Schools-2009 IEQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy

  • NC_CI_Schools_IEQc3-2_TypeXJA_FlushOut Diagram
  • It’s about good IAQ for occupancy

    The idea behind this credit is to ensure good indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) for a project for occupancy. IEQc3.2 can be seen as a belt-and-suspenders credit: even if the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits are pursued, along with IEQc3.1: Construction IAQ Management—During Construction, IEQc3.2 ensures that the building ends up with the intended result. (Although it’s typical to do so, you don’t have to pursue any of those credits to go after this credit.)

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

    Flush out or testing?

    The flush-out of indoor air required under Option 1 is frequently pursued by projects seeking a certain and predictable path.

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

    You might wonder why, if a building earns the IEQc4 credits and IEQc3.1, there would be any chance of failing IAQ testing. For whatever reason, it happens. This might be due to VOC emissions from materials not covered by IEQc4, or from the undetected use of materials not meeting the spec.

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

    On the other hand, the energy expenditure for flush-out under Option 1 can be large, and there may not been enough time after installation of finishes but prior to occupancy to conduct the flush-out. The tenant may also prefer the solid results of a test. All of these factors can push a project toward Option 2.

    Two flush-out options

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

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

    Common pitfalls to avoid

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

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

    Alternative approaches

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

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

    Consider these questions when approaching this credit

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

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

    This is not officially permitted in LEED. It might make sense in some projects, but teams should get a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. in order to proceed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No, not if the project team is only certifying the addition, per se, as a separate LEED project.  But the addition should be isolated from the existing, unrenovated areas in accordance with the SMACNA IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Guidelines for Occupied Buildings under Construction.

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

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

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

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

    Can testing be done over various days?

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

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

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

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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

    • If you pursue a flush-out, you’ll need a mechanical system with the capacity to meet the credit requirements for air volume, humidity and temperature.  If using natural ventilation, you can meet the air volume requirements with temporary fans and HVAC units. 
    • If pursuing the testing option, pursuing all of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, along with IEQc3.1: IAQ Management Plan: During Construction, will significantly increase the likelihood of passing the testing and earning the credit. If not pursuing the testing option, then earning those credits won’t directly help with IEQc3.2, but they will contribute to good IAQ.

Schematic Design

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  • Choosing an option


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


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


  • Consider whether your HVAC system will be able to power a flush-out while maintaining temperature and humidity levels during seasonal extremes in a timely fashion, without major scheduling impacts. A total of 14,000 cubic feet of outside air must be exchanged for every square foot of floor area. The amount of outside air prescribed during a phased flush-out (0.3 CFM) may be several times greater than the normal rate required for a project’s occupancy, based on ASHRAE 62.1-2007, as required by IEQp1: Minimum IAQ Performance


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If considering IAQ testing, design the building in a way that maximizes the likelihood of passing the testing. This should include specifying low- and no-VOC materials as part of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits, at a minimum.


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

Design Development

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  • Both Options


  • Include the requirements for building flush-out or IAQ testing in the IAQ Management Plan and the project specifications. If you are pursuing both IEQc3.1 and IEQc3.2, then include the requirements for both in a single plan.


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


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


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


  • Option 2: Air Testing


  • If planning to pursue Option 2, also plan to pursue IEQc3.1 and all of the IEQc4: Low-Emitting Materials credits to ensure the best chances of passing the IAQ testing on the first try. 

Construction Documents

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  • Both options


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


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


  • Require that your contractor submit an IAQ Management Plan early in construction, before interior work has begun. The plan should detail the approach to this credit, as well as IEQc3.1 if both credits are being pursued. Either of these credits can be pursued independently; IEQc3.1 is not a prerequisite for IEQc3.2. However, pursuing the credits in tandem is the most effective way to ensure the best IAQ at the time the building is turned over to the owner. 

Construction

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  • Both options


  • Develop an IAQ management plan detailing your project’s approach to IEQc3.1 (if your project is pursuing it) and this credit.


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


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


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


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


  • The following work must be completed prior to flush-out or testing to ensure that the air quality isn't compromised afterward.

    • All interior finishes must be installed.
    • All punch-list items must be complete. 
    • All cleaning must be finalized.
    • Final testing and balancing of HVAC systems must be complete. Other commissioning tasks can occur during flush-out or testing only if they do not introduce any additional contaminants into the building.
    • Temporary filters and duct coverings used as part of the construction IAQ management plan must be removed.
    • Filters must be replaced with new filtration media, unless the system is configured to filter only outside air. If your project is pursuing IEQc5: Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control, these filters must be MERV 13 or higher.
    • For BD&C projects, it is optional to install furniture and furnishings prior to testing or flush-out. For ID&C projects, movable furnishings must be installed prior to testing or flush-out.

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


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


  • Option 1: Flush-Out


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


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

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

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


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


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


  • For projects with multiple independent HVAC systems, portions of the building can be flushed out separately, as they are completed, as long as no additional construction work occurs in an area where a flush-out has begun. Completed areas should be isolated from those under construction per SMACNA IAQ guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction, which is the same standard that defines the requirements for IEQc3.1 (see Resources).


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


  • During the occupied phase of a flush-out under Option 1, Path 2, a minimum ventilation rate must begin at least three hours before daily occupancy and continue while the space is occupied (through the end of the business day, or other occupancy duration) at a minimum rate of 0.30 cfm per ft2, or the design minimum rate determined in IEQp1, whichever is greater. 


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


  • Option 2: Air Testing


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


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


  • Extra attention must be paid to ensure strict adherence to the requirements for low-emitting materials (IEQc4) and the successful implementation of a construction IAQ management plan (IEQc3.1)—including a thorough cleanup using low-VOC cleaning supplies. (Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration can also help remove particulates.) 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • Record information on IAQ testing, including:

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

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


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

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The strategies required by IEQc5: Indoor Chemical Pollutant Source Control are intended to help buildings minimize sources of indoor air contamination during continued building operation. Pursuing IEQc5 can help enhance the effects of building flushout or testing. 


  • Periodic IAQ testing during occupancy is not required, but can be used to help ensure a healthy indoor environment. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification several credits will help ensure good air quality during occupancy, such as IEQc1.1: Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices—Indoor Air Quality Management Program. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Credit 3.2: Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce indoor air quality (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) problems resulting from construction or renovation to promote the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.

    Requirements

    Develop an (IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.) management plan and implement it after all finishes have been installed and the building has been completely cleaned before occupancy.

    Option 1. Flush-out1
    Path 1

    After construction ends, prior to occupancy and with all interior finishes installed, install new filtration media and perform a building flush-out by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (4,500 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60° F (15° C) and relative humidity no higher than 60%.

    OR

    Path 2

    If occupancy is desired prior to completion of the flush-out, the space may be occupied following delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (1,000 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area. Once the space is occupied, it must be ventilated at a minimum rate of 0.30 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per square foot (0.1 cubic meters per minute per square meter) of outside air or the design minimum outside air rate determined in IEQ Prerequisite 1: Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance, whichever is greater. During each day of the flush-out period, ventilation must begin a minimum of 3 hours prior to occupancy and continue during occupancy. These conditions must be maintained until a total of 14,000 cubic feet per square foot (4,500 cubic meters per square meter) of outside air has been delivered to the space.

    OR

    Option 2. Air testing

    Conduct baseline IAQ testing, after construction ends and prior to occupancy, using testing protocols consistent with the EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air or as the ISO method listed in the table below. Testing must be done in accordance with one standard; project teams may not mix requirements from the EPA Compendium of Methods with ISO.

    Demonstrate that the contaminant maximum concentrations listed below are not exceeded:

    Contaminant Maximum Concentration EPA Compendium method ISO method
    Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. 27 parts per billion IP-6 ISO 16000-3
    Particulates (PM10) 50 micrograms per cubic meter IP-10 ISO 7708
    Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) 500 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
    4-Phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) * 6.5 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
    Carbon monoxide (CO) 9 parts per million and no greater than 2 parts per million above outdoor levels IP-3 ISO 4224
    *This test is required only if carpets and fabrics with styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex backing are installed as part of the base building systems.



    For each sampling point where the maximum concentration limits are exceeded, conduct an additional flush-out with outside air and retest the noncompliant concentrations. Repeat until all requirements are met. When retesting noncompliant building areas, take samples from the same locations as in the first test, although it is not required.

    Conduct the air sample testing as follows:

    • All measurements must be conducted prior to occupancy, but during normal occupied hours with the building ventilation system started at the normal daily start time and operated at the minimum outside air flow rate for the occupied mode throughout the test.
    • All interior finishes must be installed, including but not limited to millwork, doors, paint, carpet and acoustic tiles. Movable furnishings such as workstations and partitions should be in place for the testing, although it is not required.
    • The number of sampling locations will depend on the size of the building and number of ventilation systems. For each portion of the building served by a separate ventilation system, the number of sampling points must not be less than 1 per 25,000 square feet or for each contiguous floor area, whichever is larger. Include areas with the least ventilation and greatest presumed source strength.
    • Air samples must be collected between 3 and 6 feet from the floor to represent the breathing zoneThe breathing zone is the region within an occupied space between 3 and 6 feet above the floor and more than 2 feet from walls or fixed air-conditioning equipment. (AHSRAE 62.1–2007) of occupants, and over a minimum 4-hour period.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Prior to occupancy, perform a building flush-out or test the air contaminant levels in the building. The flush-out is often used where occupancy is not required immediately upon substantial completion of construction. IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing can minimize schedule impacts but may be more costly. Coordinate with IEQ Credit 3.1: Construction Indoor air Quality Management Plan — During Construction and IEQ Credit 5: Indoor Chemical & Pollutant Source Control to determine the appropriate specifications and schedules for filtration media.

    The intent of this credit is to eliminate IAQ problems that occur as a result of construction. Architectural finishes used in tenant build-outs constitute a significant source of air pollutants, and must be addressed to qualify for this credit.

Technical Guides

IEQ Space Matrix - 2nd Edition

This updated version of the spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. Up to date, 2nd Edition.


IEQ Space Matrix - 1st Ed.

This spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated.  This is the 1st edition.

Publications

SMACNA IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction

Project management guidance in maintaining satisfactory IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. of occupied buildings undergoing renovation or construction. 


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

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


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

Outlines the health effects of indoor air pollution.


State of Washington Program and IAQ Standards

 

This standard was the first state-initiated program to ensure the design of buildings with acceptable IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.

 


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

This publication is written as a comprehensive review of IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. issues and solutions.


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

 

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

 

Web Tools

Healthy Building Network

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


EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools Controlling Pollutants and Sources

Reference for best practices and strategies to implement IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. management in Schools. 


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

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

Organizations

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

SMACNA is an international organization that developed guidelines for maintaining healthful indoor air quality during demolitions, renovations, and construction. The professional trade association publishes the referenced standard as well as Indoor Air Quality: A Systems Approach, a comprehensive document that covers air pollutant sources, control measures, IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. process management, quality control and documentation, interpersonal communication , sample projects, tables, references, resources, and checklists.

Construction IAQ Management Plan

All Options

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

Flush-Out Volume

Option 1 - Flush Out

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

IAQ Testing

Option 2 - Testing

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

Construction Submittal

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

25 Comments

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Yazmin Trueba Project Engineer Sundt Construction
May 07 2013
Guest
28 Thumbs Up

2 options, Flush out and Air testing

230k School, Tight Schedule, Path 1 Flushout before occupancy, Per Phases, 21 Air Handler Units / Zones, 6 areas of Flushout durations from 99 days to 30 days.
My questions:
1. Is possible to combine 2 options, document the Flushout for the areas that need less time, and option 2: Air testing for the zones that require more than 30 days?
2. Can we use temporary fans or other ventilation systems to get the needed volume of outside air and reduce durations?
3. Is possible to combine 2 or more zones to reduce the flushout durations?
4. Any requirement for Flush out per phases that guarantee that the construction dust and VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. from one zone can't migrate into a zone that has already been flushed out.

Thanks.

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

Yazmin, the first two FAQs above will help with at least a great deal of your questions. Please post back with any follow up that could help you.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager Lawrence Group
Feb 11 2013
LEEDuser Member
1401 Thumbs Up

Flush out and un-touched area in LEED boundary

My project includes the renovation of an existing building and a major attached addition (over 70% of the project is new construction). The existing building has an existing gymnasium (this is a high school). The gymnasium is on the second floor of a two story existing building and falls in the middle of my LEED boundary (as the new construction wraps the existing and we are renovating the first floor below): however, there is no (zero) scope in the existing gymnasium. We are doing absolutely nothing to the existing gym; it just happens to be in the middle of a renovation / addition project and therefore falls in the middle of my LEED boundary. Great efforts have gone into isolating the gym so nothing relating to the construction affects the gym. Must we flush out this space even though no work has occurred in the gym? Because of the size of this space, it will add weeks to the flush out period and may cause the client to forgo the flush-out altogether (I don't want this to happen). Are there any precedents for pulling a space out of the flush-out calculations because there is no work occurring in them? Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated.

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

I would not flush our the gym if it is not in the LEED project boundary, and not subjec to the credit requirements.

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Cheryl Burkinshaw
Jul 09 2012
LEEDuser Member
287 Thumbs Up

How to conduct a flush out during a phased construction project

We are working on a renovation project where construction is being conducted in phases. The first phase will be occupied with temporary floor finishes in some spaces prior to final install of floors in public areas. Can we still conduct a flush out of the building and have it fulfill the requirements of this credit after the final flooring is installed if the area of the building has been occupied?

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Emily Catacchio Sustainability Specialist, Wight and Company Jul 13 2012 Guest 8494 Thumbs Up

Cheryl,

Yes, I think you should be able to comply by using Option 1 Path 2. You can see details in the Credit Language tab above.

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Cheryl Burkinshaw Aug 03 2012 LEEDuser Member 287 Thumbs Up

Would the flush out begin after final floor finishes are installed or would the initial phase of the flush out begin before occupancy when the temporary finishes are still in use?

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Aug 03 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7702 Thumbs Up

Cheryl,
IMO you would not be meeting the intent of the credit if you plan on installing new finishes after occupancy. The credit language states that either the full flush out or the partial flush out shall be complete that prior to occupancy and with all interior finishes installed.

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Eri Spaulding Ashley McGraw Architects
May 02 2012
Guest
860 Thumbs Up

measuring and reporting temperature & RH

Does anybody know how to measure and report indoor temperatures and relative humidity during flushout? Do we need to record min. and max. every single day at every single room? or can we just take the measurement in one more or less neutral location (say, a corridor) twice a day during the procedure?
I would appreciate some feedback from someone who has already reported this and got comments from GBCI.
Thank you

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group May 02 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7702 Thumbs Up

With the current template, LEED only requires that you specify how you would ensure your project maintained proper indoor temperatures and humidity. It does not have a place to upload supporting documents proving you took measurements.

We typically use data loggers. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. They take continuous measurements which verify that your space always stays within the required conditions. Locations and quantities of sensors will depend on the size of the project and the type, use your judgement, as long as it is defensible that is sufficient.

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Nell Achtmeyer
Mar 07 2012
Guest
163 Thumbs Up

Flush Out in Stages

I am wondering if it's possible to sequence the flush out in stages so that you can make your way through the building, but also maintain work in other parts as well...

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Mar 16 2012 LEEDuser Expert 7702 Thumbs Up

IMO this may work, but you would need to separate the spaces that are being flushed out. The separation would need to guarantee that the construction dust, VOCsA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. from paint, furniture etc from one zone can't migrate into a zone that has already been flushed out.

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Ghaith Moufarege
Oct 31 2011
LEEDuser Member
8902 Thumbs Up

IAQ Management Plan - Post construction measures

Dear all,

The LEEDOnline letter template for IEQc3.2 includes a portal to upload the IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Management Plan highlighting post-construction IAQ management practices.

Is this plan different from the one developed for IEQc3.1? My understanding is that either a flush-out or IAQ testing is required, with no need for producing any additional Management Plan.

Many thanks

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 11 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

George, most teams that pursue both IEQc3.1 and 3.2 write one plan that covers both requirements. You can see an example of this above, in our Doc Toolkit. For more background on writing and submitting the plan, it may help to review the steps to earn this credit in the Checklists tab above.

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Ghaith Moufarege Nov 14 2011 LEEDuser Member 8902 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan!

For the Pre-Occupancy Flush-out option, the LEEDOnline letter template asks for a description of the flush-out procedure (date, airflow rates, temperature, and humidity).

What is the difference between the content of this description paragraph and the "IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Management Plan highlighting post-construction IAQ Management practices implemented"?

Are there any post-construction IAQ Management measures other than the flush-out or the testing?

Thanks,

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 19 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

George, to my knowledge there is not any difference, unless there happens to be something about the project that warrants note.

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Ara Massey Sustainable Design Manager SLATERPAULL Architects
Jun 23 2011
LEEDuser Member
270 Thumbs Up

Monitoring Humidity?

I am currently working on a project in southern Colorado (very dry) that is doing a phased flush-out but there is currently no way to monitor interior humidity. Would a narrative describing that the regional climate drove the decision to omit a humidity sensor suffice? Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 16 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Ara, sorry for the slow response here to your question. Did you submit for this credit and what was the result?

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Q +
Mar 21 2011
Guest
80 Thumbs Up

IAQ Testing and Furnishings

The Credit Language contains this statement regarding air quality testing and furnishings: "Movable furnishings such as workstations and partitions should be in place for the testing, although it is not required." However, the Checklists resource on this site says, "Furniture and furnishings MUST be installed prior to testing, but are only recommended to be installed prior to flush-out."

I want to be sure we are not missing anything in the credit language. Could someone confirm whether, when pursuing the air testing option, furnishings MUST be in place, or if it is only recommended?

Thanks.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 29 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

You have it right—it is recommended but not required. If anyone has seen GBCI reject the credit for not following this recommendation, please post about it here!

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Q +
Mar 21 2011
Guest
80 Thumbs Up

Phased IAQ Testing?

Is it acceptable to perform air quality testing in phases? The project in question is a 175K sf school designed in 7 zones. We would like to begin testing on half of these zones while test and balance, etc. is still going on in the others. Is this acceptable as long as all items required to be complete prior to testing are complete in the zones being tested?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 29 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

I don't see any obstacles here—seems consistent with the intent and methods of the credit.

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Keelan Kaiser Architect and Educator Serena Sturm Architects and Judson University
Dec 15 2010
Guest
1067 Thumbs Up

Option 1 flush out - Path 1

Working on a school that will be completed by June 1, moving furnishings in July 1, and people in August. We have the month of June for flush out, hypothetically. We want to chase this credit, but the engineers say the VRF system won't push the volume of air through the system fast enough. First, we don't need to use any special filters for this, right? So it's not a matter of flushing with special filtering, correct? We aren't using Merv13 filtering in this project, we just want to flush out the off-gassing pollutants from finished construciton. Second, if the mech system can't push enough volume through, is there a low cost alternative that still accomplishes the intent of this credit.

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Keelan Kaiser Architect and Educator, Serena Sturm Architects and Judson University Dec 16 2010 Guest 1067 Thumbs Up

A couple more details, the first floor is a contiguous library space with two stack-induced cross ventilation chases with operable windows at the top. The second floor is a series of 6 science labs, each with a room-based exhaust fan. Couldn't we simply use the stack-effect (possibly temporarily fitted with exhausting fans) to power ventilate the lower level, and open the windows and turn on the exhaust fans in the classroom/labs to get the volume we need? The volume doesn't need to go through the mechanical system per se does it? This credit is to simply flush out pollutants in the environment itself, with or without the mechanical system itself? Anyway, those are my questions. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 28 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

You don't have to use special filtering, no.

Regarding getting the volume of needed air in this situation, the typical practice is to use temporary fans or other ventilation systems to require the needed volume of air. There is more specific guidance on this in the Checklists tab above.

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