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..
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 GC 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 VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
Why does no one ask for paper work to verify that material is shipped by rail or water? There are so many manufactures that fill out the submission documents and lie about how it got to the job Site.
This puts honest manufacturers at a disadvantage for both cost and lead time. Not only is there added transportation costs, material may take up to 3 times as long to be delivered by rail as it does by truck.
Hi Barbara - when you say "why does no one ask" -- are you referring to the LEED Reviewers, or various parties on the project team? It sounds like you're referring to the project team (correct?).
I asked a related question below, which I have not seen an answer to yet: What exactly IS the documentation requirement for this method of distance tracking? I suspect that this option is new enough that few teams using this method are far enough along to have received comments from a LEED Reviewer. Teams that don't collect enough documentation may find this point being rejected.
If anyone has actually gone through the review process using this option, any advice would be appreciated!
I am referring to anyone on a LEED project team. This can include an architect, interior designer, specification writer, LEED reviewer, or a LEED certifications consultant. I have only seen one specification in 5 years that requested the bill of lading for materials shipped by rail. When I ask any of the mentioned parties the answer is “it is not required”. If a project is using the regional material credit and the product is manufactured and extracted beyond the distance, there is no proof other than a bill of lading.
Barbara - the Option 2 method of calculating is very new (July 2012) to LEED v3. I beleive it was previously available in LEEDv2.2, but only for projects outside of the US (see discussion on LEEDv2.2 - MRc5).
Documentation of the standard 500-mile radius is typically a statement from the manufacturer or supplier stating the location of manufacture and source of raw materials, and is determined on an "as the crow flies" basis. If you draw a 500-mile radius around the site, any source locations inside that radius would qualify. Or, a website such as Geobytes will tell you the straight-line distance between two locations.
Transportation method never entered into the equation, so to speak, prior to the July 2012 Addenda, so in general the various parties would be correct that the BOL for rail shipments was not required. There is no indication in the Reference Guide Addenda, or on LEEDuser for that matter, as to what will be expected from project teams using Option 2. They may now very well need that BOL.
However, like I said before, this is such a new option that I suspect relatively few projects have actually received LEED Reviewer feedback on their documenation. And projects going through Review now or in the last year likely had their specs written long before the Addendum. We may start hearing back from teams who submit materials using Option 2 and see lots of Reviewer requests for additional information.
Once again, any feedback from LEEDuser members would be appreciated!
I did not realize that this method of calculation was not implemented in the US. In Canada, this has been included in the Regional Materials Credit since the first LEED reference guide was published in 2007.
"Use building materials or products that have been extracted,harvested, recovered and processed within 800 km (500 miles) (2,400 km if shipped by rail or water) of the final manufacturing site."
"Demonstrate that the final manufacturing site is within 800 km (500 miles) (2,400 km if shipped by rail or water) of the project site for these products. "
If you rely on a statement from the manufacture or supplier stating the location of manufacture and source of raw materials you cannot be sure they have railed the product. In Canada there have been many projects where the manufacture said the product has been railed, but on further investigation, it was transported by truck. After it is installed, it is too late to do anything about it!
Thanks for your help.
Has anyone come across any issues with putting landscaping numbers in for Regional Materials?
I know the language of the creidt allows 329000 Planting/Landscaping materials to be counted, and I have letters from the Plant Material Manufacturers stating that all plant material was sourced through their Nursery - would this be adequate backup data? Or do I need a separate Extraction and Manufacturing location for plants?
Another Question - Can I put in Regional numbers for Soil Materials used in planting? Would this fall under the 32.90.00 spec category?
Hi Mariah - I have used locally-grown plants for this credit before and it was accepted. I believe we had a letter from the nursery stating that the plants were grown there. We used the same distance for Extraction and Manufacturing. I'm sure locally-sourced planting soils would also be ok, since other landscape materials are acceptable (like crushed stone).
There is a project that needs to raise the site level by 4 feet. To accomplish this they are trucking in soil and aggregate and spreading it down prior to construction of the foundation. Do I need to include this soil as a material cost? This falls under spec section 31 05 00 - Earthwork soils/aggregate and 31 23 00 - Fill. The only reference I can find int he guidebook is to spec section 31 60 00 - Foundations which leads me to think that I do not need to include this soil in any cost calculations for recycled content or regional materials. Is this correct?
Has anyone received any feedback yet on Option 2 documentation? Do we need to collect shipping manifests or anything like that?
Also, has there been any clarification on whether the "total distance traveled" is actual miles, or "as the crow flies"?
Still for looking for advice from anyone with Review experience when using Option 2....
We have suppliers submitting "rail distances" with no supporting documentation whatsoever. How is this supposed to be determined??
I need help with interpretation with this letter which I'm sure some of you may have the same from the manufacturer.
So, what is % of raw materials extracted within their manufacturing plant?
"Gerdau Ameristeel's own steel recycling facilities provide approximately 40% of all the recycled steel scrap used in our steel mills. The individual Gerdau Ameristeel mills select scrap based on metallurgical needs and costs. In general, it is estimated that at least 80%-90% or more of the steel scrap used by Gerdau Ameristeel comes from locatinos within 200 miles of the producing mill and 95%-100% within 500 miles of the producing mill."
Manufacturer has removed this letter. No reply required.
Hi Lilian, what do you mean the "manufacturer has removed this letter." I am actually up against the same issue with Gerdau and a couple other steel mfg submittals that have been submitted for me to review. Instead of providing the scrap steel recovery location, they give information just like Gerdau did. How did you get around this? We do need an actual location for this information, correct? Thanks in advance!
They have provided me with another letter dated April 15, 2009. The letter states that they used recycled scrap metal in their EAP in the steelmaking process. It also states that they are the collecting facility of these scraps.So, according to pp 417 of the LEED 2009 Canada, their collection scrap facility is considered as the 'raw material' extraction location.
What is the Architect's role in ensuring credit achievement? They designed something and specified a product for their great design to work without making an effort to maximize sustainable efforts. Instead, throwing it to construction manager to find another alternative to meet project goals.
Here's their response:
"The apportionment of regional materials is per Contractors' means and methods, as Regional Materials is a Construction Credit and the construction manager is the assigned Responsible Party
Please identify an alternative path to comply with project goals for this Credit ..."
Doesn't this look like this very renown Mr Architect is dodging the green efforts? Any comments ?
Lilian, an effective LEED project team has everyone pulling their weight toward sustainability and LEED project goals. Every team and every contract is different so I can't speak to your situation, and LEED itself does not dictate how teams should operate, but in practice, the type of behavior you describe, which can show up within any role on a team, is not responsible to the project goals, assuming those goals are well-established by the owner or other responsible authority.
Your experience is more common that we'd like to admit at this point, but I'd like to support Tristan's last comment about the assumption that the project goals are established and support by the contracts. You may be seeing the result of a contractual relationship that divides the credits and doesn't incentivize an integrated approach.
In some cases, the contractual relationships haven't quite caught up with sustainability. It's not always clear that the contracts need to be modified as much as the specificiations if the team is expected to REALLY collaborate.
Don't shoot the messenger, as we say in the States, until you determine whether this position is intentional or not. If their response is based on the contract, see if you can illustrate the benefit of an alternate approach and broach the concept of collaboration to achieve a higher level of sustainability.
I think it's pretty obvious this is not going to comply but thought I bring this up for any comments or reconfirmation.
Extraction & Mill [Germany] - Final Manufacturing [Fremont, California ]- Project site [Vancouver].
Both extraction or recovery and manufacture have to be within 500 miles of the project site. Your instincts are correct.
Susan, while I agree that in this case Lilian's instincts are correct, LEED 2009 does offer an alternative calculation depending on shipping method.
Thanks Susan and Keith!
Spoke with their manufacturer and confirmed this product does not satisfy the credit. Anchor bars are already installed and what's annoying is contractor's attitude - doesn't think there's any big deal in zero regional contribution. Another frustration is they turned deaf ears to our detailed information for credit compliance prior their to installation. Does anyone have any similar experience and what are your solutions?
We've seen a little of that attitude but our clients are large enough that contractors usually do a quick turn around on that attitude if they want one of their larger projects. I would recommend looking through any detailed bids or pay apps for your projects to get a better understanding of the big ticket items, filter for products within those categories and then write a tight spec for those items. Also customize your Div 1 LEED Requirements section and note items that must have regional content. Conduct a pre-construction LEED meeting and re-emphasize your seriousness in meeting the owner's goals and say that you'll reject non compliant shops. Then reject non compliant shops. Keep your owner in the loop on why you're being 'difficult' to deal with before the contractors complain about you. I heard through the grapevine that this happened to me and the owner's response was 'that is what we pay her to do; so do it'. That ended the whining.
This can be a very complicated Credit to document, as the contractor has to determine the source of each component of the product and then calculate the percentage of locally harvested/mined components. Getting reliable information can be challenging. Its certainly understandable why contractors balk, especially if they are smaller and their staff is already stretched thin.
That said, this Credit is a team effort - while the contractor has to calculate it, the designer has an obligation to research materials and select products that DO have regional content if the Owner wants to achieve this Credit. And yes, Susan is correct in her advice to focus on the big ticket items to maximize the opportunities.
Money talks. If the prime contract with the owner contains a requirement to achieve LEED certification, that element needs to be repeated in the sub contracts. I often see projects where the design team is contractually obligated by the owner, but uses specs, meetings, and the submittal process to execute the process. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard, "I didn't read the specs, I just took the information from the drawings," I would be on a beach somewhere reading these posts. Ha!
I enjoy working the construction side and spend a lot of time training and developing documents to address this very issue. This is about communication. I recommend putting the requirement to participate and respond to LEED requirements in areas of the contract that contain other similar requirements, such as insurance, bonds, liquidated damages, etc. If the only reference to LEED is buried in the paint spec (for example), you may not be relaying the right level of commitment or expectation to the right people.
Thanks Everyone for your valueable information.
Yes, agree it's all in the design, specification, pre-contract award and during construction toolboxes, etc. We have all that covered in the contracts and Spec sort of. In every front page of the specification is a LEED Requirement section but there are materials spec'd by the Architect are not within the LEED distances from the project site. An issue: a $400 k worth of glass material is specified from a non-regional source. Trade is justifying their procurement from a non-regional source. Trade submitted a RFI to clarify the LEED compliance discrepancy in the Specs. Owner is asking if this specific item is included in the projected credit tracking report.Ok, this is like 2% of the total project material costs but the question is why would Owner want to take the risk for selective compliance? There are other issues here: design and manufacturing issues. Is it really true that there no one on the west coast to manufacture a one-piece fritted templered glass? If that is true, does the Architect really must have the so-called signature glass design to be manufactured outside of the region and that it 's worthy of undermining the green objective?
I think I'm deviating from the topic - if it is , let me know where can I post this for further discussion...thanks
I'm cross posting my question here, as it pertains to LEED v4 raw material sourcing, and in documenting regional materials, others may have encountered the same issue.
I am working on documentation for the LEED v4 Raw Material Sourcing credit and need some advice. In order to document enough raw materials to comply with the final LEED v4 credit wording, some of the raw materials will be petroleum based. Oil is a global commodity. How far up the supply chain do I need to go to collect extraction location and commitment to environmental practices from the supplier?
For example, our carpet uses a coating made from EVA, a copolymer. We can determine where the EVA was manufactured but it's not possible to determine where the ethylene and vinyl acetate were created.
Melissa (and all), check out LEEDuser's active v4 discussion forums here! And please post your questions and thoughts on those knotty issues...
The reporting that I have used for steel on all my projects has been successful and met the expectations of the reviewers in terms of the point of manufacture and extraction. However, I am currently working with a new steel fabricator that disagrees and I'm struggling to find a clear, concise answer for why I don't think the documentation they have been using will still be acceptable. There are several new threads on here with similar comments, which always makes me feel better. I like knowing I'm not alone in the fog.
I use the steel mill for manufacturing and the scrap yard as the extraction point. The fabricator has been using their location as manufacturing and the steel mill as the extraction point.
Technically, the addenda and other resources seem to support the use of their fabrication yard as the manufacturing location, but will the reviewers accept the steel mill as the point of extraction? My recent experience tells me no, but the actual verbiage of the addena says manufacturing is the point of final assembly and extraction is the point at which it is packaged for delivery to the manufacturer, which would be the steel mill.
Is there anything I can reference to clarify this issue as it relates to steel?
I would reference the addenda that talks about this. I think we talk about it in our guidance on LEEDuser above and on MRc4.
The fabrication point is fine as the manufacturing location, but I agree that the scrap yard is better as the extraction location. This is a bit of a gray area, however, as you have probably noticed from these forum discussions.
Thanks, Tristan. I have recently received review comments asking to clarify the scrap source vs. the mill location. Those comments have led me to believe this area is receiving more scrutiny by at least some review teams.
Tiffany, I would suggest that the real answer is "it depends". Some steel products go directly from mill to jobsite without additional "manufacturing value" added to them. Stock lengths of rebar, many steel wire and wire mesh products and piling come to mind. In this case, the final point of manufacturing would in fact be the mill.
However, many other steel items DO make a pit stop at a fabricator/manufacturer along the path to the jobsite - Fabricated rebar assemblies, structural steel fabrications, cold-formed steel components, bar joist & metal deck to name a few. In this case the final point of manufacture would be the fabrcation factility which is rare at the same locatoin as the mill.
In terms of extraction or, in the case of scrap, recovery, that's a bit more complicated. For "extracted" raw materials, that point of extraction would be the mine (think iron ore). For "recovered" raw materials (scrap) the addenda that can "include a recycling facility, scrap yard, depository, stockpile, or any other location where the material was colleced and packaged for market purchase before manufacturing," That can mean lots of things since many mills which utilze scrap steel to produce new steel have "scrap yards, stockpiles and/or recycling facilities" on site.
To make maters more complicated, most mills using scrap steel as a raw material input are receiving scrap from many (dozens) of locations. The problem is these scrap yards are not in one locaiton and the LEED MR5 documentation only accepts a single location (zip) as input. So, in our case, we provide the percentage recovered "within 500 miles of the project site" and recommend the LEED team use the mill zip code as the "recovery location".
All that said, I'm seeing more and more inquiries or request to verify the data from GBCI reviewers.
Thank-you for your comments. The process of keeping up with the ever-changing focus of review teams is a challenge, but I always appreciate suppliers and manufacturers that accept the fact that my inquiries are real and provide useful support. (I.e., don't kill the messenger.)
I was recently asked to validate that a particular mill received their scrap from a source in the same zip code to support the claim for that item. I used website information to document the street addresses of the mill and the car crushing yard in the same town. It was accepted by the reviewers.
To my original question, I still anticipate some issues using the actual mill as an extraction point, but I'm going to submit and see what happens. In this case, it doesn't affect the project goals and will be helpful to validate the various ways this credit can be reported.
Thanks for your insights.
Did any of you submitted this already and got feedbacks from the reviewers??
We are dealing with the same issue in one of our projects:
The manufacturing plant of the steel framework is within 500 miles.
But the scrap is collected from dozen of locations and from different suppliers in several countries in Europe.
The back-up letter from the manufacturer is providing a "weighted average distance" of 155 miles between all scrap collection locations and the manufacturing plant. The weighed average distance was based on the weight of scrap collected at each location.
We don't know if the reviewers would accept that type of back up even if this distance is well below the 500 miles.
Can anyone please advise?
My project has not yet been submitted, but I will update this thread when I get review comments.
I have a material that was extracted 425 km from the manufacture point and transported by truck. After manufacture the material was shipped via rail to the project site which is 2076 km. The distance from manufacture to project site would quality as a regional material, but I'm unsure of how the distance travelled by truck plays into this. Both distances are within the acceptable limits for truck and rail, but my only thought was to do a weighted average, which I don't believe would make this a regional material (425/800 + 2045/2400 = 1.38). Am I going about this in the right way? Distance directly from extraction to project site is 2234 km. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Karleigh, I have same question. I'm not clear how you mean to apply the 1.38 figure?
I have a product that travelled 95.95% (1736km) of the way by rail, and 4.05% (73.33km) of the way by truck. How to document?
This is the way I would do it:
425km + (2076km / 3) = 1117km
Since this exceeds 800 km, it does not comply.
The formula is:
(Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) <= 500 miles [800 kilometers]
The interesting thing is that Option 2 specifically indicates the distance traveled must be from the project site. But raw material does not go to the project site since it goes to the manufacturing facility.
I am a first timer at Documenting LEED credits. I am working on MR credit 5 - regional materials. I have reached the end of the Form Table to insert product information and I have more product information to add to this credit, on my first submittal I solved this by downloading another form and filling out the rest of my product information and then uploading it to LEED online as a separate document. Is there a better way to do this, the reviewers commented " for future submittals it may be helpful to avoid uploading excess or duplicate documentation in order to ensure an accurate and timely review" noting that it was a little confusing and did lead to the duplication of one product on both forms.
Nicholas, you can request additional lines be added to your form table, or put all your data in a spreadsheet separate from the form, and upload that.
Review comment that I have never received before states the following:
"Several products include recycled content but are listed as being 100% regional. It is not clear that 100% of the recycled content and
raw content has been extracted within 500 miles. For a material with recycled content to be 100% regional the extraction location of both
the raw and regional content must be known and within 500 miles."
A good example of this would be our brick, which has a 28% preconsumer content, but is 100% regional, as the raw materials are extracted within 500 miles and the brick is manufactured in the same location. It is 100% regional.
We recieved the same exact comment on a recent project. Then the comment was followed by several examples of products the reviewer mentioned and all were metal/steel related products. Basically we took it as saying if the product is not 100% recycled content then it is questionable whether or not it can be counted as 100% regional material becuse there will be "virgin" material within the product as well. We took each item mentioned and got manufacturer letters to back up our data/explain the calculations and break out the recycled material with the location extracted and also each virgin material with their location of extraction.
Some manufacturers could not completely back-up their claim, so we used the recycled content percentage as the regional material percentage because they were able to determine the recycled content was either from the plant or a local recycling center that was within the 500 miles of the project.
This was an accepted approach from our review team.
I think they are looking closely at regional material claims now and want more manufacturer's letters over and above the 20% they require to be uploaded.
Thanks for the feedback. I figured it might be related to steel, but I was wondering what this meant for documentation..... as in, are they asking me to go back more steps to trace the raw materials as it relates to where the recycled portion came from? I thought, as a general rule, we only had to go back so many steps as far as a raw material to document.
It's interesting that you say that they want more for back up docs these days...I don't like to hear 'they want more than 20% uploaded." I generally do end up with more than 20%, but at the same time, I do not think that is fair of a reviewer to request if that is not the current rule. USGBC/GBCI needs to make it 30/40/50% or whatever they want so it's a recognized threshold instead of some reviewers asking for more and some not. I hate when it's arbitrarily requested or enforced. Not saying this is happening, but I am sure they can understand our frustrations when rules are changed in the middle of the game- especially when they are not published rules but at the whim of the reviewer on your project.
Agreed on the threshold. Only (1) of our claims actually was changed due to the review comment all others were confirmed through further manufacturer letters. That is what makes me think reviewers want more data uploads than the 20% (or particular product data).
We were not required to trace back the recyled content material.
This same comment came up on a recent review for us as well. Seems a new trend.
Perhaps one solution is to upload all of the steel claims and 20% of the rest. (Not that I'm agreeing with the upscaling of the 20% requirement.)
Our project scope is an historical building restoration and retrofit.
Several items such as windows, doors and floor tiles are removed, restored in a workshop near the site project and returned to its original function and position.
Can we consider these materials as regionals?
Take a look at the table above, in the LEEDuser Bird's Eye View for this credit. It specifies that for materials salvaged on site, you can count the site as both the manufacturing and extraction location. And yes, you can count them for both credits.
Thanks for your quick answer.
Your coment refers to "both credits", if one credit is MRC5, which is the other?
Ah, good question! I was thinking the Materials Reuse credit, but I hadn't focused on that clearly enough. Since you're reusing them in the same location/function, these materials don't qualify for that. (My head has been in LEED v4 lately, which handles all this in a more logical way--sorry!)
I have just added an FAQ to our guidance above, at GBCI's suggestion. If anyone's wondering why they get questioned when extraction and manufacturing distances are the same for steel or aluminum products, see the answer above!
I typed a long response that somehow didn't post...but before I type it again, how many times are projects "questioned" on this issue?
I can think of several legitimate situations where the "recovery" location and "final manufacturing" location would be the same.
Even more difficult is it's rare that scrap steel is collected in a single location. More often scrap is recovered and processed in MANY locations many of which can be within 500 miles of the job. So there won't be a 'single zip code' to enter into the form. In those cases, I have heard project teams will enter the zip code of the mill in the form.
I sincerely wish USGBC and/or GBCI would consult the market before issuing blanket (often vague) guidance......
Keith, I don't think GBCI is disallowing this kind of data entry. It just raises a flag for them and they might ask project teams to verify the information. "Yes, I really meant that, and here's why."
Not saying this is the best possibly approach, but it's routine for questions like this to come up.
Hello, Keith you are correct that sometimes the extraction and manufacture location are the same, however the more common case found in documentation is that the project team does not know the extraction location and re-enters the manufacturing location incorrectly. This is a red flag for reviewers. Thanks for the FAQ addition Tristan!
Keith - Short answer is every project review recently has been dinged on this exact issue for steel. It is a big deal.
USGBC IP - Yes, entering the manufacturing location as the extraction is usually the wrong thing. You're right to question. What I don't understand, particularly in light of LI 100,000,379 that states the 'extraction point for recycled materials is location of the raw material prior to the manufacturing of the final building product' why we get questioned on the coil location as the extraction point and the mill as the manufacturing point.
In using the option 2 , can I use the nautical miles divided by 15 to arrive at the distance by sea?
Benj, the credit requirements are for "travel distance," so it's up to you to to your best to accurately calculate that with the information you have.
I have not come across this situation before, but the Carpet for our entire building has already been purchased by the Owner. The way I read MRc5, we should not count this material towards the Total Material Cost since the GC is not purchasing the carpet, (same thing on the windows). Thoughts?
Jessica, I would include it. The key point isn't who bought a material, but was it in the project budget and scope, and it sounds here like it is.
It's not part of the project budget (will clarify w/ the GC). I think the GC is only including a installation fee for the carpet. Should we still include?
Jessica, I don't think I'm fully understanding the situation. Does the scope of the NC project involve installing a new carpet and windows? If so, then it seems as though purchase of that carpet is relevant to LEED compliance.
I have a letter from the supplier for Timber that it is both manufactured and extracted within 500 miles, but does not list a specific location or zip code. The letter is on the supplier's letterhead.
In LEED v2.2 you were able to count these - you just listed these as an extraction distance of "1" and provided the letter to back up your claim.
Is this same option true for LEED 2009? Do I list mileage as 500 miles, or 1?
I am still struggling with this one - does anyone have any answers to this?
Mariah, as far as I know this hasn't changed. I would probably list as "1" because reviewers should be used to seeing that.
If you get a different response, please let us know.
Our project has been collecting documentation for this credit for some time with Option 1 before Option 2 addendum became available. We still have not completed the percentage required to secure this credit but are nearly there. We have a large cost product coming in outside the 500 mile (800 km) radius (due to ship travel) but if we use Option 2 for this product with the weighted calculation we can fulfill the requirements from Option 2.
Can we use Option 2 for this product even though we have previous documentation for Option 1? As we do not want to redue documentation at this point in the game.
Jaida, your question has been answered by the more recent discussion—see above.
I am getting conflicting information about the allowable extraction/harvesting point for recycled content in materials. One of our consultants made a statement that if a material was comprised of X% of recycled content, you could count all of it towards the regional materials credit as long as the manufacturing plant is within your 500 mile radius. But I have read on this site that unless you can prove that the steel came from a recycling plant or that it was recovered from a site also within that 500 mile radius, then it does not count. If someone could help me settle this dispute I would really appreciate it.
Sara, I would ask the consultant for the source of their information on this. Although there are some gray areas and technicalities around some aspects of this credit and MRc4, there is no clear-cut exception by which recycled content can automatically be called regional.
Note that the point structure in LEED-CI is a little different than in other rating systems—you can get partial credit for regional manufacture only.
Also, since I have seen you post under the LEED for Homes forum, I will note that if this is about LEED-H, I am less familiar with its requirements.
This question is strictly for a LEED-NC 2009 application. I have a feeling that our consultant is just misinformed. I just wanted to verify that no one knew about a 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 that clarifies this question a little more. Thanks for your help, I will ask that our consultant show the source of their information. Until then I will instruct our contractor to request information from the manufacturer about the source of their recycled content.
USGBC LEED Faculty, President
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
LEEDuser members get it free >
LEEDuser is produced by BuildingGreen, Inc., with YR&G authoring most of the original content. LEEDuser enjoys ongoing collaboration with USGBC. Read more about our team
Copyright 2013 – BuildingGreen, Inc.