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 GBCI, 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 far 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 GBCI, 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
The owner just needs to make the commitment to conduct the survey 6 months after occupancy to earn the credit. So, the certification process can proceed prior to the point that the survey is actually conducted.
We have a smaller government project that does not have the need or budget for a building automation system, which we have used as the monitoring equipment for this credit previously. We are considering small, stand alone device(s) to monitor and alarm with a sampling interval of 15 minutes. It does not appear that the device needs to record, just monitor and alarm. Followup corrective action with short term trend loggers could be used to pursue the problem. Any successful experience with this approach?
Scott, this makes sense to some degree, but I also worry that this approach would not be considered "permanent." What happens when personnel change a bit, the devices lose their battery power, and no one knows what they were for anyway?
It's unfortunate that USGBC has given us very little to go on in terms of what constitutes an acceptable monitoring system for this credit.
Bottom line—I might give it a try, but I'm not sure it will work.
I think this subject has been discussed before but I can’t find the answer. How many percent of building occupants must answer the survey for it to be a valid result? Is there a limit, or should I myself determine if I need more people to answer the survey? Or is it enough to let everybody get a chance to answer, but then only receive a certain amount of answers?
As far as I understand, for LEED NC there is no requirement for a specific number of people to respond to the survey. This may be different if you are pursuing LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems..
Thank you Emily! I'll just go with letting everybody have a chance to answer the survey, getting as many answers as I possibly can. But there seems to be no exact target number of answers required.
There is no minimum percentage requirement for the number of respondents to the survey. It is human nature that people who are displeased are most likely to speak out. The fewer the responses greater the likelihood more than 20% are dissatisfied and corrective action is required!
Do you have any sample of POE survey form that can satisfy this credit?
Thanks and regards
Eric, have you reviewed the sample included in the Documentation Toolkit, above?
I have a hotel project, can this kind of building achieve for this credit?
Thanks for your help!
Yes- the credit is still applicable to your project type. Your survey, however, should just be geared toward the hotel's employees, not the hotel guests who are considered to be "transient" visitors.
Allison, Is your comment on excluding guests from the survey process based on a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or review comments you've gotten back? It seems like it would be important to include guests if the intent is to get feedback on building performance and thermal comfort.
Steve- the credit language (page 545 of the BD+C reference guide) indicates that "regular occupants" should be surveyed. Hotel guests would be considered "visitors" not "regular occupants". If you were interested in gathering feedback from hotel guests, I'm sure you could make the survey available to the hotel guests, but it is not a requirement of the credit.
What about a Dormitory/Student Housing Project? Does this still count as 'transient' housing? It wouldn't per IBC....but wasn't sure about LEED. Would this make it qualify as 'residential', and thus this credit could not be considered applicable?
I believe that a dorm would count as residential and therefore not qualify for this credit, although I have not worked on a LEED dorm yet.
A dorm would not typically be eligible for EQc7.2.
I just found out that our office has received this credit previously for a similar student housing project.
Jennifer, your office has received this credit in the past, but under what rating version? Isn't the exclusion of residential projects new to 2009? I would argue that a dormitory like a hotel, is a transient occupancy and "guests" have a greater degree of control only over their individual rooms, not the building as a whole or its common spaces. I hear yeas and nays, do I hear any official word? I really don't want to have to waste 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 on this one.
I don't think either a hotel or a dormitory is eligible under the 2009 credit language. Both would be considered residential.
I was part of the TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. when 2009 was developed, but I have never understood why residential buildings have been excluded. It seems to me that feedback can be obtained on comfort from any occupied space by means of a survey. My two cents.
I would argue that a hotel should be eligible, because it is not really residential and there is a large number of employees that could respond to a thermal comfort survey. Of course, the final call would be from your GBCi reviewer unless you do 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...
Clint --- the project we sucessfully received the credit for was submitted under LEED- NC 2.2.
APplying the definition of residential including basically a stove in the dwelling unit would make the most sense in differentiating how this is applied. And dorm residents would certainly be considered regular occupants.
we have achieved this credit on 3 dorms so far, all NCv2.2
Has a residence hall (dorm) project achieved this credit (NC 2009)? If yes, I would like to know how it was approached.
As far as I can tell, a residence hall is considered a "residential" project but the reference guide appears to lack an official definition. Residential spaces (not projects) are defined in the rating system selection guidance (page 12): http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=6667.
I have not seen a 2009 project, however I have seen a few 2.2 projects. It is my understanding that a dorm is not considered a residentail project type.
The last sentence of the definition you reference says: "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."
I'm not sure what you're asking for when you say "describe the approach," as the approach is much the same for a dorm as any other school building.
Emily - If you believe a dorm is not considered a residential project, can you elaborate on why? That is what I mean by "describe the approach" as I understand a dorm to be a residential project.
The definition I cited explains that for a dormitory project, it is at the project team's discretion to define certain spaces in the project as residential. That is not the same as saying it is at the project team's discretion to define an entire dormitory project as residential.
Whether or not a dorm is eligible seems to hinge on the definition of residential, which has been discussed by a few individuals in this conversation. My guess is that one might be able to make the case that a dormitory, although residential in nature, may not provide the "higher level of control" mentioned in the LEED addenda (http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=6392) and thus be eligible to achieve this credit.
We have achieved this credit for a V3-2009 NC residence hall project. Below is a excerpt from the response I received from GBCI when I inquired regarding the residential status:
"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."
Our project did not include kitchens and I am not sure how it would affect controllability but the review team agreed with this interpretation. I hope this helps other projects with this question.
I agree that it makes no sense that residential projects are not eligible.
With that said the definition of residential in ASHRE 90.1 includes both dorms and hotels so to be consistent across credits we might consider using that definition.
I have a dormitory project received this credit under v2009. It has over 25% public assumbly space. But it could most likely depend on which reviewer you got.
I have submitted two residence hall projects for this credit under LEEDv2009. The first was reviewed and accepted with the comment noted above by Cindy Estrada. The second is currently under review and I will let you know if it does not get accepted.
I've communicated with GBCI about the applicability of dorms, and distlled what I learned into an FAQ above under the LEEDuser guidance. I think the comment posted by Cindy reflects what GBCI is trying to offer as a consistent policy. Please keep us posted on how your residence hall projects fare.
An addendum to the LEED 2009 Reference Guide for this credit elaborates on the exclusion of residential projects from this credit stating that these types of projects are assumed to have high level of individual temperature control. If individual occupant controls are not available and there is no kitchen, etc., it seems this credit could be achieved.
From LEED 2009: The Missing Manual
short answer = *some* dorms can pursue IEQc7.2. Hotels can pursue the credit. Guestrooms should be included.
page 87 re: dorms and hotels
"Can residential dorms pursue IEQc7.2?
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
I was curious if anyone had tried any of the thermal comfort survey software options. I came across too options online:
Berkeley Survey $1000
BCG Survey $33
We typically just create our own for free using Survey Monkey or something similar.
It's possible to create your own as Allison says, but we also recommend the UC Berkeley Center for the Building Environment survey that you found. It's discussed in more detail in the Bird's Eye View tab, and the Checklists tab, above.
I strongly recommend against asking the owner to spend more money on the Berkeley survey. Searching online offers good examples of survey formats and subject, and also how to ask the questions. As your owner's LEED consultant you are most valuable to them if you prepare a survey for them to edit and use.
Just to recap (from above), there is a strong value for LEED consultants to use the Berkeley survey; the biggest reason is comparison to a larger building stock (including many other LEED certified buildings). Full disclosure, I used to work for the Berkeley folks who run the survey. So I'm biased, but so are many who run POE surveys a lot- you learn so much more if you have a benchmark to compare to. Also, the Berkeley survey is editable. And you're making a contribution to ongoing academic research and education on green buildings. And you could make your project eligible for the Livable Buildings Award, if your scores are high enough. I could go on. Making and running your own survey is definitely better than not, but I just wanted to give the perspective on why many teams decide to pay (a relatively small amount!) for a more thorough and insightful POE experience.
I have to agree with Lindsay above (Full disclosure - my company is a CBE practice partner, so I am biased as well) - although it is very simple to come up with a survey that meets the LEED requirement, the value of the CBE survey is what you do with the data - they offer a level of evaluation and statistical analysis that many clients (and LEED consultants or design professionals) are not experienced with performing.
am working on a mixed project, that has the ground floor commercial and ten floors of residential above - would this qualify for the eligibility for the credit?
Gita, I am going out on a limb to some extent here, but I would be surprised if the answer was "no," since this project has a significant amount of commercial space, and the comfort of those occupants IS important!
Gita, did you get a definitive answer to your question about a a mixed-use project and IEQc7.2?
I am also looking for comments on the eligibility of achieving this credit in a mixed-use project for v3. Has anyone submitted for this credit on a v3 project?
In LEED 2009, New Construction Residential and Core & Shell projects are not eligible for this credit (see page 543 of the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, 2009 Edition (Updated June 2010)). Unless the majority of the building is non-residential and occupied by the Owner, it seems this credit is not an option for mixed-use projects.
Hi, I'm curious how other projects have addressed the "permanent monitoring system" now required for thermal comfort verification?
The credit form does not require explanation of this system, you only check a box confirming its presence so it seems pretty open to interpretation. The Reference Guide does not seem to provide any useful examples or guidance...
Rebecca, based on the lack of response to your question it seems like a lot of people share the same confusion. If you haven't already, I would recommend checking out our guidance in the BIrd's Eye View overview shown above.
One take on this would be that permanent monitoring systems could be as simple as programmable thermostats or other monitoring and control devises that measure in real time more than one of the ASHRAE-55 variables, so, temperature and air speed, temperature and humidity, etc. However, Tristan is right, the GBCI has yet to provide explicit direction on this.
Has there been any more guidance on the issue of permanent monitoring systems? This is an area where things get very expensive by over-specifying systems.
The permanent monitoring requirement was removed from NC2.2, but made it back into 2009 when the rating systems were "aligned", as it had always been a requirement in LEED-CI.
Basically they want you to monitor the components of comfort, as described above. We have taken this to mean both temperature and humidity. Now that said, we have successfully gained this point using system level humidity sensors, rather than room level. So, I think you need:
1) Room level temperature sensors (thermostats)
2) System level humidity (sensors at the AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition)
2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork., or on the return air)
3) a BAS system that allows one to collect and trend this info.
Although I have never tried it, it's my sense that a program of regular comfort surveys (every 6 months or so), instead of sensors, would also meet the intent of the credit for permanent ongoing monitoring of comfort.
Actually the requirement for permanent monitoring system cannot be fulfilled with a regular survey. The previous CI system had no requirement for this element but 2009 does. For New Construction or CI projects 100% of the occupants (as Ben described above) must be offered the survey - this has been consistently required for several years. I find that using EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. requirements and definitions is very successful in supporting strategies for the other 2009 systems.
I am working on a large hospital project that is registered under LEED-NCv2.2. I am wondering how many building occupants need to be surveyed. Does this include just FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. or patients and visitors? Would it be possible to do a representative sample? Has anyone had experience with having to implement corrective action plan measures on a really large project? What was the cost impact?
Lauren, the LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. rating system has a similar credit (EQc2.1) and provides some more detailed direction about who should be included in the occupant survey. The EBOM v2009 reference guide states on page 393 that "for commercial buildings, regular building occupants are defined as workers who either have a permanent office or workstation or typically spend a minimum of 10 hours per week in the project building." This implies to me that your team should consider including at least some of the longer term patients. The EBOM credit also requires collecting responses from at least 30% of the total regular building occupants so that might be a starting point for a representative sample. However, this credit doesn't have a performance requirement attached and is more about the process. Finally, we have generally not seen a large cost associated with the corrective action component.
However for NC projects, no minimum sample size is noted and the reference guide (under "Implementation") states that, "Providing a systematic process and mechanism for all occupants to provide feedback about their thermal comfort will help building operators adjust and maintain thermal comfort in their buildings." My understanding has always been that the intent is for all regular building occupants to be included, or to at least to have the opportunity to provide feedback.
Institute for the Built Environment
Thermal comfort controls will contribute to occupant satisfaction with thermal conditions.
IEQc7.2 is designed to help confirm the effectiveness of IEQc7.1, which must first be achieved.
IEQc7.2 can provide valuable information for the commissioning process, particularly for ongoing commissioning. Teams may elect for the commissioning agent to manage IEQc7.2.
IEQc7.2 requires that a permanent monitoring system be in place. Meeting this credit requirement is likely if teams are pursuing an M&V credit.
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.
LEEDuser members get it free >
LEEDuser is produced by BuildingGreen, Inc., with YR&G authoring most of the original content. LEEDuser enjoys ongoing collaboration with USGBC. Read more about our team
Copyright 2013 – BuildingGreen, Inc.