Documenting this credit can take time, since cost and exact percentages of post- and pre-consumer materials must be collected for each recycled item used.
LEED requires the base materials budget to be consistent across all MR credits. The LEED Online credit forms help provide consistency across MR credits by applying the same data to multiple credits. Materials used to earn this credit cannot also be counted for MRc3: Materials Reuse, nor for MRc7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System., but they can contribute to MRc5: Regional Materials and MRc6: Rapidly RenewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). Materials.
The 10% point threshold is easy to achieve for this credit, especially if your project has a lot of concrete or steel. There is also an increasing number of products on the market that have recycled content, making the 20% threshold achievable for some projects. Concentrate on buying “big ticket” items with high recycled content levels. Depending on the building construction, you will generally get more (due to a higher cost) out of tracking the recycled content of concrete and steel over lower cost items like tile.
Analyze your budget early in design to help inform which materials are more important to specify as having recycled content, this is dependent on your project construction type. Doing your homework early can prevent costly change orders during construction. Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates.
Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer."), or post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product.. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%.
DPost-consumer plastic being collected for recycling.on’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. (See the Recycled Content Assembly Calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.)
People sometimes confuse recycled content material with material reuse and with construction waste management, but they are different:
Recycled Content material, covered in MRc4, has reused content as a result of the industrial process of making the product—for example, recycled-content carpet may be made of recycled plastic bottles.
Material Reuse, covered in MRc3, is the use or repurposing of material from a previous place or role—for example, buying antique wood doors salvaged from an old church.
At this Denver building under construction, the raised floor panels being installed have recycled steel. Photo – YRG SustainabilityConstruction Waste Management, covered in MRc2, is the act of diverting materials from the landfill during the construction process by sending to a place where the material can be repurposed, such as a salvage yard or recycling plant.
Try getting clarification from the manufacturer. If you can’t get any further information, you should take a conservative approach and assume that it is pre-consumer.
LEED is very clear that no MEP or specialty items can be counted in the MR credit calculations. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that MEP items are very expensive relative to their weight, and including these materials skews the calculations and performance thresholds achieved. Also, LEED considers the performance of mechanical equipment paramount, and so consideration of these materials really falls under performance based energy and water credits.
Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.
No. Per 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. #10246, recycled content claims must be specific to installed product. Average regional and national claims do not meet the credit requirements.
This Interpretation has been misinterpreted, however, to mean that recycled content figures must come from specific plants. That is not what USGBC intended. It is allowable to use a company- and product-specific national average, as long as the company has performed the necessary tracking to assure that that average is accurate at the product SKU level.
Yes. LEED Interpretation #10246 does not apply to steel and teams may still use the default value of 25% post-consumer recycled content. Many steel products have higher levels of recycled content, however, so it may be advantageous to track down product-specific recycled content information.
Site materials (31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) that are permanently installed can be included in the MR credits. Just be sure that your material budget assumptions and material costs are consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7.
Based on review comments that LEED users have reported, LEED reviewers are on the lookout for inaccurate recycled content claims in cases where a manufacturer is claiming pre-consumer recycled content for scrap material that comes off the end of a product line, and is put back in to the same line. According to common definitions, this should not be considered recycled content. This practice is common with certain kinds of glass, and metals like aluminum. Keep an eye on your documentation and do your best to make sure it is valid. If you are asked to justify a specific claim, you could get more documentation from the manufacturer, or plan on having a cushion in your credit threshold.
MRc7 counts only new wood, and MRc4 counts recycled content, so there is no overlap in the credits. You must choose one credit, and not double-dip. For products with FSC Mix and recycled content claims—including many MDF products and complex assemblies that include MDF—LEED Interpretation #10372 clarifies that project teams have to choose which "environmental attribute" they will use to classify the product, and it (and its dollar value) will either go into an FSC "bucket" or into a recycled-content "bucket."
Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.
Look at opportunities to use recycled content materials for the project’s potential “big ticket” items.
Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include: steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates. There are more and more products in nearly every category that use recycled content as a way to help LEED projects earn this credit.
The decision to use recycled content material can help guide design decisions, such as using recycled-content steel framing instead of wood framing. However, only letting recycled content drive basic design decisions may be shortsighted and lead to tradeoffs with other credits, not to mention other environmental impact areas. Look for materials that contribute to multiple LEED credits.
This credit can often be achieved at no added cost, as there are many products with recycled content that building projects already use.
Use LEED point calculators built into online product catalogs such as those powered by ecoScorecard to streamline data collection and generate submittal documents:
Begin by creating a baseline materials budget. This is the total amount of money that will be spent on building materials. Use the Materials Calculator from the Documentation Toolkit to compile the baseline material list in a way that facilitates adding information on environmental attributes.
Your material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. The LEED Online credit form helps ensure this automatically.
In your materials budget include the material cost (excluding labor) of all construction items and Division 12: Furnishings. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and equipment costs are excluded.
You must use the actual budget of all materials purchased in the above CSI categories. The default 45% materials budget option that is available for other rating systems is not available for CI projects.
The LEED-CI Reference Guide does not explicitly mention what CSI division items to include in your baseline material budget. Based on the NC, CS, and Schools rating systems you should include items as defined in CSI MasterFormat Divisions 3-10. Foundations and sitework don’t apply to most LEED-CI projects.
Include in your materials baseline budget, the material cost (excluding labor) of all items that apply under CSI MasterFormat 2004:
How do you know what amount of recycled content material you need to incorporate in your project? Look at the baseline materials budget. Determine how much you need to spend on recycled content materials to reach the credit thresholds. To earn one point, allocate 10% of your material budget; for two points, allocate 20%. Go through your project’s preliminary budget and identify which items could be purchased with recycled content, and what percentages of recycled content they can contribute. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?
For some CI projects, like high-end office buildings, furniture costs can be equal to or greater than building materials. Choose furniture that helps the project gain multiple MR points—for example, the materials could be locally harvested and contribute to MRc5 while also having recycled-content materials contributing to MRc4.
Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Don’t fail to earn this credit because you waited until all the materials were purchased before calculating whether you used enough materials with recycled content to gain the LEED credit.
Research products by looking at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to see if a product contains recycled content. Often a product will appear to meet the credit requirements, but you'll need to ask for more specific information from the manufacturer—see the Documentation Toolkit for examples of this.
Instead of tracking recycled content in everything, focus first on big ticket items, materials like steel, drywall, furniture, and flooring to see if you get enough value to earn the credit. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If big-ticket items are not enough, target a medium-priced item next, and so on, until you reach your goal.
A single product or material can contribute to multiple LEED credits. For example, a chair made locally, with urea-formaldehyde-free, recycled, composite wood contributes to MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and IEQc4.4. Not all credits allow this double-counting. Materials counted here cannot also count towards MRc3 nor MRc7—although separate components within a product can. If a product has both certified wood and recycled content steel, for example, each component can contribute to earning the appropriate credit. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes also can limit the overall number of items that must be tracked.
Don’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrial) or post-consumer recycled content. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%. See the Documentation Toolkit for a Recycled Content Assembly Calculator. For example, if a piece of plywood costs $100, it has 40% pre- and 15% post-consumer content. How much of the total cost can be counted towards this credit?
Steel is a special case—all steel is made from recycled materials, and it is the only material for which LEED allows you to claim a default recycled content value (25% post-consumer) without providing any documentation. Some steel has 90% or more recycled content, however, so you’re better off documenting the actual amount if you can try to get documentation from your suppliers showing their post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content.
Drywall can be specified with synthetic gypsum, which is a byproduct or removing sulfur from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, and counts as pre-consumer recycled content. Before using it, however, check to see if it made in your region because the environmental impact of trucking it long distances is likely far greater than any benefit of using it instead of natural gypsum. Either way, the paper facing on drywall is almost always entirely post-consumer recycled.
When a product is made of multiple components that have different recycling rates, note the following special considerations.
The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by separating each component as a percentage of the total by weight, while accounting for the value of pre- and post-consumer recycled content. See the assembly example below, and a calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.
Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight.
Using the project’s estimated budget early on to integrate materials with recycled content in the design and specs can help prevent costly change orders during construction.
Revisit your baseline materials budget as the design evolves to make sure the numbers remain accurate and that you remain on track to achieve your goal for the credit.
Research specific products. Incorporate recycled content product requirements into individual construction specification sections.
MasterSpec and the federal Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources) offer guidance and sample specification language on how to incorporate LEED specifications in construction documents.
Incorporating the LEED requirements directly on the drawings as well as in the specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements.
Analyze the initial cost budget to know what materials the project can target and incorporate LEED requirement language accordingly into construction specs for those specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not filling out forms for materials that are not recycled, or that have so little cost value that it is a waste of time.
Whenever possible, designate in the construction specifications that contractors use specific sources you have verified as suppliers of recycled content items. This will help save research time for the contractors and ensure credit compliance.
Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include copies of any submittal documents that the subcontractors and general contractor may need to fill out.
The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED construction-related issues, such as IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental materials tracking tools, and construction waste management.
LEED documentation and materials tracking are usually the GC’s responsibility even though specific materials selection may have been already determined by the architect or designer.
The GC should hold an orientation meeting with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.
Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)
Enabling coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.
Before construction begins, research additional recycled product material availability, not already researched during the design phase to ensure that the project earns this credit. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to carefully review data sheets and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product.
The contractor starts gathering and environmental data and cut sheets from subcontractors for approval.
The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product submittals and tracking forms.
Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.
A master spreadsheet facilitates information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.
Assign a responsible party to input the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the Materials Calculator (see Documentation Toolkit). A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role.
Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Material Reporting Form and transfer it into a master spreadsheet for all the items being tracked for each product across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, recycled content information for MRc4, and information about adhesives installed onsite for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. See the Documentation Toolkit for spreadsheets you can work with.
Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials that contribute to LEED credits is a requirement for LEED MR credits. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because there are always hidden markups in the materials that subcontractors purchase at wholesale. However, you can simply include the product markup when breaking out a product’s material cost from installation and labor costs.
Transfer all the data collected in the Materials Calculator spreadsheet (see Documentation Toolkit) to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.
Only a random 20% sampling of product cut sheets need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit.
Keep a list of sustainable materials used on the project so that operations staff can use these products for future renovations.
Develop recycled content material procurement recommendations into a purchasing policy. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification, that would fall under MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors
To increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.
Use materials, including furniture and furnishings, with recycled content1 such that the sum of postconsumer2 recycled content plus 1/2 of the preconsumer3 content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project. The minimum percentage materials recycled for each point threshold is as follows:
The recycled content value of a material or furnishing is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components cannot be included in this calculation.
Establish a project goal for recycled content materials, and identify material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified recycled content materials are installed. Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.
Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.
The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.
MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.
This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.
Use this spreadsheet to determine the value that a given material or assembly contributes to the recycled content calculations for this credit, based on the type of recycled content in the material or assembly, and the percentage by weight of the assembly that contains recycled content.
Look to product cut sheets like these for recycled-content information on products you're specifying or considering specifying. Note that while all three of these examples appear to contribute to MRc4, in all cases more information is needed from the manufacturer (see PDF annotations).
Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
How much recycled content should you look for in key building products? What other sustainability criteria apply? This sample sheet from a project shows how one team set guidelines for different product areas.
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."
In all my 40 LEED projects I have never included labor and delivery to a material's cost total. I received the following comments and am at a loss as to how to respond:
Let me also be clear that this is for MRc4, not MRc7.
The LEED Form states that 23.7% of the total building materials content, by value, has been manufactured using recycled materials. However, in order to demonstrate compliance, the following must be addressed.
1. It appears that the Plyboo Sierra Sahara Strand and Plyboo Dimensional Lumber were sold to Mission Bell rather than to the General Contractor or the Owner of the project (a.k.a. the end-user) which may indicate that these products are raw products that are part of an assembly and therefore it is unclear if the FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Chain of Custody (COC) has been in place until the assemblies reached the project site. Entities which modify the products packaging or form (except as required for installation) must have a CoC Certification. It is unclear whether Mission Bell has and/or requires a Chain-of-CustodyChain-of-custody (COC) is he path taken by raw materials, processed materials, and products from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution. A chain-of-custody certificate number on invoices for nonlabeled products indicates that the certifier’s guidelines for product accounting have been followed. A chain-of-custody certification is not required by distributors of a product that is individually labeled with the Forest Stewardship Council logo and manufacturer’s chain-of-custody number. Chain of Custody (CoC) certification requirements are determined by Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Standard 40-004 v2-1. (CoC) certification.
2. It is unclear if the total cost of assemblies, instead of raw materials, have been included in the calculation, as required. Provide a narrative which describes the Chain-of-Custody for Plyboo Sierra Sahara Strand and Plyboo Dimensional Lumber including how the products were used in the project. Explain who manufactured, distributed, modified, and installed the products. Revise the calculation as necessary to include the cost of whole assemblies, including labor to construct the assembly and delivery to the project site. Ensure that this information is reported consistently throughout all MR credits. Provide additional invoices as necessary to confirm any revised costs. See 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. 10296 for further information.
I'm not the resident expert here, but we have had comments returned on many projects that were just flat wrong. We have had success contacting GBCI prior to returning our clarifications and shown them the comment, given our view on it with concrete reasoning or language from the Reference Guide, and asked for them to clarify.
I would try that here for sure.
First thought, can you lose this product and still hit your recycled content goals? If you're already past the finish line, quit running.
Second, the response seems consistent to me. it appears that the Plyboo was sold to a subcontractor who then supplied it to the job. If you reported the cost of the Plyboo to the subcontractor you have the wrong number. You need the number the contractor paid which would include any labor costs incurred by the subcontractor in changing the plyboo (assuming they did that). So the GBCI is asking you if you have all the costs included. You may or you may not, they want you to verify.
Here's hoping the link to the LI works: http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10296
I don't have any of the products reporting any recycled content. That is what is frustrating. The price was the price from our Subcontractor, correct price from them.
Aren't all/most materials sold to the Subcontractor for installation through a GC? This isn't anything new, why they are calling out two products doesn't make sense.
Also, this isn't MRc7, it's MRc4. I don't HAVE TO HAVE a COC for the products. It is extremely trying to make sure you have the matching invoice once it meets our hands. This isn't a requirement for MRc4, nor LEED as a whole.
The only part of the reviewer's comments that make any sense in regards to MRc4, is to verify the total materials budget is correct. The FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. comments are only applicable to MRc7 (or 6) and the 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. they cite (10296) is a ruling on Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. products. You definitely need to contact the GBCI for clarification, as the reviewer's technical advice is not applicable to the credit.
Sandy - It looks like you got a variety of good advice from Emily, Susan, and Charles' responses above. I would add that I gotten some really off-base review comments in the past but that that has not happened as much since GBCI began hiring qualified internal reviewers. That said, contracted review teams are still doing reviews and may not be as versed as internal reviewers...
I agree that the Technical Advice does not make sense for MRc4. I would contact GBCI via http://www.usgbc.org/contact and select the Certification Question button. Then select Questions about Review Comments from the Category List.
Lastly, I've always included delivery of materials to the jobsite as part of the cost of the material. Page 245 of the 2nd edition (May 2011 version) of the LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction states: "Materials costs include all expenses to deliver the material to the project site. Materials cost should account for all taxes and transportation costs incurred by the contractor but exclude any cost for labor and equipment once the material has been delivered to the site." I think that the labor that the review comment is referring to is the assembly labor, which should be included also as that labor would be to put the assembly together before it comes to the site. You should consider your methodology of excluding transportation (and maybe labor - depending on when it occurs) from the material costs.
The 2011 language is interesting...Do you think this is an instance, like Addenda, where it may depend on when your project was registered whether the later clarified language applies?
Emily - I believe this language was present in the first edition (April 2009) version of the ID+C Reference Guide but my first edition version is corrupted and I can't confirm that; however, this language is present in the April 2009 (first edition) LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction. I don't think this is new info. I've always considered the cost of a material to be the cost that the project incurs, which would include delivery of the material.
Can anyone tell me if seashells can be a recycled content in the manufacture of cement terrazzo countertops? I have seen some companies state that they are post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content but that doesn't make sense to me.
Dan - In order for the manufacturer to claim post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content for seashells, consumers would have discarded the shells. Have you considered asking the other manufacturer about the source of the seashells?
Maybe other LEEDusers have some insights?
...maybe if you look at the crustacean that once lived in it, as the original consumer? )
But you have to remember that the crustacean also built the shell. How do you establish the labor costs so you can properly report the material values? :)
...yes, not to mention that tricky "Sand Dollar" to US dollars conversion. )
but getting back to the original question, if the shells had been used as a fill material, or in some sort of landscaping scheme first, I guess that would be post consumer. Probably the best thing to do is ask the manufacturer about the source of the shells.
I did find one reference online about a “Mediterranean Plaster" technique that uses seashells recycled from the sea food industry...would LEED see that as post consumer?
I think we need to research the animal products in LEED Interpretations. My basic understanding is that if the animal survives, then it can count. But if the animal does not, then it isn't counted as sustainable material in LEED. There should be better conversations about that in the NCv3 MR credit 6 boards.
Interesting question. I previously advised someone that shells would not be considered rapidly renewable.
But I would see a reasonable case for shells from the seafood industry being post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled. There is no perverse consideration around whether a dead animal is "rapidly renewable." It could just be considered a technical matter of defining the place of the shells in the waste stream.
Susan & Tristan raise a good point about MRc6 excluding certain animal products. However, LI#2549, the Ruling that established this demarcation, dealt exclusively with the definition of "Rapidly RenewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). Materials," not recycling. Nothing else in LEEDv3 Reference Guides or addenda to extend this Ruling to other MR Credits. Even LEEDv4 only excludes animal hide from its “Bio-Based” definitions, not from other sustainable criteria. Finally, the recycled content definitions in ISO-14021 do not exclude animal products. Unless USGBC issues a clarification, nothing seems to prohibit counting seashells as reused, recycled, or regional. Still, you might choose to exclude them on principle.
If you choose to include shell in your MRc4 tally, Michelle & Tristan are right that it would be PRE-consumer if it comes as a byproduct of seafood processing, as Charles suggests. (POST-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. shells would be those that waiters at an oyster bar clear from the tables after a busy night.) Make your manufacturer justify their claim.
In the end, the point may be no more than an interesting mental/ethical exercise. Unless your project spends huge amounts on terrazzo countertops, the value of the tiny percentage of shell in them would be miniscule compared to the overall budget.
If a project is using less than 30% of the furniture budget's worth of pre-owned furniture, and thus not attempting MRc3.2, can that be used towards MRc4 instead? I am thinking that it is not really recycled content as it is still in its original form, but I am hoping to be wrong.
Susan - You should trust your gut. Pre-owned furniture used in its original form is reused - not recycled. Hence it can't be applied to MRc4.
My project is using aluminum and glass fabrications made in China and neither fabricators has any information about the recycled content. It seems like its just isn't something that is tracked in China. Does anyone has experience documenting default recycled content for any material but steel? I wasn't able to find any reference allowing that.
Thanks in advance!
Charles, I have never heard of success with this—in fact, it's explicitly not allowed.
How does one count the recycled content of fabrics used in furnishings? Do you have to separate out the cost of the fabric relative to the cost of the chair? If you have used a 78% post industrial recycled polyester on a task chair, how do you calculate the actual recycled content on this chair?
I think that you have two options:
1. Base your calculation on the price of the chair, including fabric: From the chair manufacturer, obtain a recycled content calculation based on the weight and composition of each component in the chair, including fabric. This way, if your fabric has 78% pre-consumer content, but comprises only 1% of the chair’s weight, the pre-consumer contribution of the fabric is negligible, only 0.78% of the entire chair. Using this method, the chair’s heavier metal and plastic components will probably contribute significantly more recycled content.
2. Calculate the recycled content of the chair and fabric separately: Ask the manufacturer to break out the cost of fabric from the cost of the rest of the chair and to calculate the recycled content of the unupholstered chair separately from the fabric.
Depending on the costs and compositions of the chair and fabric, one method or the other may yield a higher overall MRc4 contribution.
I know this is kind of out there, but we have a situation where the GC has only provided unit pricing for wall assemblies (per sf) and not a cost breakdown of the individual components. Using a typical wall detail, and the recycle content info from the drywall, metal stud, and insulation cut sheets provided, can I use the Assembly Calculator and come up with a cost/sf, that would contribute to MRcr4, then apply that to the total sqft of wall built, and get the USGBC to accept it? I realize the logical thing to do is to got back and get the component pricing, but we are getting short on time and I don't know how cooperative the GC will be at this point.
Charles - My first approach to your response was to follow your logical reasoning and get the pricing but your situation sounds challenging. I wasn't sure if the assembly methodology would be acceptable but a USGBC staffer indicated to me that it is acceptable to treat the wall as an assembly and use the weight calculation method. Good luck finishing your documentation!
Thanks Michelle. Hopefully it won't come to that; but as a last resort, it's certainly better than walking away from the points altogether.
I need help identifying what the latest acceptable( to Reviewers) M&R Calculator is for CI. The latest I can find from USGBC Is "IDC Materials and Resources Calculator (June 2012)" . Is this nolonger accepted by USGBC?? I note that under "Documentation Toolkit" LEEDUser lists a "LEEDUser M&R Calculator". Has this spreadsheet passed muster with the Reviewers?
Hello James, I wanted to let you know that offline calculators and other resources for all LEED 2009 ratings systems (including CI) have been added to the Credit Library. This is where you will find the latest CI MR Calculator http://www.usgbc.org/node/1731044?view=resources. Alternatively GBCI will accept the LEEDUser Calculator above.
Hi Sarah - Thanks for chiming in on this!
I was not aware that GBCI would accept an alternative MR calculator. The v04 version of the BD+C form indicates that you are to "Download, complete, and upload the Materials and Resources Calculator (found under "Credit Resources")..." Where is guidance given that an alternative version can be utilized?
Hello Michelle,over the years GBCI found that there are a number of project teams that utilize various resources for material tracking. The reviewers will accept any tool that has complete and correct information.
Hi Sarah - That is great to know! I guess I always took the forms at face value regarding the required uploads.
Thank You Sarah and Thank You Michelle for your comments!!
I have a follow-up question: If both LEEDUser AND USGBC version spreadsheets are accepted by Reviewers......Is there any advantage to using one vs. the other? This is such a time consuming credit to manage and document; any reduction in time spent would be welcomed!
James - My two cents is to use the USGBC version as it is more recognizable to the reviewers and there can be no red flags by using it.
The question i have pertains to the way information is placed on manufacturers websites and the validity of the information posted. The question i have is on recycled content claims for instance most large mills indicate on their eco specifications site that the recycled content percentage claims on their broadloom carpet are by total product weight. Which is what i was told is the correct way to make these claims. If a manufacturer does not indicate this information on their site than i guess it is safe to assume that the recycled content percentage claims are just totals and not by total product weight. Should'nt this be mandatory to assure the end user is getting the proper info. I am sure that the recycled content percentages will be lower once these calculations are made using the total product weight of carpet and backing. Is this true of false if not please explain. Thank You.
Michael - Manufacturers have come a long way in supplying information about their products. I know what it was like to look for LEED information related back in 2001.
In an ideal world, it might be great if everyone reported the information the way end users need it but that might be different depending on who needs the data. I still encourage you to contact the specific manufacturer and ask your questions. I can't speak to what is on their websites vs. elsewhere. You are correct that if the total product weight is factored in then the overall percentage would be less than if the value is just based on one component of the carpet (face fiber, backing, etc.).
I am working on my first LEED project so I apologize for this newbie question. on a 2009 CI project the subs have submitted invoices with a total bill with labor and materials as 1 line item.(no materials billing) They have filled out and signed the Environmental Materials Reporting form from LEEDuser, and provided cut sheets. My question: When submitting for LEED review should I submitt the invoice or should I just submit the Environmental Materials Reporting Form signed by the sub contractor?Thanks in advance for your advise.
Hi Shane - We were all there for our first LEED project so no worries about your question. My first question back to you is can you get the actual materials cost from your subs for the materials that have LEED MR attributes as indicated on the Environmental Materials Reporting Form? Since LEED-CI does not allow the use of the default 45% for material cost that is allowed in LEED-NC, you have to get these individual material prices in addition to the overall material costs. See Equations 1 and 2 and Default Materials Value in the MRc4 section of the LEED Reference Guide for Green ID&C.
Regarding your question, the backup you upload doesn’t have to back up the cost. It needs to support the environmental attribute claim (in this case, postconsumer or preconsumer recycled content). I would just upload the cut sheet they provide you and keep the other documentation (invoice and Environmental Materials Reporting Form for your records).
Thank you Michelle,--Yes, the subs have provided actual costs on the
Environmental Reporting Form (with a lot of encouragement of course).
I have one more question. How detailed should the breakdown be for similiar items that only vary in size or dimension..(other than wood products)? For example,our metal drywall studs and track have the same recycled content and manufacturing location, however some are 3-1/2" wide, 5-1/2" wide, some are radius pieces. Can all the metal stud and track be combined as one line item provided they have the same recycled and manufactring location?. Thank you again for your help and recommendations..
I am glad you have the actual cost - that is typically the hardest item to obtain...
You can easily group materials as you have described with the same recycled content and manufacturing location on a single line in the Materials and Resources calculator spreadsheet, which is used with v04 version and higher of the form and is uploaded to LOv3. You can also do this grouping on the v03 version of the form but I think the spreadsheet is a lot easier to update and edit than the form. Just give the line a descriptive name so you know what is included if there are any clarification requests. If you have the v03 version of the form and have not input a lot of information in already into it and other MR materials credits, consider having your project administrator upgrade the form(s) - https://www.leedonline.com/irj/go/km/docs/documents/usgbc/leed/config/co... and scroll down to How do I request a from upgrade?.
Several of the MR credits (3.1, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, and 7) rely on a "Material and Resource Calculator" spreadsheet to determine whether certain thresholds have been met, and this spreadsheet in turn relies on a user-input "Actual materials cost, excluding labor and equipment." My question is, how does one account for change orders in this "actual materials cost" figure? For example, if some doors are ordered and installed but then changed by the owner due to dissatisfaction with their appearance, should the total cost include only those doors finally installed or should it include both the cost of the initial doors and the cost of the final replacement doors?
Kevin - I advise the contractor to include the cost of change orders in the total cost used for the MR credits. In the situation you describe although the doors are included twice, I would still include the change order for the new doors because they are the ones that are included even though the original doors (and their non-use) are still part of the cost of the project.
Thanks, Michelle. If I'm to include the cost of the changed doors in this example, should I also include their environmental attributes (e.g., recycled content, certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. content)? This seems a slippery slope, where I would be including costs and attributes for materials not actually used in the final product. Or, alternatively, are you suggesting that the cost of the changed doors be included only in the final cost of the doors actually used (thus, effectively doubling the cost of the doors to account for the wasted materials)?
If the doors are not used in the project, then no - you shouldn’t count their environmental attribute(s). That is a slippery slope that you don’t want to traverse.
I was implying that you’d include the cost only of the changed doors in the total - in effect double counting the doors cost (original, unused and the new ones). Hopefully you can donate the original, unused doors and count the diversion as part of MRc2.
Where can I find the list of Divisions stating which materials are under which Divisions?
Please check out this post for information on CSI MasterFormat 2004 and materials in Divisions - http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc4?page=0#comment-38276.
I would like to know if water faucets, showers, and WCs are considered as toilet accessories under CSI division 10 or should they be considered MEP equipment and be excluded from MRc 4 and 5 calculations? Could the WC be considered to be furniture and be included consistently in MRc 3 through 7?
No and no. These items are plumbing fixtures. CSI and LEED are very consistent about that.
Thanks Susan for jumping in!
Johanna - The fixtures listed are specified in Division 22 and are not toilet accessories or furniture, and hence, they are excluded from the MR credit calculations.
I see that LeedUser has an assemblies calculator for MRc5, but there doesn't appear to be one for c4 - is that correct? I'm looking for something like the sample shown in the Reference Guide for this credit Table 2.
I don't think I'm going to get much out of the furniture for Regional (project's in Norway) but hoping I can for Recycled. The manufacturer has asked for a form to fill in, I can create one myself but was hoping there was one already made!
I do see the assembly calculator now but it doesn't exactly match the example in the reference guide. I suppose it'll be OK though.
Eric - Glad you found the assemblies calculator (called the Recycled Content Calculator) under the Documentation Toolkit tab. Even though it appears slightly different than the spreadsheet in the Reference Guide, the results are the same.
hand drier installed in toilets : should it be included in materials ? if yes under which CSI division it is mentioned
Usually it is specified in division 10 in toilet accessories.
In LEED NC there is an option to use default 25% recycled content for steel. Is this not applicabel to CI?
This should be acceptable across all LEED rating systems.
Adrienn - May I suggest checking the Reference Guide before posting a question here? Twenty-five percent post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content for steel is spelled out as an acceptable default value on page 246 of the first edition of the LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction.
I recA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources.'d product data for recycled content on the alum. frame stating material composed of 25% post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. primary, and 50% post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer." scrap.
The sub only enter the 25% post-consumer on his worksheet, but not the 50% post-industrial scrap, is this correct? thank you
Lee, post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer." recycled content, also known as pre-consumer, can be counted at half of its value, according to LEED.
I'm working on a LEED CS project and a LEED CI project wich will be located in the LEED CS project. The LEED CS building is beeing designed now and the design of LEED CI is taking place simultaneously. The project owner who gave me the LEED CS asignment says that tenants floor system, false ceiling, interior walls, wall finishing etc will be included in the tenant lease and therefore it will be included in LEED CS since it's the owner who decides on materials etc. If the tenant wants another kind of flooring, another kind of false ceiling etc they will have to extend the tenant lease and it will cost them more. This is the tenant outfit according to the owner. The tenant and the owner will agree on the layout of the different levels togehter.
If the tenant spaceTenant space is the area within the LEED project boundary. For more information on what can and must be in the LEED project boundary see the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) and LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance. Note: tenant space is the same as project space. material (not furniture) is what the owner have decide and is therefore included in the lease and therefore in the LEED CS what kind of materials will be left to do a calculation of recycled content, regional materials, certfy wood? Can we get these credits?
Mathilda, I think the owner is incorrect. Even though they are specifying certain materials in the lease, if buying and installing those materials is in the CI scope of work and budget, then they fall into the CI realm for LEED.
Just to clarify, in LEED CI (based on both the materail data spreadheet available on LEED online & in the LEED CI reference guide v2009) it states furniture cost is to be included in our total material cost for the calculations, is this correct? Unlike LEED NC (and other systems) which gives you the option to include this CI states it has to be included. Again just looking for clarification or if any addenda has come out stating otherwise.
Thanks in advance
That's correct, Chris.
The only wiggle room you might have on this is if the furniture is clearly not included in the project team's scope of work, and is purchased by the owner through an entirely separate process. Even then, it's a bit dodgy. Generally, the furniture must be included.
we just received a review comment in reference to this--stating that 'no matter who specifies and provides them, all furniture and furnishings installed at the time of occupancy must be included in the calculations for LEED-CI projects.'
This is a little frustrating, because we considered this purchase outside of the Scope of Work of our project (Tenant Fit Out was provided by leasor for the leasee with little interaction), but I don't think they are giving any wiggle room here...
Taylor - The LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction states on page 208 (2009 version): "Regardless of who specifies or provides them, all furniture and furnishings in the project should be included in the calculations for LEED for Commercial Interiors. Unlike in other LEED rating systems, project team do not have the option to exclude certain materials (exception: MR Credit 3.1)." There's really no wiggle room that I can see based on that.
We are having lots of issues using the IDC Form that LEED provides, i.e., form not saving, formulas not working. Has anyone ever mimicked the IDC spreadsheet and created their own to upload to MRc4?
Sean, I have heard of people doing this, but I've been asking around for confirmation that it is readily accepted by GBCI... anyone?
I have had my own form for MR credits accepted in previous projects. However, last month, a review for a LEED CI project came back with the following comment for each MR credit:
'The LEED Materials and Resource Calculator has not been provided as required. Note that this calculator may be downloaded from the Credit Resources tab of this credit'
So, I today I planned to translate my entire excel spreadsheet over - line by line to their format. But the IDC June 2012 is difficult to work with - you need to know the totals before you start, there are hidden columns for subtotals that is not standard excel formatting, and formulas are not secure, so it's very easy to overwrite a cell accidentally without knowing. I also don't get 'sustainable materials' and 'total materials' - if this is supposed to be a check - it's silly - the only way you know 'total materials' is because you've entered everything as 'sustainable materials'. Unless you've used the default 45% - which in LEED CI - you cannot do.
Nonetheless, it seems to me that reviewers have a difference of opinion as to whether the official IDC Materials & Resources Calculator is required and this is causing a lot of headache and busy work - twice. Can LEEDUser get an official ruling - and can reviewers stick to it ?
Michele - When I met with someone from the GBCI Certification Team a few weeks ago in DC, she noted in passing that they expect the Excel version of their spreadsheets to be uploaded so that they know no formulas have been modified.
Could you just use their spreadsheet instead of translating yours? That’s what I decided to do. I know that it has been frustrating for me over the years to create resources and then have them replaced with official versions but put yourself in the reviewer’s shoes for a minute… Since an uploaded spreadsheet is required for this credit, wouldn’t you want it to be the one most projects are using. And the v4.0 version of the form is pretty explicit: “Download, complete and upload the Materials and Resource Calculator (found under "Credit Resources") to document sustainable criteria values for MR Credits 3-7. Upload L-10. Provide the complete Materials and Resource Calculator.”
Granted I haven’t worked with the ID&C Materials Calculator like I have with the BD&C one and it might not have been adapted correctly, which could be another source of angst.
But hopefully Tristan will see this forum and ask an official answer from GBCI or maybe someone from GBCI will answer directly. And take note of the “silly check” you mention and tell us what that’s about.
A project I just received review comments on included 20.81% recycled content (as determined the correct formula to calculate recycled $ value).
The review comments I received took no exception to the percentage claimed - and thus I should earn two points - but the comments state that I need to provide "manufacturer documentation for at least 20% of the compliant materials by value." To me, this means 20% of the 20%, they being the “compliant” materials.
I had thought I’d included ample backup, as I’d provided cutsheets for about 40% of the 20.81% in compliant materials.
What, exactly, are they looking for?
If 20.81% of the materials on the project were recycled, do they need 100% of those materials cut sheets? 100% of the compliant 20.81%? In this case, it would mean following up with a lot of vendors to get them to verify small quantities of material, break down assemblies, etc. It’s a lot of documentation to sift through and follow up on to get the last few percent. At this point, I’m pondering whether I just take 1 of my deserved 2 points to avoid the many hours of work.
I've never had review comments on this credit before. Any comments from the forum?
You definitely had the correct understanding -> you only need to provide manufacturer documentation for 20% of the compliant materials value and not 20% of all listed materials. I'm thinking that you might’ve gotten that comment due to one of the following common issues (apologies if none of these apply):
1) Did you make sure that you were providing documentation for 20% of the compliant value and not 20% of the listed materials? For example, if you had $10,000.00 worth of materials listed in the form and your MRc4 "Sustainable Criteria Value" is $2,000.00, you would need to provide manufacturer documentation for enough products/materials to verify compliance for at least $200.00 worth of that sustainable value. This is a fairly common issue as the IEQc4 credit 20% documentation minimum is based on the number of items; the MR credits 20% documentation is based on the sustainable value of all claimed materials. It can also be somewhat tricky to calculate as you need to be looking at the sustainable portion of the material and not the overall cost when determining the amount of manufacturer documentation to provide. For example, if your doors cost $100 and are composed of 50% post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content, providing manufacturer documentation for that product would be equivalent to providing manufacturer documentation for $50.00 of your compliant sustainable materials value - not $100 ($100 door x 50% post-consumer recycled content = $50.00 MRc4 compliant value). This could be the reason you got that comment if you happened to provide documentation for lower-cost and/or less compliant materials as these materials would have a lower sustainable value to contribute towards your overall value…
2) Alternatively - did you make sure that the manufacturer documentation you were including/counting for that credit actually spoke to the requirements of that specific credit? Each MR credit requires that minimum 20% documentation level separately. This means that if a manufacturer statement only includes information regarding one MR credit and not another, the documentation would only qualify towards the 20% documentation minimum for one of the MR credits. For example, if you are providing a manufacturer statement that only includes information about the recycled content, that document would help you meet the documentation minimum within MRc4 but it would not help you meet the documentation minimum within MRc5 (regional materials). In the older versions of the Credit Forms, the manufacturer documentation information was all linked and so it may have indicated to you that you provided sufficient manufacturer documentation. However, when the reviewers were going through your documentation and looking specifically at what was provided that spoke to just the requirements of MRc4, for example, it may have been that there weren’t sufficient cut sheets to verify the 20% minimum documentation threshold for that specific credit.
3) Less likely but just to be safe – Did you make sure that the documentation was actually from the product manufacturer? Statements from the contractor/subcontractor are not considered to be sufficient to verify the claims. If some of your documentation happened to be statements from a contractor/subcontractor, those would automatically be excluded from the 20% minimum documentation threshold.
I definitely wouldn’t just take the 1 point as this could be a relatively easy fix depending on if any of the above issues are true. I’d recommend determining what your minimum sustainable value is that you need to meet with documentation for each MR credit you’re pursuing. Then double-check that the manufacturer documentation you provided for each credit actually includes information specific to how the product complies with that specific credit and then simply add more products/documentation until you make sure that you hit that minimum sustainable value for that specific credit. If you start with your higher-cost items and most-compliant products, you might not have to go through too many products to get to your minimum documentation threshold...
In general for clarity within the MR credits, I’d recommend that you upload a separate file (either combined pdf or zipped file) for each attempted MR credit which only includes documents which have the information relative to that credit (for example – if your door documentation talks to only recycled content, I would include that in the MRc4 documentation file but not in the MRc5 documentation file). Personally, I’ve found that helps me ensure that I have provided enough documentation for each credit separately without having to dig through a mess of uploaded cut sheets trying to figure out what demonstrate compliance with MRc4 vs MRc5 etc. and what value I've provided for each.
LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal
Earthly Ideas LLC
This credit uses the same baseline material budget.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is recycled can also be regional.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is rapidly renewable can also contain recycled content, for example cotton insulation made from recycled denim.
Certified wood calculations only consider ‘new’ wood only. Recycled content in composite wood products should be included in MRc4 calculations, but not in MRc7, even if it is FSC-certified.
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.
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