NC-2009 MRc5: Regional Materials

  • NC CS Schools MRc5 Type3 Local Mat Diagram
  • Multiple options for "regional"

    Regional materials are those that are extracted, harvested, and manufactured within a certain distance of your project site.

    How far, exactly? Historically LEED has used a 500-mile radius to define regional products, but that made it difficult or impossible for coastal or remote regions to pursue this credit. A July 2012 LEED addendum added a more flexible approach, and now MRc5 offers two options to LEED 2009 projects:

    • Option 1: The old familiar option, uses a simple 500-mile radius from the site for both extraction and manufacturing distance.
    • Option 2: This new option allows you to do a prorated calculation based on the lower relative impact of shipping materials by rail or water. Calculate a 500 mile (800 km) total travel distance to the project site using a weighted average. Distance by rail can be divided by 3; distance by inland waterway by 2, and distance by sea by 15.

    The Option 2 credit calculation is much more complicated, and finding the necessary information could be a lot of work. It will be a most effective option for projects that really need to earn the credit, and can ideally focus their calculations on a handful "big ticket" items—see below. However, projects can choose either option on a per-product basis, so they don't need to commit to just one or the other.

    Research early and often

    Begin researching products early—this will help ensure that there are sufficient regional materials available to specify. If you delay your research, you run the risk that non-regional materials may be specified and purchased before you find a regional alternative. Use the estimated project budget to keep tabs on your performance against the credit threshold.

    Many projects fail to earn this credit because they wait until all the materials are purchased before doing the credit calculations.

    500-mile radius map, NYCThe 500-mile radius is big enough to cover a lot of ground, but depending on your location, can be tough to work with. Seeing the radius on a map can help quickly assess the product areas where you might have better luck.

    The 500-mile radius is big enough to cover a lot of ground, but depending on your location, can be tough to work with. Seeing the radius on a map can help quickly assess the product areas where you might have better luck.

    “Big ticket” items are just the ticket

    If there are enough materials available in your region, this credit can be very easy to achieve. Focusing on a few more expensive items that can be sourced regionally—like structural steel or concrete, for example—may represent enough value to earn the credit. If you combine these big-ticket items with the requirements of other MR credits, you can earn multiple points for a relatively small number of product selections. This strategy has the benefit of reducing the number of items you need to track and document.

    Finding the origins of your materials

    Often, product manufacturers will get their materials from a wide variety of sources, making extraction location trickier to determine. It can also be challenging to understand how LEED determines the manufacturing locations for materials that are salvaged onsite or reused, those that contain recycled content, or are part of assemblies. Use the chart below to clarify how you should document the manufacturing and extraction location for these materials.

    You can claim recycled content as a regional material, and you don't have to trace it back to its original extraction location. According to the LEED Reference Guide, the extraction point for recycled materials is the location of the raw material prior to the manufacturing of the final building product. That might be the recycling facility, scrapyard, depository, stockpile, or another location where the material was collected and packaged for market purchase before manufacturing. It is not necessary to track the raw material back to its original point of extraction.

    For a product with multiple points of manufacture, the point of manufacture should be listed as the location farthest from the site.

  • FAQs for MRc5

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

    LEED is very clear that no MEP or specialty items can be counted in the MR credit calculations. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that MEP items are very expensive relative to their weight, and including these materials skews the calculations and performance thresholds achieved. Also, LEED considers the performance of mechanical equipment paramount, and so consideration of these materials really falls under performance based energy and water credits.

    We are pursuing IEQc4.5 as an ID credit. Are we thus required to include the cost of furniture in MRc3–7?

    No. See 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. #3901 for additional information.

    What if different parts of a product are manufactured at different locations?

    All steps of the manufacturing process must be within the required distance in order for the product to qualify. If the product meets this requirement, you must list the manufacture location farthest from the project site as the “manufacture distance” for the material.

    What is the purpose of the newly added Option 2? Can I pursue both options?

    Option 2, which originated as an Alternative Compliance Path for non-U.S. projects, but which is available to all projects, allows a material to come from a farther distance than 500 miles if it reaches the site by more fuel-efficient modes of transportation (ship and rail).

    The two options are available to be used on the basis of an individual product or material, so you can mix and match as needed.

    How do we account for materials using the new Option 2 equation?

    The new equation is embedded in the BD&C Materials and Resource Calculator. The calculator has a spot for materials that comply using the standard 500-mile radius (Option 1), and a spot for those that comply using the weighted average calculation (Option 2). See LEEDuser's Documentation Toolkit tab for a copy of the calculator.

    With steel and aluminum products, why do I often get review comments questioning why my extraction distance is the same as my manufacture distance?

    Unless the manufacture location (steel mill, steel coil producer, aluminum extrusion/fabrication facility, etc.) contains a recycling facility, scrap yard, depository, ore mine, or some kind of collection point on-site, it is very unlikely that the manufacture and extraction distances are the same.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Schematic Design

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  • Flooring from salvaged woodLook for unique regional resources to help earn this credit, like this wood flooring salvaged from beetle-killed pine, which would help earn this credit in the Colorado region.Early on, research the availability of materials harvested or extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Consider resources such as stone quarries, timber resources, agricultural resources, and manufacturing centers. 


  • Denver area 500-mile radiusThe 500-mile radius around a site (Denver shown here), is measured as the crow flies—not the distance that products may actually travel.The 500-mile requirement is measured as a radius around the site “as the crow flies.” In other words, the actual miles and path traveled by the product or material is not as relevant for the calculation.

Design Development

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  • Begin by creating a baseline materials budget. This is the total amount of money that will be spent on building materials. Use the Materials Calculator from the Documentation Toolkit to compile the baseline material list in a way that facilitates adding information on environmental attributes.


  • Your material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. The LEED Online credit form helps ensure this automatically. 


  • Include in your new wood materials baseline budget the material cost (excluding labor) of all new wood items that apply under CSI Master Spec 2004 Format Divisions 3–10, 31.60 Foundations, 32.10 Paving, 32.30 Site Improvements, and 32.90 Planting. Division 12 Furniture is optional. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded. (See Resources for Master Spec information.) 


  • 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.


  • A default budget is useful if you don’t want to break out the cost of materials and labor separately. 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%.


  • 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. 


  • You can alternatively use the actual materials budget (excluding labor) of all materials purchased in the applicable CSI categories.  


  • How do you decide whether to use the actual material budget or the default budget as your baseline? The lower you can get the baseline, the easier it is to purchase enough regional material to reach the credit threshold. For example, a project that is renovating an existing building will have low material costs and high labor costs. It might be better for this project to use the actual budget as the 45% default may bring the baseline too high.


  • How do you know how many regional materials you need to incorporate into your project? Look at the baseline material budget. Determine how much you want to spend on regional materials. Ten percent of the budget cost will give the project one point and 20% will give the project two points. Go through the project’s preliminary budget and identify specific items that are manufactured and harvested/extracted locally. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?  


  • Include a cushion for this credit, in case of changes in design and purchasing. For example, if you are counting on points for using 20% regional materials, plan for 30% of your budget to be spent on regional materials to avoid coming up short.


  • Using the estimated budget to integrate regional materials into the design and specs early on can help prevent costly change orders during construction. 


  • Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Many projects fail to earn this credit because they wait until all the materials are purchased before doing the credit calculations.


  • Focus on “big ticket” items when seeking materials to meet regional purchasing requirements. If you can find regional materials like structural steel and concrete, these more expensive materials will go a long way toward meeting the required percentage of your materials budget. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If these big-ticket items do not get you to the threshold you’re trying to meet, target medium-priced items next until you reach your goal.


  • A single product or material can contribute to multiple credits. For example, a chair made both locally and with recycled materials contributes to MRc5 as well as MRc4. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes can also limit the overall number of items that must be tracked. 


  • Product manufacturers may not have extraction information readily available. Allow for time in your process to research this information.


  • The location of final assembly is considered the “manufacturing location.” Extraction locations are determined by the location from which the raw material was sourced. 


  • Products salvaged on site can count the site as the manufacturing and extraction location.


  • Look at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to determine whether a product contains regional materials.


  • Assemblies


  • When a product is made of multiple materials that are manufactured and extracted in different locations, or only part of the product can count as regional, use these special considerations.


  • The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by weight as a percentage of the total. For example, a $100 piece of casework assembled locally contains 20% wood, and 80% marble, by weight, but only the wood was harvested and manufactured locally. Even though the piece of casework was manufactured and assembled locally, only $20 of the casework would contribute to this credit as being both manufactured and harvested locally.


  • Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight. 


  • Salvaged or Reused Material, and Recycled Content


  • Follow special considerations for products that are salvaged or reused or have recycled content.


  • Use the vendor or salvage location in place of the manufacturing location for salvaged, reused, or refurbished materials. Use the location from which the vendor salvaged the material in place of extraction location.


  • If a material is salvaged onsite and reused again onsite, you can count the site as both the manufacturing and extraction location. For example, parking lot concrete might be ground up and reused as infill on the same site.


  • Use replacement costs of salvaged materials (rather than actual costs) for all LEED materials calculations. For example, if you received free filing cabinets from a local office rehab you would use the cost of what you might spend on a filing cabinet if you had to replace the free one. This can work to your advantage, since the cost of used cabinets would probably be lower.


  • You can claim recycled content as a regional material, and you don't have to trace it back to its original extraction location. According to the LEED Reference Guide, the extraction point for recycled materials is the location of the raw material prior to the manufacturing of the final building product. That might be the recycling facility, scrapyard, depository, stockpile, or another location where the material was collected and packaged for market purchase before manufacturing. It is not necessary to track the raw material back to its original point of extraction.


  • The actual budget method can be more time-consuming for the contractor because it requires tracking the actual costs of all materials purchased, even those in the applicable CSI divisions that do not necessarily contribute to LEED credits.


  • Include in your new wood materials baseline budget the material cost (excluding labor) of all new wood items that apply under CSI MasterFormat Divisions 03–10, 31 (31.60.00 Foundations), and 32 (32.10.00, Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Plantings). Division 12 Furniture is optional as long as it is consistently applied across all credits. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded. (See Resources for Master Spec information.)

Construction Documents

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  • Revisit your baseline materials budget as the design evolves to make sure the numbers remain accurate and that you remain on track to achieve your goal for the credit.


  • Incorporate regional product requirements into individual construction specifications.


  • For guidance and sample specification language for incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents, see MasterSpec, or the Whole Building Design Guide. (See Resources.)


  • Incorporating the LEED requirements directly into the drawings as well as into 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 the specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not having to fill out forms for materials that are not local, 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 product manufacturers that you have verified as producers of locally manufactured and extracted items. This will help save research time for the contractors.


  • Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include a copy of any submittal documents that the contractor may need to fill out.


  • Carefully review manufacturer data. Don’t pay attention to vague claims such as “Our product will give you a regional LEED point” when in truth it will only contribute to the credit. No matter what the manufacturer claims, you’ll still need to ask for manufacturing and extraction locations.

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


  • The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED construction-related issues, such as IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental materials tracking tools, and construction waste management. 


  • LEED documentation and materials tracking are usually the GC’s responsibility even though specific materials selection may have been already determined by the architect or designer.


  • The GC should hold an orientation meeting with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.


  • Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)

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

  • Enabling coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.


  • For any materials not yet specified, research the availability of additional regional materials before construction begins to ensure that the project earns this credit. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to review data sheets carefully and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product. 


  • During Construction


  • The contractor starts gathering and environmental data and cut sheets from subcontractors for approval. 


  • The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product submittals and tracking forms.


  • Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.  


  • Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Materials 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, certified wood information for MRc7, and information about adhesives installed on site for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. Use the Materials Calculator spreadsheet in the Documentation Toolkit.


  • 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.


  • Even if you use the default budget method for your baseline material budget, you  have to break out the actual cost of materials you are tracking for LEED.  


  • Transfer all the data collected in the Materials Calculator spreadsheet (see Documentation Toolkit) to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets. 


  • Only a random 20% sampling of product cut sheets need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Keep a list of sustainable materials used on the project so that operations staff can use these products for future renovations.


  • Develop regional procurement recommendations and incorporate the recommendations into a purchasing policy. This will contribute to EBOM MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.  

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    MR Credit 5: Regional materials

    1–2 Points

    Intent

    To increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

    Requirements

    Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within a specified distance of the project site for a minimum of 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total materials value. If only a fraction of a product or material is extracted, harvested, or recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) must contribute to the regional value. The minimum percentage regional materials for each point threshold is as follows:

    Regional Materials Points
    10% 1
    20% 2



    Option 1

    All building materials or products have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) radius of the project site.

    OR

    Option 2

    Building materials or products shipped by rail or water have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) total travel distance of the project site using a weighted average determined through the following formula:

    (Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) ≤ 500 miles [800 kilometers]

    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..

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Establish a project goal for locally sourced materials, and identify materials and material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified local materials are installed, and quantify the total percentage of local materials installed. Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.

Web Tools

Free Map Tools- radius around a point

This free online tool allows you to draw a 500-mile radius around a point on a map, which can help visualize the Regional Materials boundaries for your  project location, and help you look for sources within those boundaries.


Reclaimed Material Consultant/Broker

PlanetReuse is a nationwide reclaimed construction material broker and consultant company. At no cost to the design team, they match materials with designers, builders and owners to serve LEED efforts, save money, and sustain the planet. They make it easier to use a wide variety of reclaimed materials in new projects as well as help find new projects for building materials being deconstructed, guiding clients through every step of the process.

Technical Guides

Master Spec

Architectural Computer Services, Inc. (ARCOM) offers a free downloadable PDF of the Master Spec divisions. Check this to verify which materials are included in this and other MR credits.


Specifying LEED Requirements Reference Book and CD ROM

This book and CD-ROM from Master Spec offers useful guidance and sample specification language for incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents. (Requires purchase.)

Organizations

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

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 

Assemblies Calculator

Many products contain materials with different extraction or harvest locations. Use this spreadsheet to determine how much of the assembly you can count toward the Regional Materials credit. Includes sample calculation.

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing.

Product Cut Sheets

Manufacturers often highlight regional manufacturing and extraction information in cut sheets and letters, as shown here. In some cases information may be misleading or incomplete, and you'll need to follow up (see annotations on the PDF).

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

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

Concrete Tracking

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

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 MR

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

Construction Submittal

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

328 Comments

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sriram tetali Manager -Sustainability Services M W Group
May 05 2016
Guest
37 Thumbs Up

Regional Material for Reinforcement Steel

Hi ,
As MRc5 credit Requirment says Raw material extraction and Manufacturing Plant of steel should be below 500 miles (800kms).
But in our case the raw materials and manufacturing plant are located at a distance of 1200 kms from the project Site. Further these Rebar steel is cut and bend to required sizes at a place which is at a distance of 600 kms from Project site.
So Can any one suggest, what distance should be considered in the Regional material criteria
Thanks & regards
sriram tetali

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 05 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Sriram—If you are using NC-MRc5 Option 1, the distance is 1200 km and the Percent Regional is 0%. Because all your rebar steel is extracted outside the 800-km (500-mile) radius, none of it counts toward MRc5 under Option 1. On the other hand, if only 60% of the rebar came from the 1200-km mill, and 40% came from a mill/extraction site that was only 400 km away, your distance would be 600 km and your percentage would be 40%.

If it’s any consolation, in my area, I have rarely been able to find much locally extracted steel, but locally sourced concrete, gypsum, and paving materials are plentiful. I have earned MRc5 based almost solely on these materials. You may find a different set of materials extracted near your project that will help you to earn the credit.

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sriram tetali Manager -Sustainability Services, M W Group May 06 2016 Guest 37 Thumbs Up

Thanks Jon for the suggestions

Best Regards
Sriram Tetali

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Brooke Robbins
Feb 10 2016
Guest
15 Thumbs Up

MR C5 Regional Materials Multiple components

How do you calculate the regional materials value for a product that has multiple components, for example concrete? the components come from different locations & have different % values which we've entered in tot eh materials table. How does this work in relation to the materials cost? We have an overall materials cost for the concrete, but it is not broken down by individual component.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 10 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Brooke—In the MRc5 chapter of the LEED 2009 BD+C Reference Guide, Table 2 shows a “Sample Assembly Percentage Regionally Extracted Calculation for Concrete” as an example of how to calculate regional content in a product with multiple components.

To make this calculation, you do need a breakdown (by weight) of the product’s components and data indentifying the extraction sites for as many of the components as possible. For concrete, you may not even realize that you have access to the required information.

Structural engineers usually require concrete suppliers to submit “mix design” reports for each type of concrete used on a project. These “recipes” show the proportions of each component in each mix, usually in pounds per cubic yard. These reports should also identify the quarries that produced the aggregates, the plants that produced the fly ash, and the manufacturers that made the cement and admixtures. I usually calculate material percentages for both MRC4 & MRc5 using these reports.

Be aware, though, that 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 report a separate cost for each type delivered to the jobsite.

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Brooke Robbins Feb 11 2016 Guest 15 Thumbs Up

Thank you. Yes I saw this chart and do have this info. Once you calculate the % of regionally extracted materials how do you input it in the Materials & resource calculator spreadsheet? Going off this example chart - I would input the 92.6%, but in the excel calculator spreadsheet you also have to enter the extraction & manufacturer distance - do you just do an average of the components or input the info for the items that is the farthest distance?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

The answer depends on which version of the MR calculator you are using. A new version just came out on January 4, 2016, but you may be using an older version.

If you are using the previous spreadsheet (which I think was dated Aug 2012), and if you are using Option 1, go to Cell P7, and select “Option 1.” Now, in Column O of the line where you have entered the cost of the concrete mix, enter the Regional Percentage (in your case, 92.6%). In Column Q, enter the distance to the farthest regional extraction point (less than 500 miles). Do not average. In Column R, enter the “Manufacture Distance” (the concrete mix plant).

This approach works unless you are using the SCM Alternative approach for MRc4. In this case, you should have separate costs for cementitious and non-cementitious materials, so you enter the values for each mix on two separate lines and calculate the regional content separately for each.

If you are using the new MR calculator (labeled “v06”), see the instructions in the discussion just below this one: http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/62554.

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Brooke Robbins Feb 12 2016 Guest 15 Thumbs Up

Thank you. We were thinking we would input the distance for the item that was furthest away, but didn't see any clarification to do so.

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Tiffany Moore LEED Documentation Consultant Built Kansas City LLC
Jan 07 2016
Guest
1160 Thumbs Up

New Materials & Resources Calculator

Project Location: United States

Has anyone taken a look at the new calculator (v06, Jan 4, 2016)? This version combines the BD+C and ID+C calculators and changes the way the data for Option 1 and Option 2 are entered.

The instructions confirm that you still need to enter manufacturing and extraction distances for Option 1, but there doesn't appear to be a place for those numbers to be entered.

Anyone???????

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Meghan Ward Architectural Technologist, Sustainable Design Consultant, Aurecon South Africa Jan 19 2016 LEEDuser Member 137 Thumbs Up

Hi Tiffany,

I have also realized this with the material calculator, which we need to complete.

Have you managed to figure out how we include the extracted and manufactured distance?

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Tiffany Moore LEED Documentation Consultant, Built Kansas City LLC Jan 19 2016 Guest 1160 Thumbs Up

GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). replied and indicated they would develop a set of instructions for the new calculator, which does require the information be documented in a different way. (No, I haven't figured out how to document extraction and manufacturing distances OR the percentage of back-up documents provided.)

I responded and explained that wholesale changes in the documentation process for existing projects and existing rating systems was unfair to project team members for many reasons. They acquiesced and confirmed I could continue using the old version on a project-specific basis.

My suggestion to you is to send a feedback/contact question regarding this issue. If they receive feedback on the implications of a new v2009 calculator from several people, perhaps they will re-evaluate the need to make this type of change retroactively on v2009 projects.

Honestly, I'm at a loss as to the purpose of this change in v2009.

Tiffany

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Feb 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Well, I have finally had a chance to take the new MR calculator (2009_Materials and Resources Calculator_v06.xlsm) for a test drive, and I have a few observations:
. . 1. I think that the new spreadsheet should only be used in conjunction with the new MRc5 form v06 from LEEDonline v3.
. . 2. The new LEEDonline form appears not to require the upload of cutsheets, so the new spreadsheet does not calculate the percentage uploaded either.
. . 3. Only use Column S for ID+C projects.
. . 4. For assemblies, enter the percentage of regional extraction into Column Y.
. . 5. On B+D projects, if you are using the Option 2 weighted average travel distance, enter manufacture & extraction distances into Columns T, U, V, & W.
. . 6. On B+D projects, if you are using the Option 1 500-mile radius, the instruction to enter both the manufacture & extraction distances is just plain wrong. Until GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). issues definitive instructions, I would just enter the Manufacture distance into Column W.

Following this approach appears to tally up the proper percentages on the BD+C, CS, & HC Summary tabs, but GBCI might choose another approach.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 17 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Just as an update: On April 8, 2016, USGBC issued a revised version of the Materials and Resources Calculator (v07). For now, at least, you can download this spreadsheet from http://www.usgbc.org/resources/materials-and-resources-calculator-v2009. There appear to have been some modifications to the instructions (including a contradiction to my guess in Item 6 above). However, I suspect that v07 does not resolve all the issues raised concerning v06.

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

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Allen Cornett Sustainable Consultant INSPEC Sustainability Group LLC
Dec 22 2015
LEEDuser Member
225 Thumbs Up

Select Fill

Project Location: United States

Can select fill mined within the LEED boundary be counted as a regional material? I have not been able to determine if the soil preparation below items included in specification sections 31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting can be counted for MRc5.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Dec 22 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

CSI MasterFormat puts soils & fill materials under Earth Moving in Section 31.23.00 “Excavation and Fill.” Since this is not one of the designated Spec Sections, fill should not figure into material tallies for Credits MRc3 through MRc7.

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Jian Hui Liu
Oct 21 2015
Guest
77 Thumbs Up

cutsheets

Project Location: China

Clearly i know the project team should provide cutsheets for the materials to support regional materials claims,but i cannot get the meaning of "cutsheets".Which kind of information the cutsheets should contain?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Oct 22 2015 LEEDuser Member 1982 Thumbs Up

Cutsheets is somewhat of a catch-all term that LEED uses to refer to manufacturer documentation. For MRc5 you will need proof from the manufacturer that confirms what percentage of the product, by weight, meets both of those criteria (i.e. manufactured within 500 miles of your LEED project and from raw materials which were harvested/extracted within 500 miles of your LEED project). So you would want documentation from the manufacturer to clearly state where the product is manufactured and where each of the raw materials are extracted/harvested. It is most helpful if the manufacturer also includes the percentage, by weight, that each raw material comprises within the final product.

Make sure to pay special attention to/note that it is where the raw materials are extracted/harvested, not where the supplier/vendor of those materials is/manufactured them.

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Jian Hui Liu Oct 27 2015 Guest 77 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your answer,but i have a additional question.DO i need the manufacture's signature on it or stamp on it or both?Which way is qualified for the criteria?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Oct 27 2015 LEEDuser Member 1982 Thumbs Up

Your supporting documentation must be clearly attributable to the manufacturer. USGBC does not accept claims from the contractor/subcontractor. There is not a single method/option - the important thing is to make sure all your supporting documents are clearly linked to the manufacturer so there are no questions about who provided the document/verified the product's contributions. Typically we want any verification to be on manufacturer letterhead or with the manufacturer logo printed on it.

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Jian Hui Liu Oct 28 2015 Guest 77 Thumbs Up

I got it . Thank you very very much .

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Haley Duncan Project Manager Silver Oak Cellars
Jun 08 2015
LEEDuser Member
190 Thumbs Up

Option 2 Calculation Question

When calculating distances from location of extraction and location of manufacturing to project site, is it "as the crow flies" or actual travel distance?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jun 08 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Option 2 uses “travel distance”: http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100001265.

Compare the Option 2 language to that of Option 1, which defines regional as “within a 500-mile radius.” A radius is a straight-line distance (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100001263). In other words, Option 1 is as-the-crow-flies, and Option 2 is actual travel distance. The different choice of words appears to be significant.

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Haley Duncan Project Manager, Silver Oak Cellars Jun 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 190 Thumbs Up

Thanks Jon. I have received conflicting answers on this so far.

Could anyone else take a stab at this?

Thanks,

-Haley

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Sep 30 2015 LEEDuser Expert 10566 Thumbs Up

Haley - I think Jon is correct. Under Option 2, you wouldn't use a radius (or as the crow flies) distance for rail, inland waterway, or trucking because that is not physically possible and this option relates to actual miles traveled. While total travel distance is not defined, I think its meaning is straightforward. See MRc5 under Key July 2012 Addenda in http://www.leeduser.com/blogs/guide-key-leed-nc-v2009-addenda.

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Luma Marcaccio Assistant Engineer, Turner Construction MIT.nano May 06 2016 LEEDuser Member 3 Thumbs Up

Do you have any suggestions on what to use (for instance a website like as the crow flies) in order to get the route map for option 2? Thanks,

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 06 2016 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Luma—Because I work in an inland industrial region, where major construction materials are readily available within a 500-mile radius, I have never had to use Option 2.

I would think that one could approximate a route using a shipment’s Bill of Lading or other shipping receipt. Such a document names the carrier and sometimes estimates a shipping distance or identifies intermediate ports, weigh stations, or shipping hubs along the way.

Since many raw materials and components pass through many hands before reaching the manufacturer, such extraction site shipping records may not be available to the end-purchaser. Therefore, tracking this information requires the cooperation of all the intermediaries and their carriers.

Option 2 seems difficult to document, so it seem most appropriate for projects that are remote from major material sources and for construction products that contain a very limited number of raw materials to trace back to extraction sites. I would love to hear from someone in such an area who has successfully “connected the dots” to document and earn MRc5 using Option 2.

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Erika Duran Sustainability Consultant Dagher Engineering
May 07 2015
LEEDuser Member
1761 Thumbs Up

<500 Miles

Project Location: United States

Sometimes I receive a letter from a manufacturer stating that a material is harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site however for proprietary reasons, they cannot disclose these locations.

Has anyone had experience in documenting this and whether or not USGBC has pushed back?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE May 10 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

In lieu of a complete breakdown of all raw material extraction points, LI#2426 allows “a statement on the manufacturer's letterhead indicating that the point of extraction, harvest, recovery or manufacture is within 500 miles of the LEED project site.”

I do not know about LEED Reviewers, but I tend to be skeptical of such letters. They should not be “boilerplate” statements. I have required signed and dated letters that include the project’s name & address and the name of the product, explicitly stating the percentage of that product’s raw materials “mined, quarried, harvested, or recovered” within 500 miles of the project site. (The percentage is essential for entry into the MR Calculator spreadsheet.)

The point is that, if I must accept less that complete disclosure, I want to make sure that the authors of these letters understand their MRc5 claims and that they have exercised due diligence to ensure their accuracy.

Side Note: I have achieved MRc5 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. based on “big ticket” regional items like concrete, precast, masonry, paving, gypsum, stone, and steel, using complete material source data. I am not sure that I have ever actually had to fall back on data for lesser materials with less complete documentation.

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Derek Darby Allegheny Millwork
Apr 06 2015
Guest
35 Thumbs Up

MR 5 Regional Materials

I am fairly new to LEED so please bare with me on this one. We are a manufacturer and sell assembled products to the customer. Thus, when we sell the assembled product, it is our understanding that we would be the manufacturer.
However, we have had some issues with what our harvest location would be. We purchase the parts (typically wood based products such as solid lumber, veneer, plywood, etc.) from local distributors. Would the harvest location that we report be our distributors facility, or do we have to dig deeper and find out where they got their raw materials from?
One problem we continually run into is distributors telling us that the wood used came from multiple forests, or they provide me with an approximate location (i.e. Eastern Tennessee).
Our lives would be much easier if the distributors facility is deemed as the location of recovery of raw materials.
Can anyone provide me with information on this?
Thanks!

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Apr 19 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Sorry, but you cannot use the distributor’s facility, or even the lumber mill, as the extraction site for wood products. Under Credit MRc5, LEED-2009 Addenda define extraction points as the origin of the RAW MATERIAL. Here are some good rules of thumb:
. . Minerals: The mine, quarry, or well from which the material was drawn.
. . Agricultural (such as wood): The land where the material was harvested (so, for solid lumber, veneer, plywood, etc., the extraction site is the forest, not the distributor).
. . Reused: The place from which the material was salvaged.
. . Recycled: The scrap yard or reclamation facility from which the material was purchased before remanufacture into a useful product. (Wood composites like MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder. of particleboard, which are often made using recycled wood chips, the extraction site would be the mill that produced the chips.)
One caveat: If the raw material passes through mills, distributors, or other intermediates on its way from the extraction to fabrication, each of these ALSO must be within 500 miles of the project site to count as regional.

For MRc5, these are the critical data for assemblies:
+ . The cost of the assembly (excluding on-site installation labor, but including any pre-delivery fabrication costs);
+ . The assembly’s manufacturing location; and
+ . If the manufacturer is within 500 miles of the Project site, the percentage (by weight) of raw materials in the assembly extracted within 500 miles of the Project site.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Apr 19 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

To address the other half of your question, sometimes the approximate harvest site of the trees will suffice.

For example, if your plant lies within 500 miles of a project in Indianapolis, you would tally up the weights of all the components in the assembly that they purchased. Next, identify which components have extraction sites within 500 miles of Indy, and report their percentages compared to the total weight of the assembly.

Reporting that 12% of the assembly is wood from trees grown in western Tennessee would be good enough for this project because all of Tennessee lies within the 500-mile radius from Indy. However, if the wood came from central Pennsylvania, right on Indy’s 500-mile boundary, you would need to be more specific, perhaps reporting which county or zip code of the forest.

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Eric Tengowski Senior Project Manager, Engineering Specialties Co. Aug 20 2015 Guest 29 Thumbs Up

While researching the requirements for MRc5 (NC-2009), I found information on the USGBC site that states there are a possible of two points for Regional materials.

Option 1 requires 20% (twenty %) of the material value be MANUFACTURED within a 500 mile radius of the site. It does NOT mention harvesting or extraction in option 1.

Option 2 requires that 10% (ten %) of the material value be extracted, harvested AND manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the site.

Is each option the equivalent of 1 point?

It looks like this has changed from v2, 2.0 which states 20% manufactured only.....
Which is different than v2, 2.2 which states 10% extracted and manufactured.

Am I understanding this correctly?
Thank you!

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 20 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Hi Eric,

I think you must have been looking at the wrong set of requirements. What you're describing applies to LEED-NC 2.x, but NOT to LEED 2009 (except for the CI version). And might I suggest that you consider becoming a LEEDuser member? If you did that, you'd see the actual credit langauge right here, on this page, and not have that opportunity for confusion.  ;-)

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Eric Tengowski Senior Project Manager, Engineering Specialties Co. Aug 20 2015 Guest 29 Thumbs Up

Thank You Nadav. I'm working on trying to get my boss to get a membership. I agree it would be helpful. However, I'm more of an inquiring mind that wants to understand everything. Especially when I get conficting info from two or three different sources. The manufacturers we buy from are the ones that really need the membership. We are basically the middle-man passing along the info the manufacturers provide to us.

The information I was describing is for LEED 2009 CI version (I can't attach a screen shot in this forum).

Is each option (1 and 2) worth 1 point?

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 20 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, LEED-CI 2009 does work as you described. There is a separate forum on LEEDuser for talking about that rating system and credit, so you might want to take your questions about that over there: www.leeduser.com/credit/CI-2009/MRc5

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Sahar Abi-Ziki
Mar 25 2015
Guest
162 Thumbs Up

Total material cost

Hello,
In our project, we decided to estimate real total material cost without equipments and labor for division 2-10. What kind of proof the contractor needs to present in this case? does a letter of subcontractor that indicates the material value will be sufficient? Do we need receipts or other documentations?
Thank you !

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 27 2015 LEEDuser Moderator

Sahar, I'm concerned that this approach doesn't have much rigor. Did you estimate costs item by item? GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). typically doesn't get very detailed in looking at the cost accounting on items like this, but your approach could raise questions.

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Robert Sherlock Western Industrial Contractors Ltd
Mar 17 2015
Guest
49 Thumbs Up

Point Structure For MRc5

Project Location: Canada

Has the point structure for this credit changed from 10% - 20% to 20% - 30%

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 21 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

No. USGBC has not changed credit thresholds for LEED-2009. BD+C Regional Material thresholds for MRc5 are still 10% for 1 point and 20% for 2 points. Also unchanged is the 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. threshold. Projects that document 30% Regional Materials may earn 1 additional Innovation in Design point under Credit IDc1.

This explains why a project might set its MRc5 goal at 30%.

[Note: Under LEEDv4, USGBC HAS significantly changed the way it addresses Materials & Resources in general and Regional Materials in particular, but that is an entirely different matter. See LEEDuser’s NCv4 MR forums for the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits.]

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Robert Sherlock Western Industrial Contractors Ltd Mar 23 2015 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

The LEED Canada - Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction 2009 shows the minimum percentage of regional materials for each point threshold as 20% - 1 point 30% - 2 points. This is a NC project.

Am I missing something here?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 25 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Robert—If you have access to the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) LEED Reference Guide, you probably have most of what you need to answer any questions about LEED Canada 2009. Note that LEED Canada is very similar to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) version of LEED-NC, but apparently, the credit thresholds for MRc5 may be one of the differences between the two systems. For questions about the distinctions, LEEDuser offers a special LEED Canada forum: http://www.leeduser.com/topic/leed-canada-forum-nc-cagbc.

For USGBC LEED-NC-2009, and for projects using the LEED-2009 BD+C Global Alternate Compliance Paths (ACPs), the MRc5 thresholds are still 10% & 20%. However, some Global ACPs offer an additional basis for MRc5 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..

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Frank Burkhart Advanced Architecture and Planning, PC
Mar 05 2015
LEEDuser Member
66 Thumbs Up

Component Assembly

Sorry if this is a rudimentary for all you LEED guru's out there, but I am hoping you can clarify the question I have on a number of items we are specifying for our first LEED project

We are specifying a Chair Lift which is manufactured within 10 miles of our project site. The manufacturer buys components from all over the country and in some cases other countries. As it turns out there are 10 major components, 6 come from within 500 miles, 4 come from outside the 500 mile radius.

How do I calculate the contribution toward this credit?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Mar 05 2015 LEEDuser Member 1982 Thumbs Up

Are you sure that this product is included in the MRc5 calculations? You are only allowed to include items specified in Division 3-10 and a few very specific sections in Divisions 31 or 32. MEP and specialty equipment (including elevators) is excluded. I don't think this product should be included (in either your numerator or denominator).

If is was to be included, you would need to know the overall weight of the entire assembly as well as the individual weight of at least the 6 components that have their raw materials harvested/extracted within 500 miles of your job site. You could then claim that percentage as regional content. Note that the regional content must be calculated by weight, not cost, of the components. And you would need to be looking at the raw materials, not necessarily the supplier, of the components.

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Frank Burkhart Advanced Architecture and Planning, PC Mar 05 2015 LEEDuser Member 66 Thumbs Up

You are correct about the Division 14. I was working on the spec for that at the time and wanted to give simple example

Your explanation of the calculation process is helpful when applied to other examples. Thank you

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Mahsa Nicknam Product Manager SmartBIM
Mar 03 2015
Guest
28 Thumbs Up

Fabricator's location

Project Location: United States

IF the manufacturer's location is within 500 miles however fabricator's location is not, does it still have contribution to this credit OR not?

In another word, when manufacturer location is within 500 miles, for being eligible to contribute in this credit, should I chose from the local fabricators?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 15 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Answers to many questions can be found in LEED BC+C Reference Guide. In the MRc5 Chapter, the Implementation section states, “If the material contains components that were sourced from within 500 miles but the final assembly was farther away, the product cannot be counted toward the credit.” The intent of MRc5 is to reduce “the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.” Therefore, any part of production that occurs outside the regional radius disqualifies those goods from MRc5.

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Tiffany Moore LEED Documentation Consultant Built Kansas City LLC
Feb 06 2015
Guest
1160 Thumbs Up

Steel extraction location

Project Location: United States

I feel like broken record on this topic, because I know I've been through this before. I received review comments on a project that have the potential to reduce the steel contribution significantly and I'm looking for some consistent information to help answer the questions.

Moving backwards through the process from the site, the fabricator cut, formed, welded, and prepared the components for final assembly and installation on site. That is the location the reported as the manufacturing location.

In reporting the extraction/harvest location, the report uses the next entity back in the chain which is typically a mill. For many of the larger steel shapes, the mill melts the scrap and can document where that scrap came from. The tube companies, however, receive coil from a different mill who actually melted the scrap. The tube company can tell me where they purchased their coil, but to find the scrap location for the mill that produced the coil is a much bigger task.

The fabricator has successfully achieved points by reporting the mill location as the extraction point on several projects in multiple rating systems, but the exact same documentation was rejected on the project I am currently working on.

Does anyone have insight on this aspect? If the steel has recycled content, are you required to go back to the scrap yard even if that is three layers away from the project? Can the coil used to make the tube ever be considered the "raw material"?

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Mar 21 2015 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Tiffany – I understand your frustration. Thanks to its convoluted supply chain, getting reliable recycled regional and recycled content data for steel tube has been hard. I have had similar issues with sheet steel fabrications and other products manufactured from materials pre-processed by others using goods originally milled by yet another set of companies. It takes an extraordinary effort (and cooperation from the entire supply chain) for a manufacturer to track so many variables through so many layers and report valid percentages. For such items, I have had to settle, using the steel default for MRc4 and 0% regional for MRc5.

To your question, “Can the coil used to make the tube ever be considered the ‘raw material?’” No, not any more. Addenda issued July 2010 “clarified” when & how to count recycled as regional (see http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100000379). Before July 2010, the interpretation was a bit looser. An ancient CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide was often cited to allow just what you have asked to do. USGBC even issued addenda that seemed to support this interpretation, but they rescinded the guidance just three months later when they issued the addenda above.

This “about-face” may explain the inconsistencies that you have seen—why the fabricator’s data that worked in the past is no longer accepted by reviewers.

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Sara Zoumbaris Sustainable Design Consulting
Jan 16 2015
LEEDuser Member
681 Thumbs Up

Steel Extraction Location - Manufacturer Claim

Project Location: United States

Hi all, I am spinning my wheels second guessing what is now accepted. If a manufacturer provides a letter stating 100% of the steel used has been manufactured and extracted within 500 miles from my project site, but does NOT include specific locations for extraction, can we count this material and upload their letter as supporting documentation?

Thanks!

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator, Ecostrategic Construction Solutions Jan 16 2015 LEEDuser Member 226 Thumbs Up

Sara, I have been successful submitting this type of documentation not only for steel but for other materials as well. My only caveat for the steel is that you be careful with the wording. This type of claim from the steel manufacturer's typically refer only to the recovered/scrap steel and not the virgin material. For that reason, you would be essentially claiming the recycled content percentage as the regional percentage. See the discourse between myself and Kristina Bach one comment down. I hope this helps.

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Chris Klehm President Energy & Environmental Solutions
Jan 08 2015
LEEDuser Member
57 Thumbs Up

Regional Steel

We have steel on a project that is documented to be 99% recycled content, all recovered within 500 miles of the project site. GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). rejected this claim stating that since we did not know where the 1% of bauxite and iron ore were mined we cannot claim it. Is this for real?

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Ghaith Moufarege Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 9629 Thumbs Up

Did you claim that the steel was 99% regional (and not 100%)? Otherwise I don't see why the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). asked for the 1% iron ore extraction point... For the projects we worked on, we never had problems claiming recycled steel as regional providing that the steel scrap is recovered and processed within 500 miles of the project site

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator, Ecostrategic Construction Solutions Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 226 Thumbs Up

Chris, my assumption is that they rejected it because you claimed 100% as the regional material percentage when you should have claimed 99%. Does this sound plausible?

This also leads to a question I have regarding the calculation of the regional value of steel. Lately, I have seen project specific letters from steel mills which state what percentage of their scrap steel is regional. For instance: "90% of the recovered/scrap steel was harvested within 500 miles of your project site." I think these letters are great, I am just wondering how to claim the regional percentage in these cases.

For instance with a steel product that contains 85% recycled content (70 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 15 pre-consumer). If I receive a letter with the above language from the mill, am I claiming 90% as my RM value or 76% (85% x 90%)?

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Kristina Bach Sustainability Specialist Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 1982 Thumbs Up

In the past, when we've pushed back on manufacturers to describe that sort of a statement (90% of recovered/scrap is regional..."), they've always come back saying that they are only willing to report/track the recycled/salvaged material and not the raw materials, simply due to the fact that the percentage of raw materials is so low for most steel products that it's not cost-effective for them to track on a per-product basis.

So in instances like your example, we'd claim an overall regional material for the product of 76.50% (85.00% recycled/recovered x 90.00% regional recovered). We haven't had that be rejected in a review, however, we have heard of projects getting products rejected when they claim the 90% regional if the letter only actually speaks to the locations of the scrap.

Hope that helps!

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Marcia Weekes LEED Coordinator, Ecostrategic Construction Solutions Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 226 Thumbs Up

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Kristina. It helps a lot. I agree with the method you use to derive the regional percentage since the manufacturer's language speaks only to the recovered steel, and this is how I typically document it. Thus far, however, I have not received an official review on this type of documentation. Sometimes other members of the project team question this calculation and so it's good to know of others having success documenting it this way.

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Chris Klehm President, Energy & Environmental Solutions Jan 09 2015 LEEDuser Member 57 Thumbs Up

Thanks so much for the responses all. We have resubmitted using only the recycled percentages of all of the materials on the LEED Materials Calculator as regional materials, ignoring the raw materials. It still gives us in excess of 50% regional materials for the project. I will let you know how the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). responds. Thanks again.

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Keith Lindemulder Environmental Business Development- LEED AP BD&C, Nucor Jan 30 2015 Guest 1729 Thumbs Up

Chris, Marcia, Khristine - My recommendation is to follow the calculation outlined above by Marcia and Kristine. It's correct that for many steel products produced in North America and destine for a construction project, tracking the virgin materials isn't worth the effort. For example, 100% of the rebar and 100% of the structural steel produced in North America are made from virtually (99%+/-) recycled content and in EAF furnaces. What's not scrap are alloy's and other minor components. Plate and sheet products however can be a wide mixture of scrap vs virgin depending on the producer and process.

Likewise, ANY imported steel product can be any ratio of scrap vs. virgin and can be made using any type of process. This can have a dramatic difference in the environmental footprint of the steel material/product. Never assume just because you bought it in North America that it was made in North America. Spell it out in the specs.

In terms of LEED documentation for most steel products, only expect to see claims referring to the recycled content percentage. At that point it is important to mulitply the recycled content times the regional percentage to caclulate the percentage of the total product cost that is applicable.

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T Ros Tros AICE
Oct 22 2014
Guest
323 Thumbs Up

Collection of regional material information

Hello,
I would like to know if there is some stardard template to compile the information regarding materials and resorces or even the rest of credit categories.

Thank you

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 22 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

LEEDuser members can access the “Documentation Toolkit” tab at the top of this page. There, LEEDuser offers several forms. Among them is an “Environmental Materials Reporting Form,” a single-page PDF of “a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase” and that “can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing.” This form appears to be set up to track MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, MRc7, & IEQc4.4. Since credit goals vary from project to project, the form may not match your project’s reporting needs exactly. However, the form might make a useful template upon which to develop your own, project-specific form.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 22 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Incidentally, although LEEDuser’s “Environmental Materials Reporting Form” makes a useful template, I have noticed a shortcoming to the MRc5 fields on the form. The form provides cells in which to enter the product name, the manufacturer, the cost, and the locations of and distances to harvest & manufacture sites, but it lacks cells for the “Regional Percentage,” which is a required entry in the LEED-Online MR Calculator Spreadsheet. Additionally, project’s using MRc5 Option 2 would need to adapt the form to account for modes of transportation.

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Doreen Kruschina Doreen Kruschina Planung+Baumanagement
Oct 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
273 Thumbs Up

calculation of material cost

Project Location: Germany

Hi,
in every LEED Project we do struggle in obtaining the material costs as many companies refuse to split their invoices in those for material and those for labour.
Question is whether the assumption of 45% default material cost in the total invoice of a contractor would be compliant with credits´ requirements.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Oct 20 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Doreen – You can only use the “45% default” to calculate the “Default Total Material Cost” for use in the denominator of the MR Credit Calculations.

To calculate the credit contribution of an individual product or material, you must use the “actual material cost” of that material, which includes “all expenses to deliver the material to the project site” and “all taxes and transportation costs incurred by the contractor,” excluding “any cost for labor and equipment once the material has been delivered to the site.”

To reduce the struggle, make this kind of cost reporting a contractual requirement. If their contracts REQUIRE them to split out material costs on Applications for Payment, Payment Certificates, and other pay schedules, contractors MUST do so as a condition for payment.

Work with your Construction Manager to obtain the required information.

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jack larson
Aug 25 2014
Guest
153 Thumbs Up

Regional Material in Non LEED building

Within my LEED boundary are two buildings, One is a LEED building, the other is not .... these buildings are as follows:

a) An electrical Building ( A substation within the electrical building) - NON LEED Building

b) A commercial building - LEED Building

Now, my commercial building is a LEED building - My question to you is ..

Do I have to take into account or calculate all the regional materials that went into the electrical building (Non leed building) given that it falls within the LEED boundary ......???

Thank you

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Aug 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

As Kimberly noted in response to the PIf2 post (https://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/PIf2#comment-51027), “If the service buildings are in your LEED boundary, you do need to include the materials for constructing them in your MR calcs - just like it's an extension of your main building.”

If the electrical building is being built as part of your LEED project, you must include it in MR credit tallies, including MRc5 regional materials. You must include all energy loads, costs, materials, and activities within the LEED boundary consistently for all credits & prerequisites.

See LEED 2009 Minimum Project Requirements (MPR), particularly MPR3, to determine the appropriate LEED project boundary. See page 26 of the MPR Supplemental Guidance for specific instructions concerning Non-LEED-Certifiable Buildings within the LEED project boundary:
http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-2009-mpr-supplemental-guidance-revis...

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Rezkar Abdulmajeed Architect/LEED AP SANA Associates LTD
Jul 22 2014
Guest
216 Thumbs Up

Portland Cement

Hi,

There is two methods of transport for the Cement I use for concrete in my project; It is coming by water to the port from an approximate distance of 2100 Km and then shipped by truck for 148 km to the concrete manufacture then to the project for another 25 km.

Can I Count the Cement as regional material for this case?

Your feedback is appreciated.

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Amit Ahiel Jul 22 2014 Guest 334 Thumbs Up

Hi Rezkar,

Which rating system are you using?

In the meantime you can use the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction with Global ACPs (Alternative Compliance Path) located here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-green-building-desig...

There is a formula which you can use to calculate the regional distance based on the mode of transport. Hope this helps.
The Global Compliance paths

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jul 23 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Rezkar – The MRc5 Global Alternative Compliance Path that Amit cited has officially been incorporated into LEED-2009.

An Addendum issued in July 2012 added compliance OPTION 2. As noted in the “Birds-Eye View” at the top of this webpage, “This new option allows you to do a prorated calculation based on the lower relative impact of shipping materials by rail or water.” This option allows you to divide the distance shipped by sea by 15. Therefore, since

(2100km/15) + 148km + 25km = 313km < 800km (500mi),

you should be able to treat the cement as “regional” if it was shipped by sea.

For current LEED-2009-BD+C Addenda, follow this link:
http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/DocumentAddendaRG%20BD+C%2010.0...

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Rezkar Abdulmajeed Architect/LEED AP, SANA Associates LTD Jul 24 2014 Guest 216 Thumbs Up

Thanks for your Feedback. I am using LEED NC 2009, CAGBC. Is this calculation acceptable under Canadian LEED too?

Rezkar

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 24 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

I believe that LEED Canada has always had a distance calculation of its own that is similar but a bit different in the specifics—I would use that.

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Jon Clifford LEED-AP BD+C, GREENSQUARE Jul 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4624 Thumbs Up

Rezkar - Just remember that, if you use the options that Amit & I sent, distances shipped by sea calculate differently than those by inland waterway. The calculation shown above assumes sea travel. If your cement travels 2100km via rivers & canals, rather than by sea, you may be out of luck.

Just curious…Does CAGBC treat the Great Lakes as seas or inland waterways?

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