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" "1632" "2006-11-10" "New Construction" "EAc4: Enhanced Refrigerant Management/Ozone Depletion" "This question is in regards to the administrative alternative calculation method for this credit described in a credit ruling dated 01-11-2005. The method has since been rescinded but it can still be used by projects which were registered for LEED prior to October 15, 2005. The question is whether the calculation defaults published for LEED-NC v2.2 should be used or whether those mentioned in the ruling dated apply. For example, a 30 year life is mentioned as the default for equipment in the rescinded ruling, which is a bit of a stretch for small 5-ton HVAC units, but 10 years is used in LEED-NC v2.2 as a default unless documented otherwise. The difference in the default values is not trivial. The rescinded defaults can allow projects to use significantly more HVAC equipment of higher ozone depletion potential than would be allowed under LEED-NC v2.1 for non-HCFC equipment (assuming a maximum 15% non-base building exemption), or under LEED-NC v2.2 following its calculation requirements. For those projects which can still use the rescinded ruling can the USGBC please provide clarification on the defaults values to use, and what associated supporting documentation requirements should be provided for small sized equipment, if any. Also, a CIR ruling dated 11-04-2002 allows up to 15% of non-base building equipment to be excluded from the credit requirements. Does the alternative calculation method allow for the exclusion non-base building equipment up to 15% of total HVAC capacity, or must all equipment be included to show compliance?" "In reference to the EAc4 CIR of 1-11-2005, the project wishes to know a) which default assumptions to use in the CIR\'s alternative calculation method, and b) whether any building systems can be excluded from that alternative calculation. Regarding the first question, if the project team is eligible to use the CIR\'s alternative calculation method (i.e., if it registered before the 10/5/05 and is pursuing LEED-NC v2.0 or v2.1 certification), then it may use the default assumptions listed in the 1-11-2005 CIR itself. Projects that registered after the cutoff date must use the methodology and default assumptions published in LEED-NC v2.2. Regarding the second question, the CIR\'s alternative calculation method is intended to include all refrigerant-containing building equipment. Consistent with LEED-NC v2.2, small HVAC units and other equipment - such as standard refrigerators and water coolers - containing less than 0.5 lbs of refrigerant are not considered part of the ""base building"" system and are not subject to the requirements of the CIR alternative calculation method, and need not be documented in the LEED submittal. Applicable Internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5503" "2003-03-25" "New Construction" "EAc4: Enhanced Refrigerant Management/Ozone Depletion" "CIR EAc4 Ozone Depletion Scenario: Lewis and Clark is building a new building, the Social Sciences Building, that will link into a central plant, which currently has a system that uses HCFC-123. Argument: LEED 2.0 Reference Guide: ""For building operations (such as university and government buildings with centrally located heating systems), all equipment in the central plant must be HCFC-free and halon-free."" (p. 153) ""While HCFCs are more environmentally friendly than CFCs, HCFCs still have ozone depletion potential (ODP)"" (p. 152) Table 1 (p. 153) shows the ODP of HCFC-123 to be 0.02 and the global warming potential (GWP) to be 93. HCFC-123 has the lowest GWP compared with all of the HFCs in this table, which range from 140 to 6,300. Although the ODP for all the HCFs is 0, compared to 0.02 for HCFC-123, still a very low amount. LEED EB: ""For equipment that already exists in the building, CFC/HCFC emissions must be reduced to less than 5% of the total charge on an annual basis as determined by USEPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608 governing refrigerant management and reporting."" (p. 22) The USGBC TSAC is currently conducting a review of the LEED 2.0 standards for the overall environmental costs and benefits for using CFC/HCFC-based refrigerants. The documentation requirements for LEED EB are 1.) To provide a written statement that you have not installed any new equipment that uses CFC/HCFC-based refrigerants or Halons, AND 2.) For existing equipment containing CFCs or HCFCs: provide documentation of CFC and HCFC inventory in HVAC&R systems, and losses and any additions and provide calculation showing that the annual releases of each CFCs or HCFCs meet the release minimization standard of no more than 5% and comply with other aspects of EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608 governing refrigerant management and reporting. With the addition of the Lewis & Clark Social Sciences building there will be no new chiller equipment installed. Lewis & Clark performs an annual audit of the central chiller, which on 1/20/03 showed that there was no sign of any leaks and that the refrigerant charge is OK. This successfully meets the requirements of LEED EB Eac4. Other Supporting Evidence:  The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy states that HCFC Ozone impact is less today then what was projected in 1994. According to the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, 1998 Executive Summary, ""The rate of decline in stratospheric ozone at mid-latitudes has slowed; hence, the projections of ozone loss made in the 1994 Assessment are larger than what has actually occurred."" Ozone depletion is less than projected when current Montreal Protocol control measures were agreed. Therefore, further HCFC use limitation action is unjustified. (www.arap.org.docs/hcfc-hfc.html)  Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study (AFEAS)- Results indicate that HCFCs and HFCs often provide substantial improvements in total energy efficiency over other CFC alternatives. (www.afeas.org/about.html)  Fluorocarbons and Sulphur hexafluoride- In 1991, the fluorcarbon industry instigated a research program to ascertain basic environmental and toxicological data. It was found that the risk from the future environmental levels of trifluoroacetic acid from future emissions of HCFCs and HFCs does ""not pose a threat to the environment."" In the same assessment, the toxicity of trifluoroacetic acid to algae, higher plants, fish, animals, and humans was evaluated. It was found to be of very low toxicity to all of these organisms, a finding verified in a recently reported work. (www.fluorocarbons.org/chfamilies/HFCs/environ/relative.htm)  Ozone depletion is only one of the global ecological crises facing Earth\'\'s atmosphere today. The other is climate change, caused by global warming. Scientific opinion is now clear that human activity is linked to the global warming of the atmosphere. (New York Times, 9/10/95) We know that greenhouse gases trap heat, and we know that the concentrations of these gases are rising in our atmosphere. The debate now is over how severe and where the impacts will be - an experiment on a global scale. Disturbingly, several models have predicted that as climate change accelerates, it could also exacerbate ozone depletion. Ironically, HFCs, a major replacement chemical for CFCS, are also potent global warming gases. (http://archive.greenpeace.org/~ozone/holes/5hole.html) Question: Although the Lewis and Clark Social Sciences building will be connected to a central plant that has a system that uses HCFC-123, we believe that we are meeting the intent of the credit to ""reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol"" while also seeking to reduce the overall global warming potential. While the balance of these two potentially conflicting concerns was not addressed in LEED 2.0, we are aware that the USGBC is working to address those concerns as evidenced by the language in the LEED for Existing Buildings draft. The project owner recognizes these concerns and has made every effort to reduce the potential impacts in both areas by selecting arguably the most well balanced refrigerant of those available and maintaining a system free of refrigerant leakage. The project architect has also gone to great lengths to acquire architectural products such as rigid insulation that contains no HCFC blowing agents. Can this project receive the point for this credit based on the above evidence? " "No. The fact that the requirements set forth in the pilot version of LEED for existing buildings are more lenient on HCFC\'s than LEED 2.0 for New Construction (LEED-NC) does not justify reducing the requirements for achievement underLEED-NC, which are very clear. LEED-NC sets a clear standard which must be met to achieve this credit. The USGBC\'s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee is currently deliberating the ODP verus GWP issue described in this CIR, but has not yet reached a conclusion. No alternative path for compliance is acceptable." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "5533" "2002-11-04" "New Construction" "EAc4: Enhanced Refrigerant Management/Ozone Depletion" "EA Credit 4 - Ozone Depletion Project Background - Portions of this research facility (appromimately 5% of total square footage) house two data centers which serve as the computer hub for Old Dominion University. During design, the University requested that these areas along with main telephone closets be provided with space conditioning that is standalone and independent of the facility\'\'s central heating and cooling systems. The decision was made to prevent loss of cooling in these spaces if the central cooling plant was rendered inoperable. The systems selected to serve the data centers and telephone closets are split system DX computer room air conditioners (CRAC) and DX ductless split systems (DSS) respectively. Both systems are backed-up electrically by an emergency generator. Question - The credit requirements states: ""Install base building level HVAC and refrigeration equipment and fire suppression systems that do not contain HCFC\'\'s or Halon."" What is considered a ""base building level HVAC"" system? The central cooling plant (chiller) installed to serve the remainder of the building and, in addition, supplies ventilation air to the data centers, utilizes non-HCFC refrigerant. Today, almost all commercially available CRAC units and DSSs utilize R-22 which is a HCFC refrigerant. Manufacturers state that it will be several more years before CRAC units utilizing alternative refrigerants to R-22 will become more readily available. Since the CRAC units are only being used to offset heat generated by the process load (in this case, a large computer load), wouldn\'\'t this equipment be considered as non-base building level HVAC and be exempt from this requirement? A credit ruling exists that addresses small commercial packaged equipment that is ""not part of the base building level HVAC, refrigeration equipment, and fire suppression systems"" being exempt from the credit requirement. Wouldn\'\'t CRAC units and DSS fall under this same exemption?" "Small HVAC units, which can include CRACs and DSSs, that are used to cool equipment support rooms, such as computer, telephone and data rooms, are not considered part of the \'base building\' system and are not subject to the requirements of this credit. However, to prevent projects from exempting large portions of their HVAC equipment, the total capacity of this equipment must represent less than 15% of the total building installed HVAC capacity. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5802" "2001-10-25" "New Construction" "EAc4: Enhanced Refrigerant Management/Ozone Depletion" "Question regarding Credit EA 4, Ozone Depletion: Could the project get credit for this point if over 80% of the refrigerant used at the site has zero ODP, given the lack of, or at least limited, availability at this point in time of non-HCFC small commercial packaged equipment, which account for the other 20% of refrigerant used at the site?" "It is not possible to partially comply with the requirement as it specifically states that NO HCFCs or Halons can be installed in the base building level HVAC, refrigeration equipment and fire suppression systems. If the small package equipment in question is not part of the base building level HVAC, refrigeration equipment and fire suppression systems it is exempt from the credit requirements. Applicable internationally." "None" "None" "X"