In a credit interpretation dated (EQc32) 10/17/2001, the following ruling was issued relative to permissible furnishings to be installed prior to flushout: 3. Punch-list items are part of construction and must be completed prior to building flush out. Commissioning is not part of construction and, as long as the process of commissioning does not introduce any additional contaminants into the building, may occur during flush out. Moving items into the building such as furniture may add a chemical sink to the interior of the building. Porous items can absorb VOC's and chemical vapors and may defeat the purpose of the flush out. Non-porous items such as metal furniture, however, are acceptable. Specific activities forbidden during flush out include any construction work. The Wind NRG facility is approaching its flushout period. We understand from the above ruling that metal furnishings may be moved in prior to flushout. We also assume hardwood furniture that does not have cushions can be moved in prior to flushout. Also scheduled to be installed prior to flushout are NYSAN roll-down shades. These are polyester fabric with approximately 6% light transmission (for use in vision windows in work areas for sunny days.) The fabric looks like a dense screen, it is not soft or thick, and does not appear, to us, to be absorbent. The contractor would like to get these installed prior to flushout, as these are part of the construction contract and therefore part of the punchlist, which, according to the above, are supposed to be completed prior to flushout. Based on the above CIR ruling, we are excluding the open office workstation systems, which include acoustic panels which have absorbent material, until after flushout. Couches and chairs with soft seat cushions will also be excluded prior to flushout. The ceiling tiles need to be completed prior to flushout, as installation is a dust generating activity. We assume USGBC has no argument with this, but I would like USGBC's comment on the fact that ceiling tiles tend to be absorbent. In summary, please be specific about which of the above items we can install prior to flushout and those which we can not install prior. (wood furniture, wood furniture with cushions, couches, NYSAN shades, work-station acoustic panels, ceiling tiles.)
The project is requesting additional information on which materials should be installed prior to the building flush-out beyond the information given in the CIR dated 10/17/2001. Additional clarification is given in a CIR dated 3/8/2004. As stated, the order of materials installed will vary somewhat across projects based on the architect, contractors, scope of work, and therefore there is some flexibility within this credit. As an example, if the window shades noted in the inquiry are considered part of the architectural finishes, then they must be installed prior to the building flush-out. Project teams may choose to install furniture before or after the flush-out. USGBC can not rule on the order of furniture installation versus flush-out because of the many project-specific variables (e.g., scope of work; conventional furniture vs. low-emitting furniture; the amount of time for potential chemical absorption between installation and flush-out). If furniture is in the LEED project scope of work, then there is opportunity to assess the situation and choose the most beneficial option. Ceiling tiles, which are considered an architectural finish, must be installed prior to the flushout because they are generally required for proper functioning of the mechanical systems, and because they are a source of dust during installation. Note that because ceiling tiles are absorbent, they should be installed after wet products such as paints and sealants. This phasing should be part of a construction IAQ management plan, which is addressed under EQc3.1. Applicable internationally.
UPDATE 10/1/12: This LEED Interpretation has been made "Not Applicable" to all rating systems other than NCv.20 and NCv2.1
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)