Update! See our ongoing coverage of LEED Interpretations and addenda here.
Here is a review of key LEED addenda to date. The following covers BD&C systems: NC, CS, and Schools. The addenda mix important changes in with some pretty irrelevant edits such as taking out an extra period—we all knew it was extra to begin with, right? Here’s a summary of those important adjustments. Our LEEDuser pages and guidance reflect these changes. You may also want to check our review of key LEED Interpretations.
The July 2014 release contained nothing noteworthy.
Befitting the trend of LEED 2009 seeing less significant addenda over time, there weren't any earth-shattering addenda in the April 2014 release, either. Here are three Healthcare items:
- Bonus! In Healthcare IEQc4, projects that comply with all five material groups are eligible for exemplary performance credit.
- For WEc3 in Healthcare (and equivalent credit in Retail), correct metric conversion of commercial clothes washers 34 liters/cf/cycle to 1,200 liters/m3/cycle
- Also in WEc3, a correction to the equipment performance requirements table for steam cookers.
Key January 2014 Addenda
Officially there were no addenda in January 2014 (and I've been told to expect none in the second quarter either), but there is a key change to the global alternative compliance paths that doesn't really fit anywhere else so I'll mention it here.
A revision was made to the Global Alternative Compliance Path supplement to LEED 2009 BD&C—to the Implementation section of the Reference Guide, not to the credit language. This revision provides more options for credit compliance in locations where product manufacturing data is not readily available. The guidance introduces new strategies to achieve the credit requirements by including more guidance related to in-place testing, lab testing, and using data from a previous project to achieve the credit. The guidance also includes an expanded list of resources for global teams to reference when pursuing these credits.
Key October 2013 Addenda
I wouldn't really call any of these "key," but for the sake of thoroughness, USGBC published 17 addenda (now also being called "corrections") in October, #100001789-100001805, including:
- Revised metric equivalencies
- The addition of Option 3 in Retail NC, EAc5 Measurement and Verification
- Updated Table 1. in Retail NC, EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance
- Removed “two points” requirement in Healthcare, IEQc8.1
Key April 2013 Addenda
There were no addenda release for January 2013, and this release was small. There are a couple noteworthy items, however.
- ITE option: The ITE study option was added for mixed-use projects in SSc4.4. Already in place for non-residential projects, this option allows projects that have no minimum local zoning requirements to meet the credit requirements by providing 25% fewer parking spaces than the applicable standard listed in the 2003 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) “Parking Generation” study.
- Development footprint redefined: The development footprint is the total area of the building footprint and area affected by development or by project site activity. Hardscape, access roads, parking lots, nonbuilding facilities, and the building itself are all included in the development footprint. It was previously defined as "The development footprint is the area affected by development or by project site activity. Hardscape, access roads, parking lots, nonbuilding facilities, and the building itself are all included in the development footprint." [emphasis added]
Key October 2012 Addenda
This addenda release has been very quiet, with LEED's technical staff and volunteers focused on the fifth draft of LEED v4.
- The LEED Reference Guide had been self-contradictory about whether it was required to install furniture and furnishings prior to IAQ testing or flush-out for IEQc3.2. With the insertion of a single word ("optionally") USGBC has clarified that furniture and furnishing installation is optional in both cases. (Note, requirements for ID&C projects are different.)
- 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 July 2012 Addenda
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 MRc5.
- SSc1: Non-U.S. equivalents to definitions of flood plains, prime agricultural lands, etc, are now recognized in the Site Selection credit language. In another change to this credit, the definition of what buildings are exempt from the parkland prohibitition are broadened somewhat, in a common-sense manner.
- SSp2, SSc3: Non-U.S. equivalents to definitions of brownfields, and site assessments, are recognized.
- SSc4.1: Bus rapid transit stations and commuter ferry terminals are recognized under Option 1, which was previously reserved for rail. (This change affects all projects, not just non-U.S. ones.) In a new Option 3 available only to international projects, proximity to ride-share stations can contribute to the credit.
- SSc6.1: 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.
- WEc1: Option to base calculations on the "the month with the highest irrigation demand."
- EAp2/EAc1: Non-U.S. projects may use an alternative standard to ASHRAE Standard 90.1‐2007 if it is approved by USGBC as an equivalent standard using the process located at www.usgbc.org/leedisglobal
- EAc6: Green Power no longer has to be Green-e certified, but the project must demonstrate equivalence with Green-e on the basis of: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third‐party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time.
- MRc5: The familiar 500-mile radius is now Option 1 of this credit. There is a new Option 2, borne out of the International ACPs but affecting all projects, 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.
- IEQp1, IEQp2, IEQc1, IEQc2, IEQc3.1, IEQc4.3, IEQc5, IEQc6.2, IEQc7.1, IEQc9: For these IEQ credits, allowance has been given to alternative standars for ventilation effectiveness, air filtration, product emissions, etc. The intent and key requirements of the credits are unchanged, but non-U.S. projects will have more latitude in using locally relevant standards.
Key April 2012 Addenda
USGBC introduced very few addenda in April 2012, and those are not especially noteworthy. But here are a couple interesting ones.
- Must use EAc1 modeling for EAc6: If an energy model was used to document compliance with EAc1, the data from the energy model must be used as the basis for determining the electricity consumption for EAc6.
- "Autocontrol faucets" defined: Autocontrol faucets have automatic fixture sensors or metering controls.
- Part-time students: Part-time students must be included in Schools SSc4.2 calculations.
Key November 2011 Addenda
This set of addenda is all about definitions.
- "Previously developed" defined: Of particular relevance to SSc1, SSc2, and SSc5.1, previously developed has been given a more specific definition. You can hold your mouse over the words in the last sentence to see the full definition, but the upshot is that simple grading of a site, or historical or agicultural uses, no longer constitute development. It was never clear that they did, but the previous definition left that open.
- Link to cleaner cars updated: This useful link has been updated for SSc4.3: California Air Resources Board, Cleaner Car Guide.
- Schools SSc9 clarified: In case you were wondering, projects where no future development is planned are not eligible for this master planning credit.
- WEp1/WEc3 calcs clarified: USGBC has offered additional guidance on key WEp1/WEc3 calcs, with special relevance to hospitality. "For the purposes of the credit calculations, assume that hotel guests use the fixtures and fittings in their room, employees use back of house and / or common areas, and transient guests use common area restrooms." And: "For hospitality projects, FTE and transient occupants are calculated per the typical methodology for the respective occupancy types. Hotel guests may be determined based on the number and size of units in the project. Generally, assume 1.5 occupants per guest room and multiply the resulting total by 60% (average hotel occupancy per AH&LA information) to determine the total number of hotel guests. Alternatively, occupants may be derived from actual historical occupancy numbers. Fixture use assumptions for hotel guests follow the fixture assumptions for residential occupants. Accordingly, lavatories located in guest rooms are considered to be private lavatories. Additionally, day use guests at the hotel should be included in the value for transient / visitor occupants. Per typical fixture use assumptions, this category of occupants assumes zero shower uses throughout the day. Example: 123-room hotelTotal Hotel Guests = 123*1.5 * 60%Total Hotel Guests = 111."
- "Occupied" and "Nonoccupied" defined: USGBC has defined occupied spaces and nonoccupied spaces formally (roll over the words for definitions), as relevant to IEQc1, IEQc7.1, and IEQc7.2. 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 IEQc6.1, 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: With relevance to IEQc6.2, 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 IEQc8.1 and IEQc8.2, 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, the definition reads, "Non-regularly occupied spaces are spaces that occupants pass through, or spaces used in pursuit of focused activities for less than one hour per person per day (on average)."
- "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.
- Learning spaces redefined: Of relevance to Schools IEQp3, core learning spaces and ancilliary learning spaces have been redefined. These definitions have been fleshed out a bit, so we have a better sense of the logic behind the definitions, and examples are given. For example, ancillary learning spaces were defined as "Spaces for informal learning. These spaces include, but are not limited to, corridors, cafeterias, gymnasia and indoor swimming pools." Now the definition (roll over the text) is more elaborate.
- On-site renewables clarified: Qualifications for onsite renewables under EAc2 have been clarified with this language added to the Reference Guide: "To qualify as an eligible on-site system, the fuel source must meet one of the following conditions: the fuel source must be wholly contained/produced on-site; the project team must demonstrate full ownership of the fuel source, including ownership of all its environmental attributes; or, if the fuel source is not owned, and in cases where use of a substitute, non-renewable fuel is possible, projects must enter into a 2-year contract for purchase of the renewable fuel source, with an ongoing commitment to renew for a period of 10 years total."
Key August 2011 Addenda
This set of addenda are the slimmest set yet, probably because LEED 2009 has been out for a while now, and USGBC is now putting more resources into developing LEED 2012. In case there is a very specific change that is relevant to your project, here's a direct link to the BD&C changes from August only. The ones I found most notable are as follows.
- Parking garages matter: The SSc5.1 site protection buffer zones have been clarified: "40 feet beyond the building perimeter and parking garages."
- New equations: SSc7.1 and SSc7.2 have new equations that don't change the requirements, but that clarify how to deal with multiple roofs. Also, skylights are explicitly considered an appurtenance in these credits with new language being added.
- (Don't) Leave the lights on: Requirements for automatic shutoffs of interior lights for SSc8 are clarified with the following language newly added: "Controls can be automatic sweep timers, occupancy sensors, or programmed master lighting control panels. The design can also include manual or occupancy based override capabilities that enable lights to be turned on after hours." The question of whether occupants can turn lights on after hours has come up before on the LEEDuser forum—this seems to answer definitively "yes."
Key May 2011 Addenda
- Easier time for additions: For additions to existing buildings, only the water fixtures within the project scope must be counted for WEp1. To earn points under WEc3, all fixtures necessary to meet the needs of the addition occupants must be included, even if they are located within the existing building.
- Relaxed EAc2/REC requirement: If you have onsite renewables and you are selling RECs from them, you couldn't get credit under EAc2 unless you bought twice that many RECs that met some other conditions as well. Now you only need to buy the same number of RECs (but they still have to meet a few conditions, basically making sure they are equivalent to what you're selling).
- MR credit scope: Were you wondering if the recycled metal in that baby grand should count for the MR credits? Question answered: "Exclude artwork, interior plants, and musical instruments," according to the new addenda.
- IEQc1 monitoring relaxed: The following footnote was removed from the IEQc1 credit language: "Monitoring CO2 monitoring is required in densely occupied spaces, in addition to outdoor air intake flow measurement."
- Changes to IAQ testing under IEQc3.2: A few changes have been made here. One, testing must be done in accordance with one standard; project teams may not mix requirements from the EPA Compendium of Methods with ISO standards. Two, a formerly vague requirement on the number of sampling locations has now somewhat less vague: you must include the entire building and all representative situations. The calculation method for the number of sampling locations has also been modified slightly.
- For Schools IEQc4.4: Wood and agrifiber products shall be treated as walls within the classroom scenario when determining compliance. Anyone know what this means? Do these products fall under both IEQc4.4 and IEQc4.6, or are they saying that if they are part of walls they are only in the IEQc4.6 scope? Update: see the comment below on this.
- IEQc8.1 section replaced: USGBC made a full replacement of the IEQc8.1 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. Also the instructions for Option 2, Prescriptive were revised a bit, but I didn't spot any key changes. Can you?
- Also relevant to IEQc8, movable furniture has been defined: "Movable furniture and partitions are those that can be moved to provide access to the view by the user without the need for tools or assistance from special trades and facilities management."
Key February 2011 Addenda
- New EP option for CS, SSc8. Under CS, SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction, projects can now earn Exemplary Performance by require and enforce installing automatic lighting controls within 100% of the tenant space.
- 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.
- Commercial kitchen sinks are not included. Lavatory faucets refer to hand-washing sinks, regardless of location, but lab or healthcare sinks with regulated flow rates are excluded. Pot-filling sinks can be excluded.
- Detail on WEc1 water. The following language was added to implementation technologies under WEc1: 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.
- Limit on controller efficiency (CE). The measure used under WEc1 is vague and most people don't seem to use it, judging by our WEc1 forum, but it now has an outside limit. Gains from controller efficiency cannot exceed 30% in July.
- CPG now more strenuous for small projects. Under EAp2, projects under 100,000 ft2 using the prescriptive Core Performance Guide weren't held to certain requirements; that is no longer the case.
- Refrigerant management relaxed for small existing equipment. This piece has been added to EAp3, "Existing small HVAC units (defined as containing less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant) and other equipment, such as standard refrigerators, small water coolers and any other equipment that contains less than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant, are not considered part of the base building system and are not subject to the requirements of this prerequisite."
- Hybrid projects point scale specified. The Reference Guide already contained a note under EAc1 that existing buildings had a separate point scale. An addendum now clarifies the scale for buildings that combine new and old. (Detail under EAc1.)
- MPR#6 as EAc5 option. Projects meeting Minimum Program Requirement #6 through energy reporting via Portfolio Manager now earn a point under a new EAc5 option for NC and Schools, or EAc5.1 for CS.
- New EP option for CS under IEQc4. Core and Shell projects that require tenants to meet the IEQc4.1–4.4 requirements can now earn an Exemplary Performance point under IEQc4.
- Desk fans allowed! It is now official: desk fans and other plug-in thermal comfort devices are allowed under IEQc6.2, as long as they are included in the design but not the baseline energy model in EAp2 and EAc1.
Key Addenda Released in November 2010 and Earlier
- Units of measurement clarified. Units of measurement must be submitted in U.S. Standard units of measure to facilitate review by U.S. reviewers. Not every unit of measurement on every construction or facilities document must be translated, but all those relevant to LEED compliance must be converted.
- Asbestos remediation under SSc3. Projects where asbestos has been remediated based on an acceptable standard (such as RCRA or NESHAPs) can earn SSc3: Brownfield Redevelopment. This is not a new development, but credit language allowing it is new.
- New option under SSc4.4. SSc4.4: Alternative Transportation—Parking Capacity now has a 4th option for projects with no minimum local zoning requirements. They must provide 25% fewer parking spaces than the applicable standard listed in the 2003 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) “Parking Generation” study. (See LEEDuser's guide to the ITE study.)
- Land donation under SSc5.1. Now projects with few landscaping opportunities seeking SSc5.1: Site Development—Protect or Restore Habitat can choose to “donate offsite land in perpetuity, equal to 60% of the previously developed area (including building footprint), to a land trust within the same EPA Level III Ecoregion identified for the project site. The land trust must adhere to the Land Trust Alliance ‘Land Trist Standards and Practices’ 2004 Revision."
- "Budget method" introduced under SSc5.1. A new "landscape budget method" (LEEDuser's term) has been added for this credit. This method could be very useful for teams that are close to meeting the buffer zone requirement, but having some difficulty. If a project is meeting 3 of 4 requirements but can't meet the fourth, it can do a calculation to demonstrate compliance.
- Light pollution and flagpoles. Flagpole lighting is not exempt from SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction shielding requirements for exterior lighting. This was already understood by experienced project teams from CIRs, but now it's explicit.
- Janitor sinks out. Water Efficiency credits WEp1 and WEc1 no longer include janitor sinks.
- Showerheads standard raised. In the WEp1 table “UPC and IPC Standards for Plumbing Fixture Water Use” the EPA WaterSense Standard for showerheads has changed from 1.5-2.0b to 2.0b.
- Private facilities defined. “Private or private use applies to plumbing fixtures in residences, apartments, and dormitories, to private (non-public) bathrooms in transient lodging facilities (hotels and motels), and to private bathrooms in hospitals and nursing facilities.”
- Landscaping area clarified. Under calculations for WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping, it has been clarified that any area being improved upon must be included in the landscaped area.
- Schools process water. The requirements for the Schools credit WEc4: Process Water Use Reduction has been changed: “at least 4 process items” has been changed to “all appliances within at least 4 equipment types.”
- EP for Green Power. Exemplary performance is now available to projects that purchase just 70% of their electricity from renewable sources under EAc6: Green Power—the threshold had mistakenly been set at 100% in the first edition of the Reference Guide.
- Regional/recycled materials. For recycled materials qualifying under MRc4 also being applied to MRc5, it is “not necessary to track the origin of the raw material before it arrived at the point of extraction” which can include a “recycling facility, scrap yard, depository, stockpile,” etc. This addendum gives teams a fair amount of flexibility in setting the extraction location with recycled goods.
- CoC under MRc7. Some clarification about CoC certification requirements has been offered “Entities that install an FSC-certified product on the project/building site” don’t require the certification so long as they “do not modify the product’s packaging or form except as is required for installation.” It is also noted that those who temporarily posses FSC-certified materials “should be careful not to mix or contaminate” them with non FSC-certified materials.
- MRc7 calculations caveat. Under MRc7: Certified Wood products that are FSC Pure, FSC Mixed Credit, and those not FSC certified are valued at 100% of the product cost “unless the product is an assembly in which case only the new wood portion of the product counts for credit.” The new guidance for assemblies states: “to determine the value of the wood component(s), calculate the amount of new wood as a percentage of the total weight or volume and the amount of FSC certified wood as a percentage of the total weight or volume.”
- Clarifications to IEQp1. For IEQp1 in NC, Schools, and CS you must meet the minimum requirements of Sections 4 through 7 of ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007 and for mechanically ventilated spaces the systems must be designed using the ventilation rate procedure or the applicable local code, whichever is more stringent; for naturally ventilated spaces the buildings must comply with ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007, Paragraph 5.1. For only CS mechanical ventilation systems installed during core and shell construction must be capable of meeting projected ventilation levels based on anticipated future tenant requirements.
- Mineral-based flooring exempt. Under IEQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems, mineral based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone qualify for the credit without IAQ testing, as long as they don't have integral organic-based coatings and sealants. This is good news for anyone who has been searching fruitlessly for good FloorScore-certified tile. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealers must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system.
- IEQc5 requirements eased up. In IEQc5: Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control the MERV 13 requirement has been removed for return air circulation—it remains only for outdoor air intakes. Also, the vague hazardous chemical containment requirement has been removed.
- Separate plumbing no longer waived. Under IEQc5 this vague sentence has been removed: “When local code does not require separate plumbing for the sink located within the segregated area for hazardous gasses or chemicals, the separate plumbing may be waived.”
- Residential projects ineligible. Residential projects are not eligible for IEQc7.2: Thermal Comfort—Verification since they house occupants with a typically high degree of control over building systems.
- Applicable spaces. Under the daylight requirements for IEQc8.1, the term "regularly occupied spaces" has been replaced by “applicable spaces.” We're not sure if this is significant—we have a question in to USGBC about it.
- Pilot credits. A third path has been added to IDc1: Innovation in Design. The pilot credit library now offers a path, in which project teams try out a new LEED credit and can earn up to five points under IDc1 for NC and CS, and four for Schools. LEEDuser has a dedicated section for the pilot credit library on its site.
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