This credit requires surveying building occupants to find out if they are satisfied with thermal conditions in the building, as defined by the thermal comfort variables defined in ASHRAE 55-2004. The credit costs little or nothing to implement (although it does take some time), and provides important feedback to building owners and operators.
If you have the internal staff resources and don’t want to pay for an outside service, you can go with a simple self-administered online survey.
If you want some hand-holding, can afford the (relatively low) fee, and are interested in a more comprehensive occupant survey (beyond just thermal performance) that gives you results in the context of a large dataset, use the service from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment or something similar.
Services that specialize in occupant surveys, such as CBE, can provide results for your project on a curve with other results, which helps put the feedback in context. Image – IDeAsSome owners may have reservations about surveying occupants because they’re worried about getting poor results. Doing the survey through a third-party service that specializes in post-occupancy evaluations can help with that fear by returning individual building results in the context of results from many other buildings. If the survey turns up some weak areas, you’re likely to be in good company!
This credit also requires installation of a permanent monitoring system for NC and CI projects. The LEED Reference Guide provides no specific detail on the requirements for permanent monitoring systems, system components, or what to monitor. However, LEED-EBOM 2009 credit IEQc2.3 defines requirements for permanent monitoring that are a useful guideline:
Through communication 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)., LEEDuser has been told that "For the purposes of this credit in the LEED BD&C rating systems, a permanent monitoring system is defined as having regular, repeated comfort surveys distributed to the building occupants."
Develop a plan for corrective action in case more than 20% of respondents report dissatisfaction with thermal comfort. It is up to the owner and operations staff to determine how to implement the plan. For example, if occupants indicate that they are uncomfortable, the HVAC system is inspected and tested and there are no faults found with the HVAC system, technically you’ve done what’s required. (Although, it is a good practice to make operating adjustments until your occupants are reasonably comfortable!)
In general, implementing the plan is something that usually happens after the project is already LEED-certified. You have to do something to honor your commitment, but how farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). you go is up to you.
You don’t gain anything by waiting to submit for this credit until the construction submittal, but if you want to wait and see whether you’ll need the point before committing to it, you can. (Whether or not you pursue the credit, surveying occupants about their satisfaction is a good practice.)
The owner is the required signatory for this credit and has to verify that that the survey will be performed, along with a plan for corrective action.
Implementation of the occupant survey is the most difficult part of this credit. The occupant survey is to be implemented after six months of occupancy at the earliest. This credit is largely based on the honor system. There is no enforcement mechanism in place to confirm that the credit will be implemented after 6 months of occupancy or that the plan of corrective action be administered if 20% of survey respondents are dissatisfied with system performance, but the owner’s organizational integrity is at stake if they fail to live up to their commitments.
LEED defines a permanent monitoring system as having regular, repeated comfort surveys distributed to the building occupants.
Additional approaches could include use of a building automation system if sensor locations are adequately distributed throughout occupied spaces, and air speed and radiant temperature testing with the use of handheld meters or other monitoring equipment. See LEED-EBOM IEQc2.3 for additional ideas on permanent monitoring systems.
The survey must measure thermal comfort conditions and satisfaction based on ASHRAE 55-2004 thermal comfort criteriaComfort criteria are specific design conditions that take into account temperature, humidity, air speed, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, seasonal clothing, and expected activity. (ASHRAE 552004), and is to be measured by a 7-point scale format (+3 = very satisfied, 0 = neutral, -3 = very dissatisfied). Although USGBC does not require a specific means to administer the survey, there are a few options out there that can be easy for the project team to implement. Surveys can be done by phone, networked computer, website or a paper questionnaire. Web–based surveys can compile data readily and generate results that can be helpful in evaluating responses. See the Resources tab for links.
The seven-point scale is referred to in the Implementation section for this credit in the LEED Reference Guide, and LEEDuser has heard that a requirement for such a scale has been consistently called for by reviewers.
Our understanding is that LEED is following the Likert 7-point scale as a standard. It is the most widely used and accepted approach to scaling questions in survey research. Likert scales can be 5-point but there is some debate in the survey world about 7-point being better.
No, LEED does not define a minimum number of occupants that need to respond to the survey. However, if 20% of those that do respond are dissatisfied or uncomfortable, corrective action plan must be put in place.
Residential projects are not eligible for this credit; however, some dorms would not be considered "residential."
Projects can apply to the 40/60 rule in the Rating System Selection Guidance, and if less than 60% of the gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.) of the dormitory building qualify as "residential," per the glossary in that document, then the project would be eligible for this credit. Dormitory units that don't have their own cooking area, bathroom facilities, and sleeping area would not be defined as ‘residential’ spaces.
Note that per the USGBC's IEQ Space Matrix, Hotels are eligible for IEQc7.2 and the guest rooms must be included in the credit requirements.
Residential projects, take note: you are not eligible for this credit, according to the official credit language. This is a key change to this credit from NC v2.2, and will likely disappoint some projects. The logic given in the LEED Reference Guide is that residential occupants typically have a higher level of control over their thermal comfort, so this credit is less relevant to them.
Can you earn this credit? Check for occupancy type (residential projects cannot pursue this credit) and confirm whether you can also achieve credit IEQc7.1, which you have to earn to get credit for IEQc7.2.
Discuss the suitability of a system that is capable of permanently monitoring comfort criteria as related to ASHARE 55-2004. Address this early on in the design, as credit compliance requires this type of system.
This is generally a low- or no-cost credit in terms of capital costs. There will be some staff time associated with developing and processing survey results.
Monitoring building systems will help project teams identify areas where the systems are not functioning as designed. Correcting these inefficiencies may provide cost savings that would not otherwise be revealed.
This design credit is implemented after the project is complete and the building is occupied. Through design development, the primary concern is to meet the requirements of IEQc7.1 and to include a permanent monitoring system.
It is also helpful for projects attempting this credit to pursue IEQc6.2: Controllability of Systems—Thermal Comfort. When occupants have control of their thermal comfort they tend to be more satisfied.
Review the requirements for survey content and review the requirements for the plan for corrective action.
Review the relevant environmental variables defined by ASHRAE 55-2004:
Develop a survey that addresses measurement of these variables (see below for more details), or contract with a third-party occupant survey service. You can find a sample thermal comfort survey in Appendix E of ASHRAE-55.
Develop the thermal comfort survey after determining space programming, designing the mechanical system, and confirming compliance with IEQc7.1. It is best to customize the occupant survey for the building’s planned HVAC systems. Questions may be structured differently depending on whether you are assessing the performance of an evaporative cooling system, an in-floor radiant heating system, or a natural ventilation system. For example, a team may include questions about humidity levels for a project with an evaporative cooling system, while questions for a project with a natural ventilation system may be focused more on occupant satisfaction with airflow or controllability of the thermal environment.
Develop a compliant occupant survey or map out your planned survey process (if you’ll be using a third-party survey) prior to submitting your documentation for review. Early on, the primary concern is to meet the requirements of IEQc7.1.
For $1,000 you can also use a well-tested and robust survey from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California–Berkeley. This tool handles most of the logistical and administrative tasks for you, and gives you results in the context of results from hundreds of other buildings. (See Resources.)
Using a comprehensive Occupant Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Survey service like the one from UC Berkeley offers you the possibility of gleaning useful information on many other aspects of your indoor environment beyond thermal comfort. You can also customize it to learn occupant responses to specific features of your building. And getting your results mapped alongside others is very useful.
Customize the occupant survey for system type and building programming per ASHRAE 55-2004.
Have the commissioning agent, mechanical engineer, or O&M staff review the survey draft and develop the plan for corrective action. Involve the owner in this process and be sure that he or she understands the purpose of the survey and plan for corrective action. The owner will be responsible for signing off on the LEED documentation, verifying the implementation of the survey, and the development of the corrective action plan.
Survey participants must remain anonymous, but ideally they should provide information on their location. For example, you may want them to indicate on which floor and directional face (north, south, east, west) of the building they are located (or wing or program area). Doing so helps to better identify problem areas.
Determine the implementation process for the survey and who will administer it.
Administering an online survey through a third-party provider helps to retain respondent anonymity and tabulate results. Paper surveys that use a drop-box are also permissible.
Surveys must address all of the thermal comfort variables addressed in IEQc7.1 and ASHRAE-55. Informative Appendix E of ASHRAE-55 provides an example of survey variables and content. Also, refer to the Documentation Toolkit for sample surveys.
At a minimum, thermal comfort surveys should address the following:
Base information about level of satisfaction with thermal conditions on a 7-point scale.
Verify that all systems slated for installation in the building are able to properly interface with the thermal comfort monitoring system.
If the commissioning agent or MEP is developing the plan for corrective action, make sure that the owner and O&M staff review and understand it so they can implement it if needed.
A plan for corrective action should include system inspection to confirm proper operation, adjustment of set points, change in operating schedule, increasing air volumes, and other basic HVAC management measures.
Engage the commissioning agent in this credit as soon as they are brought onto the project, as they may be able to offer valuable insight into appropriate survey questions and offer help with developing a plan for corrective action.
Some teams may elect to have the commissioning agent manage this credit and administer the survey as a final step in their commissioning scope. The commissioning agent will likely have a strong grasp of appropriate survey questions and will be involved in making adjustments to the operating ranges and schedule to optimize performance.
Consider including questions that address issues outside of ASHRAE 55-2004, such as acoustics, lighting and other comfort or productivity issues. The survey process is a great opportunity to measure building performance beyond ASHRAE 55-2004 and thermal comfort.
Include specifications for the building monitoring system.
Include specifications for O&M and the plan for corrective action.
If the HVAC engineer, commissioning agent, or other team members will be involved in developing and/or implementing this credit after construction, include that in the specifications.
Be sure to include requirements for IEQc7.1 and IEQc7.2 in the specifications.
Verify proper installation and commissioning of the building monitoring system.
Conduct the survey after 6–18 months of occupancy. Survey all regular building occupants, including employees, staff, and other building users.
Compile survey results and review them to identify trends that reflect good or poor system performance.
Compare survey results with the outputs of the building monitoring system to identify areas of the building that are not functioning as expected.
Consider surveying building occupants several times throughout the year. This is not a LEED requirement but may produce more meaningful data about how the building is performing. Also, if you implement any changes from the corrective action plan, you may want to administer a survey after implementation to verify that the problems were adequately addressed.
If 20% or more of survey respondents are dissatisfied with their thermal comfort, implement the plan for corrective action.
There may be some cost impact for implementing the survey, compiling results, and, if necessary, making adjustments per the plan of corrective action. This cost impact is just based on time investment, not capital investment.
Cost will vary depending on the size of the project, number of occupants surveyed, and whether or not adjustments to the system need to be made. Unless you pay for a third-party surveying or post-occupancy evaluation service, there are no direct costs to be incurred beyond the effort and time investment.
There is an indirect cost benefit in ensuring that occupants are comfortable and that systems are working correctly, both of which will maximize productivity and efficiency.
Surveys can be administered in a variety of ways—by phone, networked computer, web-based survey, or paper questionnaire. A web-based survey program can automatically compile data and generate relevant results.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To provide for the assessment of building occupant thermal comfort over time.
Achieve IEQ Credit 7.1: Thermal Comfort—Design
Provide a permanent monitoring system to ensure that building performance meets the desired comfort criteriaComfort criteria are specific design conditions that take into account temperature, humidity, air speed, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, seasonal clothing, and expected activity. (ASHRAE 552004) as determined by IEQ Credit 7.1: Thermal Comfort—Design.
Agree to conduct a thermal comfort survey of building occupants within 6 to 18 months after occupancy. This survey should collect anonymous responses about thermal comfort in the building, including an assessment of overall satisfaction with thermal performance and identification of thermal comfort-related problems. Agree to develop a plan for corrective action if the survey results indicate that more than 20% of occupants are dissatisfied with thermal comfort in the building. This plan should include measurement of relevant environmental variables in problem areas in accordance with the standard used for design in IEQ Credit 7.1: Thermal Comfort—Design.
Residential projects are not eligible for this credit.
Establish comfort criteriaComfort criteria are specific design conditions that take into account temperature, humidity, air speed, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, seasonal clothing, and expected activity. (ASHRAE 552004) according to ASHRAE 55-2004 (with errata but without addenda) that support the desired quality and occupant satisfaction with building performance. Design the building envelope and systems with the capability to meet the comfort criteria under expected environmental and use conditions. Evaluate air temperature, radiant temperature, air speed and relative humidity in an integrated fashion, and coordinate these criteria with IEQ Prerequisite 1: Minimum 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. Performance, IEQ Credit 1: Outdoor Air Delivery Monitoring, and IEQ Credit 2: Increased Ventilation.
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.
Web-based survey administrator–can be used to administer occupant surveys.
For a fee, this resource provides a template for creating a survey, and provides opportunity for the project team to contribute their project data to greater green building efforts.
Great tips and guidance on how to find out what works and doesn’t work in buildings, including occupant surveys.
Use a thermal comfort survey like this template to assess occupant comfort according to the credit requirements.
These sample narrative and plans for corrective action provide references as you develop your own narrative and plan for this credit. The corrective action plan guidance document provides a set of questions to consider in developing your project building's plan.
Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
My question is regarding a conference center. How do you handle surveying custodial staff that don't have offices? Would they report on the thermal comfort of the break room? Should they address the overall building since they tend to know all the areas? In that case, they wouldn't be seated occupants but actively moving. Would they need a different kind of survey from the one for the office staff?
I think the most straightforward thing is to ask about their break room. Other parts of the office will be covered by those occupants, and a janitor might not have an opinion on the comfort there that is really relevant to the occupant experience, e.g. the temp setpointsSetpoints are normal operating ranges for building systems and indoor environmental quality. When the building systems are outside of their normal operating range, action is taken by the building operator or automation system. might be different when the space is being cleaned.
Works for me, thanks Tristan!
Hi all, I know this question was answers in various places but for a dormitory that has individual control in units for heat only but not air conditioning (operable windows only), can we still implement the survey and pursue this credit? Thank you.
Yes, there is no penalty for not having AC, not every climate or project needs its. The survey asks about lighting, heating, noise, and even ordors. You can include a question that asks whether the occupants believe the amount of window opening is sufficient for ventilation.
In earlier versions of LEED 2009, the credit language specifically clarified that occupants included students grade 6 and above. The current language doesn't mention anything about students being surveyed (I am assuming because there is a separate LEED for Schools). Are higher ed projects required to survey the students (even though they are considered transient and will change from semester to semester)? I don't want to force the university to do something that is above and beyond what the intended is for this credit. Thanks!
On my projects, we have not surveyed the students, just the FTEs. I've got one coming up for review soon - we'll see how it goes.
Where can I get a sample Thermal Environment Survey Form to upload to satisfy the LEED Reviewer?
I have used the one contained here in the "Documentation Toolkit" above. It has been a great template, always passed reviews and is facility manager friendly!
Thanks for your reply. In order to access the "Documentation Toolkit" are you required to upgrade? If so, is this the only option?
Alex, In order to gain access to the info in the Documentation Toolkit (and other tabs) you must join and pay for a membership. You may be able to find examples through searches online, but if you are involved in LEED projects, it is well worth the money to have a membership. There are a LOT of helpful documents and guidance, and I would be lost without mine!
I'm working on a stadium project. I reviewed the IEQ Space Matrix, and it appears to indicate all commercial spaces, inclusive of retail or assembly spaces, can comply with this credit.
Are there any examples of past projects which have achieved this when end user is constantly changing? Would it be acceptable to post a survey on the home page?
We, as a team are getting ready to submit our design final submission and prepared a report to respond to each individual comments made by 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).. It is a compiled report (one file) that has break down of the responses to each credit comment. My question is where I am going to upload this compiled file and how I am going to aware the reviewer(s) that responses are in this file. Can I upload the compiled file to each credit form that has a comment ?
I am sure everyone does this a little differently, but I have had good luck with using the special circumstances dialogue box in the LEED form. In each of the credits with comments, I copy and paste the reviewer comment and copy and paste our response. There you can also upload additional documents.
I previously filed an innovation credit with my design preliminary submission and received an comment 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). therefore it is pending. I am getting ready to submit my design final package but want to apply for a different innovation credit and defer it to the construction package. Would it be done ? If so, do I need to mention in my response that I am changing the credit and deferring it to the construction package ?
Yes, you can submit a different ID strategy in the construction review. I would just withdrawl the ID design credit in the scorecard. For the new ID strategy, go to Add/Remove credits in LEED online and select the construction phase option for that credit number. Does that make sense?
I used the survey template provided on this site and was denied the credit saying it did not address all of the ASHRAE 55-2004 environmental variables (air speed, humidity, radiant temperature, and air temperature). It would help if you can add the note it does not meet requirement.
If you're comfortable sharing it, it would be useful to see the wording of the review comment.
The exact wording from Technical Advice:
"Provide a revised survey that addresses all of the ASHRAE 55-2004 environmental variables (air speed, humidity, radiant temperature, and air temperature). Because this credit was submitted for initial review during the Design Final Review, it will receive the second round of review during the Construction Review phase. Re-attempt the credit so it is open for review."
I am wondering if you included the Plan for Corrective Action with your survey? There is a template for that here as well and I have had much luck with both.
Thanks for sharing your review comments. We've used the same survey on numerous projects and have never received this comment. The credit language asks that the survey collect responses about thermal comfort in the building, not that the survey language map exactly to the components addressed by ASHRAE. I would understand if the review comment was directed at the corrective action plan, but it doesn't make sense to me to try to ask building occupants to comment on the air speed, radiant temperature or other metrics that they couldn't feasibly measure based on observation.
In order to respond to the review comments, you might indicate on the survey which questions mapped to each aspect and provide a narrative. For example, you could make the link between the satisfaction question regarding temperature/thermal comfort with radiant temperature and air temperature, and the seasonal comfort with humidity.
They're effectively looking for more probing questions that help drill down and identify the nature and cause of the problem. For example:
1. In warm/hot weather, is the temperature in the workplace often too hot, or often too cold?
2. In cool/cold weather, is the temperature in the workplace often too hot, or often too cold?
3. At what time(s) of day does the problem most often occur?
4. How would you best describe the source of the discomfort? Humidity too high? Too low? Air movement too high? Too low? Incoming sun? Hot or cold surfaces? Heat from office equipment? Drafts from windows, vents or ceiling?
5. Is the air stuffy or stale?
6. is the air clean?
7. Does the air have an odor?
8. If dissatisfied with the lighting, is it too dark, too light, not enough daylight, too much daylight, lights flickering, no task lighting, reflections on computer screen?
By providing a few more probing questions in addition to the table in the survey, you'll be able to address each of the environmental variables in ASHRAE 55.
I have a hotel + residential tower project with approx 50-50 break up. Can this project achieve Thermal Verification credit?
Unfortunately residential projects are not eligible for this credit and the project cannot pursue a 'partial' credit for the hotel space.
This is also posted in more detail below(March 2014)
This is a reply I got on a college residence hall project, in which we earned this credit. I found it very interesting and thought it might be helpful-
"Dormitories, however, are not always classified as true residential projects within the LEED rating systems. To be considered residential each dormitory units would need to possess both bedrooms and kitchens. Should the
units/rooms in your project not include kitchens, then your project would be eligible for this point.
Additionally to be eligible for this credit, it is important that the building operate under one overall HVAC system rather than have individually-controlled systems/units for each unit/room." (We had fan coil units for each room)
"There is an additional requirement for the survey of a dormitory, however. Please note - the Survey must be given when the building will be fully occupied - not during breaks/holidays or during non-regular semesters (i.e. summer). "
Thanks for sharing. we've earned this on a couple dormitories but get push back sometimes at LEED meetings from people who say we can't earn it because the project is residential.
Hello all and a happy new year,
I am wondering if anyone knows of a thermostat that can also measure and display humidity and CO2Carbon dioxide levels?
We are trying to find a way to cut down on the number of sensors used along with the amount of wiring needed.
I am developing a exclusively residential project, and thus I realize that this credit is not applicable for my project. however, this means that the maximum attainable score for my project is 109. Is there an additional point in any other credit that accounts for this defficiency? I understand that all projects have a "chance" at attaining 110 points, no matter what their occupancy type is.
Angelica, unfortunately there is not an extra point waiting somewhere to make that up. The fact is that there are numerous credits that may not apply to many project types, and that is partly why there are 10 bonus points in LEED, and also why you don't need to get a 95 or some unbelievably high score to earn the top certification level.
Thank you very much for your reply Tristan.
How long do you have to do surveys? Is this suppose to be ongoing forever?
You have to do one between 6 and 18 months after occupancy per the credit language. If projects are doing Enhanced CommissioningThe process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements., most teams align this survey with that credit work as the survey can inform the commissioning.
The form now says you have to confirm there is a "permanent" monitoring system. Based on feedback in this forum and from firstname.lastname@example.org I understand that the surveys now have to be done on a "regular, ongoing basis" which I interpret to be every 6-12 months.
In the reference guide this is an additional credit requirement for LEED-NC projects only and the "permanent" monitoring system referenced on the form is to monitor the building performance (e.g. actual space temperature and relative humidity). This requirement ensures that the building has the necessary tools to help identify the source of occupant discomfort.
I got an email 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). confirming that regular, repeated surveys count as permanent monitoring.
Should I come up with my own thermal Comfort Survey in excel or word based on the information given in "Center for the Built Environment" and "The Usable Building Trust" websites or is there any sample survey that I can adopt and modify for my project ?
Can the owner refer the occupants to any specific website to complete the survey online ? Then what is the procedure that needs to be followed for filing this credit ?
Any feedback or help would be great help.
Check out the editable sample survey LEEDuser has in the Documentation Toolkit above. I edited it for a school project and it worked nicely. Make sure you also review the corrective action guidance. I have not had the opportunity to set up or conduct an online survey but someone else may have. For documenting the credit, I believe you need to upload your survey and have a date in mind for the survey to be conducted; also some information on who will conduct the survey and analyze the results, such as a facilities manager.
I am working on a new residence hall for a University in which the lower two floors consist of offices, a large multi-purpose room, a seminar room, a learning commons center, a cafe and custodial/maintenance spaces. The top 9 floors have dorm rooms, lounge spaces, and study spaces
There are no kitchens on the dorm floors. The dorm rooms, which have individual FCU's for thermal control within each room, account for approximately 47.5% of the total gross building area. The remaining student floor spaces (i.e. the circulation, unisex restrooms, lounges and study rooms) cannot be adjusted by the "residents". As these spaces and the lower two floors account for over 50% of the total GSF, I am wondering if we can attempt this credit on the basis of those spaces and survey building occupants for the lower two floors as well as the "residents" for the "common" student floor spaces that they cannot control.
What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone attempted something similar in v3 2009?
I've always had reviewers stick pretty close to having the survey available to all building occupants. It certainly shouldn't hurt your results to survey the students that have individual control in their spaces.
I figured the students/residents would be included in the survey as they are also occupants for the other spaces, in addition to their rooms. But would the survey include questions on their comfort within their rooms? Would the dorm rooms be considered residential since they can control their thermal comfort, or non-residential since they account for less than 60% of the GSF and there are no kitchens?
Yes, our project, was awarded this credit in V3 (Gold Certified 2/2013) and it was an amazingly similar situation to yours. I went back and forth 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). Technical Customer Service and below is an excerpt from a response including some additional advice for a university dorm project. From your earlier posts, you already know much of this info. Additionally, we did M&V for this project and upon reviewing the results found that further constrains needed to be put on the individual thermostats because when students were cold the tended to crank up the heat or when they came back to their room from working out turned it way down. This makes the survey that much more useful for the facilities staff. From my understanding our campus continues to administer the survey twice during the school year just to make sure they are meeting the students needs and operating the systems as efficiently as possible. I hope this helps-I would include some of this in a Thermal Comfort Narrative.
"Typically residential projects are ineligible for this credit as residents possess greater control over their mechanical systems than the average worker in an office building.
Residential projects are viewed that all occupants as they have control of their systems are always going to be comfortable. As such, there is little room for adjustment/refinement of the system through a verification survey.
Dormitories, however, are not always classified as true residential projects within the LEED rating systems. To be considered residential each of the dormitory units would need to possess both bedrooms and kitchens. Should the units/rooms in your project not include kitchens, then your project would be eligible for this point.
Additionally to be eligible for this credit, it is important that the building operate under one overall HVAC system rather than have individually-controlled systems/units for each unit/room.
There is an additional requirement for the survey of a dormitory, however. Please note - the Survey must be given when the building will be fully occupied - not during breaks/holidays or during non-regular semesters (i.e. summer)".
So we are scraping for a few more points that we lost in our CD review. It is now 18+ mos. after occupancy - can this credit still be obtained?
The credit language indicates that the survey must be done withing 6-18 months of occupancy. If it's after that, you can try it, but the reviewers may not award the credit.
Has anyone had success with submitting it "late"?
All of the following are true of IEQ Credit 7.2- Thermal Comfort- Verification except:
A. The credit requires surveying building occupants
B. The credit will result in high implementation costs
C. The credit requires a permanent monitoring system for NC/CI projects
D. Residential projects are not eligible for this credit
E. Credit can only be achieved if project achieves 7.1 Thermal Comfort- Design
My guess is either C, D. I say C because the permanent monitoring system is only for NC projects, right?
I did not see anything regarding residential for this credit in the reference guide. Anyone else have any guesses?
Not sure about B but C is definitely untrue.
Farah, there is guidance for residential projects under the Bird's Eye View section, above.
I should know better than to say "definitely" when I answer a question off the top of my head. Upon further review C apparently is true.
My answer would be B. This is a tricky question because "the credit" will not necessarily result in high implementation costs, though a cursory review of the credit requirements may lead you to believe that it will. To be clear, it is required that the owner commit to corrective action if more than 20% of respondents are uncomfortable; that doesn't necessarily mean that the corrective action will even result in high implementation costs because there are some low cost actions that can be taken first.
Yea that was it, bad question. :-)
Thank you April, and Marcus! Much appreciated!
What time interval should be between each measuring on air speed and radiant temperature?
Another cuestion we have is about where to measure radiant temperature, the project already includes radiant temperature sensors on the floor, is it necesary to measure also other elements?
Albert, the first question is specifically addressed in LEEDuser's guidance above. Your second qeustion is a bit vague, so I'm not sure what to say, but you may find useful guidance on this above.
I believe the correct answer is B - all the others are definitely true.
I've noticed a subtle change with the most current templates. Particularly, the signatory for this credit no longer specifies who must sign the template. In earlier versions, it clearly noted that the owner must sign the template confirming that a thermal comfort survey would be conducted within 6-18 months post occupancy. While the signature field is still present on the template, it doesn't specifically state that it must be the owner who signs.
Does this mean that I can now have the facility manager, who would be responsible for administrering the survey, sign the template in lieu of the owner?
anyone can sign the forms now. If you look in the Leeduser forum on "signatories" there is a link to the USGBC policy change on this.
Thank you Kathryn. I apparently missed the update on the policy change.
Which of the library occupants have to do the survey, the employees, the transient visitors or both? Im guessing the survey should be addressed only to the employees since they are the ones that stay the most hours in the building, but would like to confirm.
You do not have to survey the transient visitors.
[Posted by Craig Graber, Atelier Ten]
Has anyone attempted this credit for a correctional facility? The Owner is concerned that giving thermal comfort surveys to inmates might not yield entirely honest results and would require the facility to take corrective action.
Is there any justification for conducting the survey for prison staff only, excluding the inmates? I think it's a long shot because the LEED 2009 IEQ Space Type Matrix shows that cells must be included in credit IEQc7.2.
Thanks for any thoughts or ideas!
I have not done this for a correctional facility but it sounds like the owner concern is related to being forced to take expensive corrective actions. This is never the case. Basically corrective actions are changes that can be undertaken within reason. If less than honest responses are received you could address how you will deal with that in the plan but I agree that the inmates should be included.
For a government project if more than 20% of respondants are dissatisfied who would be responsible for developing the plan for corrective action? I was told that the survey is created on LEED online by the Mechanical Designer, and the actual survey is conducted by either the owner or contractor? Corrective actions are taken by the Contractor, however it was a concern by the government that they wouldn't be able to close the Contractor's contract until the survey is done...anyone have any input or experience with this? thanks!
The roles you mention are just possible roles and could vary.
The survey is performed 6 to 18 months after occupancy. So sometimes the contractor is gone by then and I have never heard of someone not closing out a project because of this. Typically the owner is responsible for implementing the survey. Requiring the contractor to do so is probably very rare for some of the reasons you cite.
Corrective actions could be implemented by many parties depending on the nature of the corrective action. A simple change in controls could be undertaken by the owner for example.
I was very surprised to see the following statement in the Missing Manual and in the above Bird's Eye View section, "LEED defines a permanent monitoring system as having regular, repeated comfort surveys distributed to the building occupants."
I searched for this definition in LEED Addenda and Interpretations in hopes of finding additional guidance, but found nothing. Can you give us more details on when/where/how/from whom you received this information? I'd like to attempt this credit based on this definition of permanent monitoring system, but it seems a little sketchy since up until now we have been assuming that equipment must be installed to monitor thermal comfort.
Lisa, the definition of these systems has been a persistent question from LEED users, and it came up on a survey we recently distributed. So we asked GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)., and the text you are asking about is a direct quote. I was surprised, too. I would suggest double-checking by contacting GBCI if you want to be really sure. And if you do that, please post back here.
In our experience several dormitories have been approved for this IEQ7.2 credit and we did not need to provide any narrative or break down the spaces into %common areas vs. %dwelling units.
It'd be nice if all the relevant definitions (for terms like roof, residential, "cooking area") were in the reference guide. With digital editions it would be very easy to add all the corrections & addenda in one place rather than the current practice of spreading the relevant data across so many documents (addenda, LEED Interpretations, Guidance documents, etc.)
LEEDuser is very helpful because all the information is on one page!
from the Rating System Selection Guidance document the definition of residential reads: "A unit or series of units that each include a cooking area (comprised of
sink(s), cooking appliance(s), preparation space(s)) a bathroom, and a sleeping area.
Communal, circulation, storage, and other support areas such as living rooms, hallways,
and closets that primarily serve residential occupants also fall under this definition.
For buildings such as dormitories and assisted living facilities that have common areas
(central kitchens and lounges) it is at the project team’s discretion to define the common
areas and the living units as residential."
hopefully a dorm with a kitchen sink and a microwave does not count as a "cooking area" :)
Our project is not able to show compliance with the requirements if IEQc7.1, but has still installed a permanent monitoring system and the owner has agreed to conduct occupant comfort surveys every 6 months. Since we will not be eligible to achcieve IEQc7.2, can these strategies qualify for an innovation point instead? Please advise. Thanks!
I have not tried this myself but it is certainly worth a try. Keep in mind there is a requirement of corrective action if survey responses show that more than 20% of occupants are dissatisfied. This baseline for the corrective action is based on an ASHRAE assumption that even when following the standard up to 20% of occupants may still be dissatisfied. Depending on the occupant culture and building location, the theory is that your dissatisfaction rate may be higher, requiring corrective action. It also poses a fundamental question of whether you can ensure occupant comfort without meeting the standard. Though as long as the owner is committed to the potential corrective action required, you are going above and beyond what is required, warranting a case for innovation. Let us know how it goes!
My sense is that it will not be accepted. Since you cannot meet EQc7.1, a survey is likely to show that comfort conditions are not being maintained. Then what?
How does it run with this credit since the owner receives the Leed certificate after the end of the site construction and not one year after ? Has the owner to make a pledge that he will realize this thermal comfort survey 6 months after occupancy ? Or does he receive the certificate only 2 years after occupancy if he choices this credit ?
Thank you in advance,
Héloïse COUVERT - ETAMINE
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