NC-2009 MRc1.1: Building Reuse—Maintain Existing Walls, Floors and Roof

  • NC MRc1.1 action path diagram
  • Existing building?

    If an existing building plays a starring role in your project, it’s a good candidate for this credit, which rewards the reuse of buildings and their structural components. In this way you can reduce the energy- and resource-intensive manufacturing of new materials, while prolonging the enjoyment of a building’s character and history. If the existing building plays only a small role, on the other hand, it is less likely to qualify for this credit, although it may contribute to materials reuse credits. If a project includes new construction in addition to building restoration, the project is only eligible for the credit if the floor area of the new construction is no more than two times the floor area of the retained existing structure.

    A LEED for New Construction registered project can earn up to three points for reusing 55%, 75% or 95% of an existing building, as well as being eligible for MRc1.2: Building Reuse—Maintain Interior Nonstructural Elements.

    Intensive calculations

    Evaluate credit eligibility and targets using the eligibility and building reuse calculators available in the Documentation Toolkit. The process of documenting this credit by accurately measuring the area of building elements and tabulating them in the Building Reuse calculator can be fairly time-intensive. When measuring, be sure to consistently follow the credit rules and not double-count elements. In addition, a structural survey must generally be performed to confirm the integrity of the structures and identify any load restrictions. Non-structural elements may also require study by a qualified professional.

    Building shell under renovationThis 100-year-old building is undergoing exterior and interior renovation for condominiums. The building's structure and shell will be reused. YRG Photo

    Assess building reuse with these questions

    • Conduct a survey of the existing building conditions to ensure its structural integrity. What are the anticipated costs for structural reinforcements, building restoration, and demolition of unusable areas?
    • Are there potentially hazardous materials present that will require remediation? If so, what is the anticipated cost for remediating and disposing of these hazardous materials?
    • What would the cost be to demolish the existing structure and build a brand new building?
    • If there is a building addition included as part of the project, is it less than 2 times the floor area of the existing structure?
    • Are there any incentives available for restoration projects? Are there local restrictions on new construction that could be better negotiated with a renovation? Are there height limitations and historic standards affecting the building?
    • What procedures may be involved in seeking approval from local historic authorities?

    FAQs for MRc1.1

    What building elements get included in this calculation and what can be excluded?

    All existing envelope and structural building elements are included. The items you do not include are interior non-structural elements, windows and non-structural roofing. If you have structural elements of the building that are considered hazardous or are otherwise structurally unsound, these can also be excluded from the calculations.

    Should I base my calculations on plan or elevation?

    This credit deals only with surface area, so you should look at walls in elevation. For the calculation of floor structure and roof structure, surface areas should be taken off of plan drawings. Note that maintained ground-level slabs on grade such as a basement floor may contribute to this credit.

    How do you calculate the existing building structure reuse?

    The percentage of reused existing building structure is calculated by area, dividing the total area of existing building structure by the total reused building area.

    How do exterior elements, such as a covered dock, get counted? Would that be considered a slab or exterior hardscape and not part of the building?

    This credit has relatively few LEED Interpretations, and so there may not be specific guidance from USGBC on some specific issues such as this one. It appears likely that a loading dock should be considered part of the building structure, and included, but some exterior appendages or structures may be more appropriate to exclude.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • If considering a site with an existing building, evaluate the drawbacks of renovation and restoration compared with demolition and new construction.


  • Building reuse maintains cultural and historic heritage in addition to extending the useful life of the building and materials. Tax credits and even grants may be available from local and federal authorities for rehabilitating historic buildings. These incentives usually require the redevelopment to be historically sensitive, and community input may also be required.


  • Hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead may be present in older buildings. The owner may benefit from conducting a Phase I Environmental Assessment, and if required, a Phase II assessment with a remediation plan to ensure a safe and healthy facility.


  • Large cost savings for the owner, along with reduced waste and resource use, can be benefits of building reuse. Perform a budget comparison of new construction versus restoration to make an informed decision.


  • You may find a tradeoff between building reuse and overall environmental performance, specifically in terms of indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Although many older buildings are energy-efficient compared to average new construction, it is typically more difficult to attain the highest levels of building performance due to the constraints of the existing building. Look for areas where this tradeoff may appear, and mitigate them by identifying measures most likely to result in improved performance. For example, an historic building with a load-bearing masonry wall may not be a good candidate for adding wall insulation. Try to improve thermal performance in other areas like roof insulation, reducing infiltration through windows, and using more efficient HVAC systems.

Schematic Design

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  • The architect determines project eligibility for the building reuse credit based on pre-design assessment. A project is eligible if it is reusing an existing structure with no addition, or if the total gross square foot of the final project with the new addition would be less than two times the gross floor area of existing floor area. Use the Documentation Toolkit calculator to determine eligibility.


  • Projects ineligible for the building reuse credit can count the reused building area towards MRc2: Construction Waste Management for recycling or otherwise diverting waste, or MRc3: Materials Reuse for materials that are reused on-site in a different application (such as door used as a countertop).


  • If a LEED project includes both existing structure and new construction, the LEED project boundary must encompass the entire existing building regardless of the scope of work within the existing building. The only instance where a portion of an existing building may be excluded from the LEED project boundary is if it functions independently with its own mechanical and electrical system.

Construction Documents

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  • Incorporate restoration specifications into the construction documents.


  • List and tabulate in the Building Reuse Calculator all of the exterior and structural elements being reused, restored and renovated in the project.


  • The Building Reuse calculator (see the Documentation Toolkit) helps in tabulating and obtaining a reuse percentage for credit targets. This data can be transferred to LEED Online after being finalized. Use these guidelines in carrying out the calculations for Building Reuse.

    • Include the following in the calculations as “existing elements”: the surface area of one side of all structural floors, roof decks, exterior walls, and party walls. Count the reused portions of these in “reused elements.”
    • In all calculations, count and include the surface area of one side of interior structural walls, for example an elevator shaft support wall in middle of a building.
    • Exclude the following from all calculations for this credit: hazardous materials, envelope materials that are structurally unsound, roof finish materials, window assemblies, and doors.
    • Exclude surface areas of structural supports like columns and beams from all the calculations, existing or reused. Larger wall and roof areas supported by columns and beams are included, so these structural members are excluded to avoid double counting. 
    • See the Documentation Toolkit for an example of how to calculate the surface area of existing structure elements.

  • Building elements removed because of hazardous materials do not count against you, because they are excluded from both the tally of existing elements, and from reused elements.


  • Many older buildings are energy-efficient compared with average new construction, but can be challenging to bring to a level of higher performance. Consult building science experts to avoid moisture and structural problems, and consult with historic preservationists to make sure that any solutions don’t conflict with historic standards, if relevant. For example, in buildings with load-bearing masonry walls, building scientists tend to want to insulate the exterior, while preservationists may object to changing the appearance of the building. Adding equipment like cooling towers may conflict with a building or neighborhood’s historic character.

Construction

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  • Work with the restoration contractor on appropriate demolition and restoration activities that support this credit and other resource reuse credits.


  • To document the credit, develop a floor plan showing the location of existing structural components, floors, roof deck, exterior walls, and internal structural walls, and identify each that are reused. See the Documentation Toolkit for an example floor plan and elevation.


  • Take photos of exposed cavities to document complicated structural systems and future use in installation of utilities or planning renovations.


  • Protect existing elements during demolition and construction so that they can be reused. Renovation and restoration may be labor-intensive; make realistic plans in advance.


  • Before completing LEED documentation, the architect or responsible party revisits the tabulation of existing and reused elements to confirm that the percentage of reused building elements is above the threshold required for LEED.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • The architect or responsible party drafts a narrative describing the project’s approach to building reuse, including the selection of preserved elements, and any outstanding project features.


  • Special finishes and materials may be used during construction to maintain a certain aesthetic or historic integrity. Be sure that operation and maintenance guidelines are developed that account for these factors.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    MR Credit 1.1: Building reuse - maintain existing walls, floors and roof

    1–3 Points

    Intent

    To extend the life cycle of existing building stock, conserve resources, retain cultural resources, reduce waste and reduce environmental impacts of new buildings as they relate to materials manufacturing and transport.

    Requirements

    Maintain the existing building structure (including structural floor and roof decking) and envelope (the exterior skin and framing, excluding window assemblies and nonstructural roofing material).

    Hazardous materials that are remediated as a part of the project must be excluded from the calculation of the percentage maintained.

    The minimum percentage building reuse for each point threshold is as follows:

    Building Reuse Points
    55% 1
    75% 2
    95% 3



    If the project includes an addition that is more than 6 times (for Core & Shell) and 2 times (for New Construction and Schools) the square footage of the existing building, this credit is not applicable.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Consider reusing existing, previously-occupied building structures, envelopes and elements. Remove elements that pose a contamination risk to building occupants and upgrade components that would improve energy and water efficiency such as windows, mechanical systems and plumbing fixtures.

Publications

Adaptive Reuse: Finding opportunity in our vacant built assets

Website that provides information on the benefits of adaptive reuseAdapted reuse is the renovation of a space for a purpose different from the original. and case studies based on project type.


How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built

A fascinating study of how buildings evolve or disintegrate after they're "finished," and how to design for their ongoing evolution. Great photos and anecdotes throughout illustrate Stewart Brand's theories, which are a compelling and easy read. A great book for lovers of old buildings, but also for those building new buildings that they wish to have a long, rich life.

Eligibility Calculator

Determining Project Eligibility for this Credit

Use these documents to determine eligibility for the project, if including an addition. The new construction must be not more than two times the existing floor area.

Building Reuse Documentation

For All Projects

The building reuse calculator helps in tabulating and obtaining a reuse percentage for credit targets. You can then transfer this data to LEED Online.

Floor Plan & Elevation

To document this credit you'll need a floor plan and elevation identifyng the structural components that are retained and those that are demolished. It verifies the accuracy of elements included in the building reuse calculations.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 MR

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

106 Comments

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Vibha Pai Student University of Cincinnati
Jun 19 2016
Guest
7 Thumbs Up

Master's Research Survey

Project Location: United States

I am conducting a survey in affiliation with University of Cincinnati for my Master's thesis which would take just 10-15 minutes of your time. By answering the questions that are relevant to your experience, would help me in giving my research the required depth in understanding the achievability of the credit points in the Material and Resource category of LEED v2009 and v2013.

The following is the link to complete the web based questionnaire.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XR3ZVZN
Thank you in advance for your time!

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April Ambrose Territory Manager Viridian
Jun 13 2016
LEEDuser Member
3124 Thumbs Up

No floor

Project Location: United States

A spec-built, cold-dark shell of a building was built with 4 walls and a roof, but the floor is still dirt. Now a client has purchased the building and will be fitting it out and adding a 20% sq ft addition. Do I include/exclude the dirt floor area from the calculations for this credit?

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal Kath Williams + Associates
May 31 2016
LEEDuser Member
1998 Thumbs Up

n/a

Project Location: United States

deleted

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal Kath Williams + Associates
May 31 2016
LEEDuser Member
1998 Thumbs Up

Refurbishing of historic windows

Project Location: United States

Windows in our historic building project have been removed, refurbished, glass upgraded to double-pane, low-eLow-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor., etc.
Can we use frames under MR c1 Building Reuse and MR c5 Regional Materials?

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability Manens-Tifs s.p.a.
May 18 2016
LEEDuser Member
1188 Thumbs Up

Historical Building

Hello everyone.
I'm now working on a project under certification, according to LEED v2009 NC.
The project includes the restoration of an historical rural building, uninhabited and abandoned from long time. The condition of this rural building at the moment of the acquisition by the Owner were the following:
- The roof was no longer existing since it had collapsed many years before, as well as some interior stuctural slabs.
- Structural facades was still in a good condition and we maintain them, following a specific request of the Office of Cultural Heritage.

Just to summarize, considering that we maintain 100% of existing building structures, available at the time of the acquisition of the historical building by the Client, may we pursue the 3 points available?
Thanks

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David Browne Architect, CRA & Associates, Inc. May 18 2016 LEEDuser Member 72 Thumbs Up

The form allows you to exclude material that was removed because it was structurally unsound or because it has to be removed as part of a hazardous material abatement program. I think roofs and floors that have collapsed prior to your restoration project could reasonably be deemed "structurally unsound."

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability, Manens-Tifs s.p.a. May 19 2016 LEEDuser Member 1188 Thumbs Up

Thanks!

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator Bywater Woodworks, Inc.
Mar 24 2016
Guest
18 Thumbs Up

Historic Bldg Renovation being done in phases, Bldg reuse calcs

Project Location: United States

I'm working on behalf of a GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. on a complicated historic renovation and new construction project that's being done in several phases with separate contracts between Owner and GC. The project was registered with LEED NC 2009 during the 1st phase (but after the 1st phase started) so the C&DConstruction and demolition Waste was not properly documented at the beginning of the 1st phase and the LEED goals were never communicated to the GC until the end of the 1st phase, so C&D Waste Recycling rate will be VERY low. Now the design team has identified the C&D Waste Recycling Credit, 50% as one of the credits the GC needs to pursue. So it'll be complicated to calculate and also unclear as to whether or not waste from the 1st phase of work will need to be included in the C&D Waste Recycling Calcs for the main project contract which is Phase II and will start well after the project registration under v 2009. Any thoughts?

Also, the documentation of what was removed to be reused and what was repaired in situ is also also not properly documented and will be very messy to try & piece together at this point. So this is another issue (The original bldg. dates back to 1823 and much of what was supposed to be reused couldn't due to age/service life of materials.) But I feel that the project should get BOTH of the Bldg Reuse credits just based on the fact that the owner is trying to preserve the bldg. in tact as much as possible and is making repairs to preserve the remaining life of the bldg. Any ideas on this as well is greatly appreciated.

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Megan White Sr. Sustainability Consultant , Integral Group Mar 28 2016 LEEDuser Expert 66 Thumbs Up

Hi Debra, Thank you for your questions. This does sound like a complicated project and I understand your concern regarding achievement of both of these credits.

Although I could provide you with guidance on C&DConstruction and demolition questions, I would recommend that you post your first question to the MRc2 page as those are the official LEEDuser experts that should address and provide guidance.

As for your second question, I'm happy to help provide some general guidance. It comes down to taking an inventory of surface area SF of floors, roof, exterior wall (i.e. envelop) and making a note of what was existing (reused/remained) and what needed to be replaced. It does not need to be over complicated and can be tracked through an Excel spreadsheet calculation. If you have a Revit model to get quantities and areas, this is easiest. If you don't have access to a Revit/CAD model, then doing area take-off's from PDF sheets will work with a scale. My recommendation is to try and keep it simple, straight forward.

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A Brockelman Architect, Director of Sustainable Design Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects
Mar 11 2016
LEEDuser Member
20 Thumbs Up

Reuse roof joists But not roof deck

Project Location: United States

I am working on a renovation project of a courthouse. We will be reusing the roof joists but will remove all the existing roof deck. I want to know if only the roof joists will contribute to this credit? And when it comes to the calculation of the roof joists, can I just use the flat surface area of the roof on a plan view?

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Anna Cogo Nativa S.r.l SB
Mar 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
15 Thumbs Up

Building Relocation

Project Location: Italy

If we decide to move a pavilion from Expo area to a new site, shall we take any "Building reuse" credits? All most of core and shell elements will be reused. The new building will be a school.
Shall we consider the materials storage place? it will be located in a third place, between Expo Area and new location (LEED project).

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Garrett Ferguson ARCH I, LEED AP BD+C Perkins+Will
Jan 14 2016
LEEDuser Member
91 Thumbs Up

Excluding Areas

1. My question is about how to correctly exclude areas in these calcs. We are working on a large project that has been remodeled multiple times over the years, with asbestos present in various parts of the building. If the asbestos is under Tile A, but not under Tile B, do I only exclude the area under Tile A?
It was found in the exterior walls on the 4th floor, but not on a portion of the 3rd floor. Do I exclude that portion of the wall, or the whole wall? We know that it is located in more areas of the building.
2. If I understand comments and verbiage correctly, the areas that have hazardous materials are excluded from the calcs, whether that area was able to be cleaned and re-used or not. Is that correct? I'm confused about excluding a portion of the floor that was covered in asbestos tile and grout even if we were able to reuse the slab.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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deborah lucking associate fentress architects
Jun 18 2015
LEEDuser Member
2349 Thumbs Up

Reconstructing a floor to account for sea level rise

Our project is required (by code) to raise the elevation of the ground floor slab, to account for future sea level rise. Because there are numerous (very, very numerous) floor boxes in the slab, it makes more sense to demo the existing slab and reconstruct a new one, at a higher elevation.
Has anyone any experience with this - would we qualify for the exception to exclude this area from the calculations?

Thanks!

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant Jun 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 2681 Thumbs Up

Deborah - I responded to your inquiry below, but just saw your post. In our case, we did NOT include the exisitng foundation in our calculations, only the structural elements that were preserved. Maybe someone else has more direct experience, but I would guess you would be hard pressed to exclude the slab. And maybe I'm picturing your project incorrectly, but maybe you could leave the existing slab in place, add the new floor for the raised structure, but incorporate the slab somehow -- even if it's just empty space? Just brainstorming -- Good luck!

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Jun 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 2349 Thumbs Up

Erica,
yours is the approach I was advocating as well.
We shall see.

Thanks!

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David Browne Architect CRA & Associates, Inc.
May 12 2015
LEEDuser Member
72 Thumbs Up

Building Reuse

Project Location: United States

With regard to Credit MRc1.1-Exisitng walls, floors and roof: I have a building which has a fake mansard around its perimeter. This fake mansard is outside the building envelope (beyond the face of the walls, mostly above the roof deck). I need to remove a good portion of it, because I am adding onto two sides of the building. Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't exclude the mansard, if I'm retaining almost all of the actual roof deck and more than 50% of the walls?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

This is a good question that I have no experience. That said, given that it's not structural, I would be inclined to exclude it from your calculations, only including structural elements.

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant
Jan 15 2015
LEEDuser Member
2681 Thumbs Up

following v4 requirements?

Project Location: United States

Any idea if the v4 version of this credit (MRc1 Building Life-cycle Impact Reduction) could be substituted here? Or maybe pursued for an innovation point?

We are reusing an historic church, with an addition. The project went through extensive work and hearings with the local historic commission, etc. We don't qualify for MRc1 under v3 because the addition is too large compared to the exisiting, and adding the "waste avoided" to the construction waste calcs under MRc2 really isn't even a drop in the bucket.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ May 13 2015 LEEDuser Expert 10683 Thumbs Up

Erica - By now you've probably seen the article "Use v4 credits on your v2009 project" - http://www.usgbc.org/articles/use-v4-credits-your-v2009-project. Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction is not listed as a credit that can be substituted into v2009.

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Zhantong Chen
Jan 07 2015
Guest
18 Thumbs Up

Reused area of column and beam

In MR c1.1, how to calculate the column and beam area? I acknowledged that the reused area of supporting elements should be included into reused-wall area calculation, but how LEED actually decide the area of a column if all surface area of it is reused? e.g. the whole column area or only the area attached to the wall? Besides, in LEED V4, the reference guide says "Calculate the surface area of these supporting elements as equal to surface area of the wall.", do you think it is appropriate to count column area the same as wall area?

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Mar 25 2015 LEEDuser Member 2349 Thumbs Up

Stanley, are you pursuing this credit under 2009 or v4?
if you refer to the building reuse calculator for 2009, (click on "documentation toolkit" above) it says:
"Exclude surface areas of structural supports like columns and beams from all the calculations, existing or reused."

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David Gruss
Sep 09 2014
Guest
9 Thumbs Up

How are doors calculated?

Are doors excluded in the same way as windows are excluded? If not, would new doors in existing frames count against your percentage reused number for a wall area?
Cheers, David

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Dec 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

Yes, doors and windows are excluded the same.

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Caleb Lesselles INTERN ARCHITECT COOPER CARRY
Jul 21 2014
Guest
51 Thumbs Up

Can reusing a parking garage count toward this credit?

We are currently working on a multiple building mixed-use project that is reusing a 3 level parking garage. The garage is an unconditioned space, and we are renovating the lighting and making minor modifications as part of the constructions scope, which will also include 7 new buildings. Can we count the garage area for building reuse?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 26 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Caleb, I don't see any reason why not.

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant Community Environmental Center
Jun 19 2014
Guest
303 Thumbs Up

Retaining old windows in a gut-rehab

My building has several windows that are less than 10 years old. They are in excellent shape. They are double pane, and I tested them and found them to have a low SHGCSolar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): The fraction of solar gain admitted through a window, expressed as a number between 0 and 1. with a low-eLow-E or Low-Emissivity Coating: Very thin metallic coating on glass or plastic window glazing that reduces heat loss and heat gain through the window; the coating emits less radiant energy (heat radiation), which makes it, in effect, reflective to that heat. In that way it boosts a window's R-value and reduces its U-factor. coating as well. I understand that MRc1.1 excludes windows, presumably to encourage the replacement of older single pane windows in gut-rehab projects. However in my case, window replacement will result in the landfilling of perfectly good windows, with only a small energy benefit.
I'd like to get the EP point for 95% structural preservation, so I am scrounging up as many possible opportunities as I can. I am debating whether to pursue 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 allow me to include the windows under MRc1.1? I want to know from other LEEDUsers if I have a good case or not.
Also, if I am ultimately allowed to include windows to be preserved, then wouldn't I also have to include windows to be removed. Any thoughts?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

I don't see any LEED interpretations on this so I think it would be wise to submit 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. Sorry I couldn't be more help!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 03 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Since the credit language explicitly excludes windows I agree with April that you would have to get 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 be allowed to include them.

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant
Apr 29 2014
LEEDuser Member
2681 Thumbs Up

Adding floors to existing building, plus addition

Our project is reusing an existing church, and adding an adjacent 4-story wing, with a connector in the middle. The existing church structure is currently only one floor, to which we will be adding 2 additional levels. As is, the new addition is more than 2x the square footage of the existing building, and we do not qualify for the credit. However, once the 2 additional floors are added, the new building is less than 2x the sf of existing structure. I don't think the credit language was written with this scenario in mind. Has anyone encountered this situation before? If we use an "alternative compliance path," might we qualify?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting May 02 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

Erica,

If I am following you correctly, you are asking if by adding the 2 floors to the existing building, could you count the total square footage of all three floors as existing, which would therefore be less than the adjacent addition?

If so, you would actually count the additional floors as an addition and the adjacent floors as an addition, which of course would swing your ratio the other way. Let me know if I'm missing something or if you have additional questions.

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant May 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 2681 Thumbs Up

I think counting the square footage of the added floors, so that the project qualifies for the credit, is entirely within the objective/intent of this credit.

Just to be clear, the 2 new floors are entirely contained within the original volume of the existing building (like mezzanines), not added to the top of the building. There are no new structural walls or roof. Any added structural flooring would not be included in the calculations.

The entire church and all its structural elements are being reused. But if we are only allowed to count the original ground floor square footage of the church, then the new addition and connector appear to be much, much larger by comparison, which they are not -- they are actually about equivalent in height and final square footage.

We will be attemtping this credit via the "alternative compliance pathway" approach, and I will post an update regarding our success.

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Jun 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

Looking forward to what you hear, Erica!

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant Jul 03 2014 LEEDuser Member 2681 Thumbs Up

Follow up -- We received this response 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).:

"Thank you for contacting LEED Support regarding new floors inserted into an existing building.

For EAc1, this is clearly new space but inside an existing envelope. For the purpose of determining new versus existing/renovated floor area, because the new floors are contained within the existing church building, it is reasonable to consider this area as existing/renovated.

This issue does not affect MRc1. This credit only considers the amount of an existing system that will be kept. For example, if all existing exterior walls will be kept, than the percentage for that element is 100% regardless of what new is added. The only roadblock could be the existing/new proportion limitation noted at the bottom of page 347 in the 2009 LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design & Construction, June 2010 edition."

So the "roadblock" was acknowledged, but not really resolved. We are going to try to be consistent with EAp2/c1, and call this "existing/renovated space."

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Jun 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 2349 Thumbs Up

Erica,
I'm curious for any updates/progress you may have made regarding the "roadblock".

Thanks!

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Erica Downs Sustainability & LEED Consultant Jun 18 2015 LEEDuser Member 2681 Thumbs Up

Hi Deborah - We have actually un-attempted this credit. I think we would have been successful, except for a new basement level that is equivalent to the footprint of BOTH the existing building and addition. Once that was added to new square footage, we clearly exceeded 2 times the existing building.

This is unfortunate because the owner and design put a LOT of thought, efoort, and cost to move and preserve the existing historic building, and they are basically receiving zero credit for this (in LEED terms) -- it's not even enough material to help with an ID point under MRc2! Oh well, that's not why they did it, but it would have been nice to claim something for it.

Sorry to not be more help.

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MT A Moriyama & Teshima Architects
Apr 07 2014
Guest
156 Thumbs Up

Steel Joists

We have reused and relocated some steel roof joints in an existing building (between additional existing joists to reduce the spans in an area). We are not pursuing MRc3 as we do not foresee having 5% of the material costs. As we are relocating but still within the existing building, can this contribute to MRc1.1 if we require? Otherwise, my understanding is that we can use them to contribute to MRc2.

Thank you.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

MT, this would contribute to MRc2, but not MRc1.

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MT A Moriyama & Teshima Architects Apr 07 2014 Guest 156 Thumbs Up

For clarification, why would this not contribute to MRc1.1?

As per MRc3 Bird's Eye View,
MRc1: Building Reuse can involve preserving part of a building or a material onsite and reusing it for its original purpose, or leaving it in its original location. The preserved portion of the building, or the material, only counts toward MRc1: Building Reuse (but not toward MRc3: Material Reuse or MRc2: Construction Waste Management).

The joists are being 'reused for its original purpose'. There are other walls, floors, etc. that are in their original location that are being reused and can contribute to this credit.

Thank you for the clarification.

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Apr 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

I think that is OK, actually. We know that MRc3 materials must be given a new purpose but reusing joists as joists meets the intent of MRc1, in my mind. And when you consider the documentation that would be submitted for this credit, we provide a spreadsheet of building components that are reused so the fact that they are moved first would not be relevant. Does that make sense?

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Chris Eger Korb Tredo Architects
Feb 12 2014
Guest
14 Thumbs Up

Building Demolition

We are demolishing a large building that is no longer in use and is twice the size of an existing portion being retained. The portion of the building being reused is more than double the size of an addition that is being constructed. Would this allow us to pursue the credit for building re-use. The portion of the building being demolished will be grass planted.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

You can pursue this credit but based on the calculations you provided, you may not hit the credit threshold due to the large demolished area. In that case, you can count both the reused building, and the demolished area (if diverted) toward MRc2.

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Alfred Servodidio Project Manager JMV Consulting Engineering
Dec 03 2013
LEEDuser Member
136 Thumbs Up

Reuse of envelope but not structural floor

I am working on 14,000sq ft 8 story historic high profile project in NYC that is keeping almost 100% of the exterior skin and framing but is removing almost all of the structural floor and roof decking in the renovation.
Is there any chance at this credit since the language says floors "and " envelope?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 17 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Alfred, you have a chance at the credit. It all depends on how the calculations work out. See our step by step instructions in the Checklists tab above for specific guidance.

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant, Community Environmental Center Jun 19 2014 Guest 303 Thumbs Up

In the interior was deemd to be structurally unfit for your new application, you might be able to get away with demolition.

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Alfred Servodidio Project Manager, JMV Consulting Engineering Mar 17 2015 LEEDuser Member 136 Thumbs Up

The building has thick exterior masonry walls which have been retained vs thin slabs that were demolished in order to make new new floor heights.We are inquiring as to weather we may explore an alternative compliance path considering volume of the retained building fabric vs demolition?

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Laura Long Project Manager NORR
Oct 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
354 Thumbs Up

Reuse of Roof Deck But Not Steel Joists

We are renovating a former grocery store into a satelitte campus building for a university. We will be reusing the roof deck but not the roof joists. I wanted to verify that it is only the roof deck that contributes to the total reuse for this credit.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Laura, that is correct, according to the credit language.

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Jeff Potter Project Manager FVHD Architects
Oct 04 2013
Guest
57 Thumbs Up

New Addition

Hi,
We are designing a 36,000sf addition to a 55,000sf school. This school addition will be an extension of the existing school buildings wing.
We are not touching the existing building other than tapping into some utilities (security, perhaps backfeeding electrical, etc.).
Since we are maintaining to use the existing building but NOT altering it in anyway... does this count as 100% building reuse? How about for MRc1.2 also?
Will I have to include it in the LEED boundary? Are there tradeoffs when doing this?

This credit has always been "gray" to me. Any clarification would be a huge help! Thanks!

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Jeff, if the existing building is included in your LEED project boundary and counted for all credits (including EAp2, etc.), then it can count as complete reuse.

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John McLean Senior Associate Watson Tate Savory Architects
Sep 16 2013
Guest
116 Thumbs Up

Other Buildings On Site

I have a group of 5 existing buildings on a brownfieldAbandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites who expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination (may include hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants). They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic vitality of such areas or properties. (EPA) site, two are being reused and 3 are being demolished.
Q1...As the demolished structures are not LEED buildings do I count them as non-reused areas or can I just look at the existing buildings that are being renovated to be LEED certified?
Q2...These two buildings to be reused are metal warehouses and only the slab and red steel structure is being reused. Can I count the steel or is this considered part of the wall, as stated on page 349; "..beams are considered part of the larger surface they support."
Thanks.

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Safeera Gaffar Sep 23 2013 Guest 18 Thumbs Up

John,

I think,
About Q1: If the demolished buildings are not in your selected LEED project boundary, you do not need to count them in your reuse calculations.

About Q2: If you are re using structural wall and column then it makes sense to calculate area of the wall that includes the column. But if you are removing the walls, that couldn't be considered as a re use of a structural wall. So I feel you should calculate the area of just the supporting columns.

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Brett Beckemeyer AIA, LEED-AP, BD&C Fox Architects
Jun 12 2013
Guest
303 Thumbs Up

Frankenstein Building Reuse

I am currently working on a project that has had 7 different additions dating back to 1956. We are planning on reusing all of the existing floor, foundations, steel framing, roof deck and a large portion of the exterior envelope, so I feel this credit is very likely. However, do to the nature of the building's past, finding accurate drawings of existing conditions has proven difficult.

Is there a way to simply state that we anticipate on reusing all of the existing foundation and below grade construction without giving an actual number? Or perhaps I can state that all foundation walls go 36" below grade or greater and use 36" as my average foundation wall kept in my surface area calculations?

Has anyone dealt with a similar issue and had success with submission?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 03 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Brett, my advice may not be what you want to hear, but given all the other LEED credits that require building plans, I would simply recommend making a building plan, even a fairly basic one, as an aid to credit documentation.

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Michael Beattie LEED Administrator NBF Architects
Apr 23 2013
Guest
178 Thumbs Up

Interior structural walls

Hi-
In filling out the LEED Online form for MRc1.1, I'm puzzled by the check box confirming that only one side of the interior structural walls has been counted. I understood that both sides of interior structural walls were to be counted. Has there been a change to this? Should I only count one side? Thanks for your help.

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting May 03 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

Hi Michael,

There has not been a change to this. It has always been the case to count one side of the interior structural wall element. See page 349 of the 2009 edition of the BD+C reference guide. Thanks!

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Tristan Hughes
Apr 07 2013
Guest
27 Thumbs Up

Building Reuse

Hi All
I am new to LEED so please excuse me if this question is a little simple.
We are building a new office building on the side of an existing office, and the new office is more then 2 times the size of the old office, (only just). The new structure will be directly linked to the old structure. We will not remove any of the existing building except the windows and external doors, (which will be upgraded), so pretty much 100% of the existing structure will remain. As the new building is too large for this credit where can I use this reuse of structures etc. in MRc2 or MRc3, and how?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting May 03 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

This would be best posted on MRc2 and MRc3. Thanks!

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Janene Bolt Interior Designer Clark Nexsen Architecture Engineering
Mar 21 2013
Guest
99 Thumbs Up

Exemplary Peformance

Our project is a major renovation to a historic building, and preliminary calcs are showing that we are reusing 99.1% of existing walls/floors/roof. It looks like there is no possible way to get exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for this credit under the NC rating system for over 95% reuse. Obviously it is not 100% reuse, but 99% is great compared to 95%... Has anyone had a similar situation?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Janene, this credit isn't eligible for EP, so there is really not a pathway here for you. MRc1.2 is really the other logical place to get credit.

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Mark Elsensohn
Jan 30 2013
Guest
24 Thumbs Up

Are Clerestory Windows considered a roof, or a window?

I am working on a Healthcare v2009 project where we are removing and infilling a bunch of clerestory windowsPronounced and sometimes spelled "clear-story," these are vertical, or close-to-vertical, windows high in the wall of a building that bring daylight deeply into the building and, if operable, can help ventilate the space.. We are attempting to get this credit, but do not know if the clerestory windows would be in the expempted category with other window assemblies, or if it would be classified as a roof assembly and need to be factored into the reuse percentage.

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Feb 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

My inclination is that they would be considered windows, and therefore exempted, assuming that they are vertical.

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Nanechka Pagan Architect, LEED GA Bayside Contractors, Inc.
Jan 29 2013
Guest
188 Thumbs Up

Existing Parking - Reuse Structural Slab

The project that I am currently working have an existing structural floor slab (previously used as a parking lot; doesn't not have roof/walls), the current design intentA written document that details the ideas, concepts, and criteria that are determined by the owner to be important to the success of the project. is to maintain more than 60% of the existing structural floor slab and construct a one story office building above. Since the existing site just have a structural floor slab with no walls or roof and we intent to maintain more than 60% of that structural floor. Does that strategy comply with this credit?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Feb 01 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

It would but you have to account for all of the structural components into your calculation. Therefore, given that you will have all new structural walls, roof, and some floor, your total will likely not work out to the minimum 55%.

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Dan Milewski
Jan 11 2013
Guest
212 Thumbs Up

Building Reuse of a previous LEED buiilding on same site

I have a question regarding compliance with this credit as long as MR Credit 1.2. Would this credit apply to a situation in which we are renovating (i.e. finishing an extension) an existing building that was built as part of the same project a few years earlier, which has been applied for LEED credit. All buildings onsite were built part of the project (no buildings were onsite prior to the project). This specific project now is the completion (i.e. build out) of the original building built five years ago which has already been submitted for LEED certification. The full envelope of the building was built and completed years ago. This project will maintain the existing building envelope and will essentially just be completing/extending indoor build out and systems (HVAC, electrical, fire, etc.).

Does it make sense to attempt to apply for MR Credits 1.1 and 1.2. OR would it make more sense to include this project as part of the original project for LEED certification. This would obviously require that we pull back our previous submissions, modify appropriately and resubmit.

Not sure if this matters, but there are other buildings onsite that are also seeking LEED certification and we are using the Master Site Campus approach.

Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 11 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Dan, given that the initial LEED certification is still in process, I think you either need to include the entire project in one LEED certification. If the LEED certification were already completed, that would be one thing, and you'd be looking a choice between a new NC certification for the whole building vs. EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. for the whole building, but in this situation I don't see how it makes sense to proceed with a process that is clearly outdated.

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant, Community Environmental Center Jun 19 2014 Guest 303 Thumbs Up

I did a building like this once. We went for C&S for the envelope and base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, etc. construction. Then we went for C&I for the fit-out. In that case, we got gold twice.

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Glen Boldt GBWorks
Nov 01 2012
LEEDuser Member
100 Thumbs Up

Historic Building Restoration

The building is being restored to an "historic condition." Do unfortunate additions (like CMU block in sealed up former window areas) subsequent to the "historic condition" need to be included in the calculation as existing envelope elements, or can we consider the "historic condition" the existing?

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April Brown Green Building Consultant, Green Bridge Consulting Nov 03 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1143 Thumbs Up

This is kind of tricky and I do not have specific experience with it - it may be worth a LEED interpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org.. My two cents, however, are 1. the window area is excluded from the structural calculation for building reuse, so I could see you making a case for excluding the area in your situation, especially if you are putting windows back in the area; 2. the CMU block in the window area are not structural, therefore your structural wall itself is being reused, despite the window area. MRc1.1 is specific to structural components, while MRc1.2 is for the interior nonstructural elements. Be sure to look in the documentation toolkit for sample calculations, which may be helpful for wrapping your head around the requirements.

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal Kath Williams + Associates
Oct 16 2012
LEEDuser Member
1998 Thumbs Up

Relocation

If you move a core and shell to a new location, it is building reuse or materials reuse?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 16 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Kath, it sounds to me more like building reuse rather than material reuse. You are extending the life of the building as a whole, not just the materials within.

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