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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
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.
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:
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.
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..
This LEED credit (or a component of this credit) has been established as equivalent to a SITES v2 credit or component. For more information on using the equivalency as a substitution in your LEED or SITES project, see this article and guidance document.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This book and CD-ROM from Master Spec offers useful guidance and sample specification language for incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents. (Requires purchase.)
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
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.
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 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.
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).
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 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.
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
Two questions: 1- a project registered in 2012 can use the new materials and resources calculator? 2- What happens with the cutsheets required in previous versions,?
I would appreciate any help on this one.
Could a scrap of a production process be claimed as regional material, assuming that it is generated and harvested in the same plant (which is, of course less the 160 km from project site) where the material is produced?
Scrap production is a great example of material "recovered", so it can be claimed as regional.
Fabio—What is the process that produces this “scrap,” and what is the product into which the scrap is being incorporated before being sold to the project?
I ask because LEED calculates regional material the same as it does recycled content. The recycled content calculation is set by ISO 14021, which excludes “reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it.” Because using the scrap introduces no new material into the process, such scrap content would be ignored completely when calculating recycled and regional content.
However, if the scrap materials from producing one product are used in a second process to manufacture a product different than the first, the scrap would be considered recycled and regional.
We have a manufacturer's statement and it says: "materials used to manufacture above mentioned products are approximately in 90% extracted/produced within 500mile radious from the construction site".
Do you think such statement is acceptable? In our calculations for MRc5 credit, can we safely use 90% of material as regional? I have doubts because of the word "approximately"...
many thanks in advance.
Karolina—You are right to question the statement for using the word “approximately.” The manufacturer should report the MINIMUM percentage of regional extraction. For example: “At least 90% of the materials are extracted within 500 miles.”
I would also question the use of the expression “extracted/produced.” For example, a window may contain aluminum, and the aluminum may be extruded (produced) within 500 miles, but the sources of the ore and the recycled material used to make the aluminum may be unknown of located outside the 500-mile radius. The extraction site is the source of the recycled or raw material, not the location where the intermediate, man-made component was produced.
I would expect the statement to state clearly the minimum percentage of regionally extracted RAW MATERIALS, preferably identifying the materials (at least generally). Any statement should specifically include the address of the project site and the address of the manufacturer.
Finally, I would only be concerned about the statement’s validity if the manufacturer’s product were a major part of the project. If this is a low-cost item, it may make little difference whether the regional percentage is 90% or 0%. The project’s big-budget items will earn the credit.
Is it also necessary for projects in Europe to evaluate the material costs using the CSI MasterFormat?
Or is there another possibility...?
Paul—LEED Interpretation, LI#10287 (http://www.usgbc.org/content/li-10287), advises Project Teams using Specification formats other than CSI-MasterFormat-2004 to verify that the Spec divisions used for LEED correlate to those in MasterFormat-2004.
Compare your Spec format side-by-side to MasterFormat to ensure that you include the appropriate material in MR Credits 3-7. You should probably include that comparison in "Special Circumstances" narratives in the LEED-Online MR Credit forms.
I have not seen this question about base/subbase addressed here yet.
I have read the comment fill materials are part of 31 2000 Div. and not counted as materials but what about base courses, subbase for asphalt and concrete paving? CSI MasterFormat puts Bases within section 32 1000 Paving, which is an included section for materials. Can we assume soil preparations like aggregate, stone, subbases or bases for asphalt and concrete should be considered Earth Moving classification "excavation and fill" instead of the included "Base" classification? What about for 32 9000-is topsoil for seeding considered "fill/earthmoving" or is it considered a "base, subbase"? And if it's considered "fill/earthmoving" what does the classification mean when it says Bases for Div. 32 1000?
Is this example correct?
For example, a project with asphalt paving and turf grass installation should include the material costs of the asphalt, asphalt paint, grass seed, straw-mulch or netting but should not include all the special base aggregate that goes beneath asphalts and the topsoils that are for the turfgrass because those aggregate mat's are considered "earth moving" or "fill" Is this correct thinking?
Thank you, -Matt
Matthew—No. The LEED Reference Guide requires MR credit tallies to include all materials specified in Divisions 03-10 and in Sections 31.60.00, 32.10.00, 32.30.00, 32.90.00 of CSI MasterFormat. If fill materials have been specified in these locations, include them in the MR Credit Tallies.
CSI MasterFormat is a system for organizing Construction Specification, a standard “table of contents” for the “Project Manual” that becomes part of the contract documents for most architectural projects in the US and Canada. This system is flexible and includes several overlapping designations for seemingly similar materials. Ultimately, the specification writers on an individual design team choose which locations are the most appropriate to specify the particular materials used on their project.
For example, many specifiers put general soil and fill materials under 31.23.00 Excavation and Fill—using 32.10.00 Bases Ballasts, and Paving only for the base courses that are installed as part of paving systems and using 32.91.00 Planting Preparation only to specify soils for planting beds. I have also seen fills used as part of drainage systems specified under 33.00.00 Utilities and those used in foundation systems specified under 31.60.00 Special Foundations and Load-Bearing Elements.
Typically, the materials used in these various applications require very different characteristics, they are often specified by different designers, and they are often installed by different contractors during different phases of construction. I usually follow the specifiers’ lead and tally my MR credits based on how the Spec writers organized their Specifications.
Outside of North America, design teams may not use CSI MasterFormat. In such cases, I would work with the design team and with the project’s LEED coordinator to determine which materials are relevant to the MR Credits
Thank you, I understand. Follow the specifier (the one organizing the specifications) as to which spec. division they place the materials-the specs. take precedence. In this case, the specs. refer to the subbase, and base for asphalt/concrete paving and topsoil for turfgrass as "earth moving".
A Contradiction? (my project is under LEED NC 2009)
The LEED 2009 ref. guide is unclear with the inclusions for Div. 31, and 32. Are base, subbase, subgrade preparations; stone, aggregate and topsoil included in the material costs for Divisions 32 1000 and 32 3000-Asphalt/Concrete Paving and Plantings/Turf? Or do material costs only include asphalt/concrete mixes, associated Joint sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., asphalt paints, and turf seed, fertilizers? It merely states. "include these Divisions (also 31 6000) in material costs".
The incongruity: our Specification for Asphalt/concrete paving calls "Earth Moving" for subgrade preparation a related requirement under Div. 31 2000 (not an included Div. as stated in Ref. guide) Conversely, the CSI classifications group Bases-base courses within Div. 32 1000 (an included Div. for const. materials)
If helpful, CSI classifications available here:
Can anyone offer insight or direction? Thank you
Matt—You appear to be describing a common specifying practice. Your Spec writer appears to have specified soil and fill materials for various applications under Materials (Part 2) in Section 31.20.00 Earth Moving, while specifying specialized requirements for the installation (labor) of some of those materials under Execution (Part 3) in 32.10.00 Paving and 32.90.00 Planting. Part 1 of each of these Sections appears to have included a cross-reference to 31.20.00 in the Article entitled “Related Requirements.”
As recommended in the discussion immediately above this one, follow the specifier’s lead and base your materials tallies upon where he or she specified the material. If Part 2 of 32.10.00 or 32.90.00 includes additional, special requirements for soils or fills related to paving and planting, it may be appropriate to include these materials.
In any case, coordinate with the project’s LEED administrator to be sure of the intent.
I see. So there is coherency and order to the specs! To identify the materials included in the division, locating Part 2; Products is very helpful and essential. It will define what is included for the division. In Part 2; Products, one should be prudent not to confuse actual asphalt or concrete components listed with, as you explained, Jon, potential special soils or fills related to paving and planting.
In this case, for this project, the Part 2; Products does not include any special requirements for aggregate fills or soils. It only includes products associated with the actual concrete or asphalt components, like cementitious material, potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems., and aggregate.
Thank you for the explanation.
I am conducting this survey in affiliation with University of Cincinnati in support of my hypothesis for my Master's thesis. It would just take 10-15 minutes of your time. By completing this survey you would help me in giving my research the required depth in understanding the achievability of the credit points in the Material and Resource category of LEED v2009 and v2013. I will send in the end results of this survey to you, which could potentially make your decision process easier on any future LEED registered projects you intend to work on.
The following is the link to my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XR3ZVZN
Thank you in advance for taking the time!
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—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.
Thanks Jon for the suggestions
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Brooke - You were correct! See http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/67712 below.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Tiffany, Meghan, and Jon - I was asked to review the latest Materials and Resources Calculator v08. It should be released with (or before) the 1/1/2017 quarterly LEED Addenda Update. It will be cataloged as a Form Update (under Entry Type) in the Addenda Database - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations.
Keep an eye on http://www.usgbc.org/resources/materials-and-resources-calculator-v2009 for the new version.
One of the fixes was to rename the dropdowns in Column S to differentiate between BD+C and the further clarify the two options in ID+C. Column S was also renamed to make things clearer. “BD+C” was added to cell T7 to make it clearer this is the Distance for BD+C and ID+C project. And the embedded comment in cell T7 has been updated to reflect that for BD+C only the furthest of the compliant manufacturing/extraction distances is to be entered. At least this method of entering the further compliant distance can be used and you’ll be on the same page when the updated version is released.
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.
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.
O'kay for fill materials. What about base courses, subbase for asphalt and concrete paving? CSI MasterFormat puts Bases within section 32 1000 Paving, which is an included section for materials.. Can we assume soil preparations, subbases or bases should be within Earth Moving "excavation and fill" instead? What about for 32 9000-is topsoil for seeding considered "fill/earthmoving" or is it considered, "base, subbase"?
Thank you, -Matt
See this discussion: http://www.leeduser.com/comment/redirect/65941.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I got it . Thank you very very much .
When calculating distances from location of extraction and location of manufacturing to project site, is it "as the crow flies" or actual travel distance?
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.
Thanks Jon. I have received conflicting answers on this so far.
Could anyone else take a stab at this?
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.
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,
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.
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?
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.
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?
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 A product formulated from multiple materials (e.g., concrete) or a product made up of subcomponents (e.g., a workstation).(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.
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.
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?
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. ;-)
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?
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
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 !
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.
Has the point structure for this credit changed from 10% - 20% to 20% - 30%
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.]
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?
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..
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?
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.
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
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?
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.
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"?
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.
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?
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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