Entry Type ID Date Applicable Rating System Primary Credit Inquiry (LIs) Ruling (LIs) Related Addenda/LIs Related Resources Campus Applicable Internationally Applicable Country Applicability Reference Guide (Addenda) Page (Addenda) Location (Addenda) Description of Change (Addenda) "LEED Interpretation" "1561" "2006-09-05" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.2 - Construction IAQ management plan - after construction" "The East and North Wing Addition project Hospital is comprised of two phases, three new additions totaling 167,580 GSF and renovations of 25,065 GSF. From the owner\'s perspective, these are two separate sub-projects. The overall project includes two attached and one detached building additions, respectively: a) The North Building Addition, at 30,850 new GSF, will house the relocated Central Sterile Supply (CSS), Surgery Expansion (OR) and Food Services Expansion, along with a Mechanical Room to support the new building. This building, which ties the Main Hospital to the Central Plant at the Ground Level, is designed for both vertical (three floors plus a mechanical penthouse) and horizontal expansion to the North. Included within this section is a planted green roof. b) The East Building Inpatient Tower, totaling 136,730 new GSF, will accommodate the relocation of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Emergency Department (ED) expansion, Telemetry Care Unit (TCU), and more Orthopaedic Inpatient beds, as well as a new Lobby, Mechanical Room and Mechanical Penthouse to support the new tower. This tower also includes two shelled floors - the fitout of one floor is an alternate still under consideration at this time. A walled garden off the Level 2 ICU rooms is included to screen patients from motorists and pedestrian traffic. c) A detached metal building, to match the existing Central Plant in appearance, will be constructed to house a new and one future chiller, a cooling tower and a future additional cooling tower. An additional cooling tower replacement and associated piping work is also scheduled within the original Central Plant. We proposed to comply with this credit in the following way: New Construction: In this section, the two-week flush out period will be completed. Renovation: Since this section is renovation, tying into new and existing mechanical systems and accomplished in multiple sub-phases, we propose to comply with EQ3.2 for this portion using the testing methods identified in CIR dated 10/8/2002. Is this approach to compliance is acceptable?" "The building flush-out and IAQ testing strategy proposed is acceptable, provided that existing spaces are protected from construction-related contamination as well as prevention of cross-contamination between systems. Protection measures should follow the SMACNA Guidelines for Occupied Buildings and be outlined in the Construction IAQ Management Plan to ensure compliance." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1598" "2006-10-23" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.2 - Construction IAQ management plan - after construction" "BACKGROUND This credit interpretation request is specific to interpretation of EQ Credit #3.2 ""Construction IAQ Management Plan: Before Occupancy "" under version 2.1. The intent of this credit is ""to prevent indoor air quality problems resulting from the construction process in order to help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants"". We believe the approach described below will achieve that intent. The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute Project is an expansion to the Walter C. MacKenzie Center, an existing active treatment hospital of approximately 2,000,000 square feet of occupied space. The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute will connect to the Walter C. MacKenzie Center through several corridors that will be isolated from the main building until the Heart Institute is occupied. The heart institute is a multi-storey building of approximately 350,00 Square Feet of occupied space consisting of 8 occupied floors each with an interstitial floor above to house building systems. The interstitial floors are completely separated from the occupied floors. The ventilation systems serving the building are configured such that central air systems provide 100% outdoor air to all occupied floors from the 2nd floor to the 8th floor. The main and lower levels are served from air systems that re-circulate a portion of the building air. Each occupied floor and each interstitial floor are separated into a minimum of 3 Fire compartments. Supply and exhaust air for each fire compartment can be isolated by closing smoke dampers in the supply and exhaust ductwork serving the respective fire compartment. The construction and occupancy schedule for the project requires that the building be occupied in stages. These stages would be at a minimum fire compartment by fire compartment and more likely floor by floor. REQUEST We are requesting that the USGBC interpret Credit 3.2 to allow ""Before Occupancy"" flushing to be conducted on a fire zone by fire zone basis for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. All unoccupied zones would be isolated from the occupied zones by closing the smoke dampers and taping off man doors serving unoccupied zones. The zones being flushed would utilize the main air systems to allow for the two-week building flush out period prescribed in the discussion for EQ Credit #3.2. The 2nd through 8th floors are served by air systems designed to provide 100% outdoor air. Therefore there will be no recirculation of the air from the occupied or flush-out spaces. For the lower and main floors served by a system that permits re-circulated air, these systems will be controlled so that 100% outdoor air is supplied through this system during the flush out period." "The CIR is inquiring if it is possible to conduct the two-week flush-out of a building in stages to allow for a staggered construction completion schedule. The inquiry indicates that the building floors and/or zones can be separated physically from adjacent spaces, to ensure no cross contamination from construction in the incomplete areas, while providing 100% outside air to accomplish the flush out. Previously posted CIR rulings, dated 10/17/2001 and 9/5/2006 approve the process for a staggered flush-out approach, provided that existing spaces are protected from construction-related contamination as well as prevention of cross-contamination between systems. Protection measures should follow the SMACNA Guidelines for Occupied Buildings and be outlined in the Construction IAQ Management Plan to ensure compliance." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1823" "2007-08-08" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "EQc3.1 - Construction IAQ management plan - during construction" "Our project is a high school addition/renovation that will be occupied in phases. The mechanical system consists of VAV air handling units, VAV terminals, energy recovery units. Fan coil units and cabinet unit heaters are located in the stairwells and entries. We intend to implement a Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan. The Plan will incorporate the five control measures listed in the referenced standard. We will also protect all absorptive materials from moisture damage. During construction, all air handlers in operation will have a MERV-8 filter at each fresh air intake and operate at 100% outside air (no return air). The filters will be located prior (upstream) to the heating and cooling coils. We will de-energize the fan powered VAV terminals and operate the VAV terminal with only primary air from the air handling unit. The contractor will block the bypass air inlets on the air terminal units and turn off the return fan on the VAV\'s. As the fan coil units and cabinet heaters can not support MERV-8 filtration, they will not be used during construction. We will also keep the energy recovery units off line to prevent contamination of the wheel. MERV-8 filters will be provided on all return air intakes. Following the 3/6/2007 credit ruling, commissioning and balance testing procedures for those units will take place when indoor construction activities will not adversely affect indoor air quality. Immediately prior to occupancy, MERV-13 filters will be installed at all air handling units as stated in the 10/20/2003 credit ruling. Please confirm if the proposed compliance path meets the credit intent. If it is not acceptable, please clarify what changes are required in order to meet the credit requirements." "The project team is asking whether minimizing the introduction of unfiltered outside air to the building HVAC system, minimizing recirculation of air through the ventilation system, and keeping the energy recovery units, fan coil units, and cabinet heaters off line during construction achieve the filtration requirements of EQc3.1. The credit requires that MERV 8 filters be placed at each return air grill/intake if Air Handling Units are to be used during construction in order to protect all spaces from cross contamination due to construction activities. The credit intent implies that during construction no unfiltered air should be re-circulated through the building HVAC system (such as VAV terminals, fan coil units, etc) and that any air to be re-circulated is filtered through MERV 8 filters. The credit does not require that outside air be filtered before entry into the building HVAC system. Based on the narrative provided, the project team is installing MERV-8 filters on all return air intakes. The project team is also making sure that no air is re-circulated without filtration by blocking bypass air inlets, turning off return fans on VAV\'s and keeping the energy recovery units, fan coil units, and cabinet heaters off line during construction. Therefore the approach identified here meets the requirements of EQc3.1. The project team is not required to install filters on fresh air intakes in order to comply with the requirements of this credit. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "2320" "2008-10-08" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.2 - Construction IAQ management plan - after construction" "The 9/5/2006 allows projects to provide both IAQ testing and building flush-out in different construction phases. We intend to provide IAQ testing and building flush-out in different areas of the building within the same construction phase. Our project is a high school addition/renovation that will be occupied in phases. The first phase of construction is complete and those spaces were tested, prior to occupancy, based on the credit ruling dated 10/8/2002. The second phase of the project includes a pool and academic spaces. We are concerned that the chemicals used in the pool will adversely impact the testing results. We therefore propose flushing out that space, using the \'purge mode\' on the pool\'s mechanical unit. Based on the 9/8/2004 credit ruling, we will achieve 14,000 cu ft of outdoor air per square foot of floor space in less than 5 days. As the rest of the Phase 2 areas will not meet the flush-out criteria prior to the scheduled occupancy, we therefore intend to provide IAQ testing in the remaining portions of the building. Until both the IAQ testing and the flush-out is complete, we will prevent cross-contamination between areas. Protection measures will follow the SMACNA Guidelines for Occupied Buildings as outlined in the Construction IAQ Management Plan. Please confirm if the proposed compliance path meets the credit intent. If it is not acceptable, please clarify what changes are required in order to meet the credit requirements." "The applicant is requesting clarification regarding the implementation of flush-out procedures and IAQ testing during the same construction phase. As described, the proposed approach appears to satisfy the credit intent. The indoor air quality problems from construction activity in each space are either reduced from a flush-out or confirmed to be minimal from IAQ testing. Please note, however, that IAQ testing procedures for LEED-NC v2.2 are outlined in the LEED-NC v2.2 Reference Guide and are not identical to the testing procedure outlined in the 10/8/2002 CIR (applicable to LEED-NC v2.1). The reference guide has more stringent maximum concentration requirements and additional testing procedure guidelines. Also note, the air contaminants from swimming pool chemicals, such as chlorine, will not affect the concentration levels tested for this credit. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "3701" "2007-02-12" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.2 - Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy" "The project is a 15,000sf fire station in Texas.\nTo protect the building\'s HVAC system, we will be flushing out the building using a temporary heating unit using 100% outside air. We will use the equivalent performance methodology of providing 14,000ft3/ft2 and ending the flush out on the 14th day after construction, while maintaing 60 degrees. This unit will not be tied to the building\'s ductwork.\nThe construction schedule for the project requires that the building be occupied in stages.\nWe are proposing the following plan\n1. Flush out the first half of the living quarters portion by dividing the building with doors and by providing a temporary air-tight enclosure in a corridor. All vents and return air grilles will be sealed to avoid any cross contamination.\n\n2. Flush out the second half of the living quarters portion by the process outlined above.\n\n3. We are not planning to flush out the apparatus bay and the supporting rooms. These rooms do not have doors and open directly onto the bay. The bay does have unit heaters mounted high above the floor that serve to protect the equipment from extreme cold and to prevent the piping from freezing. The supporting rooms do not have any heaters or HVAC equipment. Our understanding is that flush out would not be necessary because of the nature of these spaces and because they are not served by a HVAC system. It would not be possible to flush them out using the standard LEED methodology of using the installed HVAC systems. Further, the bay usually has at least one 14x14 door open when the fire suppression personal are in there.\nOur request for interpretation is if this plan is acceptable." "This CIR appears to be in two parts. 1) Can the project, using the equivalent performance methodology, be flushed out in phases? 2) Can the apparatus bay and supporting rooms be excluded from the requirement for flush out?\nIn response to the first part, previously posted NC v2.0/2.1 CIR rulings, dated 10/17/2001, 9/5/2006 and 10/23/06, approve the process for a staggered flush-out approach, provided that existing spaces are protected from construction-related contamination as well as prevention of cross-contamination between systems. Protection measures should follow the SMACNA Guidelines for Occupied Buildings and be outlined in the Construction IAQ Management Plan to ensure compliance.\n\nAlso, the use of temporary ventilation units to accomplish the flush-out using the 14,000 ft3 / ft2 alternate approach described in the NC v2.0/2.1, 10/4/2004 credit ruling is acceptable, assuming the temporary units are capable of meeting the temperature and humidity targets.\nIn response to the second part, the apparatus bay and supporting rooms are considered part of the entire submitted project and therefore must be considered part of the square footage calculated for this credit.\n\nThe intent of this credit is to eliminate indoor air quality problems that occur as a result of construction. The use of outside air for flushout of the building is intended to reduce contaminants that are the result of the construction process.\n\nIn order to achieve EQ credit 3.2, all ""Occupied spaces"" as defined in ASHRAE 62.1-2004 must either:\n(1) demonstrate that natural flush-out through the use of the 14X14 operable door, and/or temporary HVAC units, provides an equivalent of supplying a total air volume of 14,000 ft3 of outdoor air per ft2 of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60" "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5026" "2007-03-06" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.1 - Construction IAQ management plan - during construction" "Our project is a residential dormitory on a university campus. We request clarification regarding EQ credit 3.1. The project is registered under LEED NC version 2.1. The LEED NC v2.1 Reference Guide states that all return air grilles must have MERV 8 filters installed during construction. Our project does not have return air ducts as the air handling units (AHUs) provide 100% outside air to the corridors. There are dedicated bathroom exhaust units that negatively pressurize the dorm rooms, but this air is not recirculated. To comply with this credit, must we filter exhaust air with MERV 8 filters? We intend for these openings to be covered during construction, but we ask specifically for the times at the end of the project when we are balancing and commissioning the systems. We assume that these exhaust grills will not need to be filtered at any time. We have a similar clarification request concerning our fan coil units (FCUs) providing heating and cooling in the dormitory units. These units take air from within the room they are located, heat or cool it, and then recirculate it through the room. We plan to keep these units completely protected until after all work is substantially complete, all dust-generating activities are finished, and the rooms are cleaned. Our questions relate to what has to happen with these units during balancing, commissioning and prior to occupancy. The CIR Ruling dated 10/20/03 indicates that regardless of HVAC protection, ""new MERV 13 filtration media must be installed at Air Handlers immediately prior to occupancy,"" which we plan to do for all AHUs. If our FCUs are protected during construction, we follow our IAQ Management Plan, and rooms are cleaned before balancing and commissioning, are there any filtration requirements during system balancing and commissioning or prior to occupancy? It is our understanding that the MERV 13 requirement would only apply to the AHUs. Could you please confirm our assumptions concerning the exhaust grills and FCUs?" "Based on the description given, there are two distinctive inquiries in this credit interpretation request. In response to the first question, the intent of MERV 8 filtration in return air grilles is to protect all spaces from cross contamination due to construction activities. As long as the exhaust system described is independent and there is no capability for cross contamination with other spaces, then installing MERV 8 filters would not be required. As for the filtration requirements during air balancing and commissioning phase, MERV 13 filters are not required in the system if the filters do not meet the project\'s design and performance requirements. However, this will require that the commissioning and balance testing procedures need to be coordinated when no indoor construction activities have taken place that could adversely affect the indoor air quality. Lastly, to be consistent with previous rulings (EQc3.1 CIRs ruling dated 12/24/2004 and 10/20/2003), the fan coil units would need to have MERV 13 filtration media installed during construction and prior to occupancy. -- *NOTE (Nov 1 2007): Per errata posted in Fall 2007, there is no LEED or ASHRAE 52.2-1999 requirement for MERV 13 filtration during construction. LEED-NCv2.1 EQc3.1 requires MERV 8 filters on return air grills during construction, and for all filtration media to be replaced with MERV 13 immediately prior to occupancy/at the end of construction. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "660" "2003-11-04" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Existing Buildings" "EQc3.1 - Construction IAQ management plan - during construction" "The Hillsboro City Hall project team would like to submit for interpretation the use of dynamic air filtration devices as equivalent to MERV 13 filters. Attached below is a summary of the effectiveness of this method of air filtration in buildings. ____________________________________________________ Dynamic Air Cleaner application for LEED acceptance LEED clearly recognizes the importance of good indoor air quality for a truly sustainable building design. LEED has chosen to require MERV 13 filtration as minimum filter efficiency for occupied spaces. Unfortunately the MERV rating systems was engineered for measuring efficiency of passive type air filters. Dynamic Air Cleaners are an active air cleaner. ASHRAE recognizes that the Standard 52.2 is not to be used in the testing of active and electronic air cleaning devices, citing fundamental differences in the way they clean the air. Also, the ASHRAE Standard 52 standards were developed before there were accurate means of measuring particle size and distribution. A number of independent tests have been conducted to demonstrate the equivalency/superiority of various configurations of Dynamic Air Cleaners to MERV rated passive filters. These tests are well documented and include various tests where MERV 13 or 14 filters were directly replaced by Dynamic panels operating at a recommended face velocity of 350 fpm or less (angled racks or Super Vs), as well as a number of tests replacing even higher efficiency (95% and even HEPA 99.97%) filters in recirculating systems. In all cases the Dynamic provided equivalent or superior test results when measuring actual particle removal using state-of-the-art laser particle counters. Particle removal comparison to 99.97% HEPA filter Room Size 260 cu. ft Air Flow Rate 300 CFM Tested Device Panel Air Cleaner with aluminum center screen 12x24x1 HEPA Filter Removed 94% of 0.3 Micron Size Particles in 15 Minutes DYNAMIC Cleaner Removed 89% of 0.3 Micron Size Particles in 15 Minutes [Test performed by Life Resources Institute] Dynamic Air Cleaners are non-ionizing, polarized media air cleaners. They employ a high DC voltage (7,000vdc) applied to a conductive screen embedded in a media pad. This creates an electrostatic field between the conductive surface and the grounded external screens that polarizes the fibers of the media pad and the particles that enter the air cleaner. The polarized particles stick to both the media and to each other. In addition to providing high efficiency filtration (98.6% at 0.5 micron in a recirculating system), the Dynamic Air Cleaner offers additional benefits over a passive MERV 13-14 filter: - Dynamic Super Vs have a clean static pressure of 0.15-0.25 w.g. compared to MERV 13 filters in the range of 0.5-0.7 w.g. a reduction of both initial and average pressure drop of 50 to 125 percent. This provides significant fan energy savings. - Traditional filters are constructed of paper, metal and glue - and produce large volumes of material that is sent to landfills. By contrast - Dynamic media fits into a permanent aluminum frame, is made of glass fibers. This can result in up to 90 percent reduction in volume and weight of air cleaning material. - Dynamic Media is constructed of glass fibers without use of any paper or glue. I can be recycled. Investigative work is underway to find recycling centers. - Dynamic Air Cleaners, in an extended surface application, enable the use of ultraviolet light for sterilization. By capturing biological matter on the charged media, a high intensity light can then be provided to inactivate pathogens. For more information on Dynamic Air Cleaners please refer to website www.dynamicaircleaners.com." "Electronic air cleaners are not testable by ASHRAE Standard 52.2-1999 and therefore not acceptable for LEED compliance. While USGBC would prefer to allow the use of effective dynamic filters for compliance, the Council does not wish to accept a method of equivalency in advance of an ASHRAE revision to Standard 52.2, or a new ASHRAE standard. It is the understanding of the ruling committee that ASHRAE is working on with industry participants for a dynamic filter assessment method. LEED acceptance at this time would be a substantial change to the credit as it is currently written and the CIR process is not the forum for changing a credit\'s requirements. Examples of procedures for changing credit requirements are found in the EQp2 Credit ruling dated 6/4/2003 and the EQc3.2 Credit ruling dated 10/8/03. The project team may, at its own discretion, elect to use electronic air cleaners and risk not earning the credit if ASHRAE does not modify the MERV criteria before the completion of the project. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "695" "2004-01-21" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "EQc3.2 - Construction IAQ management plan - after construction" "This request is an appeal to a CIR submitted for Hillsboro Civic Center. We are requesting the use of dynamic air cleaners, utilizing ultra-violet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), as equivalent to MERV 13 static filtration media. 1.) The basis for rejection seems to rest solely on the fact that LEED references ASHRAE 52.2. Indeed, the ruling states that ""USGBC would prefer to allow the use of effective dynamic filters for compliance."" It can be proven that the proposed method filters particles to the level of MERV 13 and, therefore, meets the criteria of the standard. 2.) The International Mechanical Code allows the implementation of alternative materials and methods (Section 105.2) for equivalent compliance to those prescribed in its code. The IMC has this provision because it recognizes that technology changes more quickly than building codes. If a technology can be shown to be consistent with the intent of a standard and equivalent in performance, it is allowed. 3.) MERV 8 and 13 are cited as minimum levels of performance in EQ Credit 3. The purpose seems clearly to provide a minimum standard of air quality in buildings, not to promote the use of static filters. If a technology can be shown to produce equal or superior levels of air quality, there is no sound basis for rejection. 4.) In disallowing the request, it was cited that approval would require a substantial change to the credit as currently written and that the CIR process was not the appropriate forum for facilitating such a change. The project team is not asking for a change to the credit, only recognition that dynamic filtration exceeds the standard of compliance. 5.) The project team initially requested that this technology be granted a point for Innovation and Design. That request was denied on the basis that the system did not represent superior or exemplary performance (see CIR dated 7/10/03). If this innovation does not represent superior or exemplary performance to a standard LEED credit, then it is implied that it does, in fact, meet the standard credit. Since EQ Credits 3.1 and 3.2 are the only ones that address filtration of HVAC equipment, at a minimum, a superior filtration method to the ones cited in the reference standard should be granted equivalent status. Research studies have proven the effectiveness of UVGI. Penn State University's Department of Aerobiological Engineering performed one such research study. Many other health organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, and The Lancet medical journal support these findings. http://www.arche.psu.edu/iec/abe/wjkuvgi.html http://www.phppo.cdc.gov/cdcrecommends/showarticle.asp?a_artid=M0035909&TopNum=50&CallPg=Adv http://www.thelancet.com/ (search for ôUVGIö) http://www.katu.com/health/story.asp?ID=62778 Dynamic air cleaners and other active filtration technologies, are entirely consistent with the overall goals of USGBC and LEED to ""produce a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out"" and ""that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work."" In fact, because dynamic air cleaners consume less energy and the glass-fiber media can be recycled, they would seem to be more in line with these goals than MERV 13 passive filters. Due to its superiority, this technology is being considered by the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security for use in critical facilities to combat bio-terrorism. In light all this evidence, we ask the committee to reconsider its previous decision and allow the use of the proposed filtration method to satisfy the criteria of LEED EQ Credits 3.1 and 3.2." "The project is appealing a 10/17/03 IEQ Credit 3.1 CIR and requests approval to use an alternative filtration method for installation after construction and prior to occupancy. The CIR was submitted under EQ Credit 3.2, but this ruling applies to both 3.1 and 3.2. The project has raised a number of strong arguments in making their case for the use of dynamic filters. However, there are some overriding concerns that lead the USGBC to remain cautious about this issue. To date, there are no studies that we are aware of that clearly equate the performance of electronic filters with those of passive filters. The requirements for these credits are based on the requirements of ASHRAE 52.2-1999, which define the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13, as ""the ability of the device to remove particles from the airstream and its resistance to air flow."" The standard specifically states that the testing methods cannot be used to test electronic air filters. This issue is of concern because while the removal efficiency of a MERV 13 filter increases with use, research indicates that an electronic air cleaner\'s performance deteriorates rapidly, and it is therefore difficult to equate performance over time. In addition, the performance of the electronic filters depends greatly on frequent and thorough cleaning, which was not addressed in the CIR. As mentioned in the original ruling, the ASHRAE 52 sub-committee is in the process of reviewing testing methods for electronic filters, and is likely to issue an addendum to ASHRAE 52.2 in the near future. Once ASHRAE established an equivalency (hopefully before your project is submitted for LEED certification review), the USGBC will adjust its criteria accordingly. Until that time, MERV 13 filters will be required for both EQc3.1 and 3.2. -- *NOTE (Nov 1 2007): Per EQc3.1 errata posted in Fall 2007, there is no LEED or ASHRAE 52.2-1999 requirement for MERV 13 filtration during construction. LEED-NCv2.1 EQc3.1 requires MERV 8 filters on return air grills during construction, and for all filtration media to be replaced with MERV 13 immediately prior to occupancy/at the end of construction. LEED-NCv2.1 EQc3.2 (option one) requires MERV 13 filtration media at 100% outside air during flush out. Applicable Internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "904" "2004-12-22" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "EQc3.1 - Construction IAQ management plan - during construction" "Credit 3.1 and Credit 3.2 both state the requirement to replace all filters after construction (Credit 3.1) and again after the two-week building purge period (Credit 3.2) with MERV 13 filtration. This infers the LEED requirement of the building owner to permanently use MERV 13 filters in all roof top units (RTU\'s) after the building purge period and during building occupancy, as the same filters serve both return air and outside air in the RTU\'s we have installed (typical for most RTU\'s). Is this the correct credit interpretation? If so, we question the value of this requirement for several reasons: First, most typical roof top units provide two-inch thick filter racks within their filter and mixed air section where the return air and the outdoor air are mixed, filtered and delivered to the nearby evaporative refrigeration coil. This 2-inch thick filter limitation dictates the need for very expensive mini-pleated MERV 13 filters to meet the typical 350 to 500 feet per minute (FPM) face velocity at the filter rack of typical roof top units. Lower cost MERV 13 filters typically have a maximum face velocity of 125 FPM, which cannot be used in this application. With the limited size of the filter rack areas (undersized square feet of face area for a lower cost, low face velocity filter), we must use the more expensive mini-pleated MERV 13 filters. Secondly, the higher initial and final pressure drop of the mini-pleated MERV 13 filters (0.55 inches water column - initial resistance to air flow at 375 FPM face velocity*) compared to industry standard MERV 7 panel filters (0.22 inches water column - initial resistance to air flow at 500 FPM face velocity *) has a negative impact on typical roof top units by increasing the amount of fan energy required to operate the RTU\'s at a specified air flow. This fan energy usage increase can be substantial, raising the owner\'s energy costs over the building\'s lifetime while creating a subsequent negative impact on the environment. Thirdly, the higher face velocity, min-pleated MERV 13 filters are approximately three (3) times more expensive than low face velocity MERV 13 panel filters and approximately nine (9) times more expensive than standard MERV 7 panel filters used typically in the HVAC industry. Lastly, to encumber the owner with very expensive mini-pleated MERV 13 filters for the lifetime of their building appears to be an unreasonable side effect of this requirement. On this project, the building owner is a non-profit, community food bank organization where every dollar counts. We question the overall value of using MERV 13 filters in the HVAC equipment when lower cost and lower efficiency filters, when changed on a regular basis, will provide good air quality for the building occupants. In the final analysis, the intent of providing cleaner air quality to the building occupants using MERV 13 filtration has a fairly substantial negative environmental impact from the increased fan energy that MERV 13 filtration will cause. Our request for interpretation is this: In light of the above stated facts, can the building owner use the industry standard 2-inch thick MERV 7 filters in their RTU\'s once we have met the Credit 3.1 and Credit 3.2 requirements for MERV 13 filters? The maintenance and energy cost savings over the lifetime of the building would be substantial. * Published data from filter manufacturers cut sheets." "LEED-NC EQ Credits 3.1 and 3.2 require that MERV 13 filters be used in supply air systems during construction, flush out and immediately prior to occupancy. This is done to conform to the intent of EQc3.1/3.2 to ""prevent indoor air quality problems resulting from the construction/renovation process in order to help sustain the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants"". EQc3.1 requirement in NCv2.1 includes MERV 13 filter installation after construction and prior to occupancy. The use of MERV 13 filters throughout the life of the building is supported by LEED-EB EQc5.1. -- *NOTE (Nov 1 2007): Per errata posted in Fall 2007, there is no LEED or ASHRAE 52.2-1999 requirement for MERV 13 filtration during construction. LEED-NCv2.1 EQc3.1 requires MERV 8 filters on return air grills during construction, and for all filtration media to be replaced with MERV 13 immediately prior to occupancy/at the end of construction. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X"