Schools-2009 IEQc4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products

  • Pursue four of six low-emitting materials credits

    Schools have six low-emitting materials credits, but can earn a maximum of four points from them, so choose four to pursue: 

    Choose the credits that are the easiest for your project to achieve. Typically IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2 are the easiest.  IEQc4.3, IEQc4.4, and IEQc4.5 can be more difficult or expensive to achieve.

  • Schools requirements in limbo

    The credit language states that school projects have to use composite materials and laminating adhesives that meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services protocol. This is a stringent chamber test that detects certain types of 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. and determines the rate of offgassing. This reference standard is much more stringent than the requirements for this credit in LEED-NC and rating systems, which simply prohibit products with urea-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. in binders or glues. These products do not need testing to comply. 

    However, the USGBC put out an erratum for earlier versions of LEED for Schools allowing projects to pursue the LEED-NC no-added-urea-formaldehyde requirement rather than the California standard. This option applies to LEED for Schools 2009 as well. That means that you have the option of using products that meet either standard. Advice on both paths are included in the following Bird’s Eye View introduction, and in the Checklists tab.

    Products that meet Schools testing requirement can be hard to find

    As not many products have gone through chamber testing according to the LEED for Schools requirement, compliant products may involve a cost premium. Products that meet the California DHS protocol are listed on the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) website. Products certified under the Greenguard Children and Schools program are also compliant. See the Resources tab for links to these listings. Many products are also compiled in a list that’s available in the Documentation Toolkit.

    It’s all or nothing

    Like most of the other low-emitting materials credits, this credit is all-or-nothing. Depending on the path you are taking, all products must meet the California DHS testing protocol, or must have no added urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas. (UF) content. This credit applies to all composite woods and agrifiber productsAgrifiber products are made from agricultural fiber. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. installed within the weather barrier of the project.

    Composite woodTwo binders appear in most manufactured wood products—urea formaldehyde, which is banned under this credit, and phenol formaldehyde, which is not. Image – BuildingGreenUF is an inexpensive binder that is widely used in interior-grade particleboard, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder., and plywood. It is not moisture-resistant, so it is not found in exterior-grade plywood. It also doesn’t bond with silica-rich fibers like straw, so it isn’t used in agrifiber panels.

  • Do your research

    Research credit-compliant products, including plywood, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder., door cores, laminate countertops, and other composite materials before construction begins helps to ensure that the right products are used. Early research helps avoid costly change orders and mistakes that would disqualify you from earning the credit.

    While most of the focus in this credit is on composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard., make sure to check the laminate adhesives used by manufacturers in products such as countertops, doors, flooring and millwork that has adhered edging, laminates, and veneers.

    Don’t use or choose products that merely claim to be “low-emitting.” You have to find and submit documentation that proves the project met the specific credit requirements.

    Only 20% of product cut sheets selected at random need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit, although it is best to keep all product cut sheets on file in case the credit is audited.

     

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Design Development

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    Identify all areas of your project where composite wood Wheatboard millworkCitiLog offers custom millwork from formaldehyde-free wheatboard. Photo – CitiLogand agrifiber products may be used. Look for opportunities to use low-emitting materials conforming with the California Department of Health Services protocol. 


  • Note that due to a special USGBC ruling from 2008 that is still in effect for LEED for Schools 2009, you can avoid the tougher Schools requirements for this credit, and use the NC requirement to specify urea formaldehyde free composite products and laminating adhesives. (See Resources.)


  • Freestanding furniture is exempt from the requirements of this credit. Fixed cabinetry and millwork is not considered ‘freestanding’ and needs to have credit-compliant composite materials and laminating adhesives.


  • Many woods have low levels of naturally occurring formaldehyde, which is one reason the credit stresses that no urea-formaldehyde should be added in the binders and glues. Many products are marketed as “urea formaldehyde free,” but you still need to confirm on the MSDS or cut sheet that UF-free binders were used. If the MSDS shows trace amounts of UF, double check with the manufacturer on whether it is UF added to the binder, or is naturally occurring in the wood.


  • Non-urea formaldehyde binders—such as phenol and melamine—offgas fewer VOCs, because the formaldehyde is more tightly bound, and are not covered under this credit. 


  • Some credit-compliant products may need additional lead time, and components treated for fire-resistance can be hard to find for specific applications. UF is an inexpensive binder that is widely used in interior-grade particleboard, MDF, and plywood. It is not moisture-resistant, so it is not found in exterior-grade plywood, making this a good way to find credit-compliant products. UF also doesn’t bond well with silica-rich fibers like straw, so it isn’t used in many agrifiber panels.


  • Using no-added-urea-formaldehyde products may involve a slight cost premium, because replacement binders are more expensive.


  • Products that meet the California DHS protocol are listed on the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) website. Products certified under the Greenguard Children and Schools program are also compliant. (See Resources.)

Construction Documents

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  • Make sure credit requirements are integrated into the construction specifications for all composite materials: including plywood, MDF, millwork substrates, agrifiber composites, laminatating adhesives, door cores and other composite materials.


  • Guidance on incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents, along with samples, is available from MasterSpec and from the Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources).


  • Incorporating the credit requirements for wood composites directly in the drawings, as well as in the specifications is a good reminder for the general contractor (GC) and subcontractors. 


  • Incorporate specific product manufacturers in the specs after researching that their products are credit-compliant. It is helpful to distribute a list of acceptable products at the contractor and subcontractor orientation meetings. See the Documentation Toolkit for an example.


  • The credit requirements can also be incorporated in a more comprehensive IAQ management plan (required for IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction) that requires the use of low-emitting products to control the source of construction pollution. 


  • Achieving this credit may be necessary if your project is also pursuing the air-testing option of IEQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy. The use of products that don’t comply with IEQc4.4 may cause your project team to fail the air-quality tests. 


  • The credit requirements apply to composite materials manufactured off-site as well as assembled onsite. This differs from the requirements for IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2, which only cover products applied onsite.


  • Hiring construction teams with LEED experience is helpful, as is reviewing LEED requirements and responsibilities with the contractor during the bidding process. Construction teams without LEED experience can be successful with this credit, but will require more training and a closer eye on quality control to make sure compliant materials are used and that items are documented correctly.  


  • As accountability is key to successfully implementing low VOC materials, contractors and subcontractors should be contractually required to provide LEED submittal product information. 

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


  • The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED-related issues, including IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental material tracking tools, construction waste management, and so on. A list of acceptable products for each use type, and the list of VOC limits, should be provided to aid subcontractors in product selection. 


  • The GC should hold orientation meetings with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.


  • Coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.


  • Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)

    • Materials Calculator:  This is a master tracking spreadsheet that the GC can use internally to compile product information received from the subcontractors. The spreadsheet tracks LEED values across multiple LEED MR and IEQ credits.
    • Environmental Materials Reporting Form: This is a material tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values for products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. 
    • Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form: This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
    • Low-Emitting Material Limits: These tables, found with each credit here on LEEDuser, summarize the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and flooring products. When subcontractors search for low-emitting products, they should consult these charts.

  • Research compliant, low-emitting products before construction begins. If product decisions are made after construction begins, with less time to carefully review data sheets, there is a much greater risk of using a non-compliant product. 


  • When researching urea-formaldehyde-free products, double-check that the manufacturer’s information is not misleading. A common example is a product cut sheet that reads, “This is low-emitting MDF,” without specifically stating that the material has no added urea-formaldehyde. You’ll need a copy of the product cut sheet, MSDS, or a letter from the manufacturer to prove that the product is compliant. 


  • The VOC Budget method described in credits IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2 is not available for calculating the compliance of composite materials and laminating adhesives for this credit.


  • During Construction


  • Throughout construction, the GC collects copies of product information from subcontractors for all composite materials and laminating adhesives, showing credit compliance.  


  • A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for the responsibility of inputting the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the master spreadsheet as they can help cross check product compliance across multiple LEED credits.


  • The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product safety data sheets and tracking forms, as well as spot checks in dumpsters to determine which products are actually being used.


  • Post signs at the construction site that remind subcontractors to follow LEED requirements for using urea-formaldehyde-free composite materials and laminating adhesives. (Link to Signage UF)


  • To avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and prevent costly change orders, review subcontractor product submittals ahead of time.


  • Check products for compliance as they are delivered on site. For instance, a urea-formaldehyde-free door may have been approved in shop drawing, but the same exact door may come in two models: with UF, and UF-free. It would be easy for the wrong door to be accidently delivered and then installed on site.


  • Streamline documentation and research by keeping a master spreadsheet of all the items being tracked for each material across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millwork vendor for regional manufacturing and extraction locations for MRc5, recycled content information for MRc4, and composite-wood information for IEQc4.4—all for one millwork product. (See the Documentation Toolkit for the Materials Calculator.)


  • A master spreadsheet helps ease information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.  


  • Schedule the installation of absorptive composite materials so that they are protected from construction air contaminants. This is required if projects are attempting IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction, but is a good practice in any case. For example, storing or installing composite wood cabinets before wall painting can cause them to absorb the paint’s off gases and contaminate the air over a longer time period.


  • It is usually a good idea to do a “mini air flush” (if your project is not attempting IEQc3.2) before occupancy to help remove any lingering VOCs from the construction process. This can be as simple as putting industrial sized fans in the window and pumping in fresh air overnight or running the HVAC exhaust on high for a few days. (See IEQc3.2: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—Before Occupancy if the team wants to do a full flush-out for an additional LEED point.)


  • Transfer all the data collected in the master material tracking spreadsheet to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Keep a list of credit-compliant materials used on the project so that O&M staff can purchase these products for future renovations.


  • Develop a purchasing policy that incorporates guidelines on using urea-formaldehyde-free and other low-emitting materials. 

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

    Requirements

    All composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. and agrifiber productsAgrifiber products are made from agricultural fiber. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. installed in the building interior must meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department ofHealth Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda.

    Schools projects may choose from IEQ Credits 4.1-4.6 for a maximum of 4 points.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Clearly specify requirements for product testing and/or certification in the construction documents. Some programs that offer verification of the cited standard for Options 1-4 and 6 are Indoor Advantage Gold, GREENGUARD Children & Schools, the Resilient Floor Covering Institute’s FloorScore program, the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program, and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools product list. Indoor Advantage Gold offers verification of the BIFMA standard cited in Option C of the Furniture Option.

Publications

An Update on Formaldehyde - Consumer Product Safety Commission

This informational document is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 


Collaborative for High Performance Schools Best Practices Manual, 2006, Low-Emitting Materials (LEM) Table

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Best Practices Manual contains guidelines and strategies for effective acoustical performance in school buildings.  According to CHPS, “this table lists products that have been certified by its manufacturer and an independent laboratory to meet the CHPS Low-Emitting Materials criteria Section 01350 for use in a typical classroom.” 


Greenguard Children & Schools

Searchable List of Compliant products.

Articles

Binders in Manufactured Wood Products: Beyond Formaldehyde

Current and future wood binderGlue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde. chemicals are explored in ths Environmental Building News article.

Web Tools

Collaborative for High Performance Schools Compliant Products Database

Searchable List of Compliant products.

Organizations

Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) — Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across applicable MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

23 Comments

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Mary Petrovich Senior Sustainability Associate Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
Mar 05 2014
LEEDuser Member
472 Thumbs Up

CA 01350-compliant bambo flooring isn't NAUF

I'm working with a project that has used a bamboo flooring material that complies with Floorscore/CA 01350 and contains urea-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.. We're using LEED NC standards to document NAUF compliance for all other composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. materials. I've seen other comments that imply 'mix and match' may be acceptable when it comes to choosing LEED for Schools vs LEED NC low emitting materials standards. Wondering if this will apply in the case of a material that contains urea-formaldehyde?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 06 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Mary, see the Q&A just below this one.

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant Sustainable Design Consulting
Jun 18 2013
LEEDuser Member
2060 Thumbs Up

Two certifications paths as proof of compliance

We are wondering if you can provide support documentation / proof of compliance for NAUF for some products and CA 01350/Greenguard Children & Schools for others. Or is it 'All-or-Nothing' meaning all products must be verified via one compliance path or the other.

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

You can mix and match compliance paths.

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant, Sustainable Design Consulting Nov 05 2013 LEEDuser Member 2060 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan. Do you think this mixed compliance path approach would be acceptable for NC, I, Retail, etc. also?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 05 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

No, I don't—although CA 01350 is generally more stringent than the NC requirements, the requirements are fundamaentally different in some cases (IEQc4.4 as a prime example), and to my knowledge, CA 01350 has not been recognized as an ACP for NC, while NC has been for Schools' requirements.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager Lawrence Group
Dec 17 2012
LEEDuser Member
1215 Thumbs Up

IEQ c4.4 and accoustical panel ceilings

Do the requirements for credit IEQ c4.4 apply to accoustical panel ceilings? All of the ceiling panesl we are using (from Armstrong) indicate they are on the list of CHPS High Performance Products Database for Low-Emitting Materials; however, some are indicated as "NO VOC 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." and some are "LOW VOC Formaldehyde." I am assuming these must comply and should be the "NO formaldehyde" versions. Any quidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager, Lawrence Group Dec 17 2012 LEEDuser Member 1215 Thumbs Up

As a follow up, the Armstrong technical team indicated the panels do not fall under credit 4.4 as they are made from mineral fiber (not wood) and fiberglass (which I am not crazy about, but that is a different issue)...thoughts?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 17 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Todd, this credit only covers composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. and agfiber products. If the panels aren't wood or agfiber, they're not covered.

However, they are covered under IEQc4.6.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager, Lawrence Group Dec 17 2012 LEEDuser Member 1215 Thumbs Up

Tristan, thanks for the quick response. Your thoughts are consistent with my initial reaction. I am not pursuing IEQ 4.6, but would like to have it in my back pocket just in case. More importantly I want to ensure the indoor air quality is healthy for the kiddos...thank you very much and happy holidays to everyone!

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Gary Mosesman
Jul 24 2012
Guest
101 Thumbs Up

Greenguard vs Urea-formadehyde

GC has submitted a Greenguard certificate for visual display products that contain urea-formadehyde??!!! Are there allowable limits for the formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings., for example, <0.05ppm. Are these products still eligible for the IEQ Credit 4.4 even though they contain some amount of urea-formadehyde?

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Jul 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5700 Thumbs Up

Gary,

I see a couple of issues. The first is that this credit applies composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. that is part of the building and your GC has submitted something for a visual display product - which I would not put in this credit category. The second issue is that the School EQ c4.4 focuses on VOC emission not VOC content like the other versions of LEED. Finally, the GREENGUARD certification that would comply with the criteria of this credit is the Children & Schools, not the regular GREENGUARD. I hope this clears some things up for you.

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Steven Woods
Jun 11 2012
Guest
88 Thumbs Up

Define "Weatherproofing System"

The roof on our building is constructed as follows: structural steel framing, metal roof deck, vapor barrier, rigid insulation, ventilated nail base insulation panel (a pre-fabricated unit of OSBOriented-strand board (OSB). Consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheatboard, oriented-strand board, and strawboard. on top of intermittent wood blocking on top of rigid insulation), ice & water shield, and asphalt shingles.

IEQc4.4 credit information states the requirements apply to products "inside the weatherproofing system". Weather consists of both water and temperature. The OSB is inside the water protection system (shingles) but outside the the thermal protection system (rigid insulation). It would seemingly best be categorized as part of the weatherproofing system, not inside or outside it.

So the question is: Does the OSB from the ventilated nail base insulation panel needs to be included in the documentation for IEQc4.4.

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5700 Thumbs Up

Normally the vapor barrier is viewed as the weatherproofing. So the OSBOriented-strand board (OSB). Consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheatboard, oriented-strand board, and strawboard. that is inside it would need to meet the criteria to get the credit. The concern is finding products that meet the requirements.

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Franklin Snyder President Susquehanna Valley Engineering Group, Inc.
Dec 06 2011
LEEDuser Member
318 Thumbs Up

Plywood sheathing

I am having a very difficult time locating plywood sheathing that has been tested per the requirements of the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 addenda. This appears to be only a requirement for Schools.

The CDHS website has pre-determined products but these are all finished furniture – no ruff sheathing.

I am able to provide documentation of no added 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. and urea but not that particular test.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Dec 06 2011 LEEDuser Expert 5700 Thumbs Up

I will agree with you that it is very difficult to find products in this category pass the CA 01350 testing as most don't even attempt it. What you may want to do is provide the documentation of no added urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas. and explain that due to the EQc4.4 requirements in other LEED programs you feel that this should allowed. Otherwise remember that you can only get 4 of the 6 options in EQc4.0 for Schools and there are lots of products in the adhesives, paint, flooring, ceiling/wall systems, and furniture realm that would help you easily obtain those 4 points.

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Terry Squyres Principal GWWO Inc./Architects
Sep 15 2010
LEEDuser Member
867 Thumbs Up

Construction Manager, advisory

This question goes under a larger umbrella, but this credit highlights the importance of accountability for subcontractors. In our project, the Owner has a contract with a Construction Manager, advisory, and multiple primes. There is no GC, and the Construction Manager is not at-risk. I haven't been able to find references for working with this type of contractual situation within a LEED project. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 16 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

What's your role on the project? It sounds like an interesting situation, but I'm not completely sure what your question is.

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Terry Squyres Principal, GWWO Inc./Architects Sep 16 2010 LEEDuser Member 867 Thumbs Up

My role is as the in-house sustainable design person (architect) for the architect. We're writing the specifications, and trying to figure out how to best ask for what is needed (how specific to get in Div. 1, how much to leave up to the contractor with selection of materials), and how to best make sure that all the multiple primes are aware of and acting on the LEED requirements. We are using MasterSpec, informed by Arcom's Specs for LEED book, previous projects, and of course EBN. Are there any articles out there about working with a CM-advisory within LEED requirements? I haven't been able to find any. Thanks!

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Terry Squyres Principal, GWWO Inc./Architects Sep 16 2010 LEEDuser Member 867 Thumbs Up

We are including LEEDuser's sample "Letter to Contractor" as an attachment, with language revised for this contractual arrangement. It's a great letter - thanks for providing it.

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Romano Iglesia LEED BD+C O+M, Carde Ten Architects Dec 06 2011 Guest 1006 Thumbs Up

Base on my previous experiences with a GC on LEED, you can't make them do something they don't understand. You have to train them on their concerns. I ended up doing the work for them as the LEED Project Manager in chasing credits which could have been a breeze. Watch out for SSp1 that you might not end up getting it the GC messes up (very important). Requirements of MR4,5&6 and EQc3 to 4 is something you should follow up regularly with the GC even with the subs. If there's a way for you to tie their payment to accomplishment (LEED), you'll have better chances.

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aaron smith director of sustainable building solutions ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions
Aug 25 2010
Guest
259 Thumbs Up

Will meeting CARB 2, allow your product to meet this credit?

or do you have to be Greenguard certified?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 29 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

You don't have to have any certification for a product to qualify here. Any kind of documentation from the manufacturer that there is no added UF will do the job.

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Nov 22 2014
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