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LEED v2009
Existing Building Operations
Indoor Environmental Quality

Green Cleaning—Indoor Integrated Pest Management

LEED CREDIT

EBOM-2009 IEQc3.6: Green cleaning - indoor integrated pest management 1 point

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LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Project Director

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

Requirements

Develop, implement and maintain an indoor integrated pest management (IPM) plan, defined as managing indoor pests in a way that protects human health and the surrounding environment and that improves economic returns through the most effective, least-risk option. IPM calls for using least-toxic chemical pesticides, minimum use of chemicals, use only in targeted locations and use only for targeted species. IPM requires routine inspection and monitoring. The plan must include the following elements, integrated with any outdoor IPM plan used for the site as appropriate:

  • Integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of the need for pest control and 1 or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other nonchemical methods, and if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, a least toxic pesticide.
  • Specification of the circumstances under which an emergency application of pesticides in a building or on surrounding grounds being maintained by building management can be conducted without complying with the earlier provisions.
  • A communications strategy directed to building occupants that addresses universal notification, which requires advance notice of not less than 72 hours before a pesticide under normal conditions and 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergencies, other than a least-toxic pesticide, is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds that the building management maintains.
Any cleaning products included in the integrated pest management policy must meet the requirements for IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials. Develop, implement and maintain an indoor integrated pest management (IPM) plan, defined as managing indoor pests in a way that protects human health and the surrounding environment and that improves economic returns through the most effective, least-risk option. IPM calls for using least-toxic chemical pesticides, minimum use of chemicals, use only in targeted locations and use only for targeted species. IPM requires routine inspection and monitoring. The plan must include the following elements, integrated with any outdoor IPM plan used for the site as appropriate:
  • Integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of the need for pest control and one or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other nonchemical methods, and if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, a least-toxic pesticide.
  • Specification of the circumstances under which an emergency application of pesticides in a building or on surrounding grounds being maintained by building management can be conducted without complying with the earlier provisions.
  • A communications strategy directed to building occupants that addresses universal notification, which requires advance notice of not less than 72 hours before a pesticide under normal conditions and 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergencies, other than a least-toxic pesticide, is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds that the building management maintains.
Any cleaning products included in the integrated pest management policy must meet the requirements for EQ Credits 3.3–3.5. See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Frequently asked questions

If pest management of interior/exterior plants is conducted by a separate vendor, do they have to comply with the IPM requirements?

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Most of the chemicals being used for my project are not listed in the San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticide List. Does this mean that the credit cannot be achieved?

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We have notified the tenants 72 hours prior to the pesticide application but now the pest control vendor needs to refill the toxic pesticide. Do we need to use universal notification for a refill?

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If I’m only applying pesticides to one floor in my building. Am I required to notify all tenants, or can I just notify the occupants on that floor?

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What do I do if have a project outside the U.S. where many of the pesticides listed on the San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticide List are not available?

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What are the different requirements for implementing the IPM Plan for SSc3 versus IEQc3.6?

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Are rodent baits ever considered least toxic?

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Is there a required frequency for pest service site visits in order to be considered integrated pest management? How frequent and how rigorous should the inspections be in order to comply?

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See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under San Francisco Pest Management Program:-Replace the first hyperlink with"http://www.sfenvironment.org/ipmchecklist"-Remove the last sentence "The 2007 list of reduced-risk pesticides isonline athttp://www.up3project.org/documents/2007rpplbyaicomplete.pdf."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the entry for Integrated Pest Management Institue of North America, Inc to read:IPM Institute of North America Inc.The IPM Institute is an independent non-profit organization formed in 1998 to foster recognition and rewards in the marketplace for goods and service providers who practice Integrated Pest Management.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In fourth paragraph, replace the "http://www.sfgov.org" link with "http://www.sfenvironment.org/ipmchecklist"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the term description with the text "Green cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We want to request an interpretation of the requirements for LEED EB EQc3.3 stated in a previous CIR dated 4/24/2004. The CIR appears to be written for new construction and for sale unit properties (such as condos).The 2004 LEED NC CIR states that multi-unit residential buildings must meet the requirements for commercial buildings (covering common area, owner controlled areas of the building), and the following for the residential, tenant controlled areas:Item #1: Educate the residents on the green cleaning concepts and products via discussion and written materials upon move-in and periodically thereafter.Item #2: Provide an estimated six-month supply of green cleaning products to residents, as wellas information on how to easily purchase refills and/or replacements.Assume that a Multi-Family Residential Apartment (Rental) Property complies with the following:1.The property that is applying for LEED EB certification meets all the requirements for LEED EB Green Cleaning credits for common spaces/owner controlled spaces including the cleaning policy and plan, products purchased and used, equipment purchased and used, and also follows the same green cleaning procedures whenever they have access to residential apartment units (including during all

Ruling:

The project has proposed an alternative compliance path for 2009 Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance projects that include multi-family residential units for IEQ Prerequisite 3: Green Cleaning Policy, IEQ Credit 3.1: Green Cleaning High Performance Cleaning program, and IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning- Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials using Innovation in Design credit requirements outlined in Formal Inquiry dated 04/08/2004 ID #766 for multi-family New Construction projects. The proposed approach is not acceptable. For IEQ Prerequisite 3: Green Cleaning Policy and IEQc3.1: Green Cleaning-High-Performance Cleaning Program, the green cleaning policy and program includes resident areas. Additional steps should be taken to educate the residents on the green cleaning concepts and recommended products via discussion and written materials upon move-in and periodically thereafter. Examples of acceptable steps could include a written program, a brochure, a coupon for discounted purchase, or a bulk supply of cleaning supplies available at maintenance office. For existing building projects with multi-family spaces attempting IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning- Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials the percent of total annual purchases must include all cleaning purchases made for the building, regardless of who purchased the products (residents or building staff).Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The San Gabriel Valley Corporate Campus (SGVCC) is a multi-tenant office park located in a suburban area of Irwindale, CA. The property is pursuing LEED certification under EB:O&M version 2008. The project is attempting Sustainable Sites Credit 3 and seeks clarification and guidance from the USGBC in regards to Universal Notification for non-least toxic exterior pesticide applications. The property\'s pest control vendor has attempted to control a persistent rat population with least-toxic methods and mechanical controls which have proven to be ineffective. Monitoring blocks (sugar cubes) show daily rodent activity in the property\'s planter beds, loading dock areas and other exterior locations around the perimeter of the three building campus. Rodenticides are placed out for a few days, then removed and replaced with the monitoring blocks. Within a few days rodent activity is present again and tenants report evidence of rodents in the property\'s pest sighting log shortly after the rodenticide is removed. Page 17 of the EB 2009 Ref Guide states: "Exterior pest management should focus on keeping the site\'s animal and insect pest populations under control and preventing pests from entering the building." Keeping rats and mice under control at some properties requires more aggressive treatment than least toxic and monitoring regimes are able to achieve. It is not clear how to properly implement and document Universal Notification for these properties in either the v2008 or v2009 LEED EB Reference Guides. Issue #1: For exterior pesticide applications at multi-tenant properties in areas like loading docks and planter beds, it\'s not clear who the landlord should notify. Sending an e-mail to the individual occupants is infeasible. Most landlords will be unwilling to send weekly e-mails or hard copy notifications to every tenant\'s point-of-contact. In any case, these types of notifications to a single tenant contact are unlikely to reach the broader population of occupants. Signage or postings at the exterior treatment areas would seem to be the only effective option. Issue #2: For properties like SGVCC where controlling the rodent population is a constant struggle, it is not feasible for the property management team to post paper signage in exterior areas and then replace it on a daily or weekly basis ad infinitum. Permanent signage in exterior areas that require frequent treatment, supplemented with a detailed notification to tenants on a periodic basis, would seem to satisfy the Universal Notification requirement. However it\'s not clear from the Reference Guides if this would be acceptable. An example of the permanent signage could read: "Caution, Non-Least Toxic Pesticides or Rodenticides May Be Applied in This Immediate Area. Please Contact Building Management at xxx-xxx-xxx for Chemical Information and Application Schedules" We request that USGBC clarify the implementation guidance and submittal requirements for SSc3 related to Universal Notification for the circumstances at SGVCC. Because universal notification is a key portion of SSc3 and many EBOM projects attempt this credit, we ask that the USGBC consider publishing the technical response as a LEED Interpretation.

Ruling:

The use of non-least toxic pesticides or rodenticides as pest control in areas requiring frequent treatment on a permanent basis is not an acceptable strategy for this credit. Projects are encouraged to use integrated management methods and explore alternatives to chemical pesticides. If a building is located on a site in which integrated methods are unable to control pest populations, and non-least toxic pesticides are continuously applied to the site, this credit may not be achievable. Internationally applicable.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team proposes to use a environmentally preferable cleaning solution, a handheld ionized tap water system, to eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of chemicals used within the project building.
The ionized water system works as follows:

1.When the spray bottle trigger is pressed, the water flows through a water cell that applies a slight electrical charge to the tap water.
2.The charged water passes through an ion exchange membrane, where the ionized water is separated into an oxygenated mixture of positively and negatively electrically charged nano-bubbles.
3.When applied directly to a surface, the ionized water helps break apart and lift the dirt from the surface like a magnet, enabling it to be wiped away.
4.Before the water exits the nozzle, a slight electric field is applied, allowing the water to carry a low-level electric field to the surface where the germs may be living. When used as directed with tap water in the majority of municipalities, this low-level electric field can kill more than 99.9 percent of harmful germs.

Using an ionized water cleaning system would no longer require purchase of many green cleaning chemicals; therefore, the project team has developed a new approach to documenting IEQc3.3. Rather than documenting that 30 percent of the products purchased meet the LEED sustainable cleaning criteria (by cost), the project team proposes to document the cleaning methods used during each cleaning shift. After each shift, the housekeeping personnel will document the cleaning methods and chemicals (or tap water if using the electrolyzed water system) used. Sustainable methods and chemicals that meet the LEED requirements for this alternative compliance approach will include either the use of chemicals that meet existing IEQc3.3 requirements or the use of ionized tap water.
An alternative compliance table will be created by the project team to account for criteria (with regard to performance vs. purchases) in order to demonstrate compliance with the SSc3.3 requirements.

Ruling:

"The project team seeks allowance to satisfy the credit requirements through the use of ionized tap water in lieu of chemical cleaning solutions. This is an acceptable approach if the following criteria are met:

•Manufacturer’s documentation of third-party performance testing is included with the credit submittal documentation. The testing should demonstrate performance comparable to Green Seal, Environmental Choice, or another standard equivalent to or more stringent than those required in IEQc3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials.
•If the device is marketed and used for antimicrobial cleaning, manufacturer’s testing must demonstrate antimicrobial performance comparable to EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and Design for the Environment (DfE) requirements as appropriate for use patterns and marketing claims.
•A custodial effectiveness assessment is performed as outlined in IEQc3.2: Green Cleaning—Custodial Effectiveness Assessment.
•The typical performance metric (percentage of purchases based on cost) for evaluating compliance with this credit will not apply. The project team may show compliance with one of the following:
a) Showing, based on one year of historic cleaning chemical costs, that use of ionized tap water during the performance period has reduced the purchase of chemical cleaning and material products by at least 30%. Any changes in occupancy or other factors that vary between the baseline year and the performance period that affect the need for cleaning products must be accounted for in the analysis.
b. Tracking the total cost of all cleaning and material products purchased during the performance period, plus the amortized cost for the ionized water cleaning system (amortized over 12 months).
c) Tracking the total volume of cleaning and material products and ionized water used during the performance period and showing that 30% meets the existing IEQc3.3 criteria or is ionized tap water. Applicable internationally.
"

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

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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

Trista Brown

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Project Director

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USGBC logo

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

Requirements

Develop, implement and maintain an indoor integrated pest management (IPM) plan, defined as managing indoor pests in a way that protects human health and the surrounding environment and that improves economic returns through the most effective, least-risk option. IPM calls for using least-toxic chemical pesticides, minimum use of chemicals, use only in targeted locations and use only for targeted species. IPM requires routine inspection and monitoring. The plan must include the following elements, integrated with any outdoor IPM plan used for the site as appropriate:

  • Integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of the need for pest control and 1 or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other nonchemical methods, and if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, a least toxic pesticide.
  • Specification of the circumstances under which an emergency application of pesticides in a building or on surrounding grounds being maintained by building management can be conducted without complying with the earlier provisions.
  • A communications strategy directed to building occupants that addresses universal notification, which requires advance notice of not less than 72 hours before a pesticide under normal conditions and 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergencies, other than a least-toxic pesticide, is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds that the building management maintains.
Any cleaning products included in the integrated pest management policy must meet the requirements for IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials. Develop, implement and maintain an indoor integrated pest management (IPM) plan, defined as managing indoor pests in a way that protects human health and the surrounding environment and that improves economic returns through the most effective, least-risk option. IPM calls for using least-toxic chemical pesticides, minimum use of chemicals, use only in targeted locations and use only for targeted species. IPM requires routine inspection and monitoring. The plan must include the following elements, integrated with any outdoor IPM plan used for the site as appropriate:
  • Integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of the need for pest control and one or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other nonchemical methods, and if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, a least-toxic pesticide.
  • Specification of the circumstances under which an emergency application of pesticides in a building or on surrounding grounds being maintained by building management can be conducted without complying with the earlier provisions.
  • A communications strategy directed to building occupants that addresses universal notification, which requires advance notice of not less than 72 hours before a pesticide under normal conditions and 24 hours after application of a pesticide in emergencies, other than a least-toxic pesticide, is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds that the building management maintains.
Any cleaning products included in the integrated pest management policy must meet the requirements for EQ Credits 3.3–3.5.

XX%

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If pest management of interior/exterior plants is conducted by a separate vendor, do they have to comply with the IPM requirements?

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.)

Most of the chemicals being used for my project are not listed in the San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticide List. Does this mean that the credit cannot be achieved?

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.)

We have notified the tenants 72 hours prior to the pesticide application but now the pest control vendor needs to refill the toxic pesticide. Do we need to use universal notification for a refill?

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.)

If I’m only applying pesticides to one floor in my building. Am I required to notify all tenants, or can I just notify the occupants on that floor?

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.)

What do I do if have a project outside the U.S. where many of the pesticides listed on the San Francisco Reduced-Risk Pesticide List are not available?

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.)

What are the different requirements for implementing the IPM Plan for SSc3 versus IEQc3.6?

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.)

Are rodent baits ever considered least toxic?

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.)

Is there a required frequency for pest service site visits in order to be considered integrated pest management? How frequent and how rigorous should the inspections be in order to comply?

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.)

11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Under San Francisco Pest Management Program:-Replace the first hyperlink with"http://www.sfenvironment.org/ipmchecklist"-Remove the last sentence "The 2007 list of reduced-risk pesticides isonline athttp://www.up3project.org/documents/2007rpplbyaicomplete.pdf."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the entry for Integrated Pest Management Institue of North America, Inc to read:IPM Institute of North America Inc.The IPM Institute is an independent non-profit organization formed in 1998 to foster recognition and rewards in the marketplace for goods and service providers who practice Integrated Pest Management.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In fourth paragraph, replace the "http://www.sfgov.org" link with "http://www.sfenvironment.org/ipmchecklist"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the term description with the text "Green cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We want to request an interpretation of the requirements for LEED EB EQc3.3 stated in a previous CIR dated 4/24/2004. The CIR appears to be written for new construction and for sale unit properties (such as condos).The 2004 LEED NC CIR states that multi-unit residential buildings must meet the requirements for commercial buildings (covering common area, owner controlled areas of the building), and the following for the residential, tenant controlled areas:Item #1: Educate the residents on the green cleaning concepts and products via discussion and written materials upon move-in and periodically thereafter.Item #2: Provide an estimated six-month supply of green cleaning products to residents, as wellas information on how to easily purchase refills and/or replacements.Assume that a Multi-Family Residential Apartment (Rental) Property complies with the following:1.The property that is applying for LEED EB certification meets all the requirements for LEED EB Green Cleaning credits for common spaces/owner controlled spaces including the cleaning policy and plan, products purchased and used, equipment purchased and used, and also follows the same green cleaning procedures whenever they have access to residential apartment units (including during all

Ruling:

The project has proposed an alternative compliance path for 2009 Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance projects that include multi-family residential units for IEQ Prerequisite 3: Green Cleaning Policy, IEQ Credit 3.1: Green Cleaning High Performance Cleaning program, and IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning- Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials using Innovation in Design credit requirements outlined in Formal Inquiry dated 04/08/2004 ID #766 for multi-family New Construction projects. The proposed approach is not acceptable. For IEQ Prerequisite 3: Green Cleaning Policy and IEQc3.1: Green Cleaning-High-Performance Cleaning Program, the green cleaning policy and program includes resident areas. Additional steps should be taken to educate the residents on the green cleaning concepts and recommended products via discussion and written materials upon move-in and periodically thereafter. Examples of acceptable steps could include a written program, a brochure, a coupon for discounted purchase, or a bulk supply of cleaning supplies available at maintenance office. For existing building projects with multi-family spaces attempting IEQ Credit 3.3: Green Cleaning- Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials the percent of total annual purchases must include all cleaning purchases made for the building, regardless of who purchased the products (residents or building staff).Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The San Gabriel Valley Corporate Campus (SGVCC) is a multi-tenant office park located in a suburban area of Irwindale, CA. The property is pursuing LEED certification under EB:O&M version 2008. The project is attempting Sustainable Sites Credit 3 and seeks clarification and guidance from the USGBC in regards to Universal Notification for non-least toxic exterior pesticide applications. The property\'s pest control vendor has attempted to control a persistent rat population with least-toxic methods and mechanical controls which have proven to be ineffective. Monitoring blocks (sugar cubes) show daily rodent activity in the property\'s planter beds, loading dock areas and other exterior locations around the perimeter of the three building campus. Rodenticides are placed out for a few days, then removed and replaced with the monitoring blocks. Within a few days rodent activity is present again and tenants report evidence of rodents in the property\'s pest sighting log shortly after the rodenticide is removed. Page 17 of the EB 2009 Ref Guide states: "Exterior pest management should focus on keeping the site\'s animal and insect pest populations under control and preventing pests from entering the building." Keeping rats and mice under control at some properties requires more aggressive treatment than least toxic and monitoring regimes are able to achieve. It is not clear how to properly implement and document Universal Notification for these properties in either the v2008 or v2009 LEED EB Reference Guides. Issue #1: For exterior pesticide applications at multi-tenant properties in areas like loading docks and planter beds, it\'s not clear who the landlord should notify. Sending an e-mail to the individual occupants is infeasible. Most landlords will be unwilling to send weekly e-mails or hard copy notifications to every tenant\'s point-of-contact. In any case, these types of notifications to a single tenant contact are unlikely to reach the broader population of occupants. Signage or postings at the exterior treatment areas would seem to be the only effective option. Issue #2: For properties like SGVCC where controlling the rodent population is a constant struggle, it is not feasible for the property management team to post paper signage in exterior areas and then replace it on a daily or weekly basis ad infinitum. Permanent signage in exterior areas that require frequent treatment, supplemented with a detailed notification to tenants on a periodic basis, would seem to satisfy the Universal Notification requirement. However it\'s not clear from the Reference Guides if this would be acceptable. An example of the permanent signage could read: "Caution, Non-Least Toxic Pesticides or Rodenticides May Be Applied in This Immediate Area. Please Contact Building Management at xxx-xxx-xxx for Chemical Information and Application Schedules" We request that USGBC clarify the implementation guidance and submittal requirements for SSc3 related to Universal Notification for the circumstances at SGVCC. Because universal notification is a key portion of SSc3 and many EBOM projects attempt this credit, we ask that the USGBC consider publishing the technical response as a LEED Interpretation.

Ruling:

The use of non-least toxic pesticides or rodenticides as pest control in areas requiring frequent treatment on a permanent basis is not an acceptable strategy for this credit. Projects are encouraged to use integrated management methods and explore alternatives to chemical pesticides. If a building is located on a site in which integrated methods are unable to control pest populations, and non-least toxic pesticides are continuously applied to the site, this credit may not be achievable. Internationally applicable.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team proposes to use a environmentally preferable cleaning solution, a handheld ionized tap water system, to eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of chemicals used within the project building.
The ionized water system works as follows:

1.When the spray bottle trigger is pressed, the water flows through a water cell that applies a slight electrical charge to the tap water.
2.The charged water passes through an ion exchange membrane, where the ionized water is separated into an oxygenated mixture of positively and negatively electrically charged nano-bubbles.
3.When applied directly to a surface, the ionized water helps break apart and lift the dirt from the surface like a magnet, enabling it to be wiped away.
4.Before the water exits the nozzle, a slight electric field is applied, allowing the water to carry a low-level electric field to the surface where the germs may be living. When used as directed with tap water in the majority of municipalities, this low-level electric field can kill more than 99.9 percent of harmful germs.

Using an ionized water cleaning system would no longer require purchase of many green cleaning chemicals; therefore, the project team has developed a new approach to documenting IEQc3.3. Rather than documenting that 30 percent of the products purchased meet the LEED sustainable cleaning criteria (by cost), the project team proposes to document the cleaning methods used during each cleaning shift. After each shift, the housekeeping personnel will document the cleaning methods and chemicals (or tap water if using the electrolyzed water system) used. Sustainable methods and chemicals that meet the LEED requirements for this alternative compliance approach will include either the use of chemicals that meet existing IEQc3.3 requirements or the use of ionized tap water.
An alternative compliance table will be created by the project team to account for criteria (with regard to performance vs. purchases) in order to demonstrate compliance with the SSc3.3 requirements.

Ruling:

"The project team seeks allowance to satisfy the credit requirements through the use of ionized tap water in lieu of chemical cleaning solutions. This is an acceptable approach if the following criteria are met:

•Manufacturer’s documentation of third-party performance testing is included with the credit submittal documentation. The testing should demonstrate performance comparable to Green Seal, Environmental Choice, or another standard equivalent to or more stringent than those required in IEQc3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials.
•If the device is marketed and used for antimicrobial cleaning, manufacturer’s testing must demonstrate antimicrobial performance comparable to EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and Design for the Environment (DfE) requirements as appropriate for use patterns and marketing claims.
•A custodial effectiveness assessment is performed as outlined in IEQc3.2: Green Cleaning—Custodial Effectiveness Assessment.
•The typical performance metric (percentage of purchases based on cost) for evaluating compliance with this credit will not apply. The project team may show compliance with one of the following:
a) Showing, based on one year of historic cleaning chemical costs, that use of ionized tap water during the performance period has reduced the purchase of chemical cleaning and material products by at least 30%. Any changes in occupancy or other factors that vary between the baseline year and the performance period that affect the need for cleaning products must be accounted for in the analysis.
b. Tracking the total cost of all cleaning and material products purchased during the performance period, plus the amortized cost for the ionized water cleaning system (amortized over 12 months).
c) Tracking the total volume of cleaning and material products and ionized water used during the performance period and showing that 30% meets the existing IEQc3.3 criteria or is ionized tap water. Applicable internationally.
"

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Trista Brown

LEED AP O+M, BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

WSP USA
Project Director

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