NC-v2.2 EQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy

  • NC_v2-2_EQc3-2_FlushOut Diagram
  • How this credit is addressed in different building types

    • A phased flush-out is possible if different sections of the building are completed at different times, which is common in multi-tenant or mixed-use project types.
    • In facilities where air quality is particularly critical, such as healthcare and laboratory buildings, owners may require 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. testing as part of standard building practice. 
    • Buildings with large numbers of identical rooms with separate ventilation zones—such as hotel rooms or apartment units—have been allowed to perform random sampling as an alternative approach in situations when the delivery of outside air—on an air-change-per-hour basis—and the materials in a ventilation zone are identical. Project teams should confirm with GBCI that this is still applicable in LEED 2009.
  • It’s about good IAQ for occupancy

    The idea behind this credit is to ensure good indoor air quality (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.) for a project for occupancy. EQc3.2 can be seen as a belt-and-suspenders credit: even if the EQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits are pursued, along with EQc3.1: Construction IAQ Management—During Construction, EQc3.2 ensures that the building ends up with the intended result. (Although it’s typical to do so, you don’t have to pursue any of those credits to go after this credit.)

    The credit has a direct impact on occupant health and comfort, and it is often very important to the owner and occupants, that their new, LEED-certified building should smell “green” when they move in.

    Flush out or testing?

    The flush-out of indoor air required under Option 1 is the most common route to earning this credit, because it is the most certain and predictable path.

    Performing testing under Option 2 leaves open the possibility that despite all other efforts, the building could fail the tests, putting the credit in jeopardy.

    You might wonder why, if a building earns the EQc4 credits and EQc3.1, there would be any chance of failing IAQ testing. For whatever reason, it happens. This might be due to VOC emissions from materials not covered by IEQc4, or from the undetected use of materials not meeting the spec.

    Another reason for pursuing Option 1 is that the costs of IAQ testing are commonly greater than those of a building flush-out. Testing costs vary depending on the size of the building, the number of samples tested, and the travel and field work the testing agency needs to perform. Large buildings, or buildings with multiple independent HVAC systems, require more testing samples. One test is required for each separate ventilation system within the building, with not less than one sample per 25,000 ft2 of contiguous floor area.

    Two flush-out options

    Under Option 1, you have two paths for performing the flush-out. Path 1 is performed prior to occupancy: provide 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot of building space. Relative humidity must be maintained at 60% or below and temperature must be maintained at 60 degrees or above.

    If there isn’t enough time prior to occupancy to follow Path 1, Path 2 allows you to reach the 14,000-cubic-foot threshold in phases. Path 2 requires an initial flush-out of 3,500 cubic feet per square foot, and then a daily flush-out that begins three hours before occupancy and continues until the end of occupancy for the day. During this period, a ventilation rate of 0.3 cfm per square foot must be maintained. This may be higher than the designed ventilation rate, so plan ahead for this. 

    Common pitfalls to avoid

    This credit is typically easy to achieve if you plan ahead and avoid these common pitfalls:

    • Early in the design of the mechanical systems, take into account the requirements for flush-out to ensure that the HVAC system is able to supply the required ventilation rate which is often higher than normal design conditions.  Once the mechanical design is confirmed, the mechanical engineer should provide the contractor with the flush-out duration so that it can be worked into the construction schedule as soon as possible. 
    • If a flush-out is performed during very cold or very humid weather, maintaining minimum temperature and humidity levels may be impossible or require a lot of energy loss. Consider the testing path if these conditions are likely for your project.
    • All construction activities must be complete prior to flush-out, this includes all punch-list items. Make sure that subcontractors are informed of the credit requirements and that all work is appropriately scheduled so as to not introduce contaminants after the flush-out.
    • If you go for testing (Option 2) and fail, you can opt to do a flush-out and retest prior to occupancy, but your schedule needs to allow for it. Build in some schedule and budget contingency in case retesting is required. 

    Alternative approaches

    In naturally ventilated buildings or other situations where using the HVAC is not possible or desired, alternatives such as temporary supply and exhaust fans placed in the windows are also possible. (Simply opening the windows is not enough, however.) Like natural ventilation in general, this approach works best for relatively dry, moderate climates where the temperature and humidity conditions required by the credit are easy to maintain.

    If using fans, ensure correct placement of fans to provide an even flow of fresher outdoor air across each space, preventing short-circuiting. Check the EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools Controlling Pollutants and Sources information on exhaust or spot ventilation practices during construction activity (although written for schools, it is applicable to any type of project). (See Section 5: Ventilation Techniques). 

    Consider these questions when approaching this credit

    • Ask your mechanical engineer to run these preliminary calculations:
      • Is the HVAC system capable of performing the ventilation rates required for flush-out?
      • Can indoor temperature and humidity levels be maintained during the flush-out considering the scheduled season of the flush-out?
      • What is the estimated duration of the flush-out under Path 1 and Path 2 and how will this affect the construction schedule?
    • Important conversations that need to occur between the general contractor, building owner and occupants:
      • When do occupants need to move in? Is the date flexible? 
      • Can the schedule allow time for a flush-out after construction completion and prior to occupancy? How much time is available?
      • Will the project pursue a full flush-out (Option 1 – Path 1), or will occupancy occur during the flush-out (Option 1 – Path 2)?
      • How will the basic requirements for having construction complete be communicated to subcontractors?
    • Things to consider when implementing IAQ testing:
      • Does your building have multiple, separate ventilation systems?
      • How many samples are required? 
      • Is your construction team confident that it can ensure contamination levels below credit limitations at the end of construction?
      • Is there time at the end of the construction schedule to allow for flush-out and retesting if initial test results are above allowable levels for contaminants?
  • FAQs for IEQc3.2

    Is it possible to combine Options 1 and 2 for different spaces in the same building?

    This is not officially permitted in LEED. It might make sense in some projects, but teams should get a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or 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. in order to proceed.

    Is it possible for the flush-out start date to vary by ventilation zone?

    Yes. Areas served by completely separate ventilation systems—where air serving these spaces is not mixed with air serving any other spaces—can be flushed independently, as long as each such area is also isolated completely from all non-flushing areas per SMACNA guidelines.

    Should a parking garage be included in a flush-out, if it is in a basement and not fully open to the outdoors?

    No, parking garage space should not be included in this credit.

    Do the outdoor air minimum quantities have to be met for each individual space, or for the building square footage as a whole?

    Ideally, the flush out will be designed to provide the minimum volume to each individual space, and the LEED Reference Guide indicates that teams must take reasonable measures to ensure there is no obvious short-circuiting of the airflow. However, the requirements only address the "total air volume," so, for LEED credit compliance purposes it is only necessary to quantify the total outside air volume supplied to the entire building.

    Do non-regularly occupied areas such as bathrooms and corridors have to be flushed-out?

    Yes. All occupied gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.) (both non-regularly occupied and regularly occupied) must be included.

    For LEED NC addition projects, do existing non-renovated areas need to be flushed-out or tested?

    No, not if the project team is only certifying the addition, per se, as a separate LEED project.  But the addition should be isolated from the existing, unrenovated areas in accordance with the SMACNA 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. Guidelines for Occupied Buildings under Construction.

    Should we install furniture and furnishings before IAQ testing or flushout?

    It's optional. In the past that has been unclear, and in an addendum issued 10/1/12, USGBC clarified that it is optional to install furniture and furnishings before IAQ testing or flushout for IEQc3.2. The word "optionally" has been inserted in the last paragraph of page 466 in the LEED BD&C reference guide, before "including furniture and furnishings."

    For IAQ testing, how many sample points are necessary in non-mechanically ventilated spaces?

    This is left to the discretion of the industrial hygienist or other qualified professional who is performing the testing and employing the EPA Standard.

    Can testing be done over various days?

    Yes, as long as it complies with the EPA standard.

    I'm confused about the 11/1/2011 LEED addendum that removed the "1/25,000 SF or each contiguous area whichever is larger" language from the credit requirement. How do we determine the number of sampling locations for testing?

    According to USGBC, the addendum was intended to give project teams more flexibility in testing locations. The 1/25,000 SF testing rate is still a good rule of thumb and is acceptable. USGBC is trusting that the project's industrial hygienist will have the best understanding of how to accurately test the spaces in the project. Select spaces to be tested so that each occupiable space type is adequately represented. Additional guidance can be found in the pilot prerequisite for performance-based IAQ.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Depending on which of the two options you choose for this credit (see Schematic Design), you should start to consider the following two things during predesign:

    • If you pursue a flush-out, you’ll need a mechanical system with the capacity to meet the credit requirements for air volume, humidity and temperature.  If using natural ventilation, you can meet the air volume requirements with temporary fans and HVAC units. 
    • If pursuing the testing option, pursuing all of the EQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, along with EQc3.1: IAQ Management Plan: During Construction, will significantly increase the likelihood of passing the testing and earning the credit. If not pursuing the testing option, then earning those credits won’t directly help with EQc3.2, but they will contribute to good IAQ.

Schematic Design

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  • Choosing an option


  • Consider whether Option 1 or Option 2 is a better match for your project. Review the following tips, along with more details on each option below.


  • If you follow the flush-out procedures required under Option 1, you will earn this credit, while if you follow the testing procedures under Option 2, you may earn the credit if your project passes the tests. This lack of certainty under Option 2 leads many project teams to pursue Option 1.


  • If your goal in pursuing this credit is to provide good IAQ at the start of occupancy, IAQ testing is the best way to confirm it, even though it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll earn the credit. (If you initially fail testing, you can do a flush-out and retest, however.) 


  • Many teams consider Option 1, but ultimately choose Option 2 for one of two practical reasons:

    • Scheduling the flush-out is not possible.
    • The building’s HVAC will not be able to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels for the duration of the flush-out. Doing so will also be energy-intensive.

  • Pursuing this credit through Option 2: Air Testing can allow for an earlier move-in date than might be possible when pursuing a building flush-out. IAQ testing can be a quicker process if your project team can ensure that the air contains very little contamination at the time of testing. However, there is always a risk of failing the test, which results in the need to flush-out the building again and retest—or forfeit the credit. 


  • Depending on your climate and the time of year the flush-out will be completed, the energy costs of doing a flush-out could vary significantly. Estimate this early on, to help inform your chosen compliance path.


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Consider the minimum flush-out rate of the building’s ventilation system that will be required for this credit.


  • Consider whether your HVAC system will be able to power a flush-out while maintaining temperature and humidity levels during seasonal extremes in a timely fashion, without major scheduling impacts. A total of 14,000 cubic feet of outside air must be exchanged for every square foot of floor area. The amount of outside air prescribed during a phased flush-out (0.3 CFM) may be several times greater than the normal rate required for a project’s occupancy, based on ASHRAE 62.1-2004, as required by EQp1: Minimum IAQ Performance


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If considering IAQ testing, design the building in a way that maximizes the likelihood of passing the testing. This should include specifying low- and no-VOC materials as part of the EQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, at a minimum.


  • IAQ testing is rigorous and not at all a sure thing, so take steps to increase the probability of passing the testing on the first try. This might include specifying low- and no-VOC products that go beyond those recognized by LEED credits. 

Design Development

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  • Both Options


  • Include the requirements for building flush-out or IAQ testing in the IAQ Management Plan and the project specifications. If you are pursuing both EQc3.1 and EQc3.2, then include the requirements for both in a single plan.


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Once the mechanical system is confirmed, establish the required time required for flush-out with the mechanical engineer (which should be a relatively simple calculation) and coordinate the flush-out with the contractor’s construction schedule. 


  • If the mechanical system is not capable of moving the required volume of air in a reasonable amount of time, establish a plan for credit compliance that either includes using temporary fans or IAQ testing.


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If planning to pursue Option 2, also plan to pursue EQc3.1 and all of the EQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits to ensure the best chances of passing the IAQ testing on the first try. 

Construction Documents

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  • Both options


  • Include requirements for a flush-out or air quality testing in Division 1 of your construction specifications.


  • Include details for writing an IAQ Management Plan in your specifications with the requirements for complying with IEQc3.2 included in the plan.


  • Require that your contractor submit an IAQ Management Plan early in construction, before interior work has begun. The plan should detail the approach to this credit, as well as EQc3.1 if both credits are being pursued. Either of these credits can be pursued independently; EQc3.1 is not a prerequisite for EQc3.2. However, pursuing the credits in tandem is the most effective way to ensure the best IAQ at the time the building is turned over to the owner. 

Construction

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  • Both options


  • Develop an IAQ management plan detailing your project’s approach to EQc3.1 (if your project is pursuing it) and this credit.


  • Your project team should clearly define who will be responsible for managing flush-outs and IAQ procedures. 


  • If not completed in pre-construction, your IAQ management plan should be developed by the general contractor and incorporate input from your entire project team, specifically the technical requirements for flush-out identified by the mechanical engineer and any special scheduling required by the building owner or tenants. The plan should be shared with the whole project team, including all subcontractors who will be working with any interior materials and fittings. 


  • The requirements of this credit apply to all spaces within the building envelope. This credit does not differentiate between regularly occupied and non-regularly-occupied spaces. 


  • Jobsite safety meetings or regular subcontractor meetings are a good place to educate your construction team about LEED requirements for IAQ management, as well as other related requirements for construction waste management, low-emitting materials, and other similar issues.


  • The flush-out or testing will not affect installation of furniture and furnishings, as this can happen during or after the flush-out or testing, however, prior to beginning flush-out or testing, the following work should be completed to ensure that no toxins are reintroduced into your project space:

    • All interior finishes must be installed.
    • All punch-list items must be complete. 
    • All cleaning must be finalized.
    • Final testing and balancing of HVAC systems must be complete. Other commissioning tasks can occur during flush-out or testing only if they do not introduce any additional contaminants into the building.
    • Temporary filters and duct coverings used as part of the construction IAQ management plan must be removed.
    • Filters must be replaced with new filtration media, unless the system is configured to filter only outside air. If your project is pursuing EQc5: Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control, these filters must be MERV 13 or higher.

  • Prior to move-in, ensure that the requirements of either Option 1: Flush-Out, or Option 2: Air Testing, have been met. 


  • Check filters after the flush-out is complete. Some or all of the filters may be ready for replacement, although this is not required by the credit.  


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


  • Once a general construction schedule has been established, your project’s mechanical engineer should calculate the estimated time expected for completing a flush-out according to either Path 1 or Path 2, based on climatic conditions for the given time of year. 


  • Ensure that you include time for building flush-out or testing in the construction schedule as early as possible.

    • For Path 1 (continuous flush-out), 14,000 ft3 of air must be moved while not exceeding 60% relative humidity and 60ºF. This may take up to two weeks depending on system capacity.
    • For Path 2, a continuous flush-out of 3,500 ft3 of air must be completed and then a phased flush-out until 14,000 ft3 of air has been moved. This duration varies: 3,500 ft3 may take just a few days, but the remaining phased flush-out may take several weeks.

  • Perform full Flush-out (Path 1) or the first step of a phased flush-out (Path 2) prior to any occupancy.


  • During flush-out, record exact dates, occupancy patterns (if any, per Path 2), outdoor air delivery rates, and internal temperatures and humidity levels. 


  • Per the credit requirements, during flush-out, the rate of outside air should not cause the interior temperature to drop below 60oF, and relative humidity should not exceed 60%.


  • For projects with multiple independent HVAC systems, portions of the building can be flushed out separately, as they are completed, as long as no additional construction work occurs in an area where a flush-out has begun. Completed areas should be isolated from those under construction per SMACNA IAQ guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction, which is the same standard that defines the requirements for EQc3.1 (see Resources).


  • If you are pursuing a phased flush-out under Option 1, Path 2, ensure that the flush-out continues after move-in until a total of 14,000 ft3 of outside air has been supplied per ft2 of floor area before the HVAC system is switched into its normal operational mode. 


  • Whether you have completed a full or a phased flush-out, record the performed flush-out dates, schedule, humidity levels, temperatures and total air volumes and provide this information in a narrative for credit documentation.   


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • IAQ testing should be worked into the construction schedule as it will occur close to project close-out, generally when the construction schedule is most critical. Testing will take a least one day, but could take longer depending on the number of tests required. If any tests are failed, flush-out and retesting are required and will have significant scheduling impacts. This could require several additional days. 


  • Testing will take at least one day, but could take longer.


  • Select an IAQ specialist, industrial hygienist, or testing facility to perform the testing.


  • Extra attention must be paid to ensure strict adherence to the requirements for low-emitting materials (EQc4) and the successful implementation of a construction IAQ management plan (EQc3.1)—including a thorough cleanup using low-VOC cleaning supplies. (Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration can also help remove particulates.) 


  • Perform IAQ testing in accordance with the recommended EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air. This document defines methodology and procedures for IAQ testing required for credit compliance. (See Resources.)


  • The cost of IAQ testing varies widely depending on the number of tests needed for your project, the availability of local testing firms, and the type of test. Check your options early in order to factor this in, but plan to pay $500-$1,500 per testing location.


  • Other protocols can be followed if they are equally or more stringent and you provide a valid justification. Most projects simply follow EPA’s rules.  


  • IAQ testing requires at least one sample for every 25,000 ft2 in each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system. Sampling locations should be in areas with the least ventilation and the greatest presumed potential for contaminant source strength.


  • IAQ testing must occur prior to occupancy, but conditions should be as similar as possible to the air that occupants will breathe. Tests should be performed during normal operation of the building’s HVAC system, including normal daily start times. 


  • Samples should be collected in the breathing zone—three to six feet above the floor—during hours when the building will normally be occupied. Record the exact locations in which samples are taken in case follow-up samples are required. 


  • If IAQ test samples exceed any of the maximum concentration levels, the space must be flushed out with an increased rate of outside air, as recommended by the testing agency, and re-sampled to confirm compliance.


  • Some projects fail the first round of testing, and have difficulty scheduling or budgeting for the required flush-out and re-testing. Those projects are, unfortunately, forced to give up on this credit.


  • Record information on IAQ testing, including:

    • a description of the IAQ testing process, test dates, and scope; 
    • sampling locations with respect to floor area, size, and ventilation system; 
    • and any corrective measures implemented to achieve credit compliance. 

    Provide all finalized testing reports from your testing agency as documentation of credit compliance, along with a narrative outlining the testing procedure.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The strategies required by EQc5: Indoor Chemical Pollutant Source Control are intended to help buildings minimize sources of indoor air contamination during continued building operation. Pursuing EQc5 can help enhance the effects of building flushout or testing. 


  • Periodic IAQ testing during occupancy is not required, but can be used to help ensure a healthy indoor environment. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification several credits will help ensure good air quality during occupancy, such as EQc1.1: Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices—Indoor Air Quality Management Program. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    EQ Credit 3.2: Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy

    1 Point

    Intent

    Reduce indoor air quality problems resulting from the construction/renovation process in order to help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.

    Requirements

    Develop and implement an Indoor Air Quality (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.) Management Plan for the pre-occupancy phase as follows:

    Option 1 — Flush-out
    • After construction ends, prior to occupancy and with all interior finishes installed, perform a building flushout by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cu.ft. of outdoor air per sq.ft. of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60 degrees F and relative humidity no higher than 60%.
      OR
    • If occupancy is desired prior to completion of the flush-out, the space may be occupied following delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cu.ft. of outdoor air per sq.ft. of floor area to the space. Once a space is occupied, it shall be ventilated at a minimum rate of 0.30 cfm/sq.ft. of outside air or the design minimum outside air rate determined in EQ Prerequisite 1, whichever is greater. During each day of the flush-out period, ventilation shall begin a minimum of three hours prior to occupancy and continue during occupancy. These conditions shall be maintained until a total of 14,000 cu.ft./sq.ft. of outside air has been delivered to the space.

    OR

    Option 2 — Air testing
    • Conduct baseline IAQ testing, after construction ends and prior to occupancy, using testing protocols consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air and as additionally detailed in the Reference Guide.
    • Demonstrate that the contaminant maximum concentrations listed below are not exceeded.

      [INSERT TABLE HERE]

    • For each sampling point where the maximum concentration limits are exceeded conduct additional flushout with outside air and retest the specific parameter(s) exceeded to indicate the requirements are achieved. Repeat procedure until all requirements have been met. When retesting non-complying building areas, take samples from the same locations as in the first test.
    • The air sample testing shall be conducted as follows:
      1. All measurements shall be conducted prior to occupancy, but during normal occupied hours, and with the building ventilation system starting at the normal daily start time and operated at the minimum outside air flow rate for the occupied mode throughout the duration of the air testing.
      2. The building shall have all interior finishes installed, including but not limited to millwork, doors, paint, carpet and acoustic tiles. Non-fixed furnishings such as workstations and partitions are encouraged, but not required, to be in place for the testing.
      3. The number of sampling locations will vary depending upon the size of the building and number of ventilation systems. For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system, the number of sampling points shall not be less than one per 25,000 sq.ft., or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger, and include areas with the least ventilation and greatest presumed source strength.
      4. Air samples shall be collected between 3 feet and 6 feet from the floor to represent the breathing zoneThe breathing zone is the region within an occupied space between 3 and 6 feet above the floor and more than 2 feet from walls or fixed air-conditioning equipment. (AHSRAE 62.1–2007) of occupants, and over a minimum 4-hour period.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Prior to occupancy, perform a building flush-out or test the air contaminant levels in the building. The flush-out is often used where occupancy is not required immediately upon substantial completion of construction. 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. testing can minimize schedule impacts but may be more costly. Coordinate with Indoor Environmental Quality Credits 3.1 and 5 to determine the appropriate specifications and schedules for filtration media.

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.

Publications

SMACNA IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction

Project management guidance in maintaining satisfactory 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. of occupied buildings undergoing renovation or construction. 


EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air

Provides step-by-step sampling and laboratory analysis procedures for the determination of selected pollutants in indoor air. The section of this document that is dedicated to testing methodology and procedures is most relevant for credit.


Indoor Air Pollution Report, July, 2005 California Air Resources Board

Outlines the health effects of indoor air pollution.


State of Washington Program and IAQ Standards

 

This standard was the first state-initiated program to ensure the design of buildings with acceptable 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.

 


Indoor Air Quality: A Facility Manager’s Guide, Construction Technology Centre Atlantic,

This publication is written as a comprehensive review of 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. issues and solutions.


Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Inorganic Compounds in Ambient Air, U.S. EPA

 

These methods have been prepared to provide regional, state and local environmental regulatory agencies and other users with step-by-step sampling and analysis procedures for the determination of selected inorganic pollutants in ambient air.

 

Web Tools

Healthy Building Network

Articles and resources on healthier building materials and issues of toxicity in the building industry. 


EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools Controlling Pollutants and Sources

Reference for best practices and strategies to implement 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. management in Schools. 


Controlling Pollutants and Sources, IAQ Design for Schools U.S. EPA

This EPA website offers detailed information on exhaust or spot ventilation practices during construction activity. 

Organizations

Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. (SMACNA)

SMACNA is an international organization that developed guidelines for maintaining healthful indoor air quality during demolitions, renovations, and construction. The professional trade association publishes the referenced standard as well as Indoor Air Quality: A Systems Approach, a comprehensive document that covers air pollutant sources, control measures, 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. process management, quality control and documentation, interpersonal communication , sample projects, tables, references, resources, and checklists.

Construction IAQ Management Plan

All Options

A construction IAQ management planA construction IAQ management plan outlines measures to minimize contamination in a specific project building during construction and describes procedures to flush the building of contaminants prior to occupancy. like this sample is required for both options of this credit, along with IEQc3.1. This example details a plan meeting both flush-out and testing requirements, leaving it open which one will be used.

LEED Online Sample Template – EQc3.2

This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.

USGBC

Official LEED Online Forms

Flush-Out Volume

Option 1 - Flush Out

This sample calculation demonstrates how one project figured out how long its flush-out needed to be, and how rental equipment was added to make it possible.

IAQ Testing

Option 2 - Testing

These test results and testing report from a LEED-CI project demonstrate the kind of information that needs to be gathered to document IEQc3.2, Option 2.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

153 Comments

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director Centek Laboratories, LLC
Sep 25 2014
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289 Thumbs Up

Resample Air Quality Test

Does anybody have an answer on the following?
Let’s say you have a 500,000 sq ft building and you take 20 samples for the indoor air quality test for EQ. 3.2 or even the new V4. You pass everything except formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. for one of the locations. You now want to resample in a day or 2, just for formaldehyde at that location. However, half the building just started to occupy.
The new results now shows formaldehyde did pass…does it make the formaldehyde result not valid and based on that one location the whole program fails?

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Renee Shirey Sep 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

Since the credit doesn't provide any guidance for splitting a building when doing Option 2 (air testing) you are probably out of luck. I am assuming there isn't much you can do at this point.

My only suggestion would be if the entire area of the building supplied by the AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. that contained the failed (and then passed) formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. test had remained unoccupied up to and including the time of the test, try and submit the information as an alt. compliance path. This would be using a similar logic as the already-accepted phased flush-out procedure.

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Sep 25 2014 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

Thank you Renee I'll past on the information

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George Maragiannis
Sep 19 2014
Guest
6 Thumbs Up

Flush out EQ

Project Location: Greece

i have an opera building and a library building around 30000 m2 each and i need to do the flush out calculations for these two areas... what we mean by the term per floor area that is mentioned in the credit for flush out?? do we mean by floor? by space? or for the total 30000 m2??

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Sep 23 2014 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

George,

Why do the flush out when you can do a labortory test. It is a lot cheaper, you have solid data and can be done with the sampling in 4 hours. Here it is for you to look at:

http://centeklabs.com/leed-indoor-air-quality-testing/

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Renee Shirey Sep 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

Russ,
Please don't respond to a question with an advertisement for your services. Not cool.

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Sep 25 2014 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

Renee,

Sorry...it wasn't meant to be an advertisement. It is a teaching tool that we supply to LEED consultants to help make their programs a little bit more manageable especially when it comes time for tight deadlines. This is the program that is supplied by USGBC. Hope to see you at the conference...

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George Maragiannis Sep 25 2014 Guest 6 Thumbs Up

Can i have an answer anyway???
i have to go with path 1 and not with air quality test... my problem is what we mean by floor area as i described in my initial question and if spaces like mechanical plants, data centre and underground not occupied areas have to take part in the flush out calculations???

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Renee Shirey Sep 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

George,
Use the building area (30000M2) to determine the cubic feet of air needed to be flushed out prior to occupancy for each building.

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George Maragiannis Sep 25 2014 Guest 6 Thumbs Up

Thanks very much for your answer and what about the mechanical spaces and the data centre that i have in the bldg and are not supplied with outside air?

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Renee Shirey Sep 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

While you might be able to justify not including the mechancial spaces since they are not regularly-occupied spacesOccupied Spaces are defined as enclosed spaces that can accommodate human activities. Occupied spaces are further classified as regularly occupied or non-regularly occupied spaces based on the duration of the occupancy, individual or multi-occupant based on the quantity of occupants, and densely or non-densely occupied spaces based upon the concentration of occupants in the space. (I have not attempted this), you may just want to include it in the calculation since it is a one-shot deal. If you have the time, you can attempts a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or at least a well worded question to GBCI to ask for clarification. However, if you don't have the time to wait for an answer (responses can take a while) I would play it safe and include the m2.

The data center would probably be occupied, so the m2 of this room/area should be included in the calculation. The credit doesn't require room by room flush out, it is looked at as a whole, so include the m2 even though the space won't directly receive the outside air.

I hope this helps!

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George Maragiannis Sep 25 2014 Guest 6 Thumbs Up

Renee thanks a lot ur comments are very helpful, i had the same thought in my mind so i will go for the whole m2 of the bldg... Thanks again...

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Renee Shirey
Jun 09 2014
LEEDuser Member
3048 Thumbs Up

Submission of IEQc3.2 flushout plan before flushout occurs?

Is it an absolute requirement that the flushout had to have already occured to earn this credit? We have the Pre-Occupancy 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. plan in place, we have done the calculations to know how long the flushout will take and that the system can accomodate the flushout requirements, and we can specify that the temp/humidity would be checked daily. Is this not enough to achieve this credit?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 09 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Renee, if you're itching to get the documentation submitted, I think you could submit this with a note. I can't say for sure that GBCI will accept it, but it seems reasonable.

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Renee Shirey Jun 09 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan. We are in a super tight deadline to get the certification by a certain date, or I would request that the client wait a few weeks until the flushout has been completed. I am submitting with a note to consider "special circumstances" based upon our client's timeframe, but with a fully developed plan in place. I guess I will know the results in a few weeks (we are also doing expedited review)!

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Renee Shirey Jun 23 2014 LEEDuser Member 3048 Thumbs Up

Follow up: Our narrative explaining the process in detail, including the dates that the flushout would occur, was acceptable to the review team and we earned the credit although the flush-out had not yet started.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Apr 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
3118 Thumbs Up

Does the equipment have to fully provide outside air at 100% ?

We have 4 A/C Units providing air conditioning to a building. two of them are 100% OA units and two of them are providing 1100 cfm each in ventilation but the total air supply cfm (including recirulated air) is 7000 cfm for one and 8600 cfm for the other. I was wondering the guide does NOT specifically says that for the flush the equipment needs to provide 100% OA, but instead 14000 cf/sf. event if through the process you are recirculating air. Is this assumption correct? The project is located in florida, if the equipment provides OA 100% 24hr/day it may humidify the drywall indoors.

Thanks

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Mohamed Ravuthar, LEED AP, BD+C LEED Engineer Contrack International Inc
Nov 26 2013
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977 Thumbs Up

LEED approved paint and HVAC running

My question is During LEED Approved painting in the building can we run the HVAC to do TAB test? Will it affect Indoor Air Quality test?

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

Mohamed, the 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. testing should take place after construction is done—including painting. Part of the point of the test is to provide accountability that low-emitting materials were truly used.

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Mohamed Ravuthar, LEED AP, BD+C LEED Engineer Contrack International Inc
Nov 20 2013
Guest
977 Thumbs Up

IAQ testing sampling location

How can i find the sampling location? The building area is 75,ooo square feet (G+F)and 4 AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. is serving the building. I have selected 5 sampling location each AHU one lacation and additionaly one more location where only one Neighborhood room is serving by different AHU. Is it right 5 location for 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. testing? and i considered only small rooms and excluded car workshop and large rooms. Kindly advice me on this.

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

Mohamed, please see the last FAQ in the LEEDuser guidance above to answer this question.

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Mohamed Ravuthar, LEED AP, BD+C LEED Engineer Contrack International Inc
Sep 14 2013
Guest
977 Thumbs Up

IAQ testing -LEED NCv2.2

In a building, one portion is not cooled , this area will be taken fresh air from one AHU1.Air-handling units (AHUs) are mechanical indirect heating, ventilating, or air-conditioning systems in which the air is treated or handled by equipment located outside the rooms served, usually at a central location, and conveyed to and from the rooms by a fan and a system of distributing ducts. (NEEB, 1997 edition) 2.A type of heating and/or cooling distribution equipment that channels warm or cool air to different parts of a building. This process of channeling the conditioned air often involves drawing air over heating or cooling coils and forcing it from a central location through ducts or air-handling units. Air-handling units are hidden in the walls or ceilings, where they use steam or hot water to heat, or chilled water to cool the air inside the ductwork. and exhaust fan provided separately .It is fully natural ventilation area. Should i need to consider for Indoor Air Quality testing sampling location?

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

Yes, if it is occupied space.

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Michael Morman Shive-Hattery
Aug 30 2013
Guest
6 Thumbs Up

Recording building flushout information over the weekend/holiday

We have begun flush out of our building and the contractor is recording temperature and humidity once a day. When I got the first weekly report they had no information for Saturday and Sunday. I would think that we need to have information everyday otherwise we do not really know what happened over the weekend and we have a holiday coming up this week that would make this time even longer. I can't seem to find anywhere the frequency on recording the building information. Any help would be appreciated.

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

Michael, sorry to hear about the difficulties. I am not sure if you have a question, though, that we here on the forum can help you with. Pleast post back about your experiences and any advice you are looking for.

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Allen Pettit
Jul 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
111 Thumbs Up

Building Flushout and Owner Occupancy

I have a three story project served by two air handlers and am conducting an option 1 unoccupied flush. One handler serves office spaces, while the other serves nursing lab simulation rooms. The air handler that serves the office spaces will complete the flush first. Could the owner occupy the spaces of the completed flush while the other floor continues to flush?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Allen, I would point you to the second FAQ above as a way of answering this question.

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Sustainability Consultant LEED Consultant
Jun 18 2013
Guest
69 Thumbs Up

Time to start flush out - Museum project

I am working on a museum project. What would be the time to start the flush out- will it be after the art works are installed or before that (prior to occupancy & interior finishes installed).

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Allen Pettit Jul 24 2013 LEEDuser Member 111 Thumbs Up

I am working on a museum/library project that has very strict requirements for temperature and humidity control for the archives and displays. My suggestion is to attempt to flush prior to placement of the art work if the project schedule allows.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager Google
May 16 2013
LEEDuser Expert
16094 Thumbs Up

Room by Room flush-out Calculations

Is there a place I could point to in the Reference Guide or another official USGBC document that clarifies that the calculations can be done room by room if that's the path we wish to do our flush-out calculations? This would be instead of doing a whole building calculation. I know it's mentioned above in the FAQ section but was hoping I might have something I could point to as the source of this guidance.

Thanks!

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Katie B
May 10 2013
Guest
23 Thumbs Up

IAQ testing - using portable equipment

Hi,

We purchased equipment to perform our own 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. testing on our new development projects and have had difficulties meeting the VOC requirements of under 500 micrograms. We specify low VOC paints, adhesives, sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. etc. but are still reading 600-700 micrograms in some spaces. This is also after doing a flushout (leaving doors open and fans on) for several hours.

Has anyone else had the same problem when doing IAQ testing in new residential developments? Any tips or ideas on what we could be doing better?

Also, has anyone else applied for this credit using portable (non-lab) IAQ testing methods/equipment, and have you had any problems receiving the credit? This is the first time we have attempted this credit using the IAQ testing path.

Thanks,

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James Houston
Apr 11 2013
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

Flush-out Spreadsheet?

Has anyone created a spreadsheet so that data (space sq.ft., design O/A CFM, occupied hours, etc.) might be easily entered to document the flush-out times for 1a and 1b (and be willing to share)? I've put one together but I'm not thrilled with the functionality at this point.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager Lawrence Group
Feb 07 2013
LEEDuser Member
1252 Thumbs Up

Flush out requirements in un-occupied spaces

My project has a number of "grey-boxed" unfinished spaces. Are we required to complete a full flush out of these spaces to comply with this credit? There will be no tenants in these spaces and the client will not be using them for many years. If we add the square footage for the grey-boxed areas into the calculations my flush out time is over a month (option 1), which is a non-starter for the client. I want to encourage them to flush the building; however, may lose the argument if we are required to flush our areas that will not be used…Any advice / guidance would be appreciated.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Todd, I'd recommend testing. There isn't a clear way for you to comply with this credit without flushing out those spaces. The closest analague I'm aware of is in LEED-CS, where this credit doesn't exist.

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Eric Longfellow Project Manager Trinity Management Group llc
Dec 27 2012
LEEDuser Member
313 Thumbs Up

IAQ Testing/Separate Ventilation

We have a pre-school library/admin building new construction project where the 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. tester used a sampling point in a second floor attic-storage area which is not expected to be occupied regularly and does not have a separate ventilation system. The sample taken in this area failed testing and we are attempting to ask the hygienist to revise the report because this space did not need to be tested under NC v2.2. We are also excluding an unoccupied server room which is cooling-only and does not have fresh air supply. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 07 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Eric, are you looking for feedback on this approach?

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Eric Longfellow Project Manager, Trinity Management Group llc Feb 07 2013 LEEDuser Member 313 Thumbs Up

Thanks for the follow-up Tristan. The question that should have been included is: Do attic-storage spaces and server rooms which are not regularly occupied need to be tested for indoor air quality? Our interpretation of this credit is that they do not need to be tested since they are not 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., but as noted the industrial hygienist thought the attic-storage had to be tested.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Eric, for LEED 2009 projects, GBCI has recently loosened up the requirements on testing locations, and they have deferred quite a bit of authority to the industrial hygienist on the project. Your safest bet, in my opinion, is to take their advice. This is a bit of a gray area.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Nov 20 2012
LEEDuser Member
3118 Thumbs Up

Post Occupancy Possible?

Is there any chance for this credit to be possible if it's already occupied?

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Nov 20 2012 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

From what I understand you can do the 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. test after as long as you clear it with the governing body. As a laboratory that does the air testing we have had several clients do this. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that once people start entering the building they through off all kinds of TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions.'s due to perfumes, colognes, hair products which could cause you to fail. The sampling kits we give you will only take 4 hours to do which is a lot easier than the flush out. You can reach me at Centek Labs at 315-431-9730 if you have any questions...Russ

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Nov 21 2012 LEEDuser Member 3118 Thumbs Up

Well, under the checklist tab it says that testing needs to be done before occupancy. Therefore we ruled out that option, but how about option 1B? Unfortunately the building has been occupied already but the ventilation settings were not in placed when they occupied it. If the equipment have the capacity and the settings are rearranged, could the credit still be achieved under this option?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 21 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Victor, if the building has already been occupied, I don't see a pathway to earning the credit. Even with the option where you can flush out while occupying, you're supposed to provide part of the flush-out before occupancy.

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Alison Y Rivenburgh
Oct 09 2012
LEEDuser Member
1911 Thumbs Up

Phased Occupancy - Occupied Flush Out & Unoccupied Flush Out

We are constructing a 7-story healthcare facility and intend on doing a flush out to achieve IEQc3.2. The owner of the building would like to push the schedule and partially occupy the building (specifically occupying the 1st floor, while construction is still being complete on the other floors).

Our team had intended on using the “unoccupied” flush out method; however, the new partial occupancy schedule now interferes with our flush out schedule. Each floor has its own HVAC units and is able to be isolated from one another so it has been proposed that we flush out the first floor using the "occupied" flush out method and then flush out floors 2 - 7 using "unoccupied" flush out method.

Has anyone ever achieved this credit using both methods on the same project? The reference guide does not provide us with an option to use a combination of both methods and I am unable to find any addenda or 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's that discuss this scenario.

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Nov 20 2012 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

Several of our clients such as several story office buildings and hotels have done this using our sampling canisters. By using the flush out you are tied to several days or even weeks to do. By using our laboratory it is substantially cheaper and it is done in 4 hours.

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Tariq Malik Principal 3E Gulf Consulting Engineers
Sep 28 2012
Guest
25 Thumbs Up

EQc 3.2 Option 1 - Path-2 Before Occupancy Flush-Out

The project is a high security 3 storey square type building having offices on the parameter (no windows) and in the core. Parameter and core offices are linked through a common corridor.

We are planning to flush out the building with 3500 cu.ft of outdoor air per sq. ft of floor area through the air-conditioning duct work by isolating the return air duct work to ensure no re-circulation of air.

As the return air ducts will be isolated, the 100 percent outdoor air can only be exhausted from the rooms to the outdoors through the common corridor.

The question: Is it correct to assume that the outdoor air while exhausting to the outdoors through the common corridor will also flush the corridor, as the volume of the direct outdoor air supplied to the corridor through the air conditioning system is very less.

The required criteria of 3500 cu.ft of outdoor air per sq. ft will be strictly followed for the whole project.

Currently, no air quality testing facilities to meet specified standards are available in the country.

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Nov 20 2012 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

Are you talking about doing the air testing for the TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions.'s, Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings., 4-PCH, CO, CO2Carbon dioxide, Radon and PM10's. If so there are several laboratories that do this. We are one of them and have been running this for over 3 years. We are NELAP and AIHA certified.

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SmithGroupJJR IP
Sep 05 2012
LEEDuser Member
237 Thumbs Up

Furniture

Second question. There seems to be a lot of information posted that indicates that under LEED NC, furniture can be installed prior to flush-out or installed after flush-out and this applies to v2.2. First of all, furniture is not mentioned under v2.2 at all when it comes to talking about the flush-out. It is mentioned however when it comes to the 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. testing and is encouraged but not required. In my research to find out where this approach to furniture applies to the flush-out, I did find a couple of earlier LEED interpretations that date back to v2.1 that follow this line of thinking (LI #5598 dated 5/3/2004) although even before that LEED seemed to be against the installation prior to flush as they though it could become a possible VOC sink with the exception of metal furniture. Unfortunately this interpretation only seems to be applicable to v2.1. My question is, is there something written somewhere that ties this dual approach to furniture installation to v2.2 or is it just somehow implied?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 22 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

USGBC has definitively clarified for LEED 2009 projects that furniture is optionally installed for EQc3.2. I think that based on earlier ambiguities, and this newer ruling, you are safe going with "optional" for v2.2 projects.

 

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SmithGroupJJR IP
Sep 05 2012
LEEDuser Member
237 Thumbs Up

Flush-out of Occupiable vs Non-occupiable Space

Having difficulty determining what spaces should be flushed. I was always under the impression that all spaces within a building must be flushed but now I am confused. 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. Ruling #1902 dated 9/18/2007 clearly indicate that all spaces within the building envelope need to be flushed and the credit does not differentiate between occupiable and non-occupiable spaces as defined by ASHRAE. In diirect contrast to that, LEED Interpretation Ruling #5217 dated 6/4/2009 indicates that all spaces that are occupiable as defined by ASHRAE 62.1 must be flushed out. They also go on to say that ASHRAE's definition of occupiable is an enclosed space intended for human activities, excluding those spaces intended primarily for other purposes, such as storage rooms and equipment rooms that are only occupied occasionally and for short periods of time. Typical MEP spaces would not be considered to be occupiable. These are both relavent under v2.2 and are clearly not saying the same thing. There seems to be no clear guidance from the reference guide either.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Nov 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 6394 Thumbs Up

Typically, the most recent 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. should be used. With that in mind, I think you would be fine only flushing what ASHRAE defines as occupiable and using the 2009 interpretation as support. That being said, though, the safe thing to do is just flush everything and personally, I would lean in that direction since it's a one shot deal.

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Megan Bove
Aug 13 2012
LEEDuser Member
230 Thumbs Up

FILTERS

It is understood that MervMinimum efficiency reporting value. 8 filters are needed for all returns for compliance with EQ 3.2, then if a project is going for EQ 5 then all filters are to be changed to Merv 13. Is there a minimum merv value for filters if a project is not going to EQ 5?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Megan, no, there is not—other than what might be needed for IEQp1 compliance.

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Robert Sutton P.E., C.E.M, President/Owner, Sutton Engineered Systems, Inc. Mar 05 2013 Guest 342 Thumbs Up

Aren't we then saying MERVMinimum efficiency reporting value. 8 is the minimum?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Robert, I don't understand your question—can you clarify?

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Alison Y Rivenburgh
Jul 03 2012
LEEDuser Member
1911 Thumbs Up

EQc3.2 - IAQ testing - required in service bays?

Hi.
We have a project that is a sales/service center and is planning for 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. testing . The sales/office portion of the building is mechanically conditioned, so we are clear on the requirements for that area. The question we have is for the service bays that are naturally conditioned (only unit heaters are used seasonally). To comply with the intent of this credit, do we need to provide an additional sampling point in the service bay area (it is under 25,000 SF)? This area is regularly occupied (technicians doing maintenance and repair of equipment) and there are large overhead doors that can be opened to provide natural ventilation.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Alison, yes, I think that's correct.

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Jesse Walton Project Architect Mahlum
May 18 2012
Guest
68 Thumbs Up

EQ 3.2 Option 1 Flush-Out not continuous at 60%RH

Our review comment came back recently that stated because our relative humidity was above 60% for a couple of hours of our flush-out period of well over 14,000 cu.ft/SF, we do not comply. We do have 14,000 cu.ft/SF at below 60%RH but not continuously, there are a couple of hours in the middle of our flush-out period where we go above 60%. Has anyone else had this credit review comment, and argued it successfully? Thanks.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Jesse, sorry for the slow reply here, but that review comment seems like overreaching to me. There is no mention of "continuous" supply in the credit language. Has this been resolved?

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Jesse Walton Project Architect, Mahlum Aug 31 2012 Guest 68 Thumbs Up

We responded that the flush out was within acceptable temperature and humidity ranges for more than the required cubic feet/SF, although not continuously and we received the credit. Yeah!

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Allen Pettit Jul 24 2013 LEEDuser Member 111 Thumbs Up

I have had that situation occur to me on several projects. That is why I typically add 3-4 days of buffer after the flush is calculated to be complete. I also review the trends weekly and throw out trend times that do not meet the flush criteria than add that time to the end of the flush to compensate.

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Diane Panaritis Interior Designer Mitchell Associates
Mar 13 2012
Guest
185 Thumbs Up

post occupancy construction work in multi-phase project

Our project is multi-phased. Each phase will be corded-off & tested separately. What type of construction work is allowed to occur after a space has been tested, passed & occupied? For example can receptacles be added to walls & ceiling lights be added in the clg? Does the space need to be retested after work is done?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Diane, the credit language states that testing should be completed "after construction ends." I think that the work you're describing would be pushing that limit.

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Elizabeth Eason principal architect Elizabeth Eason Architecture LLC
Feb 14 2012
LEEDuser Member
156 Thumbs Up

particulate measure conversion

We just received PM10 Analysis of Particulate Matter Performed by EPA Reference Method 40 CFR, Chapter I, Part 50, App. J test results with Concentration of 358 (μg/m³) outside and 58 indoors. Is there a conversion from μg/m³ to mg/m³ or are they the same?

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Jonathan Weiss Feb 14 2012 LEEDuser Member 2203 Thumbs Up

The results you received is micrograms, which are 1/1000 of a milligram. But the requirement for LEED is 50 micrograms, not milligrams. So I don't think you would want to convert to mg.

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Elizabeth Eason principal architect, Elizabeth Eason Architecture LLC Feb 14 2012 LEEDuser Member 156 Thumbs Up

Jonathan, I thought the outdoor measure of 358 seemed so high, but you are telling me that μg/m³ is a microgram reading?

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Jonathan Weiss Feb 14 2012 LEEDuser Member 2203 Thumbs Up

Yes, (I don't know how to make the microgram symbol on my keyboard), that is the reading in micrograms. I think it is not unusual for the outdoor readings to have higher readings if it is a dusty environment. the 58 micrograms is pretty close to the 50 limit, so hopefully you can flush / clean etc. and retest.

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Russ Pellegrino Technical Director, Centek Laboratories, LLC Nov 21 2012 Guest 289 Thumbs Up

To do it on you keyboard our lab reports it as 50ug/m3

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Janika McFeely Associate, Sustainability Specialist EHDD Architecture
Dec 13 2011
LEEDuser Member
865 Thumbs Up

Using both testing and flush out

Most of our project is mechanically ventilated and we plan to conduct a flush-out of these spaces to meet the credit requirements. There are, however, naturally ventilated offices on each floor and given that the building is to be completed in the winter, we won't be able to meet the temperature and humidity requirements for the flush-out of the offices. We therefore are thinking about testing these locations (one office per floor). Has anyone tried a mixed approach like this? thanks!

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Nick _ Architect, LEED AP Jul 30 2012 Guest 588 Thumbs Up

It appears you can, per 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. #1561. Check the interpretation database.

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Mark Cochard
Dec 05 2011
Guest
79 Thumbs Up

Flush out vs air sampling.

Just foundthe site. Is the the credit for Eq3.2 based on a choice between air sampling and testing vs. Flush out or are both required?

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