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LEED v4
Homes
Indoor Environmental Quality
Compartmentalization

LEED CREDIT

Homes-v4 EQp7: Compartmentalization Required

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

Intent

To limit occupants’ exposure to indoor air pollutants by minimizing the transfer of air between units.

Requirements

Multifamily and Attached Single-Family Projects Only
Compartmentalize each residential unit to minimize leakage between units. Minimize uncontrolled pathways for environmental tobacco smoke and other indoor air pollutants between units by sealing penetrations in walls, ceilings, and floors and by sealing vertical chases (including utility chases, garbage chutes, mail drops, and elevator shafts) adjacent to the units. Weather-strip all doors in the residential units leading to common hallways to minimize air leakage into the hallway. Weather-strip all exterior doors and operable windows to minimize leakage from outdoors. Demonstrate acceptable sealing of residential units by a blower door test. Follow the procedure described by RESNET or the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Program Testing and Verification Protocols, Version 1.0, with an allowable maximum leakage of 0.23 cfm50 per square foot (0.07 cmm50 per square meter) of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceiling). See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Addenda

10/14/2019Updated: 10/14/2019
Regional ACP
Description of change:
















ACH @50Pa NLR @50 PA
L/s/m2 Cfm50/ft2
7.0 1.52 0.30
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/8/2017
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

A multifamily project we are working on has relatively small units - average unit size of 900 square feet. We've found that meeting the 0.23 compartmentalization threshold is more challenging to meet as units get smaller. Because this project has small unit, can we instead meet the Midrise v2010 compartmentalization prerequisite threshold of 0.30?

Ruling:

Yes, multifamily buildings whose average unit size is less than 1,200 square feet (110 square meters) and single-family houses with less than 800 square feet (74 square meters) of conditioned floor area may meet the following:

For EQ prerequisite Compartmentalization and EQ prerequisite Environmental tobacco smoke control, demonstrate an allowable maximum leakage of 0.30 cfm50 per square foot of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceiling).

For Midrise EQ credit Enhanced Compartmentalization, to earn all 3 points, the 0.15 cfm50 per square foot of enclosure area threshold must be met. But partial credit is available, for 1 point, demonstrate maximum leakage of 0.23 cfm50 per square foot of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceiling).

For Homes EQ credit Enhanced Compartmentalization, for 1 point, demonstrate maximum leakage of 0.23 cfm50 per square foot of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceiling).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There are very few HERS raters outside of North America. Can other professionals be considered qualified professionals?

Ruling:

Yes, for projects outside of the U.S. and Canada, individuals with the following qualifications will be considered a qualified professional:

1. Completion of one of the following forms of education-

An Associate or Bachelor’s degree program that includes coursework in applied building science. If performing blower door testing and/or duct leakage for the LEED project, the individual must provide evidence that the Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree coursework specifically covered these topics, or provide evidence of at least 4 hours of formal training for each relevant topic.

OR

At least 4 hours of formal training in each of the following: building science fundamentals, blower door testing (if being performed for the project), air sealing inspections, insulation inspections, and duct leakage testing (if being performed by the project).

2. Experience performing energy inspections and testing on at least two building projects with a similar scope of work.
3. At least three years of professional experience in residential construction.

Additionally, the individual may not be part of the design or construction team.

***Updated 7.10.2020 to include applicability to v2008***

**Updated 1.08.2021 to align terminology with "qualified professional". For projects outside of the U.S. and Canada, the qualified professional meeting the qualifications above may perform all tasks required to be performed by the HERS Rater (also referred to as the “qualified energy rater” in the LEED v4 Homes Reference Guide).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There are few professionals who are trained to perform envelope leakage, compartmentalization, and duct leakage tests in residential projects outside of North America. Is there another approach that projects can take to demonstrate compliance?

Ruling:

Yes, projects outside of the U.S. and Canada may perform a visual inspection of the air sealing measures in lieu of performing envelope leakage, compartmentalization, and duct leakage testing.

The visual inspection must be performed by a qualified professional and demonstrate that each unit meets the requirements of the ENERGY STAR Thermal Enclosure Checklist (for Homes projects) or Multifamily Midrise Thermal Enclosure Checklist (for Midrise). Each item on the checklist must be documented with photo evidence. For multifamily units, all common walls, ceilings, and floors must be considered 'unconditioned spaces' when completing Section 5 - Air Sealing, of the checklist. Note that this visual inspection requires an insulation inspection site visit at a mid-construction phase, in addition to a final site visit when construction is complete.

If this approach is used, energy savings for tight construction cannot be claimed. This approach is not available for related credits such as EA credit Air infiltration and EQ credit Enhanced compartmentalization.

***Updated 7.10.2020 to include applicability to v2008***

***Updated 11.9.2020 to include additional detail regarding required site visits***

**Updated 1.08.2021 to align terminology with "qualified professional". For projects outside of the U.S. and Canada, the qualified professional meeting the qualifications above may perform all tasks required to be performed by the HERS Rater (also referred to as the “qualified energy rater” in the LEED v4 Homes Reference Guide).

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

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USGBC logo

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

Intent

To limit occupants’ exposure to indoor air pollutants by minimizing the transfer of air between units.

Requirements

Multifamily and Attached Single-Family Projects Only
Compartmentalize each residential unit to minimize leakage between units. Minimize uncontrolled pathways for environmental tobacco smoke and other indoor air pollutants between units by sealing penetrations in walls, ceilings, and floors and by sealing vertical chases (including utility chases, garbage chutes, mail drops, and elevator shafts) adjacent to the units. Weather-strip all doors in the residential units leading to common hallways to minimize air leakage into the hallway. Weather-strip all exterior doors and operable windows to minimize leakage from outdoors. Demonstrate acceptable sealing of residential units by a blower door test. Follow the procedure described by RESNET or the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Program Testing and Verification Protocols, Version 1.0, with an allowable maximum leakage of 0.23 cfm50 per square foot (0.07 cmm50 per square meter) of enclosure (i.e., all surfaces enclosing the apartment, including exterior and party walls, floors, and ceiling).
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