Review Comments with Phantom Requirements
We are seeing more and more review comments with requirements cited that don't seem to exist specific to our project's registration date and/or rating system. Generally, we are able to pose a further question about these comments that reveals that fact. Last week we got a clarification request on our EQpr2 Environmental Tobacco Smoke documentation for a v2.2 residential project. The comment denied our no smoking lease language and referred to 5 bullet points that must be included in a residential lease. We have never seen these 5 bullet points before. They do not exist in the reference manuals for either NC v2.2 or LEED 2009 NC, neither do they appear in any addenda. So we queried the reviewers on this comment so that they could cite the source of these requirements and confirm they apply to our project.
This is the answer that we received. "The five bullet points included in the review comment for EQp2 are often required by a review team when a residential (or mixed-use with residential) project pursues Option 1 instead of Option 3. The intent of the requirements is to, in the absence of the tests and requirements of Option 3 to minimize leakage and exposure in the event of smoking within a residential unit, ensure that smoking does not occur in residential units."
I'm making this posting not just because of the frustrating nature of the issue but because of the quality of this answer. "Often required by reviewers" is not an appropriate response to a direct question about where this language appears in credit requirements. Apparently the reviewer is not able to cite the requirement but still seems to feel it applies to our project. Somehow.
This is a Prerequisite. And we are left unsure how to respond to the clarification comment. Are we actually supposed to go back to our client, the project owner, and tell them they have to spend time and money to amend their residential lease to satisfy requirements that we can't point to as applying to our project or our rating system?