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.
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."
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..
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.
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.
We received a review comment regarding credits MRc4 and MRc5 of a stadium we are working on in Brazil.
The review team claims that "The Actual Materials Cost of Divisions 3-10,31 and 32 is equivalente to the costs of the materials listed within the calculator. It is inconsistent with industry norms for the materials listed to be a complete list of all material used within the LEED Project. Therefore, it is unclear that the Actual Materials Cost include the costs of all materials associated with this LEED Project. Actual Materials Cost must include the cost of all materials that are part of any specifications within Divisions 3-10, 31, 32 and 12".
We declared U$53.529.626,54 as both Actual Materials Cost (tab A.Instructions) and Materials Cost (tab B.Inputs). This figure includes tax and transportation of all materials within elegible CSI divisions. We have always interpreted it like that and we have certified projects that achieved MRc4 and MRc5 where we put the same dollar amount for Actual Cost and Materials cost. The only field where we put a diferente dollar value is for the total construction cost in PIf2, which for this Project was U$206.700.000,00.
Can anybody please define these two concepts (Actual Material Cost vs. Material Cost) and clarify the difference?
Marcio – Your definition for “Material Cost” above is correct. However, the reviewers’ comment appears to question your method of calculating the total “Actual Material Costs” entered into Tab A of the MR Calculator (basing it on the total from Tab B).
Indeed, if Tab B individually itemizes the actual cost of EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT used on your project, the spreadsheet must include hundreds, if not thousands, of entries. Topping the list would be a number of high-cost, high-ticket items that contribute significantly to MR Credits. Below them, pages and pages of lesser entries for minor components would show negligible credit impact or none at all. Compiling such a detailed tabulation would have demanded an epic effort from your project’s contractors and administrators—detail far beyond what is required under normal construction accounting practices.
When teams that I have worked with have attempted this approach, the paperwork quickly overwhelms them, costs for minor items fall through the cracks, and the “Total” of Actual Material Cost comes up short. The resulting omissions tend to skew MRc4 & MRc5 percentages upwards, undermining the credibility of the calculations.
The reviewers appear to be asking you to check that your figures are complete and to justify the reported total or revise the total to include any omissions. Since every major project includes procedures to document and manage payments to contractors, you may need to compare notes with your contractors & construction managers to confirm your reported costs. If you coordinated cost reporting with contractors & construction managers during construction, your work may already be complete.
Marcio - Sorry for my tardy reply. I was away from all communications while on vacation but I think Jon covered the bases (thanks Jon!).
Are you clear on the situation?
Hi! How is reinforcement steel calculated in an assembly of reinforced concrete. I the steel calculated by mass of the total assembly (also composed of sand and aggregates), or can steel be taken out and calculated by means of cost only.
Are you referring to precast concrete that has been fabricated off-site, where the rebar has been cast into the concrete before delivery?
Or are you asking about reinforcing steel for cast-in-place concrete? Such reinforcing is delivered to the site separately and set in place inside forms. Concrete is then poured on-site into the forms around the rebar.
Hi Jon, thanks for your reply. Most of the concrete elements are precast. Only a small part of it is cast on site.
I understand that the steel in precast concrete has to calculated as part of the assembly reinforced concrete, is that correct?
Then only the steel in on-site cast concrete can be calculated by means of cost only?
In precast concrete, all components are assembled off-site, so the cost includes all components. In this case, calculate the recycled content as described in the Reference Guide under the heading “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..” For this calculation, you will need to know the total cost for the precast items (including fabrication) and the total weight (mass) and recycled content percentages of each component (steel, cement, SCMs, sand, aggregates, water, admixtures, and any other accessories cast into the work).
If the concrete supplier is willing to break out the total cost for cementitious material, you can use the Supplementary Cementitious Materials Calculation for that portion of the concrete.
For the steel in cast-in-place concrete, calculate recycled content separately from concrete based on steel costs.
On my project, the concrete contains Fly Ash (6%) and recycled aggregates (5%).
In the LEED Online Tab how can I enter this informations : can I add the two % (5% + 6%= 11%) ?
Or, I have to exctracte each material in concrete (water, aggregates, cement..) ?
The only problem is that it's impossible to get the cement price and aggregate price separately.
Thank you for your help
Caroline - First you need to get the cost of the aggregate separately so that you can calculate its recycled content value. Without the cost you can't count it as recycled.
Please review this post below - http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc4?page=0#comment-51689 - and let me know if you have any remaining questions about how to enter information into the BDC Materials and Resources calculator as well as how to calculate the value of the supplementary cementitious materials (fly ash).
Thank you Michelle.
I have some concerns about it because it's very difficult to obtain the cost of the aggregate separately.
For calculate the value of the supplementary cementitious materials (fly ash) It will be more straightforward if I have cementitious cost.
Anyway, do I need some attestation from my concrete supplier for justify the cost ?
I'm sorry if these questions had already been posted. Thank you for your help.
Caroline - I like to have solid backup for all material attributes even if it is not required to be provided as LEED documentation.
I don't think you can calculate the fly ash contribution accurately without having the cement cost separate from the aggregate. Hopefully your concrete supplier can work with you on this. Good luck!
Your post says that your concrete contains 6% fly ash and 5% recycled aggregates. How did you determine these percentages?
Here in the US, structural engineers usually require concrete suppliers to submit “mix design” reports for each type of concrete used on the project. These “recipes” show the proportions of each component in each mix, usually in pounds per cubic yard (or in kg/m3). I usually calculate material percentages using these reports.
Your original post also says, “it’s impossible to get the cement price and aggregate price separately.” Have you been able to obtain combined cost figures that include all concrete components (cement, SCMs, aggregates, and water)?
If your suppliers will not report cementitious material costs separately, you cannot use the SCM calculation. However, if they will attest to the composite cost for each concrete “recipe,” you may still be able to calculate recycled content using the standard calculation.
Finally, does your project have only one type of concrete?
A single project typically uses many different types of concrete, each one with a different “recipe” comprising different proportions of ingredients. I would expect suppliers to submit a different “mix design” and cost for each type used.
I hope that this helps. Bon courage!
Thank you Jon, your explanation is very hepfull.
In my project I have 10 "recipes" of concrete.
On this 10 recipes, 5 have concrete with fly ash and fly ash are in the cement.
42% of the cement is made with fly ash.
Concrete supplier gave the weight of each ingredient
I obtained combined cost figures that include all concrete components (for (cement, SCMs, aggregates, and water). Thus in 1 concrete recipe, 6% is recycled content thanks to fly ash in the cement.
5% match to recycled aggregates. In France we can use 5% of recycled aggregate in each recipie.
So, I can use standard calculation for fly ash but what can I do for recycled aggregates ?
Thank you very much for the detailed advice .First of all I think I will enter one line for each king of concrete recipe.
Exactly! If I understand correctly, you have 10 “recipes” corresponding to 10 values for composite cost, but you do not know the costs of cementitious materials. All of the recipes use some recycled aggregate and five of them include fly ash (pre-consumer). You plan to enter information for each “recipe” on 10 separate lines of the MR spreadsheet.
Was your recycled aggregate recovered from 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. sources, or did it come from pre-consumer sources, just like the fly ash?
If it is pre-consumer, calculate the percentage by summing the kg/m3 of recycled aggregate to the kg/m3 of fly ash, and divide the sum by the total kg/m3 for the recipe.
If it is post-consumer, calculate the percentages of aggregate and ash separately, and enter the percentages into the appropriate spreadsheet columns.
If you knew the costs of cementitious materials, you could use the SCM Method. The SCM Method would require two lines for each recipe—one line for cementitious materials, and one line for aggregates and water.
Are the concrete wood forming and accessories (CSI division 03 11 00) can contribute to recycled content?
These are temporary wood materials using only during job-site but are included in CSI Division.
Thank you for your help !
In calculations for MR Credits 3-6, include only materials permanently installed in the project.
Exclude temporary materials specified in Division 03 such as formwork, shoring, reshoring, and curing membranes. Also exclude other temporary materials, such as bracing, scaffolding, protective covers, and guardrails.
I agree with Jon, formwork doesn't count towards MRc3-6, but my understanding is that any formwork that will be reused on another project counts toward MRc2, construction waste management, since it is being diverted from the landfill.
Yes. If temporary materials are purchased for a project and retained or sold for reuse, they can count toward MRc2; however, rented materials cannot.
Also, MRc7 DOES allow wood products purchased for temporary use on a project to be included in 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. calculations for that credit. If any such materials are included, all temporary wood must be included. (I have tried this option before, but documentation was a nightmare. It did not help credit achievement, so I gave up.)
That should just about cover temporary materials for all MR credits.
Thanks for clarifying.
A lasted question : do we include temporary material into the total cost calculation (45% default value) or can we exclude it even if it's in CSI Division 3?
Thank you for you for your help
Caroline - The total cost calculation (45% default) includes ALL costs in Divisions 03-10 and the Sections in 31 and 32. You cannot exclude the cost of temporary items.
The purpose of the “45% Default” calculation is to estimate total material cost when the contractor’s cost breakdown fails to itemize permanent material costs separately from labor and other cost. The Default assumes 45% for permanent materials, with the remaining 55% for temporary construction and installation labor & equipment. Therefore, you must multiply 45% times the “total hard costs” for the required CSI Divisions.
If using the “Actual Cost” method, you must exclude formwork and other temporary construction.
I know the thrust of this conversation is surrounding form work which is specified in Division 3. Other costs for temporary materials may be more complicated. Specifically, I'm thinking about mock ups which I would specify in Division 1 but the materials themselves are specified in Divisions 3 - 10. I would not include mock up costs in the 45% Default costs. Do others do the same?
Typically, mockups constitute only a tiny percentage of overall material costs. Therefore, it may make little difference whether you include them or not—well within the margin of error assumed by the default calculation. However, if you project has extensive (and expensive) mockups, it might be wise to require the contractor to account for mockup costs separately. Even then, many Specs allow mockup materials to be incorporated into finished construction, allowing mockup costs to be recouped. It sounds like hairsplitting.
If we require this level of detail in the contractors’ schedules of value, pay applications, and cost reports, we might as well require them to itemize “Actual Material Costs” separately from labor and other costs.
As noted above, the “45% Default” is an estimate made as a stopgap when itemized material costs are not available. It is also intended as a conservative (high) approximation, so tweaking numbers downward could be seen as “gaming,” even if done so only to make the estimate more accurate.
Forgive us, Caroline, for wandering so far off-topic. Your questions have struck a chord, and it is easy to get carried away.
Oh no problem, anyway it's very interesting.
Jon, you said the 45% gets multiplied by the “total hard costs”, which makes sense and is straight from the credit language. However, there's been discussion on this forum about contractor overhead being applied to the relevant divisions, such that the 45% is multiplied by the 'cost to the owner'. Do you consider contractor overhead and profit as part of the "total construction cost" that gets multiplied by 0.45?
Lyle—Hard costs typically include contractor overhead and profit. See Nadav’s response to Travis’s January 2010 questions at the bottom of the last page of this MRc4 forum:
Thank you, Jon. That makes it very clear.
Here's the problem I have with this: "Cost to the owner" AKA "Contract Value" can be way more than just hard hosts. Many of our subcontractors have a design-assist role (i.e. curtain wall subcontractor/installer), and I don't think it's fair to include all that money for hours and hours of engineering and drafting to take your 45% from. Temporary materials? Yes. Shop Drawings? No. Imagine a Venn diagram with material cost within installed cost, and installed cost within contract value. I think it's perfectly fair to take 45% from whatever you can prove (via a SOV or requisition) is an accurate "installed cost", even if that "installed cost" is only 70% of the contract value. I can't say there is consensus on this, this is my interpretation based on the intent of the credit. I can't say all other agree with me on this but you should...
I have a letter that states company x is confirming its steel used is from making plants utilizes the electric resistance welding to recycle ferrous (iron based) scrap metal.
total post consumer content of recycled ferrous scrap is 96%
total pre consumer content of recycled ferrous scrap is 3%
total content of pig iron is 1%
The leed reference guide states the following:
"Resuing materials reclaimed from the same process in which they are generated - though good practice - does not contribute toward the recycled content of the material. In other words putting waste back into the same manufacturing process from which it came is not considered recycling because it was not diverted from the waste stream. Reuse of materials includes rework, regrind, or scrap product" - Page 371 of the reference guide
1) Does my steel meet the requirements of MR 4 ? Can my steel contribute toward/s Mr 4?
2) Can someone please give me an example of "resuse of materials includes rework, regrind, or scrap product"
3) The above states "putting waste back into the same manufacturing process from which it came is not considered recycling?" ... Putting waste back into the same manufacturing process is the definition of pre-consumer recycled content? Do you agree? Can someone plz elaborate.
"Electric resisitance welding" would be a method to connect two pieces of steel. I suspect the document either says "electric arc furnace" or it's a bad translation.
What you have documents recycled content not "reuse". An example of reuse would be collecting steel beams from one job and repurposing them for another (or same) job WITHOUT melting the scrap. They could have been the structure of the old building and the same in the new building or the old structural beams can be a new ramp over some gap. They don't need to be used for the same purpose.
Either way the steel you have would qualify under MR4 as recycled content.
I have input all of the information into the form table for these Materials and Resources credits, but the table indicator at the bottom of the table still reads "Incomplete". Do all cells need to have information in them for the table to be "Complete"? I think that everything has been input correctly and the form doesn't show the points documented.
Nicholas - Are you referring to the information you input into a form in LEED Online v3 (LOv3)? If so, can you please tell me the version of the form you are using (lower right hand corner)?
Michelle - Yes, that is exactly what I am referring to. I am using LEED Online Version 3.
Nicholas - Please look at the form from LEED Online and look at its lower right hand corner. Does it say "Version 3.0" or does it say "Beta" or something else?
The reason I am asking is because the Version 4.0 and higher MRc3-7 forms don't have you input information into the form itself. Instead you input the information into the BDC Materials and Resources calculator, which is an Excel spreadsheet and I want to make sure we're on the same page. :)
It says Version 3.0 in the lower right corner. Thanks for clarifying.
Ok - Here are a couple things to consider.
1. The Project Team Administrator should consider making sure that all forms are updated to the current version. Read more at https://www.leedonline.com/irj/go/km/docs/documents/usgbc/leed/config/co....
2. If you are going to stick with using the Version 3.0 version of the form, have you filled in all the General items including number of items purchased (1 or more) as well as the MRc4 %s? Have you deleted any blank rows? Do you have the right credits checked off on the first page? Do you have the actual vs. default materials option selected on the first page and the value inserted? Without seeing the form that's about all the help I can provide...
Yes, I have gone through your list and made sure all things were correct. Is there a way I could send you the form to look over and give me some more advice. How long does the upgrading process take for updating the form?
Nicholas you DO have to fill in all the blanks, or the form won't register as complete. A pain, I know. If you have the form filled out, you don't want to update it at this point - you will lose all the info you already entered in to the form.
I have double checked to make sure all cells are filled in, at least with a zero if there is no information. The table still registers as incomplete. Any more suggestions?
Hmmmm... My projects are under review, so I can't go in and check everything I did to make the form work. 1) Check to make sure you have enough documents uploaded to meet the minimum requirement, and added an "X" in the cutsheet column as applicable. 2) Do you have an lines that had a material listed, but then you deleted the information and (since you can't delete an individual line on that version of the form) filled in everything with "0"s? If so, make sure you put a "1" in the cell for the "Number of Items Purchased". It will calculate it as 1 item x $0 = $0, so it won't effect your material costs. 3) In lines where I deleted information I put in text "N/A" for the Name/Description column, thinking that the form may require text, not a number in that cell field. 4) The only other thing I can think of is that the form doesn't like to have "0" in the milage columns. Any material that had 0% regional value I put a "0" in the "% Reg" column, and then put a consistant number higher than 500 in the milage columns. In my case I put "501", but it could be "999", "1000", etc. I then added a note in the Special Circumstances portion of the template form to explain to the reviewer what I did. I hope something I listed helps!
Nicholas - Did you have any luck? I wanted to note that upgrading forms can be fairly quick - like 72 hours but you will have to re-enter all your data as Renee notes. I think one of the reasons that the v4.0+ forms went away from direct entry and to using an Excel spreadsheet was because the forms were so glitchy. If you can't get it to show complete, use Special Circumstances on the form to explain that you tried a lot of things and couldn’t get table to move to complete.
I was unlucky and the form still seems to be glitchy. I will have to defer to using the special circumstances to explain why the table is still incomplete. However, the form will still read that I have not earned these credits. Will the reviewers still be able to award me the credits if everything checks out?
They will. In a recent Proven Provider pre-submittal call, the GBCI energy reviewer said that she doesn't look so much at whether the form is showing complete and in compliance as much as the data in the form and its accuracy.
How can we use the reinforcement steel towards this credit? Generally, suppliers do not have any information. Can we count 50% straightaway?
KC - If your suppliers are unable or unwilling to provide information on the recycled content of any steel product, you can use the default recycled content value. As noted in the LEED Reference Guide, "For steel products where no recycled content information is available, assume the recycled content to be 25% postconsumer." See also the FAQ above "Is the default average recycled content value of 25% for steel still allowed?." You would take 100% of the cost of the reinforcement steel times the 25% to get its recycled content value.
Note that many steel products have a higher percentage of recycled content than the default but if you can't get that value, at least you have a fallback.
Thanks Michelle, That was really helpful.
Can landscape and irrigation materials be included?
Paving, Site Improvements, & Planting—Yes.
Irrigation & Constructed Wetlands—No.
LEED-2009 limits MR Credit materials to those specified in CSI MasterFormat 2004 Divisions 03-10, Foundations Sections 316000-316999, Paving Sections 321000-321999, Site Improvement Sections 323000-323999, and Planting Sections 329000-329999.
This is a change since LEEDv2.2, which used an older version of MasterFormat and included irrigation and site utilities.
We receive letters from suppliers and manufacturers documenting the recycled content of the materials, but not declaring the cost per item. So, is this sufficient or the letters must document the cost?
Nouran - Typically the material cost information comes from your subcontractors (or suppliers) while the recycled content information comes from the manufacturer. It is fine to have the letters without cost information.
Certification obtained, site occupied & used - fast forward a couple of years - any reason why Owner can't remove a recycled floor tile he doesn't like and replace it with a product of his choosing?
Robert, if you mean any reason relative to a two-year-old LEED-NC certification—no.
An existing building should be encouraged to pursue LEED for Existing Buildings certification, which would provide some standards for products to be installed in a situation like this.
Does anyone know where I could find a LEED materials form file for MRc4 and MRc5 credits to send out to all the subcontractors working in the project for them to fill out and return. One of them has already turned in a LEED Materials form from 2011 from Paladino and Company Inc filled out, this form includes everything I need from them for each material type (sub contractor name, contact name, spec, date, product name, material cost (minus labor and equipment), material source location, recycled content, and a place for them to sign and date. I tried to find it online but had no luck finding that or something similar. Thank you for your help in advance!
Update - I found one that it perfect on this site.
Filipe - Have you tried clicking on the "Documentation Toolkit" Tab above?
LEEDuser offers several sample forms.
Hi, I cannot access the contents in the Documentation Toolkit
Can you please advise.
Rezkar - My apologies for not noticing earlier that Jon's reply to Felipe's inquiry did not take into account that he (and you) are guests on LEEDuser. Guests only get access to the forum and not the other LEEDuser resources like the Documentation Toolkit. You can find out more about purchasing membership here - http://www.leeduser.com/select.
I wanted to make sure there was something there in relation to Felipe's question - especially if you are considering purchasing a membership, which you should think about. I checked the Documentation Toolkit and there is an Environmental Materials Reporting Form. It states: "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." It is a one-page PDF form.
Is the clinker a recycled material for cement ?
(Cement clinkers are formed by the heat processing of cement elements in a kiln)
Thank you for your help
Cement clinkers are typically produced by firing limestone and other raw materials in a kiln specifically for the purpose of grinding them up to make Portland cement. Therefore, cement clinkers typically do not qualify as recycled materials.
The term, “clinker” is also commonly used to describe an industrial waste product derived from burning fossil fuels. If repurposed for another use, this kind of clinker could qualify as pre-consumer recycled content. However, this type of clinker is not used to make cement.
However, Portland cement manufacturers sometimes add to their clinkers a percentage of synthetic (FGD) gypsum, fly ash, or bottom ash from fossil fuel waste. Some also add foundry sand, a byproduct of metals casting. Check with your cement manufacturer. I have seen data from some manufacturers reporting 7 to 10% 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." recycled content due to these fillers.
What percentage of backup documentation (Invoices, letters, etc,.) do i have to submit for all the materials that are listed in the LEED form cut-sheet submitted in the application process?
Thank you for your help in advance!
Felipe - The forms for MRc4 and MRc5 list that you have to provide backup for 20% of the materials by cost for each credit. The BDC Materials and Resources Calculator helps you tally the 20% by cost uploads you need. You can check off the items there for backup (Cutsheet Provided2 column) and it will give you a % of total at the bottom.
Thank you Michelle. I made an observation that you can possibly help clarify for me. As i looked over the LEED concrete tracking form and also seeing what our supplier provided, I noticed that the cost for the cementitious material is listed on its own with its respective recycled content. Then in another page the total cost for the concrete mix including all raw materials (stone, pearock, screening, etc.,) is listed with its % of material harvested within 500 miles. My question is, since these are two different costs and are for two different forms MRc4 & MRc5, are they listed with the same name? or do i specify for MRc4 the concrete mix only includes cementitious material for its costs and recycled content? and then in MRc5 I would just write the concrete mix name with its total cost and % harvested or extracted within 500 miles? Thank you in advance for your help.
Felipe - Please make sure you are using the BDC Materials and Resources Calculator, which is an Excel spreadsheet that accompanies the v04 and newer versions of the MRc4 and MRc5 forms. You may need your project team administrator to upgrade your forms if you have v03 or even the dreaded beta. Using this spreadsheet is a much easier way to track and document the MR credits than on the earlier versions of the form itself. You can get the spreadsheet from the Credit Library under Resources - http://www.usgbc.org/node/1731024?view=resources.
I think that your supplier is helping you greatly. They are setting you up to have the recycled part of the concrete mix on a separate line in the BDC MR calculator with the remaining items (less the cost of the recycled items) on another line so that you can easily document the concrete components and avoid double counting. As you indicate, the recycled component is typically also regional.
I label the concrete as "concrete w/o fly ash included" and input its regional attributes and subtract the cost of the fly ash from the overall mix design. Then I put the fly ash on its own line and input its recycled and regional attributes. This way I can help the reviewer see that I am not double counting the recycled fly ash twice for regional. Also, be sure you are using the Supplementary Cementitious Materials information in the Reference Guide to get full credit for the recycled components.
There is a Company which has sent to us some certificates indicating their ceramic tiles have different percentages of pre-consumer recycled content (depending on the model) according to the next phrase:
"recycling of ceramic waste derived from the pre-firing phase of the production process. The unfired tiles which do not comply with our top quality standards are reintroduced into the productive process."
We have doubts about their contribution as eventhough the recycled content comes from the same manufacturing process, this waste is not generated at the final of the manufacturing line. Can this 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." content be counted for LEED or is it exempt as mentioned above?. Thanks so much!!!!
The process described sounds like internal reclamation, not recycling. Reusing unfired clay is a normal practice in the ceramics industry. This practice does not divert material from landfills, and it does not qualify as recycling.
Ceramics factories sometimes also reuse what they call “grog” or “pitchers,” which are crushed remnants of fired clay. Neither does this qualify as recycling if the material comes from the same process that produces the final product.
I am aware of one US tile maker that purchases rejected porcelain from a plumbing fixture manufacturer, crushes it, and incorporates the material into the clay for their tiles. This example qualifies as pre-consumer recycling.
According to the Documentation Guidance in the Reference Guide, if we use the “Actual Material Cost” as the denominator in MR Credit calculations, we should “maintain a list of actual material costs” for materials specified in the referenced Sections. Presumably, this is to substantiate the reported material cost total. What form may this take?
Total material costs can often be derived from Schedules of Value, Pay Applications, Change Orders, and other standard construction cost controls. Will this kind of documentation suffice, or must we require contractors to provide additional, more detailed breakdowns of costs? Must they individually itemize each product that they purchase? Is this level of detail necessary?
In any case, how do we submit this list?
The LEED-Online MRc3 through MRc6 templates require only that we upload the BD+C MR Calculator spreadsheet and cut sheets representing 20% of total material cost. Nothing in USGBC’s current BD+C MR Calculator appears to require itemizing anything beyond the products that contribute to MR sustainable criteria calculations. LEED-Online does not appear to require us to enter a detailed accounting of non-contributing material costs.
Do we include the list in the initial submittal, or is this list a common request during the Preliminary Review?
Jon - Knocking on wood here, but I have never had to substantiate the costs to the Review Team that I have provided for the MR credits. Typically my backup is the construction estimate.
Nor have I ever used Actual Material costs instead of the default value due to the enormity of tracking all those actual material costs. Hence I can’t answer your questions as to what form this should take and whether this is a common request during the Preliminary Review.
If you are using the actual material costs instead of the 45% default value, you do need to keep track of the material costs for every item within the requisite divisions and sections for the MR credits. You input the total value into the BDC Materials and Resources Calculator on the Instructions tab under Step 3. Use the first cell - “Actual materials cost, excluding labor and equipment*” and not the “Total construction costs for the LEED project*” cell.
We've done this on our large projects and it is at the contractors choice. If they want to track the individual costs and they can get them, I'll let them. I'll bullet point Jon's questions.
1. Yes, you maintain a list for everything that is submitted for the MR credits. The USGBC has a downloadable spreadsheet (really the LO v3 form) the contractor can fill out. They can also create their own. It has to be complete. There will be many products on the list that does not have any MR credit. I'd bet the reviewers check the spreadsheet for non-contributing products if the team is using actual costs. It is a long spreadsheet by the end of shop drawing review.
2. Our form (that was based on the USGBC form) lists total cost, labor cost, equipment cost and material costs. Not all suppliers can or will break out all those costs. We only care about total cost (contract) and material cost (LEED). All suppliers will have to do this even if their product isn't contributing to LEED. Yes, those suppliers moan a lot about that.
3. As for submitting, we just upload it. I'm not in LO at the moment and I can't remember the details.I think this gets done in MRc4 and MRc5 - 7 are also calculated off this. Again, it is the contractors problem and not mine.
4. This list should be uploaded at the first construction review. It is not relevant at the design review. There may be open spaces and the contractor should narrate what is missing and that they are committed to providing it.
5. Yes, upload 20% cut sheets. Those cut sheets are proving the MR claim and not proving the costs. We have a LEED documentation submittal sheet that lists costs. To my knowledge, we have never uploaded that information to the GBCI. We do use those submittal sheets to check the contractor's monthly LEED submittal. Our contracts require a monthly LEED update with every pay application.
If you're running a small project, this likely seems like overkill and a lot of work. It is for a small project. Our projects tend to be long, expensive and complicated. The extra documentation saves so much hassle at the end of a project.
Susan – My experience is similar to yours: megaprojects with multiple contractors & multiple vendors, wherein a list of EVERY product furnished by EVERY vendor would be THOUSANDS of line items long. We followed similar procedures to those you describe.
You hit the nail on the head in bullet point #2 when you said, “We only care about total cost (contract) and material cost (LEED).” Allowing vendors to summarize non-contributing product costs like this greatly shortens the list while still fully substantiating the reported totals.
Your requirement under bullet point #5 that contractors periodically update their LEED cost reports is also excellent.
We have found that material costs reported in early LEED submittals rarely match actual final invoices. Costs reported prior to purchase were usually just estimates that could not reflect change orders, price fluctuations, or unforeseen conditions.
I have tabulated costs like this to calculate an accurate “Total Actual Material Cost” on past projects, but those were under LEEDv2.1 & 2.2. Unlike LEEDv3, we were not required to upload cost breakdowns or cut sheets.
Now that I may have to do this under LEEDv3, my concern was what level of detail was necessary. You have allayed my fears. Contractors must carefully itemize materials that contribute to MR Credits (in the numerator). Non-contributing materials must be fully accounted for in the Total (denominator), but it should not be necessary to break down those costs into minute detail.
One thing we find pretty consistently is that certain trades like to provide one LEED calculation after all their product is delivered. Usually these are cast in place concrete, steel and pre-cast items. This has been okay but you do have to keep on top of the contractor so they keep on top of the supplier. Retainage is a wonderful thing.
Otherwise, it sounds like you are on the right path. Good Luck!
LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, 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.
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
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