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" "1823" "2007-08-08" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New 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" "2143" "2008-06-16" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell" "When using the HVAC system during construction, LEED NC V2.2 EQ Credit 3.1 states that a MERV-8 filter should be provided at each return air grille. On this project we anticipate using the building\'s permanent air distribution system during construction in order to temper the indoor air as required to allow for proper installation of finish materials. To ensure the proper installation and protection of ceiling materials, the ceiling tiles/return air grilles will not be installed until just prior to substantial completion. We plan to protect the system by providing MERV-8 filters at all permanent filter locations in the equipment, supply ductwork, and return ductwork, as well as at the return duct riser openings, until the ceiling tiles are dropped. We believe our proposed plan complies with this credit as shown below. System Description: The mechanical system on this project consists of a ducted supply network and a plenum return system. The system utilizes rooftop air handlers with vertical return duct risers that pull return air from the ceiling plenum through openings in the return duct risers on each floor. The following measures will be taken to protect the mechanical equipment and air distribution system when used during construction in compliance with EQ Credit 3.1: 1. The air distribution system will only be run when interior temperatures are out of required range to properly install finish materials. When the outdoor temperature is adequate, we will not run the air distribution system and will open the building\'s operable windows to allow for proper air ventilation during construction. All punched window openings in the building have operable glazing. 2. MERV 8 filters will be placed at all permanent filter locations in the equipment, supply ductwork, and return ductwork. These filters will be in place and maintained at all times the system is running during construction in accordance with EQ Credit 3.1. 3. MERV 8 filters will also be placed over the return duct riser openings to protect the return duct system from airborne dust. These return riser temporary filters will remain in place prior to installation of ceiling tiles and return grilles as well as after tile/grille installation. This is done to ensure compliance with EQ Credit 3.1. 4. To ensure minimal damage to finish goods, installation of ceiling tiles and return grilles will be one of the last activities completed prior to substantial completion of the building. Ceiling tiles and return grilles will not be put in place until the building has received a thorough cleaning. Once all ceiling tiles and return grilles have been dropped, the return plenum will be protected in the following manner: If during this finished state of construction airborne construction dust is being produced in the building, then the plenum return will be protected by either: a. Shutting the return down and either run the system on outside air or fresh air via operable windows or, b. Installing MERV 8 filters on the return grilles to protect the plenum. At completion of construction and prior to occupancy, temporary filtration media in all equipment will be removed and replaced with permanent MERV-13 filters in order to comply with EQ Credit 5. 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 CIR is inquiring if the HVAC protection approach noted in the narrative meets the requirements of this credit. As the project has a plenum return design, providing MERV 8 filtration at the return duct risers is acceptable provided the ceiling tiles and return grilles have not been installed. Once the ceiling and return grilles are in place, MERV 8 filtration media must be shifted to the return grilles (or other openings in the plenum) if the air handling units are to be used during construction." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "2255" "2008-08-13" "New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "ProPress is an industry proven, flameless press-type connection system for joining copper pipe. Its features are that is saves time and energy during installation, reducing the overall project\'s cost while increasing efficiency. It is also more of an environmentally friendly product when compared to conventional copper solder systems. After reviewing ""EQ Credit 3.1: Construction IAQ Management Plan: During Construction"" and interpreting its intent, it became clear that one opportunity for significant air quality improvement during construction would be the use of the ProPress system for all building piping systems (including domestic water, hydronic systems, hot water recirculation loop, grey water systems, etc.). If ProPress would be used entirely, no flames/solder, primers/glues would need to be introduced during the construction phase for the plumbing and mechanical system hydronic systems. Also, using this type of system on this project (although none are mentioned in the LEED NC), would have many significant advantages including: -Eliminates indoor air contaminants (Ammonium chloride, ammonia and hydrochloric acid fumes, etc) caused by soldering/brazing and associated releases from flux/smoke/soot, etc. - Possible respiratory problems associated with inhaling contaminants of soldering/brazing and primer/glue would be reduced for the installer. These benefits when compiled over the career of the plumbing contractor would have significant impact on the overall health of the individual and the exposed team during construction -Reduces the contamination and chemical treatment requirements at waste treatment facility -Eliminates personal injury associated with the use of soldering and brazing -The lack of flames on the construction site reduces the risk of potential fire damage especially important in a historical project -This project is located in Greensburg, KS. Many people are still without permanent locations to call home. The reduced time for installation will increase the overall efficiency for the plumbing contractor therefore allowing more time and energy to be placed rebuilding efforts. There is currently no clarification for an impact on IAQ in this manner so we are requesting a Credit Interpretation Request to rule if this system will contribute to earning the point for EQ Credit 3.1: Construction IAQ Management Plan: During Construction for the above mentioned efforts." "The LEED Green Building Rating System does not certify, endorse or promote any products, services or companies, nor do we track, list or report data related to products and their environmental qualities. LEED is a certification system that deals with the environmental performance of buildings based on the overall characteristics of the project. The project is inquiring whether solder-less copper pipe can contribute to the achievement of EQc3.1. While the system itself cannot earn EQc3.1, it can contribute to the project’s overall IAQ Management Plan by being considered a Source Control measure under SMACNA guidelines. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5026" "2007-03-06" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Existing Buildings" "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" "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" "904" "2004-12-22" "New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New 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"