Refrigerant management | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v3 - LEED 2008

Refrigerant management

EAc5 | Possible 1 point


To reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol while minimizing direct contributions to global warming.


Choose one of the following options:

Option A

Do not use refrigerants in base building HVAC&R systems.

Option B

Complete both of the following:

  • Select refrigerants and HVAC&R equipment that minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. The base building HVAC&R equipment must comply with the following formula, which sets a maximum threshold for the combined contributions to ozone depletion and global warming potential:
    LCGWP + LCODP x 105 ≤ 100
    LCODP = [ODPr x (Lr x Life +Mr) x Rc]/Life
    LCGWP = [GWPr x (Lr x Life +Mr) x Rc]/Life
    LCODP: Lifecycle Ozone Depletion Potential (lbCFC11/Ton-Year)
    LCGWP: Lifecycle Direct Global Warming Potential (lbCO2/Ton-Year)
    GWPr: Global Warming Potential of Refrigerant (0 to 12,000 lbCO2/lbr)
    ODPr: Ozone Depletion Potential of Refrigerant (0 to 0.2 lbCFC11/lbr)
    Lr: Refrigerant Leakage Rate (0.5% to 2.0%; default of 2% unless otherwise demonstrated)
    Mr: End-of-life Refrigerant Loss (2% to 10%; default of 10% unless otherwise demonstrated)
    Rc: Refrigerant Charge (0.5 to 5.0 lbs of refrigerant per ton of cooling capacity)
    Life: Equipment Life (10 years; default based on equipment type, unless otherwise demonstrated)
    For multiple types of equipment, a weighted average of all base building level HVAC&R equipment must be applied using the following formula:
    [ (LCGWP + LCODP x 105) x Qunit ] / Qtotal ≤ 100
    Qunit = Gross ARI rated cooling capacity of an individual HVAC or refrigeration unit (tons)
    Qtotal = Total Gross ARI rated cooling capacity of all HVAC or refrigeration
  • Do not operate fire-suppression systems that contain ozone-depleting substances (CFCs, HCFCs or halons).

Small HVAC units (defined as containing less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant), standard refrigerators, small water coolers and any other cooling equipment that contains less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant are not considered part of the base building system and are exempt.

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