The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Buildings that want to become certified in LEED® participate in one of five programs; the program that pertains to green cleaning is LEED® O+M (Building Operations & Maintenance).
The LEED® program was recently updated to its newest version, LEED v4®, which includes many changes to the layout and credits of the program, including those relating to green cleaning. The LEED v4® green cleaning credits and changes in the new version are explained below. The category of LEED® O+M that contains the green cleaning credits is the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) section.
LEED v4 Green Cleaning Credits
|Green Cleaning Policy
|Enhanced IAQ Strategies
|Custodial Effectiveness Assessment
|Score 2.5 or less
|Products & Materials
|75% of purchases
|40% of purchases
|Integrated Pest Management
|Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
IEQ Prerequisite 3 – Green Cleaning Policy
This prerequisite is required for all LEED® O+M certifications, and requires facilities to establish a written program for green cleaning. New to v4 is a second option for facilities to use a cleaning service contractor that is certified by Green Seal’s GS-42 or ISSA’s CIMS-GB.
IEQ Credit 2 – Enhance IAQ Strategies
This credit addresses entryways and walk-off matting. Facilities are required to have at least 10 feet of walk-off matting to capture dirt and particulates at the entrances of facilities. New to v4 is the requirement that these systems be cleaned and maintained at least weekly.
IEQ Credit 6 – Green Cleaning – Custodial Effectiveness Assessment
This credit requires cleaning personnel to perform an annual audit in accordance with APPA guidelines. New to v4 is the requirement of a passing score of 2.5 or better (lower), changed from 3 or better.
IEQ Credit 7 – Green Cleaning – Products and Materials
This credit requires facilities to make at least 75% of its product purchases (cleaning chemicals, paper products, trash bags) be green-certified products. LEED v4® raised the requirement from 30% to 75%, but also opened up qualified green-certified products to many other certifications.
IEQ Credit 8 – Green Cleaning – Equipment
This credit requires that 40% of all equipment meet LEED’s® green criteria, doubled from 20% in the previous version. Any equipment that does not meet this green criteria must be placed in a phase-out program.
IEQ Credit 9 – Integrated Pest Management
This credit requires a pest management program that encompasses use of pesticides, herbicides, and disinfectants. LEED® gears this program toward the use of non-toxic products and limiting exposure to these products. LEED v4® combines indoor and outdoor pest management into one credit.
Whether or not your facility is trying to get LEED®-certified, it is always a good practice to try to follow these requirements. Using these enhanced green cleaning methods can make your facility cleaner and healthier, produce less waste, and use less chemical.
For more information on LEED v4®, its requirements, and how to obtain certification, visit the US Green Building Council website. For help on developing your own green cleaning program and more green cleaning resources, check out our White Paper on LEED v4® and visit Multi-Clean’s Green Resource webpage.