NC-v4 EQp2: Environmental tobacco smoke control

  • Prohibit smoking indoors

    Nudge people to use designated smoking areas by providing amenities like seating, protection from weather, and cigarette receptacles. | Photo – Cory DoctorowNudge people to use designated smoking areas by providing amenities like seating, protection from weather, and cigarette receptacles. Photo – Cory DoctorowEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer.) is a well-documented human health hazard. The only way to eliminate the threat of ETS is to completely prohibit smoking indoors, which is why LEED v4 gives no way around the requirement to ban indoor smoking. This is a departure from LEED 2009, which permitted designated interior smoking rooms.

    Residential projects remain an exception to the interior no-smoking rule. See below for specific considerations for residential projects.

    Smoking outdoors is allowed, with certain parameters

    Smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. If you want to create a designated smoking area it must be located at least 25 feet away from building openings.

    Additionally, if a portion of the site is used for business purposes–courtyards or a cafe with sidewalk seating, for example–this area must also be 100% smoke-free. Smoking must be prohibited in this type of area regardless of whether it’s inside or outside the property line.

    Make sure your signage is compliant

    No smoking signage must be placed within 10 feet of every building entrance. The only entrances exempt from this requirement are alarmed emergency exits.

    The LEED Reference Guide doesn’t mandate any particular language for signage, but it does provide some suggestions: “Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas only” or “No smoking allowed within 25 feet.”

    Residential projects can allow smoking indoors

    Smoking can be permitted in residential projects in specific units. However, additional work will be required to confirm that smoke isn’t moving from smoking units to non-smoking areas of the building. See the LEED Reference Guide for specific information on the requirements for this situation.

    Different signage requirements for schools

    If you’re working on a LEED for Schools project you’ll need to ensure that smoking is prohibited on entire site. Signage detailing this policy must be posted at the property line, rather than near the building entrances.

    Readiness Review Questions

    • Does the building currently contain any designated smoking rooms? If yes, can the entire building interior be transitioned to non-smoking?
    • Where is smoking allowed outside the building? Can any of these areas be transitioned to non-smoking areas?
    • Has the building designated any outdoor areas for smoking, either formally in employee manuals or site plans, or informally by providing cigarette butt receptacles, seating, or similar amenities? Are any of these areas within 25 feet of doors, air intakes, or operable windows? If so, can they be moved at a reasonable expense? 

    • Are designated outdoor smoking areas sufficiently sheltered from the elements to ensure that occupants use them, instead of migrating to covered entrances or other locations closer to the building? 

    • How is the smoking policy communicated to building users and occupants? Are existing communication strategies effective? Does posted signage meet the prerequisite requirements? If not, what is the cost and timeline associated with installing appropriate signage?
    • If your project is a multifamily residential building, what are the anticipated costs associated with required leakage testing?
    • In a multifamily residential building, are all units properly compartmentalized to prevent smoke from leaking into adjacent spaces? If not, can deficiencies be remedied at a reasonable cost?

    FAQs for EQp2

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

    Yes. If local regulations are not as strict as LEED you must create a policy that complies with LEED standards (and communicate this policy to building users) to achieve this prerequisite. Exterior signage that communicates the policy is required so that all occupants, visitors, and passersby are made aware of the exterior smoking policy.

    We want to designate a smoking area less than 25 feet from an emergency exit. Is this okay since that door is rarely (if ever) used?

    This is acceptable as long as the emergency exit has an alarm. Emergency exits without alarms qualify as building openings and must have signage. 

    What if I have a zero lot line property and no control over the sidewalk?

    Smoking still needs to be prohibited in areas used for business purposes as well as public sidewalks that are within 25 feet of the building. If existing code explicitly prohibits you from extending your no-smoking zone, you should still be able to earn the prerequisite if you provide a copy of the code restriction.

    What about vaping and e-cigarettes?

    LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. 10388 confirms that electronic cigarettes are considered a form of smoking. It also updated the definition of smoke to include “smoke produced from the combustion of cannabis and controlled substances and the vapors produced by electronic smoking devices." 

    What about residential balconies?

    The LEED Reference Guide states that prohibiting smoking on residential balconies is a recommended strategy for protecting non-smoking units and balconies. But, it doesn’t explicitly say that smoking must be prohibited. If you do allow smoking on balconies attached to smoking units, ensure that you’re able to achieve and demonstrate proper air sealing using the strategies in the LEED Reference Guide.

  • EQ Prerequisite 2: Environmental tobacco smoke control

    Intent

    To prevent or minimize exposure of building occupants, indoor surfaces, and ventilation air distribution systems to environmental tobacco smoke.

    Requirements

    Prohibit smoking inside the building.

    Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas located at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) from all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. Also prohibit smoking outside the property line in spaces used for business purposes.

    If the requirement to prohibit smoking within 25 feet (7.5 meters) cannot be implemented because of code, provide documentation of these regulations.

    Signage must be posted within 10 feet (3 meters) of all building entrances indicating the no-smoking policy.

    Residential only
    Option 1. No Smoking

    Meet the requirements above.

    OR

    Option 2. Compartmentalization of Smoking Areas

    Prohibit smoking inside all common areas of the building. The prohibition must be communicated in building rental or lease agreements or condo or coop association covenants and restrictions. Make provisions for enforcement.

    Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas located at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) from all entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. The no-smoking policy also applies to spaces outside the property line used for business purposes.

    If the requirement to prohibit smoking within 25 feet (7.5 meters) cannot be implemented because of code, provide documentation of these regulations.

    Signage must be posted within 10 feet (3 meters) of all building entrances indicating the no-smoking policy.

    Each unit must be compartmentalized to prevent excessive leakage between units:

    • Weather-strip all exterior doors and operable windows in the residential units to minimize leakage from outdoors.
    • Weather-strip all doors leading from residential units into common hallways.
    • Minimize uncontrolled pathways for the transfer of smoke and other indoor air pollutants between residential units by sealing penetrations in the walls, ceilings, and floors and by sealing vertical chases (including utility chases, garbage chutes, mail drops, and elevator shafts) adjacent to the units.
    • Demonstrate a maximum leakage of 0.23 cubic feet per minute per square foot (1.17 liters per second per square meter) at 50 Pa of enclosure The exterior plus semi-exterior portions of the building. Exterior consists of the elements of a building that separate conditioned spaces from the outside (i.e., the wall assembly). Semiexterior consists of the elements of a building that separate conditioned space from unconditioned space or that encloses semi-heated space through which thermal energy may be transferred to or from the exterior or conditioned or unconditioned spaces (e.g., attic, crawl space, basement).(i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceilings).

15 Comments

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Florian Schmidtchen EGS-plan International GmbH
Jun 02 2017
LEEDuser Member
657 Thumbs Up

Operable windows -ground floor or upperfloor?

Project Location: Germany

Dear Sir or Madam,
Smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. A designated smoking area must be located at least 25 feet away from building openings.
We are working on a NC office building with no operable windows in the ground and first floor. Operable windows are only planned for floor 02-06. Does smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of the building in areas with no entries and no outdoor air intakes?
Many thanks in advance for your help.

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Ydo Schuuring Specialist Building Physics,Acoustics and Sustainability DGMR Consultancy
May 18 2017
Guest
4 Thumbs Up

internal moking area's for an Airport

Project Location: Netherlands

For an extension of an excisting airport that is possible LEED certified, the client desires interior smoking areas to prevent 'illegal' smoking inside the airport. This illegal smoking leads to nuisance for the airport employees and visitors.

Concerning this buildingtype, are there possible interpretation about the prerequisite Environmental Tobacco smoke control for aiports? Perhaps that internal smkoing areas can be designed, that are (demostrated) compartmentalized to prevend excessive leakage between units?

thank you in advance.

Kind regards,

Ydo Schuuring

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Chris Edmonds Sustainability Coordinator, YR&G Jun 07 2017 LEEDuser Member

Hi Ydo,

Unlike LEED v2009, LEED v4 gives no way around the indoor smoking ban. While it is possible to create smoking areas at least 25 feet from entrances outside the airport, v4 does not allow designated smoking areas indoors. At present, there are no addenda that allow for exceptions.

Hope this helps!

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Hannah Fleck Civil Engineer + Sustainability Specialist Guidon Design
May 11 2017
Guest
5 Thumbs Up

No More Strigent Than

Hello,
I am working on a publicly funded building in the state of Indiana. State law here prohibits smoking within 8 feet of a building. The owner says that can't adopt a policy more stringent than the state. What is the work around this?
Thanks!

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G May 30 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6003 Thumbs Up

If you can provide a copy of the code or regulation that specifically prohibits extending the no-smoking zone past 8 feet, you might have a case. Otherwise I don't think there's any workaround here.

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Judhajit Chakraborty Building Performance Specialist WSP Built Ecology
Apr 18 2017
LEEDuser Member
94 Thumbs Up

Pressurization requirements in LEED v4

We have a project where the hallways are pressurized to provide ventilation air thru door undercuts. In V3, there was a foot note which mentioned that for doors leading to pressurized hallways, weather stripping may not be required provided that the positive differential pressure is demonstrated as in case 1, Option 2. I don't see anything similar in V4. And if you weatherstrip the door to hallway, then required ventilation air supply will be at stake. Is anyone facing similar issues? Or does that mean that per v4, you cannot have door undercuts for ventilation?

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Kimberly Schlaepfer Sustainability Coordinator LEED AP O+M, BD+C, YR&G May 17 2017 LEEDuser Expert 920 Thumbs Up

Hi Judhajit,
According to the Reference Guide weather-stripping must be placed on all doors that lead to common space hallways, IF smoking is allowed in the units. I don't believe there is a workaround for this requirement. So, in terms of ventilation, it would mean that the unit would need to supply the ventilation air through different means. I do not have specific project experience to speak to this, nor are there any LEED Interpretations that speak to this issue (yet), but this would be my guess from interpreting the Reference Guide.

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SOHA YAMANI LEED Projects Coordinator Sustainable Solutions
Feb 14 2017
Guest
828 Thumbs Up

Compartmentalization

I am really confused with the language of this credit , can you please clarify the below
1- Does EACH unit have to be sealed and Compartmentalized or only Residential units allowing smoking? in that case there will be two kinds of lease agreement i believe one for the specified smoking unites allowing smoking and the other for the units prohibiting smoking ? also what if the unit is sold not rent ? how this would be enforced then?

2- do i have to Compartmentalize the WHOLE residential unit (apartment) , or only a specific room dedicated for smoking inside each residential unit ?

3- by common area do they mean areas used by all building occupants , or you mean areas in each residential unit such as the living room or dining room ?

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Kimberly Schlaepfer Sustainability Coordinator LEED AP O+M, BD+C, YR&G May 17 2017 LEEDuser Expert 920 Thumbs Up

Hi Soha,

To answer your questions:
1. Yes, if smoking is allowed in the building each unit must be compartmentalized. I can not speak to a situation where only half the units are smoking, but my guess would be that LEED would want each unit compartmentalized, so the non-smoking units are protected from potential ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. that escapes from the smoking units. If the unit was sold, the enforcement could come in the form of a homeowners agreement for the building.
2. Yes, the entire apartment would need to be compartmentalized.
3. Common areas refer to any common space outside of the apartment units that building occupants can use. For example, lobbies, patios, amenity spaces, etc will all need to be non-smoking areas. Or if there is an outdoor amenity space, the smoking area must be located 25 ft from any building openings or air intakes.
I hope this helps!

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Andreas Hintz LEED AP (BD+C), BREEAM In-Use Auditor, DGNB Auditor ikl GmbH
Sep 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
129 Thumbs Up

smoking on private balconies

Project Location: Germany

We have an upcoming international new construction project of a multi-family residential building. Due to its numbers of stories LEED NC v4 is the most appropriate rating system to use.

To achieve the prerequisite "environmental tobacco smoke control" we would appreciate it if you could give us some detailed information about its implementation. It is intended that we meet all requirements by prohibiting smoking in all common areas of the building and by compartmentalization of the private residential units.

But what about the private balconies? Do we have to prohibit smoking on all private balconies or are we allowed to designate balconies as “private” smoking areas, where smoking is permitted, if the balcony is at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) away from entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows opening to common areas?

What would you recommend?
Kind regards,
Andreas

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Oct 05 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6003 Thumbs Up

Hi Andreas, the Reference Guide states "Prohibiting smoking on private residential balconies is a best practice for protecting nearby nonsmoking units and balconies from ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. infiltration. Consider prohibiting smoking on balconies in lease agreements."

Like the RG says, the big concern is that balconies are less than 25 feet from other balconies or operable windows/entries for other units. Prohibiting smoking on balconies is going to be your best option for earning the prerequisite. I recommend clearing any strategy that allows smoking on balconies with USGBC before you finalize your approach.

I'd also be curious to hear if (and how) anyone else has achieved this prerequisite in v4 and allowed smoking on balconies.

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Jen Roberts
Nov 15 2015
Guest
57 Thumbs Up

Option 1 and Option 2

I just need clarification on something. In the reference guide, it states "Residential only" for Option 1. I thought Option 2 is only for residential as this option allows indoor smoking as long as you compartmentalize each residential unit.

Wouldn't Option 1 refer to other types of buildings?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 15 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Jen, I think the way the language is written is tripping you up a bit. The "no smoking" rules apply to all building types. Those are the first few paragraphs of the credit language.

If the project is residential, then the two options are available to you. The first option is just a restating of the overall credit requirements.

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Laurie Winter
Dec 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
190 Thumbs Up

ETS During Construction

Project Location: Canada

Does the ETSC prerequisite apply during construction as well?

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Karin Miller Senior Sustainability Manager, YR&G May 07 2015 LEEDuser Member 757 Thumbs Up

While construction site ETSC is not explicitly addressed under EQp2, it is a component of the EQc3 Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan which states "Prohibit the use of tobacco products inside the building and within 25 feet (7.5 meters), or more if required by the local jurisdiction, of the building entrance at all times during construction. Consider prohibiting smoking on the entire job site."

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Jun 24 2017
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