Documenting this credit can take time, since cost and exact percentages of post- and pre-consumer materials must be collected for each recycled item used.
LEED requires the base materials budget to be consistent across all MR credits. The LEED Online credit forms help provide consistency across MR credits by applying the same data to multiple credits. Materials used to earn this credit cannot also be counted for MRc3: Materials Reuse, nor for MRc7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System., but they can contribute to MRc5: Regional Materials and MRc6: Rapidly RenewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). Materials.
The 10% point threshold is easy to achieve for this credit, especially if your project has a lot of concrete or steel. There is also an increasing number of products on the market that have recycled content, making the 20% threshold achievable for some projects. Concentrate on buying “big ticket” items with high recycled content levels. Depending on the building construction, you will generally get more (due to a higher cost) out of tracking the recycled content of concrete and steel over lower cost items like tile.
Analyze your budget early in design to help inform which materials are more important to specify as having recycled content, this is dependent on your project construction type. Doing your homework early can prevent costly change orders during construction. Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates.
Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer."), or post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product.. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%.
DPost-consumer plastic being collected for recycling.on’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. (See the Recycled Content Assembly Calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.)
People sometimes confuse recycled content material with material reuse and with construction waste management, but they are different:
Recycled Content material, covered in MRc4, has reused content as a result of the industrial process of making the product—for example, recycled-content carpet may be made of recycled plastic bottles.
Material Reuse, covered in MRc3, is the use or repurposing of material from a previous place or role—for example, buying antique wood doors salvaged from an old church.
At this Denver building under construction, the raised floor panels being installed have recycled steel. Photo – YRG SustainabilityConstruction Waste Management, covered in MRc2, is the act of diverting materials from the landfill during the construction process by sending to a place where the material can be repurposed, such as a salvage yard or recycling plant.
Try getting clarification from the manufacturer. If you can’t get any further information, you should take a conservative approach and assume that it is pre-consumer.
LEED is very clear that no MEP or specialty items can be counted in the MR credit calculations. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that MEP items are very expensive relative to their weight, and including these materials skews the calculations and performance thresholds achieved. Also, LEED considers the performance of mechanical equipment paramount, and so consideration of these materials really falls under performance based energy and water credits.
Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.
No. Per LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10246, recycled content claims must be specific to installed product. Average regional and national claims do not meet the credit requirements.
This Interpretation has been misinterpreted, however, to mean that recycled content figures must come from specific plants. That is not what USGBC intended. It is allowable to use a company- and product-specific national average, as long as the company has performed the necessary tracking to assure that that average is accurate at the product SKU level.
Yes. LEED Interpretation #10246 does not apply to steel and teams may still use the default value of 25% post-consumer recycled content. Many steel products have higher levels of recycled content, however, so it may be advantageous to track down product-specific recycled content information.
Site materials (31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) that are permanently installed can be included in the MR credits. Just be sure that your material budget assumptions and material costs are consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7.
Based on review comments that LEED users have reported, LEED reviewers are on the lookout for inaccurate recycled content claims in cases where a manufacturer is claiming pre-consumer recycled content for scrap material that comes off the end of a product line, and is put back in to the same line. According to common definitions, this should not be considered recycled content. This practice is common with certain kinds of glass, and metals like aluminum. Keep an eye on your documentation and do your best to make sure it is valid. If you are asked to justify a specific claim, you could get more documentation from the manufacturer, or plan on having a cushion in your credit threshold.
No. MRc7 counts only new wood, and MRc4 counts recycled content, so there is no overlap in the credits. You must choose one credit, and not double-dip.
Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.
Look at opportunities to use recycled content materials for the project’s potential “big ticket” items.
Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include: steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates. There are more and more products in nearly every category that use recycled content as a way to help LEED projects earn this credit.
The decision to use recycled content material can help guide design decisions, such as using recycled-content steel framing instead of wood framing. However, only letting recycled content drive basic design decisions may be shortsighted and lead to tradeoffs with other credits, not to mention other environmental impact areas. Look for materials that contribute to multiple LEED credits.
This credit can often be achieved at no added cost, as there are many products with recycled content that building projects already use.
Use LEED point calculators built into online product catalogs such as those powered by ecoScorecard to streamline data collection and generate submittal documents:
Begin by creating a baseline materials budget. This is the total amount of money that will be spent on building materials. Use the Materials Calculator from the Documentation Toolkit to compile the baseline material list in a way that facilitates adding information on environmental attributes.
Your material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. The LEED Online credit form helps ensure this automatically.
Adding Division 12 Furniture to your baseline materials budget for this credit is optional, but must be applied consistently across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. Analyze the baseline material budget to see if adding Division 12 furniture works to the project’s advantage. Generally, if the furniture helps contribute to the above MR credits it is in a project’s interest to take credit for it—however, it may help with some while making others more difficult.
Choose one of two options in creating a baseline budget—the default budget, or the actual budget (excluding labor). The default budget method gives you a baseline materials budget as 45% of your total budget, while the actual budget gives you a baseline based on what you actually spend.
How do you decide whether to use the actual material cost or the default budget as your baseline? Try estimating how your actual material costs compare to the 45% default. The lower you can get the baseline, the easier it is to purchase enough recycled material to reach the credit threshold. For example, a project that is renovating an existing building may have low material and high labor costs, so it might be better to use the actual budget instead of the default approach.
The default budget is less time-consuming because the contractor does not have to break out the material and labor costs of items that are not being tracked for LEED credits, allowing the project to focus on tracking only the materials that contribute to LEED credits. You can take the total cost (material plus labor) of all items in the applicable CSI divisions and assume that cost of materials is 45% and labor cost is 55%. However, this option may put the project at a disadvantage in terms of getting full credit for the actual value of materials.
Include in your materials baseline budget, the material cost (excluding labor) of all items that apply under CSI MasterFormat 2004:
Even if you are using the default budget method, you still have to break out the actual cost (cost excluding labor) of the specific items that you are tracking to contribute toward LEED MR credits.
How do you know what amount of recycled content material you need to incorporate in your project? Look at the baseline materials budget. Determine how much you need to spend on recycled content materials to reach the credit thresholds. To earn one point, allocate 10% of your material budget; for two points, allocate 20%. Go through your project’s preliminary budget and identify which items could be purchased with recycled content, and what percentages of recycled content they can contribute. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?
Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Don’t fail to earn this credit because you waited until all the materials were purchased before calculating whether you used enough materials with recycled content to gain the LEED credit.
Research products by looking at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to see if a product contains recycled content. Often a product will appear to meet the credit requirements, but you'll need to ask for more specific information from the manufacturer—see the Documentation Toolkit for examples of this.
A single product or material can contribute to multiple LEED credits. For example, a chair made locally, with urea-formaldehyde-free, recycled, composite wood contributes to MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and IEQc4.4. Not all credits allow this double-counting. Materials counted here cannot also count towards MRc3 nor MRc7—although separate components within a product can. If a product has both certified wood and recycled content steel, for example, each component can contribute to earning the appropriate credit. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes also can limit the overall number of items that must be tracked.
Don’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrial) or post-consumer recycled content. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%. See the Documentation Toolkit for a Recycled Content Assembly Calculator. For example, if a piece of plywood costs $100, it has 40% pre- and 15% post-consumer content. How much of the total cost can be counted towards this credit?
Steel is a special case—all steel is made from recycled materials, and it is the only material for which LEED allows you to claim a default recycled content value (25% post-consumer) without providing any documentation. Some steel has 90% or more recycled content, however, so you’re better off documenting the actual amount if you can try to get documentation from your suppliers showing their post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content.
Drywall can be specified with synthetic gypsum, which is a byproduct or removing sulfur from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, and counts as pre-consumer recycled content. Before using it, however, check to see if it made in your region because the environmental impact of trucking it long distances is likely far greater than any benefit of using it instead of natural gypsum. Either way, the paper facing on drywall is almost always entirely post-consumer recycled.
When a product is made of multiple components that have different recycling rates, note the following special considerations.
The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by separating each component as a percentage of the total by weight, while accounting for the value of pre- and post-consumer recycled content. See the assembly example below, and a calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.
Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight.
Using the project’s estimated budget early on to integrate materials with recycled content in the design and specs can help prevent costly change orders during construction.
Instead of tracking recycled content in everything, focus first on “big ticket” items, materials like concrete, structural steel, masonry products and gypsum board to see if you get enough value from them to earn the credit. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If big-ticket items are not enough, target a medium-priced item next, and so on, until you reach your goal.
Revisit your baseline materials budget as the design evolves to make sure the numbers remain accurate and that you remain on track to achieve your goal for the credit.
Research specific products. Incorporate recycled content product requirements into individual construction specification sections.
MasterSpec and the federal Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources) offer guidance and sample specification language on how to incorporate LEED specifications in construction documents.
Incorporating the LEED requirements directly on the drawings as well as in the specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements.
Analyze the initial cost budget to know what materials the project can target and incorporate LEED requirement language accordingly into construction specs for those specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not filling out forms for materials that are not recycled, or that have so little cost value that it is a waste of time.
Whenever possible, designate in the construction specifications that contractors use specific sources you have verified as suppliers of recycled content items. This will help save research time for the contractors and ensure credit compliance.
Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include copies of any submittal documents that the subcontractors and general contractor may need to fill out.
The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED construction-related issues, such as IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental materials tracking tools, and construction waste management.
LEED documentation and materials tracking are usually the GC’s responsibility even though specific materials selection may have been already determined by the architect or designer.
The GC should hold an orientation meeting with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.
Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)
Enabling coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.
Before construction begins, research additional recycled product material availability, not already researched during the design phase to ensure that the project earns this credit. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to carefully review data sheets and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product.
The contractor starts gathering and environmental data and cut sheets from subcontractors for approval.
The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product submittals and tracking forms.
Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.
Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Material Reporting Form and transfer it into a master spreadsheet for all the items being tracked for each product across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, recycled content information for MRc4, and information about adhesives installed onsite for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. See the Documentation Toolkit for spreadsheets you can work with.
A master spreadsheet facilitates information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.
Assign a responsible party to input the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the Materials Calculator (see Documentation Toolkit). A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role.
Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials that contribute to LEED credits is a requirement for LEED MR credits. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because there are always hidden markups in the materials that subcontractors purchase at wholesale. However, you can simply include the product markup when breaking out a product’s material cost from installation and labor costs.
Transfer all the data collected in the Materials Calculator spreadsheet (see Documentation Toolkit) to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.
Only a random 20% sampling of product cut sheets need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit.
Keep a list of sustainable materials used on the project so that operations staff can use these products for future renovations.
Develop recycled content material procurement recommendations into a purchasing policy. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification, that would fall under MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.
Use materials with recycled content1 such that the sum of postconsumer2 recycled content plus 1/2 of the preconsumer3 content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project. The minimum percentage materials recycled for each point threshold is as follows:
The recycled content value of a material assembly is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components, and specialty items such as elevators and equipment cannot be included in all calculations. Include only materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included if it is included consistently in MR Credit 3: Materials Reuse through MR Credit 7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System..
Establish a project goal for recycled content materials, and identify material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified recycled content materials are installed. Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.
Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.
The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.
MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.
This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.
This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.
Use this spreadsheet to determine the value that a given material or assembly contributes to the recycled content calculations for this credit, based on the type of recycled content in the material or assembly, and the percentage by weight of the assembly that contains recycled content.
Look to product cut sheets like these for recycled-content information on products you're specifying or considering specifying. Note that while all three of these examples appear to contribute to MRc4, in all cases more information is needed from the manufacturer (see PDF annotations).
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
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."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
How much recycled content should you look for in key building products? What other sustainability criteria apply? This sample sheet from a project shows how one team set guidelines for different product areas.
Three question regarding recycled content in concrete:
*If the concrete contains brick chips from reused bricks will it count towards recycled content.
*The cement in the concrete contains fly ash. Will it count towards recycled content?
*When we calculate the value of the cost of recycled material, do we calculate based on the original cost of that particular material?
Thank you for taking the time to answer.
Question 1: Yes. Post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. if salvaged from demolition. Pre-consumer if, for example, culled waste from a brick kiln.
Question 2: Yes. It is counted as pre-consumer.
Question 3: Calculate the value of the recycled content as a percentage of the weight of the concrete. Example: If you have $1000 of concrete and brick chips + fly ash = 30% of the unit weight, then the sustainable material value is $300. In other words: Calculate as percentage by weight of the finished product, not the actual cost of the raw materials.
I would just add that to Joseph’s thorough answer that you should look at the special calculations for Supplementary Cementitious Materials Calculation in the BD&C LEED Reference Manual (page 373 of first edition) for the fly ash. The calculations are based on the mass of the cementitious materials only - rather than the entire concrete mix. This calculation works in your favor and it is worthwhile to use it.
What is the % of recycled content steel rebar needs to have to qualify to get the MR credit on recycled content?
There is no minimum value. Any percentage recycled content can contribute to the overall recycled content for the project that is arrived at via the formulas for MRc4. Please see Equations 1 and 2 in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction (page 372 of first edition).
Steel rebar is one of the primary materials, experienced LEED professionals know, that has high inherent recycled content. It is lower strength steel, used in tension applications and not compression. That means it can have higher recycled content than other steel materials.
For my projects, in the Southwestern U.S., the recycled content for steel has always exceeded 95% overall, with most of that being post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content. Sources for rebar my projects have used have ranged from Taiwan, to Mexico, to the Pacific Northwest U.S., and to the Southeastern U.S.
Thanks for pointing me to the the right section of the reference guide. Thank you Harnando for sharing your experience.
I've just learned of a company that remediates contaminated soil and aggregate and then sells the material (for cheaper than virgin material). I'm told their process is certified to meet the most stringent standards.
It seems to me that this material meets the intention, if not the definition, of a "recycled material". By using this material, a project would be supporting environmental remediation, avoid groundwater contamination resulting from contaminated soil stockpiles, and minimize the ecological footprint of the project by reducing the demand for mining virgin material. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is 'upcycling'.
So, what do you think is the best way to capture the use of recycled soil/aggregate in LEED? I can see a few possibilities:
- include the material (and all materials in Section 31 20 00. Earth Moving) in the calculations for MRc4, with a narrative describing why this section was included (should this be an ACP?)
- attempt an ACP for SSc3, since using remediated soils creates a demand for contaminated soils which may further incentivize 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) redevelopment (similar to how purchasing recycled materials incentivizes landfill diversion)
- Use this strategy for an ID credit. Along with one other strategy that addresses one of the environmental benefits of this material (habitat preservation, water pollution prevention)
1. It's not clear to me that you intend to reuse the material on your own site. A material has to be permanently installed in your project to qualify for MRc4 so, unless you intend to get the soil treated and reinstall it on your site then this won’t count. If that IS what you intend to do, then I would say you may have a good case for MRc4, as well as MRc5.
2. All you need to do to earn SSc3 is demonstrate that your site is contaminated, remediate as required, and redevelop the site. HOW you implement the remediation, e.g.: upcycle the contaminated soil, won't make any difference in earning the credit so long as the remediation is done in an approved manner.
With those downers out of the way, I will tell you that I have had success in an analogous situation in crediting the material towards MRc2 Construction Waste Management. I had a project where the soil contamination was high enough that it had to be removed from the site, but low enough that it could be used as alternate daily cover at a sanitary landfill. This gives the material a market value because it saves the landfill the expense of excavating or trucking in clean cover. By documenting this I was able to get my MRc2 percentage above 95% and earn 2 points for MRc2 + 1 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. point. I think you would be accomplishing a similar thing by upcycling the soil and therefore keep it out of the hazmat landfill.
One important caveat: I had to produce documentation from the AHJ affirming that the contaminated soil was acceptable for use as alternate daily cover. Whatever approach you may take to reprocessing or diverting this material I would ask the vendor to document that their process has regulatory approval. Otherwise, I could foresee a LEED reviewer not accepting it solely based on the vendor’s claims.
Hi Lyle - You present an interesting situation. Here are a couple of thoughts to add to Joseph’s response.
1. I don’t think you can just add Section 31 20 00. The only section heading in Division 31 that is allowed is 31 60 00 Foundations. I mean you could try this but I think it would be a long shot.
2. If the soil is not from your site, I don’t know how you could apply for SSc3, which deals with your site being 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) itself and redeveloping it.
3. I think the ID route is your best approach but these are tough to prove.
In a LEED charrette just yesterday, we discussed that there are some sustainable practices that the project should use even if they don’t count for LEED. Maybe this is one of those cases?
Thank you Joseph and Michelle. This is a general inquiry about using 'recycled' soil from another site, so the SSc3 was a real stretch of the imagination, but I thought I would throw it out there (I see it as creating market support for redevelopment of off-site brownfields since you are essentially buying contaminated soils). I agree, Michelle, that ID may be the best way to go. However, I would like to hear from a reviewer about the option of including 31 20 00 in the MRc4 calcs, since this is probably an unforeseen category of materials at the time the credit language was written.
As always, thanks for your help Michelle.
Pre-LEED v2009, the CSI divisions allowed for the MR credits were Divisions 2-10 under the previous version of MasterFormat (1995). It was a big improvement when the BD&C Reference Guide for LEED 2009 actually spelled out these sections and divisions are allowed based on MasterFormat 2004. A lot of site-related sections were removed from consideration when Division 2 was split out wide and far in MasterFormat and only the listed sections for Divisions 31(Section 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) were included in LEED's MR credits.
It would be great if a reviewer could answer your question on 31 20 00 but I am not aware of anyone who is monitoring this forum to answer questions.
We have a supplier's documentation spreadsheet for structural steel listing each separate material (HSSs, beams, channels) with weight, cost, post and pre-consumer percentages. If we want a single value to place in our master product value spreadsheet for structural steel we have two options:
1) If each line item already has a listed recycled content percentage, those should already have been calculated by weight for that item, and we should average all the structural steel line items by their individual costs, correct? This would be analagous to putting each steel member individually in the master product value spreadsheet.
2) Alternately, the sum of the line items could be averaged by weight, but that's normally done only for assemblies, and would in effect be double-calculating the recycled content by weight which could skew the values slightly.
The confusion arose because our material information sheets ask for the percentage of recycled content within a (single) product by weight. The supplier then calculated the average of the structural steel line items' recycled content by weight, based on the confirmed recycled content (by weight) of each item.
If we had not seen the individual cost column, we would not have noticed or asked the question. I'm sure this frequently happens in the background when we receive only one final figure. Is option 1) above the correct method?
Erik - I’m going to respond with a couple of questions back to you. First, why do you want to place a single value in your master product spreadsheet for structural steel? I would think that since you have information delineated by 3 types of products you would just list each one and provide the spreadsheet (or a PDF of it) as supporting documentation to back up your claims.
Is your structural steel something less than 100% steel? As I understand it, weight does not come into play except with assemblies so weight in this case is superfluous if your product is NOT an assembly. Please see MRc4’s Calculations and Calculating Assembly Recycled ContentAssembly recycled content is the percentage of material in a product that is either postconsumer or preconsumer recycled content. It is determined by dividing the weight of the recycled content by the overall weight of the assembly. in the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction for more information.
Thanks Michelle - Each type and size of structural member are line items - we have 35 entries for steel and combining them to product one number for structural steel (with the spreadsheet breakdown as backup) made sense.
The steel supplier had already combined them by their weight and varying recycled content percentages (Option 2), but as they are not an assembly, we changed that to a cost-based calculation (Option 1), rather than weight.
The structural steel is 100% steel. The recycled content of each item would have already been calculated by weight to provide their initial percentages (i.e. recycled vs. virgin material).
Averaging all the steel items by weight to produce an overall steel figure (Option 2 and supplier's initial calculation) seems like it would skew the values, as there is not a 1:1 ratio between cost and weight for the different products.
Thanks for the clarification. I agree that using the weight calculation for a non-assembly product is not the right way to go.
And I now understand why you want to simplify 35 entries - although I still think it might be clearer to group those 35 items into a few categories vs. lumping them all together. However, either way you go, I would strongly suggest that you initially provide backup to GBCI so that you can show your methodology from the beginning.
We are working on an international project and the contractor is telling us that the standards in their country lack cut-sheets and MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products sheets. As an alternative, we are proposing that a form letter would be created that could be sent to each manufacturer/supplier to document credits MRc3-6. This letter will include all applicable information and a signatory space to certify the validity of the information provided. Is this documentation acceptable in place on traditional cut-sheets?
Josh, a letter FROM a manufacturer attesting to product specifications has been an acceptable way to verify product information for LEED. I am a little unsure how this works if you are sending a letter TO the manufacturer, though.
Josh- I've seen something similiar used before for manufacturers without cutsheets. Typically it's a blank form that the manufacturer fills out and send back to the project team. The big issue is making sure that it is incredibly clear to the review team that the information provided is directly from the manufacturer (and not from you/a contractor/etc.). My recommendation is to give the manufacturer your "form" in a word doc/template and ask that they put it on their own letterhead when they complete the relevant information (along with a representative's name and signature). That way, it's clear that the manufacturer provided the information and that it didn't come just from you. Another alternative would be to still use your form but ask them to also send a letter-head statement from that same individual attesting that they filled out your form.
As an fyi since you say you'll use this for MRc3-6: I'd probably recommend including some additional information about how they are supposed to document each credit. For example, you might need make sure to clearly explain how they need to document MRc5. In cases where the manufacturer isn't familiar with/doesn't have pre-made documents, they might not understand that they need to come up with the extration location of all raw materials now for MRc5 and not just the location of manufacturer.
CSI Section 10 is included in this credit. What would be considered toilet/bath acessories under CSI 10 28 00? Do we have to consider the cost of steel bars in bathrooms for users with disabilities for instance? And plastic toilet seats, movable lockers, hand dryers, soap dispensers?
Marcio - Please know that you do NOT "have to" capture recycled content from materials in Division 10 - but you do have to capture the overall cost of Division 10 (or the materials in Division 10) in your overall calculations. My philosophy on this credit is to look at the big cost items to get recycled content and I haven’t found toilet/bath accessories to be a big dollar item. It is unfortunate that there is no longer free access to MasterFormat’s website but you could google around for “Masterformat 2004” to find some other links that might help you get details on what is in Division 10. Another reference to check out is Sweets - http://products.construction.com/MasterFormat2004Index/Specialties_10-00-00. It lists all the products in that division and details what is under 10 28 13.
Does GBCI now require sole use of USGBC's calculator for MRc3-7? Or is it allowing use of 3rd-party calculators such as from LEEDuser or GCs? The v4 form says "Download, complete and upload the Materials and Resource Calculator (found under "Credit Resources") to document sustainable criteria values for MR Credits 3-7." Seems stringent, but has anyone had success using something else? I expect there might be concern about errors or fraud (gasp!).
My experiences with LEED tools, is the same as it was back in 2000, when you were still with the USGBC. If you don't use the special LEED tool the reviewers have to spend more time confirming your alternative tool hasn't somehow cheated.
If you think back in time, and check your ancient LEED Reference Guides, the MRc3-7 tool is very much like the example format used from the LEED v2.0 Reference Guide for the various MR credits. The LEED tool is something that seems invented by the same company, maybe modified by the USGBC internally, but originating with originating with the Reference Guide author nonetheless.
I do not like the v3 MRc3-7 tool. It is a poor person's version of a tool I have been using more more than 10 years. My version makes is easy to find data errors (Excel self-checking for math errors), and it generates special progress reports I use to track a general contractors (GC) status during construction (LEED Construction Administration). My tools also tracks details for EQc4 products. The reports also track all LEED supporting documents required from the GC: waste management, storm water management implementation, etc.
I still use my version LEED GC tool to properly manage LEED projects, and transfer data over to the special LEED tool. That is a real pain. I will eventually, when time permits, revise my tool so it easily allows transferring data to the simplified LEED tool. None of the special notes I make, and none of special GC tracking information will transfer over for the LEED reviewers to see.
So, the answer is, use the LEED tool for LEED review submission, but use an alternative tool that lets you manage LEED projects more effectively.
Hi Tom - Long time no see. I agree with Hernando on the subject of using USGBC’s form for these credits' documentation. Maybe I’m too much of rule follower but the language you quoted sounds like a requirement to me.
And my understanding is that when folks submit their own forms it causes the reviewers extra work - especially if they submit PDFs of their Excel spreadsheets. The reviewers have to try to decipher what the formulas/calculations are. I think we should play nice with our review team.
Hernando - I have my own tool as well for GC tracking but why I decided doing data entry twice wasn’t worth the energy.
Yes, double entry data can lead (LEED?) to errors.
I will eventually modifying my special tool to allow me to cut and paste data from my tool to the LEED tool. Then all I will check that both tools provide the same results and all is well.
The issue with non-LEED developed tools has been in place since the start of LEED v2.0.
I know from experience, certifying the first ever non-test case LEED v2.0 project, that the reviewers did not like use of special tools. I developed my own water use calculation tool long before the USGBC provided one for use. We had the water use credits rejected because we did not use the recently invented LEED tool. We had to transfer the information to the LEED tool and wound up with the same result.
Thank you Hernando and Michelle! It's fantastic to hear from you; I appreciate your wisdom on the matter. All the best to you.
I would like to know if i have to consider the partitions in the LEED budget.
For a LEED-NC project you do NOT have to consider furniture of which, systems furnitureSystems furniture includes panel-based workstations comprising modular interconnecting panels, hang-on components, and drawer and filing components or a free-standing grouping of furniture items designed to work in concert. partitions would be included. Please refer to the Rating System and Reference Guide for credit language and details on how furniture is an optional consideration. If you want to include it in MRc4, you have to include it in other MR credits. As a LEEDuser member, you can also look at the Credit Language link above also.
When purchasing FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Mixed MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder. & particle boards and the percentage is NOT on invoice, MRc7 says we can claim 100% as FSC material. Can I also claim the material under the recycle portion? It was NOT purchased as FSC Recycle.
I am thinking if on my form MRc7 I am saying FSC Mixed is 100% new wood then I go and claim it on my MRc4 document; well then I am contradicting myself, am I correct in saying it is one or the other but NOT both?
John - I agree that it is one or the other but not both MRc7 and MRc4. MRc7 is very upfront that is new wood only. Be sure you have the 7/19/10 Addendum for page 397 of the First Edition of the Reference Guide, which states under Calculations: “List all new wood products (not reclaimed, salvaged, or recycled) on the project and identify which components are FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certified. The cost of all new wood products, both FSC certified and not, must be tallied...”
So no, you cannot claim FSC Mixed on MRc4.
Thank you Michelle, just wanted to make sure I was heading in the correct direction. My invoices are clearly labeled FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Mixed.
I have worked on LEED v2.1 projects before where recycled content of glass was rejected due to the cullet present in recycled glass not being allowed to be counted as "pre-consumer" recycled.
Is this still true in LEED 2009? Or are they now accepting glass cullet as recycled material?
Cullet does not automatically means the cullet was generated in the same manufacturing process. Cullet is the word use for ground up recycled glass that is ready for remelting for use in a new manufacturing process.
Wikipedia mentions cullet as part of the topic for Glass Recycled:
The v2.1 reviewers who denied cullet as recycled content did not understand what glass cullet is. They apparently thought it was material left over and reused in the same process.
Check that it's not cullet being fed from the end of a production line (as waste in the production process) back into the beginning of the same line. Note in your documentation the source. If you can do that, I would be surprised to see it rejected, and would challenge the review comment.
Thanks you guys for the help! One more thing - would this be listed as "Post-ConsumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product." or "Pre-Consumer?"
It depends on the source of your recycled glass. Does it come from bottles collected in a recycling program? Then it would be post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product.. Or is it glass collected from another manufacturing process used by your manufacturer in their process? Then it would be pre-consumer (aka post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer.").
We are working on a project where the entire site needs 50'-0" deep compaction grouting at 6'-0" o.c to stabilize it.Then this public project will be pile supported. Given that the compaction grouting is almost 22% of the entire project cost with limited recycled content or regional value (which skews our calculations) is there a way to divorce the underground site stabilization from the project calculations? Thanks for any insight
Brian, The reference guide stipulates which MasterFormat 2004 sections should be included in the MR calcs, see p. 372. In Div 31, the only section required is 31.60.00 Foundations. Per MasterFormat, compaction grouting is specified under 31.40.00 Shoring and Underpinning. Based on that my take would be that you should omit compaction grouting from the MR calcs. You would still have to include the piles since they are in 31.60.00.
Brian and Joseph - I have had similar questions within this forum regarding lean fill and imported fill and was given the following advice which I have leaned on from Michelle Rosenberger:
A small note from the application side of this issue. The previous rating system's neat declaration of CSI Div 2 - 10 for these credits worked fairly well to determine what was in and what was out of the calculation.
However, the new CSI divisions don't split so nicely. Architects are now placing items that we have seen in the past as part of Div 2-10 in sections not identified specifically by LEED. While I am usually the most literal of people, in this case, we have returned to intent.
If the material is permanently installed and would reasonably be something we have counted in the past like imported fill or lockers, we include it regardless of the actual specification section. We assume that as long as we are incorporating the cost on both sides of the equation and sticking to intent that we are in compliance.
This is one of many areas where LEED simply can't provide that one size rule that fits all. Design teams can specify materials where it makes sense to them, regardless of LEED's druthers, and we don't believe a project should be penalized for choosing a different spec section. Especially when they go to the trouble of sourcing recycled or regional content.
The newest BDC calculator does include CSI division but it's optional, so LEED reviewers are basically relying on your assessment anyway, as they already must for overall project building materials cost.
And as this thread started, there are trade offs if you do this right that should take care of any questionable inclusions.
Reading through these comments above by Michelle - I would think that grouting used for soil stabilization could be included in the calculations. Also, you should be able to get some recycled content value out of the SCMs of the concrete used in the grouting and would likely get regional materials credit for this work.
While I agree that it is up to the discretion of the teams to assess where materials should be specified and which ones should be included, I take the divisions and sections in LEED v2009 pretty literally.
Granted more things were included in v2 related to site, but I think it is better to err on the side of following the current requirements than falling back on how we used to do it or worse, placing items incorrectly so as to gerrymander the MR credits. Either of which would be hard to backup if a reviewer had concerns.
Since you have analyzed that compaction grouting is 31 40 00, then have justification as to why it is not included in the MR calculations (since it is not in the delineated divisions and sections). I agree with your thoughts about the piles. If you look at 31 60 00 in MasterFormat 2004, its real title is Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements. Underneath that are Driven Piles, Bored Piles, Caissons, Special Foundations, and Foundation Anchors.
MasterFormat 2004 vs. 1995 versions used in project specifications also complicates this matter. A similar discussion regarding this lead to a comment from Nadav Malin that:
I happen to have a handy cross-reference table that CSI put out when they first introduced MF04 back in, yes, 2004. Here's what that has to say for the relevant sections:
31 60 00 is "Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements", corresponding to nearly everything in MF95 02450-02490
32 10 00 is "Bases, Ballasts, and Paving", corresponding to MF95 sections 02700-02790 & 02335 (subgrade work)
32 30 00, "Site improvements" covers fences and barriers. Corresponding MF95 sections are 02820-02830 and 02850-02860.
32 90 00, "Plantings": 02905, 02910, 02920, 02930, 02945, and 12810 (interior plants)
That having been stated; I have been told on projects I have worked on that compaction grouting stabilization falls under Division 2 - Site Work, 2450 Mine Stabilization and for that reason should be included in the LEED calculations.
I have not seen a GC or CM yet who is using MasterFormat 2004. So every contractor or sub will tell you something like this is in Division 2, which is the old MasterFormat 1995 designation.
I have the conversion maps that Nadav is referencing but they are no longer available on CSI’s website, which is unfortunate but I’ve found this online conversion tool useful - http://www.masterformat.com/transitionguide/. Shoring and Underpinning (31 40 00) does not have a backwards map to MF 1995 and probably used to be included in 0245X.
Michelle - I like the transitionguide. Thanks for the link. When I went to it and put in 2450, which is the spec section that the architect and the contractor tell me the work is under, it transitions that to 31.60.00
So, I should be including the Stabilization Concrete Grouting in the LEED calculations, right?
Tim - I am not a MasterFormat expert but as I noted, according to Joseph’s analysis, he believes that compaction grouting is now in 31 40 00 in MF 2004. 31 40 00 does not have a backwards map to MF 1995 but was in 02250 in MF 1995. (FYI - Shoring and Underpinning includes Shoring, Concrete Raising, Vibroflotation and Densification, Needle Beams, and Underpinning.) I think Joseph was associating this with pressure grouting for concrete raising (31 43 13).
When I looked closer at MF 2004, I think compaction grouting could actually be in 31 32 00 Soil Stabilization of which 31 32 23 is Pressure Grouting Soil Stabilization. I can’t find backwards mapping to this area either in MF 1995 but checking another resource, I see that shoring and underpinning and soil stabilization were in 02250 in MF 1995. That section, 02250, has been split into a long list of sections including 31 40 00 and 31 32 00 but not to 31 60 00 (or any subsections of it). Regardless, specifying it in either 31 40 00 or 31 32 00 in the version of MF we are working with in LEED 2009, neither would NOT be included in the MR credit calculations.
Michelle - Thank you so much for your input on this item and your prompt responses. I meant to write this thank you to you long ago. So much for a prompt thank you...
We've been receiveing Material Safety Data Sheets informing VOC levels, recicled content percentage and distances for MRc5 with expiration date and this seems to be common practice by manufacturers in Brazil. Some of them have really short windows, which means that, by the time of submisison to GBCI they will be expired.
In your opinion, is an expiration date for products such as steel, masonry, concrete, a relevant information for the LEED comitee? Should I worry about go through the hassle of contacting these manufacturers and asking them to change their MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products templates??
Marcio, are the MSD sheets valid, i.e. not past their expiration dates, to the products at the time you purchased them?
Tristan, at the time of the purchase the MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products were valid, the expiration dates were beyond the date of purchase.
Then I don't see any problem—the MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products is an accurate document relative to the products you are documenting for LEED.
Hi Marcio and Tristan,
My unwelcome two cents, US experience only so it may be different for you. Ironically, we have had problems in reviews with MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products sheets relative to VOC content and expired dates. I have been told by GBCI staff that MSDS sheets are voluntary in terms of what is included on them and how by industry and company and less preferred than product data and specific letters. I also frequently get MSDS sheets and product data with VOC content that don't agree. I'm not saying your approach won't work because given your situation it makes sense, but I'd be prepared with a narrative and ideally have a backup plan. Perhaps Tristan's answer would help such a narrative.
Not sure if I quite understood your comment...you said GBCI tend no to accept MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products as a means of comprobatory documentation? Well, if this is it, I called MSDS in a lack of a better name I could remeber in english (sorry!). But what we actually have is sort of a letter with the description of the product (VOC, recycled content, regional info) signed by a responsible individual from the manufacturing entity. Such letters have an expiration date, but as I explained to Tristan above, their expiration dates are beyond the date of purchase.
Sounds like you have what you need. MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance.
2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products typically means Material Safety Data Sheet, and here it's usually a multi-page very technical discussion of the chemicals in the product and what to do if you're exposed to them. Good luck.
form im filling out says total material cost for csi divisions 3-10, as well as many of the divisions from 31.
ive heard others say 31 isn't necessary. just 3-10.
whats the consensus?
Here is my understanding of the applicable spec sections:
LEED credits MRc4 Recycled Content, MRc5 Regional Materials, MRc6 Rapidly RenewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). Materials, and MRc7 Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. require the tracking of material costs for the project that fall into the following CSI MasterFormat 2004 Divisions 03 – 10, 31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements & 32.90.00 Planting.
For projects that are utilizing CSI MasterFormat 1995, the applicable divisions are as follows:
Divisions 3 – 10
Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements 02450 – 02490
Bases, Ballasts, and Paving 02700 – 02790 & 02335 (subgrade work)
Site Improvements 02820 – 02830 & 02850 – 02860
Plantings 02905, 02910, 02920, 02930, 02945 & 12810 (interior plants)
Also - projects may elect to include Division 12 Furniture in the calculations, but must do so across all LEED credits.
I think the covers it all. If there is anyone out there that can confirm my notes or provide further clarification - it would be much appreciated.
Can anybody suggest way of reuse of concrete generated from slump cone test of concrete and its debries to be reused with in the project site. During mass concreting each and every TM vehicles need to check for quality and during the same time concrete used for testing getting generated as a wast. To avoid this any suggation.
Have you considered asking your concrete supplier if they have any suggestions?
The new LEED language has clarified that 32.10.00 Paving should be included in the construction costs.
However, the only paving that will occur on my project's contract will be in-street paving per regulations by the City and in order to install the sewer and drainage system. This paving is located on the City's land, not the projects - would this still be included? Or would this be considered off-the-project?
This is definitely NOT an official response, but I'd say that this is one of those gray areas in LEED that you can use to your advantage, because you can make a good argument that it should go either way. if it helps you out to include it, you can (does it have recycled content?). If it doesn't help you, leave it out.
If you want more certainty than this, I guess you should 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, and let us know what they say!
I am completing the documentation for MRc 4, 5 & 7. Currently, we are working from version 3.0 of the form on LEED Online. There doesn't appear to be an option to upload the Materials & Resource Calculator on version 3.0. Is it only on Version 4.0? If we continue with version 3.0 will our reviewer request the calculator anyway? Just trying to figure out if I should upgrade the form...
In my experience with this, you have choices. You can request the form be upgraded to v4.0 if you haven't been using it for entry. You can continue to use the v3.0 form but plan on using the calculator for backup and upload the calculator under Special Circumstances. In that case, I wouldn't fill out the form just put a summary bottom line value in there and refer them to the calculator.
My recommendation would be to use the calculator whether or not you decide to upgrade the form. The forms are broken with respect to the cross connections and the backup cutsheet percentages. That's why they are moving back to the calculator approach.
RefGuide says in page 373 "In the case of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) used in concrete recycled from other operations, the recycled content value can be based on the mass of the cementitious materials only, rather than on the entire concrete mix".
I just want to make sure I'm getting this right. So we have a concrete mix made out of cement, crushed stone, water, sand, and additives. Only the cement has recycled content - recycled pre-consumer - and let's say it weights 1000kg. The cement represents 10% of the composition, so 100kg. 53% of the 100kg of cement is recycled, which leads to 5,3% x 1/2 (since is pre-consumer) of 100kg = 2,65kg of recycled content from the total concrete mix.
On the other hand, if I consider only the cementitious material instead of the entire concrete mix, I will have then 100kg of cement, from which 53% is pre-conumer recycled content, which leads to 26,5% x 100kg = 26,5kg. 10 times more! Is that what the RefGuide is saying?
No, you don't have it quite right. To use this option and calculate the SCMs separately, you must be able to get the cost of those ingredients from your supplier separately from the cost of the whole mix.
While the cementitious materials might be 10% of the mix by weight, they typically represent a much larger share of the cost.
If your total cost of concrete is $10,000, then in your first example the recycled content value is 53kg/1000kg = 5.3%, which leads to:
5.3% x 0.5 x $10,000 = $265 recycled content value
But if you can document that the cementitious materials represent 60% of the cost of the mix, or $6,000, then you can do it this way:
53% x 0.5 x $6,000 = $1,590 recycled content value.
Got it! Thanks Nadav!
Our provider gave us the cost of all concrete componentes separetely, however, all in the same invoice though. Would that be a problem if I want to use the SCM option?
And should water be included in these calculations at all?
Glad I could help. No, it's not a problem that they're all on the same invoice.
If you calculate the SCMs as a separate item, then it doesn't matter if you include the water or not. If you do the concrete as a whole--whether or not to include the water seems to fall into a gray area, which means that you can probably get away with doing it either way. I'd love to hear from others on that--any experiences to share?
Great! To close the subject, we would like to know if using the SCM option will have any impact in credit MRc5 Regional Materials. For instance, can I still consider the non-cementitious concrete components for MRc5 (assuming that they meet the requirements, of course) even if I exclude them from MRc4 calculations?
Also, I will simply ignore the cost of sand, crushed stone, etc, in the entire project or only for the SCM case (let's say I'm using sand for the masonry, should it be considered if it was excluded from the concrete)?
Yes, you CAN still include other concrete ingredients in the Regional Materials credit (and even in the Recycled Content credit, if they have recycled content--but don't try to count "recycled water").
To make sure that your calculations are consistent, just treat the cement + SCMs part of the concrete as one "product" on the spreadsheet and the remaining ingredients as another "product." The $ cost of these two products should add up to your total cost for the concrete.
And no, you should NOT ingore the cost of the other ingredients--those have to still be include in your total product cost. The method I just described above should work for that, whether or not any of those other ingredients help you earn any points.
This is a bit confusing because the reference guide says mass not cost, as you use in your example "the recycled content value can be based on the MASS of the cementitious materials only, rather than on the entire concrete mix". So in my 1000 kg of cementitious material I have required 40% be recycled content. Or in other words 40% by weight is SCM in the form of Slag. If the total cost of all CONCRETE (cement + aggregates) is $10,000 than I claim $2,000 (40%/2) in recycled value toward MRcr4. This means I do not have to ask the contractor for itemized costs, just itemized weights which is much easier to obtain as they have to provide it in the structural mix approval anyway. Is this acceptable?
No, I'm afraid that won't work. If you read later in the same paragraph in the Reference Guide, it says that you have to obtain the value of the cementitious materials separately from the total cost of the concrete.
So, you can base this calculation on the mass of the cementitious materials separately from the rest of the mix, but to do that you have to also isolate the cost of those materials separately.
I am wrestling with what this part of the MR credit overview says:
"A project team may include materials costs from CSI MasterFormat Division 12 - Furniture and Furnishings as long as this is done consistently across all MR credits."
In CSI MasterFormat 2004, Division 12 includes a lot of stuff that is not furniture or furnishings. For example, in a current project I have countertops (12 36 61) and recessed floor grates (12 48 19). These are both specified under CSI Div 12 but they are permanently installed items - not furniture.
My interpretation of the Division 12 guidance is that it’s to distinguish furniture (loose furnishings, systems furnitureSystems furniture includes panel-based workstations comprising modular interconnecting panels, hang-on components, and drawer and filing components or a free-standing grouping of furniture items designed to work in concert., decor) from everything else. I don’t want to include loose furnishings and systems furniture in my MR calculations – but I would like to include my permanently installed countertops and floor grates. Is it acceptable to include permanently installed Div 12 items and NOT include non-permanent Div 12 items? Or, if I include anything from Div 12 do I have to include everything from Div 12?
Architects put specifications into division 12 that really don't belong there. The worst case I have seen is where 95% of built-in casework was put into DIV 12 because it was lab casework. It was not portable casework, it was fully built-in and plumbed; an integral part of the building.
Countertops and floor grates should be included in the LEED considerations. Everything that is permanently installed in DIVs 11-14 should be included if it is intended to be a permanent part of a building.
If anything in DIV 12 looks like furniture or is MEP in nature, then it should be treated as MEP is treated in LEED.
LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, Managing Principal
Earthly Ideas LLC
This credit uses the same baseline material budget.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is recycled can also be regional.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is rapidly renewable can also contain recycled content, for example cotton insulation made from recycled denim.
Certified wood calculations only consider ‘new’ wood only. Recycled content in composite wood products should be included in MRc4 calculations, but not in MRc7, even if it is FSC-certified.
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