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Occupied vs Unoccupied rooms and LEED Report
Occupied vs Unoccupied rooms and LEED Report

How to categorize a room as occupied vs unoccupied in drawing.tool and generate a room by room LEED report

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

When running an analysis related to the indoor environmental quality it is crucial to categorize all spaces as either occupied or unoccupied.

  • Occupied rooms/spaces - are enclosed spaces intended for human activities and occupied for long periods of time.

  • Unoccupied rooms/spaces - are places intended primarily for other purposes; they are occupied only occasionally and for short periods of time—in other words, they are inactive areas. Examples include mechanical and electrical rooms, closets in a residence, egress stairways, data center floor areas, inactive storage areas in a warehouse or distribution centers, etc.

Why do we have space categorization?

Indoor environmental quality (EQ) features are designed to focus on the interaction between the occupants of the building and the indoor spaces in which they spend their time. This allows for key concerns surrounding the health and comfort of building occupants to be considered especially in the spaces they spend their most time occupying. For this reason, it is important to identify which spaces are used by the occupants, including any visitors (transients), and what activities they perform in each space. In building performance analysis, spaces should be treated differently depending on the space categorization.

With the introduction of the occupied vs unoccupied feature in drawing.tool, it's possible to categorize spaces according to the analysis you are trying to run. You can read more about them in the LEED Standards and ASHRAE 62.

Step-by-step workflow for drawing.tool

Follow these simple steps to do the same.

  1. Create your building model in drawing.tool.
    If you are using a plugin (Revit, Rhino, Sketchup) to export your geometry, once you get the "Export successful" message in your plugin, go to the drawing.tool.

  2. A prompt that will detect your exported geometry will be displayed, click on yes and wait for a few minutes while the import is in progress.

  3. Go to the 2D mode by clicking the 2D icon on the top left corner of your drawing screen.

  4. On each Level, select the room/rooms in the plan that you want as unoccupied.

  5. To do this, in the properties panel on the left, uncheck the box against "Occupied" which is checked by default for all rooms in the model.

  6. Once all rooms have been assigned, switch to the 3D View and click on export 3D Model button to run analysis only on the regularly occupied spaces.

  7. From the following Export pop-up dialog box navigate to 3D analysis.

  8. Finally, on the 3D Analysis Page, you can also generate a LEED Report that will provide room-by-room results in an Excel sheet. (Note: LEED report can be generated only when the geometry is exported through the drawing.tool)

LEED Automated Report Details

The automated Excel report contains the necessary details required for the Daylight & Quality Views LEED credit submission.

  • For Quality Views, it contains total quality views, type 1-90° sight lines, type 2-sky & context, and type 3-unobstructed view (%). Here's a sample:

This approach saves time over the manual method of calculating the sDA and ASE % by leveraging automation that is implemented in drawing.tool.


  1. What's the difference between Regularly versus non-regularly occupied spaces?

    Occupied spaces are further classified as regularly occupied or non-regularly occupied, based on the duration of the occupancy. Regularly occupied spaces are areas where people normally spend more than one hour of continuous occupancy per person per day, on average in space. For spaces that are not used daily, the classification should be based on the time a typical occupant spends in the space when it is in use. Occupied spaces that do not meet the definition of regularly occupied are non-regularly occupied; these are areas that people pass through or areas used an average of less than one hour per person per day.

  2. What are some Tricky Spaces when determining whether a space is occupied or unoccupied?

    The following room types will be classified as follows based on their specific analyses.

    Auditoriums - Exceptions to Daylight and Quality Views are permitted.

    Gymnasiums - Exceptions to Quality Views are permitted.

  3. Why am I not able to Create LEED reports?

    LEED reports can only be generated when the geometry is exported from drawing.tool. You will need to follow the steps in this article to assign occupied and unoccupied spaces in your building and then export your geometry to 3D Analysis from drawing.tool to unlock the "Create LEED Report" button.

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