Defining Regularly Occupied Space: Outliers

While looking into a question about whether or not a particular fixture qualifies for task lighting (it did... I think), I stumbled upon a CIR that explained the differences between what is considered regularly occupied spaces (ROS) in a residential space vs. non-residential spaces.  That has since blossomed into me going through each applicable credit and seeing what pops up...

I decided it would be useful to summarize the ROS rulings for weird spaces here... Understand that I'm rather scant on details here, so if you have a space that sounds close to one of these below it's probably worth reading the full summary before making a final decision. Those with access can reach the CIRs here.


Get it?

In each case below, the rating system, credit, and ruling date for the applicable CIR are included for further research on your own.  In many instances, the rulings do not expressly state that some of these areas are or are not regularly occupied, but the inferences are fairly clear.  In some instances, a space may be listed both as ROS and non ROS based on very slight changes of use. I strongly recommend reading the original rulings if you think it may apply to your project!

Regularly Occupied

  • Shipping and recieving warehouses in an industrial facility (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 01.18.08)
  • Manufacturing floor in an industrial facility (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 01.18.08)
  • Prison cells in a prison(LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 08.13.08)
  • Reading/work stations for patrons at a library (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 10.22.07)
  • All spaces except closets, utility rooms, other storage areas, and bathrooms in residences (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 05.12.07 and revised 10.13.07)
  • Nurses stations in hospitals  (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.2 - 07.14.08)
  • Rarely occupied assembly halls in army facilities (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.1 - 05.12.09)
  • Courtrooms, holding cells, and jury deliberation rooms if no security requirements impede the ability for views in a courthouse (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.2 - 03.22.07)
  • A greenhouse in a school where classes or groups occupy the space as part of classes (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 01.24.06) 
  • Gymnasium, cafeterias, conference rooms, libraries, and staff lounges for faculty work in elementary schools (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 10.05.04)
  • Circulation paths within open office environments in offices (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 06.26.01)
  • "Roving scientist" desk areas used intermittantly in the California Academy of Sciences (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc8.2 - 12.21.04)
  • Industrial shop in a metal piping and duct fabrication facility (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc8.2 - 08.29.03)
  • Portions of warehouse space where truck receiving and unloading occurs and occupants work all day in an industrial wherehouse (LEED-CSv2.0 - EQc8.2 - 10.21.08)

Non-Regularly Occupied

  • Lobbies, circulation areas, and book shelf stacks in libraries (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 10.22.07)
  • Closets, utility rooms, other storage areas, and bathrooms in residences (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.1 - 05.12.07 and revised 10.13.07)
  • Exam rooms and break rooms in hospitals  (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc6.2 - 07.14.08)
  • Rarely occupied warehouse area when employees are assigned office space elsewhere in a warehouse (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.1 - 01.29.08)
  • (maybe) Simulation labs in a college facility (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.1 - 04.20.07)
  • Secure teaching labs (owner previously had issues with patent infringement) in a corporate training facility (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.2 - 10.21.08)
  • Courtrooms, holding cells, and jury deliberation rooms if security requirements impede the ability to allow views in a courthouse (LEED-NCv2.2 - EQc8.2 - 03.22.07)
  • Pick-up area/lobby for a food bank (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 08.09.06)
  • Recieving/Processing area where no employees are 'stationed' in a household materials collection facilty (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 09.19.06)
  • A greenhouse in a school where classes or groups do not occupy the space as part of classes in a school (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 01.24.06)
  • Staff lounge if only used for short breaks and not for faculty work in an elementary school (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 10.05.04)
  • Computer training and multi-media conference rooms in a multi-use building (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc8.2 - 05.24.04)
  • Field house and competition gym in a... field house and competition gym? (LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc8.2 - 03.04.03)
  • Sales stations where only final sales are completed (otherwise employees are on the floor with customers) in a retail store (LEED-CI - EQc6.1 - 02.24.09)


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to clarify whether open circulation space around open workstations is included in square footage for daylighting calculations. Can anyone help me out here?

joelmckellar said...


As listed in the post above, there was a CIR on this under the 2.0 edition. They were considered regularly occupied in that instance, but it is probably worth reading for yourself: See LEED-NCv2.0 and 2.1 - EQc6.1 - 06.26.01


Anonymous said...

Is performance space defined as "regularly occupied"?

I am working on a project which consists of mainly a large converted warehouse into an event-based performance space. The space will not be conditioned (heated or cooled) since it is an old building and the project is in a temperate climate zone. Question: is this performance space considered regularly occupied space in LEED terms? Thank you for your input.

mmr said...

Regularly & non-regularly occupied spaces for LEED projects are defined under ASHRAE 62. You will note most of the credits listed requiring a differentiation between the two space types are under IEQ where ASHRAE 62 predominates.

Roxanne Button said...

Whew, that's quite a list, Joel! But I did find the answer to my question there, so thank you for compiling it. I have an athletic facility, and I'm trying to figure out which spaces are "regularly occupied" for the purposes of EQ 8.1. Looks like 90% of the building won't count! Too bad we put so much daylighting into the field house and rink ;)

I'll take a close-up look at that CIR, and also at ASHRAE 62, just to be sure.

hunter mckenzie said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful list. I am currently wondering if a raquetball court would qualify as a regularly occupied space. Anyone have experience with this?