Pilot-Credits PC78: Design for Active Occupants

  • Get moving!

    The intent of this pilot credit is to improve the health of building users through physical activity—while reducing environmental impacts.

    The main practical focus of the credit is providing access to stairways for occupants, but access to exercise rooms can also be part of credit achievement. Stairways should be accessible and attractive to be used by occupants. Among the measures promoted by this credit are:

    • Provide accessibility to at least one open or interconnecting staircase to at least 50% of the tenant/occupant floors.
    • Locate a main staircase to be visible from main building lobby.
    • Locate a main staircase to be visible before an occupant visually encounters any motorized vertical circulation (elevator/escalator).
    • Install architectural light fixtures that provide a level of lighting in the staircases consistent with or better than what is provided in the building corridor.

    For full credit requirements and submittals, see the pilot credit language. If you're working on this credit, please post about your questions and experiences below.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Pilot Credit 78: Design for active occupants

    Intent

    Pilot Credit Closed

    This pilot credit is closed, however, a similar credit is available for use through the innovation catalog.

    Improve the health of building users through physical activity while reducing environmental impacts.

    Requirements

    All projects: Meet the following requirement:

    Buildings must have at least one main stair that enables occupants to travel between the building entrance floor(s), occupant’s own destination floor and common use floors. Access to floors may be restricted by use of security devices, such as card keys, codes or other access devices.

    AND

    Include seven or more of the following features within the project:

    For primary staircase(s) identified above*:

    1. Classify all regularly occupied floors for re-entry, allowing all building users to have access to and from these floors. Service floors do not need access for all users.
    2. Make accessible staircases visible from the corridor by either:
      • providing transparent glazing of at least 10 square feet (1 square meter) at all stair doors or at a side light
      • providing magnetic door holds on all doors leading to the stairs.
      • providing unenclosed stairs.
    3. Provide accessibility to at least one open or interconnecting staircase to at least 50% of the tenant/occupant floors for convenient pedestrian vertical circulation.
    4. Locate a main staircase to be visible from main building lobby and within 25 foot (7.5 meters) walking distance from any edge of the lobby. Ensure that no turns or obstacles prevent visibility of or accessibility to the qualifying staircase from the lobby.
    5. Locate a main staircase to be visible before an occupant visually encounters any motorized vertical circulation (elevator/escalator). The staircase must be visible from the principal point of entry at each building floor.
    6. Install architectural light fixtures that provide a level of lighting in the staircase(s) consistent with or better than what is provided in the building corridor.
    7. Provide daylighting at each floor/roof level of the stair(s) using either windows and/or skylights of at least 8 square feet (1 square meter) in size.
    8. Place signage encouraging stair use for health and other benefits at all elevator call areas, next to escalators and outside stairwells on each floor.
    9. Use inviting sensory stimulation such as artwork and/or music in stairwells.
    10. Elsewhere within the project:

    11. Provide exercise equipment or exercise opportunities for at least 5% of 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.
      occupants that can be used at employee workstations to allow workers opportunities for physical activity while working at their desks. Examples of appropriate exercise equipment include but are not limited to tread-desks, desk stationary bicycles, exercise ball chairs, desk stepper and others. A checkout system can be put in place to allow employees to check out equipment.
    12. Provide a dedicated or multi-use space to act as an on-site exercise room, which includes a variety of exercise equipment, for use by at least 5% of FTE occupants.

    * Note: Ramps or other means of pedestrian vertical circulation also qualify for this category.

    AND
    For LEED for Homes multi-family and LEED for Schools projects:

    Provide an onsite recreation space with exercise opportunities for both adults and children that is open and accessible to all residents. The space must be at least 400 square feet (37 square meters) for all buildings that have greater than 10 units or classrooms. Include adult exercise and children’s play equipment for a minimum of 5% of building occupants. Gardening activity space and equipment can also count as adult active recreation space and equipment.

    General Pilot Documentation Requirements

    Register for the pilot credit

    Credits 1-14

    Credits 15-27

    Credits 28-42

    Credits 43-56

    Credits 57-67

    Credits 68-82

    Credits 83-103

    Documentation

    Credit Specific:
    • Floor plan indicating:

      • location of the main stair(s)
      • minimum number tenant floors with accessibility to the staircase
      • staircase visibility and walking distance
      • staircase location along the principal path of travel
    • Based on the measures selected, provide the following:
      1. Signage indicating that the floors are classified for re-entry.
      2. Photographs or diagrams depicting the glazing or magnetic door holds
      3. Lighting diagrams indicating the light level equivalent between the stair-case and main building corridor,
      4. Stairwell diagrams indicating the size and location of windows and/or skylights.
      5. Lists of exercise equipment or exercise opportunities provided to FTE occupants and calculations indicating that the amount purchased can simultaneously serve than 5% of FTE.
      6. Floorplan showing recreation space provided to occupants.,
    Additional Questions
    • To what extent would you have included these features if they were not rewarded via this Pilot credit?
    • How did the credit requirements change the floor plan layouts and other space distri-bution considerations?
    • Did the local building codes and/or zoning impede your achievement of any require-ments? If so, which and how?
    • How might project teams monitor the use of the stairs and/or exercise equipment or spaces?
    • What other design considerations would you suggest and/or have your included to motivate increased building occupant activity?
    • Did the local building codes and/or zoning codes facilitate your achievement of any requirements? If so, which and how?
    Changes
    • 11/01/2013:

      clarified that stair requirements can be met using multiple "main stairs" and do not need to be met for auxiliary (non-main) stairs.
    • 12/05/2016: pilot closed to new registrations, moved to innovation catalog for continued use

142 Comments

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Donald Green Operations Manager ai Design Group
May 18 2017
Guest
2350 Thumbs Up

Appying the requirements in a High Rise

I saw a couple comments about applying the requirements of this Pilot Credit in a building other than 2 to 3 stories. The following are questions and comments.

I am curious how it works in a high rise building as we do have egress stairs that connect all 25 floors and have 2 open stairs within the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. that connect 7 of the 9 tenant floors when the very nature of a high rise there is a core with multiple elevator shafts therefore eliminating the potential for visibility from every part of a floor as well as always being in the direct path of travel.

Also, why mag-lock on any door to the connecting stair, is a lock necessary if there is a glass enclosure on only 1 floor of 7 and that door is never locked?

Has anyone tried exterior views as the sensory stimulation? I would think that having the open stairways directly adjacent to the curtain wall on the exterior wall of a high rise would be very stimulating - more for some than others. Thoughts?

One more; access to a multi-purpose exercise area. Does that have to be in the Tenant space? or can it just be within the building itself like a full gym whereby staff and the general public can use it with staff being provided with a reduced membership fee for being tenants in the building?

Finally, with LEED v4 there was a push to have the amount of documentation to be equivalent to the point impact of any specific credit. This Pilot Credit seems to garner a lot of documentation for 1 point. Perhaps as it moves forward there can be an effort to minimize what needs to be provided or increase the number of points.

Thank you,

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Christopher Heine
Apr 19 2017
LEEDuser Member
45 Thumbs Up

Access to at least 50% of tenant occupant floors

Project Location: United States

The credit language states "Buildings must have at least one main stair that enables occupants to travel between the building entrance floor(s), occupant’s own destination floor and common use floors." There is also mention providing access to at least 50% of tenant occupant floors.

We have a three story university building that has an open atrium stair connecting levels 1 and 2 and then additional egress stairs that connect 1 through 3 and the mechanical penthouse.

Would the open atrium stair meet the intent of the credit or would one of the egress stairs need to comply as well?

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Batya Metalitz Technical Director, LEED USGBC
Dec 08 2016
LEEDuser Expert
4006 Thumbs Up

Pilot Credit Closed 12/5 - Available in the Innovation Catalog

This pilot credits was closed on 12/5/2016 and moved to the Innovation Catalog for continued use. It can continue to be used by projects that already registered as a pilot credit, and can be used by other projects as an innovation point. This was one of our most popular pilot credits, with a lot of positive feedback and several hundred registrations.

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Sarah Sachs Buro Happold Mar 17 2017 LEEDuser Member 319 Thumbs Up

Our project at Yale University represents one of the many registrations for this under its Pilot Credit version, and we were very happy to have the opportunity to document the excellent design approach to rather glamorous and attractive main stairs to encourage all building occupants to stay active!

We would ask USGBC to consider photographs as appropriate documentation for most of the compliance options. Comparing amount of light/daylight for example might be more clear in photographs than in lighting diagrams.

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Brenda Parker Architect The Columbus Architectural Studio
Nov 21 2016
Guest
22 Thumbs Up

Reduce quantity of elevators

Project Location: United States

Has anyone done a study to prove that incorporating the features of this credit into their buildings has reduced elevator usage in a high-enough percentage to be able to reduce the quantity of elevators for future similar projects? When convincing clients to include extra stairs above and beyond code requirements, it would be handy to offer data indicating that the elevator count can be reduced. Therefore, they would be transferring dollars from elevator purchases to stair purchases.

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Cynthia Kaplan Principal cmk LEED
Nov 11 2016
LEEDuser Member
305 Thumbs Up

Special Needs Student Equipment (Schools 2009)

Project Location: United States

Has anyone had success with this pilot credit by including "active" furniture for special needs students? We are including the Physical Therapy room with it's bounce chairs and mini trampolines, and the wobble chairs in the small instruction room (for kids with autism, ADHD). Altogether this furniture farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). exceeds the 5% of occupants threshold.

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist, HGA Architects and Engineers Nov 18 2016 LEEDuser Member 2680 Thumbs Up

I have not tried this, but feel that it could be a valid option. In some schools your number of students would typically greatly exceed the number of staff and so I could see having student-focused items being of more impact than staff-focused. I think you'd have to bases your 5% on the number of students, however, not the number of 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.
to be a fair/valid substitution.

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Douglas Flandro Designer Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.
Oct 26 2016
LEEDuser Member
68 Thumbs Up

Requirement 7 - Windows in the Stairs

Project Location: United States

Do the windows in the stairways need to be 8 square feet at each level? I have a 3 story stairwell with a narrow window that runs the length of the stairs. It is 19 feet by 1 foot. That gives me 19 square feet for 3 floors. Do I need 24 square feet to qualify for requirement 7?

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Dee Spiro Sustainability Director, Bergmeyer Associates, Inc. Oct 27 2016 LEEDuser Member 270 Thumbs Up

We were awarded the credit with vertical slot windows in the stairwells. They definitely weren't 8 square feet at each level so I don't know how hard and fast that requirement is - or it may apply only to the skylights. Email me directly at dspiro@bergmeyer.com, and I can show you some of our documentation.

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Mandy Bordeaux Architect MSKTD
Aug 15 2016
Guest
41 Thumbs Up

pilot survey problems

I have a LEED 2009 project and we are trying to go for a pilot credit - design for active occupants. When I go in to complete the survey requirements, it doesn't list this as one of the credit options? Any suggestions or guidance?

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Cynthia Kaplan Principal, cmk LEED Aug 15 2016 LEEDuser Member 305 Thumbs Up

I just had a v 2009 project earn this pilot credit on Friday, so it should be there.

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal, Kath Williams + Associates Aug 15 2016 LEEDuser Member 2360 Thumbs Up

Open your pilot credit in LEED pilot credit library. Scroll to bottom. It says
Participate in LEEDuser Forum. Right below that are buttons that start with Credit 1-27, 28-38, etc.
Click on whichever one is appropriate for pilot credit you are attempting. The feedback survey is there.
Good luck!

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Douglas Flandro Designer, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. Oct 19 2016 LEEDuser Member 68 Thumbs Up

The link I received from the email takes me to a menu page that didn't help. You have to go to the web page for the specific credit and there is a link somewhere on that page. Usually towards the bottom.

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Henry Richardson Environmental Designer Atelier Ten
Jul 25 2016
LEEDuser Member
8 Thumbs Up

Lighting Levels

Project Location: United States

Hello,

We received a review comment requesting lighting level diagrams. Are alternatives acceptable, including drawings showing fixture selection or lamp output?

Thanks,
Henry

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Allen Schaffer Director of Sustainable Design Moody Nolan
Jul 08 2016
LEEDuser Member
18 Thumbs Up

College Campuses

Project Location: United States

We are submitting a 90,000 SF Humanities Building on a commuter campus. The agency owner has eliminated practically all interior parking over the last 5 years. I'd say just walking to the building from the lots is impacting obesity rates.

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Eric Carbonnier VP of Sustainability HMC Architects
Jun 27 2016
LEEDuser Member
155 Thumbs Up

Exercise Equipment

Project Location: United States

Are squishy stress balls that focus on hand reflexology to release stress considered exercise equipment? Similarly, can super graphics of words, letters, and phrases of varying size on walls be considered eye exercise? Part of strengthening eye muscles is focusing on near and distant objects, and it help relieve eye stress.

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Cynthia Kaplan Principal, cmk LEED Jun 28 2016 LEEDuser Member 305 Thumbs Up

Eric,
The exercise equipment in the credit language refers to equipment that promotes strength and/or cardiovascular exercise. I would not assume that moving your hands and eyes would count.
cmk

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Megan Recher Sustainable Building Advisor Perkins + Will
Jun 15 2016
LEEDuser Member
39 Thumbs Up

Onsite Recreation Space

Project Location: United States

We are working on a new high school and I want to clarify the onsite recreation space. The credit says to "provide an onsite recreation space with exercise opportunities for both adults and children that is open and accessible to all residents."

Since we are applying this credit for a school, can the open space be accessible by only the students and faculty or does it need to be open to the general public?
Thank you.

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Rachel Bannon-Godfrey Director of Sustainability RNL design
Jun 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
16 Thumbs Up

Compliance for Corporate Interiors?

Project Location: United States

Our project is utilizing a 3-story interconnecting stair inside a corporate office space on floors 8,9,10. Given that our office space is not the entire building, can we assume that requirements 4 and 5 are to be considered just within our scope of work?
Thanks

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager, Burns & McDonnell Jun 09 2016 LEEDuser Member 206 Thumbs Up

Yes, I would consider them just within your scope of work, since they need to provide access to the people and the areas within your scope of work.

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Kiyomi Kurooka Associate DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.
May 17 2016
Guest
10 Thumbs Up

Pilot Credit 101

Project Location: United States

This was the first time our office participated in a Pilot Credit. Not being familiar with Pilot Credits, I inadvertently missed the General Pilot Documentation Requirements (Participation to the Forum and Feedback Survey) initially, which was pointed out by the reviewer. Now that I think about it, those two requirements make sense for the purpose of Pilot Credits to improve the Credit Requirements and to evaluate the Pilot Credit for a permanent credit. I should have known better, but as a beginner for LEED documentation and Pilot Credit, this was a lesson learned and I hope my mishaps help other beginners.

Complying with the credit requirements was straightforward and I had no questions. The following are a couple of our compliance examples which others may find useful:

Item 8 (Signage to encourage stair use)
The signage is installed at each elevator waiting area to encourage stair use in fun and informative way. The sign reads “Burn Calories not Electricity Take the Stairs!” and “Did you know…Elevators account for about 5% of a building’s electricity use? By taking the stairs instead of an elevator, you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the costs of operating your facility.” A similar sign is installed at each stair.

Item 6 (Architectural lighting fixtures in the staircase) and Item 9 (Use inviting sensory stimulation)
The lighting fixtures specified for the corridor are carried into the stairways and laid out to create visual features on the stairway wall. The skylight casts daylight on the wall through the open space at the end of the landings. As result, this simple stair provides users on enjoyable experience which varies throughout the day.

I wish I could post pictures!

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal Kath Williams + Associates
May 06 2016
LEEDuser Member
2360 Thumbs Up

Credit Name change...

Project Location: United States

This may have been suggested early on but this is the third project where the client and design team objected to the name of this credit. ADA compliance officers have said it sends the wrong message just by vocabulary...that this building is for active people, not those who need elevators.
There has to be a better descriptor.

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Jon Hall GGLO
Apr 20 2016
LEEDuser Member
23 Thumbs Up

Controlled Entry

Option 4 of the design features states:

Locate a main staircase to be visible from main building lobby and within 25 foot (7.5 meters) walking distance from any edge of the lobby. Ensure that no turns or obstacles prevent visibility of or accessibility to the qualifying staircase from the lobby.

Access to the majority of our building is controlled through a central gate that is situated just inside the building’s exterior. Our main stair is located immediately after this controlled entry point, a maximum of 15’-0” beyond the gate. However, due to security necessities, this means that the stair is located approximately 30’-0” from the entry vestibule. We feel that as all building users must first enter through the control gate, at which point they are presented the option of the stair within 15’-0”, the stair meets the intent of this credit. Has anyone encountered a similar situation while satisfying the credit?

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Angela Wisely
Mar 31 2016
Guest
30 Thumbs Up

Tips for Implementation

Pending our participation in this forum, we have met all the documentation requirements for this pilot credit, so I thought I would share some tips.

1) Potential Design Strategy: Our project is a high school and when designing the open staircases we chose to extend the staircase into the common area creating additional seating. In other words, we turned our open staircases into multi-use stadium seating. The space has become a design feature that is getting a lot of use by students and faculty.

2) Documentation: When providing pictures of design features consider providing a floor plan with corresponding location and directional markers for each picture. Our project is school with numerous staircases leading to several floors. This type of documentation provided some clarity for the pictures.

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Ping Zhou
Mar 15 2016
Guest
10 Thumbs Up

Consider exercise classes frequency?

The credit requirement requests lists of exercise equipment or opportunities provided to 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.
to indicate the amount can simultaneously serve more than 5% of FTE. Our project not only provides exercise equipment in the designated room, but also offers aerobics classes on a regular basis. Should the frequency of classes being held also be considered for accreditation? Certainly the quantity of equipment indicates the capacity of users in the fitness center, but planning multiple classes per week compares to once per month could definitely reflect commitment of the project owner toward occupants' wellbeing. Maybe there could be a benchmarking of how often these exercise opportunities should occur to fulfill the requirement.

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Rubén M. R. Codirector CIVITA
Mar 10 2016
LEEDuser Member
1070 Thumbs Up

Existing Buildings

Project Location: Mexico

This pilot credit is an incentive for existing building owners to plan a renovation of unused stairs. I consider this credit a good addition to the rating system as it brings together energy savings, occupant awareness and health.

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Dee Spiro Sustainability Director Bergmeyer Associates, Inc.
Mar 04 2016
LEEDuser Member
270 Thumbs Up

Pursing credit in an existing building

Project Location: United States

Our project involves renovating an existing building on a university campus. The 1974 concrete building previously served as the student union, and it has now been renovated as a dining hall, with a few seminar rooms on the second floor. We were lucky with this project as the structure already complied with several of the pilot credit features, and we had designed a monumental stair connecting the first and second floors before we even decided to pursue the credit.

One of only challenges we faced was Feature #5 as there was an existing small elevator next to one of our main staircases. In order to draw occupants' attention to the staircase and away from the elevator, we painted the bottom of the stairs above the landings a bright yellow, installed bright lighting that met Feature #6 and did not install lighting above the elevator, which fades into the dark corner. We think that our creative solution meets the intent of Feature #5. For us, meeting the pilot credit requirements in an existing building was fairly simple, but I would be interested in others' experiences with existing buildings.

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Mark Meaders Sustainable Leader HDR, Inc.
Feb 04 2016
LEEDuser Expert
1183 Thumbs Up

EQpc78

Our project (located overseas) is pursuing EQpc78 Design for Active Occupants by incorporating features 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.

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Cynthia Kaplan Principal, cmk LEED Feb 29 2016 LEEDuser Member 305 Thumbs Up

Our library project is also pursuing this credit using 1,2,3,4, 6,7,and 9. A lot of my comments on my documentation just say, "Photos of this have been uploaded to support this claim". Other than the floor plan and photos, there isn't much else to add.

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Kena David Sustainability Manager BCCI Construction Company
Dec 30 2015
LEEDuser Member
32 Thumbs Up

Design for Active Occupants

Our project team found this credit to be very useful as occupant health is big buzz in the green building market. However, we would also comment on the term 'architectural light fixtures' as this tends to evoke a certain design specification. So long as the lighting levels are consistent or better than the building corridor lighting, the light fixture design should be decided at the project team's discretion.

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Jodi Smits Anderson Director Sustianability Programs, DASNY Jan 29 2016 Guest 256 Thumbs Up

"Architectural light fixtures" likely means those designed into the building, as opposed to plugged in décor that may be added by users.

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Rosemary Muller Architect Muller & Caulfield Architects
Dec 18 2015
LEEDuser Member
37 Thumbs Up

Confusing language

Project Location: United States

I strongly support this credit. As someone who prefers stairs to elevators, I often wish the stairs were easier to find and use.

Suggestions for improvement of the language, by feature number:

Feature 1. This one is totally obscure to me. From reading this discussion, it appears that it pertains only to high-rise buildings, or only to certain cities, or ??. For most of us, it makes no sense. I haven't a clue if my 2-story building with an open stair with no doors can comply with this or not.

Feature 2. Second bullet: change "magnetic door holds" to "code complying hold-open devices". I'm not sure that magnetic door holds comply with code any more.

Feature 3. Define "interconnecting staircase". Don't all stairs interconnect floors? You must mean something else.

Feature 4. Get rid of the word "any", as the comments on this discussion site show that it is confusing. Could replace "any edge" with "at least one edge", assuming that's what you mean.

Feature 5. Explain or remove the phrase "at each building floor" after "principal point of entry" . Most floors don't have a principal point of entry. I can't imagine, for example, what could be meant by the principal point of entry to the 12th floor.

6. Do I have to prove that my light fixtures are "architectural"? Suppose I am after an industrial look? Can we remove the word "architectural"?

Suggested additional qualifying feature:
• Quality of stair finishes, to be at least as good as building corridors.

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager, Burns & McDonnell Dec 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 206 Thumbs Up

This is how I have interpreted some of this language, though some if it appears to have been clarified over time:

#3 above: Interconnecting stair--I read this as a stair, other than the exit stair(s) that interconnects two or more floors. Think of a 10 floor core and shell building with floors 8, 9 and 10 leased to one tenant and a staircase that interconnects them. It would also be the exit stairs if the doors to enter floors 8, 9 and 10 from the exit stair are secure and require tenant security code or badge to reenter. That way only the employees of the tenant on those floors could reenter the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. from the exit stair.

#5 above: Taking this same tenant leasing 3 floors in the 10 story building, let's say the firm has security issues and directs all visitors entering the tenant space to their main public entry and lobby on the 10th floor. The main connecting stair might be located in or adjacent this lobby and it might connect floor 9 only or both 8 and 9. Further, the employee-only entry on floors 8 and 9 could be adjacent the same or another interconnecting stair that meets the criteria.

#6 above and the added feature: I think they are after at least the level of finish and lighting as in the corridor or lobby. I like the idea of also stipulating the finish level to be equal to or better than corridor or lobby space. I think this speaks to providing a pleasant or enhanced experience in using the stairs, as opposed to what you might see in typical exit stairs of vinyl/rubber flooring and painted walls and maybe surface mounted fluorescent lighting fixtures. Maybe say compatible or upgraded finishes and compatible feature lighting as compared to corridors or surrounding space.

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Lissa Spitz Project Manager, A3C Collaborative Architecture Dec 18 2015 Guest 52 Thumbs Up

My understanding of architectural lighting is light fixtures (vs natural lighting).

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Rosemary Muller Architect, Muller & Caulfield Architects Dec 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 37 Thumbs Up

Stephanie, thank you for your responses. Yes, your comment to my #6 was exactly what I was thinking. I have used stairs with no finishes in the stairwell- unfinished, noisy metal stair treads, no paint on the walls (just fire taping), bare concrete floors. Echoing spaces.

Perhaps this credit could have two different versions of features 1 and 3 for high-rise and low-rise buildings. Many of the questions I see in this discussion seem to come from designers of low-rise buildings.

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Kelsey Jensen
Nov 06 2015
Guest
43 Thumbs Up

25'-0" Max Footpath to Main Staircase

Our current project places the main staircase in view of the main lobby and corridor. It is more than 25 feet away from the entry however there is no other vertical circulation between the point of entry and the main staircase. Would there ever be an exception to the 25 feet?

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager, Atkins North America Nov 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 881 Thumbs Up

Hi Kelsey,

I certainly cannot answer this inquiry with authority- however, it appears the core intent is for key stairwell(s) and/or ramps to be equally convenient, or ideally even more convenient, to locate and use in comparison to the conventional electrified modes of vertical travel (elevator/escalator). If this can be strongly supported by the project's design layout then it may be a strong candidate for "alternative compliance" with this strategy. Otherwise, it may be safer to rely on another strategy in meeting the overall quota for credit compliance (or perhaps not rely on this credit if overall compliance seems risky.)

As an example, a project I am currently working on has a central lobby running through the center of the building. The "active" stairwell is both physically adjacent to this "spine" lobby and directly next to (only a few feet away from) the elevator in a highly visible and central location. Therefore, we can readily justify that the stair's location is equal in convenience. Furthermore, the additional wait time for the elevator will make stair use even more enticing and a much more attainable operations initiative.

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Sara Curlee Project Architect BWBR
Oct 01 2015
LEEDuser Member
1106 Thumbs Up

Classifying Floors for Re-entry

Project Location: United States

I received back the following as part of the review comments: "Provide signage indicating that the floors are classified for re-entry." What kind of signage are talking about? I am confused by the comment.

All the users in my building will have unimpeded access to all the floors in the building, withstanding the mechanical level. I thought that was all it took to comply with this aspect of the credit. What sort of signage would need to be provided? Can someone help me understand the intended meaning behind "classified for re-entry?" I feel like I must be missing something.

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Lee Altman NYC Department of Design and Construction Oct 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 76 Thumbs Up

Hi Sara,
Some municipalities have rules (for example NYC) requiring signs be posted outside stairwells in certain occupancy groups, to indicate on which floor re-entry is possible. I believe the intent is to indicate which stairs are meant strictly for egress and do not allow occupants to travel between floors, as opposed to stairs where re-entry from the stair into the building is possible. Specific language, dimensions, location, and other characteristics of the signage are detailed in the rules as well.
In the case of this credit, I believe the intent is to make sure building occupants are aware that they can use the stair to travel between floors and will not be locked out and forced to exit the building.

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Duncan Griffin AIA Principal, NBBJ Oct 13 2015 Guest 23 Thumbs Up

Lee,

Thank you for that clarification - for me the question relates more to an open stair in a 2 story building. When the main stair in a two story lobby is the first thing you see and is open to the majority of spaces around it, can you comply with the signage requirement by virtue of the inherent wayfinding? Note there is a skylight and special lighting above the stair, with a large feature art wall immediately adjacent. No locks or doors, and a view of the entry vestibule from the stair itself.
I would be interested in opinions on this.

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Sara Curlee Project Architect, BWBR Oct 14 2015 LEEDuser Member 1106 Thumbs Up

Duncan and Lee,

Thank you both for your comments. Although my building is taller than Duncan's, the situation is very similar. The stairs are open, without doors or walls directly around them. I'm not sure where this signage would go, and think it fairly obvious to the user of the stair which levels it connects. You can see from landing to landing, and to the entry vestibule.

I can see where the signage Lee describes makes sense in an enclosed, more fire/exit type of stair, but that is not the circumstance in my building. The stair I am using for this credit is open on most sides, integral to the entry vestibules on the appropriate levels and the grand lobby space in the building. I did put the question to the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). reviewers, and am still waiting for a reply.

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Duncan Griffin AIA Principal, NBBJ Oct 14 2015 Guest 23 Thumbs Up

Sara and Lee,
One thing occurred to me - there is signage directing users to this main stair, as it is one of our exit stairs (allowed to exit through the lobby). Would this signage count towards the signage requirement of this credit?

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Sara Curlee Project Architect, BWBR Oct 14 2015 LEEDuser Member 1106 Thumbs Up

I do not know, Duncan. What you have described seems to be consistent with Lee's comment. I wish I knew for sure. I asked for clarification on what is meant by "Provide signage indicating that the floors are classified for re-entry." from our review team on October 1st, but have yet to hear a response.

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Maggie Pipek Dec 14 2015 Guest 121 Thumbs Up

Does anyone have an example of what type of signage they have submitted for this? We were thinking of just adding to the stair sign "open to all floors" Has anyone done something similar?

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Carrie Webster Moseley Architects Feb 16 2016 Guest 573 Thumbs Up

I've gotten this comment as well on a 2-story school, in which there is one open stairwell and all other stairwells have doors that are unlocked and accessible from all floors. Since the previous comments were posted, have you all learned anything further? It seems silly to have to add signage to a project like this where it seems obvious that no floors are locked out.

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Sara Curlee Project Architect, BWBR Nov 21 2016 LEEDuser Member 1106 Thumbs Up

I've now pursued this credit on two projects. Am now considering it for a third project which has an enclosed stair. Does anyone have examples of re-entry classification signage?

For those of you interested in how other two projects went, here is a summary. They have both achieved the credit. One had a four story largely unenclosed stair. The other a two story unenclosed stair. The four story stair is the one which gathered the review comment, and inspired my initial question. The two story stair passed through review without comment.

In the case of the four story stair, I responded to the reviewers with the following text and photos of the stair. It was accepted upon re-review.
"The stair being used to earn this credit is unenclosed, without doors, and only limited walls. Signage is not required to indicate the floors are classified for re-entry. It is obvious to the user of the stair which levels are connected. You can see from landing to landing, and to the entry vestibule.

The stair being used for this credit is open on most sides, without doors confining exiting and entering, is integral to the entry vestibules on the appropriate levels, and part of a grand lobby and double-height space in the building. Re-entry is possible, unrestricted, and clearly visible to the user on the stair."

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Robert Fiala
Sep 30 2015
LEEDuser Member
63 Thumbs Up

Design for Active Participants

Project Location: United States

We found this pilot credit after our school project was designed and beginning construction. We were able to meet the pilot credit options because most of the requirements were standard design features which we incorporate into our typical school projects already. There is synergy with credits SSc4.2 and SSc10 as well.

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Gary Dunn Jan 29 2016 LEEDuser Member 10 Thumbs Up

We did the same and learned that another school in the district was already pursuing this same credit. We had designed the project as an open concept with plenty of centrally located stairs to serve as the primary means of travel between floors. Just became a matter of defining a program for the faculty to be able to use the gym and athletic equipment available in the school. Will provide a template for other schools in the district to follow for their own programs.

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Angela Wisely Mar 31 2016 Guest 30 Thumbs Up

Our school project was in the same situation. All credit requirements were in place prior to learning about the credit.

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Johnathan Woodside Mechanical Engineer Gresham Smith & Partners
Sep 22 2015
LEEDuser Member
326 Thumbs Up

Compliance for single story building

Project Location: United States

The title of the pilot credit implies occupant activeness in general, but the credit focuses significantly on staircases as the means of activity. If the building is only one story, but other requirements such as the access to a fitness center are met, is out of the question to pursue/achieve this credit?

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager, Burns & McDonnell Sep 22 2015 LEEDuser Member 206 Thumbs Up

The intent of the credit is to improve the health of building users through physical activity—while reducing environmental impacts. This credit requires multiple measures are implemented in order to achieve the credit, one of which is fitness center and most of the others relate to a stair. A stair in the building has the additional environmental benefit of decreasing the building's footprint; so there are a number of environmental benefits suggested by the credit as written--potential for additional open space and possible filtration of stormwater, less impervious area, etc.
I do not believe just having a fitness center would meet this credit intent. I would ask a couple of questions to find additional ways to meet the credit intent. What are ways that building users are encouraged to be active as they move through their workday in the building? How are these alternatives more convenient or desirable than less active measures? How do these measures provide environmental benefits, in addition to health benefits? For example, the credit also offers the possibility of providing a check out system for active equipment that can be used by employees at their work areas, such as tread-desks, desk-steppers and exercise ball chairs--how might you build on this idea to encourage health and environmental benefits? You would need to submit an alternate approach for a project interpretation, however, and as we all know, some credits are simply not achievable by all projects.

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager, Atkins North America Sep 23 2015 LEEDuser Member 881 Thumbs Up

Agreed. There have been past Innovation precedents for health related initiatives...Ergonomics, Wellness, etc. It might be prudent to research those and craft an Innovation that incorporates the relevant (Fitness) aspects of this pilot, in conjunction with other measurable health benefits established by the others mentioned. The absence of the stair as a key element for this particular credit will need to be offset somehow.

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager Atkins North America
Aug 25 2015
LEEDuser Member
881 Thumbs Up

Industry definition of interconnecting stair?

Is anyone aware of a formal definition for this term? I was unsuccessful locating a reliable / official one.

Thx!

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Kelsey Jensen
Aug 24 2015
Guest
43 Thumbs Up

Safety Concerns

Have there been concerns with safety when the credit calls for a main stairwell to be visible in the entry? Some projects types and even some business would not prefer occupants to easily access the second level in which case the main stairwell may need to be tucked away.

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager, Burns & McDonnell Aug 24 2015 LEEDuser Member 206 Thumbs Up

If this is merely so visitors will not "wander" into the main work areas, putting the stair behind a reception desk may be enough of a deterent. I've also seen a fully or semi-enclosed stair behind a glass wall near the receptionist which may provide somewhat of a deterent to visitors from wandering up stairs into work areas.
If the reason is for stronger security reasons, may need to put a security door controlled by keycard or other means that provides glass visual of stair off the lobby before someone enters work areas on all floors connected by the stair--this could have card access only for employees. See criteria #1 through #4 of the credit language.

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager Burns & McDonnell
Aug 13 2015
LEEDuser Member
206 Thumbs Up

New Option: Outdoor walking path

Project Location: United States

I'd like to see an option for a walking/running path on the site of at least a mile in length and/or fitness cross-training stations at intervals along the path. For example, having fitness stations for pushups, pullups, chinups, lunges, jump rope could add extra levels of exercise for health benefit.

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Heather Walters Project Director, Thornton Tomasetti Feb 03 2016 LEEDuser Member 22 Thumbs Up

This would be a good addition as an option, but may not be as useful in Northern projects, where only half the year are those types of paths actually used. A mile also seems a long distance.

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Jodi Smits Anderson Director Sustianability Programs, DASNY Feb 04 2016 Guest 256 Thumbs Up

That's the power of LEED. As an OPTION, it would encourage inclusion of resources for greater health, without punitive actions for not choosing this "path" (forgive the pun).

In Upstate NY, I walk year-round and many do, especially in a city environment. A stretching station would be a wonderful addition to my 3-mil walk to work, which I do 1-2 times a week. It would also be great to have safe resources for the same activity even outside of a city core.

The final point is that this work is about changing the way we do things now. Wouldn't it be great to encourage people to be active so that in a couple of years we can easily say "of course, everyone takes a stroll at lunch on our provided path, and they are happier for it".

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Lissa Spitz Project Manager, A3C Collaborative Architecture Feb 04 2016 Guest 52 Thumbs Up

All excellent points Jodi!
And, since the city of Chicago is now choosing street trees that will thrive in the climate of Alabama (really!) we better get used to northern climates being different...
I live in Ann Arbor Michigan and the walk/bike paths around here are used constantly.

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Lukas Urban
Jun 10 2015
Guest
13 Thumbs Up

LEED EBOM

Project Location: Czech Republic

Hi! Can we use this Pilot-Credit in a LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. project? Our staircase meets almost all the conditions. Thank you.

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Sara Curlee Project Architect BWBR
Apr 14 2015
LEEDuser Member
1106 Thumbs Up

On-site exercise facilities on a corporate campus

Project Location: United States

My project is on a corporate campus. The corporation is a big proponent of employee health and fitness. Other buildings on the campus have exercise facilities accessible to building 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.
occupants, thus none were provided in the particular project pursuing LEED Certification. The LEED project does have shower and locker facilities. If I can show where the exercise facilities are located and that the quantities are sufficient for the LEED project, can this project still earn the credit? Or do the facilities have to be within the LEED project? It seems consistent with other LEED credits that being in a nearby building would be acceptable, but it is not explicitly stated.

Thank you.

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Jennifer Atherton Aug 10 2016 Guest 6 Thumbs Up

I have the same question. My LEED project is located on a campus but there is no exercise room within the building or within the LEED site boundary. The exercise facility is located immediately adjacent to the LEED project and can accommodate at least 5% of the campus population. A short walk between buildings would seem to meet the intent to improve the health of building users through physical activity.

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal, Kath Williams + Associates Aug 11 2016 LEEDuser Member 2360 Thumbs Up

We attempted this twice in university projects. The issue became that students and staff had to purchase sports memberships to be able to use the shower and changing room. Therefore, it was not "open" to building occupants who simply rode their bikes or ran to work. The credit was denied.

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Sara Curlee Project Architect, BWBR Nov 21 2016 LEEDuser Member 1106 Thumbs Up

An update on my question. I did submit the project with the nearby, but not within the building, exercise facilities. It was accepted by the LEED reviewers.

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Garrett Ferguson Sustainable Building Advisor, LEED AP BD+C Perkins+Will
Apr 09 2015
LEEDuser Member
204 Thumbs Up

New Option - Walking Path

Project Location: United States

On a LEED-CI project where the interior will be renovated, the project owner encourages walking. A walking path has been provided that overlooks an atrium and is daylit with a skylight. While this path is used as corridor for business use, occupants specifically use this space for walking during lunch, or before and after work. Credit language does not currently give credit for something like this, or offer an "other" option that can be submitted as one of the 7 required criteria. I recommend that a 12th item be added that allows a project team to propose a new criteria that supports the intent of this credit.

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Ann Trent Architect, Gresham Smith & Partners Jun 03 2015 LEEDuser Member 18 Thumbs Up

I second Garrett's motion! On a LEED-NC project where an exterior loop walking track was provided to encourage "walking meetings" and breaking for some physical activity, the project owner encourages walking within an otherwise sedentary office environment. The loop is designed to be 1/8 mile, has rubber flooring, and is at the perimeter of the floor plate where there are ribbon windows for natural light and views. In addition, it passes through a 3-story atrium/public lobby.

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Douglas Flandro Designer, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. Oct 19 2016 LEEDuser Member 68 Thumbs Up

Has anyone considered adding an exterior nature trail or bicycle trail as an additional compliance alternative? Or perhaps a parking lot that is not near the building? Are there any other pilot credits that act as an incentive for this?

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Design Leader Opsis Architecture
Mar 17 2015
LEEDuser Member
1923 Thumbs Up

K-12 Students and Furniture that supports movement

The Pilot credit language cites the use of "exercise opportunities for at least 5% of 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.
occupants that can be used at employee workstations to allow workers opportunities for physical activity while working at their desk...tread-desks, desk stationary bicycles, exercise ball chairs" etc. I would suggest that similar language be added to support educational furniture that allows for and encourages beneficial movement while in the classroom, for K-12 students. This is a growing field, and there are a number of furniture options that meet the low-emitting requirements of LEED and support a "fidget-friendly" environment.

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Stephanie Graham Sustainability Manager, Burns & McDonnell Aug 13 2015 LEEDuser Member 206 Thumbs Up

This is a great idea, especially for K-12 schools!

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Laura Crawford
Feb 11 2015
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

Feature 11 - On-site exercise room

Our project is located in a city that has a mild climate year round and outdoor activities are common and in demand. Often the employees prefer to have exercise classes outdoors rather than indoors to facilitate connection to nature, fresh air, etc. For feature 11, we would suggest that the LEED language is updated to include if the tenant/owner has arranged and paid for exercise classes for at least 5% of FTE occupants at any one time with a qualified instructors in adjacent parks, recreation grounds etc. as this is still providing a dedicated area for exercise, although it is outside of the building.

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