Sustainability with Pesticides and Pests

If you visit the website of the International Well Building Institute and search the term “pesticides”, you will find literally thousands of links. Pesticides are clearly a sustainability concern.

Pesticides contaminate both water and air, and are associated with cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine disruption, kidney, and reproductive problems. Moreover, as buildings become increasingly airtight, there is a paradoxical effect of trapping any contamination from pesticides inside the building.

In addition to downgrading the comfort and livability of a structure, the health risk from pests themselves is well documented.

Minimizing the need for pesticides is behind the appearance of LEED prerequisites and credits relating to Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. The intent of IPM, as expressed by the LEED authors is “to minimize pest problems and exposure to pesticides”.

“Non-chemical pest preventive measures….designed into the structure”

Note that the LEED credit requirements include “Nonchemical pest preventive measures…..designed into the structure….”

It is now possible to address pest and pesticide problems by upgrading the building envelope to exclude termites and pests using TERM non-chemical barriers. This is the portion of Integrated Pest Management where both designers and builders can create a new level of sustainability.

See LEED v4 documentation for TERM Barriers:

 


 

Because TERM™ contains no harmful chemicals, federal and most state regulators classify TERM™ as a “device” or “barrier” as opposed to a “pesticide”.  TERM™ Barriers are designed to sustain exclusion effectiveness for the life of the structure.

LEED IMP Points image

https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/pesticide-devices-guide-consumers

1 – LEED Credit EQ 5 – Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control:

Provide test results demonstrating the ability of a product to physically block termite access into a structure.

2 – LEED Credit ID 1 – Innovation in Design:

Provide test results documenting environmental and health benefits obtained through physical blocking of insects and other pests from entry to structure, therefore reducing need for application of pesticides over life of structure.

3 – LEED Credit EB 3.9 – Indoor Integrated Pest Management:

Provide test results documenting the ability of the product to physically block termite access into a structure.

4 – LEED for Homes Credit SS 5.e.ii – Pest Control Alternatives:

Provide test results documenting the ability of the product to physically block termite access into a structure.

LEED – IAQ     /    LEED – IMP

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