Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors | v3 - LEED 2009

Construction IAQ management plan - before occupancy

EQc3.2 | Possible 1 point


To reduce indoor air quality (IAQ) problems resulting from construction or renovation and promote the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.


Develop an (IAQ) management plan and implement it after all finishes have been installed and the building has been completely cleaned before occupancy.

Option 1. Flush-out1
Path 1

After construction ends, prior to occupancy and with all interior finishes installed, install new filtration media and flush-out the building by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (4,500 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60oF (15° C) and, where mechanical cooling is operated, relative humidity no higher than 60%.


Path 2

If occupancy is desired prior to completion of the flush-out, the space may be occupied following delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (1,000 cubic meters of outdoor air per square meter) of floor area. Once the space is occupied, it must be ventilated at a minimum rate of 0.30 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per square foot (0.1 cubic meters per minute per square meter) of outside air or the design minimum outside air rate determined in EQ Prerequisite 1: Minimum IAQ Performance, whichever is greater. During each day of the flush-out period, ventilation must begin a minimum of 3 hours prior to occupancy and continue during occupancy. These conditions must be maintained until a total of 14,000 cubic feet per square foot (4,500 cubic meters per square meter) of outside air has been delivered to the space.


Option 2. Air testing

Conduct baseline IAQ testing after construction ends and prior to occupancy using testing protocols consistent with the EPA Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air or the ISO method listed in the table below. Testing may be done in accordance with one standard; project teams may not mix requirements from the EPA Compendium of Methods with ISO.

Demonstrate that the contaminant maximum concentrations listed below are not exceeded.

Contaminant Maximum Concentration EPA Compendium method ISO method
Formaldehyde 27 parts per billion IP-6 ISO 16000-3
Particulates (PM10) 50 micrograms per cubic meter IP-10 ISO 7708
Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) 500 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
4-Phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) * 6.5 micrograms per cubic meter IP-1 ISO 16000-6
Carbon monoxide (CO) 9 parts per million and no greater than 2 parts per million above outdoor levels IP-3 ISO 4224
*This test is required only if carpets and fabrics with styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex backing are installed as part of the base building systems.

For each sampling point where the maximum concentration limits are exceeded, conduct an additional flush-out with outside air and retest the noncompliant concentrations. Repeat until all requirements are met. When retesting noncompliant building areas, take samples from the same locations as in the first test.

Conduct the air sample testing as follows:

  • All measurements must be conducted prior to occupancy, but during normal occupied hours with the building ventilation system started at the normal daily start time and operated at the minimum outside air flow rate for the occupied mode throughout the test.
  • All interior finishes must be installed, including but not limited to millwork, doors, paint, carpet and acoustic tiles. Movable furnishings such as workstations and partitions must be in place.
  • The number of sampling locations will depend on the size of the building and number of ventilation systems. The number of sampling locations must include the entire building and all representative situations. Include areas with the least ventilation and greatest presumed source strength.
  • Air samples must be collected between 3 and 6 feet (1 and 2 meters) from the floor to represent the breathing zone of occupants, and over a minimum 4-hour period.
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