Nontoxic pest control | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes | v4 - LEED v4

Nontoxic pest control

Possible 2 points


To minimize pest problems and risk of exposure to pesticides.


Each measure is worth ½ point, except as noted.

  • Install a steel mesh barrier termite control system (1 point).
  • Install a physical termite barrier system (e.g., basaltic rock) approved by code (1 point).
  • For below-grade walls, use solid concrete foundation walls, masonry walls with a course of solid block bond beam, or concrete-filled block.
  • Install post-tension slabs.
  • Treat all cellulosic structural material (e.g., wood framing) with a registered pesticide containing borates, following the manufacturer’s directions for preconstruction treatment.
  • Use noncellulosic material for all structural elements.
  • Install ports or openings for all plumbing elements that penetrate the slab, to allow access for inspection and treatment of pest infestations.
  • Install a registered termite bait system and provide for ongoing maintenance as required by the manufacturer.
  • Design a minimum 6-inch (150 millimeter) inspection space between the surface of the planned landscape grade and nonmasonry siding.
  • Seal all external cracks, joints, penetrations, edges, and entry points with appropriate caulking. Install rodent- and corrosion-proof screens (e.g., copper or stainless steel mesh) on all openings greater than ¼ inch (6 millimeters), except where code prohibits their installation (e.g., dryer vents).
  • Design discharge points for rain gutters, air-conditioning condensation lines, steam vent lines, or any other moisture source such that discharge is at least 24 inches (600 millimeters) from the foundation.
  • Design landscape features to provide a minimum 18-inch (450 millimeter) space between the exterior wall and any plantings.

In addition, multifamily building projects must develop an integrated pest management policy that includes guidance for residents on pesticide use, housekeeping, and prompt reporting of pest problems; incorporate the policy in the Homeowner Education Manual.

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