This credit focuses on diverting waste from landfills by finding multiple alternatives for end uses of the waste, namely recycling, reuse on site, donation for reuse on another site, or resale. All of these diversion methods count towards credit compliance—50% construction waste diverted for one point, 75% for two points.
Look for opportunities to prevent the generation of waste on construction sites because the less waste you generate, the less you have to recycle or reuse to earn the credit.
There are two different approaches to recycling construction and demolition (C&DConstruction and demolition) waste: separating materials at the source (onsite), or commingling them and sending them to an off-site waste sorting facility. Either approach can work well. Your choice will depend on whether there is room for sorting onsite, whether the contractor is willing to take that on, and if there are good sorting facilities nearby.
The ease or difficulty of this credit depends on project-specific and regional conditions.
The general contractor (GC) is responsible for developing the CWM plan early in the construction process, if not before (during preconstruction). The GC does this in collaboration with the project team and is then responsible for implementing it, verifying that it is being followed throughout the construction process, and documenting the results.
Waste generated off-site, even for modular construction and pre-fabrication of major assemblies is not accounted for in the MRc2 calculations. MRc2 looks only at the management of waste generated onsite.
LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10265 made on 01/01/2013 provides the best official guidance for this situation. The approach that is approved in that situation involves multiple buildings, all being certified to LEED-NC. The ruling allows the project to track together all demolition and construction waste diverted, and to then apply a weighted average based on gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. to each LEED project. Each building must meet the required threshold for waste diversion in order to earn the credit and in addition, the Construction Waste Management (CWM) Plan must outline goals for diversion for each building, not just as an aggregate across all projects.
If your project is in a similar situation but with different specific circumstances, LEEDuser would recommend adopting that advice as closely as possible, while accounting for any differences in a way that meets the LEED credit intent. Some projects may want to get an official ruling—either a CIR or LEED Interpretation.
Yes, materials that would otherwise be waste, but that are diverted from the landfill to be salvaged or reused can contribute to MRc2.
No. Hazardous waste does not count and it is excluded from the numerator and denominator portions of the credit calculations. You may want to include a brief narrative on the hazardous waste you found and how your project abated the material.
There has been some debate about this, since on the one hand this waste does not qualify as typical C&D waste, but on the other hand it is waste generated onsite, which this credit is intended to address. LEEDuser's experts recommend including this waste because it falls under the broader definition of waste generated onsite, and because reduction, recycling and diversion programs can be extremely effective in reducing the quantity of this waste. Having workers pay attention to this waste makes them more aware of overall job-site recycling, and not mixing lunch waste with construction waste like scrap metal increases the recyclability of the construction waste.
USGBC has ruled (for example, see LEED Interpretation #10061) that diverting waste to incineration facilities does not contribute to MRc2, but that Wood Derived Fuel (WDF) does meet the intent of this credit. As that ruling states, "The WDF process differs from incineration processes that are not allowed in this credit because the recycling facility provides a value-added process; it is a service that exists to sort and distribute materials appropriate to the highest end uses possible. In addition, the revenue generated by the WDF commodity helps to make this business successful and thus facilitates recycling of wood to other end uses as well as recycling of other materials."
According to the LEED Reference Guide, land-clearing debris includes soil, vegetation, and rocks.
Use the solid waste conversion factorsEstimates are presented in customary U.S. units. Floorspace estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 square foot is approximately equal to 0.0929 square meters. Energy estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 Btu is approximately equal to 1,055 joules; one kilowatthour is exactly equal to 3,600,000 joules; and one gigajoule (109 joules) is approximately 278 kilowatthours (kWh). in the LEED Reference Guide to account for recycled materials in dumpsters billed by volume.
It is typically better to use project-specific diversion data when you can get it, and this data should typically be accepted in a LEED review. However, there are other options.
There are LEED Interpretations such as LEED Interpretation #10060 made on 5/9/2011 that allow use of a facility-wide recycling rate, if approved by local regulators. On similar lines, a 5/9/2011 addendum added this note to the LEED Reference Guide: “For commingled recycling the average annual recycling rate for a sorting facility is acceptable for recording diversion rates only when the facility's method of recording and calculating the recycling rate is regulated by a local or state government authority.”
Either identify a hauler with a strong recycling program, or research and find local recycling facilities to which you can send your hauler.
Research the waste management system:
Check local government websites for recycling programs. Also search for other ways to put materials back in circulation, such as exchange programs and brokers. For example, pallets and packaging can be sold or given away through these programs.
Construction materials vary with project location and building type. Some materials are easier to recycle than others. For example, copper wire and steel studs are readily recycled into new products, but vinyl tiles may not be. Research and specify what materials can be recycled, reused, or salvaged in the project’s municipality or region—and design with these materials so that waste scrap can be diverted from the landfill. For example, specify carpet from a manufacturer that has a take-back program, or ceiling tiles that are easily recyclable. Using precast concrete will avoid waste generation from in-situ concrete that will help in total waste generated.
Demolition projects can give away furniture, computers, and other equipment. Projects can also reuse items like doors, and crush demolished concrete and other paving materials to be reused as fill onsite. Demolition and renovation jobs can present many opportunities for salvaging items like wood timbers, architectural detailing, stonework, and millwork for reuse on another project, sale, or donation.
Research and use manufacturer “take-back” programs as much as possible. Manufacturers increasingly take back equipment and materials at no or low cost to the project. These programs are common with certain equipment and computers, ceiling tiles, and carpeting, for example.
Develop a list of construction materials from the budget estimate.
Determine if the waste will be measured by volume or by weight and keep it consistent. (Most projects pursue measurement by weight instead of volume.)
Target materials that are plentiful and either heavy or voluminous, depending on your documentation approach, and that are easy to recover and recycle to meet the 50% or 75% credit thresholds.
If discarding a lot of heavy stone, metal or masonry products, it will probably be more advantageous to track weight.
If discarding lots of packaging, insulating foam, and other light materials, you may prefer to track volume.
Selecting the right waste processor can minimize cost, but you have to strike a balance between cost and the feasibility of using that waste processing plant based on distance from the site and whether the hauler will agree to use that facility.
Recycling often generates revenue for the hauler who may then reduce the fee for the project. It also generates savings by reducing landfill tipping fees, which is beneficial to the contractor.
Contractors may claim that the CWM coordination and administrative oversight cost more money than recycling is worth, but many good contractors have figured out how to do CWM and can make it work for the same amount or less than typical trash hauling. This is somewhat dependent on the location of the project and available local resources.
If dealing with an existing building and a large amount of material is salvageable, consider deconstruction and materials salvage as an alternative to demolition. The contractor will have to oversee the process carefully. Many resources are available on deconstruction. (See Resources.)
Deconstruction will add extra cost to the project due to the additional labor required to take materials apart, remove nails from wood, and maintain material integrity. Ideally, the contractor will find a buyer for the materials to help offset these costs.
Thinking long term, consider what design decisions can increase the likelihood of deconstruction further down the road when specifying materials and systems to be used in the current project. Material selection and assembly type can impact how materials may be deconstructed and reused at the end of the building’s life-cycle.
Perform a site survey to decide whether deconstruction makes sense. This will depend on how the building was assembled and the value of the materials to be salvaged.
Deconstruction is a good practice for maintaining a building material’s integrity so it can be reused. It certainly diverts waste from landfill and contributes to credit compliance as waste diversion.
Typically, good materials to salvage via deconstruction include wood framing, steel columns and beams, hardwood flooring, multi-paned windows, architectural details, plumbing and electrical fixtures, hardware and cabinetry, and high-quality brick work.
Renovation and restoration projects are good candidates for deconstruction.
There are industry standards on good practices for deconstruction as well as directories of experienced contractors, such as the Deconstruction Institute (see Resources).
Deconstruction can take longer than demolition. Project teams should estimate whether the extra labor spent on deconstruction can be offset by the value of the salvaged materials. Other benefits to weigh include the environmental benefits of reduced waste and avoiding use of new resources, and publicity benefits for materials reuse.
The project team should discuss the appropriate recycling process, including whether sorting will occur on or off site. This decision may be made after the general contractor joins the team. Both options have pros and cons (see table).
Early in the project, the architect should be involved in the plan to schedule construction and deconstruction with the contractor.
Hire a general contractor early in the project to discuss the deconstruction process and phasing.
Integrate CWM plan and MRc2 requirements into the construction specifications.
For guidance on how to write LEED specifications and CWM requirements into construction documents, see MasterSpec (see Resources).
If separation is occurring off-site at a comingled or mixed-debris processing plant, make sure the processor or recycling facility can provide documentation for the amount of waste processed, by weight or by volume, as agreed, as well as a diversion rate from the facility. This could be either a project-specific diversion rate supplied by the facility, or a letter from the state regulating body with the facility's average rate of recycling.
Waste prevention is an important part of CWM.
Orienting the GC to the tracking tools early on and providing on-going support to the CWM effort is critical to success.
The GC and project team should hold an orientation meeting to review all LEED-specific issues related not only to recycling and reuse, or salvaging, but also to reducing waste onsite in general.
The GC develops the CWM plan.
A CWM plan is an action plan for how to deal with construction and demolition (C&D) waste. At a minimum, it needs to identify what the recycling goals are, what materials will be recycled, reused or salvaged, which materials will be landfilled, and the estimated amounts of each (either by volume or by weight, but consistently throughout the project), processors that will receive the construction and demolition waste, and onsite procedures for achieving the stated goals.
Developing the CWM plan is the responsibility of the contractor but, ideally, the project team should work together to come up with a thorough CWM plan that addresses not only recycling, but also reusing and salvaging as many materials as possible.
In developing a CWM plan, take into account regional constraints, and weigh the feasibility of recycling or salvaging materials against other environmental factors, such as the impact of hauling waste long distances if recyclers are far from the project site. In such an instance, if site conditions allow, one strategy would be to stockpile material to be hauled only once or twice during a project to cut down on transportation cost and associated environmental impact.
Source separating, or onsite sorting, can yield the highest recycling rate and the best price for materials. Try to encourage the contractor to locate separate containers onsite to sort the materials.
Providing a sample CWM plan and guidelines on how to communicate it to subcontractors and workers can help to minimize any hesitation on the part of the GC.
Hiring construction teams that already have LEED experience and are familiar with CWM is helpful for credit achievement. They may already have developed CWM plans, have existing relationships with haulers and recyclers, and know how to train construction field personnel in CWM practices and track diversion rates.
Review LEED requirements with contractors during the bidding process so that they understand their responsibilities.
Subcontractors should be contractually required to implement their part of the CWM plan. Accountability is key to successfully implementing a CWM plan.
Hire a special deconstruction contractor if required.
Provide a deconstruction-detailed drawing and specification with specific handling instructions for each material to be removed, such as whether it will be salvaged and sold, reused onsite, or marked for recycling.
Require measures for deconstruction in the CWM plan.
The GC is responsible for implementing the CWM plan and making sure the recycling and reuse goals are met. (The GC should make sure to review the action steps and tips associated with developing the CWM plan, above.)
Provide training for each contractor and subcontractor about the CWM plan and the importance of documenting it. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding recycling goals. Make each training session specific to that trade.
As new subcontractors start work on site, have a LEED orientation session as part of safety trainings or other jobsite orientation meetings.
Consider designating a recycling coordinator (most likely someone in the GC’s office) to deal with all issues both onsite and off-site pertaining to CWM and making sure the plan is implemented properly and followed by all involved.
Weekly construction meetings should include an update, with a biweekly or monthly report collected by the LEED consultant, architect or owner. The CWM plan should outline this step, but it is important to make sure that all subcontractors and the GC are working together to comply during construction.
The contractor should communicate with all subcontractors about the recycling policy to make sure it is being followed. Recycling activities should be discussed regularly at job meetings.
A designated recycling coordinator can facilitate communication with all field personnel and address problems in the field promptly. This can reduce the risk of getting to the end of construction and falling short of diversion goals when it is too late to do anything about it.
The GC and recycling coordinator should track the deconstruction process and make sure requirements and specifications are being met.
The deconstruction contractor submits sales receipts, donation receipts, and recycling weight tickets to the GC or recycling coordinator, so the diversion rates can be included in the CWM tally.
Preserving materials for reuse reduces waste disposal fees.
Train the staff on how to streamline onsite waste sorting. Identify champions within each subcontractor’s team to lead the CWM effort for their teams.
Designate a separate area to place bins for recycling. If waste is commingled (for off-site separation by the recycling center), some additional space is still required to keep wet waste and other garbage apart from recyclables.
A good CWM plan will include measures for waste prevention so that less waste is created in the first place. Consider requesting subcontractors to ask their vendors to use minimal or take-back packaging. As an incentive, specify that all subcontractors are responsible for returning pallets or recycling their packaging.
Use signage to support the CWM plan—reminding subcontractors to sort waste appropriately. Post signs on the sorting bins, garbage cans, and throughout the site. Signs should include whatever languages are needed to communicate with workers on the jobsite.
The recycling coordinator tracks onsite waste recycling every month, or with every filled bin, to stay on track. The bins may fill at different times, depending on the material. Every time a bin is emptied and weighed, fill in the data on the tracking sheet.
In cities where tipping fees are high, a lot of waste haulers separate waste automatically, just to avoid the fees, so contractors and subcontractors may have to source-separate onsite anyway.
Consider fencing recycling areas, screening recycling and trash dumpsters from the public or locating them in an inconspicuous area. Neighborhood “use” of dumpsters to dispose of old mattresses and other furnishings is a problem that contractors deal with regularly, especially in cities where disposal of bulky items is expensive. On the other hand, in areas where there are limited resources for construction waste recycling, projects can stockpile wood and other potentially desirable construction waste and make it available to workers and the community to take home. This material can then count towards diversion.
If separation is occurring off-site, make sure recyclables are not contaminated with other garbage and wet waste. Provide separate containers for food waste and miscellaneous garbage and mark all containers clearly and prominently.
Keeping coffee cups and food waste out of recycling bins can be especially challenging. Use clear signage to prevent this and make it easy for food waste to be properly disposed of by providing trash cans clearly marked and in various locations on the site or at each building level.
If separation is occurring off-site at a mixed-debris processing plant, make sure the recycling facility can provide documentation for the amount of waste processed, by weight or by volume, as well as monthly recycling rate information, which is required for documentation purposes.
Keep an ongoing log of weight tickets and receipts. The GC needs to track construction waste throughout the construction process. It is crucial that contractors request and keep all receipts and weight tickets from recycling companies to prove that diversion goals were achieved, as well as letters from recycling companies certifying their monthly recycling rates.
Maintain a project log to input all the monthly reports in one place. This will track project waste recycling rates and provide an alert if the average is lower than the target of 50% or 75%. Address these shortfalls early in the process to ensure that final diversion rates can be met.
LEED project managers should provide contractors with tracking or log-book forms to simplify the tracking process. See the Resources section for the LEEDuser CWM tracking calculator.
Waste amounts must be tracked consistently, either by weight or volume. If materials are very heavy, it is best to use the weight approach. Most waste processors track by weight, anyway. But this will depend on what the bulk of the project’s waste is made of.
Do not include land-clearing debris or excavated soil or rock in your calculations. Even if diverted from landfill, it is not to be included in the credit calculations. Contractors often think that trees and stumps are still part of the diverted waste, but take them out of the LEED credit form and supporting documentation if the contractor includes them.
Compile construction waste recycling data from all the monthly reports, and complete your LEED documentation online for submission to the USGBC.
Monthly reports from recycling facilities, showing their average monthly recycling rates, are an appropriate form of documentation for this credit.
Build on construction waste management practices for future renovations and remodeling.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors
To divert construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities. Redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process and reusable materials to appropriate sites.
Recycle and/or salvage nonhazardous construction and demolition debris. Develop and implement a construction waste management plan that, at a minimum, identifies the materials to be diverted from disposal and whether the materials will be sorted on-site or comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility.. Excavated soil and land-clearing debris do not contribute to this credit. Calculations can be done by weight or volume, but must be consistent throughout. The minimum percentage debris to be recycled or salvaged for each point threshold is as follows:
Establish goals for diversion from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities and adopt a construction waste management plan to achieve these goals. Consider recycling cardboard, metal, brick, concrete, plastic, clean wood, glass, gypsum wallboard, carpet and insulation. Construction debris processed into a recycled content commodity that has an open market value (e.g., wood derived fuel [WDF], alternative daily coverAlternative daily cover is material (other than earthen material) that is placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. material, etc.) may be applied to the construction waste calculation. Designate a specific area(s) on the construction site for segregated or commingled collection of recyclable materials, and track recycling efforts throughout the construction process. Identify construction haulers and recyclers to handle the designated materials, and seek verification that the diverted materials are recycled or salvaged, as intended. Note that diversion may include donation of materials to charitable organizations and salvage of materials on site. For commercial interior projects the recycling rate for the landlord’s demolition activity (before delivery to the tenant) can contribute to the project calculations for this credit if the team so chooses.
Source for receiving salvaged or deconstructed materials.
Waste management solutions - New York only.
New York City's only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials.
A step-by-step guide on deconstruction for contractors.
Template for writing specifications on construction waste management as part of the MasterSpec licensed spec system.
Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers sample spec language.
Sample CWM Plan.
Resources Guide to developing a CWM plan.
This is a resource database of contractors proficient with deconstruction and organizations, distributors, or contractors seeking material to salvage.
This website from the California Integrated Waste Management Board contains information on recycling and the use of recycled-content materials. The site includes many publications available for free download, such as sample construction and demolition debris recycling specifications.
This online database contains information on companies that haul, collect and process recyclable debris from construction projects sorted by zip code.
CMDepot is a place where you can buy & sell excess construction material, tools, & equipment. You simply login, submit a listing of your excess material, and wait for a buyer. If a buyer contacts you, you can work out payment details and a delivery method.
Comprehensive web page on construction waste management for large projects, with links to other resources.
WasteCapTRACE is an online documentation program for tracking construction and demolition debris recycling. It generates a custom construction waste management plan, provides a forum in which multiple team members can record data, and outputs reports and charts for your LEED submission. WasteCapTRACE is priced on a per-project basis, with fees linked to project square footage (like LEED application fees).
PlanetReuse is a nationwide reclaimed construction material broker and consultant company. They make it easier to use a wide variety of reclaimed materials in new projects as well as help find new projects for building materials being deconstructed, guiding owners and contractors through every step of the process. LEED documents are also provided for waste management documentation.
This guide is developed by wastematch.org, an organization that matches donors to recipients.
Model specification language that can be used by architects and engineers who want to reduce waste during construction.
Use clear signage such as in these example to keep construction and demolition waste separated for diversion purposes.
Use a tracking sheet and calculator like this one to monitor your credit compliance.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each CI-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
This document provides key tips and sample tracking sheets and checklists for your project's construction waste management (CWM) plan.
If you use commingled construction waste management, in which CWM is commingled and weighed off-site or calculated using a recycling facility's average diversion rate, you'll need special documentation to justify your rates for LEED. This sample was provided by Sustainable Solutions Corporation.
Complete documentation for achievement of MRc2 on a LEED-CI 2009 project.
We have a CI project undergoing demolition where we needed to excavate under an existing concrete slab. After the slab was removed, we found 'garbage' under the slab. This 'garbage' is made up of uncompressed dirt mixed with leftover masonry and cement and leftover mixed construction debris from when the base building was built 100 years ago. This is not technically excavated soil, it is not hazardous, but it is also not recyclable. The 'intent' language in this credit specifies 'recyclable recovered resources' so would this material be excempt from compliance with this credit?
I appreicate your thoughts on this!
Alejandra, I sympathize with the situation here, but if everyone just excluded from their calculations stuff that was not recyclable, then every project would earn the credit. The idea is to encourage teams to try to recycle or divert as much as possible, even stuff that is difficult to deal with. Does that make sense?
The kind of debris you're describing can often be diverted for use as clean fill.
Could you clarify what yo mean by 'clean fill'? Do you mean for cut and fill on site?
Alejandra, I mean cut and fill onsite, yes. This could be on your site, or on another site, and would still count as landfill diversion.
The sentence right above the CI 2009 MRc2 chart clearly says: 'Documentation is required for commingled waste only' but this requirement also seems to apply to 'diverted' waste (by further defining 'diverted' as 'comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility.'). We did not submit the docs for 'diverted' waste, just for 'comingled' per that sentence. The reviewer took issue with not reporting comingled consiistently. The form seems to auto-define 'diverted' as 'comingled', therefore docs need to be requirred for both diverted and comingled. Has anyone else found this to be the case?
John - I interpret the form such that “diverted” is for site separated single stream waste - like metal or cardboard. Whereas I use “commingled” only if the waste was collected commingled on the site and ultimately diverted. You have to provide commingled backup with the completed form to show how the information was reported to you (project specific or annual diversion rate of the facility).
Was you “diverted” waste commingled? If it was, you should have selected “commingled” in the drop down menu instead of “diverted.” The v4.0 version of the MRc2 does not even let you check the Doc Provided checkbox for diverted.
Regardless of the classification, you should always have backup for everything you submit because the reviewers can request verification of your data - even if it does not say so on the form. However, sometimes you have to gently clarify your approach to reviewers.
Refering to my comment below, the only thing I can think of right now is to seperate the demo process into two parts. First, demo the plaster only from the walls and then demo the lath in a seperate step. I'm thinking the plaster can be recycled by seperating the lime and sand for other uses and the wood lath can be used as recylced wood. I need to research this idea a little more still, but if you have any other suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
Chase - My suggestion would be start investigating with your local demolition and recycling companies whether there is a market for the material. It may be costly to separate the lath from the plaster but you have to have a market for the end products before you go any further. Depending on where you project is located will dictate the market availability and sophistication. Your local contractors and haulers will be good resources as well as any waste authorities and landfills.
I am working on an interior renovation for a buidling that was built in 1907. All the walls are made up of lath and plaster and are going to be demo'd and replaced with new studs and drywall. I would like to know what our options are with this material for reporting to the USGBC (Can this material be recycled, reused, etc.).
Chase, with regards to USGBC and LEED, throwing this material in the landfill will count against you for MRc2. So you may want to look into diversion options, but that will depend on your local market as far as contractors and services that are available. I would be pessimistic about the chances of old plaster and lath being divertable from the landfill, but I could be wrong... anyone have experience with this?
I'm working on a project which seeks LEED CS for the base building and LEED CI for a companys spaces. Can the LEED CI-project eran this credit when the building is new and there is no renovating needed? Do we need to divid the waste so we can track the waste comming from the LEED CI project area? Thanks!
Mathilda, there is no requirement limiting this credit to renovations. Any construction project typically generates waste, and by diverting it you can earn the credit.
Regarding dividing the waste, that could be tricky. Is the work being done concurrently and by the same contractors?
Yes, the work is being concurrently and by the same contractor. There is three buildings in the CS project and one of them is also beeing CI cert. I think it will bee tricky for the contractor to divide the waste coming from one of the building (and just the interior right?), have you experience of this working?
An other thought; since the construction of the basebuilding will go on for several months before they start on the interior work, can the project set a date? For an example, the 1th june 2013 the basebuilding is considered done and now we work with the interior so all waste from now is counted for the CI project? MRc4-7 is also a bit tricky...
I have the same situation in one project – one CS and two CI certifications will be going on at the same time in the same building. How do I divide up the construction waste? We have no problem complying with the credit requirements but what waste do I associate with what project? I have asked for guidance in a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide but only received the answer to have multiple containers for each fraction, which is impossible on a crammed project site. It is not very environmentally friendly either, to drive three containers instead of one, when it is not needed.
In another project we have two CS projects that are being built simultaneously on a project site. They are identical, just mirrored. Am I allowed to just divide the waste in two and account for half on each project? We can’t have multiple containers here either.
It would be great to get guidance on this common issue! How can you practically solve this? I would like it to be assumed percentages dedicated to each project.
I have a similar situation in Newark. The base building is pursuing LEED CS began construction 6 months ago. Construction just began for my LEED CI project. Because the General Contractor is the same for both projects, the GC only has one waste contract.
The LEED CI tenant is 85% of the building. Should I track for only the months the CI project was under construction and a percentage of the total waste diverted?
Thanks in advance.
Maria and Jaclyn - Please consider looking at my post under LEED-NC - http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc2?page=1#comment-15245 - which explains a successful strategy I have used for multiple LEED and LEED and non-LEED co-located projects.
The LI mentioned there (https://www.usgbc.org/leedinterpretations/LISearch.aspx?liaccessid=2316) states that: “If the project team can devise and document a method that accurately assigns the waste from the two separate projects before combining, then this would be an acceptable compliance path.” The Applicability Matrix now lists LEED-NC v2009 as well as School, CI, and Core & Shell. Please note that I think the sub-referenced CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide 7/08/08 is referring to https://www.usgbc.org/leedinterpretations/LISearch.aspx?liaccessid=2220.
Jaclyn - You may be able to do a hybrid method and have waste that is specifically dedicated to the CS project and if construction is continuing for the CS portion while CI is underway, then you could look at dividing that waste by percentage for the remainder of the job (or until CS quits contributing).
Maria - I think it would be great if USGBC provided an administrative LI about this situationfor CS/CI projects. There is a 2013 LI asked for MRc2 in LEED-NC v2009 - https://www.usgbc.org/leedinterpretations/LISearch.aspx?liaccessid=10265 - which you should check out for your two CS projects. While the LI can be applied to CS, it cannot be applied to CI. Note that if you have CIR that you asked for your project, it can be tricky to ignore its advice - even if it is impractical.
Whern you burn a wood that was diverted from landfills, is it considered recycling??
No, incineration is not considered in LEED.
I am submitting a Two Stage LEED Assessment and I am not sure how to deal with credits such as The Site Waste Management Plan. Should I leave these construction related credits for now and inform the client of the anticipated score providing our advice is followed? Or should we attempt to provide information for these construction credits alongside the Design Stage submission?
Chris, in a split submittal, MRc2 is part of the construction-phase submittal, and would be expected to be deferred till then. (This phase information is in the Doc Toolkit above, by the way.)
We are shooting for 95% waste diversion on our LEED-CI 2009 project. It is a hospital renovation and the contractor and waste company were thinking of using the demo'd drywall and vct flooring material as Alternative Daily CoverAlternative daily cover is material (other than earthen material) that is placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging.. If we do that would that still count as waste diversion?
I seriously doubt the VCT could be considered for ADC. Have you tried researching take back programs from the flooring and vinyl groups? This would be a more preferable diversion.
Check out the other forums for conversations on gyp. bd as ADC.
We have a client that is building out a LEED-CI certified office space in a new location and will move from their current offices after the build out is complete. Almost all of the furniture from the office's current location will be donated after they move to the new location. The LEED Reference Guide indicates that calculations for MR Credit 2 may include salvaged furniture that is donated to other buildings. However, since the donated furniture is from the current office not the LEED project site, can we still include the donated furniture in our MR Credit 2 construction waste management calculations?
Secondly, the project is reusing a high-density filing system from the current location in the new location. We understand that this filing system would qualify for MR Credit 3.1: Materials Reuse; however, if we are not pursuing MR Credit 3.1, can we include the filing system in our MR Credit 2 construction waste management calculations?
Matt, I think the fact that your client wants to reuse their furniture is great, but I do not think that this could be applied to MRc2. The reference guide states that this credit addresses "how much waste material leaving the site is diverted from landfills." LEED precedent has shown that work performed outside of LEED project boundary (e.g. waste diversion) does not typically contribute to the relevant LEED credit. Similarly, I do not believe the filing system would contribute to MRc2.
However, it sounds like you would have sufficient reused furniture to achieve MRc3.2 - Reuse Furniture and Furnishings. This would especially be true if you can make a case that the high-density filing system fits under Division 12.
Would the donated furniture (if significant enough) be eligible for an ID credit? My client is decommissioning and donating (or diverting) all office furniture, carpet, partitions, ceiling tile in their current space.
Anyone have insight on whether this would qualify for a LEED CI ID credit for meeting the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. MRc3?
Jaclyn - My gut reaction is no - this donated furniture could not count* but your question might be better asked in the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. MRc3 forum or the CI IDc1. Did you check either of those forums?
* I looked at the GBCI LEED Project Submittal Tips for LEED-CI v2009 (http://www.gbci.org/Libraries/Certification_Resources/LEED_Project_Submi...) and MRc3 is not noted under EBOM for IDc1 on page 24, but I’m not sure that that resource is definitive. Also the requirements in MRc3 in LEED-EB:O&M state: “Materials considered furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) are not considered base building elements and are excluded from this credit.”
I am working on a existing building renovation. The existing roof, which will be demo'd, is asphalt roll with batt insulation underneath. Does anyone know of a company in the southeast US (or anywhere in the US) that will recycle this roofing material? There are numerous asphalt shingle recycling companies, but we have been unsuccessful in finding a place to take the asphalt roll roofing material. This is a large portion of our construction waste at this point and it will hurt our percentages. Thanks!
SB, my understanding is that recycling this material requires special grinding equpiment that is not yet in market use. (See the EBN article Better Choices in Low Slope Roofing.) I think if anyone is going to do it, it would be the manufacturer, though.
We are working on a CI project.
We have only three types of waste (mixed materials, mix of concrete and mix of gyps), with three different containers. All these materials are removed from the building site and diverted from the local landfill recycling them in another building site as backfill to stabilize a lot (without separation or sorting).
Is it correct to consider all these materials as "commingled materials" and document this diversion with a letter signed by the GC that describes this process?
Thank you in advance!
My first question is whether you are actually meeting the intent of the credit. You might want to check out the MRc2 CIRs. While I understand that the v2 public CIRs do not apply to your LEED v2009 project, it does provide some insight into what is acceptable to GBCI for compliance. Getting reusable materials back into service seems to be a significant portion of this credit, beyond simply keeping them out of landfills or incineration. Your concrete and gyp are two of those material types. Although there are CIRs that may appear to support the backfill type approach I thought you might want to be aware of at least 2 USGBC rulings below that clearly go the other way so you could plan accordingly:
6/19/2008 - Ruling
The applicant has requested acceptance of mine backfilling as an equivalent means of accomplishing construction waste management. Based on the description of the process, it does not appear that this practice will meet the intent of the credit. In addition to encouraging the diversion of debris from landfills, the credit intent includes an expectation that projects “redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process.” While it is recognized that using clean waste material from construction rather than other potential materials to back fill deep mines may be environmentally preferable, this practice is not aligned with the intent of the credit. The waste is in essence going to a “landfill” and the specific materials noted (gypsum and glass) are known to be potential feed stocks for manufacturing processes. By using them as fill material, the proposed practice is burying potentially valuable raw materials. Underground waste disposal is not a recognized means of recycling for this credit.
7/2/2008 - Ruling
The project team is requesting that on-site burial of concrete from the wash out area be considered landfill diversion.
No, the intent of this credit is to, “Divert construction, demolition and land-clearing debris from disposal in landfills and incinerators. Redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process. Redirect reusable materials to appropriate sites.” The described actions are not much different than creating micro landfills. While there are environmental benefits to on-site disposal in the avoided vehicle miles, the described actions do not reuse or recycle this material.
To answer your original question, no, these do not sound like comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. materials. If your containers of materials are already separated on-site by type and volume or weight are calculated individually for your project, then it is considered diverted and not comingled for entries on the LEED credit form. Your term “mixed concrete” and “mixed gyps” are a little confusing. Since it does not sound like these materials are being sent to the recycling facility anyway, then they would not qualify as comingled since you will not be able to get a letter of certification for the annual recycling rate of the facility, nor are the materials being separated off-site from what I can tell.
Thanks for your answer.
I was not accurate in the definition of the process, so I try again:
The general contractor separates on-site the gypsum material but it does not separate on-site the other materials (that are considered as commingled).
All these materials (gypsum+commingled) go out from our jobsite and they are tracked by waste haul receipts defining them with an European Code (that identifies the materials) and the Letter R for Destination of the Waste (R is for waste that will be recovered, D is for Landfill).
All these materials are used as backfill in another building site and the general contractor signed a letter in which it describe the process.
I know that for the intent of the credit we respect the first sentence (Divert construction, demolition and land-clearing debris from disposal in landfills and incinerators) but not exactly the rest (Redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process) even if we can consider that we Redirect reusable materials to appropriate sites.
What is your point of view?
You're allowed to divert materials from the landfill in this way, i.e. to use them as fill.
Our project is located in a nearby suburb of a very economically depressed city.
It is not uncommon to have copper stripped from live transformers and stolen from construction trailers and stolen from open installations before walls are enclosed.
However, I was surprised to hear that old HVAC equipment that was slated for diversion from the landfills (after the refrigerants had been removed, of course), had been stolen from our dumpster before the hauler could remove it, weigh it, and report it toward our diversion goals. As this equipment was quite hefty, it was a significant contributor to our overall percentage. Our dumpster area cannot be made any more secure than it already is for egress reasons adjacent to this area.
Is there any recourse to still be able to count this equipment by estimating what its weight might have been or do we just kiss its contribution to our totals good-bye?
Has anyone had similar issues?
Kathy: While I have not had this experience on any of our projects nor have I heard of a similar occurrence, I can simply offer an opinion as a practitioner.
I suspect that since you have no way of knowing how much of the stolen HVAC equipment will be reused or salvaged and what portion of the equipment might be dumped, my guess is that it would not be counted towards diverted weight since it cannot be substantiated.
You know more about whether this particular equipment was still serviceable making that the most likely motivation for the theft, or whether it was more valuable for its’ parts or as scrap metal. If you think it might still be in use and it is a very small community, you could have some fun with it and offer a small token reward for whoever comes forward to take “credit” for helping your team keep it out of the landfill! If they would give you a statement or just a photo of it in use, you are back on course. Or if they sold it for scrap, that is okay too! You just want substantiation it got diverted in some way. See if you can make the dumspter divers "partners in green"!
Though I can't help you with your current situation, I have experienced this as well on more than one project. We actually now request that our dumpsters have locking lids to prohibit this from happening in the future.
I have several projects in Texas and we are unable to get even a minimum of 50% on these two credits due to the new TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) rule indicating that sheetrock can not be accepted for recycling due to the fibers. With that said, would sheetrock be counted as a recyclable or hazardouse material and are there any other options? I know we can add it as a landscape componenet but in this area of the country we can not. We are having some big problems with this credit now that sheetrock is a total landfill material. With that siad, it basically means no projects in this area (or a large portion) will not be able to get this credit.
Any adivce or alternate ideas for sheetrock recycling?
First, I would make certain that you are interpreting the TCEQ regulation properly. My next question would be “what would it take to meet the new air quality regulations?” If the current recycling equipment and/or processes do not meet the required emissions levels or rates then perhaps that is the first source needing industry modification to reach compliance.
Work with TCEQ towards a solution. TCEQ is the agency who estimated in 2008 that Texas had only 31.6 years remaining until capacity was reached at its landfills. There are many stakeholders here that have a common interest in keeping the gyp board out of the landfills.
Check with specific municipalities as to how they are handling the regulations. Dallas for instance has a construction waste recycling initiative called SEE Less Trash that would be greatly impacted, in addition to their LEED initiative. Taking an advocacy role may not get you immediate results, but will help solve this in the long term. Check with Austin for their take on this as they have a long history of green construction policy.
Approach the Gypsum Association for advocacy towards an industry-wide solution. They may not be aware that this has arisen as an obstacle for their members.
Contact the big manufacturers of gypsum wall board specifically to see what they can offer in the way of solutions. Perhaps they would initiate a take-back program in the interim. Or get involved to help upgrade recycling equipment to meet the regulations.
Consider submitting a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide to GBCI on your hazardous waste question though I am doubtful that it would qualify in this category.
Finding an alternate to gypsum wallboard is possible, but probably not as economical.
LEED-NC and CS projects probably won’t find meeting MRc2 quite as great a hardship as CI projects, simply due to the higher proportion of weight drywall contributes to the waste stream for a fit-out. Collaborate with your contractor along with the drywall subcontractor to plan for minimizing waste. Create an incentive and make it a challenge to see just how little gyp waste they can generate.
Just thinking outside of the box here. I have heard of projects filling interior stud cavities with drywall scraps. Though unconventional, it would divert the material from landfill and actually bolster the acoustic performance of the assemblies (by adding mass). You would need to confirm that this does not compromise required fire rating of partitions and that the building official is on-board with the approach. Your contractor might have some feedback about the potential labor implications.
Rachel- are you interpreting this ruling as a measure that applies to all sheetrock or just those containing fiber? Can you cite the ruling, please? I have not witnessed any changes to sheetrock recycling, and none of our receivers or suppliers have commented. We have reached out to TCEQ and several waste management companies in our area, but feedback may take a day or so. Would love some more information from you as soon as you can. This took many of us by surprise!
Hi Rachel - this took us by surprise as well. We spoke to Shannon Herriott with TCEQ, and she stated that there is not actually a ban on recycling drywall in Texas.
She thinks what may have caused the confusion is that sheetrock (drywall) is specifically excluded from the definition of “clean wood material” for wood composting. So, companies who have a permit to compost only clean wood material cannot accept drywall. (Ref. TAC, Title 30, Ch. 332, part X).
However, there are a few companies who are authorized to compost drywall. They have to get a special permit to do this. Shannon referred me to an interesting online database called Recycle Texas Online: http://www5.tceq.state.tx.us/rtol/. You can search this database to find companies in Texas who can provide recycling for specific products.
In regards to David Intner's post about stuffing wall cavities with scrap gypsum board. I think that that would be a bad idea at best. You have not actually diverted that waste as it is still on site and will have to be dealt with eventually. The practice of stuffing waste of any kind into a wall cavity is not an acceptable practice in my opinion. Debris in a wall cavity creates a host for insects, adds to the building load, harbors moisture, and is a problem in normal building maintenance. Have you ever tried to run new wiring through a cavity packed with waste? Or tried to install molly anchors where secondary pieces of drywall are leaning against the top sheet? Most reputable installers that I work with clean out the cavity before closing it, the best use a shop vac.
A large project with a building slated for demolition - the demo package is completely separate from the construction package, and will take place half/full year in advance of construction. The right thing to do is to include the demo in CWM, but is it technically required?
In my opinion, the date the project is registered with the GBCI determines when your project formally declares its’ intent to pursue LEED certification and all requirements are in play. Having separate packages and/or contracts for the demo and construction work is insignificant.
If the project is registered after the demo work, it seems to me it then becomes more of an issue of how committed the team is to sustainability. This also represents an opportunity to be an environmental steward and leader in the community, provide deconstruction experience for a team, and create favorable public relations and branding opportunities for the project owner. You might also check to see if there are tax incentives in your area for deconstruction to support your business case. Run some numbers for the financial pros and cons of each scenario. Depending on the type and age of your building, there may be some real interest in the community for that salvage.
Yes, it is required. If you read through the MPRs there is a line in there about having to include all work done prior to construction that was necessary to be complete for the LEED building to be constructed (or some such). If the old building came down to make way for your LEED project, then you need to track it. We've had several projects where road work or demo work has to be included and we've had to coordinate with different contractors and architects.
I have a situation not too unlike the first question raised above. I have a core and shell project and a CI project within same building whose schedules overlap. Valerie Walsh's response is similar to the logic that we hope to implement, because dumpster staging is limited and seems wasteful to have duplicate dumpsters for tracking purposes alone. Can you elaborate on how you established % of waste stream for your project in the example? We considered evaluating the schedule of values for common materials to determine %s, but we could find a few flaws with that related to schedule (unless we come up with a multiplier for % complete?). We are also considering using daily construction activity reports as gauge.
We obviously need to make sure that our documentation methodology is sound before we commit to the process. Thanks in advance for your assistance!
We took the total amount of the waste stream for the entire retail re-development project and attributed a % to our LEED supermarket project based upon our building and site areas relative to the whole development which consisted of 800,000 sf of retail on a 62-acre site.
I am not sure if that translates to your situation. Depending on the project, core and shell materials can be greater in quantity and/or weight than those of a CI project, but that varies with scope of course.
Kathy, have you received credit for your projects yet?
I also have a CS and a CI project within the same building with overlapping time schedules. I might even have two CI projects in the building before we’re done. How can I separate the waste? There is no way to have different dumpsters for different projects (and make construction workers separate CS and CI waste!). Can I make a reasonable assumption and argument on how much waste that comes from each project? Our company’s goal is to keep 95 % of waste out of landfill, both CS and CI. Anyone else have experience?
We have an instance where the tenant is going into an existing building space and is being provided a "clean shell" as outlined in their lease agreement. The landlord removed the previous tenant improvements separately. The project team had no control over the landlord's means and methods, nor access to any information that might indicate how much material, if any, the landlord recycled in removing the previous improvements.
Since the demolition activities prior to the tenant beginning their work is outside of the tenant's scope and control, would the construction waste management documentation then be limited to the tenant's waste management during the improvements, beginning upon delivery of the shell space?
The construction waste management plan and documentation would begin with the scope the tenant has control over, which in this case is as you have stated, upon delivery of the the shell space.
In a retail project within a shopping center redesign, common dumpsters will be used during demolition and construction for all tennants. There will be co-mingled recycling and recycling rates are anticipated to be very high overall, but the retail store pursuing LEED-CI will not be able to separate out their specific waste from the waste of neighboring retail projects. Can the total amount of construction waste be used to achieve the credit for the single retail project if the overall diverted waste meets the 50 or 75% thresholds? There is no space to provide separate dumpsters for this project alone so this would be our only option. Have projects been successful with this approach in the past?
I don't have experience with this situation but it seems fundamentally the same as if your hauler were doing the waste diversion and reporting back to you their overall diversion rate for that time period. And that's allowed, so I would say you're good to go.
Anyone have experience with a situation like this?
We had a supermarket LEED project that was part of a 62-acre retail shopping center redevelopment. All of the demo waste was combined due to it being one demo contractor. We simply estimated the amount that could be attributed to our store site and used those figures.
The new construction waste phase was a new contractor with separated dumpsters just for the supermarket, so that was business as usual. This project was in the Retail Pilot and earned Gold. I would check the Retail Rating System for any new provisions related to applying this credit to Retail for ideas or guidance, even if you are CI.
i have recently found two CIRs for the older version of CI on this topic:
"CIR ruling dated 07/08/08 states that “individual buildings and spaces seeking certification need to be accountable for their individual construction waste management diversion rates and should be tracked and documented as such”. Based on this CIR ruling, the project team should note that the material resulting from the renovation of the non-LEED project cannot be commingled with the material from the LEED NC addition project. This inclusion of material would lead to inaccurate calculations for MRc2.1. If the project team can devise and document a method that accurately assigns the waste from the two separate projects before combining, then this would be an acceptable compliance path."
This would imply that the credit is not achievable where waste cannot be reliably and separately accounted for. Again, grateful to hear of others experience in Review!
LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, Managing Principal
Earthly Ideas LLC
Reused building components that don’t reach the MRc1.1 or MRc1.2 thresholds may be applied to MRc2 as waste diversion.
Hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead are not counted towards MRc2, but they may contribute to SSc1 – Path 1 if remediation is completed.
If onsite material is being reused but is not being counted toward MRc1 or MRc3, it may count toward MRc2.
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
LEEDuser members get it free >
LEEDuser is produced by BuildingGreen, Inc., with YR&G authoring most of the original content. LEEDuser enjoys ongoing collaboration with USGBC. Read more about our team
Copyright 2013 – BuildingGreen, Inc.