LEED VOC Requirements for Interior and Exterior Paints

Exterior Paints

Exterior paints and finishes are NOT covered in the requirements of EQc4, Low-Emitting Materials. That is to say, you could technically coat the building in a toxic 5000 g/l stew if you were so inclined. This is a small issue that many of you may already know about, but I remember back in the day I didn't catch the distinction and just received an email question about it earlier today. The reasoning is fairly obvious if you think about it, as exterior paints aren't really going to affect indoor air quality.

Quiz: Are these ladies LEED compliant?

No Interior Paints Used?

The question the reader brought up is whether you can earn the credit if no paints are being installed indoors. This is pretty common on Core and Shell projects, and I wasn't (and am still not) 100% sure about this. My thought is that you're still meeting the intent of the credit by not introducing unecessary coatings with harmful effect.

I did notice reading the CS Reference Guide (June 06 edition) that there is an exemplary performance point available for requiring and enforcing "compliance with the suite of EAc4 [note: I'm assuming this is a typo that should be EQc4] credits for 100% of the tenant spaces". Frequently in CS you're allowed to substitute lease restrictions instead of actually complying with the credit requirements when the requirements of the credit are not in your scope of work.

I've listed my thoughts on the lack of interior paints in a CS project issue, but I'm not certain of anything I've posted about it. Anyone who could help clarify these issues would be extremely helpful! Please share your experience by posting a comment!

Jump to earlier post on how primers fit into the VOC limits.


Pamela said...

I'm currently working on a CS project where we were wondering about this too. I asked the USGBC about this situation and they feel that even if you do not paint the interior, you cannot guarantee that the future tenants will not. It seems they only feel comfortable giving a point for low VOC measures in lease requirements if you require each of the credits under EQc4. I still don't neccessarily understand the all or nothing on this. If you require tenants to use low VOC paints but not carpets, isn't that better than not requiring anything at all?

The key thing is whether or not there is a possibility for someone to add paint to the interior. If so, than I guess you can't take credit. I think the only CS projects that receive this point are those that paint the interiors and do not allow tenants to paint at all.

tsugaguy said...

the 5th lady from the right is compliant. she's not as much of a pink floyd fan though!