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 Master Spec 1995 Format Divisions 2–10. Division 12 Furniture is optional. 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.
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!)
Now it is clear.
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!
This is a LEED HC question, but I'm trying it here anyway. For MRc3-Sustainably Sourced Materials and Products, if one sustainably sourced material category does not reach 10 percentage points, can the deficit be made up by another category if it is in excess of 10%? For example, if the project has no FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System., but reaches 20% under rapidly renewableTerm describing a natural material that is grown and harvested on a relatively short-rotation cycle (defined by the LEED rating system to be ten years or less). materials, can 2 points be gained?
Bryan, I realize you posted this question on our HC forum and haven't gotten a response yet, but let's keep the conversation over there, because the question is specific to HC credit language.
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?
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.
In all of our recent project reviews, the review teams are now asking for documentation that any scrap metal that was used to make steel/etc. with recycled content was also obtained by the manufacturer within 500 miles of the project per the MRc5 requirements.
Taylor, if you are claiming that recycled steel for MRc5 as well as for MRc4, it seems reasonable to have to provide that documentation, and in keeping with the credit requirements. However, I realize that it may be a shift from what you've seen in previous reviews.
In previous reviews this documentation was not required, and it was approved as 'regional' including the recycled content.
I am clarifying above that 'yes' you have to show that the scrap/recycled content came from within 500 miles of the project site as well as the fabrication/manufacture point of the end-material.
For LEED-H this documentation is not required other than a letter showing Regionality of the end-material, as the requirements are less stringent than LEED NC/CI/Commercial projects.
The new Option 2 of MRc5 which was deemed to be applicable in the July 6, 2012 Addendum qualifies products and the raw materials used to make them based on the actual distance of the route they travel to the job site. That works fine for the PRODUCT but how does it work for the RAW MATERIALS used to make the product? The RAW MATERIALS are never shipped to the job site - they are shipped to the manufacturing facility. So how does one determine whether the RAW MATERIALS used to make a product qualify or not?
Option 2 reads as follows:
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]
If a PRODUCT is manufactured 6,100 miles from the job site and shipped by truck 30 miles, then by sea 6,000 miles (which then converts to 400 miles when divided by 15), and then by truck 70 miles to the job site, the total for the calculation would be 500 miles - so the PRODUCT qualifies that way.
But what does one do about all of the RAW MATERIALS used to make the product? How does one determine whether they meet Option 2? They are certainly not within 500 miles of the job site since they are shipped to the manufacturing facility, not the job site. And besides that, the 500 mile radius is only applicable to Option 1 not Option 2. Option 2 requires using the actual distance of the route traveled by BOTH the PRODUCT and the RAW MATERIAL used to make the product. Does one have to take the actual distance of the route each RAW MATERIAL travels to the job site by way of the manufacturing facility? Meaning that one would have to ADD the actual distance of the route traveled by the RAW MATERIAL to the manufacturing facility TO the actual distance of the route traveled by the PRODUCT (which now contains the RAW MATERIAL)? If this is not the correct method to calculate this, then what is? How does one take into account the actual distance traveled for extraction, harvest, or recovery of the RAW MATERIAL used to make the PRODUCT?
For the specific text showing the changes to for LEED NC, go to page 55 at the following link:
I am not an expert either, but I would interpret the wording to mean that I need to know the extraction location, the mode of transport to the manufacturer, the manufacturer's location, and the mode of transport to the site. I would calculate the distances as the crow flies, not the actual routes taken, in order to be consistent with the method used in Option 1. Based on the wording "500 mile total", I would add the two distances together after using the weighted formula. If that total is less than 500, then I would count it as a regional material.
Personally, I disagree with how this whole credit is setup/worded (as I explained in my post on this forum on October 31), and I completely understand the confusion with the new option. I don't work for LEED User, but I typically look/ask here for answers to confusing questions like this one. If there doesn't seem to be a satisfactory answer, I would definitely consider filing 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 to get an official ruling.
Zachary: Thanks for your thoughts. I would think that for Option 2 you would have to use the actual route taken by both the product and the raw materials since the requirement reads "within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) total travel distance of the project site." The words "total travel distance" are different than in Option 1 where the word "radius" is used instead. If it was as a crow flies, it would be a radius. That being said, it is very difficult to document this. Seldom is a contract with a supplier or a transport provider written to stipulate the actual route traveled by the raw material to the manufacturing facility or by the product to the job site.
I would agree with you that the total distance traveled would include all the zig-zags.
Has anyone ever received documentation from a supplier or vendor for any of the travel information successfully?
This is a constant question in the wood industry and I am not sure how to answer it.
Project Location: Cleveland, OH
Wood Extraction: PA
Product: Wood Panels
Manufacturing Location: FL (assume outside the 500 miles)
Scenario: The wood is extracted in PA, then driven by truck to FL. Here it is assembled into wood panels. After that the finished wood panels are shipped via road freight to Cleveland, OH. Can the original wood extracted (raw material) from Pennsylvania claim regional credit even though it was manufactured in Florida and then sent back north to the job site?
From a GHG perspective this scenario is a nightmare because of the road freight but technically following the worksheet it seems that it would count. Please advise.
I don't believe this would count toward MRc5. Regional materials must be both exracted and manufactured within the 500 mile radius. In your scenario, the material is extracted within 500 miles, but it is not manufactured within 500 miles, so it cannot be considered a regional material. If you follow the worksheet provided by LEEDUser, you need to enter in the distance between the site and the manufacturer and the distance between the site and the extraction point. Both distances must be less than 500 miles for the material to qualify.
We purchase plywood and laminate from local vendors and manufacturer laid-up laminate panels from these two inputs. These laid up panels are then modified into casework. Which items do we use for calculation - the laminate and plywood separately or the laid-up panel as an assembly? According to FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. CoC requirements, we are considered secondary manufacturers. Would our "harvested/extracted raw materials" be the individual inputs of our assemblies and the "manufactured" output be the actual finished products such as casework and architectural woodwork? In doing the calculations as such, this would obviously greatly increase our abilities to contribute to the credit. If we must calculate based on individual inputs, being located in coastal South Carolina would prevent us from contributing to the credit in most cases, as most wood, excluding southern yellow pine id not extracted within 500 miles of our shop and jobsites. Thanks in advance for your input.
Mark, in my opinion the harvest location for your product would be the location of the forest where the trees came from.
Thanks for posting your reply. It seems to me that it will be very difficult for any woodworking firm in coastal SC to contribute to this credit. Yet we often see specs that are asking for this credit contribution in the Div. 6 specs. Do you have any advice as to how to address this issue during the bid process and/or during project completion?
Mark, my advice would be twofold. One, use the LEED requirements an incentive to seek out local supplies, and to urge your suppliers to work with you. Two, be honest in what you can offer. Many building product suppliers over-promise LEED credits, which may raise expectations that all products should contribute.
Mark, I'll add in an agree to Tristan's comment on LEED being an incentive for you. There are places in your 500 mile radius that do make or supply FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. wood. Because your company work and negotiates with the suppliers, you are a critical link in the market transformation LEED encourages. It is a challenge and an opportunity. As encouragement for your company, virtually all of the SC coast is within 500 miles of the DC area and Atlanta and a lot of Florida. You're positioned well; take advantage of it.
As for Div 6 specifications, as a person who writes specs, the language will be in there to cover the whole spec section and all of the companies specified. You may not be able to contribute MRc5 but your competitor does. A contractor needs to weigh the value of your bid and non LEED contribution are against your competitors bid and MRc5 contribution plus the whole LEED plan. We ask for Action Plans that really are there to get the contractor thinking of how s/he will earn those LEED credits. If you aren't a big player to the MRc5 credit calcs, then you will likely be considered. Conversely if your product is a large component of the MRc5 plan, you won't be considered.
My client has a chair which was manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. The chair is composed of foam (5%), plastic (2%), wood (13%) and steel (80%) by weight.
The steel is sourced from a company in Toronto that makes steel furniture frames (within 500 miles of project site). The Toronto company purchases steel bars from a company in Ontario (not within 500 miles of project site). The Ontario company gets their steel from a quarry/recycling plant in Alberta (not within 500 miles of project site).
It is my understanding that LEED only cares about the manufacturing location and the location that the manufactured materials have come from (the previous location.) LEED does not track more than two levels of where materials come from. There is no clear guidance I can find on which of the three locations listed above (Toronto, Ontario or Alberta) should be considered to be the extraction location.
Based on your experience, is this chair 80% extracted within 500 miles of the project site or not?
Melissa, I am not aware of any LEED guidance regarding how many "levels" of extraction are tracked for this credit. Except in specific cases (with recycled content), I think the actual extraction location is what is intended, not an intermediary.
An issue, new to me, has come up as I am reviewing a LEED Submittal for Structural Steel:
Q. One of the steel producers, Gerdau, has updated their "Recycled Steel Content for All Products by Mill" document for 2012, which I have linked in case anyone is interested. (http://www.gerdauameristeel.com/products/cl/docs/LEED%20Data2.pdf)
They are now carrying a column in the table for "Home or Revert Scap". I am not sure how to classify this re: MRc4 or MRc5. Here are my questions:
1) For MRc4, do I count it at a 50% rate, similar to pre-consumer scrap? If so, does anyone know why they may have made this distinction?
2) For MRc5, can this material be considered sourced at the mill, similar to the Pre-Consumer Recycled Content material (at the 50% rate), and added into the regional total? (Gerdau rolls this number into their unclassified "Total Recycled Content" column in the same table, so I assume this is a proper interpretation).
Does anyone have a clear understanding of "home or revert scrap", is it simply scrap generated in-house that has been isolated by the manufacturer?
I would appreciate any input. Thank you.
UPDATE: As I have continued to work through this sumbittal, I am starting to think that what they have done is separate their Pre-consumer source material from their Post-IndustrialRefers to material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded from this category is reutilization of materials such as scrap that are generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process. Generally synonymous with "pre-consumer." source material. "Home or revert scrap" may be just another term for Post-Industrial. Does this sound right?
I'd like to know what home or revert means too.
Anyways, how about contacting Gerdau about their definition?
For projects that are located more than 500 miles from the mill, consider the recovery/harvested location as the individual scrap collection locations that fall within the project 500 mile radius. Gerdau can provide a regional percentage value based on which of our scrap providers are located within 500 miles of the project. The Regional Material Value can be calculated using the reported regional percentage of the recycle content (recovered/harvested scrap) of the product used. Please contact Gary Peters at email@example.com or at (813) 207-2353 for project specific information.
Thank you for the reply, and for the Gerdau contact info. I had gone to their website in search of further information. Otherwise, I have a pretty good handle on the regional content, which came from multiple suppliers/mills.
We seem to be meeting our project targets using the mill locations (as permitted per the LEED 2009 addenda). I realize some of the mills can offer futher informaiton on scrap sourcing, but it does not seem that all can.(I think this is one of the considerations taken into account in the addenda).
What is the basis for the divisor chosen in the calculation for each of these particular modes of transportation? There seems to be a large discrepancy between "by sea" and "by inland waterway." Could someone elaborate?
Good question! I'm also interested in this, so I'll see what I can find out and get back to you. It's hard to get good data comparing different modes of frieght transport that include both inland waterways and ocean-going vessels, but the little I've seen wouldn't justify such a big differential.
LEED Canada has had a mode of transport differential since it's beginning, but it just has 1x for trucks and 3x for all rail and shipping.
Sorry it took so long, but I was finally able to learn where these multipliers came from. This Alternative Compliance Path originated from the LEED International Working Group, and it's based on data from this report: "Transport at a crossroads. TERM 2008: indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union." The relevant numbers are on page 12, and they are sourced to this German transportation impacts calculator: EcoTransitIT World.
I spent a little while trying to see how the Transportation at a Crossroads report got to those numbers, but the EcoTransit methodology is pretty complicated, so it wasn't obvious how to verify them. I'm still curious why they're so different from the numbers used in LEED Canada--perhaps someone who has researched this area will help us sort that out eventually.
Our GC requested that I post a clarifying question for him about the windows on our project--
If the Maker of the window components ships the window components to the Installer and the Installer assembles the components into actual window units in their shop, is the Installer the "Manufacturer" and the maker of the window components the "Raw Material Extraction Location"?
This follows the same logic as steel packages--where the local fabricator who customizes the semi-finished units for the specific project is the "Manufacturer," and the Mill that makes the semi-finished units from scrap and virgin ore is the "Raw Material Extraction Location."
Thanks very much for your thoughts.
In my opinion, this may be taking that steel logic a bit too far. The steel logic is not ideal from the perspective of accuracy, but it's argubably necessary given the nature of the steel marketplace.
If the windows have wood components, the component maker should be able to give an extraction location. WIth other components such as glass, aluminium, steel, etc., it may get tricky, but I would push them on this.
To the materials derived from petroleum as we consider the place of extraction? As the real place of extraction of the raw material oil? In this case these materials extracted at very large distances (more than 500 miles) from countries such as Italy, can not be considered regional (building materials or products that have been extracted, haverested or recovered, as well as manufactured). It is true?
You're correct. Anything extracted farther than 500 miles won't count.
Thank you Emily,
It comforts me your the response, it is the same than I think.
The problem it is that some manufacturers claim that their material insulating material it is regional.
Perhaps the right thing most it is not consider these materials for MRc5 and not consider their cars certifications.
you will find that some manufacturers include MRc5 as a potential credit that their product can contribute for on their general LEED documentation marketing materials--but fundamentally that contribution always depends on the location of your project, and it's relation to their manufacturing locations and extraction locations.
Has anyone run into an issue with the calculator not showing the "Sustainable Criteria Value ($)" under the Regional Materials for total material values over $1,000,000? We have grouped our steel together (we have manufacturer documentation for both recycled content and regional material/extraction/manufacturing) so we do not have to document each single location as it is described in the supporting documentation. Our General Informaiton Material Cost totals $2,016,913 and we have 91% regional material, but the uneditable formula gives an output of ################. I found by changing the general information Material Cost that it would not calculate any values over $1,000,000. The recycled content section works though. Any thoughts - as you can see this is a large contributing value? I plan to add a note in the form about this calculation issue.
It is simply the excel sheet format - the cell is uneditable and the amount/text is too long for the cell. I will note in my documentation. It still seems to calculate correctly.
What should be done for a product that has numerous locations for extraction. For instance, my steel supplier has 47% regional materials, but the sources are from about a dozen different mills. Should I just list the farthest one?
For clarification I assume you mean "numerous locations" for recovery of scrap to make new steel? If that's the case, it sounds like 47% of the weight of the materials were sourced/recovered from within a 500 mile radius of the project site. Some steel producers track incoming scrap (i.e - the step just prior to melting the scrap into new semi-finished steel products) by mill and by zip code.
It's possible that any steel fabrication can be made up of steel from several mills, but not typical.
The LEED 2009 addenda includes language whereby you can use the 'scrap recovery' locations or the location of steel mill melt shop.
So ultimately the value you should submit is 47% of the total value of the steel product. In other words, if you have $100,000 of steel delivered to the project from a final manufacturing location which is within 500 miles from the project site, you'd include $47,000 as the regional material value.
The reviewer question the distance on the rebar steel.
Will the mill certificates be enough verification of the distance.
Showing the distances of the (2) Mills where the material was
composed? Thank you in advance!
I had a similar reviewer question on a recent project. I submitted "Scrap Harvest Location letters" from the mills to show the mill location, steel recycling locations from which the distance to the project site can be calculated via Google Earth. We did get the credit accepted in the final review.
Identifying the mill location is one potential path or (according to the latest addenda) you could identify the scrap processing yards which ultimately delivery the scrap to the mill. We can provide a customer the % of scrap data at the scrap processing yard or the mill.
When calculating both the regional material and recycled content material percentages, do you use the subcontractors cost or can they include their markup?
For example, with structural steel, do we use the subcontractors purchase price of the raw steel or the price they are charging us to supply the steel once its been fabricated, etc.? (I understand we don't include the erection cost)
I'm sure there is a simple answer but I couldn't find this covered in the Q&A. By the way, this is an amazing site. Thanks!
You should the cost to the project of the components, which in this case would include the fabrication costs by the subs (but, as you say, not the erection labor costs).
As a follow on to this, consider this situation. My steel supplier PO was $250,000. They provide LEED information showing a material cost of $173,000 and a regionally produced value of 47%. Now, the project paid $250,000, so that is what my total material estimate uses. Should I enter the $250,000 or the $173,000 in the regional materials form?
From the information you provided, I would enter 47% of the $250,000. That said, any erection costs, field assembly or other site provided labor should not be included in the $250,000. If all that site related work is invoiced separately it's straight-forward.
I've been working with a subcontractor regarding the documentation requests for regionally based materials on a Platinum project. As a manufacturer of formulated products, there is not a lot of information I can supply without revealing formulary percentages or revealing information about our suppliers - and thus specific raw materials that may be considered as confidential business information.
The one piece of information I can confidently supply is a percentage range or upper bound concentration of municipal water utilized as a forumulary component. In order to make coatings that emit less into the occupied space and comply with VOC regulations, we have used new resins and active ingredients that allow substituting an organic solvent with water as the carrier solvent.
One problem: the subcontractor has been told that the water cannot be counted.
By a certain logic, a project in Texas could utilize a high build epoxy that contains 20% organic solvent that came from a refinery in Oklahoma can claim credit conformance for that raw material.
Conversely, it would appear that my companies' efforts to simply eliminate the organic solvent will not be rewarded or recognized.
Tristan and Nadav (or anyone): Any comments on this apparent paradox?
Dwayne, first some context: usually projects meet success with MRc5 through big-ticket items like wood, steel, drywall, concrete, etc. I am surprised that a project is in a situation where the regional qualification of a coating, let alone 20% of the coating, is the make-or-break for MRc5. Quite interesting! It also reminds me of EBOM MRc5, where there is a lot of gray area when you get into ingredients of food.
It also brings to mind discussion of whether water should count toward MRc4—see the second or third page of comments on MRc4 for that.
I would think that in this context, it makes sense to count the water as a regional material as you would any other ingredient.
However, to play devil's advocate, the main benefit of using water is to reduce VOC emissions, so it seems like your company will get plenty of recognition for that, no?
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