ID#1957 made on
EQp2 - Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) control
LEED BD+C: New Construction, LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors, LEED BD+C: Core and Shell
This project will be an eleven story residential condominium project with 9 luxury units. The developer plans to allow smoking in individual apartment units and their private balconies, but not in com...
This project will be an eleven story residential condominium project with 9 luxury units. The developer plans to allow smoking in individual apartment units and their private balconies, but not in common areas or near the building. The following precautions will be taken to control ETS migration: 1. Signage will be provided in all common areas prohibiting smoking in them and also within 25 feet of the outside of the building. Owner will provide a letter indicating this is a policy that will be enforced. 2. All penetrations through walls, ceiling, and floors between apartments, between apartments and corridors, and between apartments and adjacent rooms/shafts will be sealed air-tight. 3. All doorways between apartments, elevators, and corridors/stairs will be weather-stripped. 4. After construction, blower door tests will be conducted by an independent party. Test will be conducted in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) -E779-03 and using the progressive sampling methodology defined in Chapter 4 of the Residential Manual for Compliance with California's 2001 Energy Efficiency Standards. Apartment units must demonstrate a leakage area less than 1.25 square inches per 100 square feet of enclosure. This credit ruling interpretation request is in reaction to the 4/14/2006 Credit Ruling of LEED-NCv2.1 that states: "Any potential smoking outdoors must be addressed in regards to secondhand smoke exposure. Balconies are automatically considered smoking areas unless smoking on them is prohibited (by the building manager in the case of a leased apartment; by the initial HOA Rules and Regulations in the case of a condominium). For any compliance path, if a balcony does not comply with the requirements for exterior smoking areas (at least 25 feet away from entries, operable windows and outdoor air intakes), smoking must be prohibited on the balcony. LEED projects registered before September 4, 2006, will not be held to this interpretation, but are encouraged to do so." The project team feels that prohibiting smoking on the condominium's private balconies will have an undesirable effect of reducing the number of green buildings for the following reasons: 1. Prohibition of smoking on private balconies effectively regulates personal behavior on private property. 2. It inconsistent with the right to "quiet enjoyment" that buyers of condominiums seek and are entitled to such as casual smoking of cigars. 3. These sparsely occupied open private balconies will not resemble the dense group of smokers that are found outside many building entrances that produce a cloud of smoke. 4. Compliance with the prerequisite as interpreted in the above mentioned Credit Ruling would entail either prohibiting smoking on privately owned balcony areas or eliminating the balconies; neither option is practical or viable. 5. Balconies are typically within 25 feet of operable windows in adjacent residential (apartment) units especially within the operable windows on the floor above and the floor below. 6. The actual text from LEED-NCv2.2 for EQp2 states ".Locate any exterior designated smoking areas at least 25 feet away from entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows opening to common areas."; the neighboring condominium unit is not a "common area" and thus is not regulated by that section of the credit. 7. The subject property is located near Gramercy park and Union Square in Manhattan. Being located in a cultural and historic center, the property is expected to generate interest from an environment-friendly clientele. It is the developer's wish to underscore the green-friendly aspects of the design. 8. It is our belief that this interpretation of the prerequisite deters LEED compliance by a segment of buyers who are proponents of the "green" movement. It is the project team's contention that it is not the intent of this prerequisite to prohibit casual smoking by a small number of people in their private homes.
The CIR is suggesting that private balconies should not be considered smoking areas with respect to this prerequisite. The intent of this credit is to minimize exposure of building occupants to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). Balconies where smoking is permitted may be a source of ETS to areas adjacent to the balcony, as well as areas on the floors above and below, and must be considered for the prerequisite. The applicant does not describe any measures which would prevent ETS from these balconies from affecting those in adjacent spaces, and thus must prohibit smoking on these balconies to comply with the prerequisite.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)