Documenting this credit can take time, since cost and exact percentages of post- and pre-consumer materials must be collected for each recycled item used.
LEED requires the base materials budget to be consistent across all MR credits. The LEED Online credit forms help provide consistency across MR credits by applying the same data to multiple credits. Materials used to earn this credit cannot also be counted for MRc3: Materials Reuse, nor for MRc7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System., but they can contribute to MRc5: Regional Materials and MRc6: Rapidly RenewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). Materials.
The 10% point threshold is easy to achieve for this credit, especially if your project has a lot of concrete or steel. There is also an increasing number of products on the market that have recycled content, making the 20% threshold achievable for some projects. Concentrate on buying “big ticket” items with high recycled content levels. Depending on the building construction, you will generally get more (due to a higher cost) out of tracking the recycled content of concrete and steel over lower cost items like tile.
Analyze your budget early in design to help inform which materials are more important to specify as having recycled content, this is dependent on your project construction type. Doing your homework early can prevent costly change orders during construction. Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates.
Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer."), or post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product.. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%.
DPost-consumer plastic being collected for recycling.on’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. (See the Recycled Content Assembly Calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.)
People sometimes confuse recycled content material with material reuse and with construction waste management, but they are different:
Recycled Content material, covered in MRc4, has reused content as a result of the industrial process of making the product—for example, recycled-content carpet may be made of recycled plastic bottles.
Material Reuse, covered in MRc3, is the use or repurposing of material from a previous place or role—for example, buying antique wood doors salvaged from an old church.
At this Denver building under construction, the raised floor panels being installed have recycled steel. Photo – YRG SustainabilityConstruction Waste Management, covered in MRc2, is the act of diverting materials from the landfill during the construction process by sending to a place where the material can be repurposed, such as a salvage yard or recycling plant.
Try getting clarification from the manufacturer. If you can’t get any further information, you should take a conservative approach and assume that it is pre-consumer.
LEED is very clear that no MEP or specialty items can be counted in the MR credit calculations. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that MEP items are very expensive relative to their weight, and including these materials skews the calculations and performance thresholds achieved. Also, LEED considers the performance of mechanical equipment paramount, and so consideration of these materials really falls under performance based energy and water credits.
Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.
No. Per LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10246, recycled content claims must be specific to installed product. Average regional and national claims do not meet the credit requirements.
This Interpretation has been misinterpreted, however, to mean that recycled content figures must come from specific plants. That is not what USGBC intended. It is allowable to use a company- and product-specific national average, as long as the company has performed the necessary tracking to assure that that average is accurate at the product SKU level.
Yes. LEED Interpretation #10246 does not apply to steel and teams may still use the default value of 25% post-consumer recycled content. Many steel products have higher levels of recycled content, however, so it may be advantageous to track down product-specific recycled content information.
Site materials (31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) that are permanently installed can be included in the MR credits. Just be sure that your material budget assumptions and material costs are consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7.
Based on review comments that LEED users have reported, LEED reviewers are on the lookout for inaccurate recycled content claims in cases where a manufacturer is claiming pre-consumer recycled content for scrap material that comes off the end of a product line, and is put back in to the same line. According to common definitions, this should not be considered recycled content. This practice is common with certain kinds of glass, and metals like aluminum. Keep an eye on your documentation and do your best to make sure it is valid. If you are asked to justify a specific claim, you could get more documentation from the manufacturer, or plan on having a cushion in your credit threshold.
No. MRc7 counts only new wood, and MRc4 counts recycled content, so there is no overlap in the credits. You must choose one credit, and not double-dip.
Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.
Look at opportunities to use recycled content materials for the project’s potential “big ticket” items.
Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include: steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates. There are more and more products in nearly every category that use recycled content as a way to help LEED projects earn this credit.
The decision to use recycled content material can help guide design decisions, such as using recycled-content steel framing instead of wood framing. However, only letting recycled content drive basic design decisions may be shortsighted and lead to tradeoffs with other credits, not to mention other environmental impact areas. Look for materials that contribute to multiple LEED credits.
This credit can often be achieved at no added cost, as there are many products with recycled content that building projects already use.
Use LEED point calculators built into online product catalogs such as those powered by ecoScorecard to streamline data collection and generate submittal documents:
Begin by creating a baseline materials budget. This is the total amount of money that will be spent on building materials. Use the Materials Calculator from the Documentation Toolkit to compile the baseline material list in a way that facilitates adding information on environmental attributes.
Your material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. The LEED Online credit form helps ensure this automatically.
Adding Division 12 Furniture to your baseline materials budget for this credit is optional, but must be applied consistently across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. Analyze the baseline material budget to see if adding Division 12 furniture works to the project’s advantage. Generally, if the furniture helps contribute to the above MR credits it is in a project’s interest to take credit for it—however, it may help with some while making others more difficult.
Choose one of two options in creating a baseline budget—the default budget, or the actual budget (excluding labor). The default budget method gives you a baseline materials budget as 45% of your total budget, while the actual budget gives you a baseline based on what you actually spend.
How do you decide whether to use the actual material cost or the default budget as your baseline? Try estimating how your actual material costs compare to the 45% default. The lower you can get the baseline, the easier it is to purchase enough recycled material to reach the credit threshold. For example, a project that is renovating an existing building may have low material and high labor costs, so it might be better to use the actual budget instead of the default approach.
The default budget is less time-consuming because the contractor does not have to break out the material and labor costs of items that are not being tracked for LEED credits, allowing the project to focus on tracking only the materials that contribute to LEED credits. You can take the total cost (material plus labor) of all items in the applicable CSI divisions and assume that cost of materials is 45% and labor cost is 55%. However, this option may put the project at a disadvantage in terms of getting full credit for the actual value of materials.
Include in your materials baseline budget, the material cost (excluding labor) of all items that apply under CSI MasterFormat 2004:
Even if you are using the default budget method, you still have to break out the actual cost (cost excluding labor) of the specific items that you are tracking to contribute toward LEED MR credits.
How do you know what amount of recycled content material you need to incorporate in your project? Look at the baseline materials budget. Determine how much you need to spend on recycled content materials to reach the credit thresholds. To earn one point, allocate 10% of your material budget; for two points, allocate 20%. Go through your project’s preliminary budget and identify which items could be purchased with recycled content, and what percentages of recycled content they can contribute. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?
Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Don’t fail to earn this credit because you waited until all the materials were purchased before calculating whether you used enough materials with recycled content to gain the LEED credit.
Research products by looking at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to see if a product contains recycled content. Often a product will appear to meet the credit requirements, but you'll need to ask for more specific information from the manufacturer—see the Documentation Toolkit for examples of this.
A single product or material can contribute to multiple LEED credits. For example, a chair made locally, with urea-formaldehyde-free, recycled, composite wood contributes to MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and IEQc4.4. Not all credits allow this double-counting. Materials counted here cannot also count towards MRc3 nor MRc7—although separate components within a product can. If a product has both certified wood and recycled content steel, for example, each component can contribute to earning the appropriate credit. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes also can limit the overall number of items that must be tracked.
Don’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrial) or post-consumer recycled content. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%. See the Documentation Toolkit for a Recycled Content Assembly Calculator. For example, if a piece of plywood costs $100, it has 40% pre- and 15% post-consumer content. How much of the total cost can be counted towards this credit?
Steel is a special case—all steel is made from recycled materials, and it is the only material for which LEED allows you to claim a default recycled content value (25% post-consumer) without providing any documentation. Some steel has 90% or more recycled content, however, so you’re better off documenting the actual amount if you can try to get documentation from your suppliers showing their post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content.
Drywall can be specified with synthetic gypsum, which is a byproduct or removing sulfur from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, and counts as pre-consumer recycled content. Before using it, however, check to see if it made in your region because the environmental impact of trucking it long distances is likely far greater than any benefit of using it instead of natural gypsum. Either way, the paper facing on drywall is almost always entirely post-consumer recycled.
When a product is made of multiple components that have different recycling rates, note the following special considerations.
The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by separating each component as a percentage of the total by weight, while accounting for the value of pre- and post-consumer recycled content. See the assembly example below, and a calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.
Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight.
Using the project’s estimated budget early on to integrate materials with recycled content in the design and specs can help prevent costly change orders during construction.
Instead of tracking recycled content in everything, focus first on “big ticket” items, materials like concrete, structural steel, masonry products and gypsum board to see if you get enough value from them to earn the credit. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If big-ticket items are not enough, target a medium-priced item next, and so on, until you reach your goal.
Revisit your baseline materials budget as the design evolves to make sure the numbers remain accurate and that you remain on track to achieve your goal for the credit.
Research specific products. Incorporate recycled content product requirements into individual construction specification sections.
MasterSpec and the federal Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources) offer guidance and sample specification language on how to incorporate LEED specifications in construction documents.
Incorporating the LEED requirements directly on the drawings as well as in the specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements.
Analyze the initial cost budget to know what materials the project can target and incorporate LEED requirement language accordingly into construction specs for those specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not filling out forms for materials that are not recycled, or that have so little cost value that it is a waste of time.
Whenever possible, designate in the construction specifications that contractors use specific sources you have verified as suppliers of recycled content items. This will help save research time for the contractors and ensure credit compliance.
Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include copies of any submittal documents that the subcontractors and general contractor may need to fill out.
The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED construction-related issues, such as IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental materials tracking tools, and construction waste management.
LEED documentation and materials tracking are usually the GC’s responsibility even though specific materials selection may have been already determined by the architect or designer.
The GC should hold an orientation meeting with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.
Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)
Enabling coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.
Before construction begins, research additional recycled product material availability, not already researched during the design phase to ensure that the project earns this credit. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to carefully review data sheets and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product.
The contractor starts gathering and environmental data and cut sheets from subcontractors for approval.
The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product submittals and tracking forms.
Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.
Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Material Reporting Form and transfer it into a master spreadsheet for all the items being tracked for each product across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, recycled content information for MRc4, and information about adhesives installed onsite for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. See the Documentation Toolkit for spreadsheets you can work with.
A master spreadsheet facilitates information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.
Assign a responsible party to input the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the Materials Calculator (see Documentation Toolkit). A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role.
Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials that contribute to LEED credits is a requirement for LEED MR credits. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because there are always hidden markups in the materials that subcontractors purchase at wholesale. However, you can simply include the product markup when breaking out a product’s material cost from installation and labor costs.
Transfer all the data collected in the Materials Calculator spreadsheet (see Documentation Toolkit) to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.
Only a random 20% sampling of product cut sheets need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit.
Keep a list of sustainable materials used on the project so that operations staff can use these products for future renovations.
Develop recycled content material procurement recommendations into a purchasing policy. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification, that would fall under MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
To increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.
Use materials with recycled content1 such that the sum of postconsumer2 recycled content plus 1/2 of the preconsumer3 content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project. The minimum percentage materials recycled for each point threshold is as follows:
The recycled content value of a material assembly is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components, and specialty items such as elevators and equipment cannot be included in all calculations. Include only materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included if it is included consistently in MR Credit 3: Materials Reuse through MR Credit 7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System..
Establish a project goal for recycled content materials, and identify material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified recycled content materials are installed. Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.
Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.
The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.
MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.
This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.
This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.
Use this spreadsheet to determine the value that a given material or assembly contributes to the recycled content calculations for this credit, based on the type of recycled content in the material or assembly, and the percentage by weight of the assembly that contains recycled content.
Look to product cut sheets like these for recycled-content information on products you're specifying or considering specifying. Note that while all three of these examples appear to contribute to MRc4, in all cases more information is needed from the manufacturer (see PDF annotations).
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
How much recycled content should you look for in key building products? What other sustainability criteria apply? This sample sheet from a project shows how one team set guidelines for different product areas.
I realize that actual material invoices are not required for upload, but I am on a project right now where many of the subs are giving me a percentage of the contract amount. Is this acceptable/typical?
Typical? No. I have always relied on the general contractor to compile cost information. They have to track it anyway and it just seems odd to ask an architect/LEED administrator to sort through subcontractor invoices.
Acceptable? I don't see why not. It just makes it your task to convert the percentages into actual dollars so the material calculator can be filled out.
Another thought - I'm having a hard time picturing what these percentage invoices look like but it seems like it could bring you some grief if you are pursuing 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.. You do have to upload line item invoices with dollar values for that credit.
Greetings from Greenbuild Nation in Philadelphia – hence my delay in responding. I’m surprised the GC is not doing the work you are describing. You need an actual material cost for the materials themselves but maybe you can back that out from what they are providing.
I recently challenged a LEED reviewers interpretation of the total material default value. They used the total cost of construciton including the electrical and mechanical costs to deny the project 3 LEED MRc4 points. The following is their response:
"The default value to determine the value of building materials to be considered in MR credits 3, 4, 5, and 6 is 45% of total construction cost. The review team explained this in the construction final review comments. A default value cannot be adjusted by specific project circumstances, such as an unusually large proportion of mechanical and electrical equipment. "
My understanding is that, according to page 372 of the 2009 Edition of the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, to determine the default total cost of materials:
"Determine the total materials cost for the project by multiplying the total construction cost (hard costs only in CSI MasterFormat 2004 Edition Divisions 03 -10, 31 (Sections 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) by 45%."
The total construction cost are not to include:
Division 00 Procurement and Contracting
Division 01General Requirements
Division 02 Existing Conditons
Division 11 Equipment
Division 12 Furnishings
Division 13 Special Construction
Disivion 14 Conveying Equipment
Division 21 Fire Suppression
Division 22 Plumbing
Division 23 HVAC
Division 25 Integrated Automation
Division 26 Electrical
Division 27 Data Communications
Division 28 Electronic Detection and Alarm
Is my understanding incorrect?
Ted - Your understanding is correct but there is a language discrepancy in what is written in the overview section and the Calculations sections of MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, and MRc6, which is puzzling.
There is a subtle language difference on page 337 of the first edition of LEED Reference Guide: "However, LEED for New Construction, LEED for Core & Shell, and LEED for Schools allow project teams to apply a 45% factor to total construction costs (including labor and equipment) from Construction Specification Institute (CSI) MasterFormat™ Divisions 03–10, 31 (Section 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) to establish a default total materials cost for the project. I am trying to point out: “total construction costs (including labor and equipment)” vs. “total construction cost (hard costs only).”
I see that the BDC Material and Resource Calculator (Aug 2012) states: “Includes hard costs for CSI MasterFormat 2004 Divisions 3-10, 31.60.00, 32.10.00, 32.30.00, and 32.90.00 only. Excludes mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components, and equipment.”
That subtle but critical language issue aside, it is very clear that “Do not include mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components or appliances and equipment in the calculations for this credit.” per the Reference Guide and the Calculator. I think you have a reviewer who is misinformed. I would consider contacting GBCI via Contact Us (http://www.gbci.org/org-nav/contact/Contact-Us/Project-Certification-Que...) and select Questions about Review Comments from the dropdown menu.
Or, if you are at Greenbuild next week, get an appointment in the LEED Certification Work Zone - http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/events/LEED-certification-work-zone.aspx. I’m going to ask about the hard vs. total costs language issue while I am there.
Michelle - Thank you. This information will be helpful in my dialog with the USGBC.
Ted - Just a note of caution… I recently quoted some information from another LEEDuser forum via the Contact Us form and the reply from the review team was: "Please note that while the LEED User website or LEED User forum information may provide useful guidance based on other project team experiences, information on that site should not be considered precedent setting."
A lot of steel manufactures are providing a "LEED" letter that includes both recycled content values for Electric Arc Furnance (EAF) and Basic Oxygen Furnance (BOF) method of producing steel. If they don't state which was was used for the steel on our project, do I have to ask them to tell me which method was used for the steel on our project and if they don't know should I use BOF, which always has significantly less recycled content than EAF? Is one method more common than another? Also, I am seeing a lot of steel suppliers state that they recover approx. "95-100% of the steel scrap within 500 miles" from their facility. In this case, the only way around this is we would need them to provide an actual location in order to count as regional material, correct? Thanks!
The EAF or BOF is helpful to know and understand in general but doesn't translate into LEED documentation. If you don't know the recycled content for the steel then you use the default of 25% (see above).
You're right on with the regional extraction but you should go read that thread for more specific advice.
Thank you, Susan. I won't need to use the default value because I do have recycled content information. Let me further clarify, the mfg letter does provide 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 pre-consumer recycled content values for both EAF and BOF. My question is, do I need to find out exactly which method was used for the steel on our project in order to report the recycled content correctly? And, if i can't find that out should I just use the BOF recycled content values because they are always lower than EAF? Thanks.
Ah, my mistake, I thought you had the furnace type only. If you have the manufacturer's letter on their content, use that. How they got there is interesting but not relevant.
Well although I have the recycled content value per each method (EAF and BOF), I dont have which of these methods was used to produce the steel used on our project. And its because of that I am not sure which recycled content values to use in credit calcs. As I mentioned before, I assume I should use the lower recycled values (as in BOF), but obviously I don't want to unless I have to!
Ladies - Good dialogue here. At first I was going to take Susan's approach and say that the industry-wide letters are useless but (when I came back from lunch) understanding that the information is manufacturers specific is important. Yet, Courtney - are you sure it is manufacturer specific and not industry wide? If so, it seems like the manufacturer would tell you what type of furnace they use for their steel production - at least broken down by their product type(s).
I think you are correct on your assumption regarding regional.
On the letter I got from the mfg, it says they purchase steel from three different mfg facilities and depending on that supplier, they may have, at any given time, steel manufactured by BOF and by EAF. Further in the letter they provide recycled content values per each BOF and EAF method from American Iron and Steel Institute and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. So, those would be industry wide numbers, correct? What should the letter say to be acceptable? Sorry to belabor this, but there is so much to work and I am constantly confused with how to record steel!
I think yes - they are industry wide numbers. I think the letter would need to say the specific recycled content about the different products your project used. Have you seen Nucor’s documentation - http://www.nucor.com/media/Recycled_Content_Letter.pdf?
For steel, I’ve fallen back to use the 25% PCW default value unless I can get mill certs (mill certificates) or other specific documentation from the manufacturer (like Nucor’s), which has spoiled me.
With the Recycled Content letter you reference from Nucor - Do you feel that there Combined Nucor Steel Recycling rate is not specific enough? Or are you indicating that this is the adequate amount of specificity you need when getting documentation from the manufacturer?
I have Nucor on a project I am working on, and was planning to plug the combined recycling rate in for their recycled value - would this be correct?
Mariah - I focus on page 2 of the Nucor info. You can get what "shape" steel you have and then you get the specific manufacturing facility - and voilà - you have the exact 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 info for your product.
The problem is, multiple kinds of steel shapes were purchased on the project I am on, and I am not sure what percentage of what shape was purchased. Is the Nucor-specific Combined value listed on page 1 of Nucor information not specific enough for LEED Online reviewers?
Typically I require (and can get) the contractor to break out the steel costs by shape so that I can assign the specific recycled content outlined on page 2 of the Nucor info.
I do NOT think the combined value on page 1 is sufficient - especially since it is a combination of 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. Without the costs by steel shape, I think you have to fall back on the default 25% post-consumer value.
Michelle - Great advice, as always.
We are currently working on a multiphase development in which the foundation of one building is being completed while another is being demolished. As of right now, the concrete walls and foundation from the one project is being crushed on site and used as fill on the other. We have picked through the reference guide and applicable CIRs but have found nothing that definitively says how we need to account for this material (either as building re-use or recycled content).
The question is, because we are not targeting MRc3 (Building re-use), can we choose to describe the material as a pre-consumer recycled material OR, because the source of the material happens to be a former building, do we need to consider the material as part of Building reuse and therefore not applicable to our recycled content calculations for MRc4?
Once you demolish the building you aren't doing Building Reuse. Once you crush the concrete you have a 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. recycled content building material.
I had an analogous situation on a past project where we processed concrete and masonry demolition debris on site into fill and pavement base for a new building on the same site. We assigned a dollar value to the fill/base by having the contractor price what it would have cost to have new material trucked to the site.
Since the distance to the project site was zero it also qualified as Regional Material. Also note that if you are processing demolition debris on site you are diverting it from a landfill, so it contributes towards Construction Waste Management as well.
We had no issues at all with any of these approaches when they were reviewed.
For recycled content of concrete, I followed the "Sample Supplementary Cementitious Materials Calculation" in the LEED reference guide to find the recycled content value. I put this price in the "Sustainable Criteria Value ($)" column in the Materials Calculator. For our project, we're using the actual cost of materials, not the 0.45 multiplier. In the "Material Cost ($)" column, do we put the cost of the concrete mix or the cost of the cementitious materials only? It seems like putting the cost of concrete would cancel out the reason behind the cementitious materials calculation, but it also seems strange to leave out the cost of the non-cementitious materials (especially if we want to count those toward the regional materials credit). And either way, do we just leave out the pre- and post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content percentage since we're putting a price into the spreadsheet directly?
Roxanne - It is unfortunate the Supplementary Cementitious Materials Calculation in the Reference Guide does not jive with BDC Materials and Resource Calculator (Calculator). I recently updated the SCM spreadsheet that I use to mesh with the Calculator for fly ash. I took the last column from the example in the Reference Guide times the number of yards of concrete times two (to overcome pre-consumer reduction) and entered that as the Material Cost ($) in the Calculator. Then I used 100% in the Percent Pre-Consumer column for the Recycled Content to end up with a Sustainable Criteria Value that is 50% of the Materials Cost. If the SCM is local, enter the correct percentage into the Percent Regional column.
I know it seems strange to leave out the costs of the non-cementitious materials but that is how it works for SCMs.
If the rest of the non- cementitious materials are local, you need to enter the remaining cost of them as a separate line item and then enter the correct percentage into the Percent Regional column.
Hi, I have 3 questions
1-I bought my materials in Mexican pesos, to fill the excel table and make all the calculations, are those in dollars?
2. If yes,which exchange rate should I use?
3. The glass supplier doesn t know the recycled content, is an acceptable % to use in this case?
thanks in advance
Jorge - I know you asked this question in this forum but the LEED CS forum had a similar question in May of 2013. See http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CS-2009/MRc4#comment-39035 and read the entire thread originally submitted by Michael E. Edmonds-Bauer. Basically, you should use pesos and there is no exchange rate.
Regarding your third question, there is no default value for glass (like there is for steel). If you can't get the recycled content from the supplier or manufacturer, then you can't include it because you can't back up any percent recycled claim.
If a project is not pursuing MRc3, can reused material count towards MRc4 instead?
EH - No. This credit only deals with recycled content material. You might want to look at regional materials (MRc5) if your reused materials are local. See Reused and Salvaged Materials in the Reference Guide.
Our company is a supplier of curtain wall systems to the glazing subcontractor. We produce shop drawings and engineering services, purchase aluminum extrusions from an extruding company and fabricate the curtain wall product and deliver to the jobsite.
Historically, when calculating the material costs for MRc4 for our LEED submittal to the GC, we declared "our cost" (no engineering, factory labor, overhead, etc) of the aluminum extrusions from our vendor and supplied their support documentation on % recycled content.
On a recent project, it was brought to our attention that this does not meet the definition of material costs as "includes all expenses to deliver the material to the project site, including taxes and delivery costs incurred by the contractor". This implies that our material cost should be our total contract value since we own the whole curtain wall package including delivery to the jobsite (no field installation). However, on the next project the GC rejected our LEED submittal when we declared the material costs as our entire contract value.
Any advice on what we should declare as our material costs when calculating % recycled content for MRc4?
Chris - I’m sorry to hear you are getting conflicting information from review teams. Did you use the GBCI Contact Us page and select Question about Review Comments to get clarity - http://www.gbci.org/org-nav/contact/Contact-Us/Project-Certification-Que...? That might be a good avenue to use in the future. My understanding is that the cost of the materials is the actual total (excluding labor and equipment). The Reference Guide states on page 372 of first edition: “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.” That seems like a pretty definitive answer for your situation and something to reference if you have further pushback.
Hello, I need a clarification on how to calculate the percentage of recycled content for a specific material on my project.
For example; My fiber glass insulation has 9% post consumer recycled content and 26% pre-consumer recycled content. In my specifications, I need to put the Required recycled content for my fiber glass to meet the final 20% based on cost value to acheive the credit . Is it simply 9 + 26= 35 % or I have to apply equation 1 and 2 in the Guide? If yes, how should I calculate that if the total material cost is 1,223,595$ and the cost of fiber glass is 10,595$.
Sahar - The 20% recycled is based on the overall total cost of your materials from Equation 2. Each individual product does not have to meet the 20% requirement. I would specify “recycled content” as a requirement for the fiberglass in your specifications and not worry about exact values. Use Equation 1 in the Reference Guide to get your recycled content value for the fiberglass’ recycled content. You take the recycled content values for all your products (numerator of fraction) and divide that total by the overall cost of materials as outlined in the Reference Guide (denominator of fraction) as shown in Equation 2.
It is unfortunate you are a guest and not a member of LEEDuser because you could see our resources, which might help you.
I have read the LEED requirements and comments regarding the exclusion of things like glass and aluminum scrap that are reincorporated into the same manufacturing process. However, I am unclear if this exception applies to a project I am currently working on.
I am working with a client whose family owns and operates a granite countertop fabrication shop. The process currently generates a lot of scrap pieces that are too small for countertops and are therefore currently being thrown out as garbage. Our client is interested in starting a separate company in which she would use the granite countertop scrap pieces to create different granite product lines (i.e. granite tiles for floor or backsplash) instead of them just being thrown out. Although it would be a separate company creating a different product line, the same fabrication shop and tools would be used for both the countertop pieces and the tile pieces. Eventually she would like to collect and incorporate scrap granite pieces (that would otherwise be thrown out) from other countertop fabrication shops as well.
My question is this: Would the proposed tile products made from the countertop scrap be considered as containing recycled content that would contribute to the achievement of LEED credits, since the scrap is currently being thrown out? Or would this be disqualified since it would just be using the same equipment to fabricate smaller pieces?
Thank you in advance!
Jay - In the scenario you describe I would interpret the countertop scrap being cut into tiles as having 100% pre-consumer recycled content. LEED defines preconsumer recycled material as 'diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process.'
I do not think the exclusion for reutilization would apply because your client would be processing the scrap into a product different from the one that produced it.
Jay - Please know that this forum is not a definitive source for answers as to what GBCI will and won't accept. That said, I think Joseph answered your question with the same information that I would convey - this would be pre-consumer material and since the end product is something different than the original product, the issue of reutilization should not come into play.
On another note, make sure your client is aware of LEED v4 changes to the M&R category and understands the impact of MRc4: Recycled Content being part of Building Product and Disclosure and Optimization - Sourcing of Raw Materials - http://www.usgbc.org/leed/v4.
Joseph and Michelle,
Thanks for the info and for sharing your feedback with me. I apologize if I should have worded my question better...I am aware this is not a definitive source as to what GBCI will or won't accept, but I was hoping to see if anyone else had experience with a similar situation or had an opinion on the matter.
The LEED online V3 form of MR Cr 4 requires to type item by item sustainable materials on the form while V4 form requires only to upload material calculator worksheet and then type the total cost only.
Please advise if we can convert the form from v3 to v4 for this MR Cr 4 recycled content and what's the procedure to do this?
Benj, To upgrade a form all you have to do is call the GBCI contact number or hit the feedback button in LEED Online and make your request. You will lose any data in the old form.
Benj - Data that you have entered into the v03 version of this form will not auto-populate the spreadsheet that replaces this part of the form in the v04 version. I think the spreadsheet is a much better management tool than just entering the data into the Adobe form.
I have never called GBCI to upgrade a form as Susan suggests; however, I have used the Feedback button in LOv3 to do so. Please be advised that they may require you to upgrade other MR credits to v04 version of the form when you upgrade MRc4. Typically, they will let you know via e-mail if other forms are impacted. LOv3 is a wealth of information and consider looking for answers there first. Here is the link to forms upgrades - https://www.leedonline.com/irj/go/km/docs/documents/usgbc/leed/config/co....
Hej! Do ready made concrete elements that are delivered on site count as assembly while in concrete that is cast on site the concrete and steel are two materials? Thanks!
Juliane - IMO: Assembly location in the precast plant - not the project site. You need to dig into the concrete mix design to break down Portland cement, supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), aggregate, etc. to get to the raw materials and any recycled content. See the LEED Reference Guide for special calculations for SCMs.
Hej Michelle, many thanks- I am aware, that I can calculate the SCM recycled content in that way- question is more if I am allowed to calculate the steel in the ready-made-concrete-element in a similar way or if this has to be by weight on the whole element. My question is if i can calculate concrete separate from the steel.
Juliane - Thanks for clarifying your question. Typically I would utilize the information in the Reference Guide for calculating assemblies. Though on this LEED-NC v2.2 job for precast concrete, the advice for steel might be what you are looking for: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-v2.2/MRc4?all-comments=true#comment-14196.
I accidentally posted this in the 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. section...If I take the default 45% of contract price for divisions 3-10 just in the concrete and steel my totals are 80% plus for recycled content and regional materials. Even if we used actual numbers for prices I would think we are much higher that that. Do I need to list every item out for these even though I am so much over the required total? My list is just getting very long.
While it is laudable to document all the recycled and regional materials in a project (for a case study for instance), there is no requirement to list any more items for LEED than are needed to achieve these credits.
However, if you are counting on just 2 items to get your project to credit achievement, your backup documentation that will have to be uploaded had better be airtight. And it would be worthwhile to have some other products ready to insert in case you get any clarification requests that dispute your backup.
Eighty percent sounds high to me. I would suggest that you are sure you are picking up the costs in the sections identified in Divisions 31-32 also in the denominator of the fraction and that you have used the correct factors for 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. vs. pre-consumer recycled content.
Agreeing with Michelle.
Check that your supplemental cementitous materials (SCM) are reported correctly. I've never gotten a submittal where it has been correct.
When the recycled content of a wood core material is listed as % pre-consumer, % 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 % recovered fiber, is the recovered fiber to be included in the pre-consumer percentage?
The definition my vendor gave me, from his industry association is "Wood Fiber is generated from the removal of woody biomass from both urban and non-urban sources as part of a management prescription, maintenance or hazard tree program, pre-commercial thinning or salvage operation where the removal of such fiber does not adversely affect soil nutrient or structure. Examples of this category include fruit tree prunings, park tree removal, logging slash and culled timber".
Teresa, I would not include the "recovered" fiber in your recycled content figures. The vendor is correct to report it separately, as it doesn't meet the definition of recycled.
If wood meeting this kind of definition was included, then it would really open the door to a very broad array of wood products that could arguably meet the same definition.
Three question regarding recycled content in concrete:
*If the concrete contains brick chips from reused bricks will it count towards recycled content.
*The cement in the concrete contains fly ash. Will it count towards recycled content?
*When we calculate the value of the cost of recycled material, do we calculate based on the original cost of that particular material?
Thank you for taking the time to answer.
Question 1: Yes. Post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. if salvaged from demolition. Pre-consumer if, for example, culled waste from a brick kiln.
Question 2: Yes. It is counted as pre-consumer.
Question 3: Calculate the value of the recycled content as a percentage of the weight of the concrete. Example: If you have $1000 of concrete and brick chips + fly ash = 30% of the unit weight, then the sustainable material value is $300. In other words: Calculate as percentage by weight of the finished product, not the actual cost of the raw materials.
I would just add that to Joseph’s thorough answer that you should look at the special calculations for Supplementary Cementitious Materials Calculation in the BD&C LEED Reference Manual (page 373 of first edition) for the fly ash. The calculations are based on the mass of the cementitious materials only - rather than the entire concrete mix. This calculation works in your favor and it is worthwhile to use it.
What is the % of recycled content steel rebar needs to have to qualify to get the MR credit on recycled content?
There is no minimum value. Any percentage recycled content can contribute to the overall recycled content for the project that is arrived at via the formulas for MRc4. Please see Equations 1 and 2 in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction (page 372 of first edition).
Steel rebar is one of the primary materials, experienced LEED professionals know, that has high inherent recycled content. It is lower strength steel, used in tension applications and not compression. That means it can have higher recycled content than other steel materials.
For my projects, in the Southwestern U.S., the recycled content for steel has always exceeded 95% overall, with most of that being post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. content. Sources for rebar my projects have used have ranged from Taiwan, to Mexico, to the Pacific Northwest U.S., and to the Southeastern U.S.
Thanks for pointing me to the the right section of the reference guide. Thank you Harnando for sharing your experience.
I have a further question to the Steel Rebar question for recycled content. If: 97.8% of the Rebar is Total Scrap Steel and
2.2% is comprised of Total Alloys and Other Iron Units = 100% And:
81.1% is 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
16.7% is Pre-Consumer
How do I calculate the Pre & Post-Consumer content?
If I take a straight 81.1% Post and 16.6% Pre, then it does not take into account that only 97.8% of the rebar is recycled content.
Thus, am I supposed to take:
97.8% x 81.1%= 79% Post and
97.8% x 16.6%= 16% Pre
Though it doesn't make much of a difference when the total recycled content is 97.8%, it would make a huge difference if the total recycled content were only 25%. However, I cannot find anything in the Reference Guide or anywhere else that references how to document these situations. Or is this why everyone just takes a default 25.5% recycled content for steel products?
Jennifer I believe you're over thinking this one. The pre- and post- percentages listed are a breakdown of the 97.8%. 81.1+16.6 = 97.7%. So use the 81.1 and 16.6 directly in the calculations. The 0.1% difference is a rounding error.
Thanks Keith for chiming in.
Jennifer - As Keith notes, use the 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. values above in Equation 1 in the LEED Reference Guide to get the overall recycled content value for the rebar.
I've just learned of a company that remediates contaminated soil and aggregate and then sells the material (for cheaper than virgin material). I'm told their process is certified to meet the most stringent standards.
It seems to me that this material meets the intention, if not the definition, of a "recycled material". By using this material, a project would be supporting environmental remediation, avoid groundwater contamination resulting from contaminated soil stockpiles, and minimize the ecological footprint of the project by reducing the demand for mining virgin material. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is 'upcycling'.
So, what do you think is the best way to capture the use of recycled soil/aggregate in LEED? I can see a few possibilities:
- include the material (and all materials in Section 31 20 00. Earth Moving) in the calculations for MRc4, with a narrative describing why this section was included (should this be an ACP?)
- attempt an ACP for SSc3, since using remediated soils creates a demand for contaminated soils which may further incentivize brownfieldAbandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites who expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination (may include hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants). They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic vitality of such areas or properties. (EPA) redevelopment (similar to how purchasing recycled materials incentivizes landfill diversion)
- Use this strategy for an ID credit. Along with one other strategy that addresses one of the environmental benefits of this material (habitat preservation, water pollution prevention)
1. It's not clear to me that you intend to reuse the material on your own site. A material has to be permanently installed in your project to qualify for MRc4 so, unless you intend to get the soil treated and reinstall it on your site then this won’t count. If that IS what you intend to do, then I would say you may have a good case for MRc4, as well as MRc5.
2. All you need to do to earn SSc3 is demonstrate that your site is contaminated, remediate as required, and redevelop the site. HOW you implement the remediation, e.g.: upcycle the contaminated soil, won't make any difference in earning the credit so long as the remediation is done in an approved manner.
With those downers out of the way, I will tell you that I have had success in an analogous situation in crediting the material towards MRc2 Construction Waste Management. I had a project where the soil contamination was high enough that it had to be removed from the site, but low enough that it could be used as alternate daily cover at a sanitary landfill. This gives the material a market value because it saves the landfill the expense of excavating or trucking in clean cover. By documenting this I was able to get my MRc2 percentage above 95% and earn 2 points for MRc2 + 1 Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point. I think you would be accomplishing a similar thing by upcycling the soil and therefore keep it out of the hazmat landfill.
One important caveat: I had to produce documentation from the AHJ affirming that the contaminated soil was acceptable for use as alternate daily cover. Whatever approach you may take to reprocessing or diverting this material I would ask the vendor to document that their process has regulatory approval. Otherwise, I could foresee a LEED reviewer not accepting it solely based on the vendor’s claims.
Hi Lyle - You present an interesting situation. Here are a couple of thoughts to add to Joseph’s response.
1. I don’t think you can just add Section 31 20 00. The only section heading in Division 31 that is allowed is 31 60 00 Foundations. I mean you could try this but I think it would be a long shot.
2. If the soil is not from your site, I don’t know how you could apply for SSc3, which deals with your site being a brownfieldAbandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial facilities/sites who expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination (may include hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants). They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas. EPA's Brownfields initiative helps communities mitigate potential health risks and restore the economic vitality of such areas or properties. (EPA) itself and redeveloping it.
3. I think the ID route is your best approach but these are tough to prove.
In a LEED charrette just yesterday, we discussed that there are some sustainable practices that the project should use even if they don’t count for LEED. Maybe this is one of those cases?
Thank you Joseph and Michelle. This is a general inquiry about using 'recycled' soil from another site, so the SSc3 was a real stretch of the imagination, but I thought I would throw it out there (I see it as creating market support for redevelopment of off-site brownfields since you are essentially buying contaminated soils). I agree, Michelle, that ID may be the best way to go. However, I would like to hear from a reviewer about the option of including 31 20 00 in the MRc4 calcs, since this is probably an unforeseen category of materials at the time the credit language was written.
As always, thanks for your help Michelle.
Pre-LEED v2009, the CSI divisions allowed for the MR credits were Divisions 2-10 under the previous version of MasterFormat (1995). It was a big improvement when the BD&C Reference Guide for LEED 2009 actually spelled out these sections and divisions are allowed based on MasterFormat 2004. A lot of site-related sections were removed from consideration when Division 2 was split out wide and far in MasterFormat and only the listed sections for Divisions 31(Section 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) were included in LEED's MR credits.
It would be great if a reviewer could answer your question on 31 20 00 but I am not aware of anyone who is monitoring this forum to answer questions.
We have an Owner with a campus. Our LEED Silver project is has it’s own Project Boundary and is not submitted as a campus. As we started our new project, the Owner demolished an adjacent 2 story warehouse structure comprised of concrete and CMU just outside of our Project Boundary. The demolished structure was also elevated approximately 4' above grade.
In anticipation of our LEED project, we had the Owner grind the concrete and block for reuse in the upcoming project. They also salvaged the 4' subgrade and stockpiled these materials which we have reused on the new project.
We want to maximize our credit for these items and are not sure how to do that. It seems that the cost to grind and the associated cost to haul in like materials would be applicable as recycled content.
We'd appreciate some guidance if anyone would be kind enough to assist.
Joel, I had a nearly identical situation on a past project where we crushed concrete and masonry demolition debris and used it as base material under building slabs and paved areas. We had the contractor determine what it would have cost to purchase similar material and have it trucked to the site, and assigned that value to the reprocessed materials.
This approach did not generate any comments from LEED during review and we got credit for the material. Also be sure to include the value in your Regional Materials calculations since the stuff is coming from right next door.
Joel - Joseph’s detailed answer covers your issues related the concrete and CMU that was ground into a new material - MRc4 and MRc5 (be sure you have the Reference Guide addenda for 7/9/10 related to recycled materials also being regional).
The only caution flag I would raise is to be sure that the materials actually fall under the CSI MasterFormat Divisions/Sections stipulated as covered by the MR credits (CSI MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition Divisions 03-10, 31 (Section 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting). Foundations may sound all well and good but if you look at MF 2004 this is Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements like driven and bored piles, caissons, and other special foundations. Excavation and fill fall under 31 20 00 (Earth Moving), which is not covered. Possibly this subgrade would fall under 32 10 00, which is actually Bases, Ballasts, and Paving but you do not stipulate exactly how it is being used. Or it could fall under Division 3 Concrete. (Note that under LEED v2, we had more leeway to include site materials due to the entire MF 1995 Division 2 being included.)
Regarding the 4” subgrade that was “salvaged,” this material would fall under MRc3 and MRc5 because the material was not remanufactured into something new but is being reused as subgrade.
We have a supplier's documentation spreadsheet for structural steel listing each separate material (HSSs, beams, channels) with weight, cost, post and pre-consumer percentages. If we want a single value to place in our master product value spreadsheet for structural steel we have two options:
1) If each line item already has a listed recycled content percentage, those should already have been calculated by weight for that item, and we should average all the structural steel line items by their individual costs, correct? This would be analagous to putting each steel member individually in the master product value spreadsheet.
2) Alternately, the sum of the line items could be averaged by weight, but that's normally done only for assemblies, and would in effect be double-calculating the recycled content by weight which could skew the values slightly.
The confusion arose because our material information sheets ask for the percentage of recycled content within a (single) product by weight. The supplier then calculated the average of the structural steel line items' recycled content by weight, based on the confirmed recycled content (by weight) of each item.
If we had not seen the individual cost column, we would not have noticed or asked the question. I'm sure this frequently happens in the background when we receive only one final figure. Is option 1) above the correct method?
Erik - I’m going to respond with a couple of questions back to you. First, why do you want to place a single value in your master product spreadsheet for structural steel? I would think that since you have information delineated by 3 types of products you would just list each one and provide the spreadsheet (or a PDF of it) as supporting documentation to back up your claims.
Is your structural steel something less than 100% steel? As I understand it, weight does not come into play except with assemblies so weight in this case is superfluous if your product is NOT an assembly. Please see MRc4’s Calculations and Calculating Assembly Recycled ContentAssembly recycled content is the percentage of material in a product that is either postconsumer or preconsumer recycled content. It is determined by dividing the weight of the recycled content by the overall weight of the assembly. in the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction for more information.
Thanks Michelle - Each type and size of structural member are line items - we have 35 entries for steel and combining them to product one number for structural steel (with the spreadsheet breakdown as backup) made sense.
The steel supplier had already combined them by their weight and varying recycled content percentages (Option 2), but as they are not an assembly, we changed that to a cost-based calculation (Option 1), rather than weight.
The structural steel is 100% steel. The recycled content of each item would have already been calculated by weight to provide their initial percentages (i.e. recycled vs. virgin material).
Averaging all the steel items by weight to produce an overall steel figure (Option 2 and supplier's initial calculation) seems like it would skew the values, as there is not a 1:1 ratio between cost and weight for the different products.
Thanks for the clarification. I agree that using the weight calculation for a non-assembly product is not the right way to go.
And I now understand why you want to simplify 35 entries - although I still think it might be clearer to group those 35 items into a few categories vs. lumping them all together. However, either way you go, I would strongly suggest that you initially provide backup to GBCI so that you can show your methodology from the beginning.
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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