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LEED v2009
Healthcare
Indoor Environmental Quality
Low-emitting materials

LEED CREDIT

Healthcare-v2009 IEQc4: Low-emitting materials 1-4 points

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Credit language

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

Requirements

One point (maximum four) can be achieved for each group of materials that comply with the requirements.

GROUP 1: Interior Adhesives and Sealants
All adhesives and sealants used on the interior of the building (i.e., inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site) must comply with the following requirements as applicable to the project scope1:
  • Adhesives, Sealants and Sealant Primers must comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule #1168. Volatile organic compound (VOC) limits listed in the table below correspond to an effective date of July 1, 2005 and rule amendment date of January 7, 2005.
  • Aerosol Adhesives must comply with Green Seal Standard for Commercial Adhesives GS-36 requirements in effect on October 19, 2000.
Adhesives and sealants shall contain no carcinogen or reproductive toxicant components present at more than 1% of total mass of the product as defined in the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) list entitled “Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer” or the Reproductive Toxicity, Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
GROUP 2: Wall and Ceiling Finishes
Paints and coatings used on the interior of the building—defined as inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site—shall not exceed the VOC content limits established in South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings. (Rules in effect on July 1, 2008.) Ceiling tiles, including suspended acoustical tiles, and wall coverings shall comply with the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Public Health Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers version 1.1 (CDPH/EHLB Standard Method v1.1) modeled using the standard office building protocol parameters and certified as compliant by an independent third party.
GROUP 3: Flooring
Carpet and all hard surface flooring installed in the building interior shall comply with the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Public Health Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions From Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers version 1.1 (CDPH/EHLB/M-500 Standard Method v1.1), modeled using the standard office building protocol parameters and certified as compliant by an independent third party. Mineral-based finish flooring products, such as tile,masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic-based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring, qualify for credit without any IAQ testing requirements. However, associated, site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealers must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit. All carpet cushion installed in the building interior shall comply with the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program. All flooring related adhesives shall comply with the requirements of Group 1. Grout shall comply with requirements for ceramic tile adhesive.
  • For carpet adhesive, concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes, and tile setting adhesives, compliance can be demonstrated with test results of:
    • Total volatiles fraction, based on one of the following, provided that water and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168:
      • ASTM D2369
      • EPA method 24
      • ISO 11890 part 1
    • Total volatile organic compounds fraction, based on one of the following, provided that all VOCs with a boiling point up to 280°C (536°F) are included, and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168.
      • ASTM D6886
      • ISO 11890 part 2
Concrete, wood, bamboo, cork and other floor finishes, such as sealer, stain and finish, shall not exceed the VOC limits established in South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings, rules in effect on July 1, 2008.
GROUP 4: Composite Wood, Agrifiber Products and Batt Insulation Products
Composite wood and agrifiber products used on the interior of the building—defined as inside of the weatherproofing system—shall contain no added urea-formaldehyde resins. Laminating adhesives used to fabricate on-site and shop-applied composite wood and agrifiber assemblies shall contain no added urea- formaldehyde resins. Composite wood and agrifiber products are defined as particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheat board, strawboard, panel substrates and door cores. Materials considered furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) are not considered base building elements and are not included. Batt insulation products shall contain no added formaldehyde, including urea formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde, and urea-extended phenol formaldehyde.
GROUP 5: Exterior Applied Products
Adhesives, sealants, coatings, roofing and waterproofing materials—defined as from the weatherproofing system out and applied on-site—shall comply with the VOC limits of California Air Resources Board (ARB) 2007 Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168 effective July 1, 2005. Roofing installations shall not use hot-mopped asphalt installation techniques. Parking lots and other paved surfaces shall not use coal tar sealants. For any waterproofing, asphalt roofing needing repair, parking lot sealing or other high VOC emissions outdoor construction process, create a plan to manage fumes and avoid infiltration to occupied spaces. Comply with procedures established by NIOSH’s Asphalt Fume Exposures During the Application of Hot Asphalt to Roofs (Publication No. 2003-112). [view:embed_resource=page_1=5049047] See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

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.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Addenda

10/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Below the fourth paragraph, add the following: "? For carpet adhesive, concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes, and tile setting adhesives, compliance can be demonstrated with test results of: Total volatiles fraction, based on one of the following, provided that water and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168: o ASTM D2369 o EPA method 24 o ISO 11890 part 1 Total volatile organic compounds fraction, based on one of the following, provided that all VOCs with a boiling point up to 280
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
2/2/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the fourth line of the second paragraph, remove "/M-500"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/2/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
After section 7. Documentation Guidance, add section 9. Exemplary Performance with the following text: "Projects that comply with all five material groups are eligible for exemplary performance under the Innovation in Design section."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/2/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the fourth line of the paragraph, remove "/M-500"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/1/2013
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

According to footnote 1 on the IEQc4.3 Form, "Mineral-based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without any integral organic-based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any IAQ testing requirements." Is it necessary to list them as a material on the form since there is no way to indicate that it is exempt from testing?

Ruling:

The project team is asking whether mineral-based finish flooring products (without any integral organic-based coatings and sealants) and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring need to be included on the LEED IEQc4.3 (Low-Emitting Materials - Flooring Systems) Credit Form. Yes, the project team should mark the form to indicate an Alternative Compliance Path. The required narrative for the Alternative Compliance Path must include a statement that the project is applying the April 14, 2010 addenda, as well as the manufacturer and specific product description of the product claiming the exemption. Manufacturer documentation for each product claiming an exemption is NOT required. Applicable Internationally.

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

This project is a healthcare facility consisting of 3 renovated floors, floors 9, 10 and 13. As part of patient care and to meet patient safety requirements on the 13th psychiatric floor, 21 square feet of Tabrasa Ultra Dry Erase Coating has been applied to each of 27 patient rooms. This dry erase coating does not clearly fall within any of the architectural coating categories defined in LEED for Commercial Interiors Version 2.0 IEQ Credit 4.2 Low Emitting Materials Paints and Coatings under South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1113. The product does comply under LEED for Schools 2009 IEQ Credit 4.2 Low Emitting Materials Paints and Coatings requirements as defined by the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers. The project team is requesting that this product be acceptable under the LEED for Commercial Interiors Version 2.0 IEQ 4.2 Low Emitting Materials Paints and Coatings.

Ruling:

The project team is asking how to classify dry-erase coatings which are not specifically addressed in South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1113. The product regulatory category and credit reporting classification should be determined and declared by the manufacturer. If the regulatory category and classification cannot be determined or the product is a specialty product not otherwise listed in the Table of Standards or defined in the associated Definitions per section (b) , it would fall under the default VOC limit of 250 g/L as per section (c)(1) of South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1113 (dated July 09 2004). Alternatively, if the classification cannot be determined or the product is a specialty product, the product\'s compliance with the LEED for Schools 2009 IEQ Credit 4.2 Low Emitting Materials Paints and Coatings requirements for the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers is an acceptable alternative to the SCAQMD Rule 1113 VOC content requirements for healthcare projects. CDPH testing is also acceptable for office projects provided the office testing scenario is used. Applicable Internationally.***Updated 01/01/2013 to modify applicability for LEED-NC v2.2 from not applicable to applicable.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Do Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM) laminates fall under the requirements for "on-site and shop-applied composite wood and agrifiber assemblies?" Because Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM) is technically a paper product and not a "plastic" product, we would appreciate additional clarification whether TFM paper products applied in the manufacturing process fall within the scope of this credit.

Ruling:

No, Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM) laminates do not need to be included in this credit. Laminates are not covered in the scope of this credit. Internationally Applicable.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project team is attempting the LEED 2009 for Healthcare Low Emitting Materials credit for Group 1: Interior Adhesives and Sealants and for Group 3: Flooring. This credit requires that chemicals on the Proposition 65 list cannot be present at more than 1% of the adhesive’s or sealant’s total mass. The chemical and detail, "Silica, crystalline (airborne particles of respirable size)," appear on Proposition 65 list. Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, and granite; other trade names for silica are sand, masonry sand, fill sand, golf course sand, industrial sand, and construction sand. As majority of healthcare projects do, this project requires use of both grout and thinset products.
Though the products our team selected are compliant with the Low-VOC portion of the credit, they do contain crystalline silica over the 1% threshold, as sand is a main component of these types of products. We have worked with multiple manufactures and suppliers to find grout and thinset products without silica and have had no success. We have also requested manufactures quantify if the size of the particles are of respirable size and confirming the size of particles to this standard has been difficult. As the intent of the credit is to, "Reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and wellbeing of installers and occupants”, our team worked to identify if the risks are present to installers and occupants. Manufactures have confirmed that the crystalline silica will be completely encapsulated in a hardened, non-friable state after installation. This would eliminate all hazards and risks of the chemical for future occupants. We have also confirmed that, if the products are installed per manufacturer's recommendations, installers will be protected from the chemicals and will face no risk of inhalation. It is a common best practice that our construction management team ensures all materials are installed according to manufacturer recommendations. On this project we are also implementing a detailed Construction IAQ Management Plan that ensures nearby workers would be protected, as well. These efforts confirm that there will be no risk to installers or other workers. If the grout and thinset products are installed per manufacturer’s recommendations and, therefore, eliminate the risk of crystalline silica (sand) harming installers and occupants, can the team conclude that these products meet the intent of the credit and comply with Low Emitting Materials Group 1: Adhesives and Sealants and, therefore, Group 3: Flooring?

Ruling:

The project team is asking whether grout and thinset products containing more than 1% silica meet the intent of LEED 2009 for Healthcare EQ Credit Low Emitting Materials, Group 1: Adhesives and Sealants. Yes, when installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for worker protection, the proposed grout and thinset products meet the intent of the credit. The California Proposition 65 list used as hazard screening criteria for this credit includes “Silica, crystalline (airborne particles of respirable size)“. Since the silica used in thinset and grout mix is not respirable once the products are mixed and set, the grout and thinset products meet the intent of the credit. This exception is unique to silica and does not set precedent for other materials listed on the Proposition 65 list.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

To comply with CARB, some composite wood manufacturers are switching from urea formaldehyde resins to:a. Melamine urea formaldehyde with urea formaldehyde added as a "scavenger" to bond with residual un-bonded formaldehyde molecules attempting to reduce formaldehyde off-gassing. b. Melamine formaldehyde with urea added as a scavenger. These resins are being marketed as "melamine formaldehyde" and compliant with LEED\'s no added urea formaldehyde IEQ4.4 credit requirements. While resulting composite wood products made with these resin technologies may be CARB compliant, the question arises as to the use of these resins being compliant with LEED IEQc4.4. Phenol formaldehyde and MDI have long been proven to be the best resin options to urea formaldehyde to prevent formaldehyde off-gassing, so utilizing resins with urea that formulate urea-formaldehyde either prior to going in the end product, or within the end product, seems counter to the intent of this LEED credit. Are melamine urea formaldehyde with added urea formaldehyde acting as a scavenger, and melamine formaldehyde with urea added as a scavenger to bond with loose formaldehyde within a product, acceptable resin technologies considered compliant with LEED EQc4.4?

Ruling:

Revised ***4/1/2013*** Products using melamine urea formaldehyde (MUF) with added urea formaldehyde acting as a scavenger or melamine formaldehyde with urea added as a scavenger to bond with loose formaldehyde within a product do not automatically meet the credit requirements for IEQ credit 4.4. If the composite wood product using MUF can meet the testing requirements and is found compliant with the California Air Resource Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 requirements for no-added formaldehyde based resins or the requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF), the product can contribute to IEQ credit 4.4. Previously, it was unclear how melamine fit within the scope of this credit. This ruling is intended to clarify how to address melamine, not prematurely adopt the LEED v4 credit language for composite wood. Therefore, composite wood products using other amino resins must meet the no added urea-formaldehyde requirements of LEED 2009. Applicable internationally.

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

Documentation toolkit

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LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

One point (maximum four) can be achieved for each group of materials that comply with the requirements.

GROUP 1: Interior Adhesives and Sealants
All adhesives and sealants used on the interior of the building (i.e., inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site) must comply with the following requirements as applicable to the project scope1:
  • Adhesives, Sealants and Sealant Primers must comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule #1168. Volatile organic compound (VOC) limits listed in the table below correspond to an effective date of July 1, 2005 and rule amendment date of January 7, 2005.
  • Aerosol Adhesives must comply with Green Seal Standard for Commercial Adhesives GS-36 requirements in effect on October 19, 2000.
Adhesives and sealants shall contain no carcinogen or reproductive toxicant components present at more than 1% of total mass of the product as defined in the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) list entitled “Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer” or the Reproductive Toxicity, Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
GROUP 2: Wall and Ceiling Finishes
Paints and coatings used on the interior of the building—defined as inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site—shall not exceed the VOC content limits established in South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings. (Rules in effect on July 1, 2008.) Ceiling tiles, including suspended acoustical tiles, and wall coverings shall comply with the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Public Health Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers version 1.1 (CDPH/EHLB Standard Method v1.1) modeled using the standard office building protocol parameters and certified as compliant by an independent third party.
GROUP 3: Flooring
Carpet and all hard surface flooring installed in the building interior shall comply with the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Public Health Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions From Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers version 1.1 (CDPH/EHLB/M-500 Standard Method v1.1), modeled using the standard office building protocol parameters and certified as compliant by an independent third party. Mineral-based finish flooring products, such as tile,masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic-based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring, qualify for credit without any IAQ testing requirements. However, associated, site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealers must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit. All carpet cushion installed in the building interior shall comply with the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program. All flooring related adhesives shall comply with the requirements of Group 1. Grout shall comply with requirements for ceramic tile adhesive.
  • For carpet adhesive, concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes, and tile setting adhesives, compliance can be demonstrated with test results of:
    • Total volatiles fraction, based on one of the following, provided that water and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168:
      • ASTM D2369
      • EPA method 24
      • ISO 11890 part 1
    • Total volatile organic compounds fraction, based on one of the following, provided that all VOCs with a boiling point up to 280°C (536°F) are included, and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168.
      • ASTM D6886
      • ISO 11890 part 2
Concrete, wood, bamboo, cork and other floor finishes, such as sealer, stain and finish, shall not exceed the VOC limits established in South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings, rules in effect on July 1, 2008.
GROUP 4: Composite Wood, Agrifiber Products and Batt Insulation Products
Composite wood and agrifiber products used on the interior of the building—defined as inside of the weatherproofing system—shall contain no added urea-formaldehyde resins. Laminating adhesives used to fabricate on-site and shop-applied composite wood and agrifiber assemblies shall contain no added urea- formaldehyde resins. Composite wood and agrifiber products are defined as particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheat board, strawboard, panel substrates and door cores. Materials considered furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) are not considered base building elements and are not included. Batt insulation products shall contain no added formaldehyde, including urea formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde, and urea-extended phenol formaldehyde.
GROUP 5: Exterior Applied Products
Adhesives, sealants, coatings, roofing and waterproofing materials—defined as from the weatherproofing system out and applied on-site—shall comply with the VOC limits of California Air Resources Board (ARB) 2007 Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168 effective July 1, 2005. Roofing installations shall not use hot-mopped asphalt installation techniques. Parking lots and other paved surfaces shall not use coal tar sealants. For any waterproofing, asphalt roofing needing repair, parking lot sealing or other high VOC emissions outdoor construction process, create a plan to manage fumes and avoid infiltration to occupied spaces. Comply with procedures established by NIOSH’s Asphalt Fume Exposures During the Application of Hot Asphalt to Roofs (Publication No. 2003-112). [view:embed_resource=page_1=5049047]
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