LEED Updates Impact This Winter’s De-Icers

The Ashkin Group, the professional cleaning industry’s leading advocate for green and sustainable cleaning, is advising building owners and managers, jan/san distributors and facility service providers that as of January 2015, LEED has redefined the requirements for LEED-compliant de-icers.   This update is especially important for those facilities that are now LEED-certified, are seeking LEED certification, or follow LEED’s direction in maintaining a green and sustainable facility.

What is likely the key update is that de-icers-used to help melt snow and ice to help prevent slips and falls must now contain essentially 100% calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).  This means that many of the de-icers that previously met LEED requirements are no longer permissible.

According to the update, de-icers that contain more than 5% of the following ingredients are no longer considered environmentally preferred:

• Sodium chloride

• Calcium chloride

• Magnesium chloride

• Potassium chloride

• Potassium acetate

• Ammonia-based products

These substances are permissible if they are in quantities less than 5%.   Additionally, the new LEED updates require that facilities implement a de-icer quality assurance monitoring program. This involves tracking such things as:

• When and where de-icers were used.

• If the de-icer was used prior to snow events.

• If areas were shoveled prior to de-icer application.

• Climatic issues such as the amount of snow over the season and the temperatures when the de-icer was applied.

While the update is effective as of January 2015, building owners and managers do have 3 years to phase out the use of de-icing products that are no longer environmentally preferred.