Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a well-documented human health hazard. The only way to eliminate the threat of ETS is to completely prohibit smoking indoors, which is why LEED v4 gives no way around the requirement to ban indoor smoking. This is a departure from LEED 2009, which permitted designated interior smoking rooms.
Residential projects remain an exception to the interior no-smoking rule. See below for specific considerations for residential projects.
Smoking outdoors is allowed, with certain parameters
Smoking must be prohibited within 25 feet of building entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. If you want to create a designated smoking area it must be located at least 25 feet away from building openings.
Additionally, if a portion of the site is used for business purposes–courtyards or a cafe with sidewalk seating, for example–this area must also be 100% smoke-free. Smoking must be prohibited in this type of area regardless of whether it’s inside or outside the property line.
Make sure your signage is compliant
No smoking signage must be placed within 10 feet of every building entrance. The only entrances exempt from this requirement are alarmed emergency exits.
The LEED Reference Guide doesn’t mandate any particular language for signage, but it does provide some suggestions: “Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas only” or “No smoking allowed within 25 feet.”
Residential projects can allow smoking indoors
Smoking can be permitted in residential projects in specific units. However, additional work will be required to confirm that smoke isn’t moving from smoking units to non-smoking areas of the building. See the LEED Reference Guide for specific information on the requirements for this situation.
Different signage requirements for schools
If you’re working on a LEED for Schools project you’ll need to ensure that smoking is prohibited on entire site. Signage detailing this policy must be posted at the property line, rather than near the building entrances.