I hope you like math

On April 29, 2016 by Tommy Linstroth

Do you remember the good old fashion TI-85 Calculators from back in the day? That sweet device where you could somehow play Tetris for hours on end? Even in the world if iphones, tablets, and everything else, I still miss that sweet, simple Tetris…

But enough reminiscing. Another reason for the old TI-85 dust-off is that it now has surprising relevance to LEED v4! No, there’s not an ID credit for Tetris (dammit!). But there is a unique nuance that from all the clarification I’ve been able to receive from USGBC is that to earn the Low-Emitting credits for both Adhesives and Sealants, and Paints and Coatings, you must track the volume of every single product used to demonstrate compliance. As the credit states, for interior paints/coatings and interior adhesives/sealants applied on site – At least 90%, by volume, must meet the emissivity requirements.

That’s a lot of tracking across the 20-30 products typically seen on a jobsite! For paints/coatings, it should be a bit easier – maybe 5 product types, large cans, etc. Just covert gallons to liters (of course it is in liters!), which according to my handy TI-85 is 1 gallon to 3.78954 liters for a few products and your set.

But adhesives and sealants? How many 4 oz cans of sealant are there? 8 oz cans of PVC cement. Tubes of caulk. Sealant pens. Oh sh*t! You’re going to need an adhesive accountant to keep track of that. 1 liter is 33,814 oz, in case you were curious.


For the new credit, the total number of points are based on compliant categories – 2 categories for 1 point, 4 for 2 points, and 5 for 3 points (for NC w/o furniture). My gut says project teams will be better off punting on adhesives and sealants, and getting those categories through flooring and composite wood for one point, and ceilings, walls, thermal, and acoustic insulation and paints/coatings for the second point.

Green building and LEED construction are tough enough without counting ounces of carpet adhesive.