This credit requires compliance with a varied group of items that cumulatively help keep pollutants out of the indoor air. These requirements include self-closing doors on janitors' closets, MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration on mechanical equipment, and entryway trackoff systems.
Compliance will require the coordination of team members—including the mechanical engineer, architect, plumbing engineer, and contractor—and also impact project design and operations. The basic requirements are:
In addition to tobacco smoke, covered in IEQp2, one of the greatest sources of indoor pollutants is the dirt and other contaminants brought into buildings on people’s shoes. This material is tracked through the building interior, increasing the need and frequency for cleaning, and the wear on interior finishes. Dust can also be introduced into ventilation systems and distributed throughout a building, negatively effecting indoor air quality.
While it takes a lot of coordination to meet the many credit requirements, this is generally a low-cost credit. The most significant impact may come if MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13-compatible air-handling equipment is not initially specified, as redesigning mechanical systems can be costly. In some situations, especially when using heat pumps, HVAC systems cannot accept MERV 13 filters because they are not able to draw air through such a thick filter.
MERV 13 filtration results in an energy-use trade-off. While MERV 13 filters offer a greater level of air filtration and, consequently, increased indoor air quality, they also increase resistance to airflow and fan energy loads. If you can separate space conditioning from ventilation and use radiant systems for all or most of the space conditioning, you can minimize this energy penalty.
Multifamily residential and hotel projects may have difficulty achieving this credit due to the MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration requirement. These projects often do not have base-building HVAC systems; they use PTACs instead, which generally cannot be fitted with MERV 13 filters. If a project has forced air systems and MERV-13 filtration is not used, then you cannot pursue or achieve this credit. Naturally ventilated buildings do not have to meet the MERV 13 filtration requirement, as air filtration will not be part of system design.
When LEED 2009 was launched, this credit included language calling for containment drains in laboratory spaces where chemicals are mixed. However, the requirement was vague and it wasn't clear how to document it. Fortunately, in the July 2010 LEED addenda issued by USGBC, this requirement was removed.
There is no definitive information from USGBC on this one way or another. It is recommended that project teams do their best to find low-emitting options for IEQc5, and that IEQc4.3 compliance is recommended.
However, LEEDuser has heard that project teams have had success not including track-off mats, such as the type with grilles and small strips of carpeting. Also, mats that are removed for cleaning are not permanently installed and thus not subject to credit requirements. If used as track-off surfaces, carpet tiles should be certified, however, and are available with the requisite certifications.
There is not an official glossary definition that LEEDuser is aware of. However, various references indicate that LEED views "high volume" as one or more printers in an area totaling more than 40,000 copies (20,000 double sided) per month. The number is based on "expected" use, not capacity. This definition can be found in LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #1938 issued 1/7/2008, for example, and although that Interpretation is not applicable to LEED 2009, the number 40,000 has appeared in enough places that we view it as a solid number.
If the copiers print less than 40,000 pages/month (20,000 pages double-sided) you do not need to install dedicated exhaust, self-closing doors and deck-to-deck partitions. Additionally, if you use printers that do not emit VOC’s or other harmful contaminants into the indoor environment, you can make a case for exemption.
LEED Interpretation #10098, dated 8/1/2011, states that "The intent for the entryway system (grilles, grates, walk-off mats) is to capture dirt and dust. An exception to the 10 foot length and/or indoor location is acceptable provided your alternative solution meets this intent and is thoroughly justified."
Project teams have been successful including exterior mats that are protected from the weather and regularly cleaned. LEEDuser has not heard of a project successfully gaining an exception to the 10-foot requirement, however. In situations where an irregular shaped mat makes sense, teams should consider whether people entering the building will travel at least 10 feet over a mat, and not be able to short-circuit it. A short narrative explaining the impediments and how your solution meets the standard established by the LEED Interpretation is recommended.
These entrances are those that are used by building occupants on a regular basis. If your project has unique circumstances where certain building entrances are not regularly used or do not serve building occupants, they may be excluded. For example, emergency exits that are not used as regular entrances can often be excluded.
LEED Interpretation #5266 made on 05/30/2007 states that the requirements are applicable only to entrances from the outdoors.
Yes, carpet tile applies per LEED Interpretation Ruling #10252. Some project teams have preferred to use carpet tile due to ease of maintenance and avoidance of trip hazards. The carpet tile must be specifically designed for entryway systems. Regular carpeting that is not designed for this purpose and does not have regular cleaning is not applicable.
LEEDuser has not seen an official ruling on this, but our expert consensus is no.
One, replacing a physical control with a policy control is a bit of a downgrade. Two, 100% avoidance of hazardous chemicals in cleaning is unlikely. The green cleaning purchasing credit in EBOM, for example, considers 30% good enough to earn the credit. Also, the thresholds, categories, and standards referenced in that credit will only go so far in preventing use of any cleaning supplies that might generate gases or chemicals that should be exhausted.
Identify programming requirements for special-use spaces such as high-volume copy rooms (40,000 pages or more per month), laboratories, art rooms, chemical storage, housekeeping areas, and other spaces that may expose occupants to hazardous materials.
Identify space requirements for entryway walk-off mats. Review the impact that the required ten-foot entryway systems will have on common areas, lobbies, and other interior spaces adjacent to building entries. Remember that the entryway systems have to be installed at all regularly used entrances from exterior spaces, including entrances from a covered parking garage into the building.
The LEED Reference Guide states that entryway systems need to be on the interior of the building or in an interior vestibule. It is recommended that projects pursuing this credit with the intent of using an exterior entryway system (either permanent or rollout) consult the GBCI or your certification board via email to verify credit compliance. It is usually accepted that exterior walk-off systems are allowed if they are properly sheltered from weather; that would typically mean some kind of roof, but additional shelter may be warranted depending on local conditions.
Review the potential for using MERV 13 filtration on ventilation systems. Systems with low fan power or filtration size limits may not be able to accommodate MERV 13 filters. Also, many residential and hotel projects use PTACs, or similar packaged systems, which cannot accommodate MERV 13 filters. Any mechanical ventilation must be designed with MERV 13 filters in mind.
If you can use radiant heating and cooling for space conditioning and separate that function from ventilation, you’ll be moving a lot less air and meeting the MERV 13 requirement won’t be nearly as big a deal, due to fewer and smaller ducts and filters.
Include mechanical engineers and design consultants for special-use spaces such as science labs early in the design process.
This is usually a low-cost credit. However, the MERV 13 filtration requirement can increase operational costs for added energy use and more frequent filter changes. If your ventilation system is not typically sized to accommodate a MERV 13 filter, you may have to choose a new system or have one custom-designed, which can add cost. Customization may include resizing ductwork, increasing fan capacity to maintain air delivery despite the added resistance of MERV 13 filtration, or other modifications to system design.
Design an adequate space for ten-foot entryway systems at all regularly accessed building entries. Evaluate all other building entrances—such as employee and service doors—for regular use, which may require entryway systems or roll-out mats.
Determine the type of entryway system that's best for your project. If you install permanent grates, grilles, or slotted entry systems, you will not be required to have a plan for cleaning, although those systems will still need periodic cleaning (less frequently than roll-off mats). However, if you decide to use rollout mats, you'll need to have a contract in place for weekly cleaning. The contract for weekly cleaning can be incorporated into any existing contract but must be clearly spelled out.
While roll-off mats are acceptable, additional documentation (service contracts and schedules) is required to confirm that the mats will be cleaned on a weekly basis. They cost more up-front, but permanent entryway systems provide better performance, require less maintenance, and are easier to document for LEED compliance.
Entryway systems should be climate-specific. For example, regions with high rainfall may choose high void-volume mats—for trapping dirt below the mat surface and fast drying. In regions where mud and snow are a greater source of contaminants, open-loop entry mats may be more appropriate.
Design in space for additional ductwork that might be needed to provide designated exhaust for all garages, high-volume copy rooms, janitors’ closets, science labs, workshops, art rooms, or any other spaces that may be used for mixing and storage of chemicals or hazardous materials. You need to design the exhaust system so that each space with hazardous material has negative pressure in respect to adjacent spaces. For each of these spaces, be sure to include self-closing doors, and deck-to-deck partitions or hard-lid ceilings.
Strategies for space planning may include:
When planning for space allocation to meet credit requirements, consider strategies like merging exhaust systems into a single, main, designated exhaust, or stacking chemical use areas over each other on different floors to minimize ductwork.
Provide adequate space for storage and containment of hazardous liquids.
Hazardous storage containers should be located in a secure area outdoors and away from air intakes.
Develop an outline of all the IEQc5 requirements that apply to your project, and confirm that the schematic design accommodates each one.
Adding ductwork to meet credit requirements can add costs; incorporate space-planning strategies to minimize this issue.
Once programming and space allocations have been determined, confirm that each of the relevant credit requirements is met, as detailed below.
Confirm that all mechanical ventilation systems can accommodate MERV 13 filtration on outdoor and make-up air supply.
If roll-out mats are used, make selections appropriate to the climate. The following specifics are also recommended in the LEED Reference Guide:
Confirm that chemical disposal areas meet local codes for separate drain lines or containment drains.
Confirm that all chemical storage areas, high-volume copy rooms, etc. have:
Locate hazardous waste storage containers away from outdoor air intakes.
Develop all required documentation for LEED submittal, including floor plans indicating locations and lengths of entryway systems, wall details (for deck-to-deck partitions), mechanical drawings showing locations of designated exhaust systems, and mechanical schedules specifying MERV 13 filtration.
For all spaces that may contain hazardous gas (such as garages, janitors' closets, and labs), calculate exhaust rates to confirm adequate negative pressurization. The pressurization requirements are:
Include credit requirements in all appropriate specification sections. Include the general requirements in Division 1 and others in specialties or furnishings (for the entryway systems) and HVAC (for filtration and other mechanical requirements).
Projects that use their own maintenance staff for regular cleaning of rollout entryway systems must provide a cleaning schedule and narrative along with their documentation.
Develop documentation customized for LEED submission—complete with LEED-related notes, callouts, and details—concurrently with the finalized construction documents.
The contractor is the signatory for IEQc5, even though it's a design credit. Have the contractor review 100% of the construction documents to confirm compliance before completing the design submittal. Otherwise, the credit may have to be deferred until the construction submittal.
Use temporary ventilation systems instead of the permanent HVAC units during construction. This prevents contamination of new ductwork during the construction process.
Use MERV 8 filtration on any permanent mechanical system equipment used during construction. This adds to construction management tasks and could easily be overlooked and lead to loss of the credit. (This requirement appears in the LEED Online credit form as of 10/09, even though it does not appear in the credit language or LEED Reference Guide.)
Make sure that compliance and coordination with this credit is called out in the IAQ management plan if your project is pursuing IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan—During Construction.
Ventilation and exhaust systems and proper filtration should be included in the commissioning scope for the commissioning credits EAp1 and EAc3.
Provide appropriate training for maintaining entryway systems. If roll-out mats are used, maintain a weekly schedule for cleaning.
Provide adequate training and education for all O&M and cleaning staff in appropriate handling, use, storage, and disposal of hazardous liquids.
Provide appropriate resources and training for O&M personnel to maintain mechanical equipment with MERV 13 filters.
Mechanical systems have to be commissioned to meet the commissioning prerequisite EAp1. The commissioning agent's scope should include confirming appropriate MERV ratings on filtration media and proper operation of designated exhaust systems.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To minimize building occupant exposure to potentially hazardous particulates and chemical pollutants.
Design to minimize and control the entry of pollutants into buildings and later cross-contamination of regularly occupied areas through the following strategies:
Design facility cleaning and maintenance areas with isolated exhaust systems for contaminants. Maintain physical isolation from the rest of the regularly occupied areas of the building. Install permanent architectural entryway systems such as grills or grates to prevent occupant-borne contaminants from entering the building. Install high-level filtration systems in air handling units processing both return air and outside supply air. Ensure that air handling units can accommodate required filter sizes and pressure drops.
The Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project is a governmental and nonprofit project that provides fact sheets, tools, and links.
According to the website, IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Design Tools for Schools “provides both detailed guidance as well as links to other information resources to help design new schools as well as repair, renovate, and maintain existing facilities. Though its primary focus is on indoor air quality, it is also intended to encourage school districts to embrace the concept of designing High Performance Schools, an integrated, whole building approach to addressing a myriad of important—and sometimes competing—priorities, such as energy efficiency, indoor air quality, daylighting, materials efficiency, and safety, and doing so in the context of tight budgets and limited staff."
Environmental Building News feature article describing the benefits and design choices for entryway walk-off systems.
Environmental Building News feature article explaining the various types of air filters, how their performance is measured, and ways to optimize their effectiveness.
Facilitiesnet article covering the basics of air filtration, drawbacks and benefits, standard practices and basic concepts.
Table of filtration efficiencies and their subsequent filtration properties and common applications. Good background on MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 13 filtration.
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.
A floor plan like this project example is required to document the presence of entryway track-off systems, length and location. Note that this sample shows six-foot entryway systems because the project predated LEED 2009. For LEED 2009, the systems need to be ten feet in length.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 IEQ credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
Our Office building is ventilated with only 100% Outside Air Systems and thus there is no recirculation.
Table IEQc5-1 of the LEEDOnline form is asking for "isolated exhaust system areas", leading us to that question:
-- Our exhaust air ducts for copy rooms and laundry areas do combine at some point with exhaust air ducts from the office zones into a main single exhaust line directed to the outside.
Would that be considered as a designated/isolated exhaust system?
Thanks for your help!
Do we need to provide a direct exhaust for the copy corners and another for the laundry even if there is NO recirculation?
Charline - great question. We have the same situation on another project.
Yes, for this credit, you can combine the general building exhaust with the copy and laundry room general exhaust when there is no recirculation. Heat recovery from the exhaust will benefit from the extra load (hopefully the project has that as well).
If your building is 100% outside air / no recirculation then it's acceptable to combine the exhaust from those rooms with general building exhaust - the intent is to not recirculate contaminated air. If there are highly contaminated exhaust streams (e.g. labs, hospitals) that were required by code to be exhausted separately, then obviously you would still need to do so. Copy rooms and laundry rooms are fine.
It looks like Dylan and I responded simultaneously - it's a good thing we were consistent :)
Dylan and Mara, thank you both!
- and yes it is intended for heat recovery, that's perfect!
One of my residential projects will have terraces on a few floors that are accessible to occupants (part of the amenity spaces). I wouldn't think an entryway system would apply here, but since the reference guide language was changed from 'high-traffic' to 'regularly used' exterior to interior entrances, I can't be too sure. I'd assume a residential terrace would be used fairly often in Manhattan, so is it regularly used? Has anyone ever experienced reviewer comments on terrace entryways for this credit?
This requirement is aimed at the major building entrances. Unless the terraces are the main entrance to each apartment, I wouldn't expect a GBCI comment on this item.
Has anyone been successful with a variance on the 10'-0" walk off-matt rule based on the limitations of a historic building? My building has an 8'-0" vestibule at the 2 main entrances. We have installed 6'-0" permanent walk off systems (metal grate in the floor) in the direction of egress. Do I need to add 4'-0" of roll-away matts on the other side of the vestibule to be compliant, or can we contend that the existing vestibule size only allowed for a 6'-0" walk-off system? The vestibule is a typical air lock type entry with two sets of doors (one at the exterior and on into the building). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Todd, see the FAQ above about variances from 10 feet. You're not likely to get any special treatment as a historic building.
I didn't think so, but thought it was worth a question. I will advise the client to install the additional 4'-0" of roll-off matt (with weekly maintainance).
As always, thanks...
I've been asked to evaluate a recycled rubber entry system under the "carpet tile" concept. I think it might fall short of the credit intent, but wondered if anyone else has experience with a system like this.
The system is recessed, however, the rubber mat is glued down. It is constructed of strips of rubber tires, turned vertically and stacked side by side creating a fairly solid rubber mat. The top edge of each rubber strip is buffed until fuzzy, but I wouldn't describe it as having "high void volume" to trap dirt.
Any thoughts? This project is located in the Midwest (USA), so they will experience all ranges of weather.
One more question on this topic. The requirements for the use of carpet tile as a walk-off mat are fairly straight-forward, however, I don't see any reference as to whether carpet tiles used as walk-off mats are also reported in IEQc4.3 and must be Green Label (Plus) materials.
My first reaction would be yes, but perhaps not if it's in a vestibule?
Does anyone have experience with a reviewer on this detail?
Tiffany, a definite yes on that. See the first FAQ above.
Based on your description of this rubber mat, it doesn't sound very effective to me as a walk-off solution. But if that is what it is designed and marketed as, who am I to say.
Tristan, thanks for your quick reply. I can't believe I overlooked that info above. I may be guilty of not seeing the trees for the forest-I have been researching this topic for a bit.
I appreciate your input on the mats as well. It supports my concerns over the selection.
I'm working on a project that will have an entrance from an undercover parking below the building. This entrance will have an antechamber, separating parking area from vertical communication (elevators), equiped with a high-traffic mat . Walk-off mat (in the direction of travel) between doors will have approx. 6 feet long. Is it possible to complement this mat inside the elevator in order to fulfill credit requirement?
Pedro, I don't think that a mat inside the elevator would really qualify as a "walk off' mat, since people are not walking through the elevator, just into it, and standing there.
Thank you Tristan, that makes sense. But if the elevator had two doors at opposite sides (i.e., one would enter from one door and exit from another), that could qualify, right? Alternatively, if the remaining mat was placed at elevator exits in all floors that could also qualify?
Yes, if people will be walking over 10 feet of mat.
Can a project provide one shared exhaust system for two hazardous gas/chemical use areas? Or to comply with the term "designated" does each space needs its own exhaust system? We'd like to use the same system for a mechanical room and a garage.
Thanks in advance.
I don't see the term "designated" in the current credit requirements. Seems like this is okay. I think the intent would be to not combine these exhaust systems with regular building air systems.
I concur. They can be combine as long as it is not prohibited by local code. Eg: grease exhaust wouldn't be combine with restroom exhaust.
We are considering using a recessed coir walk-off mat for a LEED project. It will be recessed with a stainless border. Does this count as a roll-out mat and would require weekly maintenance? It allows for cleaning underneath so we're hoping that we do not need the weekly maintenance contract. Please advise. Thanks!
Heather, I don't have experience with this solution but it seems like it meets the LEED requirements and will not need the weekly contract.
Our janitor rooms do not have deck-to deck partitions. Our question is, if we were to install a gypsum ceiling and include access panels, would there be a special sealing or gasketing requirement to maintain the hard lid ceiling requirement. Any assistance is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I haven't heard of such a requirement. Generally, the LEED Reviewers don't dig down to that level. Either way, it shouldn't matter if the space isn't sealed perfectly tight because you will be keeping the space negatively pressurized at all times. Thus no air will be leaking out.
I just want to check if there are any specific product specs for a LEED compliant roll-out mat?
Na, there may be industry specs for a entryway mat, but LEED does not have a specific standard that it references for this purpose. There is simply a general requirement that the mat or system be designed for the use.
I have two options on my project (currently in design stage).
The first one is that the janitor room would be a closet inside WCs and so the access to the janitor would be via the WCs.
The second is to put the cleaning products in a cupboard in the WCs too.
Does the exhaust air system of the toilet be enough to comply for this credit regarding to the chemical product?
The intent of the credit is to protect building occupants from exposure to chemicals through isolation. In my opinion, the strategy of storing them in a cupboard in the WC and then isolating the WC does not meet that intent because users of the WC would still be exposed to the chemicals. The safe thing to do is to keep the chemicals in a closet and meet the separation, negative pressure and self-closing door requirements for the closet.
Well do you mean that this credit intent to protect occupant of the building by keeping the chemicals in a separated closet but don't considered the cleaning staff as occupant and don't count the fact that they will have access to the products in the closet where there is an exhaust air as well as the design team proposed it to the WCs?
The idea is to protect everyone from the chemicals while they are being stored and mixed. Exposure will, of course, happen for the custodial staff as they are using the chemicals- that is unavoidable.
I am new to Leed Requirements, and as my company manufactures walk-off mats, I am currently assisting one of our laundry rental customers in providing 10-ft, laundered entrance way walk-off mats to a facility seeking Leed Certification. The facility in question exists in an area of high rainfall.
The mats we typically produce for Laundry Rental are designed to meet optimal dust control needs--given that mats are reqularly laundered. Mats are nitrile rubber backed, with nylon, cut pile face fabric. The design permits debris and moisture to fall between the tufts to, in turn, keep the top surface free to continue functioning--to prevent dirt retracing.
I have two Questions:
(1) This first question involves the design terminology "mats of high void volume fibers". From what I have researched it seems that the mat design described in the second paragraph (plus, the given fact that mats are regularly laundered), meets this suggested mat requirement. This language comes from a leeds bulletin as follows:
"High void volume within fibers that provides space for removed dirt to be trapped below the matting face surface and water to spread to larger mat area to improve drying. This inhibits dirt retracing and mold/mildew growth. Also high void volume mats are easier to clean to a cleaner state when vacuumed or shaken out."
Does indeed the typical design I've described above meet this Leed stipulation? Further, does such a design (coupled with the practice of regular laundering) fufill Leed requirements for facilities existing in regions of high rainfall. I would think that regularly replaced mats (laundered and dried) would be ideal for such environs.
(2) My second question involves the "once a week maintenance requirement". Rental Landries typcially replace mats every two weeks. If this is done, plus mats are regularly vacuumed once to several times a week, does this practice meet the once a week maintenance requirement, or will the laundires need to replace mats with clean ones once a week?
Charles, I am sure of the source of the technical language you are quoting, so I couldn't comment on its applicability. Not my expertise. However, on the surface it seems reasonable, and I haven't been aware that LEED has gotten that deep into the fiber requirements for a walkoff mat.
I think a specific project could describe their intended maintenance practices in their LEED narrative, and find out whether that is acceptable. It seems reasonable to me. You could also request 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..
The MEP on our project has designed the AHUs to have filters in series for the pre-heat coil (MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 11) and chilled water coil (MERV 8). Will GBCI recognize these filters in series as greater than the MERV 13 requirement for this credit?
Good question. The MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. filter ratings are not additive. GBCI will not recognize filters in series as performing to a higher rating.
There are still benefits to using filters in series. For one, if you position a lower MERV rated filter prior to a higher rated filter, you can capture many of the particles with a less expensive filter and replace it more often. This will allow you to keep your higher MERV (more expensive) filter for longer without incurring a large pressure drop penalty. Pressure drops when using filters in series ARE additive.
We are designing a school which includeds a library and access to a green roof. From my understanding, we need to provide entry mats at each regulary used entrance where there is an exterior condidtion.
Are we to assume that the entry from the green roof requires a mat?
Also, the checklist states that a cleaning schedule for the mats and narrative must be submitted.
Are there any parameters on the cleaning agreement for the mat? Are they to be vaccumed weekly? Steam cleaned?
Is your green roof an accessible roof or are the doors there for maintenance? If the access isn't regular, you don't need the entry mats unless you want to provide them.
As for maintenance, you will have to check the LEED User conversations below and the LI database for guidance.
We were informed by a LEED Reviewer only Emergency Exits were exempt from the requirement. (Project received LEED Gold using NC v2009)
The small project I'm working on will have a small janitors closet with a mop basin, as well as a stacked washer/dryer for rags and towels. We have a green housekeeping plan for the project, and the owner is committed to using all green, non toxic cleaning, laundry, and dish washing products for their facility. It is a Boys & Girls Club, and the health of the Club's members (children) is a big priority for the Club. So I would interpret the project as having NO spaces where hazardous chemicals or gases are present. How should I indicate this? There seems to be no options for a project with no hazardous chemicals present. I was thinking I would just briefly describe and reference the housekeeping plan (which will be submitted as an ID credit) in the "Special Circumstances" section. Is that appropriate? Has that strategy been used successfully in the past?
Is there a list, description or definition what constitutes a Hazardous Chemical? I am in the same situation as Mr. Hafer and need to sign off on a letter stating that no hazardous chemicals are present.
Ed and Michael, I don't think this approach will fly. See LEEDuser's FAQs above.
In a manufacturing facility we have trucks and fork lift trucks entering the buildings. As 'walk-off' mats and grills/grate systems hardly seem a viable solution, I would like to inquire if anyone has any experience with similar projects. I was not able to find any 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 and would be very grateful for any feedback.
When I worked on a firestation with heavy (and dirty) fire trucks entering a garage space, we made sure that the all of the entrances from the garage space into the interior space had walk off mats. We also documented the processes in places to clean the vehicles and deal with their exhaust through proper ventilation (http://www.acleansystem.com/pdfs/plymovent_remove_diesel_exhaust.pdf).
I don't know of a particular 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 and don't know if this path would work for you, however, I would try to make a case for at least parts of your manufacturing facility being almost more of outdoor spaces.
Do you have staff working in this space? The intent of the credit is to protect the indoor air quality of the space of your staff. Perhaps an effort could be made beyond walk off mats to ensure that the intent of keeping good air quality for staff.
The labs in this high school building do not have self-closing doors because of life safety recommendations and faculty preference. Chemicals are only used during lab period and secured in a locked prep room (which does have self-closing doors) at other times. The labs are negatively pressurized and have deck-to-deck partitions. When labs are over, students move to adjacent classrooms where no chemicals are used. Given these considerations, do you think we could be exempt from the self-closing door requirement for the labs only?
You'd probably want to fill out an Alternative Compliance narrative or ask for 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..
Unfortunately, the Review Team just stated this in an email: "The review team can not provide confirmation if an approach or documentation is acceptable or not outside of the formal review process. All documentation will receive a thorough review upon submission. It should be noted that exceptions are not granted to the self-closing door requirements, based on life safety or faculty preference."
So I guess that answers my question!
This credit states to exhaust hazardous spaces with no air recirculation. I have a lab which is a single contained room with outside air and exhaust air ducted directly to the space from a dedicated outside air unit. The space is tempered by a VRF ceiling cassette unit which recircs the air within the space. Does this negate the intent of the credit as it relates to air recirculation?
The VRF unit would be doing local recirculation rather than recirculating the exhaust air from the space back into a full building system. The intent of the credit is to reduce the potentially contaminating other spaces. You may still be able to get the credit provided your meet the rest of the requirements. You could check for 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. or ask for one.
The review team said we need to highlight and more specifically document the compliance measures for chemical usage areas. These include lab classrooms, prep areas, custodial closets, and a large chemical storage area. Can we provide details on model spaces (i.e. one typical classroom, prep area, and closet) or must we submit details for all?
I think you can combine them where it makes sense. For example, your biology labs may use different chemicals from a physics lab which may not have any hazardous chemicals. If you've identified the hazard, and the solutions are all essentially the same, you may be able to point that out.
Personally, i prefer to beat a dead horse on this kind of documentation. In a pdf, we highlight all the janitor's closets in one color and other spaces like labs in another color. Then we have a legend that describes the protections assigned to each colored space. All spaces that need to comply get highlighted on all floors and there is one legend. It is a bit more work but the highlights are just simple boxes and we do not worrying about making them pretty. This makes it easy on the reviewers.
Yes, I think you can have model examples. I have done that before. I would list out the name of the space, describe how the chemicals are contained and perhaps note the number of spaces there are that fit that criteria.
Our client has a fume hood in one of their laboratories but it is not within an enclosed room all to itself. It is within the larger open laboratory space, thus it wouldn't meet any of the separation methods as defined in IEQc5 nor would it have an isolated exhaust system. Is the fume hood itself considered an enclosure? Thanks
The fume hood alone does not provide the required enclosure for LEED. You may be able to argue that the laboratory space as a whole is separated, depending on the occupancy within the space. You would need to enclosed the whole space with full height walls and self-closing doors.
I'm working on a university student housing project where the dwelling units each contain a small closet to house a stackable washer and dryer. There isn't really any designated storage area for detergents, etc., but would I have to consider these closets as spaces "where hazardous gases or chemicals may be present or used" and provide separate exhaust? These are not even spaces that one can walk into; just large enough to accommodate the appliances. Thanks!
In this scenario your stacked washer/dryer will have designated exhaust, which is the important element for these space types. We have never been asked by reviewers to provide additional exhaust for these closets where you may store laundry detergent. That requirement is more for janitors closets where hazardous chemicals would be stored, and I do not think laundry detergent would classify as such.
Thanks for your reply! That's what I was figuring, but wanted to get some reassurance before deciding to definitely pursue this credit.
We have a non-enclosed above ground garage space on the first few floors of a multi-family building which is naturally ventilated. Would a non-enclosed garage still require exhaust fans to meet the requirements of this credit?
Debatable, are there any regularly occupied spacesRegularly occupied spaces are areas where one or more individuals normally spend time (more than one hour per person per day on average) seated or standing as they work, study, or perform other focused activities inside a building. adjacent to the garage spaces? E.g. Lobbies, tenant spaces.
Also, check your local code and ASHRAE to ensure you meet the natural ventilation requirements based on free area of the perimeter walls.
There are residential units adjacent to the garage.
The project started out with garage exhaust fans in place sufficient to meet the 0.5 cfm/sf, however they found out that they did not require this to meet local code so they removed some of the fans.
In this case you probably don't comply. You could submit under Alternative Compliance by stating that you are meeting local ventilation codes. However, you aren't keeping the differential pressure requirements and it is unlikely that the tenant spaces have self closing doors.
I have a university dorm project that has 1 or 2 residential units on ground level opening to the outside and I"m not sure how to advise on the walk off mat requirement. One the one hand, I can see the need to mitigate pollutants that are tracked into the space but on the other hand, 10' does not seem like an appropriate solution. Does anyone have experience with this?
This is one of many examples where the rating system and this credit was intended for commercial buildings and does not adequately address residential project types. Are there other main entrances to the building that serve the majority of other units? If so, I would ensure that all of those entrances contain adequate walk off mats and attempt the credit with an explanation that these other entrances are for individual units (not main entrances) and it would be absurd to include 10' mats within them. Hopefully, common sense prevails and the reviewer would approve this approach. If not, you could always 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 have school with a wood shop. There is a dust collector that exhausts saw dust from the equipment and recirculates the air back to the space after being filtered. The credit says "sufficiently exhaust hazardous gases or chemicals....in shops of any kind... with no air recirulation."
Saw dust is not hazardous gases or chemicals, and I have dedicated exhaust in the storage rooms where those types would be kept.
Would I still be able to pursue IEQc5?
My first instinct would be no. You cannot have air recirculation in shops... however I have not worked on a wood shop specifically. Anyone else?
How is average pressure differential calculated?
What is the condition of door assumed to calculate above. Thanks!
If you have a constant exhaust system serving an enclosed space with a self closing door than your min, max and average differential calculation will be the same value.
If you have a variable exhaust and/or VAVVariable Air Volume (VAV) is an HVAC conservation feature that supplies varying quantities of conditioned (heated or cooled) air to different parts of a building according to the heating and cooling needs of those specific areas. (variable air volume) box providing make up air to the space then you would have a different min, max and average differential pressure.
Assume the door is closed.
An ASHRAE equation for Differential Pressure (∆P) in PA is:
Here is an example scenario:
3 foot wide closed door with a 0.5" undercut
Solve for Q (Air Flow in CFM)
Q=165.5*0.125*√5 = 46.3 CFM
In order to ensure a room has a negative 5 PA differential pressure to an adjacent space you need to have roughly 50 CFM total exhaust (Exhaust CFM - Supply CFM). Area of the room is irrelevant for this equation but for LEED and local building codes you may also need to ensure that you have at least 0.5 CFM/SF exhaust.
What if there is no undercut in the doors? How should I represent it on the template?
The template just wants you to check off a box that you did a design calculation and submit a drawing highlighting which rooms have chemicals/hazardous gases.
If you don't have an undercut in the door the air has to come from somewhere if the space isn't air tight. Could be spaces in the door, cracks in the ceiling grid, etc.
Dylan, some of our reviewers also ask for detailed calculations/charts with cfm and pressurization for every room -- not just checking a box.
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Specifying and sizing equipment with MERV 13 filters affects both these credits.
If ventilation systems are to be used for building flush-out, they need to be sized to meet the air volume requirements of IEQc3.2 and must be compatible with MERV 13 filtration.
MERV 13 filters will increase fan energy demand as higher filtration ratings increase resistance to airflow and therefore slightly increase your energy demand.
Mechanical systems components will need to be commissioned to confirm appropriate installation of filtration media.
Additional mechanical system capacity may help meet the requirements of IEQp1. Ventilation systems must have MERV 13 filtration on all supply air.
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