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LEEDs Testing

The US Green Buildings Council (USGBC) has developed a series of specifications to apply to the design, construction, renovation / rehabilitation, acceptance, and operation of energy-efficient buildings.  
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification principally refers to energy and resource-efficient design. However, it has long been  recognized that improvements in energy and resource efficiency can have a significant negative impact on indoor air quality.  
For example, reducing the amount of fresh air ventilation in a building can reduce the amount of energy required to keep the interior at an acceptable temperature, but if too little fresh air is provided, contaminants from building materials and occupant activities can build up in the space. 
Re-use of older buildings after extensive refurbishment is also a common practice, but again, the impacts on occupants must be considered and quantified. Several recent cases of occupants being negatively impacted by contaminants from former building uses underscore that fact. 
The air quality testing section of LEED is quite brief, and is very simply stated. It is a performance standard, as opposed to a specification, in that the LEED standard does not specify exactly which methods are to be used, though it does mention a moribund EPA Indoor Air Sampling Compendium; 
The actual methods to be used must ultimately meet the approval of the agency that is going to be evaluating the data generated thereby. The best way to approach this is either to have the client request from the agency a list of acceptable methods, or, alternatively, to prepare a formal contract submittal for approval prior to the sampling. 
The methods we list in the LEED TESTING PDF below are, in EMSL’s opinion, acceptably accurate and valid methods to achieve compliance with LEED as currently written. However, since the whole thing ultimately turns on the acceptance of the data by the relevant agency (and there are beginning to be big dollars put behind this by many private, public, and government entities), you must stress to the client that no matter what we suggest, they alone are responsible for determining if the methods we suggest, and the data there from will be acceptable to their accepting agency.  
If they do not obtain approval prior to the start of the project, any and all sampling performed will be at their risk. 


LEED Testing Flyer (PDF).
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