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Highlights from the LEED-EBOM addenda

Need to get caught up on LEED 2009 addenda? Here is LEEDuser's review of key addenda so far for LEED-EBOM 2009—corrections and changes to the rating system since its official release.
July 27, 2010

Updated! Our addenda review now continues through 2014.

For noteworthy new LEED Interpretations, see our page devoted to that.

Need to get caught up on LEED 2009 addenda? Here is LEEDuser's review of key addenda so far for LEED-EBOM 2009—corrections and changes to the rating system since its official release. The earliest of these start in November 2009.

Following is a summary of the more useful LEED-EBOM addenda to date. Most of the rest is less critical to project teams unless you need clarification on things like understanding that "includesincludes" on page 23 of the Reference Guide really means "includes."

Through 2014

There was nothing notable in the October 2013 or the January 2014 releases, and the same for July 2014. Three notable items were released in April 2014:

  • LEED for Homes counts: LEED for Homes was added as a previously certified option for LEED-EBOM SSc1. While Homes and EBOM don't necessarily translaet that well, this makes more sense as LEED for Homes becomes more often used for multifamily midrise projects.
  • For EBOM WEp1, “Projects in Europe may use values defined by European Standards, and projects in India may use values defined by the 2011 International Plumbing Code- India and the 2013 Green Plumbing Code Supplement – India.”
  • In addition, new Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) have been introduced for India, for the following credits: SSc6, SSc8, WEp1, WEc2, EAp1, and EAc4. If you're running a project in India, check the credit language in LEEDuser for these details. If doing LEED elsewhere around the globe, you might get some useful hints for LEED Interpretations you could request, or ACPs you could propose.

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda for April 2013

  • IEQc1.2 calculations: On page 366 of the LEED Reference Guide, "Replace calculation steps 2 and 3 with the following: 2. For densely occupied spaces, document compliance with Case 2. 3. For all AHUs, document compliance with Case 1. Use Table 2 to identify each AHU, the presence of appropriate monitoring for that unit, and the minimum required outdoor airflow for that unit (as generated via compliance with IEQ Prerequisite 1). Use Equation 2 to calculate the portion of the building’s total outdoor air intake flow serving occupied spaces."

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda for January 2013

  • EBOM recertification is here, as we've written about here on LEEDuser. The Reference Guide has now caught up with that fact, thanks to the addenda. The addenda note that you should contact GBCI customer service to inquire about recertification fees, or check the GBCI website. The addenda also note that the fee is due when the project is submitted, and that the recertification guidance doc just mentioned is a good resource.

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda for October 2012

  • Several glossary definitions were updated. None of these appear especially meaningful as far as affecting LEED requirements—rather, they simply provide clearer, more technically rigorous definitions. The affected terms (roll over for definitions) are: attendance boundary, brownfield, blackwater, baseline building performance, chain-of-custody, CFCs, heat island effect, post-consumer material, sealants, solar reflectance (SR), U-value, urea formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda for July 2012

The main feature of the July 2012 addenda release was the integration of International Alternative Compliance Paths into the LEED credit language. While most of the changes involve recognition of non-U.S. standards, there are some broader changes such as scrapping of a single 500-mile limit for regional materials.

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  • SSc4: Ridesharing is now a recognized alternative commuting option under SSc4. Rideshare is "a transit service that involves sharing a single vehicle with multiple people, excluding large-scale vehicles such as buses and trains. The rideshare transit facility must include a signed stop and a clearly defined waiting area. Additionally, the rideshare must include an enclosed passenger seating area, fixed route service, fixed fare structure, continuous daily operation, and the ability to pick up and drop off multiple riders."
  • SSc6: Has been restructured with the previous language relabeled as Option 1: Design Storms, and a new Option 2: Percentile Rainfall Events being added. This new option doesn't appear to alter the intent or likely implenentation strategies for this credit—rather, it presents a new set of options for performing the necessary calculations and documentation.
  • WEc3. Option to base calculations "using the mid-summer baseline case or the month with the highest irrigation demand."
  • EAp2/EAc1. "Projects outside the U.S. may use a local benchmark based on source energy from their country's national or regional energy agency." Also, under Case 2, for projects not eligible for Energy Star, there is a new option to demonstrate energy efficiency performance by determining an alternative rating score using the Portfolio Manager tool to report the building's energy use data from the performance period.
  • EAc6. New, international-friendly options for defining acceptable offsets are introduced.
  • Regionality redefined. With relevance to MRc1, MRc2, and MRc3, the familiar 500-mile radius for regional materials is now a prorated equation in which miles that projects travel by sea, rail, or inland waterway count less than miles traveled over land. The 500 mile total travel distance can be calculated using a weighted average: (Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) ≤ 500 miles.
  • MRc2, MRc3, MRc5, IEQp1, IEQp2, IEQc1.2, IEQc1.3, IEQc1.4, IEQc1.5, IEQc2.3, and IEQc3.3. The key requirements in these credits have not changed, but they all now use standards and programs, such as for cleaning products and blower-door testing, that are more friendly to the needs of non-U.S. projects.

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda from May 2011 through April 2012

  • SSc1 broadened. The certifications that can help you earn SSc1 have been broadened to include all LEED BD&C rating systems, and previous EBOM certifications.
  • Commuting calcs updated. As of 5/11, USGBC significantly revised the Approach 1 calcs for SSc4. For more guidance, see LEEDuser's SSc4 guidance, as well as USGBC's full Approach 1 update (PDF).
  • Default leakage rate. If new equipment is being installed relative to EAc5, use a default leakage rate of 2%.
  • IEQc2.4 section replaced: USGBC made a full replacement of the IEQc2.4 credit language and Reference Guide information, leaving us to spot the differences. Partly, the information was just reorganized slightly, but there were some other differences. The minimum footcandle number for simulation or measurement is now 10, not 25.
  • "Occupied" and "Nonoccupied" defined: USGBC has defined occupied spaces and nonoccupied spaces formally (roll over the words for definitions), as relevant to IEQc1.2. Occupied space is the general category into which other "occupied" space types fall—see below.
  • "Densely occupied" definition reworded: The definition was changed from "Densely occupied space is an area" to ""Densely occupied spaces are areas..." Better wording, not a change in meaning.
  • "Multi-occupant" redefined: In this case, USGBC has replaced a more detailed definition of multi-occupant spaces, as relevant to IEQc2.2, with something more vague. Here is the old definition: "Conference rooms, classrooms and other indoor spaces used as a place of congregation for presentations, trainings, etc. Individuals using these spaces share the lighting and temperature controls and they should have, at a minimum, a separate zone with accessible thermostat and an air-flow control. Group multi-occupant spaces do not include open office plans that contain individual workstations."
  • "Individual occupant" redefined Individual occupant spaces have been broadened. The old definition: "In individual occupant spaces, occupants perform distinct tasks from one another. Such spaces may be contained within multi-occupant spaces and should be treated separately where possible. Individual occupant spaces may be regularly or non-regularly occupied."
  • "Nonregularly occupied" defined: As relevant to IEQc2.4, previously nonregularly occupied space has been redefined with a focus on the concept rather than a list of examples. The old version: "Corridors, hallways, lobbies, break rooms, copy rooms, office supply closets, kitchens, restrooms, and stairwells." Now, 
  • "Regularly occupied" defined: Similarly, regularly occupied spaces have been defined as a more general concept rather than the older, office-centric definition: "Regularly occupied spaces are areas where workers are seated or standing as they work inside a building. In residential applications, these areas are all spaces except bathrooms, utility areas, and closets or other storage rooms. In schools, they are areas where students, teachers, or administrators are seated or standing as they work or study inside a building.

Key LEED-EBOM Addenda from February 2011

  • Detail on kitchen and lavatory sinks. Under WEp1, eligible fixtures have been further defined. "Kitchen sinks" includes all sinks in public or private buildings that are used with patterns and purposes similar to a sink in a residential kitchen; break room sinks would be included.
  • Detail on WEc3 water. The following language was added to implementation technologies under WEc3: Water Efficient Landscaping. We're not sure what it means in practice—please give your thoughts below. "Additionally the credit can be met when landscape irrigation is provided by raw water (excluding naturally occurring surface bodies of water, streams, or rivers, and ground water) that would otherwise be treated specifically for nonpotable uses. Only ponds designed solely for the purposes of stormwater retention or detention can be used for this credit.
  • Four points for pilot. A November 2010 addendum added option 3, pilot credits to IOc1. A February addendum clarifies that projects can earn all their IOc1 points (up to four) using this option. LEEDuser has a dedicated section for the pilot credit library on its site.

Key Addenda from November 2010 and Earlier

  • Janitor sinks out. WEp1 no longer includes janitor sinks.
  • It's 1994. Also in WEp1, the pre-/post-1993 fixture baseline has been changed to pre-/post-1994. This only affects buildings with plumbing systems installed during 1993 or 1994, but it's good news for a 1994 building. This represents not a policy change in LEED, but a return to the original intent for this credit.
  • What is landscaped area? WEc3: Water Efficient Landscaping had already allowed for sites with planters but not earthbound vegetation, but an addendum  makes the definition more specific: Calculation  “A site without vegetation or ecologically appropriate features on the grounds is eligible for this credit if its roof and/or courtyard garden space or outdoor planters constitute at least 5% of the total area. Project site viability is determined by calculating the portion of the total building site area covered with planters and/or gardens."
  • WEc4 division. WEc4: Cooling Tower Water Management already had two separate “options” but these have been redefined as credits: WEc4.1: Cooling Tower Water Management—Chemical Management, and WEc4.2: Cooling Tower Water Management—Non-Potable Water Use. The requirements are unchanged, but this change makes it a bit more obvious that one can pursue either or both credits.
  • MRc2 division and clarification. Same thing with MRc2: Sustainable Purchasing—Durable Goods. The two options have become separate credits. MRc2.1: Sustainable Purchasing—Durable Goods, Electric-Powered Equipment, and MRc2.2: Sustainable Purchasing—Durable Goods, Furniture. Examples of electric-powered equipment have also been added to the credit language: “office equipment (computers, monitors, copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines), appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, water coolers), external power adapters, and televisions and other audiovisual equipment.“
  • More EAc1 points. If you’re following Case 2, Option 2B under EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance, you can now earn nine points, not seven. You would be following this case if your building type is not eligible for Energy Star, and if you have three years of historical data.
  • Benchmark change. With EAp2: Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance, there has been a subtle change in wording to the benchmark requirement. Twelve months of metered data is required for the building being certified, but not for comparable buildings being used as a benchmark.
  • EP for MRc8. You can earn Exemplary Performance under MRc8: Solid Waste Management—Durable Goods. “Project teams can earn an additional point by diverting 95% or more of waste generated by durable goods from disposal to landfills and incineration facilities.”
  • Carbon Trust gone. Since the Carbon Trust has removed its natural ventilation guide from publication, IEQc1.3: Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices—Increased Ventilation no longer references it. CIBSE manuals are now exclusively used.
  • Containment drains removed. IEQc3.5: Green Cleaning—Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control had contained  a requirement for “containment drains plumbed for appropriate disposal of hazardous liquid wastes in places where water and chemical concentrate mixing occurs for laboratory purposes.” As LEEDuser had noted, this requirement was vague—how broad was the definition of “laboratory purposes” and how was it supposed to be documented? This requirement is removed.
  • Pilot credits. A third path has been added to IOc1: Innovation in Operations. The pilot credit library now offers a path, in which project teams try out a new LEED credit and can earn up to four points under IOc1. LEEDuser has a dedicated section for the pilot credit library on its site.

Did you notice anything else interesting in the addenda? Please post it in the comments below. Stay tuned to this blog for highlights from the other LEED rating system addenda.

Editor's note: Emily Catacchio performed much of the research for this article.


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