This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Pesticide management

Approximately one billion pounds of pesticides are used in a typical year in the U.S. alone. Pesticides and herbicides contaminate rivers and streams, and seep into groundwater through runoff. A U.S. Geological Survey conducted in the 1990s detected pesticide compounds in virtually every stream in agricultural, urban and mixed-use areas, as well as in over 50 percent of sampled wells assessing ground water in agricultural and urban areas. Atrazine, one of the most widely used pesticides, is a suspected endocrine disruptor and is associated with cardiovascular problems. Long-term exposure to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, may lead to kidney problems and reproductive difficulties.

Part 1: Pesticide Use

Pesticide and herbicide use on outdoor plants is eliminated, or hazards are minimized through one of the following:

a.14 The creation of a pest management plan in place of pesticide/herbicide use, based on Chapter 3 of the San Francisco Environment Code Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
b.14 Use of hazard-ranked pesticides based on screening lists described in Table A2 in Appendix C.

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Pesticide Use P P -
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Pesticide Use - P P P P

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Pesticide Use Operations Schedule

San Francisco Department of the Environment. Integrated Pest Management Ordinance. Published 2011. Accessed September 14, 2014


The San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Integrated Pest Management Ordinance assigns hazard tiers to pesticide products from lowest to highest concern.


The San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Integrated Pest Management recommends that pesticide products be used as a last result, only after other non-chemical management options have been exhausted.