NC-2009 MRc2: Construction Waste Management

  • NC_CS_Schools_MRc2-Type3-ConstructionWaste
  • It’s not only about recycling

    This credit focuses on diverting waste from landfills by finding multiple alternatives for end uses of the waste, namely recycling, reuse on site, donation for reuse on another site, or resale. All of these diversion methods count towards credit compliance—50% construction waste diverted for one point, 75% for two points.

    Look for opportunities to prevent the generation of waste on construction sites because the less waste you generate, the less you have to recycle or reuse to earn the credit.

    There are two different approaches to recycling construction and demolition (C&DConstruction and demolition) waste: separating materials at the source (onsite), or commingling them and sending them to an off-site waste sorting facility. Either approach can work well. Your choice will depend on whether there is room for sorting onsite, whether the contractor is willing to take that on, and if there are good sorting facilities nearby.

    Onsite vs. off-site sorting of construction waste - table

    Factors that affect your likelihood of success

    The ease or difficulty of this credit depends on project-specific and regional conditions.

    • Local infrastructure: Construction waste management (CWM) is becoming standard practice in many parts of the country; however, in rural or remote areas, it may be more difficult to find recyclers and salvage yards. Whether or not the economics work in your favor depends on the tipping feesTipping fees are charged by a landfill for disposal of waste, typically quoted per ton. for disposing of waste at a landfill: high fees mean high avoided costs for recycling so you come out ahead.
    • Is demolition involved? If so, this can be a relatively easy credit to earn. By donating, reusing, or recycling most of the demolition waste, you’ll have taken care of a significant portion of the project waste. Also, consider that re-use of existing buildings can save resources and cut down on waste when choosing a site for the project. However, this depends on the building type and the materials that will be demolished. For example, a site that previously had a concrete parking lot and no building will provide for a lot of heavy recyclable material. But, a site that had an old wood structure may be more difficult to divert. 
    • Have your contractors and waste haulers done it before? Their experience and commitment to making it work can make all the difference. It is crucial to educate contractors and subcontractors and to enable constant communication with field personnel in order to achieve these credit goals. Some contractors are regularly hitting a 90% target (versus a LEED target of 50% or 75%) whereas others can barely get to the 50% target.

    Construction waste dumpstersThe general contractor (GC) is responsible for developing the CWM plan early in the construction process, if not before (during preconstruction). The GC does this in collaboration with the project team and is then responsible for implementing it, verifying that it is being followed throughout the construction process, and documenting the results.

    FAQs for MRc2

    How is construction waste accounted for when utilizing off-site construction, like modular construction or pre-fabrication of assemblies?

    Waste generated off-site, even for modular construction and pre-fabrication of major assemblies is not accounted for in the MRc2 calculations. MRc2  looks only at the management of waste generated onsite.

    How does MRc2 work for projects pursuing a campus approach, or any project where waste management will be shared with other construction projects?

    LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10265 made on 01/01/2013 provides the best official guidance for this situation. The approach that is approved in that situation involves multiple buildings, all being certified to LEED-NC. The ruling allows the project to track together all demolition and construction waste diverted, and to then apply a weighted average based on gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. to each LEED project. Each building must meet the required threshold for waste diversion in order to earn the credit and in addition, the Construction Waste Management (CWM) Plan must outline goals for diversion for each building, not just as an aggregate across all projects.

    If your project is in a similar situation but with different specific circumstances, LEEDuser would recommend adopting that advice as closely as possible, while accounting for any differences in a way that meets the LEED credit intent. Some projects may want to get an official ruling—either a CIR or LEED Interpretation.

    Can materials that have been unused and returned to the manufacturer as part of a “take-back” program contribute to the credit?

    Yes, materials that would otherwise be waste, but that are diverted from the landfill to be salvaged or reused can contribute to MRc2.

    Should I include hazardous material such as lead-based paint in MRc2 calculations?

    No. Hazardous waste does not count and it is excluded from the numerator and denominator portions of the credit calculations. You may want to include a brief narrative on the hazardous waste you found and how your project abated the material.

    Should household-type trash from workers' lunches and office use be included in MRc2 diversion and calculations?

    There has been some debate about this, since on the one hand this waste does not qualify as typical C&D waste, but on the other hand it is waste generated onsite, which this credit is intended to address. LEEDuser's experts recommend including this waste because it falls under the broader definition of waste generated onsite, and because reduction, recycling and diversion programs can be extremely effective in reducing the quantity of this waste. Having workers pay attention to this waste makes them more aware of overall job-site recycling, and not mixing lunch waste with construction waste like scrap metal increases the recyclability of the construction waste.

    Can sending material to waste-to-energy plants count toward MRc2?

    USGBC has ruled (for example, see LEED Interpretation #10061) that diverting waste to incineration facilities does not contribute to MRc2, but that Wood Derived Fuel (WDF) does meet the intent of this credit. As that ruling states, "The WDF process differs from incineration processes that are not allowed in this credit because the recycling facility provides a value-added process; it is a service that exists to sort and distribute materials appropriate to the highest end uses possible. In addition, the revenue generated by the WDF commodity helps to make this business successful and thus facilitates recycling of wood to other end uses as well as recycling of other materials."

    The requirements of this credit say that land-clearing debris does not contribute to the percentage of materials diverted from the landfill. What exactly is considered "land clearing debris"?

    According to the LEED Reference Guide, land-clearing debris includes soil, vegetation, and rocks.

    Oops! Our trash was measured by both weight and volume at different times. How do I standardize this?

    Use the solid waste conversion factorsEstimates are presented in customary U.S. units. Floorspace estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 square foot is approximately equal to 0.0929 square meters. Energy estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 Btu is approximately equal to 1,055 joules; one kilowatthour is exactly equal to 3,600,000 joules; and one gigajoule (109 joules) is approximately 278 kilowatthours (kWh). in the LEED Reference Guide to account for recycled materials in dumpsters billed by volume.

    The waste management facility we are using is providing us with monthly documentation specific to our waste, showing 80% diversion. They also have a published, facility-wide rate of roughly 20%, and they have no published rate for construction waste. Will our diversion rate be accepted, or do we need to use a facility with an appropriate published rate?

    It is typically better to use project-specific diversion data when you can get it, and this data should typically be accepted in a LEED review. However, there are other options.

    There are LEED Interpretations such as LEED Interpretation #10060  made on 5/9/2011 that allow use of a facility-wide recycling rate, if approved by local regulators. On similar lines, a 5/9/2011 addendum added this note to the LEED Reference Guide: “For commingled recycling the average annual recycling rate for a sorting facility is acceptable for recording diversion rates only when the facility's method of recording and calculating the recycling rate is regulated by a local or state government authority.”

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Research Phase


  • Either identify a hauler with a strong recycling program, or research and find local recycling facilities to which you can send your hauler.


  • Research the waste management system:

    • What are the local recycling facilities?
    • What materials do they sort and recycle?
    • Do specific haulers go there?
    • What haulers are available and will they agree to transport the waste to the recycling facility you choose for this project? If they are used to going only to the landfill, they may not want to add this extra trip for one project.
    • Consult with haulers about costs for recycling versus waste hauling to the landfill. It is good to have this knowledge to understand cost impacts on the contractor.
    • If sorting onsite, the contractor has to find a hauler who will agree to take the sorted waste to the chosen recycling facility.
    • Consider the size of your site when choosing to sort onsite or off-site. Compact urban sites may not have the room on site for multiple dumpsters and may need to sort off-site.

  • Check local government websites for recycling programs. Also search for other ways to put materials back in circulation, such as exchange programs and brokers. For example, pallets and packaging can be sold or given away through these programs.


  • Construction materials vary with project location and building type. Some materials are easier to recycle than others. For example, copper wire and steel studs are readily recycled into new products, but vinyl tiles may not be. Research and specify what materials can be recycled, reused, or salvaged in the project’s municipality or region—and design with these materials so that waste scrap can be diverted from the landfill. For example, specify carpet from a manufacturer that has a take-back program, or ceiling tiles that are easily recyclable. Using precast concrete will avoid waste generation from in-situ concrete that will help in total waste generated.


  • Demolition projects can give away furniture, computers, and other equipment. Projects can also reuse items like doors, and crush demolished concrete and other paving materials to be reused as fill onsite. Demolition and renovation jobs can present many opportunities for salvaging items like wood timbers, architectural detailing, stonework, and millwork for reuse on another project, sale, or donation.


  • Research and use manufacturer “take-back” programs as much as possible. Manufacturers increasingly take back equipment and materials at no or low cost to the project. These programs are common with certain equipment and computers, ceiling tiles, and carpeting, for example.


  • Choose the right strategy for your project


  • Develop a list of construction materials from the budget estimate.


  • Determine if the waste will be measured by volume or by weight and keep it consistent. (Most projects pursue measurement by weight instead of volume.)


  • Target materials that are plentiful and either heavy or voluminous, depending on your documentation approach, and that are easy to recover and recycle to meet the 50% or 75% credit thresholds.


  • If discarding a lot of heavy stone, metal or masonry products, it will probably be more advantageous to track weight.


  • If discarding lots of packaging, insulating foam, and other light materials, you may prefer to track volume.


  • Selecting the right waste processor can minimize cost, but you have to strike a balance between cost and the feasibility of using that waste processing plant based on distance from the site and whether the hauler will agree to use that facility.


  • Recycling often generates revenue for the hauler who may then reduce the fee for the project. It also generates savings by reducing landfill tipping fees, which is beneficial to the contractor.


  • Contractors may claim that the CWM coordination and administrative oversight cost more money than recycling is worth, but many good contractors have figured out how to do CWM and can make it work for the same amount or less than typical trash hauling. This is somewhat dependent on the location of the project and available local resources.


  • If dealing with an existing building and a large amount of material is salvageable, consider deconstruction and materials salvage as an alternative to demolition. The contractor will have to oversee the process carefully. Many resources are available on deconstruction. (See Resources.)


  • Deconstruction will add extra cost to the project due to the additional labor required to take materials apart, remove nails from wood, and maintain material integrity. Ideally, the contractor will find a buyer for the materials to help offset these costs.


  • Thinking long term, consider what design decisions can increase the likelihood of deconstruction further down the road when specifying materials and systems to be used in the current project. Material selection and assembly type can impact how materials may be deconstructed and reused at the end of the building’s life-cycle.


  • Deconstruction


  • Perform a site survey to decide whether deconstruction makes sense. This will depend on how the building was assembled and the value of the materials to be salvaged.


  • Deconstruction is a good practice for maintaining a building material’s integrity so it can be reused. It certainly diverts waste from landfill and contributes to credit compliance as waste diversion.


  • Typically, good materials to salvage via deconstruction include wood framing, steel columns and beams, hardwood flooring, multi-paned windows, architectural details, plumbing and electrical fixtures, hardware and cabinetry, and high-quality brick work.


  • Renovation and restoration projects are good candidates for deconstruction.


  • There are industry standards on good practices for deconstruction as well as directories of experienced contractors, such as the Deconstruction Institute (see Resources).


  • Deconstruction can take longer than demolition. Project teams should estimate whether the extra labor spent on deconstruction can be offset by the value of the salvaged materials. Other benefits to weigh include the environmental benefits of reduced waste and avoiding use of new resources, and publicity benefits for materials reuse.

Schematic Design

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  • The project team should discuss the appropriate recycling process, including whether sorting will occur on or off site. This decision may be made after the general contractor joins the team. Both options have pros and cons (see table).



  • Early in the project, the architect should be involved in the plan to schedule construction and deconstruction with the contractor.

Design Development

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  • Hire a general contractor early in the project to discuss the deconstruction process and phasing.

Construction Documents

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  • Integrate CWM plan and MRc2 requirements into the construction specifications.


  • For guidance on how to write LEED specifications and CWM requirements into construction documents, see MasterSpec (see Resources).


  • If separation is occurring off-site at a comingled or mixed-debris processing plant, make sure the processor or recycling facility can provide documentation for the amount of waste processed, by weight or by volume, as agreed, as well as a diversion rate from the facility. This could be either a project-specific diversion rate supplied by the facility, or a letter from the state regulating body with the facility's average rate of recycling.


  • Waste prevention is an important part of CWM.


  • Orienting the GC to the tracking tools early on and providing on-going support to the CWM effort is critical to success.


  • The GC and project team should hold an orientation meeting to review all LEED-specific issues related not only to recycling and reuse, or salvaging, but also to reducing waste onsite in general.


  • The GC develops the CWM plan.


  • A CWM plan is an action plan for how to deal with construction and demolition (C&D) waste. At a minimum, it needs to identify what the recycling goals are, what materials will be recycled, reused or salvaged, which materials will be landfilled, and the estimated amounts of each (either by volume or by weight, but consistently throughout the project), processors that will receive the construction and demolition waste, and onsite procedures for achieving the stated goals.


  • Developing the CWM plan is the responsibility of the contractor but, ideally, the project team should work together to come up with a thorough CWM plan that addresses not only recycling, but also reusing and salvaging as many materials as possible.


  • In developing a CWM plan, take into account regional constraints, and weigh the feasibility of recycling or salvaging materials against other environmental factors, such as the impact of hauling waste long distances if recyclers are far from the project site. In such an instance, if site conditions allow, one strategy would be to stockpile material to be hauled only once or twice during a project to cut down on transportation cost and associated environmental impact.


  • Source separating, or onsite sorting, can yield the highest recycling rate and the best price for materials. Try to encourage the contractor to locate separate containers onsite to sort the materials.


  • Providing a sample CWM plan and guidelines on how to communicate it to subcontractors and workers can help to minimize any hesitation on the part of the GC.


  • Hiring construction teams that already have LEED experience and are familiar with CWM is helpful for credit achievement. They may already have developed CWM plans, have existing relationships with haulers and recyclers, and know how to train construction field personnel in CWM practices and track diversion rates.


  • Review LEED requirements with contractors during the bidding process so that they understand their responsibilities.


  • Subcontractors should be contractually required to implement their part of the CWM plan. Accountability is key to successfully implementing a CWM plan.


  • Deconstruction


  • Hire a special deconstruction contractor if required.


  • Provide a deconstruction-detailed drawing and specification with specific handling instructions for each material to be removed, such as whether it will be salvaged and sold, reused onsite, or marked for recycling.


  • Require measures for deconstruction in the CWM plan.

Construction

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  • The GC is responsible for implementing the CWM plan and making sure the recycling and reuse goals are met. (The GC should make sure to review the action steps and tips associated with developing the CWM plan, above.)


  • Provide training for each contractor and subcontractor about the CWM plan and the importance of documenting it. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding recycling goals. Make each training session specific to that trade.


  • As new subcontractors start work on site, have a LEED orientation session as part of safety trainings or other jobsite orientation meetings.


  • Consider designating a recycling coordinator (most likely someone in the GC’s office) to deal with all issues both onsite and off-site pertaining to CWM and making sure the plan is implemented properly and followed by all involved.


  • Weekly construction meetings should include an update, with a biweekly or monthly report collected by the LEED consultant, architect or owner. The CWM plan should outline this step, but it is important to make sure that all subcontractors and the GC are working together to comply during construction.


  • The contractor should communicate with all subcontractors about the recycling policy to make sure it is being followed. Recycling activities should be discussed regularly at job meetings.


  • A designated recycling coordinator can facilitate communication with all field personnel and address problems in the field promptly. This can reduce the risk of getting to the end of construction and falling short of diversion goals when it is too late to do anything about it.


  • Deconstruction


  • The GC and recycling coordinator should track the deconstruction process and make sure requirements and specifications are being met.


  • The deconstruction contractor submits sales receipts, donation receipts, and recycling weight tickets to the GC or recycling coordinator, so the diversion rates can be included in the CWM tally.


  • Preserving materials for reuse reduces waste disposal fees.


  • Onsite sorting


  • Train the staff on how to streamline onsite waste sorting. Identify champions within each subcontractor’s team to lead the CWM effort for their teams.


  • Designate a separate area to place bins for recycling. If waste is commingled (for off-site separation by the recycling center), some additional space is still required to keep wet waste and other garbage apart from recyclables.


  • A good CWM plan will include measures for waste prevention so that less waste is created in the first place. Consider requesting subcontractors to ask their vendors to use minimal or take-back packaging. As an incentive, specify that all subcontractors are responsible for returning pallets or recycling their packaging.


  • Use signage to support the CWM plan—reminding subcontractors to sort waste appropriately. Post signs on the sorting bins, garbage cans, and throughout the site. Signs should include whatever languages are needed to communicate with workers on the jobsite.


  • The recycling coordinator tracks onsite waste recycling every month, or with every filled bin, to stay on track. The bins may fill at different times, depending on the material. Every time a bin is emptied and weighed, fill in the data on the tracking sheet.


  • In cities where tipping fees are high, a lot of waste haulers separate waste automatically, just to avoid the fees, so contractors and subcontractors may have to source-separate onsite anyway.


  • Consider fencing recycling areas, screening recycling and trash dumpsters from the public or locating them in an inconspicuous area. Neighborhood “use” of dumpsters to dispose of old mattresses and other furnishings is a problem that contractors deal with regularly, especially in cities where disposal of bulky items is expensive. On the other hand, in areas where there are limited resources for construction waste recycling, projects can stockpile wood and other potentially desirable construction waste and make it available to workers and the community to take home. This material can then count towards diversion.


  • Off-site sorting


  • If separation is occurring off-site, make sure recyclables are not contaminated with other garbage and wet waste. Provide separate containers for food waste and miscellaneous garbage and mark all containers clearly and prominently.


  • Keeping coffee cups and food waste out of recycling bins can be especially challenging. Use clear signage to prevent this and make it easy for food waste to be properly disposed of by providing trash cans clearly marked and in various locations on the site or at each building level.


  • If separation is occurring off-site at a mixed-debris processing plant, make sure the recycling facility can provide documentation for the amount of waste processed, by weight or by volume, as well as monthly recycling rate information, which is required for documentation purposes.


  • Keep an ongoing log of weight tickets and receipts. The GC needs to track construction waste throughout the construction process. It is crucial that contractors request and keep all receipts and weight tickets from recycling companies to prove that diversion goals were achieved, as well as letters from recycling companies certifying their monthly recycling rates.


  • Maintain a project log to input all the monthly reports in one place. This will track project waste recycling rates and provide an alert if the average is lower than the target of 50% or 75%. Address these shortfalls early in the process to ensure that final diversion rates can be met.


  • LEED project managers should provide contractors with tracking or log-book forms to simplify the tracking process. See the Resources section for the LEEDuser CWM tracking calculator.





  • Waste amounts must be tracked consistently, either by weight or volume. If materials are very heavy, it is best to use the weight approach. Most waste processors track by weight, anyway. But this will depend on what the bulk of the project’s waste is made of.


  • Do not include land-clearing debris or excavated soil or rock in your calculations. Even if diverted from landfill, it is not to be included in the credit calculations. Contractors often think that trees and stumps are still part of the diverted waste, but take them out of the LEED credit form and supporting documentation if the contractor includes them.


  • Compile construction waste recycling data from all the monthly reports, and complete your LEED documentation online for submission to the USGBC.


  • Monthly reports from recycling facilities, showing their average monthly recycling rates, are an appropriate form of documentation for this credit.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Build on construction waste management practices for future renovations and remodeling.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    MR Credit 2: Construction waste management

    1–2 Points

    Intent

    To divert construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities. Redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process and reusable materials to appropriate sites.

    Requirements

    Recycle and/or salvage nonhazardous construction and demolition debris. Develop and implement a construction waste management plan that, at a minimum, identifies the materials to be diverted from disposal and whether the materials will be sorted on-site or comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility.. Excavated soil and land-clearing debris do not contribute to this credit. Calculations can be done by weight or volume, but must be consistent throughout. The minimum percentage debris to be recycled or salvaged for each point threshold is as follows:

    Recycled or Salvaged Points
    50% 1
    75% 2



    Credit substitution available

    You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Establish goals for diversion from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities and adopt a construction waste management plan to achieve these goals. Consider recycling cardboard, metal, brick, mineral fiber panel, concrete, plastic, clean wood, glass, gypsum wallboard, carpet and insulation. Construction debris processed into a recycled content commodity that has an open market value (e.g., wood derived fuel [WDF], alternative daily coverAlternative daily cover is material (other than earthen material) that is placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. material, etc.) may be applied to the construction waste calculation. Designate a specific area(s) on the construction site for segregated or comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. collection of recyclable materials, and track recycling efforts throughout the construction process. Identify construction haulers and recyclers to handle the designated materials. Note that diversion may include donation of materials to charitable organizations and salvage of materials on-site.

Organizations

Habitat for Humanity

Source for receiving salvaged or deconstructed materials.


New York WasteMatch

Waste management solutions - New York only.


Build It Green NYC

New York City's only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials.

Technical Guides

A Guide to Deconstruction

A step-by-step guide on deconstruction for contractors.


MasterSpec Section 01 74 19

Template for writing specifications on construction waste management as part of the MasterSpec licensed spec system.


01 74 19 (01351) Construction Waste Management

Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers sample spec language.


Contractor’s Guide – Seattle/ King County 2002-2003

Sample CWM Plan.


Resource Venture – Construction Waste Management Guide

Resources Guide to developing a CWM plan.

Web Tools

Deconstruction Institute

This is a resource database of contractors proficient with deconstruction and organizations, distributors, or contractors seeking material to salvage.


Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling

This website from the California Integrated Waste Management Board contains information on recycling and the use of recycled-content materials. The site includes many publications available for free download, such as sample construction and demolition debris recycling specifications.


Construction Waste Management Database

This online database contains information on companies that haul, collect and process recyclable debris from construction projects sorted by zip code.


Construction Waste Depot

CMDepot is a place where you can buy & sell excess construction material, tools, & equipment. You simply login, submit a listing of your excess material, and wait for a buyer. If a buyer contacts you, you can work out payment details and a delivery method.


Construction Waste Management

Comprehensive web page on construction waste management for large projects, with links to other resources.


WasteCapTRACE

WasteCapTRACE is an online documentation program for tracking construction and demolition debris recycling. It generates a custom construction waste management plan, provides a forum in which multiple team members can record data, and outputs reports and charts for your LEED submission. WasteCapTRACE is priced on a per-project basis, with fees linked to project square footage (like LEED application fees).


Reclaimed Material Consultant, Broker

PlanetReuse is a nationwide reclaimed construction material broker and consultant company. They make it easier to use a wide variety of reclaimed materials in new projects as well as help find new projects for building materials being deconstructed, guiding owners and contractors through every step of the process. LEED documents are also provided for waste management documentation.

Publications

Deconstruction: The First Step in Green Building

This guide is developed by wastematch.org, an organization that matches donors to recipients.


Waste Spec: Model Specifications for Construction Waste Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling

Model specification language that can be used by architects and engineers who want to reduce waste during construction.

Construction Waste Signs

Use clear signage such as in these example to keep construction and demolition waste separated for diversion purposes.

Commingled Waste Diversion

If you use commingled construction waste management, in which CWM is commingled and weighed off-site or calculated using a recycling facility's average diversion rate, you'll need special documentation to justify your rates for LEED. This sample was provided by Sustainable Solutions Corporation.

Construction Waste Management Tracking Sheet

Use a tracking sheet and calculator like this one to monitor your credit compliance.

Creating a Construction Waste Management Plan

This document provides key tips and sample tracking sheets and checklists for your project's construction waste management (CWM) plan.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 MR

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

378 Comments

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Shreepad Bandagi LEED Coordinator Nesma & Partners
Jun 30 2015
LEEDuser Member

Gypsum board recycling resource, Saudi Arabia

Project Location: Saudi Arabia

Wondering if anyone would have a resource for gypsum board recycling anywhere in Saudi Arabia. Thanks!

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Alicia Silva CEO Revitaliza consultores
May 24 2015
LEEDuser Member
1830 Thumbs Up

Waste classified

Project Location: Mexico

Construction waste will be separated onsite. It will be hauled (altogether in the same truck) to centers where workers clasify the waste and sell it to companys which take it to recycling plants. Waste not sold to recycling plants is sent to the landfill. However, it is difficult to find out what percentage of total waste is actually diverted from the landfill for a particular project. How can this procedure be documented towards credit compliance?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC May 25 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Alicia - How is the diversion information reported to you? Is there facility-wide information or is it project specific? I am referring the last FAQ above that starts with "The waste management facility we are using is providing..." Have you reviewed LI ID #10060 - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10060?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 31 2015 LEEDuser Member 2076 Thumbs Up

Alicia—LI#10060 addresses using a “system recycling rate” monitored by a local government authority. This approach is also addressed in LI#3000 and Reference Guide Correction #100000902 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100000902). However, if your local government does not regulate recycling facilities, you cannot use this approach.

If a government monitored facility is not available, LI#5171 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=MRFs) offers one possible approach to measuring “project-specific” comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. loads similar to what you describe. As noted in this ruling, if your recycler uses “Methodology #1,” “they need to document actual percentage of material recycled based on actual weight or volume of material.” This would require weighing each load at the sorting center BEFORE sorting and weighing the landfilled, residual waste left over AFTER sorting. Calculate the percentage recycled:

100 x ( BEFORE – AFTER ) ÷ BEFORE = % Recycled

This could be an additional step for the sorters, and it would require them to sort and weigh each load separately.

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Ian McCall Environmental Engineer Le Sommer Environnement
May 12 2015
LEEDuser Member
735 Thumbs Up

Construction Waste Management-Multiple Buildings

Project Location: France

Dear LEED-ers,

Scenario : One single project, consisting of an office building (LEED Ceritified) & hotel building (NOT LEED Certified) in a very built up area with limited space. Both buildings are have the same site, project owner, management team, general contractor, and waste hauler company etc….

I would like to apply the ruling ID#10265 & ID#3000 that allows the project to track together all demolition and construction waste diverted, and to then apply a weighted average based on gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. to the office LEED certified building. Is this possible and be awarded the points (assuming that the minimum percentages are respected)?
Regards,
Ian

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC May 13 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Ian - First I do not think that LI ID #3000 - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=3000 - regarding average annual recycling rate for commingled sorting is applicable to the scenario you present. Is this the one you meant?

While I have not used it in the way you propose, I believe that using the weighted average based on GSF as outlined in the LI ID #10265 should be acceptable in your scenario. (Please see the LEEDuser FAQ entitled "How does MRc2 work for projects pursuing a campus approach, or any project where waste management will be shared with other construction projects?")

FYI: Prior to LI ID #10265, I cited a successful cost-based methodology for a LEED and non-LEED certified project in this 6/28/11 post - http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc2?all-comments=true#comment-15245. I believe that LI ID #10265 trumps this methodology today.

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Sara Zoumbaris Sustainable Design Consulting
Apr 15 2015
LEEDuser Member
281 Thumbs Up

Can We Use Both Facility and Site Rates?

Project Location: United States

Hi all,
I am working on a project that ended up using 2 separate waste haulers during the time of the project - one for the first half or so, and the second for the remainder of the project. One waste hauler has provided site specific tonnage while the other has provided facility rates. The waste was comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. during both periods. My question is, can we submit a combination of the two? Has anyone been successful with this?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 15 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Sara - I've successfully submitted with two construction waste haulers in the past. As long as the material was diverted and you have the necessary backup, I don't see why you should have any problems with this methodology.

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Frances Stark
Feb 19 2015
Guest
6 Thumbs Up

LEED Certified C&D sites

Project Location: United States

Is there a comprehensive directory of all the LEED certified recycling sites by state (or otherwise categorized)? I would love to see it.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Feb 23 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Frances - I think you are looking for recycling centers that that are regulated by a local or state government in terms of commingled recycling rates for MRc2 (5/9/2011 Correction regarding average annual recycling rate for commingled recycling rates). I am not aware of such a list. (Please note that there are not that USGBC and LEED do not certify recycling centers for the purposes of this credit.)

Depending on which state you are working in, you might want to check on the State government's website. California has a robust C&DConstruction and demolition waste website - http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/ConDemo/default.htm but I didn't dig deeper to see if they have a list of state-regulated facilities.

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Feb 23 2015 LEEDuser Member 1398 Thumbs Up

Frances - Not sure if you're referring to the LEED-approved recycling centers for Pilot Credit MRpc87 (Verified Construction and Demolition Rates). For that credit, at the moment only the Recycling Certification Institute's Certificate of Real Rates is considered compliant/applicable. The Recycling Certification Institute does publish a list of the certified facilities (https://www.recyclingcertification.org/certified-facilities/).

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Feb 23 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Frances - If Kristina is correct in what you are seeking, you might want to post a question on that Pilot Credit's forum - http://www.leeduser.com/credit/Homes-v2008/MRpc8. (Thanks Kristina!)

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ethen mcmanus
Jan 12 2015
Guest
16 Thumbs Up

CWM - Temporary Landfill

The entire purpose of MR2 is to divert waste from landfills, and the waste should be either recycled, donated, salvaged or reused.

My question is as follows:

My project is in a third world country.

The waste we generate onsite goes to what they call here a "Temporary landfill", and then international companies and local companies bid for our waste, and either recycle it, reuse it, salvage it or donate it. My company deals directly with the municipality that is in charge of the temporary landfill, and we obtain tickets saying how much wood, steel, plastic, cardboard, aluminum left our construction site. (in KGs)

What documents do I need to upload at the end of the construction project to GBCI? Would the tickets from Municipality suffice? I highly doubt that I could know which companies bid for our wood, steel, plastic etc. But I do know for a fact that our waste was recycled.

My second question is - Does the waste leaving the site have to go directly to recycling centers? Because in our case, our waste went to a temporary landfill, and then was picked up and recycled.

Thank you

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Jan 12 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Ethen - I don't have experience with this type of situation and hence can't give you clear guidance in regards to your first question. I hope other LEEDusers will chime in. If not, consider reviewing this article and looking at the options that are available to you for reaching out to GBCI - LEED reviewer experts are available to help you (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/leed-reviewer-experts-are-available-help-you).

Regarding your second question, it is very common in the U.S. for waste to go to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to be sorted before it goes to the ultimate recycling facility. So, no, I don't think the waste has to go directly to a recycling center.

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Jake Bebee LEED AP BD+C ID+C Project Manager
Dec 12 2014
Guest
21 Thumbs Up

MRc2 Form Version 0.2.3.. undervaluing commingled waste?

Project Location: United States

I've been reviewing credits for project teams for a while now and cannot figure this out to save my life.

One of my team members has mistakenly entered a bunch (about 88% by tonnage) of commingled waste as diverted on the form. When I changed it to "Waste is commingled; diverted offsite" just to see if the form would ask for backup, the total percentage diverted from landfill dropped from 88% to 77% inexplicably. I've searched the forum up and down and can't seem to find anything that explains this.

Admittedly this is an old project (and thus, an older form), but I've never seen this before.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Dec 16 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Jake - Many of the early LEED 2009 forms had issues. The version you mention was a Beta (first version). I don't doubt it had issues, but I can't speak to that calculation error myself. You must really have an old project because the v3.0 version came out in August 2010. The USGBC published a Form Fix log to note changes made between versions of forms. The last one from July 2013 is here - http://www.usgbc.org/resources/lov3-forms-fix-log.

You can also read more at this LEEDuser forum - http://www.leeduser.com/topic/beta-credit-versions. This LOv3 Help topic may also be of use - https://www.leedonline.com/irj/go/km/docs/documents/usgbc/leed/config/co.... Check out "My forms says "beta" at the bottom. What does this mean?" and "What is the form upgrade process?" so you can upgrade your forms.

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Jake Bebee LEED AP BD+C ID+C Project Manager Dec 17 2014 Guest 21 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for getting back to me, and kudos on the form notes.. it is a really old project and at this point we are just trying to close it out. I've recommended updating the forms but it seems the GC is reluctant to work with anything they haven't worked with before.

Anyway about the calculation itself, I think we figured it out. When we entered the commingled portion of the waste, the landfilled materials were actually already part of that number. So, when we listed them as commingled at 88% diversion, the percentage of landfilled material shot up since we were technically counting it twice (once as part of the 88% diversion rate of the commingled waste, and once more as a separate line item on the form itself). So what we did instead is just delete the landfilled waste percentage from the form and kept the whole value of the commingled waste at 88%. That got us the percentage we were documenting/deserved.

Hopefully that made sense, and hopefully not too many other people are dealing with forms this old!

Thanks again Michelle!

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Gregg Behmer
Dec 08 2014
LEEDuser Member
18 Thumbs Up

MRc2-Concrete Not Poured from Truck and Returned to Batch Plant

Project Location: United States

Is our leftover concrete, not poured from the truck and returned to the batch plant, counted as diverted from landfills per MR2 if we can provide documentation that it is reused by the batch plant in some way?

I see in FAQ's:

Can materials that have been unused and returned to the manufacturer as part of a “take-back” program contribute to the credit?

Yes, materials that would otherwise be waste, but that are diverted from the landfill to be salvaged or reused can contribute to MRc2.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Dec 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Gregg - I would say no. The unused concrete material never really made it to the jobsite - unlike the unused material you note in the FAQ.

If anyone else has a different opinion or experience with this, please chime in.

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Gregg Behmer Dec 15 2014 LEEDuser Member 18 Thumbs Up

Thank you for the response Michelle. I had discussed this with a LEED consultant who we do some work with and this was their take on the idea as well. Therefore, I won't recommend our teams track that material for MRc2.

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Madhura Dhayagude
Dec 02 2014
LEEDuser Member
50 Thumbs Up

Column Veneer preserved but covered

Project Location: United States

We are working on a project where the client wants to preserve the existing column veneer, however they want to cover the whole column with a new finish. Would this case be applicable in Materials Reuse and/or Recycling? Can we apply for a credit in this category?

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Allison Beer McKenzie Architect, Director of Sustainability, SHP Leading Design Dec 02 2014 LEEDuser Expert 6679 Thumbs Up

No- this is a Building Reuse strategy. These materials would apply to MRc1.2- Building Reuse- Maintain Interior Nonstructural Elements.

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Madhura Dhayagude Dec 02 2014 LEEDuser Member 50 Thumbs Up

Allison,
Thank you for your quick reply!

Thanks
Madhura

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Dec 02 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Madhura - If you cannot meet the thresholds for MRc1, you can apply the reused building portions toward achievement of MRc2. Since you are a LEEDuser Guest, I am not sure if you can see the Related Credits sidebar above that outlines this. See Related Credits for MRc1.2 and MRc2 in the LEED Reference Guide. You may not need to do the weight or volume calculations to account for this diversion to meet your goal on MRc2 but it's worth knowing about.

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Esmeralda Ward NAC Architecture
Nov 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
211 Thumbs Up

"Mixed C&D"

Project Location: United States

On a current project under construction the contractor's waste hauler has been submitting monthly reports that have a list of materials on it, including Wood, Concrete, etc. One of these materials is "Mixed C&DConstruction and demolition". On every report so far they have listed 100% of the waste they have hauled in this "Mixed C&D". They then break that down into the amount landfilled versus the amount diverted. The hauler ensures us that they have had success with this approach for MRc2 on other LEED projects. On the previous LEED projects I have worked on however, the waste hauler has always broken it down into wood, concrete, rock, etc. Has anyone had a project that has successfully achieved MRc2 when the waste hauler only lists everything as "Mixed C&D?
Thanks,
Esmeralda

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Nov 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Esmeralda - I'm not sure I'm following your question. Your first sentence states you get a monthly report with individual materials listed. But then you say 100% of the waste they haul is Mixed C&DConstruction and demolition. If the materials are collected commingled on your project site, then it makes sense that you won't have a breakdown of specific diverted materials until later. But are you saying they are going to give you a % (or weight) of Mixed C&D that is diverted and a % (or weight) of Mixed C&D that is landfilled and not give a further breakdown of what was actually diverted?

If so, to me that doesn't seem correct. How/where is that material being recycled? I am used to commingled collected recyclables being broken down into specific diverted materials.

Does anyone have experience and/or success with a similar situation that you can share?

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Esmeralda Ward NAC Architecture Nov 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 211 Thumbs Up

Michelle,
Thanks for your quick reply. I should have clarified that when I said we receive a monthly report with individual materials listed but that everything is listed under the Mixed C&DConstruction and demolition category, I meant that other categories are listed on the form clearly indicating that the hauler has the ability to separate the waste into different categories (wood, plastics, etc.) I have been unable to figure out how to post a photo here of the report to explain this further, but if it is alright with you I will email this to you.

The waste is collected at the site commingled. Like you I am used to this occurring at the site but then having the hauler break it down into categories at their facility and report on the diversion rate for each category. This hauler 'promises' though that reporting everything under Mixed C&D has worked for them in the past in previous MRc2 documentation.

Thanks,
Esmeralda

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Nov 22 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Esmeralda - I have had the same experience as you state in your e-mail to me: "On all my previous LEED projects the hauler has separated the waste into different categories so I have not come across this before."

I would think that they should be able to tell you how the Mixed C&DConstruction and demolition is being recycled and what constituents it has. For instance, are they using the 5.64 tons Mixed C&D waste as alternative daily coverAlternative daily cover is material (other than earthen material) that is placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging.? I would push the subcontractor for additional information. (What has worked on other LEED projects is not guarantee it will work on yours - especially if you don't have the documentation to use as an example to back it up.)

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator, Ecostrategic Construction Solutions Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 84 Thumbs Up

I realize this post is older, but I have a question related to this. On one of my projects, we are using the commingled waste stream. The Waste Hauler's monthly reports only provides the following quantifiable info: total tons of waste hauled, % of waste diverted, % of waste landfilled. I am used to and have always submitted reports that breaks down the diverted waste into categories (wood, concrete, metals, etc.). The waste hauler has suggested that this is not necessary. Has anyone had success with submitting the waste reporting in this manner? I realize that the information the waste hauler is providing is sufficient for completing the LEED form, however the form does request additional back-up for the commingled waste.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Alright LEEDusers, chime in here to help Marcia. As noted earlier in this thread, I am not used to seeing commingled waste as a percentage only and any experience you can share on this issue would be appreciated.

Maybe Esmeralda can share if she was successful in getting the subcontractor to provide the additional backup.

Lastly, the purpose of LEED is NOT the documentation. It is getting the environmental and energy benefits associated with its strategies. For this credit, the point is to divert debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities and to redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process. The hauler should be able to tell you where these recovered materials end up.

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator, Ecostrategic Construction Solutions Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 84 Thumbs Up

Michelle,
thanks for chiming in so quickly. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the purpose of LEED is not the documentation. I hope that was not conveyed in my question. However, since the LEED Reviewer's decision is based on the documentation submitted, I am trying to understand what counts as sufficient information to verify our claims.

I should probably note that before any waste hauling activities began, we worked with the waste hauler to understand what materials will be targeted for recycling and what will happen to them. Based on this discussion our CWM plan highlights the specific materials that will be diverted, how they will be diverted and what facilities they will be taken to. While this information is included in our CWM plan, the monthly reports do not provide an individual breakdown of those targeted materials. This is my first experience with this type of reporting from a waste hauler and if anyone else has had experience with this and could chime in, it would be a big help. Also, Michelle, do you think the information we have included in our CWM plan counts as confirmation of what happens to the diverted materials?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Marcia - Thanks for sharing this additional information. First, I did not read into your statements about documentation being the point. I was stating this in regards to something to convey to your waste hauler - although from what you have shared, the company seems to have been an integral partner in developing your CWM Plan.

While I do see the information in the plan helping to back up the recovery of materials, I'm a stickler for complete backup and I would want more detail from the hauler on the actual disposition of materials. (Markets change and the original plans for recovery may have changed.) In addition, I cannot confirm that the proposed backup from your waste hauler with percentages only will be accepted by GBCI due to my lack of experience with this type of limited data and I wouldn't want to lead you to believe otherwise.

Again, I hope other LEEDusers will share any experience they have on this situation so we both can learn!

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Esmeralda Ward NAC Architecture Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 211 Thumbs Up

Hello all,
Since my original post in November above the monthly reports from the hauler on the project I mentioned have started to include some further breakouts. So now there are some quantities included in the wood, metal, etc. line items on the hauler's form in addition to some quantities in their "Mixed C+D" line item, as opposed to the whole quantity being listed in the "Mixed C+D" line item. According to our contractor this is because as the project progresses (it is a renovation and addition to an existing building) more waste is being transported off the site that falls into those categories.
We are still in construction on this project so this credit has not yet been submitted for review and so don't have any feedback from reviewers on how they will view it. For now, my fingers are still crossed!

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Christine Castellano LEED GA RC Andersen LLC
Oct 20 2014
LEEDuser Member
78 Thumbs Up

An unusual situation with Recycling Tickets

Project Location: United States

As the general contractor on a recently completed LEED project, all of the tickets I've received from the off-site waste separation facility listed the tonnage diverted by item, i.e., concrete, metal, wood, plastic, cardboard, etc. Then, one of our subcontractors - who provided his own containers -used the same recycling facility, the tickets I've received from them do not separate the items, the tonnage recycled was just provided, not the breakdown. The recycling facility assured me the material was 100% recycled and not landfilled - can I include that tonnage as "MIXED DRY REC." since i cannot be more specific as to the contents? Thanks!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Christine - Was this waste collected as commingled or site-separated? Based on your description of what you received from the recycling facility, it seems like your description makes sense and you'd need to also show this as commingled on the form (Diverted or Landfill Waste column) and provide backup from the recycling facility showing the overall recycled percentage.

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Christine Castellano LEED GA, RC Andersen LLC Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 78 Thumbs Up

Michelle - the waste was commingled and separated off site. Just so I understand, your interpretation is I can use the tonnage as Mixed Dry Recycled, as long as i have backup from the recycling facility showing the overall recycled percentage?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

I am glad to know it was commingled. This makes this approach even more straightforward.

To answer your question - yes; however, I want to clarify that the percentage from the recycling facility is for your specific job and not a facility-wide recycling rate. If it is not specific, see the last FAQ above and the reference to LI ID #10060 - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10060 regarding facility-wide recycling rates.

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Lisa Nilles Walker Construction
Oct 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
11 Thumbs Up

Returned wooden pallets

Project Location: United States

We have receipts for 238 wooden pallets which were returned. I am trying to decipher if these can be considered diverted material as the alternative here is to take them to the landfill. However, we haven't been given a weight but, that wouldn't be to hard to find out. Has anyone else been successful in claiming these this way? Or, is there another way they can be utilized for credit?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Lisa - Sorry for my tardy reply. I was away from all communications while on vacation.

I haven't had your exact situation before but it appears that you can count these pallets as diverted since they otherwise would have been landfilled... It sounds like you are doing your calculations by weight and hence only need the weight to calculate the overall contribution to diversion from the landfill. Combined with your receipts for the pallets return, the weight calculation would make a complete set of backup if the reviewer questioned your approach. Way to go on going the extra mile for diversion!

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Lisa Nilles Walker Construction Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Member 11 Thumbs Up

Thank you so much Michelle. Great to know. I will include these in our calculations.

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Brian Leet Freeman French Freeman
Sep 29 2014
Guest
74 Thumbs Up

Fire Department Practice Burn

Project Location: United States

We have a project on a large campus which has involved demolition of over a dozen buildings. There has been a strong focus on waste diversion which has allowed us to achieve just over 95% thus far. One of the smaller remaining structures has gained the interest of local fire departments which have requested the opportunity to use it as for a training burn. They would ignite the building on site and use it for a day-long series of practice exercises. Presumably little but ash and foundation would be left at the end of the day.

Has anyone encountered this situation in a LEED project before? Do we count this as diverted because the structure is slated for demolition and doesn't end up in a landfill? Entirely exclude it from the calculation on the basis that it isn't construction waste if used for a different purpose prior to demolition?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Brian - Sorry for my tardy reply. I was away from all communications while on vacation.

I don't have experience with this situation and it doesn't seem like anyone else has as no one has chimed in yet. Based on what you've shared, totally excluding it does not seem right because there will be waste after the burn that your project will need to remove in order to complete your project. I would include the remaining materials after the burn as either diverted or landfilled waste - depending on their disposal.

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Brian Leet Freeman French Freeman Oct 20 2014 Guest 74 Thumbs Up

Michelle,

Thank you for the reply. The owner decided that coordinating a fire training exercise with an active construction site was not feasible. So, I won't be able to fill folks in on the intricacies of this situation. It's an interesting one, and I agree with your assessment.

Brian

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John Covello LEED AP BD+C, EBOM, LEED and Sustainability Manager Development Management Group
Sep 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
523 Thumbs Up

Recycling Facility Letters of Certification

Project Location: Thailand

I have a question about doing an overseas project. Do we need some kind of Letters of Certification for the recycling facilities we are using? Do they have to be vetted in some way as a recycling center?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Sep 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

John - I haven't had the opportunity yet to work on any overseas projects; however, I am not aware of any special requirements for international projects for MRc2. Does anyone else have experience on this who can share his/her insights?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 2076 Thumbs Up

I don’t have overseas experience either, but I have dealt with a couple regulatory issues that apply to ALL projects, but differently depending on locale:

1. Minimum Project Requirement MPR 1 requires all project work to “comply with applicable federal, state, and local building-related environmental laws and regulations in place where the project is located.” Therefore, all laws regulating waste disposal and recycling in you jurisdiction apply. Your waste handlers, recyclers, & disposal sites must comply with certifications, registrations, & any other qualifications required by local regulators.

2. Also, for commingled waste that is sorted at an off-site facility, LEED Interpretations #10060 & #3000 and Addenda Item #100000902 prescribe a method of calculating diversion rates base on annual averages, but this method only applies if the facility is regulated by local “government authority as a closed system.” See:
http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10060
. and
www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100000902.
If local government does not regulate the sorting facility, each commingled load must be evaluated by weight as described by “Methodology #1” in the ruling for LI# 5171:
http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=5171.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Sep 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Jon - Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I reached out to USGBC and a reviewer replied that there are no specific requirements for projects outside the U.S. She did highlight the same information that you mention regarding commingled waste verification. She pointed specifically to 5/9/2011 Reference Guide Correction ID #100000902 - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100000902 - and if the annual average recycling rate of the sorting facility is used, then it must come from a regulating local or state government authority.

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John Covello LEED AP BD+C, EBOM, LEED and Sustainability Manager, Development Management Group Sep 19 2014 LEEDuser Member 523 Thumbs Up

Thank you both for your information. It has been a big help.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 2076 Thumbs Up

Incidentally, Construction Waste & Demo Specs that I have worked with include contract language requiring compliance with local regulations and licensing requirements. As a result, the submitted Construction Waste Management Plans (CWMPs) have included evidence of approval from local regulators. These attachments may become part of the LEEDonline submittal when we upload the CWMP, as required, to the MRc2 form.

Also, if the waste table on your MRc2 form includes commingled entries, LEEDonline requires you to upload documentation to support the reported diversion rates. If using the “average annual” facility rated allowed above, that documentation must come from the local regulator.

Review your waste contract language, research local requirements, and work with local regulators to obtain proper documentation.

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Christine Castellano LEED GA RC Andersen LLC
Aug 12 2014
LEEDuser Member
78 Thumbs Up

Net vs. Gross tonnage

On a demo project where material was brought to multiple recycling centers, some of the recyclers gave me both net and gross tonnage, and some only gave me pounds, which i converted to net tonnage. My question is should i be using the gross tons weight where i have it and use the net tonnage where i dont have gross tonnage info?

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Scott Adams Principal, Sustainable Integration LLC Aug 12 2014 Guest 91 Thumbs Up

Your units must be consistent. I am assuming that gross tonnage includes the weight of the bin in which case you should be using the net tonnage.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Aug 12 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Hi Christine - I agree with Scott. You need to be reporting your information in consistent units and you care about the actual materials weight, which I assume to be net tonnage.

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Allison Rutter
Jun 10 2014
Guest
42 Thumbs Up

Pulverized gypsum as landfill cap?

Hi,
I'll be submitting a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide on this, but does anyone have any guidance on redirecting drywall to be pulverized and used as a cap on a landfill closure? Wondering if there is an issue with this not being seen as a waste diversion from landfill.

Allison

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Jun 10 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Allison - I'm sure you've checked the current LI Database (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations) on this subject, right? I can't remember an instance of using a material as a landfill cap but I've never looked specifically for it before. It sounds awfully close to alternative daily coverAlternative daily cover is material (other than earthen material) that is placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. that is currently allowed. I’m sure you’re aware of the latest process with Project CIRs - http://www.gbci.org/Certification/Resources/cirs.aspx and the next step LEED Interpretations - http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/LEED_Interpretations_Guidance.pdf. Maybe some other LEEDuser member has some experience they will share.

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Thomas Maier Jul 22 2014 LEEDuser Member 6 Thumbs Up

The pulverized dry wall will emit hydrogen sulfide and should not be used for landfill cover.

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Craig Mahoney Waste Services Project Manager , Guard Contracting Corporation Jul 22 2014 Guest 42 Thumbs Up

Is the pulverized drywall from new drywall or used drywall?

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Lawrence Lile Chief Engineer Lile Engineering LLC
Apr 08 2014
LEEDuser Member
2006 Thumbs Up

To weigh, or not to weigh?

We have a project with some existing asphalt pavement that will be busted up and used as clean fill on the same project. Will LEED accept measurements of the length, width and depth of this material instead of trucking it offsite to get it weighed? What if these measurements were done by a licensed Civil Engineer - would that make them more credible?

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Susan Di Giulio Project Manager, Zinner Consultants Apr 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1351 Thumbs Up

I would do it like this: I recall there is an official volume to weight conversion chart on the USGBC site somewhere; possibly even in the credit resources tab in the right-hand box of the credit info page on line, or in the Ref Guide. Measure the asphalt and photograph the measuring so that actual distances are readable on the tape, as proof of volume. You can upload those photos. Then make the calculations using the table.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Susan - Thanks for getting Lawrence headed in the right direction! Lawrence - You do not have to weigh. Have whoever did the measurements now develop a volume in cubic yards. Then they can calculate a weight in lbs based on the Solid Waste Conversion FactorsEstimates are presented in customary U.S. units. Floorspace estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 square foot is approximately equal to 0.0929 square meters. Energy estimates may be converted to metric units by using the relationship: 1 Btu is approximately equal to 1,055 joules; one kilowatthour is exactly equal to 3,600,000 joules; and one gigajoule (109 joules) is approximately 278 kilowatthours (kWh). are located in Table 2 on page 360 of the first edition of the Reference Guide. Having a qualified professional familiar with the asphalt will be a bonus for your piece of mind and will be useful in case there is a question about the diversion but a licensed Civil Engineer is not required.

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PATRICK HILLIER
Apr 02 2014
Guest
389 Thumbs Up

Carpet over asbestos tile

As part of the owners precronstuction abatement flooring adhered to hazardous floor tile was removed by an abatement contractor. Are we correct that all of this material is excluded from calculations?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 02 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, I would say so—if it's adhered you don't have much choice about diverting it.

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Craig Mahoney Waste Services Project Manager Guard Contracting Corporation
Mar 26 2014
Guest
42 Thumbs Up

Bonus points?

Hello,

I work for a commercial waste hauler and C&DConstruction and demolition recycling facility. We have recently started recycling scrap drywall from new construction projects. Our process for recycling this material allows us to use this product locally in the agricultural process.

My question is, does the process qualify under regional priority or innovation and design for some bonus points on a LEED project?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Mar 26 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Hi Craig - I applaud you on your efforts but...

Your work to use this product locally in agriculture contributes to MRc2 and diverting waste from the landfill, which is the intent behind this credit (To divert construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills and incineration facilities. Redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process and reusable materials to appropriate sites.) Hence your efforts are not achieving "significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations, LEED 2009 for Core and Shell Development, or LEED 2009 for Schools Rating Systems," which is required for Path 1 - Innovation in Design under IDc1. But if you were to help a project achieve 95% diversion you could help them get an innovation point for Path 2 - 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. under IDc1.

Regional Priority points are awarded for current LEED credits assigned as RP based on project’s zip code. If MRc2 is a regional priority for a project’s zip code, then you might be able to earn a point there but there’d have to be a shortage of landfill space or some other waste issue to have MRc2 designated as an RP. I haven’t seen it. Visit http://www.usgbc.org/rpc to confirm.

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Gabriela Crespo Revitaliza Consultores
Mar 14 2014
Guest
149 Thumbs Up

Wood reuse

Dear Forum,

We are working on a project where the customer wants to divert wood donating it to people to use in their home furnaces (for cooking and heating). Can we document this as waste diversion?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Mar 14 2014 Guest 4860 Thumbs Up

You may be able to argue this especially if the wood is clean with no paint on it. But I think the chance of it being approved is small. All the publicly available literature I can find says that wood can only be counted as diverted if it is "Wood Derived Fuel" used at an "industrial plant." Burning wood generates a lot of particulates and home furnaces aren't likely to capture and scrub a lot of that before it's emitted to the neighborhood air. See ID #2629

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Marcio Alberto Casado Pereira
Feb 12 2014
Guest
4234 Thumbs Up

MRc2 100% diversions

Our Project got 100% diversion. This was a result of a very hard work implemented by the builder, the owner and the entire costruction team. They even recycled the wrapping pappers from the paving blocks. They trained the workers, there was a person auditing the construction site full time every day, they even found a company that recycled cement bags, a hazardous waste, which does not count for this credit but we'd like to mention to illustrate the effort that was implemented. All this and the final review decision was to deny the 2 points of the credit and 1 point of 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.....Was all or nothing, very unfair.
Now we are entering the appeal stage but we don't even know what type of arguments we could use to prove all the actions taken. On the preliminar review we already submitted all the waste haul receipts, spreadsheets and a letter signed by the general contractor stating all the actions taken to achieve such result. And the comitee denied. Is it even worth to try? How? What other type of documentation could we possibly submit to prove this?

Thanks!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Feb 12 2014 LEEDuser Expert 8364 Thumbs Up

Marcio - Can you give us more information as to why it was denied (give us the review comments) and when (meaning what review phase was it denied at)? Without having more information as to why they denied the credit it is hard to respond. If you truly diverted 100% per LEED requirements, I am puzzled by the denial and it could be an instance of a reviewer error.

I work hard to not have credits denied and so have never dealt with a formal appeal. I would direct you to the LEED Certification Policy Manual - https://www.leedonline.com/irj/go/km/docs/documents/usgbc/leed/config/te... - to understand the logistics and documentation process (start on page 20).

Maybe other LEED users can assist as well.

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Marcio Alberto Casado Pereira Feb 12 2014 Guest 4234 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle

It's our first time appealing as well. That's why we are feeling a little insecure about the procedure.

I've read the Appeal Policy, and they mention such things as "First Level Appeal" and "Final Level Appeal", which just made me more confused....and plus, and this goes on "appeal as a challenge to GBCI Determination" and Appeal to pursue new credits". These last ones I understood, I think we fit on the 1st case, since we disagree with the decision.

Here's the review comment:
"(...) However, a 100% diversion rate is above typical industry best practices since there are usually product containers, small scraps, and debris that are not recyclable. Please provide a narrative explaining how miscellaneous materials such as those listed above were diverted from landfill."

As I mentioned in the other post, they even recycled the wraping paper of all materials that arrives in the construction site. To respond to this "however" in the preliminar review we submitted: 1) all the waste haul receipts, 2) letter signed by the general contractor explaining all the actions taken to achieve 100%, 3) spreadsheet showing the monitoring of all waste generated over the entire construction period.

Don't know what else can we say to prove...

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Feb 12 2014 LEEDuser Expert 17347 Thumbs Up

Marcio - I think the thing that you'll have a hard time overcoming is the 100% claim. The EP point threshold is 95%. Beyond pride, is there a reason to push for 100% and not 95%?

Also, I hope you write up a case study on these unusual materials diverted. There are a lot of projects and contractors that would be interested in your innovative processes.

Susan

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 12 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Marcio, if you want to work with me on a case study of 100% diversion, please contact me. I think Susan hit the nail on the head, though. 

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