As part of the effort to reduce the presence of “chemicals of concern”, LEED has addressed the use of pesticides by calling for Integrated Pest Management (IPM), either as a credit, or as a project prerequisite:


IPM, used for decades in agriculture and structural pest control, calls for a systems approach to reduce the number of pests, and the amount of pesticides applied to crops and structures.

IPM is often explained by using the “IPM Pyramid”.  IPM’s objective is to minimize the use of chemical pesticides (the red area) as well as the lower impact biological pesticides (the yellow area). 

The IPM Pyramid


Pesticide minimization is best done (the green area) by having a culture of cleanliness and inspection, and by designing pest barriers into the structure.

Below is one key IPM requirement which impacts the design and build community:

Nonchemical pest preventive measures, either designed into the structure or implemented as part of pest management activities.” (highlighting by Polyguard)


When you design nonchemical pest barriers into a structure, you are using the IPM systems approach.