NC-v2.2 EQc6.2: Controllability of Systems—Thermal Comfort

  • NC_v2-2_EQc6.2_Type1_ThermalComfort Diagram
  • What you need

    All multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations. (like classrooms or auditoriums) must have at least one occupant comfort control. Multifamily housing must also have one control per unit.

    For individual spaces or open-plan offices, at least 50% of occupants must be able to control their individual comfort conditions.

    A lot of options

    Providing thermal comfort control with operable windows is a common way to earn this credit.Providing thermal comfort control with operable windows is a common way to earn this credit.The credit defines comfort according to the four primary comfort criteriaComfort criteria are specific design conditions that take into account temperature, humidity, air speed, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, seasonal clothing, and expected activity. (ASHRAE 55–2004) identified by ASHRAE 55-2004:

    • air temperature
    • radiant temperature
    • humidity
    • air speed.

    A comfort control meeting the credit requirements needs to only address one of these four. Common ways to meet the credit include installing:

    • heating radiators or radiant panels with individual temperature controls;
    • operable windows;
    • or adjustable local air diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light..

    Are desk fans allowed?

    Is a desk fan an acceptable strategy? Some project teams have reported success with desk fans, but it may depend on your rating system.

    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. #1722, 3/22/2007 which applies to NC-v2.2, but not officially to LEED 2009, states that they are not allowed, since the intent of the credit "deals with providing thermal comfort control as an integral part of the building design."

    However, Reference Guide Addendum ID# 100000766, 2/2/2011, explicitly applies to LEED-2009 rating systems, and states that "Individual comfort plug-in devices are acceptable for meeting the intent of this credit" as long as they are included in your EAp2 energy model.

    Choosing your ventilation system

    You can meet this credit with either naturally or mechanically ventilated buildings.

    Projects using natural ventilation need to provide access to operable windows for at least 50% of occupants. Access to an operable window means that an occupant's desk is located within 20 feet of a window to the inside, and ten feet from side to side.

    Thermal comfort controls like thermostats are a common way to earn this credit, but make sure you choose a mechanical system that allows for that level of variability.Thermal comfort controls like thermostats are a common way to earn this credit, but make sure you choose a mechanical system that allows for that level of variability.It is more difficult to achieve credit compliance with mechanical systems like forced air because the controls typically serve a large area. You can provide a greater level of thermal comfort with underfloor air distribution that provide easily controlled diffusers. 

    For constant-air-volume systems that do not allow individual control, you may need to add an additional unit, such as a reheating coil at the diffuser or perimeter baseboard heating, to achieve the credit’s intent. 

    Heating or cooling

    For mechanically ventilated spaces, previous LEED-certified projects have complied with the credit by providing occupant controls for heating or cooling only. For example, a building providing controls that adjust heat within a certain temperature range can comply with the credit, even if controls are not provided for the cooling season. 

    Air diffusers provided via underfloor air distribution systems can provide individual comfort control in offices.Air diffusers provided via underfloor air distribution systems can provide individual comfort control in offices.

    Approaching the credit by building type

    Multifamily: For a small unit, you may only need a single control—it can be a window or a thermostat. Most units will require a control in each bedroom and in the living room or other multi-occupant spaces.

    Offices: Private offices and open space offices need multiple controls for 50% of occupants. One control in each conference or meeting room.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Early during pre-design the owner identifies occupant comfort and control goals in the Owner's Project Requirements for commissioning in EAp1 and EAc3.


  • Assess your climate and your ability to provide occupant-controlled interventions for different comfort criteria. These may include: 

    • operable windows for air speed and temperature
    • air conditioning for temperature and humidity 
    • ceiling fans for air speed
    • desiccant dehumidification 
    • radiators for air temperature
    • air diffusers for air speed.

    Desk fans are not considered an acceptable strategy according to LEED Interpretation #1722, although USGBC has not officailly applied that Interpretation to LEED-2009 rating systems.


  • For commercial buildings, systems like fan coils paired with dedicated outdoor air systems can help provide local control to occupants, while reducing first-cost expenses like duct-work.


  • Operable windowIncluding operable windows in the building can reduce dependence on specific mechanical system designs. Positioning as many occupant spaces near operable windows as possible can make this credit easier to achieve.


  • Some conventional systems typically rely on central control, and multiple controls may be difficult to incorporate. Underfloor air distribution, on the other hand, is designed for flexibility and individual control in a way that naturally supports this credit. 


  • The required comfort control has to address only one of the four primary comfort criteria identified by ASHRAE 55-2004: air temperature, radiant temperature, humidity or air speed. You may address multiple criteria, but aren’t required to do so.


  • The comfort system does not have to be especially expensive or complex. It may simply be, for example, localized air conditioning with occupant controls. 


  • Providing occupant comfort controls can add some costs, but they can also save money and improve occupant comfort and productivity. Occupant comfort controls allow for the mechanical system to respond to conditions specific to different parts of the building, improving overall comfort while saving energy. Typically, a system under central control is sized and calibrated for the least comfortable space. For example, in cooling season overhead air conditioning is provided for the warmest space, while everyone else under the same AHU feels uncomfortably cold. By providing individual controls, everyone can adjust the cooling or air speed to their comfort needs. This control often directly translates to lower energy costs.  

Schematic Design

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  • Develop a list and number of all occupied spaces in the building, noting multi-occupant spaces. The number of individual occupant spaces and multi-occupant spaces should be the same between IEQc6.1 and IEQc6.2.


  • A multi-occupant space is space for group interactions, like classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, lobbies, warehouse loading areas, theaters, break rooms, commercial kitchens, retail stores, and exhibit spaces that expect large number of people to gather. 


  • Each multi-occupant space should have at least one comfort control that regulates air temperature, radiant temperature, humidity, or air speed in that room. 


  • For individually occupied spaces, identify the total number of workstations anticipated to be in each space per the project FTE count. "Workstations" are places where full-time occupants spend majority of their time.


  • If using operable windows, locate as many people as possible close to them. The credit allows you to count a person as having access to an operable window if they are within a 20-foot depth and a 10-foot length from one. The operable portion of the window must also be at least 4% of the size of the floor area of the space accessible to a given window, per ASHRAE 62.1-2004. For example, for a 5-foot-long window plus 10 feet on either side the total qualifying floor area would be 25 (5 + 10 + 10) multiplied by 20, or 500 ft2. At 4% of the floor area, the operable window area must be at least 20 ft2. Refer to the Documentation Toolkit for a diagrammatic representation of the window-area-to-floor-area relationship. 


  • How many people per control? Even though the credit calls for individual comfort controls, projects often earn this credit by grouping occupants around a single operable window. Similarly, a single mechanical system control can serve up to two occupants, contributing to the 50% credit threshold.


  • If less than 50% of occupants have access to operable windows, add more operable windows, adjust the layout, or add ducts, baseboards or diffusers with controls to add individual comfort controls. Run calculations again and redesign till 50% of people have access to the controls. 


  • An open office space is individually occupied where each person has an individual desk and defined space. 


  • Individually occupied spaces are defined as the place where an occupant spends most of their time, such as a private office, reception desk, workstations or cubicles in open-plan offices. 


  • A control can be as simple as a switch to turn air conditioning on or off, changing temperature in a small permitted range using a thermostat, or closing a diffuser to reduce air flow. 


  • Providing comfort controls that allow an occupant to turn a system on only when using the space, and turn it off at other times, supports energy efficiency goals. Whether or not it can contributes to demonstrable energy reductions for EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance is another question. Except for operable windows, this would be difficult to demonstrate.  


  • Note the credit requirement is based on number of occupants for individually occupied and number of spaces for multi-occupants. Only half of the total building occupants must have controls in individually occupied spaces. However, each of the multi-occupant spaces must have independent controls. 


  • For example, an open plan office has 100 desks and 10 private offices, for a total of 110 individually occupied spaces. At least 55 of the people occupying those spaces must have access to comfort controls. The same office also has two conference rooms. Both conference rooms need their own controls. 


  • Facilities managers may have reservations about providing controls to users. The range of control can be limited to a certain range, however, and should be programmed to be reset at least at the end of the day with the building’s typical temperature setback. Be sure that occupants will be educated on how to use controls. 


  • One control per residential unit is required in hotels and multifamily buildings. 


  • Additional controls imply higher construction costs, with additional wiring, and maintenance for uninterrupted operations. There are low-cost options, such as baseboard heating radiators and heat pumps that are easy to operate and provide good local comfort. Compare the upfront costs of better controls to the long-term benefits of higher productivity, better test scores or hotel occupancy, plus savings in energy usage.


  • Underfloor air or ceiling-air plenum are common systems for allowing occupant comfort control. In addition, they can: 

    • allow for flexibility in layout and design, and ease of electrical wiring, installation of work stations, and arrangement of work spaces; 
    • realize first-cost savings in reduced duct work, lower floor height and possible an additional floor with more leasable space;
    • and enhance daylighting by creating higher floor-to-ceiling heights.

  • Chilled beams and radiant ceiling panels can provide individual temperature controllability. Given the appropriate climate, internal loads and envelope design chilled beams can be a good fit for this credit, especially if other options like operable windows are limited—for example in laboratory buildings.  


  • In the absence of operable windows, it is difficult to meet the 50% credit requirement unless the mechanical system is designed with zones to provide multiple comfort controls. 


  • Operable windows, although offering some energy and comfort benefits, have some drawbacks. They allow in outside air, which may not be of the highest quality, and also allow in outside noise. The unconditioned air they allow in can affect the operation of mechanical systems. 


  • Operable windows are generally higher in cost than fixed windows.


  • A mechanical system with more individual controls may cost more than a conventional system. This cost can be offset, though, by lower operating costs, a more flexible layout, and improved occupant productivity. 

Design Development

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  • If using a mechanical system, confirm that the project design is progressing with a system that allows for multiple controls.


  • Update the count of total individual workstations and those with controls. If the controls do not add to be 50% of total workstations then investigate the potential to add more controls or change the layout to make them more accessible to windows. 


  • Configure the mechanical system so that when windows are open, cooling is turned off to avoid wasting energy. You can accomplish this by hooking operable windows up to wireless sensors that communicate with the cooling system. 


  • Install a building management system that communicates with occupants to open operable windows when outside temperature and humidity are within comfort range as defined by ASHRAE 55-2004. 

Construction Documents

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  • If using operable windows, make sure the window schedule and all construction drawings include relevant details. Specify windows and window locations that make them easy to operate. 


  • Include all control locations and specifications in drawings and bid documents. Verify that the construction budget accounts for all thermostats, diffusers and a feedback system. 


  • Provide for the commissioning of control and response systems in the commissioning scope for EAp1


  • During the construction bidding phase, discuss the schedule to make sure correct control equipment is purchased and installed on time. The controls are only as good as the feedback and response system they are connected to. Explain the control sequence to the subcontractors to minimize confusion. 


  • If value engineering threatens comfort controls, remember their benefits—including energy savings and higher productivity.

Construction

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  • Ensure correct installation of all mechanical systems. 


  • Complete LEED Online documentation. Include mechanical system layout with controls schedule and cut sheets. 


  • List all spaces and occupancy types for the project on LEED Online. Indicate the kind and number of controls available in each of those spaces and provide a brief description of the control system in each space type. Identify any spaces or occupants that do not have individual controls and list those as well. 


  • The commissioning agent should check and verify operation and setpoints of the controls. (See EAp1.)

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Educate occupants about the range of control adjustments available. Many air diffusers can open or close the air vent and change the temperature only within a limited range, typically within 5ºF–10ºF of acceptable comfort levels. For example, a heating system may allow a range from 68ºF–74ºF. Comfort controls may not allow larger changes or switching to air conditioning during the heating season, and it is helpful for occupants to understand this. Encourage occupants not to leave windows open when heating or cooling is on.


  • Train operations and maintenance staff to troubleshoot any problems, particularly if there is a BMS system that responds to user controls, with overrides for end-of-day setbacks.


  • Incorporate controls into the operations manual and training so that facility staff are aware of the controls mechanism and response system. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    EQ Credit 6.2: Controllability of systems - thermal comfort

    1 Point

    Intent

    Provide a high level of thermal comfort system control by individual occupants or by specific groups in multioccupant spaces (i.e. classrooms or conference areas) to promote the productivity, comfort and well-being of building occupants.

    Requirements

    Provide individual comfort controls for 50% (minimum) of the building occupants to enable adjustments to suit individual task needs and preferences. Operable windows can be used in lieu of comfort controls for occupants of areas that are 20 feet inside of and 10 feet to either side of the operable part of the window. The areas of operable window must meet the requirements of ASHRAE 62.1-2004 paragraph 5.1 Natural Ventilation.
    AND

    Provide comfort system controls for all shared multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations. to enable adjustments to suit group needs and preferences.

    Conditions for thermal comfort are described in ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 to include the primary factors of air temperature, radiant temperature, air speed and humidity. Comfort system control for the purposes of this credit is defined as the provision of control over at least one of these primary factors in the occupant’s local environment.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Design the building and systems with comfort controls to allow adjustments to suit individual needs or those of groups in shared spaces. ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 identifies the factors of thermal comfort and a process for developing comfort criteriaComfort criteria are specific design conditions that take into account temperature, humidity, air speed, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, seasonal clothing, and expected activity. (ASHRAE 55–2004) for building spaces that suit the needs of the occupants involved in their daily activities. Control strategies can be developed to expand on the comfort criteria to allow adjustments to suit individual needs and preferences. These may involve system designs incorporating operable windows, hybrid systems integrating operable windows and mechanical systems, or mechanical systems alone. Individual adjust- ments may involve individual thermostat controls, local diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. at floor, desk or overhead levels, or control of individual radiant panels, or other means integrated into the overall building, thermal comfort systems, and energy systems design. In addition, designers should evaluate the closely tied interactions between thermal comfort (as required by ASHRAE Standard 55-2004) and acceptable indoor air quality (as required by ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, whether natural or mechanical ventilation).

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.

Organizations

ASHRAE 55-2004

This ASHRAE standard defines the criteria for human comfort that is followed to design mechanical systems.


ASHRAE 62.1 2007

This ASHRAE standard stipulates minimum outdoor air requirement and minimum window opening for naturally ventilated space. This formula is referenced in this credit where windows are used as control mechanism. 

Publications

National Review of Green Schools: Costs, Benefits, and Implications for Massachusetts

This seminal report documents the financial costs and benefits of green schools compared to conventional schools, specifically with reference to Massachusetts. Page six describes the benefits of ventilation controls on occupant productivity.


Operable Windows and HVAC Systems

Taylor Engineering lays out design guidance for integrating operable windows into an HVAC system, while also reducing energy consumption.


Integrated Design and UFAD

In this article from ASHRAE Journal, the authors outline the benefits of an integrated designAn integrated design process (also called "integrative" design by some proponents) relies on a multidisciplinary and collaborative team approach in which members make decisions together based on a shared vision and holistic understanding of the project. Rather than a conventional linear design process in which a design is passed from one professional to another, an integrated process has all key team members talking together through out the design and construction process as they share ideas and use feedback across disciplines to iteratively move toward a high-performing design. approach for underfloor-air distribution, and explain how UFAD can contribute to LEED credits including IEQc6.2. (Subscription Required)

Operable Windows

Operable windows are an appropriate way to meet the requirements for this credit in many building types. A single operable window can serve multiple occupants, as shown here.

LEED Online Sample Template – EQc6.2

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

Design Submittal

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

67 Comments

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Poorva Keskar
Sep 25 2013
LEEDuser Member
117 Thumbs Up

Calculating unobstructed operable window area of top hung window

In our project, top hung windows with a tilt of 30-40 degree are provided on the external walls which we want to consider under thermal comfort controllability. However, in the preliminary review, the assessor has asked to calculate unobstructed operable area for the same instead of taking 100% as operable. Can anyone clarify the methodology to calculate this for a top hung window?

Thanks.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Sep 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 7077 Thumbs Up

The operable area is equal to the free area when the window is fully open. You'll need to use geometry to calculate that area. (Might be able to find something on line too). Basically you add up the triangle shapes on the sides and the square shape on the bottom

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Poorva Keskar Sep 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 117 Thumbs Up

Thanks Dylan. I have calculated the area as you explained here. However, it is more than the actual window pane area, which is likely to happen when you add the side triangles as well.

The online data is very vague since the percentage of operable area is varying in every document. And, it also depends on the angle of opening. Anyway, if I consider only the front unobstructed area excluding the triangles, the window design does not meet the IEQ6.2 requirement and it is not possible to modify the design either. So, I might just take a chance by including the side triangles and see if it gets accepted.

However, if anyone has experienced similar situation and has got a clarification from USGBC, then please do share.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jan 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 7077 Thumbs Up

Poorva,
The area does depend on the angle of the opening. Typically windows have a max. 4 degrees or 15 degrees for example. If the bottom square and side triangles are larger than the total size of the window then you just use 100% free area of the window. You can't take credit for a larger amount of opening then the actual window.

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Sep 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
2661 Thumbs Up

Several Thermostats for one VAV

Can several offices be assigned each with a thermostat to control a 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.? The output of the VAV is a result of the average for the different thermostats.

Thanks.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Sep 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Victor,

I would take a look at this discussion: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/IEQc6.2#comment-39062

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Sep 16 2013 LEEDuser Member 2661 Thumbs Up

Well this is not in related to a residential unit. This is 3 offices that are connected to one 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.. There is only one thermostat for one of the office, however we were thinking of providing also thermostats to the other two offices and the output would be a result in the average of the settings in the 3 offices. Would that count?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Sep 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Victor,

Yes, I realize this is different in terms of space type. However, what is similar is around this question of averages. If you have three offices with one 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. then each office doesn't really have control over the temperature of its space. The final answer from the last comment in the post I sent along is from the GBCI which said that the approach was not acceptable.

Certainly the scenario of one thermostat for three offices wouldn't cut it. The other scenario whereby you add two thermostats also doesn't seem sufficient based on the post I sent along. The consensus - though - from the last post was that 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 could be written to get an official confirmation on this approach.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Sep 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

What your question really comes down to is if controllability really exists if someone's controllability is limited to the average of their preferences with others. This is a really interesting question and would require 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. My understanding is that LEED does not provide a requirement for a degree of controllability (i.e. one degree control would suffice) but I don't think they have ruled on your specific question.

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Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Jul 23 2013
LEEDuser Member
542 Thumbs Up

Place of the thermostat set temperature in e-Quest detail mode

My project is evaporator cooling system design. I set the design of the temperature and thermostat set temperature. Then I move to detailed mode when I change the design set temperature un-met hours (Cooling only) didn't change. I think I might have to change thermostat temperature. But I couldn't find the place of the thermostat temperature in detail mode of of the e-Quest. So, how can I reduced un-met hours without going to wizard mode?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Sep 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Magda,
This seems like to be more of an e-Quest question than a EQc6.2 question. I don't know how to answer this question but perhaps others on LEEDuser do.

Post a Reply
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Christian Kaltreider
Jun 20 2013
Guest
21 Thumbs Up

EQc6.2: After Hours Controllability?

I have a project which provides individual thermostat control to nearly all occupants. The occupants have full control during typical occupied hours. Is it allowable for the BAS to take control of individual thermostats during unoccupied hours to automatically implement night time setback? No user override will be available after hours. Thanks!

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Christian,
This is an interesting question. I would be inclined to say that it all sounds fine. I guess the question a LEED Reviewer might have is how you might deal with some situations when workers are there during off hours. What kind of facility is it? Is it the case that some worekrs may stay later than normal and need some controllability? I think a good narrative here will go a long way with making your case.

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Christian Kaltreider Jun 21 2013 Guest 21 Thumbs Up

Lauren,
Thanks. It is an educational facility with classrooms, offices, and lab space. I think the approach is inline with the intent of the credit. But as you say, I guess the question is how many of the occupants would end up without control on a regular or semi-regular basis. I will need to get more information from the owner to make a judgment call. If we do go for the credit, I will definitely include a narrative as you suggest.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jul 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 7077 Thumbs Up

Christian - realistically the LEED Reviews will not question your design. They just look at the floor plans to ensure you have enough zones per occupants. I've not been asked to provide my controls specifications.

Post a Reply
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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator JALRW Eng. Group Inc.
Apr 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
2661 Thumbs Up

Test

Test

Post a Reply
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Mary Ann Santos
Jul 20 2012
LEEDuser Member
2278 Thumbs Up

Remote control

Hi everyone!

If an office has 5 occupants and the room is being cooled by 2 ceiling cassete FCU's with remote control. Can the project acheive this credit if there will be remote controlers? FYI.. the FCU's has only one thermostat each.

Thanks!

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jul 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Mary,

My general sense is that the answer is no if this is the only space that is part of your calculation. You have two controls and 5 occupants so the math doesn't add up.

You might also run into some trouble in convincing reviewers that the remote controllers suffice. Does everyone have access to a remote control? What if one employee hordes the remote controls at their desk so no one else can use them? You would need to present a strong narrative for how the remote controls are managed.

Are you sure that the space should be considered 5 individual workstations and not multi-occupant? If the 5 occupants have individual desks then it probably is right to consider them workstations but just wanted to make sure.

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Mary Ann Santos Jul 22 2012 LEEDuser Member 2278 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your response Lauren.

Yes there will be individual work stations for 5 of them. Were thinking of two options:
1. Buy another remote control as an added accessory to the unit. Thus at least 3 of them could have it.
2. Submit a narrative that the remote control will be placed in one space that everyone should have access to.

Could you give me some guidance which one is more appropriate for this credit please?

Cheers!
Mary Ann

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jul 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Mary Ann,

I think your first option may work better. However, I don't think either of them are guaranteed to pass with your reviewer. I think that the original intent of the credit is to ensure that at least half of the occupants can adjust the temperature to meet their own personal needs. In a situation in which there are 3 remotes but, in reality, only two different control settings, I'm not sure the credit's requirements are really being met.

That being said, it's really pretty rare that it is the case that 3 people want completely separate controls. The reviewer may accept your narrative.

I find that this credit can be difficult to meet in certain programmatic conditions.

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Lorne Mlotek LEED AP BD+C LeadingGREEN
Jun 06 2012
Guest
883 Thumbs Up

EQc6.2 - VAV not allowed for air ctrl multi-occupant space

Project: Childcare centre (Can be considered a school if need be)
Credit: EQc6.2 - Controllability of Systems: Non-Perimeter Spaces

Problem Statement: We are dealing with a GMO (Group Multi-Occupant) space - specifically the kitchen that is smaller than 930m2. The review states that "A thermostat for a 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. unit does not count as an airflow control for a GMO."

The Kitchen has no exterior walls and is surrounded by interior corridors or other classrooms (No physical Connection to outdoors).

The lighting is fine, the review said nothing about the temp control but rather just the airflow control. Thus, if you LEEDusers agree, this is what I must be focussing on.

I can only think of a few shaky arguments that I doubt will stand. To get the ball rolling, these are my thoughts thus far: Argue it is not a regularly occupied space because it is located in a single floor school and can only be used by a few staff (IE not a lot of the time). There are exhaust fans (Don't know if we can swing that). There is a sliding door on the east wall which connects it to a pantry. The pantry is connected to the outside via operable windows etc.. Thus its indirectly connected to the outdoors if the sliding door remains open...

Please throw out your ideas.

FYI, this credit is the difference between silver and gold..... No pressure.

Cheers,
Lorne

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 06 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7077 Thumbs Up

The LEED reviewer's comment doesn't make sense. It specifically says that you can use a thermostat.
Does the space have a T-stat that occupants can make airflow or temperature adjustments with? Or is it just a temperature sensor?
An area exhaust fan with an adjustable knob would probably work. Probably wouldn't count if it just associated with a fume hood or similar.
The sliding door probably wont work because it doesn't sound like the window is within 20' of all points in the space.
I don't think you'll will the regularly occupied space argument, wouldn't bet on that one.
Summary - argue the T-stat or the exhaust fan.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 07 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Dylan and Lorne,

I agree with Dylan in that I am confused by the reviewer's comments. For a multi-occupant space, a thermostat is sufficient so long as it is accessible to all occupants. Can you provide the full reviewer comment on LEED user so we don't miss something here? Is the reviewer trying to argue that you have a series of individual workstations within the multi-occupant space?

Unfortunately, I don't think you stand a strong chance with any of your other ideas.

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Lorne Mlotek LEED AP BD+C, LeadingGREEN Jun 07 2012 Guest 883 Thumbs Up

Hi Guys,

I should have further specified the LEED Reviewers comments. So the real issue is that we only have a thermostat to control temperature (Heat/Cool) without a separate airflow control for 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..

In all honesty, I thought that we would have still complied with the credit by installing the thermostat. My aforementioned arguments are indeed weak, but this is the 2nd Review and I cannot just say "WE STILL BELIEVE THE THERMOSTAT IS SUFFICE, PERIOD."

To give a little more background. This credit is being audited and it is under CaGBC's LEED NC 1.0 (Which is almost identical to USGBC's version.)

The comment in full:
The applicant has submitted mechanical and electrical floor plans highlighting the locations of the temperature and lighting controls. The applicant has also provided a design narrative indicating that all non-perimeter 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. are group-multi occupant (GMO) spaces less than 930 m2 in area. The narrative also indicates that the installed programmable thermostats control airflow and temperature via dedicated terminal HVAC units. Please note that a thermostats for a VAV unit does not count as an airflow control for GMO spaces and this alternate compliance path would require 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.

It appears that some non-perimeter group-multi occupant spaces share a physical connection to the building exterior; as per the calculation section of the LEED Canada-NC 1.0 Reference Guide, in an instance where less than 75% of the floor area falls within the 4.5m offset line but the space shares a physical connection to the building exterior, the space must meet the requirements outlined in non-perimeter calculations in addition to providing an average of one operable window per 18.5m2 of perimeter floor area. As no offset line was provided on the submitted plan, please provide clarification that no spaces meet this criteria or indicate that these requirements have been met.

There are a few things that are vague and confusing that I see, but I wouldn't mind your take.

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Jun 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7077 Thumbs Up

"Please note that a thermostats for a 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. unit does not count as an airflow control for GMO spaces"
Two possibilities:
The reviewer doesn't understand how a VAV thermostat works.
Or The CaGCG doesn't allow Thermostats for VAVs to count for this credit.
Perhaps you should create 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 and save all the other poor souls that will also be denied this credit erroneously.
Another option is to email or set up a conference call with the reviewer before you resubmit to see if you can ask them which one of those two possibilities is holding you up.
Only other thing I could see as wrong (misunderstood) is that you are trying to claim the T-Stat was a airflow controller and the reviewer wants you to consider it a temperature controller.
How a VAV T-Stat works: http://www.kmccontrols.com/products/Zone_control_with_Variable_Air_Volum...

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Lorne Mlotek LEED AP BD+C, LeadingGREEN Jun 13 2012 Guest 883 Thumbs Up

Thanks for all the help! We are not allowed to speak with the reviewer prior to our 2nd review submission.

Just an FYI, this is what I submitted. I will let you know if the stars aligned for us.

1. Student Classrooms

• While the spaces are group multi-occupant, the occupants are largely very young children (<5 years of age) and therefore it does not make sense for these occupants to have their own control over these type of controls. Rather, each classroom / area is controlled by 1 teacher or supervisor, who is responsible for the controlling occupant comfort on behalf of the students. Therefore while these spaces are technically ‘group multi occupant’ we feel the conditions are very different than that of a typical office building, and that the level of control for temperature and airflow is more than adequate. Please also note that while these rooms fall within the ‘non-perimeter spaces’ category under LEED definitions, airflow and temperature is also controlled by operable windows for the entire classroom.

2. Kitchen

The Kitchen is a non-perimeter space and none of the walls have direct physical connection to the outdoors.

• For this GMO, the control for thermal comfits is accessible for all users of the kitchen, (occupancy - calculated density of 4 using ASHRAE occupant densities). The terminal HVAC 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. unit is the sole means of airflow coming into the kitchen area. Airflow leaving the kitchen area can be controlled through the HVAC terminal or even the exhaust fans installed in the kitchen. Occupants are able to control the exhaust fans

3. Staff Room

• A thermostat has been provided to control airflow and temp in the staff room. IN addition to this, one operable window has been provided for 18.5 m2 of perimeter space. Given the layout of this room, while it technically falls into the category of non-perimeter space, there is still la significant amount of perimeter area. Given this, we feel an operable window, combined with a thermostat controlling a VAV, provides a more than adequate level of control for the occupants. This is especially true considering a calculated occupant count for the non-perimeter area of ‘2’ from the EQc6.2 calculation template based on ASHRAE occupant densities.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 22 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Thanks Lorne. Keep us posted.

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Lindsay Austrom Mechanical Engineer, Stantec Sep 05 2013 LEEDuser Member 562 Thumbs Up

Hi Lorne, any update on this?
I have a very similar project and it seems that LEED Canada-NC v1.0 is unique in the requirement for both an airflow AND temperature control for each GMO space. I didn't find much clarification in the published CIRs either, so I'm not sure what is considered "airflow control" short of an adjustable floor diffuser. I will post on the LEED Canada page as well.

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Jeff Stanton Vice President SmithGroup
Apr 20 2012
Guest
31 Thumbs Up

Non-Regularly Occupied Spaces vs Shared Multi-Occupant Spaces

This should be simple, but I am confused. Many of the comments below along with the checklist for the credit under schematic design indicate that lobby spaces and break rooms should be considered as multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations.. In the v2.2 reference guide under the credit, they classify lobbies and break rooms as non-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.. Obviously controls are being provided in these spaces but is it necessary to list these spaces in the credit documentation as Shared multi-occupant spaces?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Jeff,

In short, yes - you do have to include the lobby spaces and break rooms. Unlike other credits in LEED (like, for instance, EQc8) this credit includes the requirement to provide controls for all building occupants and you don't necessarily exclude spaces that aren't regularly occupied.

Non-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. are excluded though. For instance, janitorial, storage, and closets would be excluded from needing controllability.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

On second thought, I actually see where your confusion is. For instance, I would never include bathrooms and they are non-regularly occupied multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations..

I think it's a bit of a judgement call. Personally, and on my projects, I include break rooms because I can see the use of people in a project space wanting to adjust the temperature there during a break. I would be less inclined actually to include a lobby space and you have people coming in and out temporarily and those particular users would most likely not feel inclined to adjust the thermostat (aside from perhaps the receptionist who could be considered potentially to be at an individual workstation).

What do other LEEDUsers think about this? How have others approached this credit?

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Jeff Stanton Vice President, SmithGroup Apr 21 2012 Guest 31 Thumbs Up

Thanks Lauren! Like a lot of things in LEED, nothing is ever crystal clear. We do have controls in these spaces so it is not like we do not meet the intent anyways. It's just odd that they specifically call out lobbies and break rooms under the definition of non-regularly occupied as if they are different from spaces under any of the other definitions and they lump them with hallways, corridors, copy rooms, storage rooms and stairwells which definately don't fit the definition of multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations.. I personally think they should have expanded the definition of Shared Multi-Occupant Spaces to include the fact that some non-regualrly 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. could qualify to alieviate any confusion. I don't know if I would consider a bathroom a multi-occupant space as it isn't really for the purpose of training or work activity in a group sense as the definition alludes to. On another note about the definitions, they indicate storage rooms as non-occupied spaces but also include them as non-regularly occupied...........interesting or confusing?

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Eirini Matsouki Atkins
Apr 15 2012
LEEDuser Member
325 Thumbs Up

Individual Controls in small offices

We have a number of small offices in our facility distributed on various floors. Most of which have only 4-5 people seated in them. Do we have to provide for 50% which is 2-3 controls in each of the small rooms or is 1 control acceptable in small office spaces? What is the maximum number of people allowed with 1 control in small office areas?

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Samantha Harrell LEED Project Reviewer certificate holder Apr 16 2012 Guest 2605 Thumbs Up

Hi Eirini,

Say, for example, you have 5 small open office areas, each with 4 individual workstations in them. To achieve this credit, you'd need to provide at least 10 of those workstations with an individual control/means of controlling thermal comfort. It doesn't matter which 10 workstations you choose. Installing only 1 control in each of the 5 open office areas is not sufficient, since technically only 5 workstations would have a control; installing 1 thermostat and 1 compliant operable window in each of the 5 areas would be sufficient.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 16 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

I agree! I would just make sure that those controls are available to two people (in the last case you mention). For instance, if you had 5 workstations and just one person was both next to the thermostat and to the operable window and the other occupants really didn't have control then it shouldn't really count.

It's really up to the best judgement of the project team.

The main point - as Samantha outlines - is that the credit is tracked by individual workstation (and not by individual room). So, if you have 5 workstations in one room, then those 5 people need to be part of your workstation count. Exactly as Samantha states, it's the total value that needs to add up so you could have complete rooms that didn't meet the requirements so long as the total percentage added up to 50%.

The intent of the credit - in terms of trying to provide a comfortable and adjustable environment for occupants, should try to be honored.

Good luck!

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Omar ElRawy Building Engineer, LEED AP BD+C EA Building Consultants
Jan 21 2012
Guest
527 Thumbs Up

Office workspace with VAV

I have an office building, with open workspaces, each of a 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. box that supply through different number of diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light., and I do have one control over each VAV box, where all occupants can have access to that controller, does that count as 100% control?
Another issue is that the LEED score card counts the number of spaces that are provided with individual control, not the number of occupants, does that mean that a space with VAV box having inspace controller counts as "space provided with individual control" for LEED score card?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 27 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Omar,

In terms of the individual controllers, the only controls that count are where you have one person per control. In other words, it is my understanding, that you cannot have multiple occupants using one control and then count that as 100% controllability. If each person could control the air flow through their own personalized diffuser then that could count.

And, you want to think about this credit in terms of individual workstations and not in terms of occupants. I would start by counting and designating all of your individual workstations as an initial exercise.

Lauren

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Omar ElRawy Building Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, EA Building Consultants Feb 05 2012 Guest 527 Thumbs Up

Lauren,
Thanks for your help, I understand now that: it's better for me to count my space a a shared multi-occupant space,, is that what you mean?

And in both cases, how shall we deal with the LEED score card itself? I find it strange somehow that it counts the percentage in terms of the number of spaces, not the number of occupants, which contradicts (as I think) with the credit intent (50% of building occupants)..

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Feb 05 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Omar,
If you have an open workstation space then you should not count it as a multi-occupant space but should instead count it as one workstation per desk. Therefore, you need to have 50% of your individual workstations with controls. This is a difficult thing obviously for many office spaces. However, usually it is accomplished through a combination of windows and/or diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. and/or thermostats.

I agree that the language can be a bit confusing but you'll need to make sure that you're really thinking about it in terms of each workstation/desk having controllability instead of thinking about your FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. or number of people in your space.

Lauren

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Omar ElRawy Building Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, EA Building Consultants Feb 05 2012 Guest 527 Thumbs Up

ahaa, great, this is more applicable, and does explain the LEED score cards method of counting.

thanks Lauren, that was really helpful, I shall apply as soon as I get to the office :)

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Feb 10 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Cool! Let me know if you have any more questions.

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YP Pierce
Nov 15 2011
Guest
277 Thumbs Up

Definition of Multi-occupant Spaces

Could someone help me with defining ‘multi-occupant spaces’, please? I do understand classrooms, conference room and lecture halls are categorized as ‘multi-occupant spaces.’ How about research labs, prep rooms, café kitchen, office breakrooms?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Dec 16 2011 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Sometimes the easiest way for me to do this is to first figure out where my individual workstations are because these are generally more straightforward. Then I know that the other spaces are probably multi-occupant if they are in fact also regularly occupied.

For instance, I would probably consider a research lab to be a multi-occupant space unless there were lab desks where individuals would benefit from individual controllability. Kitchens and break rooms are multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations. as they are places of congregation. Obviously, closets and bathrooms are excluded as they are not “regularly occupied spaces”.

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Razan Nejem Environmental Engineer, LEED AP BD+C
Jun 16 2011
Guest
318 Thumbs Up

Residential Building

the template for this credit only allows entering data for an office building, how do i fill this out in case of a residential building.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Nov 04 2011 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Razan,

I'd call bedrooms Individual Workspaces and I'd list common areas like Dining Rooms under Multi-Occupant SpacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations..

Lauren

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Catalina Caballero Sustainability Coordinator, JALRW Eng. Group Inc. Feb 11 2013 LEEDuser Member 2661 Thumbs Up

In regards to this, I was wondering if within the residential units each room would have to have individual control (dining bedroom, etc) or the residential unit would count as a whole? thanks

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Feb 11 2013 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Please take a look at the IEQ Space Matrix document: http://new.usgbc.org/resources/eq-space-type-matrix

I have heard that an updated version of this spreadsheet is coming soon but for now this is the latest version. There is specific guidance in there for residential applications.

"List of changes for July 2012 version:

1. For Credit scope (row 6) for IEQc6.1/IEQc6/2/IEQc6(CS)- revised residential language as follows:

Residential spaces- all individual and multi-occupant spacesConference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations. (includes regularly and non-regularly occupied, each space must have its own individual lighting control to be counted towards the credit, each unit must have its own thermal control to be counted towards the credit).

2. For Health Care Facilities, Labor rooms- added x in multi-occupant column.
3. For Health Care Facilties, Delivery areas- revised individual occupant to multi-occupant.
4. For Health Care Facilties, Occupational and physical therapy, work areas- revised individual occupant to multi-occupant.
5. For Health Care Facilties, Recovery areas, revised individual occupant to multi-occupant.
6. For Hotels, Front desk (row 107), added x in multi-occupant column (column F).
7. For Houses of Worship- Congregational Areas, added reference to footnote 2.
8. For Libraries, Bookstacks- added inactive and active categories.
9. For Residences, new bedroom category.
10. For Residences, Conversation, relaxation and entertainment- revised individual occupant to multi-occupant.
11. For Residences, Reading and study areas- revised from multi-occupant to individual occupant.
12. For Residences, Circulation- removed multi-occupant.
13. For Residences, Grooming- added individual occupant.
14. For Residences, Kitchens- revised individual occupant to multi-occupant.
15. For Transportation Terminals - added reference to footnote 2.
"

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Jacob Serfling
Feb 17 2011
Guest
48 Thumbs Up

Eq 6.1 and T-Stat locations

We are beginning to work on LEED certification for a string of convenience stores. On one of the first stores to be designed all of the thermostats for the three rooftop units serving the store were located in a back receiving room. If we believe that ability to control these thermostats would provide 50% of the employees with thermal comfort of their workspace are still satisfying 6.2 even if the actual thermostat isn't located in the space?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Feb 21 2011 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Hi Jacob,

I would take a look at LEED for Retail as they have particular guidance on achieving this credit and EQc6.1 for retail scenarios. It seems that you could comply with the requirements noted below so long as these thermostats are accessible to all employees and that they control at least 50% of the spaces where your employees are.

LEED for Retail (http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=7956) states: Provide individual thermal comfort controls for 50% (minimum) of retail employees in office and administrative spaces to enable adjustments to suit individual task needs and preferences. Operable windows can be used in lieu of comfort controls for occupants of areas that are 20 feet inside of and 10 feet to either side of the operable part of the window. The areas of operable window must meet the requirements of ASHRAE 62.1–2007, paragraph 5.1, Natural Ventilation (with errata but without addenda2)."

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Mark Meaders Sustainable Design Project Manager HDR Architecture, Inc.
Jan 20 2011
LEEDuser Member
910 Thumbs Up

CIR on wireless thermostats

I submitted 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 to GBCI regarding the use of wireless thermostats. I thought I would share the results with everyone since these devices will be used more frequently in the future.

Credit Interpretation Request:
The current project design is a 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. system that has one (1) thermostat (t-stat) for each VAV box (a zone), and each VAV box can serve up to 6 rooms. The project team would like to achieve this credit in a low-cost manner and utilize wireless t-stats to provide additional t-stats to meet the credit requirement. The wireless t-stats would be tied to the existing VAV box. The wireless t-stats would be setup in a manner that would average the settings among the t-stats to control the VAV box (Example: 1 regular t-stat and 2 wireless t-stats on 1 VAV box to serve 6 offices. The t-stats have a temperature setting of 70, 72, and 74 degrees respectively. The VAV box would average the temperature for that zone to 72 degrees). Another manner to utilize the t-stats would be to prioritize a t-stat based on the "importance" of the person who controls the t-stat (Example: 1 regular t-stat and 2 wireless t-stats on 1 VAV box to serve 6 offices. The t-stats have a temperature setting of 70, 72, and 74 degrees respectively. The "important" person sets their t-stat at 74 degrees, and the VAV places more of a weighting on that temperature setting, and the VAV box would set the temperature at 73 degrees). Does the deployment of the additional wireless t-stats in these two examples meet the intent and requirement of this credit?

Ruling:
The applicant is proposing to meet the credit requirements forEQc6.2 Controllability of Systems, Thermal Comfort by providing multiple
thermostats connected to one VAV box, totaling controls for 50% of the spaces served by the VAV box. The applicant states that the thermostat settings would be averaged, using either a standard averaging or weighted averaging, to determine the final VAV box supply air temperature set-point. It appears that the proposed approach could lead to a situation where most occupants or no occupants are satisfied. The intent of EQc6.2 is to provide a high level of thermal comfort control by individual occupants to promote the productivity, comfort and well-being of building occupants and to suit individual task needs and preferences. Based on the information provided, the system design proposed will not meet the intent of the credit.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 20 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Mark, that's interesting—thanks for sharing. Do you think it's a fair response?

(I should take a moment and remind our forum readers that CIRs like this are project-specific and not officially precedent setting. That said, they may offer some useful hints on GBCI thinking.)

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Mark Meaders Sustainable Design Project Manager, HDR Architecture, Inc. Jan 21 2011 LEEDuser Member 910 Thumbs Up

I can understand the response to a degree. However, it really isn't feasible to deploy a large number of thermostats in cubicle areas (and in some office area environments). I believe wireless t-stats are an excellent means to help address this item, and GBCI should be more open to alternative means to achieve this credit. There are few projects that achieve this credit because it is not cost-effective, and the use of technology and low-cost methods are what architects and contractors are looking for regarding sustainable solutions, and I believe this is an example of such a solution.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 21 2011 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Thanks for sharing your 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 Mark. This is an interesting question and an interesting response. I agree that this credit is nearly impossible to achieve in a commercial open office work environment with cubicles. I also agree that the GBCI could be more open in accepting these more cost-effective alternatives.

I think the first example you provided is a reasonable sequence of operation. The second where one stat's signal has more weight, not as much. They both increase controllability (thermal comfort) for all which is the goal. No one says the system has to be perfect. I don't agree with the statement that either most or nobody will be comfortable.

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Richard Morse
Jul 13 2010
Guest
163 Thumbs Up

Clarifications on open plan work stations individual control

In an open plan work area containing 4 workstations with 1 thermostat controling temp for the are. Does the 1 thermostat mean that 1 person has individual control (25%); or do all 4 stations (100%)?

If two workstations are on either side of an operable window, do both workstations qualify for individual control?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 13 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Richard, the thermostat for the open-plan work area qualifies all the stations under the credit. The window should qualify both workstations.

For specific guidance on both these issues, there are several items near the top of the Checklists checklist above, under Schematic Design, that I recommend reviewing.

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Richard Morse Jul 13 2010 Guest 163 Thumbs Up

Thank you for the clarifications. The Checklist states that a single mechanical system control may serve 2 persons. Which is correct?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jul 14 2010 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

The way I have approached the credit is to have one thermostat to count as meeting the requirements of one person. If I have two thermostats in an open office area I state that two people have controllability, etc. This is because an open office work plan is considered to consist of multiple individual workstations and is not a multi-occupant space.

In similar fashion, I'd assign one qualifying window to one person.

Because of this requirement, I seldom am able to achieve EQc6.2 with an open office work environment. EQc6.1 can usually be met with task lights but it's much more difficult for EQc6.2.

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Richard Morse Jul 14 2010 Guest 163 Thumbs Up

This credit is quickly eroding for the project. Operable windows satisfy about 28% of the building occupants. The rest are accounted for by thermostats. However, the thermostats are controled by a Building Automation System that maintains the temp within 1 degree of the set temperature. Allowing greater variation will undermine the performance of the energy model and hence EAc1

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Jul 14 2010 LEEDuser Expert 6249 Thumbs Up

I agree that this can be a very tough credit to achieve with open office spaces. Remember, though, that individual diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. with air speed control either at floor level or overhead can also be used to meet the requirements for this credit.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jul 14 2010 LEEDuser Expert 15749 Thumbs Up

Richard: If occupants have controllability (even if just within 1 degree) I think that technically speaking, that's acceptable.

Allison: Good reminder regarding diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light.. What you found the cost differential to be? None of my projects have used them.

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Jul 16 2010 LEEDuser Expert 6249 Thumbs Up

It is typically very low-cost to add extra diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. (about $100-$200 max apiece) you just need to make sure the project engineers confirm that potentially modifying air speed/volume in additional locations is not going to be a problem with their design.

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Mohamed Ravuthar, LEED AP, BD+C LEED Engineer, Contrack International Inc Oct 14 2010 Guest 901 Thumbs Up

Allison Beer Mckenzie is right. It can be achievable , diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. with help of air speed/volume control.

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Amy Bechard
Jul 01 2010
Guest
838 Thumbs Up

Individual thermal control

The building will have an open room with open plan workstations. We will count each of those as an individual space for the individual thermal comfort control. The HVAC system will supply the conditioned air through diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. located in a ceiling (no individual diffusers). The 50% of individual work stations will have the internet access that allows the change of the temperature setting in the room. As we are not sure if we can treat this as individual thermal comfort control, we will provide a desk fan for each work station to control the air speed.

Did anybody try to use this type (or similar) of the system for this credit EQ 6.2 - LEED 2.2 ?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 01 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

It sounds like you have a good approach, although I have not specifically tried it. Did you have any questions about it?

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Shannon Allison Project Engineer, Integral Group Nov 13 2012 Guest 409 Thumbs Up

Was the desk fan approach successful? I've seen GBCI comments that the thermal comfort control needs to be hard wired which is not mentioned in the guide book or ASHRAE.

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William Weaver Sustainability Practice Lead JLL
May 12 2010
LEEDuser Member
1315 Thumbs Up

EQc6.1 and EQc6.2 Coordination

I'm working on a 136 guest room hotel under LEED NC v2.2. It is my understanding that the guest rooms meet the definition of 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.. I'm having difficulty, however, deciding if the guest rooms should be treated as individual workstations or if they'd fall into the multi-occupant category for the purposes of completing the template.

We have 8 workstations and/or designated staff work areas and 136 guestrooms in addition to a number of spaces that are easily defined as multi-occupant. For EQc6.1, my electrical engineer has indicated the number of individual workstations as 8, and has placed the 136 guestrooms under the multi-occupant category and explained the localized individual lighting controllability within the guestroom suites within his narrative. However, for EQc6.2, my mechanical engineer has indicated the number of individual workstations as 144 (8 workstations + 136 guestrooms) and has explained the individual thermal controllability for each of the 144 spaces.

Both approaches seem to make sense and I fully understand why each placed the guest rooms in the category that they did. However, the reviewer for the preliminary review has dinged us on both credits, suggesting that the number of work stations has to be consistent between the two credits, although no advice for how to treat the guest rooms was given.

Can anyone please help me determine how the guest rooms should be classified - individual workstation or multi-occupant space - to coordinate the two credits?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 14 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

Please check the IEQc6.1 forum for the response to this cross-posted question

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