meet credit requirements can add costs; incorporate space-planning strategies to minimize this issue.
Once programming and space allocations have been determined, confirm that each of the relevant credit requirements is met, as detailed below.
Confirm that all mechanical ventilation systems can accommodate MERV 13 filtration on outdoor and make-up air supply.
If roll-out mats are used, make selections appropriate to the climate. The following specifics are also recommended in the LEED Reference Guide:
Confirm that chemical disposal areas meet local codes for separate drain lines or containment drains.
Confirm that all chemical storage areas, high-volume copy rooms, etc. have:
Locate hazardous waste storage containers away from outdoor air intakes.
Develop all required documentation for LEED submittal, including floor plans indicating locations and lengths of entryway systems, wall details (for deck-to-deck partitions), mechanical drawings showing locations of designated exhaust systems, and mechanical schedules specifying MERV 13 filtration.
For all spaces that may contain hazardous gas (such as garages, janitors' closets, and labs), calculate exhaust rates to confirm adequate negative pressurization. The pressurization requirements are:
Include credit requirements in all appropriate specification sections. Include the general requirements in Division 1 and others in specialties or furnishings (for the entryway systems) and HVAC (for filtration and other mechanical requirements).
Projects that use their own maintenance staff for regular cleaning of rollout entryway systems must provide a cleaning schedule and narrative along with their documentation.
Develop documentation customized for LEED submission—complete with LEED-related notes, callouts, and details—concurrently with the finalized construction documents.
The contractor is the signatory for IEQc5, even though it's a design credit. Have the contractor review 100% of the construction documents to confirm compliance before completing the design submittal. Otherwise, the credit may have to be deferred until the construction submittal.
Use temporary ventilation systems instead of the permanent HVAC units during construction. This prevents contamination of new ductwork during the construction process.
Use MERV 8 filtration on any permanent mechanical system equipment used during construction. This adds to construction management tasks and could easily be overlooked and lead to loss of the credit. (This requirement appears in the LEED Online credit form as of 10/09, even though it does not appear in the credit language or LEED Reference Guide.)
Make sure that compliance and coordination with this credit is called out in the IAQ management plan if your project is pursuing IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan—During Construction.
Ventilation and exhaust systems and proper filtration should be included in the commissioning scope for the commissioning credits EAp1 and EAc3.
Provide appropriate training for maintaining entryway systems. If roll-out mats are used, maintain a weekly schedule for cleaning.
Provide adequate training and education for all O&M and cleaning staff in appropriate handling, use, storage, and disposal of hazardous liquids.
Provide appropriate resources and training for O&M personnel to maintain mechanical equipment with MERV 13 filters.
Mechanical systems have to be commissioned to meet the commissioning prerequisite EAp1. The commissioning agent's scope should include confirming appropriate MERV ratings on filtration media and proper operation of designated exhaust systems.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To minimize building occupant exposure to potentially hazardous particulates and chemical pollutants.
Design to minimize and control the entry of pollutants into buildings and later cross-contamination of regularly occupied areas through the following strategies:
Design facility cleaning and maintenance areas with isolated exhaust systems for contaminants. Maintain physical isolation from the rest of the regularly occupied areas of the building. Install permanent architectural entryway systems such as grills or grates to prevent occupant-borne contaminants from entering the building. Install high-level filtration systems in air handling units processing both return air and outside supply air. Ensure that air handling units can accommodate required filter sizes and pressure drops.
This updated version of the spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. Up to date, 2nd Edition.
This spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. This is the 1st edition.
The Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project is a governmental and nonprofit project that provides fact sheets, tools, and links.
According to the website, 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. Design Tools for Schools “provides both detailed guidance as well as links to other information resources to help design new schools as well as repair, renovate, and maintain existing facilities. Though its primary focus is on indoor air quality, it is also intended to encourage school districts to embrace the concept of designing High Performance Schools, an integrated, whole building approach to addressing a myriad of important—and sometimes competing—priorities, such as energy efficiency, indoor air quality, daylighting, materials efficiency, and safety, and doing so in the context of tight budgets and limited staff."
Environmental Building News feature article describing the benefits and design choices for entryway walk-off systems.
Environmental Building News feature article explaining the various types of air filters, how their performance is measured, and ways to optimize their effectiveness.
Facilitiesnet article covering the basics of air filtration, drawbacks and benefits, standard practices and basic concepts.
Table of filtration efficiencies and their subsequent filtration properties and common applications. Good background on MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration.
A floor plan like this project example is required to document the presence of entryway track-off systems, length and location. Note that this sample shows six-foot entryway systems because the project predated LEED 2009. For LEED 2009, the systems need to be ten feet in length.
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."
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
My project is a high-rise residential tower. The dwelling units satisfy the criteria as a natural ventilated space and are also installed with split unit air-conditioner for winter and summer.
How can my space comply with the MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 requirement?
There's been discussions about rubber mats but we are dealing with a question concerning rubber grating that will come with a non-slip metal frame.
Per our understanding, being grates, no weekly maintenance will be required, would you agree?
Thanks for your help!
Charline, I agree with your understanding.
Are MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration media used for temporary or permanent air handlers?
Farah, I'd recommend reviewing the guidance above, and on IEQc3.1.
All I need to know for the LEED BD+C Exam is that MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 8 filters are required for 3.1 DURING Construction, for temporary ventilation units?
And that MERV 13 is required for Credit 5.
I just re-read the reference guide and unfortunately I do not have access to all the information above, as I am not a subscribed member.
Farah - that is correct.
I recall seeing a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide a few years that addressed this issue but I'm unable to retrieve it at the Interpretations Database. Issue: we have an institutional cafeteria that has doors leading outside to a paved terrace/patio. I presume we need to provide walk-off mats for these entrances as well. Does anyone have specific experience with this condition? Note that the terrace/patio is fenced so there is no entrance/egress from adjacent surfaces (paved or vegetated).
Thanks for your input. David
Yes, you would need to provide walk-off mats at these entrances. We had a similar situation on a project.
If i have a multifamily building with a common laundry room and say the housekeeping supplies will be kept in a separate janitorial storage closet elsewhere in the building, do both of these spaces need to meet exhaust requirements? Thanks!
Yes both need to be separately ventilated. They are two separate requirements. The janitor closet for the housekeeping supplies and the laundry is probably because of the possibility of bleach or other chemicals being used.
I'm trying to figure out the exhaust airflow rates required for chemical pollutant source rooms in a hospital (e.g. janitor's closets, copy rooms, etc.). The LEED credit requirements state: "The pressure differential with the surrounding spaces must be at least 5 Pascals (Pa) on average and 1 Pa at a minimum when the doors to the rooms are closed." This is a bit ambiguous, but I take this to mean that the average exhaust rate of these rooms must meet at least a 5 Pa pressure differential over their entire operating range but the instantaneous pressure differential can get as low as 1 Pa. This implies that LEED is giving allowance for spaces where the chemical use is variable and the exhaust fans have multi-speed control where they ramp up only when chemicals are in use.
Most of the exhaust air systems I work with for these types of spaces are simply equipped with constant volume fans however. So if the exhaust air volumes don't change, then it sounds like we must meet a 5 Pa pressure differential to meet the credit requirements. Is my interpretation correct? Has anyone had experience or LEED comments related to this specific issue? Thanks,
Scott - correct - you should meet 5 Pa if the volumes don't change
I thought it applied to the measurements. I.e. over ten minutes of measurements at say a measurement every 5 seconds, the average of all measurements must be 5 Pa with a maximum deviation of 4 Pa. Yes, you design for 5 Pa.
In my experience LEED/GBCI has never asked for measured data for this credit. Have you had a LEED reviewer ask you to prove you're meeting the required differential pressure?
We've had projects, some with the submitting measured data and some with providing calculations, and to date have had no questions asked.
We are developing a building which has a cleaning storage rooms and all the cleaning products are closed/sealed except for temporary use (1 use per day).
We want to persue the Ashrae 62.1-2007 by using table 6-4 (minimum exhaust rates).
My question is: Which is the Occupancy Category need to be used for this cleaning storage room.
Thanks in advance
does the room that contains recycle storage bins need to be exhausted to the exterior?
Not required for this credit, but probably required for local code.
In order to comply with LEED IEQc5, do we need to provide MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value.-13 filters for the supply air of a very large warehouse? The warehouse is expected to be “regularly” occupied. Currently the warehouse has roof mounted exhaust fans to reduce summer time over-heating, with louvers providing make-up air. There is no heating, cooling or air handling equipment needed, the building is naturally ventilated year-round with the exception of the exhaust air fans. It would not be practical to install MERV-13 filters behind the louvers, as the resistance to air flow is too great. The only option would be to install supply fans with filters and this would greatly increase the energy consumption of the building, as the airflow is huge. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks. David
David, yes, you would need to provide MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration. As with many credits, there are trade offs that the team would to make decisions on. This may or may not be the most appropriate credit for your project to pursue.
Why does the requirement of 0.5 cfm/sf exist when IEQp1 requires 0.5 cfm/sf as the minimum exhaust rate from such spaces (ASHRAE 62.1-2007 Table 6-4)?
If you don't have at least 0.5 cfm/sf, you don't get certified.
Just guessing, but it was probably a redundancy that was written into LEED at some point. Someone wanted to make sure that "sufficiently exhausted" was defined.
We have small shops (less than 100m2) on the street level of our office building. Each shop has an entrance to the pedestrian. How can one comply to the 10ft entry way system?
Jean, there's no way out of the requirement, so you'll either need to do something creative with exterior/indoor systems, or let go of the credit. The LEED Retail rating systems don't offer a more relaxed approach to this requirement, which I think is a signal that you're stuck with it.
Reading the reference guide, they say the following: "Incorporate permanent entryway system at all high-traffic exterior to interior access points to reduce...", also "employ permanent entryway system at least 10 feet long in the primary direction of travel..." not really sure if this implies, interior or exterior entry mats. It also says "Entryway systems must extend 10 feet from the building entrance intro the building interior" What is the correct interpretation?
10 feet total, exterior place matts should have some sort of cover/protection from the elements but don't need completely enclosed. So you can have 5 feet inside, and 5 feet outside.
We recently saw a comment from a reviewer not saying that it was incorrect but just saying allowing it. Not really sure if all reviewers will give the same feedback though
Victor, what specifically was incorrect / not allowed?
Most projects use matts on the inteiror only, but I've had a few feet worth on the exterior when it's completely covered/protected.
It seems from the conversation above that it is feasible to split up the 10' length requirement between interior and exterior applications. Would it therefore be sufficient to combine a 6' permanently installed walk off matt in vestibules with a 6' roll up matt adjacent to the vestibule? Or, does the 10' need to be one continuous system??
I concur with Mara and Todd's assessment. I did a project a few years ago and asked this same question regarding splitting inside/outside for 10-ft. The response was that the exterior portion had to be protected from the elements. I presume this would be more than a canopy overhead but some sort of side wall protection to deter leaves and dust etc., from accumulating on the exterior portion.
I just got comment from GBCI that the entryway must be located inside the building.
Please see CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide 10098 below:
Where there are physical impediments to locating 10 ft of walk-off mats inside the building, is it acceptable to locate a portion of the mat or grate outside and then the remainder of the required 10 ft inside?
The intent for the entryway system (grilles, grates, walk-off mats) is to capture dirt and dust. An exception to the 10 ft length and/or indoor location is acceptable provided your alternative solution meets this intent and is thoroughly justified. Applicable Internationally.
I want to raise the question again about underground garages and IEQc5. The credit clearly says that the exhaust rate should be 0.5 CFM/sf, I understand that. But in Sweden building code says a much much lower rate than that, and I have a hard time motivating projects to go for this credit (they all have underground garages). Has the credit taken into account that we have a cold climate and don’t want to over-ventilate? Has it taken into account that we have CO monitors in the garages? Has it taken into account the travelling patterns of occupants and emissions of their cars? Has it taken into account that no one ever stays in the garage more than a few minutes? It seems a bit stiff to me to say 0.5 CFM/sf for all rooms with hazardous gases, whatever room it is. Does anyone know of an alternative way to comply with this requirement or would like to elaborate what lies behind it?
Again, I find issue with redundant requirements. ASHRAE 62.1 requires 0.75 cfm/sf unless the parking garage is more than 50% open on at least 2 sides.
I also find the requirement in ASHRAE 62.1 needs reworking in general. I believe a DCV should be required. The current requirements are IMO too high and a complete waste of energy for low demand times.
I understand your situation, I have designed a few underground garages in my time and the balance of energy consumption, temperature, and contamination levels can make for some very interesting performance based solutions.
I understand that the climate in Sweden's winter design temperatures range from -9 C to -17 C, and summer temperatures 25 C to 27 C make for interesting challenges as a mechanical engineer.
I suggest you review chapter 15 in the ASHRAE Applications Handbook (subsection PARKING GARAGES)for ideas to create a performance based solution that both LEED and the AHJ can accept. ASHRAE Ch. 15 goes into simple basis of what they believe should be the contaminant levels should be. Your local AHJ may require lower or allow higher contaminant levels. The key to a solution is how are the variables going to be measured. That should be your first step.
I do not have any direct experience designing in Sweden, however, I have had to solve similar situations.
Sorry for the long answer, but from what I read some of the information I mentioned is not present.
Has anyone not exhausted a small laundry room in a commercial building and had this strategy approved through a review?
I can see how a larger consistently occupied laundry area would benefit from exhaust. However, for a room with a single washer and dryer, there doesn't seem to be any danger of chemical build-up that would harm someone. On top of that, the room is intermittently occupied, and when someone is doing laundry, the dryer will be exhausting the space anyway.
To me, the "be safe add more exhaust" strategy would result in an energy penalty for a problem that doesn't exist. LEED often says it's at the discretion of the project team, but it isn't. It's at the discretion of a reviewer, who will most likely be inconsistent with other reviewers.
Thanks for any information!
Think of LEED as code. You could not provide exhaust at your discretion but there is the chance they will penalize you (depending on the reviewer) and you will have to add it later at a much higher expense.
maybe if you affix a sign to the washer or in the laundry area that says "no bleach or harsh chemicals allowed" you could have a better chance getting approved without exhaust.
My opinion is that signs can be taken down, especially with ownership change. What are we talking here 0.5 cfm/sf. 50-100 cfm? Put an occupancy sensor on it if you are worried about an energy penalty.
Thank you both for the thoughts. It appears that the intent is to exhaust chemical use/storage areas 24/7 in order to prevent gas build-up, although I can't find anything that explicitly says that. I read in one of the LEED interpretations that intermittent exhaust based on occupancy doesn't meet the intent of the credit if the room is indeed a chemical area.
There is another LEED interpretation that doesn't require single laundry rooms within an apartment to be exhausted. This implies that size and application matters when deeming whether a laundry area is a chemical use/storage area. Obviously people might be keeping bleach in this type of laundry room, so it doesn't appear to be a major concern. Thanks again.
Adam - thanks for the feedback about the LEED interpretations. Can you post the numbers you're referring to for others in reference in the future.
Dylan, below are excerpts from the LEED Interpretations that I referred to (they are both very old), although I misspoke about the laundry rooms. The interpretation refers to common laundry areas in an apartment, not an individual laundry room in a unit. But the take away for me is largely the same.
I'm not positive what our strategy will be regarding the exhaust. If I come across any enlightening info, I'll try to remember to update this comment.
ID#5607 MADE ON 04/18/2005
Inquiry: "3. If any of the above applies, can the exhaust rate of 0.5 cfm be reduced during unoccupied periods, such as night and week ends in order to minimize energy usage? If so, should the higher level of exhaust be tied to occupancy sensors, on a timed cycle, or manually operated?"
Ruling: "3. All areas where chemical usage occurs must be maintained at the 0.5 cfm/ft2 exhaust rate at all times to exclude the possibility of any potential chemical fumes build up. The intent of this credit is to provide a safe and healthy indoor environment for all users, and maintaining this exhaust rate will contribute to achieving this goal. The energy penalty incurred is minimal when compared to the health benefits it affords."
ID#6055 MADE ON 11/04/2003
Ruling: "A distinction needs to be made between the chemicals used in residential and commercial projects and the exposure to the occupants, especially in regards to laundry rooms. For example, if a laundry room is anticipated/expected to provide a dual purpose of providing the residents a space for them to do their laundry and possibly an area for custodians or building personnel to clean equipment, e.g. mops, brushes, etc., then as stated in the CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide ruling 7/22/03, the space would have to meet the chemical use requirements under LEED v2.1. Typical residential common laundry rooms do not fall under the category of rooms "where chemical mixing occurs."
Hi, according to ID#100000426 MADE ON 07/19/2010, the wording changed from:
"In mechanically ventilated buildings, install new air filtration media in regularly occupied areas prior to occupancy...."
"In mechanically ventilated buildings, each ventilation system that supplies outdoor air shall comply with the following"
So, the wording does not include regularly occupied any more...
Does this mean that filtration media is also required for ventilation systems supplying non-regularly occupied areas? e.g. a plant room?
The IEQ Space Matrix currently says that all spaces are required to comply with IEQc5. See this page for more info http://www.leeduser.com/blogs/leed-ieq-space-matrix-frequently-asked-que...
The October 2013 revision to the IEQ Space Matrix now states "Filter requirements are not applicable to nonoccupied spacesNonoccupied spaces are defined as spaces designed for equipment and machinery or storage with no human occupancy except for maintenance, repairs, and equipment retrieval.."
We are planning to use the WOC Diplomat Series walk-off carpet. The product specs indicate that it meets the criteria for IEQc5 because the installation is semi-permanent.
We would like to know if this information is accurate. Can we utilize this walk-off carpet and still meet the criteria for IEQc5?
I don't think that the 'semi-permanent' attribute will be acceptable.
USGBC lists acceptable walk off mat materials in the credit language, e.g. grills, grates. Roll-out mats must be cleaned weekly.
Interpretation #10252 allows for carpet tile if it is specifically designed for walk-off areas and has performance similar to other walk-off materials.
Would walk off mats under 10 feet in length be sufficient to meet the credit requirements if they are located within a vestibule? Thanks for your help...
Colin, see the FAQ above about providing less than 10 feet. But basically, I am not aware of a reason that you would get an exemption simply by the mat being in a vestibule.
Thank you, Tristan.
I have project seeking certification that has cooking demonstration rooms, flavours laboratory and a staff cafeteria.
Natural gas is piped to the staff cafeteria kitchens and the demonstration rooms. Other gases (nitrogen, oxygen) are piped to labs from adjacent internal (but vented) gas bottle stores.
Do all of the above locations have to be documented for compliance with IEQc5?
Natural gas is a common utility and I haven't heard of it coming up in the context of IEQc5. Unless it's being stored inside the building, perhaps?
I am not sure that nitrogen and oxygren are what the authors of this credit had in mind with the requirement for venting spaces, but they do seem like potentially hazardous gases that would fall under the requirements here. Does that help?
NFPA standards for gas storage likely cover you for this credit. I would document it.
Should recycling rooms be included in this credit?
That would make sense
but there are not chemicals, it would be more like a storage?
Sorry, I was thinking about if you should exhaust the room (you should - as a trash room per code). You don't have to include it for documentation in this credit.
The building will provide entrance mats for all major entrances. The building have retail units at the ground floor. Do each of those units have to have mats as well?
Every entrance requires a compliant grille or walk-off mat, so, yes, the retail entries would require mats.
For our office project, we are providing permanently installed grilles,on the floor at the 2 main entrances and at the car parking floor before the elevators hall.
1-Do we need also mats for the fire / emergency staircase entrances at the car parking floor?
2-Also we have 2 roof terraces/ gardens. One opens on the wooden deck area, the other opens directly on the vegetated roof garden. Is it required to install grilles?
Thank you in advance
Ebru - if the additional "entrances" are actually emergency exits and don't have a door handle on the outside, you do not need to install grilles. You may need grilles at the roof terraces/gardens if those are regularly used entrances into the building. It could depend on how they are used.
There should really be a 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./Addendum addressing this. This questions comes up on MANY projects.
the unofficial word is that terraces do not need walk off mats if they are on an elevated floor and don't lead out to ground level.
If anyone wants to go in on a LEED Interpretation that better defines "regularly used" entrances I would be interested.
One of the LEED requirements of this credit is:
"[For rooms with chemicals / hazardous gases], the exhaust rate must be at least 0.50 CFM per sq. ft. with no air recirculation."
A photocopy room (or a garbage room) will have a dedicated fresh air duct and another dedicated exhaust air duct, and the exhaust rate requirement will be met (0.5 CFM/ft2).
I was wondering if such rooms can also be cooled by an HVAC system (ex. DX Split Unit) which fully recirculate the air inside. The intent of the credit is met since the HVAC system only serves this room, and the pollutants will not move to any adjacent space.
Can this be possible?
Omar, I don't see any problem with that.
If memory serves... I believe that most AHJ's (outside of LEED) will give you some grief about no OA in the copy room. The reason being that people are still in the copy room for more than a few seconds. Additionally, high speed line printers these days do not generate a significant amount of ozone (O3-). The exhaust rate must exceed any leakage, i.e. the copy room should be a slight vacuum.
Our Office building is ventilated with only 100% Outside Air Systems and thus there is no recirculation.
Table IEQc5-1 of the LEEDOnline form is asking for "isolated exhaust system areas", leading us to that question:
-- Our exhaust air ducts for copy rooms and laundry areas do combine at some point with exhaust air ducts from the office zones into a main single exhaust line directed to the outside.
Would that be considered as a designated/isolated exhaust system?
Thanks for your help!
Charline - great question. We have the same situation on another project.
Yes, for this credit, you can combine the general building exhaust with the copy and laundry room general exhaust when there is no recirculation. Heat recovery from the exhaust will benefit from the extra load (hopefully the project has that as well).
If your building is 100% outside air / no recirculation then it's acceptable to combine the exhaust from those rooms with general building exhaust - the intent is to not recirculate contaminated air. If there are highly contaminated exhaust streams (e.g. labs, hospitals) that were required by code to be exhausted separately, then obviously you would still need to do so. Copy rooms and laundry rooms are fine.
It looks like Dylan and I responded simultaneously - it's a good thing we were consistent :)
Architect, Director of Sustainability
SHP Leading Design
Specifying and sizing equipment with MERV 13 filters affects both these credits.
If ventilation systems are to be used for building flush-out, they need to be sized to meet the air volume requirements of IEQc3.2 and must be compatible with MERV 13 filtration.
MERV 13 filters will increase fan energy demand as higher filtration ratings increase resistance to airflow and therefore slightly increase your energy demand.
Mechanical systems components will need to be commissioned to confirm appropriate installation of filtration media.
Additional mechanical system capacity may help meet the requirements of IEQp1. Ventilation systems must have MERV 13 filtration on all supply air.
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
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