We are challenging the following portion of a Credit Ruling dated 1/2/02 for Daylight and Views in a multi-family residential building: "In a residential facility, critical visual task areas would be all habitable spaces such as living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas, studios, and bedrooms." The portion we strongly disagree with involves bathrooms, for all of the following reasons: 1. The introduction of sufficient daylight to achieve a Daylight Factor of 2%, or of sufficient Views to meet the requirements of EQc8.2, would compromise the essential functional element of Privacy in virtually any configuration of glazing and window treatments. If the required fenestration were provided in a restroom, with anything other than translucent or rippled glass (which already have low visible light transmittance), the occupants would almost certainly install and close window treatments and thereby hinder both Daylight and the Views in order to regain Privacy. 2. Bathrooms are neither used throughout the day nor for critical visual tasks, and as such and as such electric light is sufficient. (Note that, contrary to the assertion in our project''s Preliminary LEED Review, we disagree that "shaving and applying make-up" are critical visual tasks, even assuming that most occupants performed these tasks). 3. We see no reason that if restrooms are excluded in the calculations for commercial facilities that they should be included for residential applications. Attached to the very same Credit Ruling is the following statement: The LEED Steering Committee has ruled: "Residential multi-family does not require any modifications from the established LEED requirement . . ." and the LEED Reference Guide itself (page 266 in version 2.0; page 305 in version 2.1) states "Areas that should not be considered include support areas for copying, storage, mechanical equipment, laundry and restrooms." 4. Dwelling units in multi-family buildings typically share unit separation walls, limiting the amount of perimeter available for habitable spaces. Residential bathrooms are typically placed in the non-perimeter space because they do not require daylight, which is similar to a commercial building, where restrooms are typically part of the building core and are not placed on the building perimeter. Based on the above, we believe that bathrooms in residential spaces, just as in commercial spaces, should be re-classified as "low occupancy support areas" for both parts of the Daylight and Views calculations.
The CIR committee agrees with the proposed correction to the CIR dated 1/2/02, which defines bathrooms as habitable spaces. In a residential application, bathroom usage differs somewhat from a commercial situation as these spaces are used more frequently and for different tasks. But from a functional perspective, bathrooms remain a support area, and can therefore be excluded from daylight calculations just as they are excluded in calculations for commercial construction projects. The LEED Reference Guide indicates that support areas such as bathrooms are to be excluded. In addition, the Uniform Building Code excludes restrooms in the definition of habitable spaces (Section 209, Definitions). When possible, a daylit bathroom is still advantageous and creating opportunities to daylight such spaces is still recommended.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)