15-0309 v3.X Permanently Installed Equipment

Question:

Our project is a large winery that includes a sizable production facility. We are committed to achieving full Living Building Challenge certification, including the Materials Petal. As we’ve embarked on this project, it has come to our attention that there has been ongoing ordering (over the past year) of equipment that may be placed at the new winery. We would like clarity on the following issues: 1) What is considered permanently installed when it comes to winemaking equipment? And 2) How do we establish a timeline for vetting materials, given that orders involving contractual obligations have already been made?Permanently Installed EquipmentGuidance from the Materials Petal Handbook states that “equipment that has no permanent connection to the structure of a building or utilities [...] does not need to be tracked for Red List.” The winery owners do not consider winemaking equipment permanent, as it is changed out and also moved between facilities as required by the peculiarities of season and harvest. (This equipment runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the winery needs the flexibility to bring it in and out of its facilities as needed.) Most of the electrical equipment has soft connections so that it can be moved, however, we are concerned that because we do bolt this equipment in place for safety reasons, that LBC could consider it "permanent." This would be a less optimal decision for our team for a number of reasons, only some of which we could work around.Previously Ordered EquipmentThe winemakers did not contemplate the Red List requirements of the Materials Petal when ordering winemaking equipment last year, both because they were not aware of the Materials Petal goal for the new facility, but also because the equipment was destined for another winery altogether. We anticipate that it will be moved into the new winery at some point, though, and we realize this may cause a conflict with the Materials Petal down the road. In fact, this dialogue post was sparked by an issue with a nitrogen generator that we tried to catch before it was manufactured--so that we could make sure that it had no Red List ingredients--only to discover last week that it had already been delivered to another of our facilities. The significant cost and specialization of this equipment requires early contractual agreements, which in some cases we are presently bound by. For orders going forward, we are including language about avoiding Red List ingredients and working with our team to find alternatives (we are specifying this for all of our new orders, regardless of whether or not they are considered permanent). But this still leaves us with expensive equipment currently on order, which may find its way into the new facility.Request for a Bright-Line RuleIt doesn’t seem within the spirit of the challenge to remanufacture functioning winemaking equipment to conform to the Materials Petal. Doing so is not only cost prohibitive, but also wasteful from an environmental perspective. Given this, we’d like to request a bright-line rule for vetting winemaking equipment. Our suggestion for a balanced and reasonable approach going forward is to vet all new orders, with the exception of winemaking equipment that may be swapped out between facilities and that has no permanent connection to utilities (even if it is bolted in place for safety).Thank you for considering this new issue. We appreciate your ongoing guidance and support.

Answer:

It is acceptable to categorize industrial equipment as FF&E, even if it is temporarily bolted down for safety purposes, provided that it is intended for transport between facilities and that it is not hard-plumbed or hard-wired (i.e. has no permanent connection to the structure of a building or utilities). See Freestanding Furniture and Equipment (FF&E) in the v3.0 Materials Petal Handbook (MPH p11). It is not necessary to track ingredients of FF&E equipment for I-10 Red List.


Post ID 2722

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