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LEED v2009
Existing Building Operations
Energy and Atmosphere
Enhanced Refrigerant Management

LEED CREDIT

EBOM-2009 EAc5: Enhanced Refrigerant Management 1 point

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Credit achievement rate

XX%

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LEEDuser expert

Ben Stanley

WSP - Built Ecology
Senior Sustainability Manager

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Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Option 1
Do not use refrigerants in base building heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems.

OR

Option 2
Select refrigerants and heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) that minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global climate change. The base building HVAC&R equipment must comply with the following formula, which sets a maximum threshold for the combined contributions to ozone depletion and global warming potential: See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

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Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

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Frequently asked questions

Do small appliances (such as refrigerators and water coolers) that have greater than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant have to be included in order to achieve EAc5?

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Can a project use default leakage rate values or leakage values specified by the manufacturer for equipment rather than actual leakage rate values based on the credit calculations?

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(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first bullet item, replace "absorption" with "centrifugal"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the last sentence: "Guidance for submitting approval for nondefault leakage rates can be found on the LEED Registered Project Tools page (http://www.usgbc.org/projecttools)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following after the first sentence, "If new equipment is being installed, use a default leakage rate of 2%."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the column header on the far right, replace "Absorption" with "Centrifugal" so the header becomes "23-Year Life (Screw, Centrifugal Chillers)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first line of the first bullet item, replace "absorption" with "centrifugal"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)" with "a compound of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine, once commonly used in refrigeration, that depletes the stratospheric ozone layer."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

In the calculation of EAc4, is it acceptable to count the quantitative cooling loads addressed directly by the direct/indirect evaporative cooling units, that would otherwise be met with chillers, so that the refrigerant in walk-in refrigerators is not given an unfair weight in the calculations?

Ruling:

As the walk-in refrigerators are not part of the base building HVAC systems they are excluded from the requirements of this credit, provided that the total capacity of this equipment represents less than 15% of the total building installed HVAC capacity.
**Update October 1, 2013: Per the rating system requirements, all refrigeration included as part of the scope of work of the project, and having more than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant must be included in the EA Credit 4 analysis, not matter what percentage of the overall HVAC capacity. This interpretation only allows exclusion of walk-in refrigerators that are not part of the base building (meaning that these systems are outside of the scope of work of the project).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is significant confusion around the requirements for calculating and documenting refrigerant leakage rates for existing equipment. The EPA has published three different formulas, two of which are contained in the reporting rules and one which is in a guidance document about the reporting rules for industrial refrigeration systems. Additionally, the Rating System refers to the “EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608 procedures governing refrigerant management and reporting” but those procedures are actually contained in 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F. These rules provide triggers and requirements when annual refrigerant leakage rates exceed a threshold, with the required corrective actions including repair, decommissioning, and retrofit/replacement. Some project teams report that refrigerant pressures are checked on regular intervals but that refrigerant is only added when the loss is significant. Please clarify what methods may be used to calculate refrigerant leakage rates, whether the rates should be calculated for the performance period only or the rate calculated for the most recent refrigerant addition should be used, and what project teams are required to do if the 5% annual and 30% lifetime leakage rates are exceeded.

Ruling:

Leakage Rate Calculation:
The annual refrigerant leakage rate (Lr) must be calculated using a method recognized by the U.S. EPA pursuant to the EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Rule 608, and must be based on the most recent amount of refrigerant added. The time elapsed is the number of days in between the two most recent refrigerant charges, regardless of the performance period start date and regardless of whether refrigerant is checked on a regular basis (e.g., annually). This applies to both EAc5 and EAp3 for projects with CFC-based refrigerant demonstrating compliance with the maximum annual refrigerant leakage rate (5%).

Refrigerant Impact per Ton:
For recertification projects, the refrigerant impact per ton is based on the most recent refrigerant addition according to Table 1. Credit Compliance Guidance from the Recertification Guidance, April 2013. This means that if the recertification performance period is five years long and refrigerant was added during the first, third and fourth year, the refrigerant leakage rate is based on the refrigerant added during the fourth year and the number of days between the third and fourth year refrigerant additions. The project is required to track refrigerant leakage throughout the entire recertification performance period, but only the most recent refrigerant addition is used in the calculation of refrigerant leakage rate, regardless of whether it is more or less than previous additions.

CFC-based Refrigerant:
For recertification projects with CFC-based refrigerant, the refrigerant leakage rate must be calculated for each refrigerant addition during the performance period to demonstrate whether the maximum annual refrigerant leakage rate (5%) has been continuously met throughout the entire recertification performance period. For both initial certification and recertification projects, if the 5% annual refrigerant leakage rate is exceeded (including catastrophic equipment failure resulting in significant refrigerant leakage) , the project is still eligible for EAp3 as long as the EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Section 608 guidelines (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/608fact.html), as stated below are followed:

1. Owners or operators of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with refrigerant charges greater than 50 pounds are required to repair leaks within 30 days when those leaks result in the loss of more than a certain percentage of the equipment's refrigerant charge over a year. For the commercial (e.g. grocery stores and warehouses) and industrial process refrigeration sectors, leaks must be repaired within 30 days when the equipment leaks at a rate that would release 35 percent or more of the charge over a year. For all other sectors, including comfort cooling (such as building chillers), leaks must be repaired when the appliance leaks at a rate that would release 15 percent or more of the charge over a year.
2. For LEED purposes, leaks must be repaired within 30 days when the appliance leaks at a rate that would release 5 percent or more of the charge over a year. The equipment is not required to be decommissioned or replaced at this time.
3.The EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Section 608 guidelines also state that, “This requirement is waived if, within 30 days of discovery, owners develop a one-year retrofit or retirement plan for the leaking equipment. Owners of industrial process refrigeration equipment may qualify for additional time under certain circumstances”.

End of Life Refrigerant Leakage Calculation for Equipment with CFC-based Refrigerant:
The maximum 30% end of life leakage rate shall be calculated based on the total amount of refrigerant lost over the life of the equipment through the end of the performance period. If a project has experienced a catastrophic equipment failure resulting in a refrigerant leakage rate exceeding 30% during the performance period, the project is not eligible for certification unless the project commits to decommissioning or replacing the equipment within one-year from the end of the performance period. This applies to both initial certification and recertification.

International Applicability:
The Montreal Protocol has achieved universal ratification and most project locations should have local requirements with procedures for limiting the atmospheric discharge of refrigerants. Project teams wishing to use local requirements should contact USGBC early in the project to ensure that the alternative standard is acceptable.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

For an office building located atop an underground mall pursuing EB certification, is it possible to exclude the refrigeration equipment associated with the mall tenants for EAp3 and EAc5?

Ruling:

It is allowable to exempt up to 10% of the gross floor area in pursuing compliance with EAp3 and EAc5, provided that the equipment is under separate management and control (e.g., tenant owned and maintained). Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
2/3/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of Energy and Atmosphere Credit 4, Enhanced Refrigerant Management is to Reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol while minimizing direct contributions to global warming. Our project is a high-rise mixed use (mostly residential, but partly retail and commercial) building being built in a new section of Dubai and will be connected to a new District Cooling Plant using HFC-134a for all of its cooling demand. The project has no small HVAC or Refrigerant systems and plans to use in-ceiling sprinklers for fire suppression in corridors and occupied spaces in the building. Local code requires that the electronic building management equipment room (an area comprising less than 1% of GFA) for the building employ a different system for fire suppression utilizing the compound FM200. This is a chemical suppression system made by Dupont Chemical company. Upon our initial research, FM200 appeared to be noncompliant with Montreal Protocol Phase out efforts because a key ingredient in production of FM200 is HCFC-22. However, according to the manufacturer, the HCFC-22 is used and entirely consumed (except for trace quantities) in the production of FM200. In other words, the HCFC-22 is used in the chemical reaction required to create the fire suppression chemical, the reaction causes the HCFC to be changed to an HFC (HFC-227ea as listed on the manufacturer\'s MSDS at http://msds.dupont.com/msds/pdfs/EN/PEN_09004a358037d86b.pdf). As a result, by the time the product arrives packaged at our project site it is no longer an HCFC. In the event of release through leakage or a fire, this chemical will not contribute to ozone depletion. We believe that this product should not negate our capacity to achieve EA Credit 4 as the final use product is, in fact, an HFC. Please confirm that our approach to this credit is correct and will meet the intent and requirements of the credit.

Ruling:

The applicant is requesting clarification if the proposed FM200 based fire suppression system meets the requirements of EAc4. Based on the narrative and the manufacturer\'s MSDS, it appears that only minimal traces of HCFC-22 are left in the product after manufacturing, and therefore appears to meet the intent of the credit. Provide documentation from manufacturer informing what "traces" mean and quantities present. Applicable Internationally; UAE.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Checklists

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Documentation toolkit

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Credit achievement rate

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

LEEDuser expert

Ben Stanley

WSP - Built Ecology
Senior Sustainability Manager

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Option 1
Do not use refrigerants in base building heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems.

OR

Option 2
Select refrigerants and heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) that minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global climate change. The base building HVAC&R equipment must comply with the following formula, which sets a maximum threshold for the combined contributions to ozone depletion and global warming potential:

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

Got the gist of EAc5 but not sure how to actually achieve it? LEEDuser gives step-by-step help. Premium members get:

  • Checklists covering all the key action steps you'll need to earn the credit.
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  • Ideas for going beyond LEED with best practices.
  • All checklists organized by project phase.
  • On-the-fly suggestions of useful items from the Documentation Toolkit and Credit Language.

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

Do small appliances (such as refrigerators and water coolers) that have greater than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant have to be included in order to achieve EAc5?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Can a project use default leakage rate values or leakage values specified by the manufacturer for equipment rather than actual leakage rate values based on the credit calculations?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first bullet item, replace "absorption" with "centrifugal"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Remove the last sentence: "Guidance for submitting approval for nondefault leakage rates can be found on the LEED Registered Project Tools page (http://www.usgbc.org/projecttools)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following after the first sentence, "If new equipment is being installed, use a default leakage rate of 2%."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the column header on the far right, replace "Absorption" with "Centrifugal" so the header becomes "23-Year Life (Screw, Centrifugal Chillers)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/3/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first line of the first bullet item, replace "absorption" with "centrifugal"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the definition of "chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)" with "a compound of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine, once commonly used in refrigeration, that depletes the stratospheric ozone layer."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

In the calculation of EAc4, is it acceptable to count the quantitative cooling loads addressed directly by the direct/indirect evaporative cooling units, that would otherwise be met with chillers, so that the refrigerant in walk-in refrigerators is not given an unfair weight in the calculations?

Ruling:

As the walk-in refrigerators are not part of the base building HVAC systems they are excluded from the requirements of this credit, provided that the total capacity of this equipment represents less than 15% of the total building installed HVAC capacity.
**Update October 1, 2013: Per the rating system requirements, all refrigeration included as part of the scope of work of the project, and having more than 0.5 pounds of refrigerant must be included in the EA Credit 4 analysis, not matter what percentage of the overall HVAC capacity. This interpretation only allows exclusion of walk-in refrigerators that are not part of the base building (meaning that these systems are outside of the scope of work of the project).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is significant confusion around the requirements for calculating and documenting refrigerant leakage rates for existing equipment. The EPA has published three different formulas, two of which are contained in the reporting rules and one which is in a guidance document about the reporting rules for industrial refrigeration systems. Additionally, the Rating System refers to the “EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608 procedures governing refrigerant management and reporting” but those procedures are actually contained in 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F. These rules provide triggers and requirements when annual refrigerant leakage rates exceed a threshold, with the required corrective actions including repair, decommissioning, and retrofit/replacement. Some project teams report that refrigerant pressures are checked on regular intervals but that refrigerant is only added when the loss is significant. Please clarify what methods may be used to calculate refrigerant leakage rates, whether the rates should be calculated for the performance period only or the rate calculated for the most recent refrigerant addition should be used, and what project teams are required to do if the 5% annual and 30% lifetime leakage rates are exceeded.

Ruling:

Leakage Rate Calculation:
The annual refrigerant leakage rate (Lr) must be calculated using a method recognized by the U.S. EPA pursuant to the EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Rule 608, and must be based on the most recent amount of refrigerant added. The time elapsed is the number of days in between the two most recent refrigerant charges, regardless of the performance period start date and regardless of whether refrigerant is checked on a regular basis (e.g., annually). This applies to both EAc5 and EAp3 for projects with CFC-based refrigerant demonstrating compliance with the maximum annual refrigerant leakage rate (5%).

Refrigerant Impact per Ton:
For recertification projects, the refrigerant impact per ton is based on the most recent refrigerant addition according to Table 1. Credit Compliance Guidance from the Recertification Guidance, April 2013. This means that if the recertification performance period is five years long and refrigerant was added during the first, third and fourth year, the refrigerant leakage rate is based on the refrigerant added during the fourth year and the number of days between the third and fourth year refrigerant additions. The project is required to track refrigerant leakage throughout the entire recertification performance period, but only the most recent refrigerant addition is used in the calculation of refrigerant leakage rate, regardless of whether it is more or less than previous additions.

CFC-based Refrigerant:
For recertification projects with CFC-based refrigerant, the refrigerant leakage rate must be calculated for each refrigerant addition during the performance period to demonstrate whether the maximum annual refrigerant leakage rate (5%) has been continuously met throughout the entire recertification performance period. For both initial certification and recertification projects, if the 5% annual refrigerant leakage rate is exceeded (including catastrophic equipment failure resulting in significant refrigerant leakage) , the project is still eligible for EAp3 as long as the EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Section 608 guidelines (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/608fact.html), as stated below are followed:

1. Owners or operators of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with refrigerant charges greater than 50 pounds are required to repair leaks within 30 days when those leaks result in the loss of more than a certain percentage of the equipment's refrigerant charge over a year. For the commercial (e.g. grocery stores and warehouses) and industrial process refrigeration sectors, leaks must be repaired within 30 days when the equipment leaks at a rate that would release 35 percent or more of the charge over a year. For all other sectors, including comfort cooling (such as building chillers), leaks must be repaired when the appliance leaks at a rate that would release 15 percent or more of the charge over a year.
2. For LEED purposes, leaks must be repaired within 30 days when the appliance leaks at a rate that would release 5 percent or more of the charge over a year. The equipment is not required to be decommissioned or replaced at this time.
3.The EPA Clean Air Act Title VI, Section 608 guidelines also state that, “This requirement is waived if, within 30 days of discovery, owners develop a one-year retrofit or retirement plan for the leaking equipment. Owners of industrial process refrigeration equipment may qualify for additional time under certain circumstances”.

End of Life Refrigerant Leakage Calculation for Equipment with CFC-based Refrigerant:
The maximum 30% end of life leakage rate shall be calculated based on the total amount of refrigerant lost over the life of the equipment through the end of the performance period. If a project has experienced a catastrophic equipment failure resulting in a refrigerant leakage rate exceeding 30% during the performance period, the project is not eligible for certification unless the project commits to decommissioning or replacing the equipment within one-year from the end of the performance period. This applies to both initial certification and recertification.

International Applicability:
The Montreal Protocol has achieved universal ratification and most project locations should have local requirements with procedures for limiting the atmospheric discharge of refrigerants. Project teams wishing to use local requirements should contact USGBC early in the project to ensure that the alternative standard is acceptable.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

For an office building located atop an underground mall pursuing EB certification, is it possible to exclude the refrigeration equipment associated with the mall tenants for EAp3 and EAc5?

Ruling:

It is allowable to exempt up to 10% of the gross floor area in pursuing compliance with EAp3 and EAc5, provided that the equipment is under separate management and control (e.g., tenant owned and maintained). Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
2/3/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of Energy and Atmosphere Credit 4, Enhanced Refrigerant Management is to Reduce ozone depletion and support early compliance with the Montreal Protocol while minimizing direct contributions to global warming. Our project is a high-rise mixed use (mostly residential, but partly retail and commercial) building being built in a new section of Dubai and will be connected to a new District Cooling Plant using HFC-134a for all of its cooling demand. The project has no small HVAC or Refrigerant systems and plans to use in-ceiling sprinklers for fire suppression in corridors and occupied spaces in the building. Local code requires that the electronic building management equipment room (an area comprising less than 1% of GFA) for the building employ a different system for fire suppression utilizing the compound FM200. This is a chemical suppression system made by Dupont Chemical company. Upon our initial research, FM200 appeared to be noncompliant with Montreal Protocol Phase out efforts because a key ingredient in production of FM200 is HCFC-22. However, according to the manufacturer, the HCFC-22 is used and entirely consumed (except for trace quantities) in the production of FM200. In other words, the HCFC-22 is used in the chemical reaction required to create the fire suppression chemical, the reaction causes the HCFC to be changed to an HFC (HFC-227ea as listed on the manufacturer\'s MSDS at http://msds.dupont.com/msds/pdfs/EN/PEN_09004a358037d86b.pdf). As a result, by the time the product arrives packaged at our project site it is no longer an HCFC. In the event of release through leakage or a fire, this chemical will not contribute to ozone depletion. We believe that this product should not negate our capacity to achieve EA Credit 4 as the final use product is, in fact, an HFC. Please confirm that our approach to this credit is correct and will meet the intent and requirements of the credit.

Ruling:

The applicant is requesting clarification if the proposed FM200 based fire suppression system meets the requirements of EAc4. Based on the narrative and the manufacturer\'s MSDS, it appears that only minimal traces of HCFC-22 are left in the product after manufacturing, and therefore appears to meet the intent of the credit. Provide documentation from manufacturer informing what "traces" mean and quantities present. Applicable Internationally; UAE.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Ben Stanley

WSP - Built Ecology
Senior Sustainability Manager

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about EBOM-2009 EAc5