Interior smoking is not allowed in many building types, and for those projects, this prerequisite should be easy and not add costs. It may even be the only legal option. To comply, you may need to establish a nonsmoking policy in and around the building (including entrances and balconies), and install appropriate signage.
Multifamily residences and hotels may feel compelled to allow smoking in some or all units, and some projects, like airports, have designated smoking rooms. In these cases, stringent measures will be needed to stop movement of smoke from smoking to nonsmoking areas. These measures include air barriers between units, negative air pressure in smoking areas, separate exhaust systems, and blower-door testing, all of which may add design and construction costs. The added trouble of these measures is offset by some added benefits. The air barrier in particular can improve energy efficiency as well as acoustical privacy.
Meeting the air leakage rateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608). requirements for projects that must perform blower-door testing (multi-family and hotel projects allowing smoking) can be extremely challenging and a major barrier toward achieving LEED certification. The leakage rates require construction practices for unit sealing that are far beyond standard practice and as a result, many projects have failed the blower door tests and have not been eligible for certification.
It is critical that a blower-door-testing consultant be brought onboard during design development or early duing construction documents to ensure that drawings are detailed enough to properly seal units. Get the whole team, including the commissioning agent, general contractor, and subcontractors on board with the necessary practices, and keep this same expert involved during construction to ensure proper sealing techniques are being followed.
Project teams should perform a mock test of a typical unit to ensure sealing techniques are being followed and to identify any potential locations of air leakage. This ensures that problem areas are identified early on in the construction process so that problems can be corrected for the remainder of units. It can be very costly to correct common problem areas across a project if the testing is only done at the completion of the project.
No—this is optional.
Yes, if local regulations are not as strict as LEED, you must create a policy that complies with LEED standards (and communicate this policy to building users) to achieve this prerequisite. Exterior signage which communicates the policy is required so that all occupants, visitors, and passersby are made aware of the exterior smoking policy.
Although projects may not have complete control over the public space that surrounds their building, at minimum, provide adequate signage that communicates smoking is prohibited 25 feet from the entrance. Signage can help deter people from standing outside of the door to smoke.
Additionally, do not have designated smoking areas or ash trays outside the entrance to further discourage smoking by the entrance. For documentation purposes, provide a photo or plan indicating where the signage will be installed, and note any additional efforts (such as no ashtray by entrance or security that may enforce the no smoking within 25 feet rule).
The Reference Guide doesn’t explicitly make a distinction between a regular door and an emergency exit, making this a bit of a gray area. The safest bet is to assume they’re treated the same way under this prerequisite, which would require relocation of the smoking area to a compliant distance. If you’d like a definitive answer to this question you can submit 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.
The 25 feet should be calculated from the closest point within the smoking area to the building opening, going around any solid objects (balconies, walls, etc.) as needed. For calculating distances between a lower level smoking area and an upper floor building opening, it should be calculated starting from the ceiling of the lower floor to the nearest (lowest) point in the upper floor opening.
No. Visitors and other non-employees might not be familiar with the building policies or local smoking laws.
Yes. As of 7/1/2014, with LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10388, the environmental tobacco smoke (ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer.) prerequisite applies to e-cigarettes as well as conventional cigarettes. USGBC cites the World Health Organization, stating that "e-cigarettes should be prohibited anywhere where the use of conventional cigarettes is prohibited."
Establish the smoking policies for interior spaces and exterior spaces, including balconies, by working with the building owner. Many municipal codes do not permit smoking in public buildings, so banning smoking (Option 1) may be the only legal option in some cases.
Additional consultant costs may arise from documentation and testing processes, if projects choose to have interior designated smoking areas.
For residential applications, adopting a no-smoking policy in Homeowners Association policies has been a good strategy for reducing ETS transfer between units. In past versions of LEED, this type of policy has also been sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the prerequisite requirements. However, because of changes to the credit language and LEED Online credit form, it is unclear if this strategy would be accepted as compliant without conducting blower door testing as well. Any multi-family project pursuing this type of strategy should be prepared to submit a CIR to confirm that the approach will be acceptable to the GBCI review team.
Air sealing between units is recommended for several reasons, even if smoking is banned. In multifamily buildings and hotels it is common for occupants to smoke inside their units despite nonsmoking policies. Without air sealing between units, other occupants may be exposed to secondhand smoke and odors. Air sealing between units also improves energy performance, particularly in high rises subject to the stack effect, in which warm, buoyant air rises upward, leading to thermal losses and ventilation problems. Acoustic privacy is also improved by air sealing, and air sealing also reduces pathways for vermin.
High quality construction using air sealing can be marketed as a building feature for multi-unit construction, and has been shown to attract premium rents and sales prices.
Banning smoking on private balconies is necessary if they are within 25 feet of a neighbor’s operable window or another building opening, even if smoking is allowed inside the unit. Multifamily tenants may be unhappy with these rules, so owners should carefully consider their policies, the needs and habits of their tenants, and the design and location of balconies and openings.
If allowing smoking in some units, clustering those rooms on one floor can keep the need for special air sealing and hallway pressurization strategies (which can be used in lieu of weatherstripping) relatively contained.
Incorporate smoking-related requirements into the commissioning documentation, including the Owner’s Project Requirements and the Basis of Design for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning.
Designate the location of outdoor smoking areas, if any, on design drawings. Ensure that these areas are appropriately removed from building windows, ventilation opens, and entrances, and entrance paths.
The mechanical engineer ensures that the HVAC design meets the exhaust and pressure levels of the LEED requirements. Also ensure that all units will receive adequate fresh air. A certain amount of air infiltration may be assumed, but the careful air-sealing associated with this credit may reduce the infiltration below expected levels. Ensure that mechanical systems, operable windows, or a combination, are able to provide enough ventilation. Make sure that pressure differences between the hallway and unit are enough to prevent cross contamination, but not so much that doors slam doors shut or are difficult to operate.
Operating energy use may be increased by maintaining the negative pressure requirements for interior designated smoking rooms. Designated smoking rooms in commercial properties can also add upfront costs associated with construction and design, added ventilation loads, and air sealing and deck-to-deck partitions. On the other hand, increased air sealing can decrease energy costs and increase rents, as noted earlier.
Eliminating smoking in a building costs virtually nothing and is the simplest way to control environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Possible associated costs would be the cost of signage indicating that the building is non-smoking and the development of a nonsmoking policy. Benefits include occupant health and productivity, and reduced cleaning and maintenance.
In non-residential construction when smoking will be banned (Case 1, Option 1), incorporate smoking-related signage into plans and construction specifications. Fill out LEED Credit Form and upload all supporting documentation to LEED Online.
If smoking is to be allowed in certain areas (Case 1, Option 2 and Case 2), integrate deck-to-deck partitions and weatherstripping or pressurization into plans and construction document specifications.
Identify potential air leakage points in design and construction plans early. Common examples of areas where leakage occur include electrical boxes, air registers, window frames, and where walls meet the floor.
Ask a blower-door or air-barrier expert to review construction documents and shop drawings prior to the actual testing to ensure that problem areas, including deck to deck partitions, are likely to be sealed according to specifications.
Ensure that the blower door test is included in the contractor’s or any other responsible parties’ scope of work.
If smoking is to be allowed in certain areas (Case 1, Option 2 and Case 2), fill out LEED template and upload all supporting documentation to LEED Online.
A no-smoking policy for construction workers is not required for this prerequisite, but is a good practice, especially after the enclosure is installed, and will help achieve IEQc3.1: Construction IAQ Management
Orient all subcontractors to air-sealing goals and quality-control practices.
The contractor schedules any necessary air pressure or blower door tests in their proper sequence. Testing occurs at various construction phases and ideally with a test unit to identify any leakages and opportunities for improvement in other units.
Involve an experienced blower-door testing agent in visual inspections before drywall is installed in any of the units. This will ensure that problem areas are addressed while they are still easily accessible. Also bring the blower-door expert in for early testing, once the drywall is installed, but before painting, finish materials, and appliances are installed. This will point out penetrations that need to be sealed between units and allow contractors to address those penetrations in the remaining units to ensure that all units meet the standard.
Conduct blower door tests, which in multifamily and hotel applications typically require a sampling of one out of every seven units. See the Home Energy Rating System program (link) for details on sampling rates. For any spaces that do not pass the blower door pressure test, correct any potential problems and retest, or another space has to be tested until 100 percent of the requisite number of spaces have successfully passed.
The cost of a blower door test will vary by region and project, but expect an average of $500–$800 per test.
Uphold and enforce the nonsmoking policy, if applicable. Nonsmoking policies can be enforced with documented building policies, and building signage.
Additional policies to support a nonsmoking building may include providing smokers with alternatives such as outdoor smoking areas, giving employees incentives to quit smoking, and if smoking is permitted in parts of the building, developing a phase-out plan.
Nonsmoking policies can be implemented with homeowners association policies, building signage, and other means of communicating with occupants.
Additional costs from maintaining designated smoking areas within a building may include more frequent and more rigorous cleaning, disposal of ashes and butts, and frequent change-out of ventilation system filters. Light fixtures and finishes may also need to be replaced more frequently in designated smoking areas.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To prevent or minimize exposure of building occupants, indoor surfaces and ventilation air distribution systems to environmental tobacco smoke (ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer.).
Prohibit on-property smoking within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows. Provide signage to allow smoking in designated areas, prohibit smoking in designated areas or prohibit smoking on the entire property.
Prohibit smoking in the building except in designated smoking areas.
Provide designated smoking rooms designed to contain, capture and remove ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. from the building. At a minimum, the smoking room must be directly exhausted to the outdoors, away from air intakes and building entry paths, with no recirculation of ETS-containing air to nonsmoking areas and enclosed with impermeable deck-to-deck partitions. Operate exhaust sufficient to create a negative pressure differential with the surrounding spaces of at least an average of 5 Pascals (Pa) (0.02 inches of water gauge) and a minimum of 1 Pa (0.004 inches of water gauge) when the doors to the smoking rooms are closed.
Verify performance of the smoking rooms’ differential air pressures by conducting 15 minutes of measurement, with a minimum of 1 measurement every 10 seconds, of the differential pressure in the smoking room with respect to each adjacent area and in each adjacent vertical chase with the doors to the smoking room closed. Conduct the testing with each space configured for worst-case conditions of transport of air from the smoking rooms (with closed doors) to adjacent spaces.
Prohibit smoking in all common areas of the building.
Locate any exterior designated smoking areas, including balconies where smoking is permitted, at least 25 feet from entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows opening to common areas.
Weather-strip all exterior doors and operable windows in the residential units to minimize leakage from outdoors.
Minimize uncontrolled pathways for ETS transfer between individual residential units by sealing penetrations in walls, ceilings and floors in the residential units and by sealing vertical chases adjacent to the units. Weather-strip all doors in the residential units leading to common hallways to minimize air leakage into the hallway1.
Demonstrate acceptable sealing of residential units by a blower door testA blower door test gives an overall value for airtightness of a space, and can help identify air leaks. The testing unit consists of a calibrated fan that is sealed onto the unit entrance. The fan creates a continuous flow of pressure into the unit (or out of the unit when using theatrical fog to locate leaks). Devices detect the rate of pressure retention and loss due to possible air leaks in the construction. conducted in accordance with ANSI/ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services-E779-03, Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage RateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608). By Fan Pressurization. Use the progressive sampling methodology defined in Chapter 4 (Compliance Through Quality Construction) of the Residential Manual for Compliance with California’s 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards. Residential units must demonstrate less than 1.25 square inches leakage area per 100 square feet of enclosure area (i.e., sum of all wall, ceiling and floor areas). Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ANSI/ASTM-Control E779-03, Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate By Fan Pressurization.
Prohibit smoking in commercial buildings or effectively control the ventilation air in smoking rooms. For residential buildings, prohibit smoking in common areas and design building envelope and systems to minimize ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. transfer among dwelling units.
1 If the common hallways are pressurized with respect to the residential units then doors in the residential units leading to the common hallways need not be weather-stripped provided that the positive differential pressure is demonstrated as in Option 2, Case 1 above, considering the residential unit as the smoking room.
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.
Guidelines for proper air sealing techniques.
Provides general background on blower door tests.
This publication from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights details the legal basis for constructing a smoke-free workplace policy.
This study finds that the percentage of gamblers who smoke is not significantly different from the percentage of the general population who smoke, undermining claims that barring smoking in casinos would have a devastating economic impact.
This EPA document summarizes environmental tobacco smoke research and provides information on national laws targeting the issue.
ANR advocates for non-smokers' interests and provides information for those wishing to prohibit smoking in public places.
Establish and communicate a policy prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of building openings.
Provide a map showing that designated outdoor smoking areas are 25 feet or more from building openings.
Provide drawings, data, and a narrative explaining pressurization and leakage rate testing protocols.
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.
We recently got a mid-review for IEQp2. The exterior smoking policy of the project is entirely composed of a taped-on sheet of paper. The review team think that this signage system appears to be temporary in nature and can be easily removed, and it is not clear if the non-smoking policy will be reasonably viewable by all building occupants over time. But actually the non-smoking policy will be managed by the Property management staff to ensure that this signage system will stay there permanetly and every occupants will know this policy.
What should we do to clarification this credit, or some other pernament signage should we provided?
We are working on a large high-end high-rise residential project with a variety of unit sizes and layouts. Almost every unit is a unique layout to some degree, whether it be the location or size of a closet or adjacency of the kitchen to another space. Testing every unit in the building would be onerous and costly. If units has the same number of bedrooms and approximate square footages, would that constitute an acceptable testing sample?
We are working on a high-rise residential project in San Francisco. I see a question relating to how many residential units need to be blower door tested dating from June 24 2014. We do not see a reply to that question, however. The HERS 2.2 methodology states 1 in 7 units of the same layout, but we are hearing of more narrow sampling protocols. GBCI has not responded to our questions on this. We have not seen a specific addenda addressing this, either. We are hoping a fellow LEED User out there might have an example of successfully submitted and approved documentation they are willing to share with us. Many thanks in advance!
Refer to LEED Interpretations #1740, 5209 and 10222. 1 in 7 seven is the correct sampling rate. I don't have first hand experience with this for IEQp2 so hopefully the interpretations help. LEED does reference the HERS sampling methodology.
In reference to the question about number of units required to be sampled we would like to have a response to an applied case (as an example).
This is a multifamily residential building with natural ventilation where smoking is permitted only in residential units.
This building has 3 types (A, B and C) of units which are identical.
There are 35 A type units, 21 B type units and 7 C type units.
The total of units in the building are 63.
According to HOME ENERGY RATING SYSTEMS (HERS) FIELD VERIFICATION AND DIAGNOSTIC TESTING REGULATIONS and the
LEED Interpretations #10222 and #1740, it is allowed to sample 1 in 7 identical units, but also a minimum of 3 tests are allowed when you have more than 21 units of one type.
In the example, we understand therefore, that we need to make:
Type A (35 units): 3 initial field verification, 3 sample field verification, 3 re-sample test (if necessary)
Type B (21 units): 3 initial field verification, 3 sample field verification, 3 re-sample test (if necessary)
Type C (7 units): 1 initial field verification, 1 sample field verification, 1 re-sample test (if necessary)
Total: 21 tests
Is this ok?
Since all the visitors to our project speaks Spanish, I wonder if is accepted to meet this credit that signage be written in Spanish?
I do quite some projects in German speaking countries. We always have the signage in the local language. For submission, I give translations on the PDFs showing the signage. We never had an issue with this approach.
Thank you Jens
Signage in the primary local language is definiately acceptable / preferred.
I have a gypsum board partitions with a false ceiling all over the floor. I need to know if I can use the Hard-lid ceiling as an alternative to the Deck to deck partitions or not?
I am guessing that hard-lid ceilings would not be acceptable, as they are not noted as an option. For IEQc5, hard-lid ceilings or deck-to-deck partitions are acceptable, and are noted as such. Additionally, it seems that deck-to-deck partitions would better isolate each room, whereas hard lid ceilings may leave above ceiling areas open.
Regarding emergency exits, we recieved the following review comment on our LEED Volume program submission:
"Emergency exits must prohibit smoking within 25 feet. The only exception is alarmed emergency exits, which do not qualify as building openings."
would you please clarify what does it mean "alarmed emergency exits"? Does it require certain alarm, and software interface?
Yes, alarmed exits are usually connected to the fire alarm / life safety. When a building occupant uses that exit and there is not a fire alarm going off, the door rings alerting people to a problem.
David, your review comments are consistent with what I've always understood to be the case. Can you alarm some of your exits? They want to ensure that people don't come and go through those doors to smoke. If there is a short cut, people will find it and exploit it.
This is an office building. The designer is proposing to use a single exaust system for one smoking room and other smoke free rooms. It is a 100% outdoor air system with a plate heat recovery, so there will be no ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. recirculation at all.
The IEQp2 requirements Option 2, Case 1 doesn't require a separate system. But in the implementation section it says "install separate ventilation systems must be installed" (seems to be an erroneous wording here).
Do we need a separate, standalone exhaust system for indoor smoking rooms? I think no and the proposed design is ok, as it fulfills the requirements and the intent of the prerequisite, as there will be no ETS contamination outside the smoking room.
I put in 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 for this question. If someone ever has the same question, here are the general questions and answers:
2. In general, is a separate supply and exhaust air system required that serves only the smoking room(s)?
3. In general, is a separate exhaust air system required that exhausts only the smoking room(s) with supply air being transferred from non-smoking areas?
Response 2: No, a separate/dedicated supply and exhaust system is not required to serve the smoking room if under normal operating conditions there is no recirculation of the smoking room air within any air handling unit that serves other non-smoking spaces.
Response 3: No. See response to Question 2.
can the smoking area be placed in the basement if its 25 feet away from any operable windows and doors
That seems like it is "in the building" (this is the name of option 1) to me.
At what point of the project do the standards regarding IEQp2 take effect? Are there any standards that need to be followed during the construction process, before the building envelope is sealed?
If pursuing IEQc3.1 there should be no smoking in the building during construction. That is certainly best practice, esp. once anything beyond structural materials are installed. IEQp2 is oriented to operations and planning for a no smoking building in the design phase, so you are touching on a grey area here, but no smoking in the building during construction is common and best practice for a number of reasons.
From the requirements: "Verify performance of the smoking rooms’ differential air pressures by conducting 15 minutes of measurement, with a minimum of 1 measurement every 10 seconds, of the differential pressure in the smoking room with respect to each adjacent area and in each adjacent vertical chase with the doors to the smoking room closed. Conduct the testing with each space configured for worst-case conditions of transport of air from the smoking rooms (with closed doors) to adjacent spaces."
It seems to me that having doors open is the worst case, not doors closed. Any opinions on that?
I agree that the language is confusing, but could any pressure differential be established and maintained with doors open? I think the message is, create and test at the doors-closed worst case condition.
My project is on a college campus that is non-smoking on the entire campus, there are no areas with permitted smoking. The streets themselves are university property, not public streets.
If everything and everywhere is non-smoking, and there are "no smoking/tobacco inside and out" on exterior doors (for this building and every other building on campus), would there be any requirement to place free-standing signs on the edges of the site? Or are the signs on the doors enough?
The campus is willing to put up free-standing sign in areas that expercience difficulties with tobacco use, but I don't want to put up signs by default if I don't have to. Thanks!
There is no need to place free standing sings if you have signs on the building itself stating it is prohibited to smoke within 25 feet of the building.
But there is NO smoking on the entire campus, anywhere. A sign with the language no smoking "within 25 feet of the building" would go against their more stringent policy, and would imply that the students/visitors/professors CAN smoke at 26, 27, 28+ feet, etc. - which they definitely are not.
Would "no smoking/tobacco inside and out" and "tobacco free on entire campus" signs on the building actually not meet the requirements, simply because the sign doesn't mention 25'?
Using language that indicates there is no smoking allowed on campus is perfectly acceptable - it does not specifically have to state 25.' We have used that approach on many campus projects. The language we have typically seen is "Tobacco Free Campus" or "This is a Nonsmoking Campus"
Thanks Heather. Did you just provide signage on the doors/in the building, or did you still post fre-standing signs on the site? I feel like we have peppered new buildings in the past with these signs, when maybe we don't need to.
Hi Renee. The signs have usually just been on the main entry/exit doors of the building (including doors to upper level terraces). No free standing signs on site. We have sometimes included the Campus's non-smoking policy as back-up.
THANK YOU!!! That is what I was hoping for. The university's policy also clearly states that signs (wall-mounted or free-standing) can be added wherever problems with adherance may arise, so hopefully that should satisfy any reviewer that thinks there should be more signs. The client will be very happy.
Glad it helped! :)
Heather, thanks for sharing your experience.
Another addition to this awesome thread...
Heather, when you reference signage being placed on "main entry/exit doors" are you putting signage on the outside and inside surface of the main door, or just the outside (to let people know as they are coming towards/into the building)?
The wording typically faces to the outside, to let people know as they are coming toward the building. I can't think of an instance when we included it on the inside as well, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. However, it would not be required by LEED.
We are supposed to upload a site plan/map that shows the location of the designated outdoor smoking /nonsmoking areas. Since we have no smoking areas we upload a site plan highlighting only the 25ft distance from the building and position of all signs communicating the 25 ft rule. However, the building's facade is very close to the LEEDboundary. Shall we mark the non-smoking area beyond the LEEDboundary in the site plan or keep it within?
I have done dozens of projects in WA where smoking is not allowed in most places. In all cases, I have simply uploaded a statement that we have no designated smoking areas. It's a bit frustrating that item is a mandatory upload. Despite many other issues with reviewers about smoking sign verbiage and locations, no one has ever commented on that simple statement.
The term "vertical chase" is present on the definition of "differential air pressureThe difference in air pressure between two spaces, potentially leading, in the case of a pressure difference, to the migration of contaminants from one space to another. When using a designated smoking room ror environmental tobacco smoke control, you may need to test the differential air pressure in the smoking room with respect to each adjacent area and in each adjacent vertical chase with the doors to the smoking room closed. The testing will be conducted with each space configured for worst case conditions of transport of air from the smoking rooms to adjacent spaces with the smoking rooms' doors closed to the adjacent spaces. The test can be conducted by a mechanical engineer. The test should involve 15 minutes of measurement, with a minimum of one measurement every 10 seconds. With the doors to the smoking room closed, operate exhaust sufficient to create a negative pressure with respect to the adjacent spaces of at least an average of 5 Pa (0.02 inches of water gauge) and with a minimum of 1 Pa (0.004 inches of water gauge).". Does "vertical chase" refers to pipe shafts adjacent to the room or to the ceiling plenum?
The definition of differential air pressure is copied below:
Differential air pressure
The difference in air pressure between two spaces, potentially leading, in the case of a pressure difference, to the migration of contaminants from one space to another. When using a designated smoking room nor environmental tobacco smoke control, you may need to test the differential air pressure in the smoking room with respect to each adjacent area and in each adjacent vertical chase with the doors to the smoking room closed. The testing will be conducted with each space configured for worst case conditions of transport of air from the smoking rooms to adjacent spaces with the smoking rooms' doors closed to the adjacent spaces. The test can be conducted by a mechanical engineer. The test should involve 15 minutes of measurement, with a minimum of one measurement every 10 seconds. With the doors to the smoking room closed, operate exhaust sufficient to create a negative pressure with respect to the adjacent spaces of at least an average of 5 Pa (0.02 inches of water gauge) and with a minimum of 1 Pa (0.004 inches of water gauge).
Thanks in advance!
I realized that vertical chase does not refer to plenum, as I asked above.
I have a follow up question though: does this prerequisite require that a differential pressure measurement is conducted for each adjacent space or vertical chase that HAS a door to the smoking room?
I have a project that the owners want to use stand with the "No Smoking Sign" instead of placing signage on building itself, will that comply?
This should comply. I would just include a narrative that says that the stand is placed so all building visitors and occupants can see it.
USGBC has just issued a LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. clarifying that e-cigarettes should be considered the same as conventional cigarettes for the purpose of this prerequisite. This follows World Health Organization recommendations. See LEED Interpretation #10388 for the exact language.
We would like to certify a multifamily Residential building. Smoking will be prohibited within the LEED Boundary in common areas, but in some public areas (closer than 25 feet from main entrance) we cannot prohibit smoking because this would contrast local regulations.
The owner doesn't want to prohibit smoking on private balconies (for commercial needs), but most of balconies are closer than 25 feet from operable windows.
The apartments are equipped of mechanical ventilation system (the air intake is on roof, far from any ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. source) which will be working 24H/24 to renew inside air.
Entrance doors will be equipped with self-closing mechanisms, in order to guarantee that outdoor smoke will be kept out. External windows are equipped with sealings which guarantee air tightness. Blower door tests will be performed according to the Protocol.
Are these systems sufficient to comply with prerequisite requirements?
Based on your description, I would say no. Self-closing doors do not negate the 25' requirement. Nor do local standards. It sounds like this is a smoking building, but the other requirements still apply (as noted under Option 2 case 2).
We are working on a few high-end/high rise residential projects that are designed to have elevators open into the private residences. A blower door testA blower door test gives an overall value for airtightness of a space, and can help identify air leaks. The testing unit consists of a calibrated fan that is sealed onto the unit entrance. The fan creates a continuous flow of pressure into the unit (or out of the unit when using theatrical fog to locate leaks). Devices detect the rate of pressure retention and loss due to possible air leaks in the construction. was conducted and unfortunately did not pass as smoke can technically leak into the elevator from the residential unit. Has anyone had this issue before and have any recommendations on how to solve it? I appreciate any suggestions and thank you in advance!
Heather, I don't have experience with this but thinking out loud—can you add another fully weatherstripped door around one or the other end of the elevator? I.e. create a lobby around the elevator entrance to keep out ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. (or keep it in).
Thanks, Tristan. We actually were able to do just that. It turns out for fire safety purposes there needs to be a door separating the elevator lobby space from the main residence due to pressurization issues. We are now able to pass the blower door testing for these units.
I was wondering if the v2.2 option (HERS methodology) would still apply for v2009 in regards to the blower door testA blower door test gives an overall value for airtightness of a space, and can help identify air leaks. The testing unit consists of a calibrated fan that is sealed onto the unit entrance. The fan creates a continuous flow of pressure into the unit (or out of the unit when using theatrical fog to locate leaks). Devices detect the rate of pressure retention and loss due to possible air leaks in the construction. and number of units that must be tested. I read once that you could test only 1 in 7 similar units (same layout).
My project is both a hotel and residential building, and there are different types of apartments and hotel rooms which are obviously repeated throughout the building.
Just as an example, if I had 3 different types of hotel rooms with 10 units each, I would have to test only a total of six units.
Can we still do this and comply with the prerequisite requirements?
If anyone can come up with the official source of this info I recall I'd be glad to hear it.
I believe the HERS sampling protocol still applies. See LEED Interpretations #1740, 5209 and 10222.
I am working on a performing arts building that has a no-smoking policy for the interior and within 25' of the building. However, there may be occasions where scripts warrant smoking and actors will smoke on stage.
Does the project need to conduct a blower door testA blower door test gives an overall value for airtightness of a space, and can help identify air leaks. The testing unit consists of a calibrated fan that is sealed onto the unit entrance. The fan creates a continuous flow of pressure into the unit (or out of the unit when using theatrical fog to locate leaks). Devices detect the rate of pressure retention and loss due to possible air leaks in the construction. for the theater? Is there an alternative or some other approach that could be used for this project?
As a non-answer, I would suggest maintaining the no smoking policy in full, and consider the use of prop cigarettes when they are called for by the script. I did a quick search online, and found several of these prop cigarettes that are designed specifically to look real on stage.
Regarding the blower door based approach, it would probably require designating the entire theater space (seating and performance areas) as the smoking area, which although the owner would be free to disallow smoking by the audience, would be an odd distinction. Additionally, and depending on climate zoneOne of five climatically distinct areas, defined by long-term weather conditions which affect the heating and cooling loads in buildings. The zones were determined according to the 45-year average (1931-1975) of the annual heating and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees Fahrenheit). An individual building was assigned to a climate zone according to the 45-year average annual degree-days for its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Division., there could be a huge energy penalty associated with the direct exhaust requirement for designated smoking areas of such a large volume.
All that said, and although it was (I think) under v2.2, I believe there was a Las Vegas casino project that successfully met this prerequisite, while allowing smoking in the gambling area and having no physical barrier between the smoking area and the lobby. My guess is that whatever strategy (read: loophole) they used for this has long since been closed, but if you are hard pressed for a way to approach this, it could be worth a look.
Loophole closed, firmly.
Thank you for this feedback. I was dreading this would be the case for the project. Are you aware of the language for this "loop hole"?
I think the loophole was relative to the LEED project boundary. They excluded the smoking area from the LEED project. Now with the MPRs since LEED 2009 you need to include the whole building and can't gerrymander.
I think Glen's answer was spot-on with regard to prop cigarettes. I don't think audiences these days are craving real cigarette smoke from their on-stage actors, either. A prop that doesn't quite smell like the real thing will be appreciated.
My city has an ordinance that there is no smoking within 20' of outside doors on City property. This is a City-owned facility and that is the rule that is enforced by management. If the no smoking signs say 20 feet instead of 25 feet, will that be accepted, if I also upload a copy of the City's ordinance?
I do not think this would be accepted.
As a general rule, existing laws and ordinances only trump LEED when they are equivalent or more stringent.
This question was posted a few years ago but I felt the response was ambiguous so I'd like to revisit.
Is it sufficient to have a "No smoking within 25' of building" sign posted at the building entrances or do they need to be located at the perimeter of the non-smoking area?
I can understand why you'd post this. Even though there are ZERO requirements with respect to how many signs and what they should say specifically, we continue to get review comments that say we are not demonstrating "sufficient" signage to communicate "reasonably" with occupants.
We are in a state where smoking is prohibited in all public places and commercial buildings and most residential buildings are non-smoking also. Not a lot of communication is required for us to know we can't smoke. I understand that not all states are this way, and the LEED requirements need to be acknowledged. However, guessing what is sufficient and reasonable (obviously subjective terms) on a Prerequisite is incredibly frustrating.
It would be great if the USGBC would make these requirements definitive.
In the interim, we have been using the entire phrase "no smoking within 25' of entries, outdoor intakes and operable windows" and advising clients to post at all primary entrances and at exterior amenity spaces. We hope this will be sufficient and reasonable for reviewers.
we are building a campus of buildings (non-school) that has a non smoking policy except in one designated outside area. In order to get into the campus you have to pass through security which has a posted no smoking sign at the entrance. The designated smoking area within the campus has a designated smoking area sign. Do the other buildings in the campus need to have posted no smoking signs and if so, do they need to clearly state "no smoking within 25 feet of the building except in designated outdoor smoking areas"? or can they just have 'no smoking' with the symbol?
The longer version would be ideal. Signage that refers to the designated smoking area would likely be sufficient as well. I would guess that a campus approach would still work if the basic no smoking signage were used, but can't confirm.
We are developing a NC Campus project located in the Arab Gulf. Refering to the need of verify the pressure differentials between the smoking room and the surrounding areas and as it the project is not a hospitality neither a residential one:
- Did you have success by justifying it through calculations, without doing any testing?
- Any suggestion/experience of how to meet this requirement?
We have recently received a remark from a review that our designated smoking zone is not compliant since it is not 25 feet away from concentrations of building occupants and pedestrian traffic. The reference guide does not include this requirement for this prerequisite but it is mentioned in the implementation strategy. Not meeting a minimum distance (not mentioned) away from public concentrations of building occupants and pedestrian traffic should not be an issue to meet the requirement of this prerequisite. Has anyone had a similar feedback?
Yes - on an EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. project. The reviewers do not want people who must pass by an area to reach an entrance to a building (such as near an elevator lobby in a parking deck) to have to pass through ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. / 2nd hand smoke. This has come up on more recent reviews.
Has anyone successfully pursued Option 2 Case 2 (blower door testing) for type 1B multi-family project? Specifically, I'm interested in projects that utilize light-gauge metal framing with resilient channel. If so, by how much were you able to exceed the testing requirement of 1.25 sq. in./100 sq. ft. enclosure?
We have used blower door testing on several projects to verify that residential units were air sealed and tobacco smoke in one unit would not travel to adjacent units.
This not easy to achieve in projects with light gauge metal framing. Wood framed buildings are a bit easier, but can still require additional diligence to seal penetrations. While wood studs can sometimes help create an air barrier between one stud bayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. and another, metal studs and joist all have openings for routing wires, etc.
The effort is worthwhile: complaints from smoke odors passing between units can and do happen and are hard to fix. The air sealing also contributes to acoustic (and thermal) performance.
Some typical problem spots: pocket doors, soffits, can lights, wet walls with many penetrations, bundles of wires, and tub/shower enclosures that don’t have wall board behind them. Common walls between dwelling units may have staggered studs, or RC channel like you mention, so electrical outlets facing one unit could have an air pathway to an outlet facing the other unit even if they are in separate stud bays. In some cases “putty packs” to seal outlets in common walls might be useful.
One good reference is the EPA Thermal Bypass Checklist Guide used by LEED Homes, HERS raters and others: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/bldrs_lenders_raters/downloads/TBC...
One approach is to create a continuous air barrier with drywall at the common wall between units. This layer of drywall needs a small gap in the framing so is not interrupted by the interior walls within a dwelling unit that are perpendicular to that common wall. Since framing will usually be done before any drywall gets hung, the goal is to leave a gap between the common wall framing and the interior wall framing so that drywall can slide through that gap and be hung to create one continuous plane at the common wall. It’s not common practice, and requires coordination.
Expect the first project to have challenges. Consider finishing a sample unit before the others so you can do a pre-test and correct any issues. This can also provide a mock-up for orienting all the trades that can impact the air barrier.
Hope that helps!
My Building is a zero lot line building. The front of the building directly abuts a public sidewalk and the sides abut adjacent buildings. There is no smoking on site (indoors and on the roof deck), but how can I prohibit smoking 25 from the entrance?
Unfortunately there is only so much control the project can have in this instance. At minimum, you should show that adequate signage communicating smoking is prohibited 25 feet from the entrance has been installed or planned. Usually a photo, and or a plan indicating where signage will go is sufficient. While you can't corner off a 25 foot space in the zero lot line case, you can deter people from standing outside of the door to smoke. In this case, you also do not want to have a designated smoking area, i.e. an ash tray, and could state that in your documentation to strengthen the efforts the project has made to curb smoking.
I am working on a project that has installed signage near major entrances that prohibits smoking within 25 feet of all doors and windows. However, designated smoking areas beyond the 25 foot range have not been provided. Would the owner need to designate smoking areas in order to comply with this prerequisite, or is the signage alone sufficient?
Annalise, there is no requirement to provide designated smoking area(s).
We are doing a NC 2009 retail for fastfood project, the operator intend to have outdoor dining smoking zone
My question: if the outdoor dining smoking zone is 25 ft away from all the entrance, intake, window and etc.. is this acceptable by LEED?
Jackson, what you have described meets the LEED requirements. Was there anything you were particularly doubtful of?
If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETS and to pass the blower door tests.
Projects that have interior designated smoking areas will need to provide additional ventilation to these areas, as with other spaces.
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