EBOM-2009 MRc3: Sustainable Purchasing—Facility Alterations and Additions

  • EBOM_MRc3_Type3_Facility diagram
  • Does your project qualify?

    To qualify for this credit you must have facility alterations and additions take place, under the specific LEED definition, during the Performance Period. Having just one trade specialty on the job does not constitute an alteration. Be sure your project is eligible for this credit by double-checking that the work performed meets the requirements shown below under the FAQs.

    Purchase 50% sustainable products

    You can earn this credit, which builds on the EPPEnvironmentall preferable products (EPP) are those identified as having a lesser or reduced effect on health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. policy developed for MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy, by purchasing 50% of materials for facility alterations and additions using specific sustainability criteria. All facility alteration purchases—those that meet credit requirements and those that don’t—need to be tracked.

    If a product meets multiple environmental requirements, the cost value can count towards the LEED multiple times. See the table below for an example.

    The sustainable value of materials is calculated differently in EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. than it is in the other rating systems.  EBOM counts the total value of the material purchase as long as it meets the prescribed sustainable attributes. Other rating systems allow you to only count the percentage of the material’s cost based on the percentage of its sustainable attributes.  

    Timing the Performance Period

    The difficulty with the credit is that facility alterations or additions must actually occur during the performance period to make you eligible, and this often prevents projects from achieving it. Consider extending the performance period for this credit back to include qualifying alterations or additions. The purchases can occur during the performance period, or up to two years prior to the end date of the performance period.

    Tracking purchases can be tough

    The likelihood of facility additions and alterations occurring during the performance period is greater in multi-tenant buildings; however, it is often difficult to coordinate the material purchasing and material data collection with all tenants. Although purchase rates must be extrapolated for tenants who do not participate in tracking, these estimated purchases are recorded as noncompliant.

    If there's a large anchor tenant or high level of cooperation from tenants, this credit becomes more achievable. Otherwise, it may be not be worthwhile to pursue the credit. 

    Materials that need to be tracked for facility alterations and additions include:

    • Structural building components and attached finishes such as wall studs, insulation, doors, windows, wood, panels, drywall, trim, ceiling panels, carpet, flooring.
    • Construction applications such as paints, coatings, adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid..
    • You do not need to track furniture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or equipment purchases for this credit. Labor, installation, and shipping costs are also excluded. 

    Environmentally preferable purchasingA United States federal-wide program (Executive Order 13101) that encourages and assists Executive agencies in the purchasing of Environmentally Preferable Products and services. includes buying products with these qualities: See the credit language for specific percentage thresholds.

    • Recycled content
    • Reused/salvaged materials
    • 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
    • Forest Stewardship Council (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.) 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.
    • Regional materials
    • Low-emitting paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants
    • Low-emitting carpets and flooring 
    • Urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas.-free composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. binders

    Consider these questions when considering this credit

    • Is a facility alteration or addition scheduled to occur during the performance period?
    • Have specific building materials been addressed in the EPP policy as developed for MRp1? 
    • Have certain products already been internally mandated by the project for design consistency for future additions or alterations? If they don’t meet sustainability criteria, can sustainable alternatives to these products be used?
    • Can existing product tracking processes be reconfigured to track environmental qualities required by this credit? Or does such a system need to be created?
    • Who is responsible for purchasing these types of materials? If applicable, how can a tracking system address multiple purchasing entities, including contractors, subcontractors, and operations staff?
    • What are the project’s potential barriers to sustainable purchasing? 
    • How can you involve your vendors in supporting your sustainable purchasing goals?

    LEED-EBOM MRc3 – FAQs

    What if we don’t make any facility alterations or additions during our performance period? Is there anything we can do to earn this credit?

    Consider extending the performance period for this credit back to include qualifying alterations or additions. The performance period for any prerequisite or credit can last for a maximum of 24 months, at the discretion of the project team. Remember that all performance periods must overlap and terminate within 30 days of each other. Consult pages xix – xx of the LEED-2009 EBOM Reference Guide for additional guidance.

    What kind of construction or renovation activities count as a facility alteration or addition? We had the building interior painted, does that count?

    Facility alterations and additions have specific definitions in the LEED-EBOM program. Alterations must involve more than one trade specialty AND make substantial changes to at least one entire room. Teams often mistakenly think the credit can be earned by having more than one trade on a job, but this alone does not meet the credit requirements. Double-check that your facility construction activities are eligible for this credit by consulting the requirements on page xxiii of the 2009 EBOM Reference Guide. The requirements are summarized below:

    • Changes must affect usable space in the building.

    Alterations must:

    • Not affect more than 50% of total building floor area.
    • Not require more than 50% of occupants to relocate.
    • Include construction activity by more than one trade specialty.
    • Make substantial changes to at least one entire room in the building.
    • Require isolation of the work site from regular building occupants for the duration of construction.

    Additions must:

    • Increase the total building floor area by at least 5%.
    • Not increase the total building floor area by more than 50%.

    Which of the purchasing credits covers mechanical, electrical and plumbing purchases? Do I include them in MRc3?

    At this time all mechanical, electrical and plumbing components should be excluded from the calculations for all purchasing credits.

    Can I use the LEED-NC default of 25% recycled content for steel in our facility alterations and additions purchases?

    The LEED-EBOM Reference Guide doesn’t explicitly offer the same default for steel recycled content that is afforded under LEED-NC. That said, the 25% default is a conservative estimate and isn’t unreasonable for products that fall under EBOM MRc3. It’s likely that the 25% default will pass the LEED review process, but it’s always ideal to provide manufacturer product data sheets that confirm the actual recycled content level.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Before the Performance Period

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  • Alterations or additions must occur during the LEED performance period to qualify your project for this credit. Start by determining if any are likely to occur.


  • LEED establishes a specific definition for qualifying facility alterations and additions in the LEED Reference Guide. Make sure your facility construction activities qualify as an alteration or addition. 


  • Identify and engage all purchasing entities for the project and coordinate procurement efforts early on. This can include the contractor, as they are frequently the purchasing agent, vendors, or operational purchasing departments.


  • In multi-tenant buildings, purchases throughout the building must be documented for all tenants. It can be difficult if tenants don’t want to participate, and difficult to aggregate purchases for all tenants that may have their own individual systems for purchasing.


  • Unless your project has a large anchor tenant or an unusually high level of tenant cooperation, you may have an uphill battle in pursuing this credit due to the challenge of getting multiple tenants to share their purchasing data.


  • It is important to get buy-in from all tenants. Holding a meeting with all tenants to explain the intention of LEED certification and address specific concerns can help get the whole building on board.  


  • Few facilities do alterations and additions in-house. More often they hire a contractor who buys all or at least most of the materials. It is best to get the contractor involved early on to help assess purchasing decisions.  


  • If tenants don’t participate in tracking, you can extrapolate purchasing data from other tenants to estimate purchase quantities. However, all of those estimated purchases are assumed to be noncompliant for the purposes of LEED. That raises the percentage of purchases by participating tenants that must be compliant. (See example calculation in the Documentation Toolkit.) You can, however, exclude product tracking for up to 10% of the total building floor area, and not be penalized in this way. You will treat the excluded purchases as if they do not exist—you won’t have to treat them as if they are non-compliant.


  • Assess the project’s current procurement practices. Collaborate with the contractor, purchasing agents, and vendors early on to make a list of all products likely to be included in future alterations and additions, and if possible estimate the dollar amounts spent on each. Although you will compile actual cost information during the performance period, estimating cost at this early phase will help you identify where to focus your procurement efforts.


  • Use the policy developed under MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy to establish a purchasing program for materials used during facility alterations and additions and set environmental purchasing goals for these products.


  • Identify compliant products as alternatives to conventional products. Collaborate with the contractor, purchasing agents, and vendors early on to research environmental products and to collect and file cut sheets. 


  • Instead of tracking purchased products and checking compliance in retrospect, develop a list of facility alteration materials approved based on sustainability criteria. Require approval for purchase of products outside the approved list. 


  • Prior to making the list of recommended credit-compliant products, test and research new products with sustainable features to verify quality and appropriateness. For example, try low-VOC paint in a small test area before specifying its use as part of a major alteration project.


  • If you develop a list of approved items, try to offer several options in each product category, as cost and availability may vary over time.


  • Work with vendors who offer environmentally preferable product options. Encourage existing vendors to offer these options.


  • Concentrate green procurement around big-ticket purchases first, as those may be enough to satisfy the 50% credit threshold, or will at least get you close.


  • Low-VOC materials, Green Label-certified carpet, and recycled content materials can usually be substituted for non-sustainable materials at no added cost.


  • Carefully review manufacturer data. Don’t rely on claims stating that a specific product will “give” you a LEED point, when it will only contribute to the credit. No matter what the manufacturer says or has on their website, the specific criteria need to be met explicitly. 


  • If writing construction specifications for your facility additions and alterations, be sure to incorporate sustainability requirements. The specification should be part of the contractor and subcontractor bid package, requiring them to comply with the credit and document compliance.


  • Create a system for tracking both sustainable and non-sustainable purchases. Design this system in a way that simplifies the creation of purchasing reports during the LEED documentation process. See the Documentation Toolkit for an example you can use.


  • Most project teams use spreadsheets or other computer software to track purchases during the performance period and keep electronic files of product data sheets for all compliant products.


  • Tracking the environmental qualities of building materials for additions and alterations is a new process for most projects. Tracking plans will need to be customized for each project to accommodate unique tracking needs.


  • A successful tracking program depends on team commitment. Interview the team that will be doing the tracking to get feedback on what type of system would work best for them. Designate someone to work with contractors to ensure their participation in the system.   


  • Tracking is easier with vendor cooperation. Work with existing and new product vendors to track environmental products purchased.  Ask vendors to provide invoices that flag green products and cut sheets that highlight specific criteria.


  • How many people are involved in procurement in your project building? If it’s only a small number of people, you’re likely to have an easier time establishing tracking systems and managing the transition to green products. If procurement is decentralized, it may take more time to coordinate with everyone who makes purchases.


  • Management style can affect ease of earning this credit. It helps to have greater control and flexibility with product purchasing at the project building, and companies with more rigid purchasing policies, or where purchasing decisions must go though many management levels for approval, can find making changes for this credit more challenging.


  • If a single product meets multiple environmental criteria, the purchase will earn weighted credit based on its cost.


  • Recycled Content 


  • Purchase individual materials with at least 10% post-consumer or 20% pre-consumer recycled content.


  • LEED-NC MRc4: Recycled Content offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using recycled content material.


  • The thresholds of 10% post-consumer or 20% pre-consumer recycled content are easily found in many products. Products that typically have recycled content include: steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates. 


  • There should be little to no cost premium for building materials with recycled content.


  • Because most steel has recycled content, LEED-NC recognizes a default value of 25% post-consumer content if the actual recycled content value is not available. However, the LEED-EBOM Reference Guide doesn’t explicitly offer the same default value. That said, the 25% default is a conservative estimate and isn’t unreasonable for products that fall under EBOM MRc3. It’s likely that the 25% default will pass the LEED review process, but it’s always ideal to provide manufacturer product data sheets that confirm the actual recycled content level.


  • Reused and Salvaged Materials 


  • Purchase individual materials where at least 70% of the material has been salvaged or reused.


  • LEED–NC MRc3: Materials Reuse offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using reused and salvaged material as it applies to LEED standards.


  • Don’t confuse recycled content materials with reused or salvaged materials:

    • Recycled Content: Recycled content is incorporated during the manufacturing process from waste products. For example, carpet may be made from used plastic bottles, or plywood may contain waste wood left over from window manufacturing.
    • Reused Materials: Reused materials are typically salvaged items that have not been remanufactured into a new product, for example, antique wood doors that were salvaged from an old church, or bricks salvaged from demolition and reused.

  • Project teams must estimate the value of the reused material. It is optional for projects to value reused or salvaged materials at their replacement cost for the credit calculation. For example, whether a project purchased or received a donation of decorative ceiling tiles, the material value would be the same as what it would cost to replace the donated materials with something new. It may sometimes be beneficial to use the actual salvage price when it is higher than the new material replacement cost; a good example is antique woodwork.


  • Determining the cost of a replacement item leaves some room for interpretation, but the replacement must be a comparable product. For example, you cannot value the replacement of standard acoustic ceiling tile at the cost of a specialty molded ceiling tile.


  • Salvaged items don’t usually come with warranties. Be sure to confirm the durability of the product before using.


  • Rapidly Renewable Materials 


  • Purchase individual materials that contain at least 50% rapidly renewable content.


  • LEED-NC MRc6: Rapidly Renewable Materials offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using rapidly renewable material, including detailed information on where you are likely to find rapidly renewable content.


  • Certified Wood 


  • Purchase individual materials that contain at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.


  • LEED-NC MRc7: Certified Wood offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using certified wood.


  • The lead time to get FSC-certified wood may be longer than the wait for conventional wood. Check with manufacturers or vendors early to learn about possible delays.


  • FSC-certified wood often comes with a premium that varies depending on proximity to source and the application.


  • Not all FSC certifications are equal for credit compliance! Pay attention to the different types of FSC certification, which you can find on product cut-sheets: 

    • FSC Pure: valued at 100% of product cost.  This is when the product is 100% virgin FSC material
    • FSC Mixed (XX%): valued at XX% of product cost.  This means that the product contains a certain percentage of virgin FSC wood and a percentage of other materials. 

  • FSC Recycled and FSC Recycled Credit: Products with the "FSC Recycled" label or identified as "FSC Recycled Credit" do not count as FSC-certified wood products. These only counted as recycled content products, because the "FSC Recycled" label certifies the use of recycled content, not that the materials are sourced from FSC-certified forests.


  • Regional Materials 


  • Purchase individual materials with at least 50% content that has been manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the project.


  • LEED-NC MRc5: Regional Materials offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using regional materials.


  • The 500-mile requirement is measured as a radius around the site “as the crow flies.” In other words, the actual miles and path traveled by the product or material are not relevant.


  • Use the vendor or salvage location in place of the manufacturing location for salvaged and reused materials. 


  • Use the location from which the vendor salvaged the material instead of the extraction location.


  • If a material is salvaged on-site and reused again on-site, you can count the site as both the manufacturing and extraction location. For example, in the demo of a site, parking lot concrete can be ground up and reused as onsite infill.


  • For materials with multiple points of manufacture or extraction, if the furthest point was within 500 miles, simply list that location; if not, determine the portion of the material that is compliant.


  • Low-Emitting Paints, Coatings, Adhesives, and Sealants 


  • Purchase low-emitting paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants that meet the credit’s VOC limits. 


  • LEED-NC IEQc4.1: Low-Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants and IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings offer detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using low-emitting materials as they apply to LEED. 


  • This is an easy no-cost measure to achieve. 


  • Ensure that the proper products and low-VOC requirements are in the construction specifications and have a system of quality control throughout construction to ensure the appropriate products are used. 


  • Using low-emitting materials is not only beneficial to occupants that will be using the space on a long-term basis, but can improve air quality and health of construction workers who have ongoing exposure to construction pollution.


  • Make sure the contractor and subcontractors know what information to look for and don’t just use products that claim they are low-VOC. To find the VOC g/L information, look on the product’s MSDS and compare that number with the VOC limits listed for different uses as determined by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule #1168, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District-Regulation 8 Rule 51, Green Seal-11 for paints, and Green Seal-36 for aerosol adhesives. See the Documentation Toolkit for a summary of these limits.


  • Incorporate low-emitting requirements into a more comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Plan required for IEQc1.5: Indoor Air Quality Best Management Practices—Indoor Air Quality Management for Facility Alterations and Additions by requiring the use of low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings to control the source of construction pollution.


  • It is common for an MSDS to list the chemical contents of a product without giving an overall VOC g/L number. If the number is listed as “< 100 g/L,” for example, which is common, you can list 100 g/L as the number in credit documentation. In other cases, you may have to contact the manufacturer to get the total VOC number. Suppliers can be your allies in tracking down this information when they know the sale of the product is at stake.


  • The contractor or purchasing agent should be aware of any warranty issues that may exist if alternative adhesives or sealants are used. For example, a carpet company may insist that a specific carpet adhesive is used as contingent to the carpet’s warranty. Ask them for alternatives, or consider using other carpeting.


  • The credit does not apply to products that use adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings that were applied off-site. For example, if a project purchases wood flooring that was prefinished in a factory, the factory wood sealant does not have to meet the VOC limits because it is assumed that the sealant has offgassed before arriving at the site.


  • It is helpful to give subcontractors and purchasing agents the following tools:

    • VOC Reporting Form: A VOC tracking sheet should be distributed to each trade; this is to be given to the GC for filing.
    • Summary of VOC Limits: This summarizes the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings. When sub-contractors are looking for products, they should consult this chart.

  • Low-Emitting Flooring Systems


  • Purchase flooring that is FloorScore-certified, carpet that is CRI Green Label Plus certified and carpet padding that is CRI Green Label certified.


  • LEED-NC EQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using low-emitting flooring materials. 


  • You can find FloorScore-certified products on the program’s website, although there aren’t a large number of certified products. (See Resources.)


  • All major carpet manufacturers provide CRI-certified products, which are easy to locate and source. View the CRI website for a list of products, or contact the manufacturer directly to learn which of their products comply. (See Resources.)


  • There may be a cost premium for using FloorScore-certified flooring. CRI-certified carpets, and CRI-certified carpet cushion costs are typically comparable to conventional higher-end carpet products


  • No-Added-Ure-Formaldehyde Composite Wood 


  • Purchase composite wood and agrifiber products that have no added urea formaldehyde.  


  • LEED-NC IEQc4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products offers detailed guidance on how to calculate and plan for using no-added-urea-formaldehyde materials.


  • Some woods have low levels of naturally occurring formaldehyde. As long as urea formaldehyde is not an ingredient in binders and glues, products with naturally occurring formaldehyde are compliant. 


  • Don’t confuse urea formaldehyde (UF) with phenol formaldehyde (PF) or melamine formaldehyde (MF), which are not prohibited in LEED. Phenol formaldehyde is often used as a replacement for urea formaldehyde because the formaldehyde is bound more tightly, reducing emissions. 


  • Many exterior-grade and marine-grade plywood products contain no added urea formaldehyde and are good alternatives for interior plywood applications.


  • Research urea formaldehyde-free products, such as plywood, MDF, door cores, laminate countertops, and other composite materials, before construction begins to ensure that appropriate products are used.


  • There is usually a small to moderate cost premium for no-added-urea-formaldehyde composite wood, depending on the application.

During the Performance Period

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  • Hold a contractor and subcontractor orientation meeting at the outset of construction to discuss data collection and expectations for the project and the jobsite.


  • Provide tracking forms to subcontractors so they can easily record environmental data on the materials they purchase. This data can then be filed into a master spreadsheet that houses all of the environmental information for all subcontractors. (See the Documentation Toolkit for sample tracking forms.)


  • Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials is a requirement for this credit. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because they don’t want to reveal their markups on products they purchased at wholesale. However, contractors don’t need to break the markup separately from wholesale cost. (Just be sure to break out the product cost from labor and installation costs.)


  • Review subcontractor product submittals ahead of time to help avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders. Remember, at least 50% of the total material budget needs to be sustainable materials.


  • Consider developing a list of all approved materials, and have the project supervisor or other member of the project team occasionally walk the project site with the list to compared installed products with those in the list.


  • Track all materials used for alterations and additions (both those that meet credit requirements and those that don’t) during the performance period. (See the sample tracking form in the Documentation Toolkit.)


  • Make sure to retain cut sheets that clearly quantify the product’s environmental benefits. Vague environmental claims do not make appropriate LEED documentation.    


  • All purchases must be accounted for, even with products that don’t meet sustainability criteria.


  • Check regularly during the performance period to make sure the target sustainable product purchase rates are being met, and that all procurement staff are purchasing sustainable options when appropriate.


  • To complete required documentation, transfer all purchasing data that was collected throughout the performance period to the LEED Online credit form.


  • For the final submittal, you must use the LEED Online credit form rather than submitting your own custom tracking sheet.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

    MR Credit 3: Sustainable purchasing - facility alterations and additions

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce the environmental and air quality impacts of the materials acquired for use in the upgrade of buildings.

    Requirements

    Maintain a sustainable purchasing program covering materials for facility renovations, demolitions, refits and new construction additions. This applies only to base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, and materials and products installed in the project (e.g., flooring, casework, wall coverings). elements1 permanently or semipermanently attached to the building itself. Materials considered furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) are not considered base building elements and are excluded from this credit. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and specialty items such as elevators are also excluded from this credit.

    A sample calculaton for this credit is available in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations & Maintenance, 2009 Edition. Achieve sustainable purchases of 50% of total purchases (by cost) during the performance period. Sustainable purchases shall meet 1 or more of the following criteria:

    • Purchases contain at least 10% postconsumer and/or 20% postindustrial material.
    • Purchases contain at least 70% material salvaged from off-site or outside the organization.
    • Purchases contain at least 70% material salvaged from on-site, through an internal organization materials and equipment reuse program.
    • Purchases contain at least 50% 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). material.
    • Purchases contain at least 50% Forest Stewardship Council 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..
    • Purchases contain at least 50% material harvested and processed or extracted and processed within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) radius of the project. Building materials or products shipped by rail or water have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) total travel distance of the project site using a weighted average determined through the following formula:

      (Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) ≤ 500 miles [800 kilometers]

    • Adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. have a VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content less than the current VOC content limits of South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.) Rule #1168, or sealants used as fillers meet or exceed the requirements of the BayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. Area Air Quality Management District Regulation 8, Rule 51.
    • Paints and coating have VOC emissions not exceeding the VOC and chemical component limits of Green Seal’s Standard GS-11 requirements.
    • Noncarpet finished flooring meets one of the following requirements and constitutes a minimum of 25% of the finished floor area:
      • Is FloorScore certified
      • Maximum VOC concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice.
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.
    • Carpet meets one of the following requirements:
      • Meets CRI Green Label Plus Carpet Testing Program
      • Maximum VOC concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. The additional VOC concentration limits listed in Section 9.1a must also be met
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test result obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.
    • Carpet cushion meets the requirements of the CRI Green Label Testing Program.
    • Composite panels and agrifiber2 products contain no added urea-formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. resins.

    Each purchase can receive credit for each sustainable criterion met (i.e., a $100 purchase that contains both 10% postconsumer recycled content and 50% of content harvested within 500 miles of the project counts twice in the calculation, for a total of $200 of sustainable purchasing).

    Materials for alterations or additions must be purchased during the performance period to earn points in this credit.

    Pilot Alternative Compliance Path Available

    The following pilot alternative compliance path is available for this credit. See the pilot credit library for more information.

    MRpc102 - Legal Wood

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    When purchasing materials, supplies or equipment, specify products that meet one or more of the criteria.

Web Tools

U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Developed to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small, and consumers. An index makes it easy to find and evaluate information about green products and services, calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices, and manage green purchasing processes.


California Integrated Waste Management Board, California Materials Exchange

The California Materials Exchange is a program of the CIWMB. This site enables users to exchange nonhazardous materials online. 

 


GreenSpec

GreenSpec, published by BuildingGreen, offers a subscription database of green products and resources. Detailed lists cover more than 2,000 green building products and include environmental data, manufacturers’ information and links to additional resources.


Materials Exchanges on the Web

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is a regional program of local governments working together to protect public health and environmental quality by reducing the threat posed by the production, use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials. 


Oikos

Oikos is a searchable directory of resource-efficient building products and sustainable design educational resources. 


California Integrated Waste Management Board, Recycled Content Product Directory

The Recycled Content Product Directory is an online directory offering a searchable database for recycled-content products.


The Recycler’s Exchange

The Recycler’s Exchange is a free marketplace for buying and selling recyclables and salvaged materials. 


Salvaged Building Materials Exchange

This online resource offers a searchable database of salvaged building materials. 


U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Developed to help federal purchasers, this site can help green vendors, businesses large and small, and consumers. An index makes it easy to find and evaluate information about green products and services, calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices, and manage green purchasing processes. 

 


FloorScore

This website offers a list of FloorScore-certified products.


Construction Waste Depot

CMDepot is a place where you can buy and sell excess construction material, tools, and equipment. You simply log in, 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. This is great source for salvaged materials, and for reducing construction waste.


Deconstruction Institute

This is a resource database of contractors proficient with deconstruction and recipients seeking material.

Organizations

Sustainability Purchasing Network

Learning resource for corporate, nonprofit, academic, public, and private organizations. It offers presentations on reducing purchasing-related carbon emissions, integrating sustainability into purchasing, and the business case for a sustainable procurement policy.


Forest Stewardship Council, United States

For information and practical tools such as databases of certified product suppliers, referral services, specification language, and the “Designing and Building with FSC” guide and forms.


Reuse Development Organization

ReDO is a national nonprofit in Baltimore that promotes reuse as an environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economical means of managing surplus and discarded materials. See the list of ReDO subscribers for contacts around the United States.


MasterSpec

MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.

Articles

Bamboo Flooring

This article in Environmental Building News focuses on bamboo flooring and includes a list of suppliers. 


“Recycled Content: What Is It and What Is It Worth?” Environmental Building News, February 2005

Access to this article may require a membership subscription to BuildingGreen.com. 


Binders in Manufactured Wood Products: Beyond Formaldehyde

Current and future wood binderGlue used in manufacturing wood products, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and engineered lumber. Most binders are made with formaldehyde. chemicals are explored in ths Environmental Building News article.

Publications

U.S. EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

This program is part of EPA’s effort to promote the use of materials recovered from solid waste. EPA provides comprehensive procurement guidelines and recovered materials advisory notices, which recommend recycled-content levels for construction products, landscaping products, nonpaper and paper products, and other items. It includes a searchable database of suppliers. 

 

Purchasing Tracking Sheet

Using a spreadsheet like this example to track facility alterations and addition purchases and the sustainability criteria that they meet.

Chain-of-Custody Certificate

Manufacturers should provide their 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 (CoCChain of custody is a procedure that tracks a product from the point of harvest or extraction to its end use, 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 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.) certification number on invoices. They may also provide their CoC certificate, like the sample shown here.

Product Cut Sheets

Look to product cut sheets like the sample shown here for information on how a wood product can contribute to credit for 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.. Note the annotated LEEDuser tips on the attached PDF document.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

This is a VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. 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 GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Extrapolation for Non-Participating Tenants

Purchasing and data tracking must cover the entire building, including tenant spaces, with the exception that teams may exclude purchases for up to 10% of your building's floor area if that area is under separate management. This sample calculation shows the impact of non-participating tenants on purchasing credit calculations.

LEED Online Forms: EBOM-2009 MR

Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.

80 Comments

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Noriko Yasuhara Woonerf Inc.
Aug 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
3550 Thumbs Up

Low-Emitting Content Criteria for Wallcovering in EBOM v2009

Project Location: Japan

Do you have any idea for Low-Emitting Content (VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.) criteria of wallcovering like adhesives or sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. v2009 projects?
Our project is an office building, and vinyl wallcoverings in some break rooms will be replaced to new ones as a part of facility alterations during the performance period.
I’m wondering if we are able to add wallcovering cost as sustainable purchases to meet the Low-Emitting material criterion likewise recycle contents and others.

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Kimberly Schlaepfer Sustainability Coordinator LEED AP O+M, BD+C, YR&G Aug 12 2016 LEEDuser Expert 882 Thumbs Up

Hi Noriko,
There is no low-emitting content criteria within LEED for wallcoverings so the wallcoverings cannot contribute to the sustainable purchases based on a low-emitting criteria.

If the wallcoverings have recycled content, or meet one of the other sustainability requirements (aside from low-emitting), then they can be included as a sustainable purchase meeting those sustainability criteria.

Note, the adhesives or sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. used to replace the wallcovering must meet the low emitting criteria limits which can be found here: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/IEQc4.1 for adhesives/sealants and here: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/IEQc4.2 for paints/coatings.

I hope this helps!

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Carl Stone Project Manager PowerSeal Pipeline Products Corporation
Jan 22 2015
LEEDuser Member
219 Thumbs Up

INSTALLATION NEW ROOF

Is installation of a new roof to replace the old roof on the project building not considered an alteration or addition per credit MRc3?

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Jan 22 2015 LEEDuser Expert 5920 Thumbs Up

Hi Carl, roof replacements DO qualify as a facility alteration/addition.

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Terry Gorski via Greengrade LEED Management Software
May 16 2014
Guest
688 Thumbs Up

Project Incomplete Before End of Performance Period

Do all the purchases of materials that will be needed for a construction project need to be made during the performance period? A single construction project that meets the criteria will happen around the time of the performance period, but the performance period will end before this particular construction project is complete, so it is likely that not all the materials will be purchased by then. Is the project still eligible?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects May 30 2014 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

The project should still be eligible to certify, but you won't be able to count the value of the materials purchased later than the performance period.

Another option would be to extend your performance periods - see the notes above in the LEEDUser Birds Eye View for having different performance periods for different credits - can be up to 24 months long, purchases can be made before the performance period, periods can start at different times but need to periods need to end within a 30 day window. Extending the performance period for all the other credits to coincide with the completion of this one credit might be too onerous, so you might want to use just the portion of construction materials purchased before and during the planned performance period. Any pre-ordering of materials will only help.

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Trunnell Price Project Manager AHB Construction Services
Mar 30 2014
Guest
29 Thumbs Up

MRc3-Working Product Sustainablity Criterias without cutsheets

I am working on MRC3 tracking and documentations without available cut sheets-just purchasing receipts. EPPEnvironmentall preferable products (EPP) are those identified as having a lesser or reduced effect on health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose., does not provide info on metals used on alterations in facility repairs Most of these local vendors have no idea of what "sustainable criteria" is. I find myself unable to finish my spreadsheet without this info. It is difficult to tell what the criteria is for these individual items. Appreciate any solutions.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Mar 31 2014 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Trunnell, you're best bet could be to do what you can with the metals used. (I'm assuming that this project is not in the US???) While manufacturers may not have 'sustainable criteria' for their product perhaps they can supply you with the methodology and materials that went into that item. Then research could at least be based on known facts through the supply chain. Metal for example principally comes from two sources, recycle and new metal. Do you have any idea who the big companies are in recycled metal where you are...their on line company reports should details how they recycle, %'s recovered, etc. Your supplier should be able to find out what recycled content there is in your product. A good narrative would then go a long way towards providing GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). with the details. At least this is a place to start

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Trunnell Price Project Manager, AHB Construction Services Apr 02 2014 Guest 29 Thumbs Up

Thanks Barry.I believe I can can work this process through the supply chain. Thanks again

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Victoria Bauer
Mar 10 2014
Guest
135 Thumbs Up

Re carpeting 50,000+ sq feet not count?

Hi there,
I am unsure what is meant by one specialty trade. I have a project that is considering re carpeting about half of their building, which is a substantial alteration. Would this not count? I read some discussion before about LEED disproving of just replacing carpet and painting walls, but like I said this is substantial and has been identified by the occupants as their #1 problem with the building.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Mar 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Victoria, Unfortunately even if you considered re-carpeting the whole building I'm afraid, based on current knowledge, that it won't count.

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Victoria Bauer Mar 11 2014 Guest 135 Thumbs Up

An electrician has installed additional sensors for IEQ2.2, can that count as a second specialty trade?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Mar 11 2014 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Victoria, Under MRc3 you will have needed to complete specific construction work within the building (stud walls, sheetrock, false ceiling, paint, etc), all associated with one space. While it would be nice to accumulate work from throughout the building unfortunately in your specific example this just won't work. You need more substantial work.

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Alexis Voeltner LEED EBOM Project Manager Healthy Buildings
Nov 21 2013
LEEDuser Expert
275 Thumbs Up

Salvaged Materials from TI stored for later use - MRc3 or MRc9?

One suite within a multi-tenant office building is being remodeled as a spec suite - some dividing walls and doors are being knocked out to open up the space. There are 8 large anigre veneered doors that are being salvaged and stored in the building for later use in future TIs. My question is, how do I account for these doors? My take is that we can't count them as salvaged on-site materials since they are not being re-installed in the space (so would not count toward MRc3) but we can count them as materials diverted from landfill in MRc9...does this make sense?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, I would agree with that, Gwen.

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Jason Cocek
Aug 15 2013
Guest
176 Thumbs Up

Roofing Materials

I have a project that, in addition to other upgrades, is replacing the roof. Do all of the roofing materials need to be included in calculations for MRc3? I saw that this came up in another post several years ago, but wondered if anyone had any further input or review experience with this. Thanks!

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Aug 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Yes they do, but, be a little careful. This work along with 'other upgrades' might be seen as a LEED BD&C job, not a EB O&M due to the roof replacement.

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Jason Cocek Aug 16 2013 Guest 176 Thumbs Up

Thank you for the response. I should clarify the roof upgrade. They are replacing the existing roof system from the concrete deck up. Does this still qualify as an alteration since it is not affecting usable building space? Also, do the same guidelines used in the NC-2009 Low-emitting materials credits (i.e., only adhesives/sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid./paints/coatings used inside the weatherproofing system) apply for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.-2009 MRc3? Thanks.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Aug 16 2013 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Jason. Ok, now we have more information, let's take another look. First, scroll up and read the first 4 bullets under 'consider these question when considering this credit'. Can you answer yes (or almost yes) to them. Now we come to the gray area. The work you are on is not a 'room', but IMHO you should be tracking ALL the materials being used and provide data and forms to cover the work. (It's over 5% of the total floor area I assume...this isn't a multi-floor building where the roof areaRoof area is the area of the uppermost surface of the building which covers enclosed Gross Floor Area, as measured when projected onto a flat, horizontal surface (i.e. as seen in Roof Plan view). ‘Roofs’, or portions of roofs, covering unenclosed areas (e.g. roofs over porches and open covered parking structures) are not included in the areas used to evaluate compliance with SSc7.2, though they may be applicable to SSc7.1. is less than 5% of the total?). Now the difficult one...are you using more than one trade...again I assume you are? So the basics of the credit requirement are being completed and ALL the material should be accounted for.

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Trista Little Sustainability Manager, YR&G Feb 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 5920 Thumbs Up

Hi Jason, a complete roof replacement counts as a facility alteration/addition for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems..

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Jorng-ren Chern CEO Enertek Sustainable Design & Technology
Jul 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
815 Thumbs Up

Definition of building alteration

Our project team has a question about the definition of building alteration for LEED-EB certification.
According to the reference guide, the minimum alteration “include construction activity by more than 1 trade specialty, make substantial changes to at least 1 entire room in the building, and require isolation of the work site from regular building occupants for the duration of construction are eligible.”
In order to earn the related credit such as MRC3, MRC9 and IEQC1.5, our client would like to renovate the flooring of the locker room. It is one entire room and will be isolated from regular building occupants during construction, but does it meet the requirement of “including construction activity by more than 1 trade specialty”?
If it is not, then to what extend should we suggest our client to add more construction work to make it be eligible for the application?
Many thanks!!

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jul 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Jorng, You've hit a thorny subject as the reference guide language actually doesn't bear any relationship to what is now required by GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).. To start with the work proposed in your post WILL NOT achieve the required levels of certification. Somewhere in the wording of credit requirements the word 'substantial' has crept in....with no clear definition of what that means...other than your work in the locker room would clearly NOT be 'substantial'. Neither would it NOW comply with latest requirements that at least TWO specialties are used...where neither painting, nor carpet laying are classed as separate, nor specialized. All in all these three credits are a minefield of ‘try this and see what you get’.
Now, in mitigation to the GBCI why this came about was because ‘some’ LEED teams used the minimum amount of work…absolutely possible, to gain the credit…doing basic painting and changing a few carpet tiles…so GBCI tried to tighten up on what was required.

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John McFarland Director of Operations, WorkingBuildings, LLC Jul 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1252 Thumbs Up

Hi Jorng,
You can find my experience on this credit further down in the thread, but in summary GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). told me the affected area had to encompass at least 5% of the total building area to count as substantial. Of course, that requirement is no where in the LEED credit language. I agree with Barry. I doubt that your locker room renovation will meet GBCI's expectations.
Good luck,
John

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Karin Wohlert Northwest Sustainability Consulting, LLC
Jun 10 2013
Guest
434 Thumbs Up

50% of material purchase & composite panel question

Achieve sustainable purchases of 50% of total purchases (by cost) during the performance period. Sustainable purchases shall meet 1 or more of the required criteria.

Do all carpets need to meet the CRI Green label requirements to qualify for 50% of total purchase requirements? I'm guessing that once one of the items on the reference guide list meets the sustainable requirements all other items can be mix and match to achieve the 50% purchase price total. (The carpet is just one example.)

Secondarily, I see Composite PANELS and agrifiber are defined as Composite WoodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. and agrifiber. We have operable partitions with a steel skin. These PANELS have added urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas. in the insulation layer. Is it correct to interpret this issue is about composite wood only, a steel panel product is not in question?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 31 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Karin, the credit requirements are based on 50% of the expenditures, so a compliant carpet would contribute to the 50% compliant part of that, and a noncompliant carpet would not. You would not need 100% compliant carpeting.

If there is no wood or agfiber content in that panel, I would not include it. I see the ambiguity in the credit language, but I don't think it's intentional.

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Karin Wohlert Northwest Sustainability Consulting, LLC
Apr 26 2013
Guest
434 Thumbs Up

Performance Period for MRc3 versus EAc1

We are adding an addition to an existing facility. Ideally the performance period for energy would start after construction is complete. Is it acceptable to start the performance period for MRc3 and other construction type credits like EQc1.5 before recording energy star performance? All credits would then complete the performance period within a 30 day window. I realize the maximum limit for the performance period is 2 years. Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jun 11 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Karin, I think this should be fine. There isn't a requirement to begin all performance periods at the same time, just to end them aroudn the same time.

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Karin Wohlert Northwest Sustainability Consulting, LLC Jun 11 2013 Guest 434 Thumbs Up

Thanks Tristan. Also, I do see various credits like SSc3 -Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment., Erosion Control, and Landscape Management Plan where folks could start their performance period after project construction is complete. That would certainly feel like gaming the system, but I don't see where LEED requires Performance periods for all credits to include construction activity. Everybody wants to do the most sustainable project, but often comes down to choices and being able to correctly interpret the LEED 'code' if you will.

Is this your basic honor code where construction follows LEED requirements? Is it written anywhere in stone?

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Summer Gorder Owner ecoREAL
Jan 10 2013
Guest
863 Thumbs Up

Salvaged and Regional Materials

For materials that were removed during demo and then re-used during construction, can you count these materials as salvaged as well as regional, meaning can you count the cost twice?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 29 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I would say so, based on the credit language, and how this works in LEED BD&C.

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Kelly Webb Principal & Co-Founder e2e Sustainability Consulting, LLC
Dec 20 2012
LEEDuser Member
88 Thumbs Up

Qualifying for MRc3

Our project (111,000+ sq ft, six story office building) will have an entire floor remodel, lobby entry remodel, and four restroom remodels all occurring during the performance period, albeit not simultaneously. We are questioning whether any one of the projects alone can qualify as a "substantial" remodel according to LEED/GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). interpretation. Therefore, is it possible to lump all of these projects under one umbrella and qualify as a substantial remodel for this building?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Jan 03 2013 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

Kelly,
It sounds like the projects might be substantial enough to qualify, but you might need to be more specific about the scope of work, # of trades, and extent of disruption.

See the comments to Julie's question below this and the thread that started on April 27, 2012 in response to Michelle's question. "Substantial" hasn't had a clear, consistent definition, so you'll want to describe the extent of disruption to the occupants from work scope, schedule, conditions, etc and not just the floor or # of trades.

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Kelly Webb Principal & Co-Founder, e2e Sustainability Consulting, LLC Jun 11 2013 LEEDuser Member 88 Thumbs Up

Thank you David. Our plan was to do exactly that - being more specific - we have an entire narrative including the building owners, scope of work and budget for an entire building remodel that was created before they began the LEED certification process. Hopefully that will be enough. Thanks again!

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Julie Pollack Co-Founder/Principal e2e Sustainability Consultants, LLC
Dec 19 2012
LEEDuser Member
255 Thumbs Up

Will alterations to entry vestibule qualify for MRc3?

During the performance period for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems., the building owner is remodeling the main entrance vestibule to the project building. The vestibule is a separate, enclosed space of 263 sq ft. The alterations will include structural, electrical and interior finishes (per our EEP policy for MRp1). We are unsure if the small size of this alteration project will qualify for MRc3: Sustainable Purchasing Facility Alterations and Additions. It will involve multiple trade specialties and make substantial changes to the entire vestibule/room.

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John McFarland Director of Operations, WorkingBuildings, LLC Dec 19 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1252 Thumbs Up

Hi Julie,
I had a similar situation on a project last year. I shared what I learned from GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). after an appeal here on LEEDUser. To save you the trouble of hunting for it, here's what I shared:

"Well, GBCI has finally come up with the requirement. In response to an appeal that we filed, GBCI denied the credit stating that "Substantial alterations typically involve the relocation of walls or affect greater than 5% of the gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.)." So, your alteration has to be at least 5% of the building. Of course, USGBC never stated this so it's technically not a credit requirement, but as we have all seen GBCI is making up their own requirements and since they control the reviews we have to abide by their rules, not those developed during the consensus-based USGBC rating system development."

That said, you may have a little better case since your renovation involves more trades than the one in our project. Although GBCI may still hold you to this 5% "rule". I put that in quotes because there is no such rule. Please let me know if you're successful despite the small size of your renovated area.

Good luck,
John

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Julie Pollack Co-Founder/Principal, e2e Sustainability Consultants, LLC Dec 19 2012 LEEDuser Member 255 Thumbs Up

Many thanks for the insights, John. Per your suggestion I've contacted GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). with the specifics of our project and will post again when I have their reply.

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Jan 03 2013 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

John and Julie: It looks like the 5% number comes from page xxiii of the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. Reference Guide Introduction. I’m curious to see how Julie’s question gets answered, because I find the reference guide language unclear. As Barry Giles mentioned in the April 2012 thread below, the scope of “substantial” has not been defined clearly, and is thus subject to different interpretations by different reviewers. Without knowing more about the size & scope of John’s project, it’s hard to have an opinion on whether the denial of their appeal was reasonable, and I hope that individual ruling doesn’t set a precedent.

Here’s the full text from the RG:

“…alterations and additions has a specific meaning. It refers to changes that affect usable space in the building. Mechanical, electrical, or plumbing system upgrades that involve no disruption to usable space are excluded.
Minimum: Alterations that include construction activity by more than 1 trade specialty, make substantial changes to at least 1 entire room in the building, and require isolation of the work site from regular building occupants for the duration are eligible. Additions that increase the total building floor area by at least 5% are eligible. Alterations or additions below these limits are considered repairs, routine replacement, or minor upgrades and are ineligible to earn points under LEED EB O&M. The minimum applies to MRc3 & 9, and IEQc1.5.”

(An addendum changed the text for the “Maximum” paragraph that follows, but I think “Minimum” is still the same.)

The first criterion for determining “substantial” work seems to be how much it disrupts the use of the space by occupants. The minimum area for additions and alterations are then defined separately: additions are considered significant if they increase the floor area by 5%, whereas alterations need to affect an entire room and disrupt the occupants with multiple trades. I don’t think the sentence “Alterations or additions below these limits…” says we should apply the 5% area criteria to both additions AND alterations, because “these limits” were defined for each type of work independently of the other.

I hope future project teams and reviewers don’t latch on to that 5% area number and apply it to all alterations. I’d encourage other teams to describe the extent of the alteration work and how it affects, disrupts, or displaces users of the building. Maybe if enough of us send specific recommendations to LEEDonline feedback we can prompt an addendum...

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jan 03 2013 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

David. A very well written comment and highlights exactly how farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). from the intent this credit has drifted. The intent reads, “ To reduce the environmental and air quality impacts of the materials acquired for use in the upgrades of buildings”. What has happened over the previous 8 years is that the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). reviewers have concentrated on the word ‘upgrades’ rather than on the words ‘environmental and air quality impacts’. Everyone who’s seems to have attempted this credit have received comments from GBCI that fall mainly into to the ‘the volume of work done doesn’t meet the requirements of the credit’. We seem to have forgotten that the intent primarily is for environmental impacts with the result that now any work that doesn’t meet the volume requirement doesn’t get counted. This is a shame because in most buildings there is continuous ‘work’ being completed in the building, using paint, carpet, etc, etc. Setting some arbitrary percentage is tantamount to ‘throwing your empty recyclable can in the trash’. To change behavior we must make the process as simple as possible and one way is to be consistent. With consistency comes continuation. And with continuation comes change. So lets stop the percentage ‘game’ and re-sight this credit back where it was written…in the environmental and air quality impacts.

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Ruba Al-Foraih
Sep 13 2012
Guest
120 Thumbs Up

Silicone and epoxy

Would silicone and epoxy be certified under the BayA bay is a component of a standard, rectilinear building design. It is the open area defined by a building element such as columns or a window. Typically, there are multiple identical bays in succession. Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regulation, or shall I consider them as paints under Green Seal?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Sep 13 2012 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

The easiest way is to check that your brand appears on Greenseal's 'find green products and services page'. Then followup with the MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products sheet, either from the product box or download from the companies website.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Aug 30 2012
LEEDuser Member
8982 Thumbs Up

Percentage of Purchase Actual Value

In the reference guide there is a sample tracking table that has a column labeled "Percentage of Purchase Actual Value" with percentages filled in. The percentages don't seem to affect the calculation. The credit form does not show this column and instead uses columns specific to the sustainable attribute thresholds.

Does anyone know what this column was intended for? Can I simply ignore it?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 03 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Michelle, if it's not a part of the current LEED Online form, it seems like it's best to ignore it.

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei
Aug 23 2012
LEEDuser Member
5526 Thumbs Up

FSC Certified Products - Documentation?

In some of our current EB:O&M projects we have considered pursuing the MRc1 and MRc3 purchasing credits, claiming credit for 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. certified materials.

How do we document compliance for these purchases? In the LEED Online form, it requests that "Documentation from Product Manufacturer's or Suppliers Verifying Product Compliance with the Specified Sustainability Criteria" should be uploaded. In many instances (when construction materials are purchased by the local contractor, for example) the "supplier" is not entirely familiar with the FSC certification or the need to document these purchases.

For FSC certified products, there are a variety of routes we could take:
- Cutsheet calling out material as FSC
- Manufacturer's FSC Chain of Custody Certificate
- Product Specific FSC Certificate (Does this exist?)
- Invoice for products purchased, indicating FSC # (is this the COCChain of custody is a procedure that tracks a product from the point of harvest or extraction to its end use, 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 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. or is there a different FSC # specific to each product?)
- Photo evidence of FSC labeling on packaging for purchased products with receipt of purchase

Has anyone had success achieving these FSC credits and what proof of compliance did you provide for review?

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Judy Landwehr Manager, Sustainability and Technical Marketing , Masonite Architectural Aug 23 2012 Guest 1023 Thumbs Up

I can answer a few of your questions as it relates to 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. certification and labeling of products.
• FSC does not allow certified companies to note FSC claim percentages on any documents that are considered marketing materials. Technical sheets are allowed to note such information.
• A FSC COCChain of custody is a procedure that tracks a product from the point of harvest or extraction to its end use, 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 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. Certificate is issued to a company that is certified to sell FSC materials. A certificate does not validate a specific product. A FSC COC certificate validates that the company is authorized to sell products with a FSC claim.
• Product specific FSC certificates issued by FSC do not exist.
• Manufacturers selling products with a FSC claim are required to note the FSC claim and their FSC COC certificate number on all invoices and shipping documents. Each FSC certificate holder is also issued a FSC License Code. The FSC License Code is not used with FSC claims on products.
• FSC does not require products to be labeled. Labeling of FSC products is optional and may/may not be offered by a manufacturer.

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Simon S. SL+A International, Taipei Aug 24 2012 LEEDuser Member 5526 Thumbs Up

Judy,

Thank you for your input. That is some of the information I had concluded from my product research.

Considering some of the points that you noted - when there is no *Product-Specific* certificate, and labeling of 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. products is both optional and does not always include FSC claim percentages...

Will the reviewers question the validity of our FSC purchases?

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Fatma Al-Fahad
Jul 08 2012
Guest
60 Thumbs Up

purchasing of carpets

I need your advice regarding purchasing sustainable carpet that meets LEED requirement. If he purchasing contract was signed before the performance period, but it is stated in the contract that the actual fitting for the carpet is scheduled to be during the performance period, as well as the payment for this carpet, can this carpet purchase considered in the performance perioed? or should the signing of the contract take place during the performance period?

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Jason Franken Sustainability Professional Jul 11 2012 LEEDuser Member 8425 Thumbs Up

well, my first question would be: how long is your performance period? Remember, as long as the performance periods for all attempted credits end within a shared 30-day window, you can expand the performance period for any single credit to 24 months.

That being said, you can use any of the milestone dates you mention above for your MRc3 documentation, as long as you are consistent. So, if you use the date that the contract was signed, you must also include any other qualifying purchases for which contracts were signed during the same time period. If you use the date that you paid for the carpet, you should avoid trying to take credit for qualifying purchases for which you have a signed contract, but have not yet made payment. Make sense?

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Edward Malesevich Sustainability Advisor Transwestern Sustainability Services
Jun 11 2012
LEEDuser Expert
387 Thumbs Up

Exterior Renovation Project

A project I am currently working on is undergoing an exterior renovation project. The project consists of removing large granite pavers and either replacing or salvaging these pieces back onto the building with sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. and mortar.

The project is using all local granite and limestone, allowing us to achieve the 50% sustainable purchasing. In addition, the project is recycling all materials that are being discarded besides the used sealant, which we predict will put us well above the 75% recycled rate.

As for the IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Management Plan, the contractor is abiding by all control measures listed in SMACNAThe Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is an international association of union contractors, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction.

It does not affect more than 50% of building floor area, does not affect usable space, does not affect just one room, BUT it is a construction project affecting the exterior façade of the building.

It is confusing because the project is only affecting exterior space and the credit language focuses on entire floor area.

Will this project fit the mold under LEED EB to earn MRc3, MRc9 and IEQc1.5?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Jun 12 2012 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

Even though materials used on the exterior of the building don't appear to be excluded from MRc3 and 9, it's not clear if your project meets the minimum threshold for "Facility Alterations and Additions" or if it may just be considered routine maintenance and repairs. It may depend on the size/extent of your project.

If the work is being done outside the weather barrier I suspect it wouldn’t apply to IEQc1.5, unless there is a lot of dust or other issues that could compromise indoor air quality.

It sounds like your project may involve roofing pavers or some part of the building skin, which would be part of the "base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, and materials and products installed in the project (e.g., flooring, casework, wall coverings)." so it might comply. One statement that suggests exterior work may be counted toward these credits is on page 320 of the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. reference Guide (2009 Edition) for MRc9: "Include on-site concrete, masonry, or asphalt that is crushed and reused." I suspect this might be assumed to apply mostly for Additions, since there will be work done to the building exterior and hardscaping. The inclusion of “brick and other masonry products” at the bottom of page 275 also suggests exterior materials may be included.

So even if exterior work and materials are not explicitly excluded from MRc3 and 9, the section IX. Facility Alterations and Additions on page xxiii of the Introduction gives us the most specific guidance on whether a project will count toward these credits:

Since an Addition must increase the total building floor area by at least 5% to be eligible, that suggests projects affecting a small portion of the building skin or exterior might be considered “repairs, routine replacements, or minor upgrades” and not be counted toward MRc3 and 9.

If your project could be considered a “substantial change” such as re-cladding large areas of the building skin, you might have a strong argument that the work should be included in the MR credits, but the challenge is to show it’s not a routine repair or minor upgrade.

If there’s a lot at stake here, you’ll probably need 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 find out for sure, but if it’s not a deal breaker whether you include this project or not you could try including it with your submission with a narrative to explain the situation.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Jun 06 2012
LEEDuser Member
8982 Thumbs Up

Hard Surface Flooring that is not FloorScore

Our project is pursuing this credit and intends to install hard surface flooring that is entirely comprised of solid wood and ceramic tile. Both of these materials are ordinarily excluded from the FloorScore requirement in NC and CI.

So question #1 do we get to consider those materials "compliant" with the sustainable requirements for hard surface flooring since they actually aren't FloorScore certified?

Question #2 the requirement is expressed in terms of "consitituting a minimum of 25% of the finished floor area". So how do we convert that basis of compliance into cost terms for this credit?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Nov 26 2012 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

Michelle,
Re #1: The NC 2009 IEQ 4.3 forum discussion mentions the addendum that clarifies how wood and ceramic tile are treated - yes, they qualify for the credit without testing, but you'll need to consider the VOCs of any flooring adhesives, grout, floor sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. or finishes applied on site during installation.

Re #2: Not sure I understand your question about the 25% floor area and cost terms. As I understand it, the intent of the 25% minimum is to prevent us from including in our sustainable purchases low-emitting, non-carpet flooring materials that are used for only a small portion of our project area. Since you mentioned the flooring to be installed is entirely wood and tile, it sounds like you don’t have to worry about this requirement. The full value of the compliant flooring should thus contribute to your sustainable purchases total. Does that answer your question?

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Michelle Bracewell-Musson Owner, LEED AP Green Expectations Sustainability Solutions
Apr 27 2012
LEEDuser Member
1684 Thumbs Up

+50% Alteration?

I have come across this on more than one occasion and different projects (CI and EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.). If a client wants to repaint and recarpet more than 50% (usually throughout for a new tenant), is this considered a "real" alteration under the definitions of more than 50% of floor space? As in the EBOM case, we have other minor repairs that meet the extra criteria:
• Changes must affect usable space in the building.
• Include construction activity by more than one trade specialty.
• Require isolation of the work site from regular building occupants for the duration of construction.
• make substantial changes to at least one entire room (kitchen - cabinetry, minor sheetrock, new cabinetry and countertops, remove dishwasher, replace VCT flooring, paint.)
For CI, I have a client that is just doing carpet/paint for 70% and she thinks this makes it a CI candidate. No other trades are included aside from one door removed/replaced).
Any clarity would be helpful.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Apr 27 2012 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

Michelle. This question has been a thorn in the side of operations teams since we wrote the credit in 2002. In practice the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). required at least two trades to be involved and that 'substantial' changes had to be made...as you point out. However after a couple of years use of EB and numerous credit reviews by GBCI it soon became apparent that the word 'substantial' had not been defined either by us on the core committee nor by GBCI/USGBC. This was exacerbated by GBCI requiring larger and larger contracts to be undertaken to ‘prove the credit’. In defence of GBCI they were concerned that credit manipulation would result if they allowed one carpet tile and a pint of paint to constitute credit approval…they are quite right…in some cases that could well happen in the 3 month initial performance period, but in reality what are we trying to achieve with LEED EB…isn’t the focus that every piece of material that passes into the building should meet the standards created, regardless if it weigh a pound or weighs 1000 lb. If we link this MR C3 with MRc9, then the same should apply to waste disposal. In reality if you want to game the system in the 3 month performance period…you WILL game the system, but for those of us (at that’s the vast majority of us) we’re trying to do the right thing and follow the core LEED requirements…even down to the one carpet tile and the one pint of paint.
I assure you that recent phone calls have indicated that GBCI would like to clear up this need for clarification in 2012, however I’m not certain that this can be made retro active right now. Put the paperwork in…articulate clearly not just by what you say but with supporting photos…don’t give in….good luck

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John McFarland Director of Operations, WorkingBuildings, LLC Aug 02 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1252 Thumbs Up

Well, GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). has finally come up with the requirement. In response to an appeal that we filed, GBCI denied the credit stating that "Substantial alterations typically involve the relocation of walls or affect greater than 5% of the gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.)." So, your alteration has to be at least 5% of the building. Of course, USGBC never stated this so it's technically not a credit requirement, but as we have all seen GBCI is making up their own requirements and since tthey control the reviews we have to abide by their rules, not those developed during the consensus-based USGBC rating system development. I wish USGBC would step up and take back control of the rating system.

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Jason Franken Sustainability Professional Aug 02 2012 LEEDuser Member 8425 Thumbs Up

Hi John,

I share your frustration on this issue. Did GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). provide any other details in their appeal review? The criteria for a facility alteration used to be defined as one that utilized more than one trade specialty. So hypothetically, painting a couple of rooms wouldn't qualify, but painting and installing new carpet could earn you the credit. This was the primary reason that GBCI started to think about ways to make the credit threshold more stringent - they didn't like that projects could earn a point by purchasing a can of paint and a couple hundred square feet of carpeting.

So, did they provide any details on the level of activity or types of activity that need to occur in at least 5% of the building in order to qualify?

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Aug 02 2012 LEEDuser Member 8982 Thumbs Up

John,
We couldn't agree more with your comments! And we share your frustration. Requirements have become a moving target. It is becoming more and more difficult to provide guidance to our clients or to anticipate the comments we are going to get back.

We've been doing this for a decade now and have a passion for this work. Even we are having trouble dealing with this day in and day out. And at least one high profile incredibly committed sustainable client has told us in the past week, they are turning away from LEED. I honestly can't blame them.

What's a consensus driven membership to do?

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John McFarland Director of Operations, WorkingBuildings, LLC Aug 02 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1252 Thumbs Up

Hi Jason,
In answer to your question, no other details on what level of activity would be required. GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). did state, "Specifically, an alteration that consists of painting and carpeting a single room is considered to be routine maintenance." So I guess USGBC should state that the work must consist of at least two (2) rooms, not just one. It seems that a project team has to at least move a wall (that would affect 2 rooms). As usual for GBCI at the end of the response they said, "please ensure that the facility alterations or additions meet the requirements for inclusion in LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. as described in section IX Facility Alterations and Additions of the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations and Maintenance, 2009Edition (Updated April 2010)." Funny, nowhere in that document does it say "5% of the gross floor areaGross floor area (based on ASHRAE definition) is the sum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate‐floored tiers, and penthouses wi th headroom height of 7.5 ft (2.2 meters) or greater. Measurements m ust be taken from the exterior 39 faces of exterior walls OR from the centerline of walls separating buildings, OR (for LEED CI certifying spaces) from the centerline of walls separating spaces. Excludes non‐en closed (or non‐enclosable) roofed‐over areas such as exterior covered walkways, porches, terraces or steps, roof overhangs, and similar features. Excludes air shafts, pipe trenches, and chimneys. Excludes floor area dedicated to the parking and circulation of motor vehicles. ( Note that while excluded features may not be part of the gross floor area, and therefore technically not a part of the LEED project building, they may still be required to be a part of the overall LEED project and subject to MPRs, prerequisites, and credits.)" or "relocation of walls".

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Stacey Olson Associate, LEED AP, ID+C, BD+C, CID Gensler
Jan 26 2012
LEEDuser Member
503 Thumbs Up

Post-certification - Does MRc3 apply to new tenants?

We have a signed lease to proceed with a tenant imrovement in a multi-occupant EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. Gold buidling. We are occupying less than 50% of the building, and construction is taking place in a portion of the building that is shell-space (meaning, no demolition is required).

We just completed CDs yesterday, and the landlord tells us that we need to change all our specs to: include 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. 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., ensure no added urea-formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings., criColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. carpet, etc etc, and comply w/ IEQc1.5.

We are out of the 'performance period', but the landlord seems to think that, for re-certification of the building in the future, we must be in full compliance with their original credit submissions.

Is this true? Does every tenant that occupies an EBOM building have to comply to the buidlings' goals, or are tenants considered outside the control of the Facility, and therefor out of the scope of EBOM certification?

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jan 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

First thing is you must read your lease VERY carefully. Unless it lays out clearly in the lease that you must follow 'green' there is no LEGAL reason for you to follow those rules, however there are two other aspects. 1. What are you trying to succeed at in your space...LEED CI? if so you will already be following the EB requirements. 2. There is the moral aspect. You're moving into an 'accepted green building', why would you NOT want to follow and support the in house team?

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Noriko Yasuhara Woonerf Inc.
Dec 13 2011
LEEDuser Member
3550 Thumbs Up

70% material salvaged

One of the critetia of sustainable purchased is "at least 70% material salvaged from off-site or outside the organization. When we calculate the ratio to meet 70% or not, what is the numerator and denominator to use, respectively?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Dec 13 2011 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

It sounds like you are looking at a single material and deciding whether it has 70% of its cost or replacement cost coming from a salvaged source. If it does, it qualifies as a "sustainable purchase" and gets to count toward the total value of sustainable materials purchased for facility improvements.

For an individual material or product, the denominator is the cost or replacement cost of that item. The numerator is the % of that item's value that comes from a salvaged source, 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. source, recycled source, etc. (We've not seen a definition of an "item" but in the US we have assumed it to be a single section number in the CSI numbering system such as "096400 Wood Flooring" or "081001 Interior Doors.)

For example, assume one of the improvements is a new fitness room, where 90% of the flooring is reclaimed wood floor from a bowling alley. The total cost for new wood flooring would be $10,000. Since more than 70% of the value of the wood flooring is coming from a salvaged source, it qualifies as a "sustainable purchase" and you get to include all $10,000 in the numerator for the whole credit calculation even if you paid less for the salvaged wood.

Does that answer your question?

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Noriko Yasuhara Woonerf Inc. Dec 13 2011 LEEDuser Member 3550 Thumbs Up

Thank you, I understand the way to calculate. If I have difficulties in calculating actual values for submittal, let me ask again.

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Reynaldo Castro
Nov 15 2011
Guest
1309 Thumbs Up

Purchases for repairs

We are a convention center and certified under pre-existing building requirements. We have a lot of shows and clients moving in and out. Sometimes major damage occurs and extensive repairs have to be made. Do the materials purchased and used for these major repairs qualify under Facility Alterations and Additions?

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Alexa Stone ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability Nov 16 2011 Guest 2970 Thumbs Up

Hi Reynaldo, this would depend if you have operational control or judgement on what you purchase. Your questions is confusing in that you mention clients. We are working on a convention center that has many shows that move in and out with exhibits, construction etc that the center staff has no control over. The best that we are working on is providing recommendations, making them aware of our IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. Construction plan etc.
If your staff or your contractors are repairing that it should be included. Hope this helps.

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Chris Munn Director, National Operations Chelsea Group, Ltd.
Sep 19 2011
LEEDuser Member
1750 Thumbs Up

Facility Alterations in a garage

We are working with a property that will be undergoing facilty alterations and additions in the parking garage. The property will be adding a small office in their parking garage. Would this qualify under MRc3, or would it have to be within the building?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 14 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Chris, as long as the garage and office are in the LEED project boundary, I think it should qualify.

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Andrea Marzullo LEED Specialist OSC/CFEEA
Jul 05 2011
Guest
417 Thumbs Up

Carpet donation as salvaged AND regional material?

A large amount of carpet was donated to us by a big local company who didn't use it all in their hotels. The carpet itself had never been used. I am counting this as salvaged material but can I also count it as "recovered" material within a 500-mile radius?

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David Posada Integrated Design & LEED Specialist, SERA Architects Jul 05 2011 Guest 21449 Thumbs Up

The EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. MRc3 language doesn't address this explicitly. Under NC Salvaged materials can also count for Regional content (see BD&C reference guide page 365) but salvaged materials are defined there as items that have been "used." See if you can get documentation that the donated carpet was in a condition that would qualify as used or unable to be returned/ resold - such as partial rolls, remnants from a custom order, etc.

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Barry Giles Founder & CEO, LEED Fellow, BREEAM Fellow, BuildingWise LLC Jul 05 2011 LEEDuser Expert 9031 Thumbs Up

I think you can take one of two avenues here..1. Doesn't matter if you bought, traded it or stole it....if the carpet follows CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. standards (or similar) then you're going to use the documentation provided (or you'll find the documentation). 2. This second answer is a little tricky...maybe LEED user won't like it...but...here goes...Only YOU know the carpet is new...no-one else does...so just say that you had carpet donated to you, value it at a minimal sum and add it into the salvaged materials list...the down side, well if the carpet is NOT CRI standard the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.'s will be awful and what you gained with the free carpet will be used up in Advil to cure the headache!

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candice groves Sustainability Project Manager Servidyne
Jun 24 2011
Guest
118 Thumbs Up

Schedule of Values from GC - can we use the 45% default in EBOM?

In LEED NC, when given a price from a subcontractor, we're able to use a 45% default for the actual material cost in order to exclude labor from that price. I do not see anything in LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. Reference Guide, CIRs, or Addenda with any related language to the 45% default.

We have a schedule of values for all of the items in a small tenant improvement project. A couple of the items - the ones that we're claiming sustainable attributes for - we do have actual costs of the materials from those sub contractors. I am only needing to estimate material costs for a few other items in order to make a complete submission.

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