For retail projects, what items are considered casework and built-in millwork that must be included in the base building documentation (in MRc3-7 and IEQc4.4), rather than furniture?
There are typically two types of casework found in projects. The first is casework that is custom built – often from shop drawings – and specified in CSI Division 6. Included are custom millwork cabinets, countertops, custom desks, shelving, etc. These are base building (or real property) elements considered permanently installed. They may be assembled on or off-site.
The second type of casework is manufactured furniture. It is usually ordered from a catalog and found in the project specifications in CSI Division 12. These items are considered furniture and included in ID&C projects and only included in BD&C projects when they are consistently used in calculations. They are not base building items. Included in Division 12 are individual and group seating, open-plan and private-office workstations, desks, tables, storage units, credenzas, bookshelves, filing cabinets, and wall-mounted visual-display products (e.g., marker boards and tack boards). Items such as electronic displays and miscellaneous items, such as easels, mobile carts, and desk accessories are not included in the credits.
Sometimes furniture is semi-permanently attached using mechanical fastening systems due to operational use. These are not permanently installed and therefore are not base building elements. An example in a retail or hospitality setting would be a display that is bolted to the floor or moveable / semi-permanently-attached manufactured shelving. Consider these guidance definitions:
Permanently installed building product – in addition to those items that serve structural purposes, permanently installed building products are items that are affixed to the building without intention to be removed, either because the item is integral to the walls, ceiling, or floor, or removing the item will cause damage to building (i.e. real property vs. personal property). Examples include items found in CSI MasterFormat Division 6- Millwork as well as wall, floor, or ceiling finished such as ceramic tiles, or drywall, window and door frames (unless part of removable partitions, see definition for furniture), baseboards, siding, roofing, masonry, and permanently installed built in casework, such as shelving or countertops. Exceptions may exist for these examples.
Furniture - Items that are non-permanently affixed are considered furniture. This includes items that do not serve structural purposes and may be removed without damage to real property. Examples include desks, chairs, filing systems, retail displays, or removable partitions (including drywall and glass system partitions including doors) that can be readily removed and reused without damage to other partitions, ceilings, floors, or structure. Typically these items fall under CSI MasterFormat 2010 Division 12-Furniture, however some items may be specified in other divisions and there are exceptions to these examples.
Real Property – consisting of immovable portions of building. Distinguished from personal property. Items installed by tenants or for temporary use are considered personal property and not real property.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)
If a credit that a project is attempting is listed as applicable, the team must review the interpretation and apply it if it makes sense to do so. LEED project teams can choose to reference LEED Interpretations that do not list their credit as applicable if the project team believes it is appropriate. A final determination will be made during the certification review. Learn more