NC-2009 MRc4: Recycled Content

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  • Allow time for documentation

    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. 

  • Most projects easily earn both points

    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.

    Learn the lingo

    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%.

    DRecycled  bottlesPost-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. 

    Flooring panelAt 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.

  • FAQs for MRc4

    I have recycled content information for a product, but it doesn’t specify whether it is pre-consumer or post-consumer. What should I do?

    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.

    Why can’t I include mechanical, electrical and plumbing components in this credit? What if I consistently include MEP materials in the calculations for all of the MR credits I’m attempting?

    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.

    The recycled content percentage on the product data sheet is given as a range. What should I do?

    Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.

    The manufacturer can't give me product-specific recycled content data, but they say that they fall within the national industry average. Can I use that?

    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.

    Is the default average recycled content value of 25% for steel still allowed?

    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.

    Can site materials, such as soil, be included in the MR credit calculations?

    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.

    Are there recycled content claims that I should be wary of?

    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.

    Can I count FSC-certified MDF toward both MRc4 and MRc7?

    MRc7 counts only new wood, and MRc4 counts recycled content, so there is no overlap in the credits. You must choose one credit, and not double-dip. For products with FSC Mix and recycled content claims—including many MDF products and complex assemblies that include MDF—LEED Interpretation #10372 clarifies that project teams have to choose which "environmental attribute" they will use to classify the product, and it (and its dollar value) will either go into an FSC "bucket" or into a recycled-content "bucket." 

    If I have one cut sheet that meets the LEED 2009 requirement to upload 20% of cut sheets by cost, for this credit, is that acceptable?

    Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.

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  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Schematic Design

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  • 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:

    • Invision Carpet Systems
    • Shaw Contract Group
    • Tandus
    • lees

Design Development

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  • 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:

    • Divisions 3–10 
    • Section 31.60: Foundations
    • Section 32.10: Paving 
    • Section 32.30: Site Improvements
    • Section 32.90: Planting
    • Division 12: Furnishings is optional
    • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded.

  • 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.


  • Assemblies


  • 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.

Construction Documents

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  • 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.

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


  • 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.)

    • Materials Calculator:  This is a master tracking spreadsheet that the GC can use internally to compile product information received from the subcontractors. The spreadsheet tracks LEED values across multiple LEED MR and IEQ credits.
    • Environmental Materials Reporting Form: This is a material tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values for products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. 
    • Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form: 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.
    • Low-Emitting Material Limits: These tables, found with each credit here on LEEDuser, summarize the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and flooring products. When subcontractors search for low-emitting products, they should consult these charts.

  • 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.


  • During Construction


  • 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.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • 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.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    MR Credit 4: Recycled content

    1–2 Points

    Intent

    To increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

    Requirements

    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:

    Recycled Content Points
    10% 1
    20% 2



    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..

    1 Recycled content is defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document, ISO 14021 — Environmental labels and declarations — Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).

    2 Postconsumer material is defined as waste material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

    3 Preconsumer material is defined as material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Reutilization of materials (i.e., rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it) is excluded.

    SITES-LEED Equivalency

    This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    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.

Web Tools

BuildingGreen.com

Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.

Organizations

Steel Recycling Institute

The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.


MasterSpec

MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.


Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) — Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 

Materials Calculator

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.

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

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 GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing.

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

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.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

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

Recycled Content Calculator

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.

Recycled Content – Product Cut Sheets

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).

Concrete Tracking

Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 MR

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

Construction Submittal

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

Recycled Content Specifications

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.

658 Comments

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Jack Jennings
Apr 05 2017
Guest

MRc4 Recycled Content Calculation

Project Location: United States

Can Division 2 materials (hardscapeThe inanimate elements of the building landscaping. It includes pavement, roadways, stonewalls, wood and synthetic decking, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios., storm/sanitary utilities, landscaping) be excluded from the overall material cost when calculating for this credit?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Apr 06 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Yes and no:
. . 1. You must exclude “Existing Conditions” activities specified in CSI MasterFormat-2004 Division 02.
. . 2. You must INCLUDE all hardscapeThe inanimate elements of the building landscaping. It includes pavement, roadways, stonewalls, wood and synthetic decking, concrete paths and sidewalks, and concrete, brick, and tile patios. and landscaping materials specified in MasterFormat-2004 Sections 321000 through 321999 and 329000 through 329999.
. . 3. You must exclude storm/sanitary materials because they fall into Division 33 of MasterFormat-2004.

You appear to have based your question on an older version of MasterFormat. Prior to 2004, CSI classified building products in 16 Divisions using 5-digit Section numbers. Division 2 was “Sitework,” which included foundations, paving, improvements, planting, and utilities. LEEDv2 cited these older CSI systems and required Division 2 to be included in calculations for Materials and Resources Credits MRc3 through MRc7.

However, LEED-2009 cites MasterFormat-2004, which classifies into 50 Divisions using 6-digit designations. Division 02 is now called “Existing Conditions,” and covers activities such as demolition and site clearing, “Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements” have moved to Division 31, paving, site improvements, and planting to Division 32, and utilities to Division 33.

In LEED-2009, Materials and Resources Credits MRc3 through MRc7 calculate the costs and contributions of materials normally specified in MasterFormat-2004 Divisions 03-10, Foundations Sections 316000-316999, Paving Sections 321000-321999, Site Improvement Sections 323000-323999, and Planting Sections 329000-329999.

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Rick Alfandre Principal Alfandre Architecture
Apr 05 2017
LEEDuser Member
671 Thumbs Up

Concrete Recycled Content

I'm trying to verify my understanding of recycled content calculations for Concrete.

If I have a dollar value for the cementitous materials per Cubic Yard from the concrete supplier, combined with the amount of cubic yards delivered to the site, can I use this $$ as the total cost of the material, and NOT the cost of the concrete?

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Denise Domino DivisionOne Construction, LLC
Mar 28 2017
LEEDuser Member
33 Thumbs Up

MR Credit - 20% of WHAT number for the cutsheets

Project Location: United States

What are going off of for the 20%? 20% Material Cost???

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 28 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Denise—As Erica notes in her March 14 response on the MRc5 forum (http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/71061), the requirement was to upload cut sheets for 20% of the sustainable materials cost (the cost contributing to your MRc4 or MRc5 tally). However, as Michelle points out in that same discussion, the latest versions of LEED Online documentation no longer requires uploading cut sheets.

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator Bywater Woodworks, Inc.
Mar 06 2017
Guest
232 Thumbs Up

MRc4 steel made outside US, average recycled content

Project Location: United States

has anyone successfully used the 25% default PCRC (post consumer) recycled content Defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document ISO 14021 D Environmental labels and declarations D Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).# for steel made outside of the US and shipped into the US.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 15 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Debra—The LEED NC-2009 Reference Guide states, “For steel products where no recycled content information is available, assume the recycled content to be 25% postconsumer. No other material has been recognized as having a similarly consistent minimum recycled content. Many steel products contain 90% or higher recycled content if manufactured by the electric arc furnace process, so it may be beneficial to obtain actual information from the manufacturer rather than relying on the default value.” LEED’s Global ACP Guidance does not contradict this approach.

Furthermore, 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. LI#10246 says, “Note, for the purposes of LEED, steel has a previously established industry average of 25% post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content which does not require documentation on a per product basis….Applicable Internationally.”

Therefore, even though the default percentage for steel was probably based on US averages for steel production, there does not seem to be anything disallowing use of the default percentage for steel milled outside the US. I have never seen reviewers question it.

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator, Bywater Woodworks, Inc. Mar 28 2017 Guest 232 Thumbs Up

Many Thanks Jon for your time and assistance!
I did not see that LI and what I did see indicated it was applicable to US steel.
Unfortunately we are getting steel some (not all) rebar from Turkey for project in New Orleans, but glad that I can include that PCRC. I think LI # 10246 answers it "Applicable Internationally."

Regards, Debra

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Cristina Algaze Architect. LEED AP BD+C.
Mar 02 2017
LEEDuser Member
195 Thumbs Up

Recycled content project's calculation with an average

Hi. I have two projects were the contractor has given me the recycled content Defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document ISO 14021 D Environmental labels and declarations D Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).(RC) information of structural metal products. But, the cost of each product has not been itemised. In other words, for example I have: Angles with their RC, steel tubes with their RC, wide flanges with their RC, etc., but I have only one material cost for the total of all of those elements. My question is, can I make an average of all of the RC contents and use that average to calculate the cost contributing for recycled content? There are no weights to convert it into am assembly

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Mar 02 2017 LEEDuser Member 2382 Thumbs Up

weights for each section can be looked up in AISC, so you should be able to calculate total steel weight for each section, and use that to determine a weighted average RC (steel costs are typically very linear with weight). This doesn't account for different shipping costs based on mill location, but I think this is a reasonable approach.

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Rita Haberman Brightworks
Jan 31 2017
LEEDuser Member
396 Thumbs Up

Garage materials

Hi everyone,

I am working on a new building project where a garage outside of the LEED boundary will be constructed concurrently. Can we include materials for the garage in MRc4 and MRc5 calculations since the construction is done under the same contractor and at the same time? Thank you.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 01 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

No. You can only include work that occurs within the LEED Boundary in your LEED documentation for the MR credits (including MRc2) and, for that matter, for most of the credits in other categories. Your contractor must track costs, materials, and waste for work inside the LEED boundary separately from anything outside the boundary.

If the garage is in the same construction contract as the LEED building, you might need to ask, “Why is the Garage not part of the LEED project?” Under certain conditions, it might be advisable (or even required) for such a garage to be inside the Boundary. (For more information, see LEED’s Minimum Project Requirements and LEEDuser’s MRP forums.) In any case, the scope of the LEED Project should be consistent across all credits and prerequisites.

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Rita Haberman Brightworks Feb 02 2017 LEEDuser Member 396 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your response. We were hired to help a contractor with LEED documentation and they told us the garage is outside of the boundary (we have no part in design) so just wanted to see if we can pick up some materials points with the garage.

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Michael Sugar III Vice President Forcon International Corp.
Jan 30 2017
Guest
9 Thumbs Up

Bike Racks

Project Location: United States

Currently FF&E (~Division 12) falls under the all or nothing when it comes to use for Recycled Content and/or Regional Materials. However, there are some items such as Bike Racks, which fall under Division 12, that are clearly not FF&E. If I include Bike Racks in my calculation, am I then obligated to include all FF&E in the calculations?

Thanks!

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Renee Shirey Jan 31 2017 LEEDuser Member 4180 Thumbs Up

Per Masterspecs, bike racks belong to 323300 Site Furnishings, so I personally would include it. If anything you are uploading for review references a Div 12 spec number, you could write a note on it that it was incorrectly categorized and should be spec 323300, thus it should be included.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Jan 31 2017 LEEDuser Expert 13320 Thumbs Up

Just wanted to note that in MasterFormat 2004, which LEED 2009 references all bicycle racks are in 12 93 13. (In MasterFormat 2014, interior bicycle racks stay in 12 93 13 but exterior racks move to 32 33 13 Site Bicycle Racks.) I would not include bike racks in Division 32 3x xx in LEED 2009.

Note: Division 12 in MasterFormat 2004 is Furnishings - not FF&E. Per a meeting at Greenbuild 2015 in GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Certification Work Zone, Kristen Vachon Vogel (a Certification Reviewer) followed up with me regarding Division 12: "In NC v2009, Div 12 may be included or excluded, as long as it is done consistently throughout the project. If included, all items in Div 12 must be included in the denominator (Total Materials Cost), unless otherwise noted in the guidance (ex. artwork and plants are to be excluded)."

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Michael Sugar III Vice President, Forcon International Corp. Jan 31 2017 Guest 9 Thumbs Up

Ok, thank you, I will review and determine how to move forward. Interesting that exterior bike racks, which really fall under sitework, would be included in Division 12.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 01 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Everything Michelle says above is correct, but at this year’s GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Certification Work Zone, I asked a question that added another wrinkle to this discussion. The reviewer that I spoke to noted that a project team might be permitted to include materials specified outside the prescribed MasterFormat sections if they obtain a formal interpretation from USGBC before attempting to include such materials in MR Credit calculations (See http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/67185).

Personally, I have always found the “all-or-nothing” Division 12 interpretation problematic because CSI, which developed early versions of MasterFormat in the 1960’s, never intended its classifications for use quite the way that LEED applies them. Division 12 includes some typically “base-building,” permanent constructions, such as restroom countertops, while some non-permanent, movable items fall into Divisions 03-10 (like storage shelving in Div10). This puts the requirement to include all “permanently installed” materials squarely at odds with the MasterFormat designations. Also, relying exclusively on Spec Divisions sometimes leaves it to the whims of the Spec writer and the idiosyncrasies of a 50-year-old indexing system to determine what counts toward LEED and what doesn’t. For my part, I have usually excluded Division 12 entirely. However, if I were to consider including certain, permanently installed items from Division 12 (or other non-standard CSI Sections), I would first post an inquiry to make sure that my rationale for doing so was valid.

Oops! I have wandered off-topic. Keep in mind that credits MRc3 through MRc7 are all weighted by cost. Items such as bike racks typically make up such a tiny percentage of a project’s overall materials budget that it makes little difference whether or not to include them in the cost tallies for these credits.

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator, Bywater Woodworks, Inc. Mar 29 2017 Guest 232 Thumbs Up

I remember reading but can't find now a statement, I think from a LI or addenda but not sure, that one can include certain items from MEP in the materials credits. Anyone know where to find that exact (correct) language? I definitely saw that because it really surprised me and I remember thinking - wow that's a new one.

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Member 3402 Thumbs Up

It's in LEEDv4 - under MR Overview in the Reference Manual - "In past versions of LEED, all mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment (MEP), categorized as CSI MasterFormat divisions 11, 21-28, and other specialty divisions, was excluded from MR credits. In this version of LEED some specific products that are part of these systems but are “passive” (meaning not part of the active portions of the system) may be included in credit calculations. This allows flexibility for the optional assessment of piping, pipe insulation, ducts, duct insulation, conduit, plumbing fixtures, faucets, showerheads, and lamp housings. If optional products or materials are included in cost-based credit calculations, such as Option 2 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they must be included consistently across all cost-based credit calculations. Additionally, if optional products and materials are included in product based calculations, such as Option 1 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they are not required to be included in cost-based credit calculations. However, unlike furniture, if some of these products are included in credit calculations, not all products of that type must be included.
Special equipment, such as elevators, escalators, process equipment, and fire suppression, systems, is excluded from the credit calculations. Also excluded are products purchased for temporary use on the project, like formwork for concrete."
Good catch!

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Debra—As noted in Deborah’s excerpt, LEEDv4 projects can include MEP materials in the MR credits, but LEED-2009 projects cannot. (An ancient 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 also allowed MEP to be included in pre-LEED-2009 projects, but that ruling is no longer valid.) Since you are posting in the LEED-2009 forum, I assume you are working on a LEED-2009 project. For that project, you cannot include MEP.

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator, Bywater Woodworks, Inc. Apr 07 2017 Guest 232 Thumbs Up

Hi Jon,
Yes I had remembered including hvac duct/ pipe insulation previously (v2.2). That's good to know the background/ history of that between LEED versions.
I don't really want to switch to LEED v 4 for materials however as it seems too complicated to try to learn for this already complicated project. I greatly appreciate your assistance.

Hi Deborah,
I am very appreciative of your assistance on this topic.

It's been a long time since I was on the LEED M&R TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system.. Sometimes I feel like they have gone back and forth on some topics that for some issues I'm not sure of the current 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 for my 2009 project. The CIR search function is not perfect and thus using CIR search only can sometimes lead one down the wrong path.

I'm glad you both set me straight :")

Regards,
Debra

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debra lombard sustainable design consulatnt & construction administrator Bywater Woodworks, Inc.
Jan 04 2017
Guest
232 Thumbs Up

stones found onsite & reuse of shutters for use in project

Project Location: United States

1. We have a project site that's circa 1813 in the historic French Quarter. While earthwork was underway, 100 SF or so of 4"+ thick stones were dug up during trenchwork and we are going to be bale to use them in the project to replace damaged/broken stones the Architect had originally counted on using. So naturally I'm thinking the dug up stones can positively apply towards:
MRc2
MRc3
MRc4
MRc5
Am I incorrect in thinking the stones can apply to all MRc2-5?

2. Along these same lines, we will be salvaging old historic shutters from the existing building, restoring them and re-installing them. Since they are for windows and can not contribute to either MRC1.1 or MRc1.2, I assume the shutters can apply to MRc2-MRc5 as well.
Would LEED agree for shutters?

I think most would agree about MRc2, MRc3 and MRc5 however what about MRc4?

Thank you very much!
Debra

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jan 04 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Hmmm. I will break it down the best I can: . . 1. I am assuming that you will use the stone as masonry, paving, or for some other purpose covered in the CSI Divisions and Sections applicable to MRc3 through MRc7. . . . . MRc2: Land clearing debris (soil, vegetation, and rocks) cannot count toward MRc2, but if these stones are long-ago discarded cut masonry, USGBC might make an exception. I would submit an inquiry to USGBC. . . . . MRc3: I think that reusing the stone may qualify as “Reuse.” The trick here is estimating a value for the stone. MRc3 also places some limitations on reusing materials recovered from and reused on the same project site. . . . . MRc4: The stone would only count as Recycled if it were reworked or remanufactured into a different product. . . . . MRc5: If the stone counts toward MRc3 or MRc4, it will also count as Regional under MRc5. . . 2. Shutters: CSI classifies exterior shutters in Division 8, so they can count toward MRc3 through MRc7, but interior shutters may not count because they are Division 12 “window treatments". . . . . MRc1.1 Shutters cannot count toward MRc1.1 because they are non-structural. . . . . MRc1.2 If they are interior shutters, you may be able to count them toward MRc1.2. . . . . MRc2: You may be able to count the shutters toward MRc2, but there are limitations on “double-dipping” if you try to count them towards other MR credits. . . . . MRc3: As noted above, MRc3 limits reusing materials salvaged on-site for the same purposes as originally intended. . . . . MRc4: No. . . . . MRc5: If the shutters count toward MRc3, they will also count as Regional under MRc5. There are so many ins and outs to material reuse that you may want to repost some of these questions to LEEDuser’s MRc1.2, MRc2, and MRc3 forums. The experts on these forums may be better versed on blending these credits.

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Shawn Keith PE GlenMar Construction
Oct 19 2016
LEEDuser Member
29 Thumbs Up

Supplementary Cementitious Materials

I have my cement tracker all filled out. And I am still confused by it.
Do I use the dollar value of the cementitious materials multiplied by the mass of the totaled cementitious materials as my cost of material? Instead of the actual cost of the concrete mix delivered to the site?

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 18 2017 LEEDuser Moderator

Hi Shawn,

It's been a while since I've dealt with this, but my understanding is that you can do it either way. You can calculate your recycled content credit either for the entire mix together, or you can break out the cementitious materials and account for their mass and dollar value separately from the rest of the mix. (That's assuming you can get a dollar value for just the cementitious materials from your concrete batch plant.)

If you're using significant quantitites of fly ash or other recycled-content cement substitute it's usually better to break out the cementitious materials separately, because you don't get much credit for them if you just factor their relatively small mass in as part of the entire mix.
I hope this helps!

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Richard Metts CPC, LEED AP BD+C Durotech, Inc.
Sep 28 2016
LEEDuser Member
32 Thumbs Up

Calculating MRc4 - Recycable Material Credits

Project Location: United States

Please help me to clarify the following cost scenario's as they relate to calculating the MRc4 Material Credits.
1) Fabricated Structural Steel - Do you use the whole cost for the fabricated steel in the calculation for recyclable value or just the material value of the steel.
2) Concrete - Do you use the whole cost for installing the concrete including the plywood, cement & rebar recyclable materials.
3) Drywall - Do you use the whole cost of the drywall system installed in the recyclable material calculation or just the cost of the material times the percent recyclables?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 28 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Richard—For Materials and Resources Credits MRc3 through MRc7, the Reference Guide states, “Materials costs include all expenses to deliver the material to the project site. Materials costs should account for all taxes and transportation costs incurred by the contractor but exclude cost for labor and equipment once the material has been delivered to the site.” It also says, “Include only materials permanently installed in the project” in the calculations for Credits MRc3 through MRc6.

. .1. Since steel fabrication occurs before delivery of the material to the site, include the fabrication cost when calculating material cost. (This usually requires treating the fabricated steel as an “assembly” when calculating its credit contribution.)

. . 2. Exclude the cost of placing and finishing cast-in-place concrete, as this occurs after the concrete’s delivery. Also exclude the costs of formwork, shoring, scaffolding, screeds and other equipment and temporary materials used during the installation. Concrete and the steel are usually purchased and delivered separately, so you can usually calculate their costs and credit contributions separately. Cement is a component of concrete, so it would be part of the “assembly” calculation for concrete. (On the other hand, since precast concrete is fabricated elsewhere, the concrete, rebar, and fabrication costs would all be included in the material cost.)

. . 3. For gypsum board systems that are assembled on-site, you would calculate the costs and contributions of the gypsum board separately from the framing, the fasteners, the accessories, and the finishing materials, excluding the costs of installation (labor and equipment).

These rules of thumb apply whether you are calculating recycled content, regional materials, rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). materials, or material reuse. The calculations for certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System. (MRc7) are similar, but with a few nuanced variations.

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Richard Metts CPC, LEED AP BD+C, Durotech, Inc. Sep 30 2016 LEEDuser Member 32 Thumbs Up

Jon, thanks so much for clearing up these questions and how to properly calculate the recyclable material contribution.
My warmest regards,
Richard Metts
LEED AP, BD+C

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Earthship 360 Earthship 360 Oct 02 2016 Guest 31 Thumbs Up

Tire Work https://earthship360.com/tire-work/
Structural, Bearing and Retaining Walls made with rammed earth encased in recycled steel-belted rubber tires.
- Very strong, Economical, Local, Sustainable. -
The major structural building component is recycled automobile tires filled with compacted earth to form a rammed earth brick encased in steel belted rubber. This brick and the resulting bearing walls it forms is virtually indestructible.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska Oct 03 2016 LEEDuser Member 2382 Thumbs Up

My feelings about Earthships aside, this post is not appropriate here. Part of what makes LEEDUser so great is the focused discussion about particular LEED issues/questions. This spam does not belong here. Jon, are your monitoring this page, and if so can you please see about removing this? Thank you very much, and sorry to be forum police, just want to keep the integrity.

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Earthship 360 Earthship 360 Oct 03 2016 Guest 31 Thumbs Up

apologies. I figured this was relevant given the topic of the thread... recycled materials.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 15 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Lyle—These last 3 posts came through just as I was leaving town for Greenbuild. I am back, so I can respond.

I agree that the Earthship post seems to promote one particular technology without addressing how that system fits into LEED MR credit calculations, which is, after all, the topic of this forum and of this discussion thread. Even thought the post seems out-of-place, I cannot remove it from this forum. Instead, I will try to bring this thread back on-track with Richard’s original post by discussing how such a system would figure into NC-2009 MR Credits.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 15 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

In LEED-2009, Materials and Resources Credits MRc3 through MRc7 calculate the costs and contributions of materials normally specified in Divisions 03 through 10 of CSI MasterFormat 2004 and in a few sections in Divisions 31 and 32.

The Earthship post describes rammed earth construction, which MasterFormat 2004 does not address anywhere. Newer versions of MasterFormat (LEEDv4 uses 2012) classify Rammed Earth in Division 13 Special Construction, which lies outside of the Scope of the MR credits.

While at Greenbuild, I had an opportunity to sit down with a LEED Reviewer the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Certification Work Zone. He noted that using old tires in rammed earth walls seemed entirely within the intent of the MR credits, but that, since MasterFormat does not address this construction type in the appropriate Divisions, project teams should request a formal interpretation from USGBC before attempting to include such materials in MR Credit calculations.

The same would go for other alternative technologies addressed outside the prescribed MasterFormat Sections, such as straw-bale construction, tensile structures, and modular prefabrication.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 15 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

The earlier post describes a system with two major components—old tires and earth—brought together through hand labor.

As noted previously, the onsite labor of assembling the walls and compacting the earth into the tires is excluded from the calculation. Earth gathered onsite has no “cost,” so it does not figure into the MR credits. All that remains are the tires.

It appears that the tires would be purchased, gathered, or donated and incorporated into the construction without any kind of alteration or remanufacture. Such materials do not meet the MRc4 definition of “recycled materials.” Instead, they might qualify as reused or salvaged material under Material Reuse Credit MRc3. For guidance on determining the “cost” of such materials, see http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc3.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 15 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

There! I hope that we are back on-topic. Please note in LEEDv4 evaluates MR credits using a wider range of criteria. This thread only addresses LEED-2009.

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Byrne Lambkin
Sep 20 2016
LEEDuser Member
82 Thumbs Up

Material Calculator

I am unable to download the material calculator from the Document Tool Kit

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Sep 20 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Byrne—I am not having any trouble downloading the calculator. Maybe the problem has been fixed.

I use Chrome. When I click on a link, I don’t always notice the download “button” that appears in the lower left hand corner of my browser. Clicking the button open the downloaded file. If I don’t see the button the first time, I’ll often click the link again. Each time, another button appears indicating that I have downloaded another copy. I’ll do it again and again, and it drives me crazy!

For the most up-to-date calculator, you may want to use USGBC’s official spreadsheet designed to submit via LEEDonline: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/materials-and-resources-calculator-v2009

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Jan 05 2017 LEEDuser Member 3402 Thumbs Up

Have been using the Materials Calculator without any problems until today when it asked for a password when I tried to input additional data. HELP - has anyone else had this issue?

Am using the v07.xlsm version.

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Agata Mozer GO4IT SP Z OO SP K
Jul 29 2016
LEEDuser Member
1190 Thumbs Up

Recycled content in road underlay material

Project Location: Poland

In our project coal slate which is a waste from a coal mine will be used to create the underlay for the roads and the building. Can this be included in recycled content calculations? And if it can be treated as recycled content should it be classified as pre-consumer content?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jul 31 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Agata—Material may be considered “recycled content” if it meets all of the ISO-14021 criteria:
. . 1. It is “material that would have otherwise been disposed of as waste or used for energy recovery but has instead been collected and recovered [reclaimed] as a material input, in lieu of new primary material, for a recycling or a manufacturing process.”
. . 2. It is “material that has been reprocessed from recovered [reclaimed] material by means of a manufacturing process and made into a final product or into a component for incorporation into a product.
. . 3. It is either pre-consumer material (“material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process,” excluding “reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it”) 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. material (“material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product which can no longer be used for its intended purpose,” including “returns of material from the distribution chain”).

I assume that, by “coal slate,” you mean, “coal refuse.” As I understand it, coal deposits usually occur layered within other rocks. The rocks are mined and then broken apart to extract the pure coal, leaving behind tons of rock fragments. Mining companies usually dispose of this “refuse” in “gob piles,” in “slate dumps,” and in pits behind dams. If, by reprocessing the material into subbase for paving and concrete, your project diverts the material from its normal waste stream, the material may qualify as pre-consumer recycled content.

The biggest challenge may be that coal refuse often contains traces of coal, sulfur, heavy metals, and acids that can leach out to contaminate soils and groundwater or to interact corrosively with adjacent materials. Before using such materials, your project should consider and address all environmental ramifications.

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Agata Mozer GO4IT SP Z OO SP K Aug 01 2016 LEEDuser Member 1190 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much for your reply!

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

Master's Research Survey

Project Location: United States

I am conducting this survey in affiliation with University of Cincinnati in support of my hypothesis for my Master's thesis. It would just take 10-15 minutes of your time. By completing this survey you would help me in giving my research the required depth in understanding the achievability of the credit points in the Material and Resource category of LEED v2009 and v2013. I will send in the end results of this survey to you, which could potentially make your decision process easier on any future LEED registered projects you intend to work on.

The following is the link to my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XR3ZVZN
Thank you in advance for taking the time!

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Jace Christensen
May 18 2016
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

Recycled Content Percentages

Project Location: United States

I am calculating the percentage of materials that contain recycled content. It says MEP type work is not to be included in the calculation. Is this in the recycled value or the total value of materials, or both? I want to make sure I am calculating the values correctly.

Also, is there a place I can go for answers and clarifications to simple questions like this one?

Thanks!

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Renee Shirey May 18 2016 LEEDuser Member 4180 Thumbs Up

Jace, this information is in your LEED Reference Guide book, in the MR Overview section. It clarifies what spec sections should be included in calculating your material costs for the MR credits.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 18 2016 LEEDuser Moderator

There is also a ton of basic information on common questions and avoiding pitfalls... here on this site! In this forum and above in the member content (which you have to pay to see... but is well worth it).

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Renee Shirey May 18 2016 LEEDuser Member 4180 Thumbs Up

I definitely agree with Tristan on that. I would be doomed without my access to Leeduser. SO incredibly helpful, well worth the cost for the member content. I have actively worked on over 10 LEED projects (some completed, some almost done with reviews, some heading to their first round of design review) and use the site weekly. Sometimes daily. Oh heck - sometimes hourly.

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Lyle Axelarris Civil/Structural Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Design Alaska May 18 2016 LEEDuser Member 2382 Thumbs Up

Same here. LEEDUser is an indispensable resource that has helped me on every LEED project I've worked on.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 18 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

The LEEDuser forums are packed with useful information and advice. For basic LEED credit language and addenda for the various LEED Rating Systems and versions, there is also http://www.usgbc.org/credits. As Renee points out, the Reference Guides are essential, especially if you are heading up a LEED project.

However, if you are a contractor or consultant on a LEED project, there is one source that can provide the information most crucial and unique to your project. Consult the project’s LEED Administrator. There should be a LEED-AP leading the project that knows the project’s goals and understands the specific requirements of the particular rating system that the project is using. (For example, the requirements may differ if the project is using NC versus CI, Version 4 versus LEED-2009, or one credit strategy versus another.)

Find this person, establish a relationship, and seek their guidance. They should become your “go-to” person for which information to provide, how to do calculations, and how to format your data. Just be aware, every project is unique. The next project’s LEED-AP may have different needs.

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Martin Meehan Principal Meehan Associates
May 11 2016
LEEDuser Member
448 Thumbs Up

Definition of Assembly

LEED language seems a bit loose about what must be considered assembly.

I see from previous comments from Jon Clifford that assembly is what is delivered to site "assembled", which makes a lot of sense.
However is this anywhere in the reference guide or LEED addenda?

Thanks

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Michelle Robinson Schwarting Re:Vision Architecture May 11 2016 Guest 1651 Thumbs Up

Per LEED Ref Guide, MRc4 under 6. Calculations, there's a section titled "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.":
"An assembly can be either a product formulated from multiple materials (e.g., a composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. panel) or a product made up of subcomponents (e.g., a window system)."
It's pretty much anything that is made of multiple types/pieces of raw materials (ex. concrete, engineered wood floor, SIP, cabinet).

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Martin Meehan Principal, Meehan Associates May 11 2016 LEEDuser Member 448 Thumbs Up

Thanks Michelle for your response.

Let's use the particular example of a facade glazing system.
Could it be arguably considered a "product formulated from multiple materials" by following that definition?

Having the glazing system broken down in glass and frame by cost, or by weight, can have a huge impact depending on each situation (cost ratio can be 45%-55% while weight ratio can reach up to 90%-10%).

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Michelle Robinson Schwarting Re:Vision Architecture May 11 2016 Guest 1651 Thumbs Up

In the LEED Ref. Guide (same section as above), it says it has to be done by % weight. Of course right below that it talks abt. cementitious material in concrete being allowed to be broken out if you can provide the cost of the cementitious materials separate from the cost of the aggregate.

You could always try submitting the cost of the glass separately from the cost of the frame and have two line items in your materials matrix. However, in concrete, there's likely not very much cost associated with mixing the materials whereas with a façade glazing system there may be quite a bit more cost associated with assembling the glass and the frame, which would then be harder to take in to account and/or would reduce your material cost, thereby making the impact of the recycled content be less. But you could try it... Worst case, if the LEED Reviewer doesn't like it, they'll flag it and question it following your preliminary submission.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Martin—In the Reference Guide, the “Calculations” sections of MRc4, MRc5, and MRc6 each state, “Materials costs include all expenses to deliver the material to the project site. Materials costs should account for all taxes and transportation costs incurred by the contractor but exclude any cost for labor and equipment once the material has been delivered to the site.” Therefore, the starting point should be the assembly that arrives as a unit to the site and that you are able to itemize as a separate cost. For example:

Case 1: Your façade system might consist of glass panels delivered from one fabricator and aluminum framing pieces shipped from a different maker, along with gaskets, connectors, and other accessories from other manufacturers. If your contractor pays for each of these items separately, the most appropriate approach is to treat each component as a separate item or assembly.

Case 2: By comparison, I have worked with “unitized” curtain wall systems, wherein the glass and the framing components are preassembled and delivered to the site as pre-glazed panels to be lifted into place by cranes. The materials cost of such systems is usually considerably higher than the piece-by-piece system described in Case 1 because the cost includes the fabricator’s pre-assembly costs, which occurred off-site, prior to delivery. In this case, the most appropriate approach is to treat the entire façade as one assembly, and calculate the components by weight.

Case 3: Perhaps this is most common. Just as in Case 1, the components arrive to the site separately. However, the contractor pays one price to the glass fabricator for the glass, and one price to the framing supplier to cover, not just the framing, but also the gaskets and miscellaneous components. The framing supplier refuses to provide an itemize breakdown of all the parts and pieces. In this case, even though each framing component might be delivered separately, it would be appropriate to treat them as a single assembly. Since the glass is a separate line item, it would be a separate assembly.

In the end, much depends on how you pay for the product, how the product is delivered, and how much information you can put your hands on.

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Martin Meehan Principal, Meehan Associates May 12 2016 LEEDuser Member 448 Thumbs Up

Thanks Michelle and Jon, I appreciate your clarifications.

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Patricia Lloyd Sustainability Manager Leopardo Companies, Inc.
Feb 26 2016
LEEDuser Member
403 Thumbs Up

New USGBC Issued Materials & Resources Calculator v06

Project Location: United States

Has anyone used this new materials and resources calculator uploaded to USGBC site in Jan 2016 for LEED v3? I am unclear on the regional materials - there doesn't seem to be a designation for where you put the mileage for harvested and manufactured locations. Let me know your thoughts, or what I am missing.

http://www.usgbc.org/resources/materials-and-resources-calculator-v2009

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 26 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Patricia—We have been trying to get clarification from USGBC. See this comment string from the NC-2009 MRc5 page: http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/61864.

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Steven Burke Sustainability Manager, SMMA May 17 2016 LEEDuser Member 117 Thumbs Up

I would also like clarification. Seems like an error made by the USGBC.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 17 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Just as an update: On April 8, 2016, USGBC issued a revised version of the Materials and Resources Calculator (v07). For now, at least, you can download this spreadsheet from the same link that Patricia posted above. There appear to have been some modifications to the instructions, but I suspect that v07 does not resolve all the issues that Patricia raised concerning v06.

LEEDuser has a new forum, “LEED Online Status Updates” (http://www.leeduser.com/strategy/leed-online-status-updates) to address issues with the latest LEED Online forms and calculators. There, Michelle Reott is working with USGBC to answer or resolve issues with the new tools. Check in to the new forum for the latest news.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Nov 22 2016 LEEDuser Expert 13320 Thumbs Up

Patricia, Steven, and Jon - I was asked to review the latest Materials and Resources Calculator v08. It should be released with (or before) the 1/1/2017 quarterly LEED Addenda Update. It will be cataloged as a Form Update (under Entry Type) in the Addenda Database - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations.

Keep an eye on http://www.usgbc.org/resources/materials-and-resources-calculator-v2009 for the new version.

One of the fixes was to rename the dropdowns in Column S to differentiate between BD+C and the further clarify the two options in ID+C. Column S was also renamed to make things clearer. “BD+C” was added to cell T7 to make it clearer this is the Distance for BD+C and ID+C projects. And the embedded comment in cell T7 has been updated to reflect that for BD+C only the furthest of the compliant manufacturing/extraction distances is to be entered. At least this method of entering the furthest compliant distance can be used and you’ll be on the same page when the updated version is released.

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Elliot Young Designer Rinkachung Architecture
Feb 03 2016
Guest
104 Thumbs Up

Fire Extinguisher & Cabinet (MRc4 & MRc5)

Project Location: United States

Hi,
we just received a submittal for fire extinguishers and recessed fire extinguisher cabinets - claiming to have recycled content and regional materials. would fire extinguishers and cabinets be considered "equipment" similar to elevators which are excluded from these credits? I've never seen this before.

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Francis Chua AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Project Architect at NK Architects Feb 03 2016 Guest 288 Thumbs Up

Elliot,
Products in CSI-2004 divisions 3-10 plus some site related sections apply to this credit. Fire extinguisher cabinets and fire extinguishers do belong to division 10. However, the LEED Reference Guide stipulates to "Include only materials permanently installed in the project". Fire extinguisher cabinets are obviously permanent and is no doubt applicable to this credit. Fire extinguishers, since they can be removed, may be perceived as not permanent. In my opinion, they should be considered as permanent because they are required by life safety code to be there at all times. Someone chime in if they have had fire extinguishers accepted by LEED reviewers in your projects.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 04 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Elliot—Francis is right that fire extinguishers and cabinets are in CSI Division 10, so you should include the cost of these items when figuring the “Total Materials Cost” for the MR credit calculations.

However, for most projects, the actual cost to purchase extinguishers and cabinets is infinitesimal compared to the rest of the building. Even if they had 100% 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 reclaimed and manufactured next-door to the jobsite, they could only contribute a fraction of a percent of the “Total Materials Cost” to MRc4 & MRc5.

What’s more, the data that I have seen for these products tends to be sketchy. They often claim a percentage of recycled content for their steel, but these items contain more than just steel. They can rarely identify extraction points or percentages of regional components.

Since the potential for these items to contribute much to MRc4 & MRc5 is so low, I have stopped asking fire extinguisher & cabinet manufacturers to provide complete data. I just request a lump sum cost for extinguishers and accessories and focus my documentation efforts on the big-ticket items. That way too, I don’t have to fuss over whether fire extinguishers qualify as “permanent.”

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Thomas Perkins PE, LEED AP Dirigo A/E, LLC
Jan 25 2016
LEEDuser Member
15 Thumbs Up

Planting recycled conent

Project Location: United States

“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.”

I have just received a submittal from my landscaping contractor for $200,000 worth of various types of plants and trees (section 32.90.00) claiming 0% pre and post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content. If I am to follow blindly and include this in my calculation for the MRc4 credit this only raises my material budget and hurts my percentage of total recycled content. I have a hard time believing that planting trees should hurt me in any way. In the other direction, if I am able to assume to have 100% for both pre and post-consumer I have a hard time believing that I can claim a $300,000 recycled content value for a $200,000 purchase.
How should I address this?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Jan 26 2016 LEEDuser Expert 13320 Thumbs Up

Thomas - The MR credits' percentages are calculated via fractions. Using the Total Construction Cost method, the total cost of the LEED-required divisions and sections times 45% is the denominator (bottom) of these fractions. (For Actual Total Materials Cost, the denominator is the sum of the cost of all materials within the LEED-required divisions and sections.) Using either method, the denominator must be consistent between MRc3-MRc6. (MRc7 is a special case.) The reference you list is related to the denominator of these fractions - the total cost used (whether 45% of construction costs or actual material costs) must be consistent in MRc3-MRc6.

The numerator (top) is the cost of the specific materials that contribute to that credit. For instance, the numerator for MRc4 is the cost of the recycled content materials contributing to that credit. Hence, having no value for recycled content for the planting material does NOT hurt you as $0 is included in the numerator for MRc4. Hope this is clear.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jan 26 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6988 Thumbs Up

Thomas—Not every product contributes toward every LEED credit. For example, your purchase of trees may not benefit credit MRc4 at all, but if the nurseries that grew the trees are local, the trees could count toward MRc5 Regional Materials. The trees may also help achieve some of the Sustainable Sites credits, but if they require irrigation, they could hurt your Water Efficiency credits. LEED is all about trade-offs.

Many projects spend farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). more money on structure and envelope materials, such as steel, aluminum, and concrete, than they do on plantings. Such products often contribute significantly to MRc4, offsetting less costly materials that contribute little or nothing.

Therefore, include the cost of the plants when calculating the project’s “Total Material Cost” that is the denominator for the MR credits. If your project uses the “Actual Material Cost” method, make sure not to include the cost of installing the plants in the total.

Finally, you cannot claim $300,000 recycled content for a $200,000 purchase because no product can claim BOTH 100% 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. AND 100% pre-consumer recycled content. The sum of post- & pre-consumer cannot exceed 100%. Since pre-consumer content only counts half under MRc4, a product that has 50% post- and 50% pre-consumer content would only contribute 75% of its value toward MRc4, and a product that was 90%-10% would only contribute 95%.

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Hieu Huynh Environmental Engineer, LEED AP BD+C
Jan 06 2016
Guest
292 Thumbs Up

Recycled content in Steel frame of facade

Project Location: Vietnam

Hi, I would like to ask in case that facade manufacturer cannot confirm recycled content in their steel frame of facade, can I use default number 25% recycled content for steel product as stated in LEED guideline. Is 25% applied to structural rebar only or all types of steel products?

Thanks for your support and advice.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Jan 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 13320 Thumbs Up

Hieu - The default recycled content value for steel can be applied to all steel products - including the steel framing of a façade.

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Sarfaraj Khan Commissioning & Sustainability Consultant Green Consulting
Dec 09 2015
Guest
53 Thumbs Up

Anchor Bolt Recycle Content

Project Location: United Arab Emirates

Hi

I have a anchor bolt material and the supplier is saying that the steel is the world most recycle material. Modern steel production methods use at least 25% of recycled steel to make new steel.based on this they state that they hardware items and slotted channel alongs with anchors containing steel have a minimum recylced content of 25%. The steel used in these items are 100% recycled

Hence they provide letter stating above and it also state that they product has 25% pre consumer and 100% post consumer, can this be letter acceptable as reliable and verified source or need more information from the supplier end to meet this credit

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Dec 09 2015 LEEDuser Expert 13320 Thumbs Up

Sarfaraj - A letter from a supplier is typically good documentation but per your inquiry having 25% preconsumer and 100% 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. in the same product is not possible (equals 125%). Typically I use the default 25% post-consumer recycled content for steel materials that have low dollar values because it's not worth the time to track down the actual recycled content. Steel is the only material that LEED allows you to use a default recycled content without tracking down the exact content. Of course, recycled content could be higher than the default and for expensive items, it's worth getting accurate information from the supplier. (In this case, I don't think you have that.)

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