20-0702 v3.X Alternatives to Battery Back-up in Multifamily Housing


Given the information below, it is our understanding that we may provide a package of resiliency strategies as an alternative to the battery back-up for 10% of lighting for one week.
We are faced with the following realities of a multifamily project aiming to serve as a hub of "resiliency for communities in times of crisis" (per pg 8 Energy Petal Handbook v3.1):
  1. Primary concern during an emergency is resident safety and access to information/resources.
  2. Battery needed to meet original requirements (10% of lighting for one week) would cause substantial environmental impact, see Reference #1 below:
  3. Mining for battery metals is energy intensive and causes emissions that can lead to acid rain.
  4. Life of battery is ~15-20 years (degrading over time), which would not contribute to a lasting, durable project.
  5. End-of-life adds lithium nickel magnesium cobalt oxide (NMC) to landfill, which can contribute to contaminating soil and groundwater.
As an alternative we propose the following resiliency measures as part of an overall multifamily resiliency plan:
  1. Emergency Preparedness Plan, managed by Building Management
  2. Emergency Planning Orientation for Residents - annually
  3. Addresses building plan for response and recovery to various emergency types: power outage, fire, air pollution, extreme weather, earthquake, pandemic, etc.
  1. Evacuation routes, posted on each floor and within lease package
  2. Designated meeting points to access resources and gather (both inside and outside building)
  1. Floor marshal designation and training - volunteer resident on each floor that 'sweeps' floor for residents during evacuation, particularly common areas and ADA tenant meeting location
  2. Fire lookout - in event where power outage lasts longer than fire alarm function
  3. Encouragement to have unit-specific plan, specific to needs of family/community within leasing package
  4. Note: Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard Credit 8.2 Emergency Management Plan will be used as a guide, see Reference #2 below.
  1. Emergency Kits, for all units
  2. Small battery packs for cell phone charging
  3. Lighting, hand crank flashlights
  4. First aid kits
  1. Community Provisions
  2. Emergency food supply: e.g. enough for 400 people for 3 days via high calorie food bars
  3. Potable water, ability to filter via standalone system (e.g. Berkey filter): e.g. ability to filter 960 gallons per day
  4. Shared refrigeration source and/or an ice machine for residents to keep critical materials (e.g. medications, breastmilk) cool. In power outage, this would be powered on a natural gas generator (see other Dialogue post - link here: Emergency Power Systems - Toilet Flushing).
  1. https://cen.acs.org/materials/energy-storage/time-serious-recycling-lithium/97/i28
  2. https://www.commerce.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/hfu-esds-v3.0.1.pdf
Please confirm this is acceptable.


Your proposed alternative to battery backup is generally acceptable with some expansion. There are two additional points you must address in order to use this alternative resiliency pathway:

  1. Thermal comfort. Specifically, how will occupants maintain thermal comfort if a power outage occurs during the most extreme (again, in terms of thermal comfort) weather days of the year?
  2. Resiliency for one week. You must elaborate on how these described provisions will sustain life for one week without power.

You may proceed with this alternative resiliency pathway with the understanding that additional information must be provided to the auditor on the above two points.

ILFI will post a formal pathway or Exception for other teams to use in the future as an alternative to the battery backup requirement under LBC 3.0 and LBC 3.1.

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