NC-2009 IEQp2: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control

  • Multi-rating system IEQp2 Credit Requirements Diagram
  • May be the only legal option

    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.

    If smoking is allowed, stringent measures needed

    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.

    Warning: Get ready for your blower door test

    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.

    Use these questions to assess your project's compliance with this prerequisite

    • What is the project’s smoking policy?

    Smoking Not Allowed

    • If designated smoking areas are used, are they located 25 feet from entrances (primary and secondary), operable windows, and ventilation intakes?
    • Has the building indicated smoking areas and nonsmoking areas with appropriate signage?
    • Will smoking be prohibited on all areas of balconies and decks, even for private residences and hotel rooms, that are within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows of common spaces or other units?

    Smoking Allowed in Designated Interior Spaces

    • Has the mechanical system been designed to meet the necessary negative pressure requirements?
    • Have designated smoking areas been designed to adequately seal and minimize smoke transfer?
    • Have deck-to-deck partitions and other air-sealing construction practices been integrated into construction specifications?
    • Has a blower door or equivalent testing agent reviewed the construction documents to identify areas for potential air leakage?
    • Has the client been informed of the potential expense for blower door testing?
    • Has the contractor briefed subcontractors and installers about best practices for sealing smoking units?
    • Have air testing schedules been integrated in to the general construction schedule?

    FAQs for IEQp2

    Do I have to provide a designated smoking area?

    No—this is optional.

    Municipal law requires that our building be completely smoke-free inside. It also bans smoking next to the building, but it’s not as stringent as the 25 foot LEED requirement. Do we have to make another policy that bans smoking within 25 feet?

    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.

    How can I prohibit smoking 25 feet from the entrance of my project when it is a zero lot line and its entrance abuts a public sidewalk?

    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).

    Our outside smoking area is located less than 25 feet from an emergency exit. Is this okay since that door is rarely (if ever) used?

    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.

    How do you calculate the 25 ft. rule from designated smoking areas to building openings?

    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.

    We have a strict no-smoking policy and local smoking laws that all our employees are familiar with. Can we skip the signage?

    No. Visitors and other non-employees might not be familiar with the building policies or local smoking laws.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • 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.

Schematic Design

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  • 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.

Design Development

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  • 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.

Construction Documents

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  • 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.

Construction

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  • 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.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • 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.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Prerequisite 2: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control

    Required

    Intent

    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.).

    Requirements

    Option 1

    Prohibit smoking in the building.

    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.

    OR

    Option 2

    CASE 1. Non-Residential Projects

    Prohibit smoking in the building except in designated smoking areas.

    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.

    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.

    CASE 2. Residential and Hospitality Projects

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    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.

    FOOTNOTE

    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.

Technical Guides

IEQ Space Matrix - 2nd Edition

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.


IEQ Space Matrix - 1st Ed.

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.


U.S. Dept. of Energy - Air Sealing

Guidelines for proper air sealing techniques.


U.S. Dept. of Energy - Blower Door Tests

Provides general background on blower door tests.

Publications

Smoking In The Workplace: Guidelines For Implementing A Smoke Free Policy

This publication from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights details the legal basis for constructing a smoke-free workplace policy.


The Percentage of Gamblers Who Smoke: A Study of Nevada Casinos and other Gaming Venues (Chris A. Pritsos)

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.


Environmental Tobacco Smoke

This EPA document summarizes environmental tobacco smoke research and provides information on national laws targeting the issue.

Organizations

Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights

ANR advocates for non-smokers' interests and provides information for those wishing to prohibit smoking in public places.

Smoking Policy

All Options

Establish and communicate a policy prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of building openings.

Smoking Area Plan

All Options

Provide a map showing that designated outdoor smoking areas are 25 feet or more from building openings.

Pressurization and Air Leakage Testing

Provide drawings, data, and a narrative explaining pressurization and leakage rate testing protocols.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 IEQ

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."

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

228 Comments

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Devani PERERA Green Building Consultant ELAN
Apr 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
223 Thumbs Up

Smoking zone - away from pedestrian traffic

Hello,
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?

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Jeremy Kuhre Sustainable Buildings & Operations Manager Sustainable Solutions Corporation
Mar 06 2014
LEEDuser Member
648 Thumbs Up

Type 1B Multi-family

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?

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, GBD Architects Apr 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 16364 Thumbs Up

Jeremy,
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!

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant Community Environmental Center
Mar 04 2014
LEEDuser Member
19 Thumbs Up

Zero Lot Line Building

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?

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Seema Pandya Senior Sustainability Manager, YR&G sustainability Mar 04 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2434 Thumbs Up

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.

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Annalise Reichert LEED Project Coordinator Environmental Building Strategies
Jan 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
42 Thumbs Up

Option 1 with no dedicated smoking areas

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?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 13 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Annalise, there is no requirement to provide designated smoking area(s).

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Jackson .
Jan 01 2014
Guest
84 Thumbs Up

Smoking Zone for outdoor dining

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?

Thank you

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 13 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Jackson, what you have described meets the LEED requirements. Was there anything you were particularly doubtful of?

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Jackson . Jan 14 2014 Guest 84 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan,

After I read the reference guide, tsmoking zone is not allow, because it is near to the pedestrian walkway, I believe the smoking zone should be far away from people occupied area as well.

Thank you very much your reply

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María Fernanda Aguirre
Dec 03 2013
Guest
4 Thumbs Up

ANSI/ASTM-E779-03 vs E779-10

For Mid-rise residential buildings it is required to perform 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. according E779-03 but international ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services web site indicates that this standard has been superseded by ASTM E779-10. Some one knows which is the difference between them and why this information has not been updated in the USGBc web site at credit library section?. Thanks so much!

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4025 Thumbs Up

Hi Maria,

I don't know how the standard may have changed but since E779-03 is referenced specifically in the rating system language, that would be the safer standard to follow. But there may be good reason to use the updated standard and if you wanted to do that I would submit a project specific 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 to get clearance before conducting the testing.

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Mallory Schaus Energy Engineer Primera Engineers
Dec 02 2013
LEEDuser Member
9 Thumbs Up

Residential Units - Pressure Testing

We have a residential (apartment) building that is allowing smoking on one of the floors. After blower door testing and reparations, we have met the requirement for unit sealing. The rooms are served ventilation via a central system with under-door cuts into each unit, and we intend to show compliance via design for proper positive pressure differential from the hallways to the space (in lieu of weatherstripping).

Will we also need to complete pressure testing for these units, per the non-residential requirement? Or will the mechanical design documentation suffice?

Thanks!

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Jeremy Kuhre Sustainable Buildings & Operations Manager, Sustainable Solutions Corporation Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 648 Thumbs Up

Mallory,

Have you received any feedback from your review team on this or filed 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? We have a similar situation, and I'm very interested to understand how "smoking floors" might be handled in a residential project. Thanks!

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Omar ElRawy
Dec 02 2013
Guest
278 Thumbs Up

Filter on Zone's Exhaust

I need to know if I should place filter on the smoking zones' exhaust duct?
If yes, should it be HEPA filter as it is placed on the schematic diagram in the reference guide?

Thanks.

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4025 Thumbs Up

Omar,

I don't think that any specific filtration is required for a smoking zone's exhaust system for the LEED prerequisite. The requirement is for the smoking area to be exhausted directly to the outdoors without recirculation and to demonstrate sufficient isolation of the space from other areas of the building.

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Deborah Ebersole Principal Studio D Consulting + Design
Oct 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
13 Thumbs Up

ETS Signage Requirements

We submitted a project for review on a campus which prohibits smoking both in the building and the entire campus site. We provided the campus policy as well the campus poster indicating the policy. Our review comments were: '...the drawings / photographs confirming signage system communicating the exterior smoking policy have not been provided as required. Note that a campus policy is insufficient to achieve this prerequisite. Signage must be provided to communicate the building smoking policy to all occupants, visitors, and passersby, including those individuals who may be unfamiliar with the policy.' Since smoking is prohibited everywhere on the campus, will no-smoking signage on the building entry doors satisfy this requirement?

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Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic President & CEO, A SustainAble Production Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 47 Thumbs Up

We just had the same thing happen on a response we received from GBCI. The entire property is no smoking. We have signs all over the building exterior, at every entrance stating, "No Smoking On Property". We have marked up our plans to show this signage and received the following technical advice, "Please provide documentation of the exterior signage system communicating the non-smoking policy. Ensure that the documentation indicates that smoking is prohibited on-site or within 25 feet of all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows." Can anyone tell me what else GBCI is looking for? I have submitted this same documentation for numerous other projects and never had an issue.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Expert 12216 Thumbs Up

I have had to document the signage was posted on the exterior portions of the campus and on the interior of the building. This was in addition to a policy letter. I took photos from my car (felt like a weird signage stalker) of the exterior campus entry signs, signs on the exterior doors and the ones inside where people have been caught trying to sneak a cig.

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Mallory Schaus Energy Engineer, Primera Engineers Dec 02 2013 LEEDuser Member 9 Thumbs Up

USGBC typically requires actual photographs of the signage. It isn't enough to indicate where they are located on plans; rather, documentation should include detail drawings of the signs (if not yet constructed) or photographs of the actual signage, to demonstrate that they meet all requirements.

The reason they won't allow an all-campus policy to meet the requirement is that if someone were to visit the campus (non-student or staff), they would need to be informed visually of the smoking restrictions.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Mar 05 2014 LEEDuser Member 264 Thumbs Up

Hi Jennifer and Deb,

What happened with your projects regarding signage on the exterior doors? Was that accepted? Or were you required to have additional exterior signage?

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Deborah Ebersole Principal, Studio D Consulting + Design Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 13 Thumbs Up

Heather,

We added signage at both of the exterior doors and at the building windows that were located along the adjacent walk path. We supplied the graphic and photos of the signage in place and the point was approved.

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Haytham Mohamed Abdel Rahman Project Architect & LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Homes, ND Architects Crang & Boak Inc
Sep 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

Alternative Test Method for Blower Door Test.

We have a medium high-rise residential tower on Abu Dhabi, 4 apartments each floor, the return and supply for each flat are not connected with each others, the fire damper is located above the false ceiling faraway from ceiling opening door, not possible to access this point and to close off the damper temporary, also the damper can't be closed from automation network because it is not automatically controlled/monitored.

-Under ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services E779-03 Procedure, item # 8.2 “HVAC balancing dampers and registers should not be adjusted. Fireplace and other operable dampers should be closed unless they are used to pass air to pressurize or de-pressurize the building.”

-Obviously there will be a leak when conduct 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. since the damper will stay open adverse to test procedure.

-We would recommend using: "BSEN 13829:2001 'Determination of Air Permeability of buildings by Fan Pressurization' and ATTMA TS L1 'Measuring Air Permeability of Building Envelopes' since the test standard is approved by ABU Dhabi Green Building Rating System "Estidama"

-Under the later All openings inside the apartment (includes A/C grill) will be sealed with polyethylene sheet, hard board and masking tape, adverse to the former test (ASTM) with regard to keep forced air unit supply and return ducts without sealing, solving the problem of opened damper.

-Do you think GBCI will approve the mentioned alternative test method.

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Haytham Mohamed Abdel Rahman Project Architect & LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Homes, ND, Architects Crang & Boak Inc Oct 10 2013 LEEDuser Member 8 Thumbs Up

I received the below reply from GBCI:

Thank you for your patience as I coordinated with the GBCI Energy Team regarding your questions on EQp2 for XXXXXX. They reviewed your emails and provided the following response:

The proposed approach to seal all openings in the apartment, in lieu of closing the dampers, is an acceptable strategy. However, the ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services E779-03 Test Procedure should still be used to document compliance. Thus the alternative test procedures referenced in your follow-up email would not be acceptable without further review via a formal inquiry.

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Ilana Judah Director of Sustainability FXFOWLE
Sep 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
276 Thumbs Up

Timing of blower door tests

When can 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. take place? Can it be done when the drywall has been completed or do the cabinetry and appliances need to be installed as well?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

As far as I know the timing of blower door tests is not specified by the referenced standards, and is not specified by the LEED language, so you could perform it at the most reasonable time for the project, in accordance with the credit intent. 

My concern here would be that installation of nonmovable furniture could cause wall or other penetrations that would allow leakage. I would take steps to avoid this and/or hold off on testing.

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Daniel Garavito
Aug 09 2013
Guest
41 Thumbs Up

Signatory Statement and Signage

We are currently working in a project located in New York City. The owner owns the entire floor where the project is located. Because of thet I have a couple of questioss:

1- As what stated before, can the Project's owner deliever the signatory statement or it has to be the building's managaer who has to provide this?

2-In signage, it has to state clearly the 25 ft requierement of just by showing the no-smoking signs located in the building is enough?

Thank you

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Daniel, the most recent version of this form that I looked at called for owner/agent signature. 

I don't understand your second question—can you try rephrasing?

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Crissy Tsai Sustainability Coordinator Webcor Builders
Jul 16 2013
LEEDuser Expert
783 Thumbs Up

No Smoking Signs

Where do the no smoking signs need to be located? All exterior doors? Only ingress doors?

Thanks,
Crissy

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 17 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Crissy, I would not think it necessary to post signs at doors that will not be used for ingress.

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Jos Schild Royal HaskoningDHV Aug 05 2013 LEEDuser Member 74 Thumbs Up

Tristan, and the signs for the no smoking area outside the building? Is one sign on each entrance door enough? regards, Jos

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adi ashkenazi
Jul 07 2013
Guest
50 Thumbs Up

How can I provide blower door test results before occupancy?

Hi,
On the credit form I must upload 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. results but this credit is a design phase credit and the test is only after construction is complete. Can someone share how they solved this conflict?
Thanx

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 16 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

A design phase credit does not have to be submitted at the design phase—it could be more appropriate to submit after construction, depending on your compliance path. I would simply submit after you have your testing results.

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LILACH RAZ Aug 04 2013 Guest 5 Thumbs Up

Good Morning,
Our problem is that we have a design and construction compliance path. If we wouldn't supply 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. results, the credit's demands are not met.
Thanks

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Peter Doo President, Doo Consulting, LLC Sep 27 2013 LEEDuser Member 3069 Thumbs Up

You can defer the design credit review and submit it with the construction credits. As I recall, you simply do not mark it as complete.

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JOHANNA SENOTT Architect / Environmental adviser EA Energia y Arquitectura
Jun 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
483 Thumbs Up

Residential private units vs natural ventilation

We are working on a residential project that will be naturally ventilated and we were discussing whether smoking will be allowed inside the apartments. Would that not create a conflict regarding any sealing test?

What would be the approach concerning this prerequisite, since windows and doors to balconies will probably be open?

If smoking is prohibited inside the apartments, would the prerequisite be achieved, even without conducting 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.?

Any thoughts or experience?

Thanks in advance...

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 16 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

If smoking will be allowed inside units, it seems to me that there would be a conflict if any units have openings within 25 feet of each other, particularly if there are operable windows that are expected to be open. I had never contemplated this exact situation, but that seems like the clear answer.

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Bonnie Saxon Ethos Three Architecture
May 20 2013
LEEDuser Member
16 Thumbs Up

No Smoking Signs

We are designing a "High-End" Office Building and Owner does not want the typical white/red no smoking signage at the entrances of the building. Is it acceptable to have specialty signs made up that reflect the design of the building, utilizing the company colors etc.,?

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Omar Katanani May 22 2013 LEEDuser Member 6904 Thumbs Up

I don't see why not. LEED doesn't specify a certain format / design of the signage.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz May 22 2013 LEEDuser Expert 12216 Thumbs Up

Agreeing with Omar. I've seen a wide variety of signage for this credit and often not in white/red. The last project that was certified had signs in black letters on a yellow background.

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd.
May 14 2013
LEEDuser Member
1186 Thumbs Up

smoking is allowed in hotel guest rooms

Hi,
Our project is mixed use commercial office building including hotel. There are about 100 guest rooms on hotel floors, and smoking is permitted in 30% of these rooms. Is it acceptable to apply case 1 option 2 for smoking guest rooms? There is a clearance under door of guest room to insert newspapers under the door, so it is impossible to have the door to be wetherstripping.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Referring to the credit language above you could need to follow Option 2, Case 2. 

I think you are asking if you can follow Option 2, Case 1 instead, and treat each guest room like a dedicated smoking room?

I do not think this would be allowed by the credit language, and you would need to seek 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. to have it allowed. You would need to spell out how you could meet the requirements of that case, including a realistic assessment of the HVAC requirements.

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Shakir Ismail Senior Sustainability Associate, LEED AP (BD+C) KEO International Consultants
Apr 21 2013
LEEDuser Member
111 Thumbs Up

Requirements for Hotel Projects

Hi Everyone,

Just to confirm I have this straight:

For designated hotel smoking rooms / smoking restaurants / bars / etc. Do I need to provide a dedicated negative pressure exhaust system in addition to (weather stripping of doors & windows, sealing penetrations and air blower tests) Or is it an either/or option?
Is there a section in the Ref Guide or 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. that clearly addresses this?

Thanks,

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Isaac Chan Project Engineer, BNSF Apr 23 2013 Guest 44 Thumbs Up

Shakir,

The guideline states under the implementation section that "if interior smoking areas are incorporated within the building, install separate ventilation systems" ... "test their effectiveness to ensure that they are isolated from the non-smoking portions of the building".

Thus, a dedicated exhaust system is needed for all rooms that allows smoking. But there apparently are no specific requirements for negative pressure if you use case 2 (residential and hospitality projects).

For hotels (hospitality projects), weather stripping, sealing and etc. are needed for all doors or operable windows which separates
- the building and the exterior
- the building and potential smoking partitions (rooms, areas, etc)

This is in addition to the dedicated exhaust system as previously stated. However, you should note that if you opt for case 2 (Residential & hospitality projects only), all common areas of the building, such as a restaurant or bar, will have to be designated as non-smoking.

Source: Reference guide + leed online submittals (the format of the submittals seems to indicate this as well)

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Shakir Ismail Senior Sustainability Associate, LEED AP (BD+C), KEO International Consultants May 05 2013 LEEDuser Member 111 Thumbs Up

Thanks Isaac.

I beg to differ though. It doesn't make sense to completely prohibit smoking in a restaurant or bar in a hotel that has a designated room for smoking with the required exhaust system and pressure differentional. 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. ID# 610 states "...the project team and owner may wish to consider creating a fully contained smoking section within the facility that meets the requirements set forth under the prerequisite."

Is there a formal definition for the term "common areas of the building" that you or anyone on this forum knows of?

Thanks,
Shakir

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María Fernanda Aguirre Architect LEED AP BD + C - LEED AP ID + C Renato Miranda and Associates
Apr 19 2013
Guest
165 Thumbs Up

Smoking Prohibition in a Border Crossing Building

We are assessing the possibility of pursuing LEED Certification for a Complex of four buildings at the Border Crossing between Chile and Argentina. One of these buildings is residential and will house the Customs officers and employees bedrooms and resting areas. In this particular building, the architect is considering an smoking designated room (which complies with the exhaust and isolation requirements) but we think this building must comply with requirements for Residential Projects which means non-smoking indoor and 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.. Are we right? or is enough to comply by providing the designated smoking area?.

Thanks in advance.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Maria, it depends on whether you would classify the buildnig as simply "non-residential" and follow Case 1, or "residential or hospitality" and follow Case 2. Sounds like this could be debated on your project, but that Case 2 may be most appropriate. In that situation, you are right.

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E H Sustainability Architect
Apr 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
2300 Thumbs Up

enlosed smoking room outside the building

Hello, I have a project that does not allow smoking within the building. However, there are small one room kiosks outside the building that allow smoking. These small structures are more than 25 ft from the building. My question is, do I have to designate these rooms as "smoking rooms" and provide pressure differentials, air pressure report, etc, even though these rooms are outside the building? Or do these spaces qualify as "designated smoking area". Thanks for your feedback.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

If the room is as you describe, a kiosk 25 feet or more from the building and not connected to other, non-smoking spaces, I could just call it a designated smoking area.

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Omar ElRawy
Mar 13 2013
Guest
278 Thumbs Up

Smoking zone area limit

I have an office building of six floors, I need to know If there's a limitation to the percent of smoking zones, in other words, can I make two floors out of the six floors as smoking zones?
in that case, can I recirculate return air of each of these two floors?

knowing that LEED recommendations states that:
"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 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.-containing air to nonsmoking areas.."

so I might be able to recirculate ETS-containing air to smoking areas normally.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Omar, I don't see why you couldn't take this approach, if you meet the credit requirements that are given.

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Omar ElRawy Mar 25 2013 Guest 278 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan, I just think that it doesn't make sense to have no limitations on the smoking zones' percentage out of the whole building.
In other words, why not permit smoking inside the whole building, and design a non-smoking zone on each floor for example?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 25 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

On the principle that non-smokers shouldn't be subject to smoking. Nonsmokers shouldn't have to navigate lobbies, corridors, elevators, stairs, bathrooms, etc, with smoke, in order to reach a nonsmoking refuge. Also, I would say that operations and maintenance staff shouldn't be exposed to 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. any more than necessary, so keeping smoking to a designated area helps with that.

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Omar ElRawy Mar 25 2013 Guest 278 Thumbs Up

That explains it perfectly, thanks

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator Opsis Architecture
Mar 01 2013
LEEDuser Member
264 Thumbs Up

Smoking on balconies in residential and hospitality projects

LEEDuser states that a project should ask itself "Will smoking be prohibited on all areas of balconies and decks, even for private residences and hotel rooms, that are within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows of common spaces or other units" to determine if it will meet IEQp2. However, the Reference Guide does not say anything about "other units" for Residential/Hospitality. It states "Locate any exterior designated smoking areas, including balconies where smoking is permits, at least 35 feet from entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows opening to common areas.” It seems the guide specifically does not include private units.
Additionally the Guide states that weather stripping exterior doors and windows in the residential units is to “minimize leakage from outdoors” which seems to support allowing smoking on neighboring balconies. Any thoughts as to what is actually required?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Mar 08 2013 LEEDuser Expert 902 Thumbs Up

Heather, in our experience the requirement is "any opening". However the vast majority of our projects elect to completely ban smoking, or choose that path when they cannot meet the blower door requirements.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture May 08 2013 LEEDuser Member 264 Thumbs Up

Hi, just wanted to bump this back up into the conversation in case anyone else has had direct experience with the hotel room balconies question. Thanks-

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 09 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Heather, based on your reading of the requirements, I see your point, but I'm not sure I really like the answer. I agree with Ante that I have always focused on the "any opening" aspect of the requirements. I think what you're seeing may be a loophole, and not the intended result. However, maybe it is intended. I would suggest contacting GBCI for feedback, and post back here what you learn.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture May 09 2013 LEEDuser Member 264 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan. I frequently teach exam prep and was asked this question by a student. Since it is not a real project, I can't 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. I am definitely not advocating for smoking, or inhaling someone else's 2nd hand smoke. But I do like to know exactly what is required, and then progress to what would be the best approach to meet the fullest intent for a strategy, not just stick with the lowest baseline.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 09 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Hypothetical questions can be really hard in LEED. Without an owner or someone driving the project team intent in a certain direction, I find that it is easier to get tied up in knots by wording.

If you really want to know, just contact GBCi via their website. You don't need to 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.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture May 09 2013 LEEDuser Member 264 Thumbs Up

yeah - I get a lot of those. But it does keep it interesting, plus a way for me to learn something new about LEED every day :)
I didn't realize I could directly ask GBCI without a project to go along with the question. I will do that, then post back here when I hear back. Thanks Tristan!

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Heather Holdridge Sustainability Coordinator Lake/Flato Architects
Feb 28 2013
LEEDuser Member
1181 Thumbs Up

Designated smoking area in park project?

Our project is a gathering & educational space located within a huge park. We plan to have signages saying no smoking inside and within 25 ft of the building. Howver, other than the project site, smoking is allowed in the entire park. In such a case, do we still need to have a designated smoking area and provide signage for that near our building?

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Ante Vulin Sustainability Manager, YR&G Mar 08 2013 LEEDuser Expert 902 Thumbs Up

By having signage prohibiting smoking or within 25 feet of the building you are complying with Option 1 for this Prerequisite, and nothing further is required.

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Jan 09 2013
LEEDuser Member
394 Thumbs Up

specifics of signage

Owner would prefer if the sign did not have the "noisy" icon of a "ghostbusters" red circle with line through it and a cigarette. Would prefer if it was just text stating "This is a clean air facility. No smoking on premises." This would also be in braille.

is LEED going to have a problem with this?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 06 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Michael, it would be nice if there were specific standards in place for signage like this. However, I'm not aware that USGBC has published any. I think your sign sounds fine but I couldn't say for sure.

If you are submitting this as Design credit, you will have a chance to change it, in case the LEED reviewer objects.

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Kris Phillips Architect Arcadis
Nov 04 2012
LEEDuser Member
440 Thumbs Up

Signatory

My understanding is that the Owner must place her/his initials in the Signatory box for credits such as this one (No Smoking). Please correct me if I am wrong, but the Mechanical Engineer is not allowed to place her/his initials acting as "agent" for the owner are they?

Thanks! - Kris Phillips

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Nov 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 12216 Thumbs Up

You are correct, the person needs to be the owner and the LO computers are smart enough to know that the engineer signed the form instead of the owner. Sit down with the owner and walk them through the whole process. Bring donuts.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Nov 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 3826 Thumbs Up

On this topic of Owner signatory, what do you suggest when the Owner does not ever log into LEED Online? We are agents for most if not all of our Owners and many of them never go online at all. Our Owners aren't interested in being walked through this process, donuts or no donuts. They pay us to handle the online process for them.

We are seeing a raft of reviewer comments about the Owner not being assigned to the credit and us signing off for them, despite our executed Agent agreement form. I can only assume this is because we cannot actually assign the Owner contact to the credit when they don't go online. As far as I know, it can't be done.

We have an uploaded executed Agent form that says we are able to sign off on their behalf. If we can't assign them to the credit, how are we supposed to address this to the USGBCs satisfaction?

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Nov 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 12216 Thumbs Up

I literally sit them down and force them to log in and sign them. It is the only thing I find that works with the owner. Invite them to LEED Online, call them when you know they have gotten the invitation, walk them through the sign up process and then make the appointment. I show up, get them logged on (often doing it for them which is why I am on the phone when they sign up), and roll them through the credits they need to sign. It is a 20 minute process and a pain for both of us. You have to find some way to make it a fun process and easy on them. But the intent of these signatures is for the owner to engage in the process and not outsource to consultants. If the person you interact with is a 'construction' person for the owner and they pass it off to a 'facility' person, then that person may be more interested and will sign things for you. You may need to find someone else at the owner to sign the forms.

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Kris Phillips Architect, Arcadis Nov 05 2012 LEEDuser Member 440 Thumbs Up

On the projects that I have worked on to date in LEED 2009, I have walked the owner through placing their initials. As Susan mentions, it's a pain, but it has to be done. If you make it clear to them that without their initials, there is no certification, they will usually comply - if reluctantly. As Susan said, our job is to try to make it as easy and painless as possible (can't say I've managed to make it "fun"...). I realize that the online Forms know WHO is placing their initials - which is why I always have the owner do it - or for other signatories, whichever discipline is the responsible one.

My hope was that the GBCI had updated or created an addenda (hard to keep up with all the addenda) allowing us to sign on behalf of our client. It would seem the answer is "No." If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know.

Thanks! - Kris Phillips

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