NC-v2.2 MRc3: Materials Reuse

  • NC22_MRc3_Typex_MaterialReuse diagram
  • This credit only works for the right kind of project

    If salvaged materials are appropriate for your project, this credit should be easy enough to achieve. But you have to use a lot of salvaged materials to reach the threshold, so it's most feasible for small projects that target sources of salvaged materials early in the design process. Even then, it can be tricky because these are not the sort of things you can specify and count on being able to order from a supplier--the contractor or owner usually has to procure and stockpile salvaged items when they become available. That has to happen early enough that they can be included in the design, which is often long before they are needed on the job site.

    Some projects also run into trouble with the fact that salvaged items aren't rated for structural strength or flame resistance. Wood timbers often have to be graded based on a visual inspection by a licensed lumber grader, and samples of other products may have to be tested. If you can overcome all those hurdles, however, the results are often very rewarding, as salvaged items add character and instant charisma to a project.

     “Reused” vs. “recycled”

    It’s not unusual to have some confusion about the difference between “reused” and “recycled”—often the terms are (incorrectly) used interchangeably—but there is a distinct difference, especially for the purposes of LEED.

    Recycled refers to anything that contains recycled materials as a result of the manufacturing process—carpet that contains recycled material, for example, could be made from post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled plastic bottles.

    Reused material is something that has been reused or repurposed from another location or a different role—like antique doors salvaged from an old church, raised floor pedestals saved from one office project and sold to another, or office partitions relocated from a previous office to a new one.

    There may be instances where a product is processed in such a way that it could be considered as under either attribute, but if that's the case you should still choose one; these credits are not meant to overlap.

    Pricing can be tricky

    When you’re trying to determine the cost value of reused, salvaged, or donated materials, you may run into some difficulties, especially in finding replacement costs for comparable new products. It’s helpful to work with a construction pricing expert who may already have cost estimates on hand.

    Wood wallReclaimed wood from a barn was refinished and reused for this interior at the Audubon Society headquarters. Photo – YRG SustainabilityAnother choice you will need to make is whether to value reused items at their actual cost or at the replacement cost. In some cases, it may not make much of a difference—the reused materials may be of similar value to the price of a comparable new item. But in other cases—for example, if you’ve purchased antique woodwork—the cost of the salvaged item may actually be significantly higher than the replacement cost of a comparable new item. Make sure to examine the actual and replacement cost of each item so that you know which will be most advantageous to your earning the credit.

    Piggybacking credits—with limits

    In most cases, materials that have multiple environmental attributes can be applied to as many of the MR credits as they relate to. That is still true in most cases, but for this credit, there are limitations. Materials that apply to this credit cannot be applied toward: 

    On the other hand, reused materials often contribute to MRc5 in addition to MRc3:

    • MRc5: Regional Materials: Materials can qualify—use the vendor or salvage location as the “manufacturing” location, and use the place from where the materials were salvaged from as the “extraction” location. 

    Salvaged windowSalvaging a building element and using it in a different function, like this window turned office partition, qualifies it as materials reuse, not building reuse. Photo – YRG Sustainability

    Don’t confuse materials reuse with building reuse

    There is also frequent confusion between MRc3: Materials Reuse and MRc1.1–1.2 and MRc1.3: Building Reuse whenever salvaged materials are recovered from the demolition of a project site. It’s an important distinction:

    • MRc3: Material Reuse can involve material that is salvaged onsite and used again onsite for another purpose or in another location. The onsite salvaged material can count towards both MRc3: Material Reuse and MRc2: Construction Waste Management. For example, if a project demolishes a building and saves all the wood doors from going to the landfill, then turns the salvaged doors into countertops for the new construction, the salvaged doors count both credits.  
    • MRc1: Building Reuse can involve preserving part of a building or a material onsite and reusing it for its original purpose, or leaving it in its original location. The preserved portion of the building, or the material, only counts toward MRc1: Building Reuse (but not toward MRc3: Material Reuse or MRc2: Construction Waste Management). For example, if a project demolishes part of an existing building, leaving all interior walls with the existing doors intact to be used for the new building, the doors count only as building reuse. 

    Including furniture may have trade-offs

    There is a large and thriving market for reused furniture—often of very high quality. If you decide to include your furniture in the calculations for this credit (or, if you are a LEED-CI project and are thus required to do so), you might be able to earn the credit simply by specifying salvaged furniture. But take care—if you include furniture in this credit, you must also include it in all credits MRc3–7. Be sure to analyze how including or excluding furniture will affect other MR credits.

    FAQs for MRc3

    Can I include reused furniture?

    Yes, if furniture is being included consistently across MRc3–7. (For CI projects, furniture must be included.)

    A material being reused contains recycled content. Can I count this under MRc3 and MRc4?

    No, this would be only counted under MRc3. Material reuse is the relevant environmental attribute in this case.

    We are reusing a lot of equipment from another building. Can we count that?

    No. Consistent with other MR credits, MEP equipment should not be counted here.

    We are demolishing an existing building, crushing the concrete and stone, and using it as fill onsite. Does this count under MRc3?

    No, as the material is being "re-manufactured' into something else, it is different than reuse, where products and materials are used intact, but in different applications or locations. The primary environmental attributes for this case are construction waste management (MRc2), and potentially recycled content (MRc4), and regionality (MRc5). The intent of this credit is to extend the life of existing building materials.

    Our project has access to building materials that were delivered for another project, and never used because that project was canceled. If we use these materials can we count them here?

    Probably not. 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. #2501 made on 03/20/2009 emphasizes previous use of building materials as a key consideration for this credit, with reference to structural steel.

    Can crushed concrete, masonry or asphalt being reused onsite qualify as materials reuse?

    No. According to the LEED glossary, these materials are considered remanufactured, and therefore do not qualify as reuse. Under the Related Credits section in the LEED Reference Guide, it states that “Remanufactured materials are not considered a reuse of the material and do not contribute toward this credit. However, these materials can contribute toward MR Credit 2: Construction Waste Management, or MR Credit 4: Recycled Content."

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Evaluate what materials the project will use that might be targeted for reuse. Set goals in the owner’s project requirements regarding salvaged materials. This can include material recovered from demolition, materials that can be reused as part of a relocation, or materials that are acquired from architectural salvage vendors, donations, or other projects.  

Schematic Design

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  • Research the availability of appropriate salvaged materials for your project. See the Resources section for sites that can help with this.


  • While salvaged materials—such as a reclaimed raised-floor frame—may be hidden from the end user’s view, other salvaged materials can add historic character to a space when displayed prominently, such as reclaimed wood flooring. Both types of reuse offer environmental benefits.

Design Development

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  • Begin creating a baseline materials budget. Even if you don’t know the actual material costs, it will be helpful to establish estimates at this stage. You can use a spreadsheet to help create the baseline budget and track its environmental benefits, such as the one offered in the Documentation Toolkit


  • Your baseline material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3–7.


  • Include in your materials baseline budget the materials cost (excluding labor) of all items that apply under CSI Master Spec (see the Resources section for a breakdown of CSI divisions):

    • Divisions 2–10, 
    • Sections 31.60: Foundations
    • 32.10: Paving 
    • 32.30: Site Improvements
    • 32.90: Planting
    • Division 12: Furniture is optional. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are also excluded.  

  • Analyze the initial cost budget to know what materials the project can target and incorporate the LEED requirements accordingly into construction specs for the specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not filling out forms for materials that are not reused, or that have so little cost value that it is a waste of time. 


  • Adding Division 12: Furniture to your baseline materials budget for MRc3 is optional, but must be applied consistently (either included or excluded in every case) across MRc3–7. Analyze your baseline materials budget to see if adding Division 12: furniture works to your 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.


  • You have 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%.


  • Drawing up the default budget is less time-consuming because the contractor does not have to break out materials versus labor costs, allowing the project to focus on tracking only the materials that contribute to LEED credits. However, this option may put the project at a disadvantage if the materials cost is actually less than 45% of the total cost, in which case you would get credit for less than the full cost value of your materials. 


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


  • 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.


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


  • Look at your baseline materials budget to determine how much reused material you need to incorporate into your project. Decide how much you want to spend on reused materials, and establish what reused materials are available. To gain one point, devote 5% of the materials budget to reused materials; for two points, allocate 10%. Identify donated, reused, or purchased items in the project’s preliminary budget that could be salvaged materials. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?  


  • It is optional for projects to value reused or salvaged materials at their replacement cost for the LEED calculation. For example, whether a project purchased or received a donation of decorative ceiling tiles, the material value would be the same as what it would cost to replace the donated materials with something new. Of course, it may also be beneficial to use the actual salvage price, when it is higher than the new material replacement cost; a good example is antique woodwork.


  • Determining the cost of a replacement item leaves some room for interpretation, but the replacement must be a comparable product. For example, you cannot value the replacement of standard acoustic ceiling tile at the cost of a hand-painted, gold-encrusted ceiling tile.


  • Reused materials may require refurbishing and, in turn, add costs to the owner. Include refurbishing costs in the total cost or value of the material.


  • Include a cushion for this credit, in case of changes in design and purchasing. For example, if you are counting on points for using 5% reused materials, plan for 10% of your budget to be spent on reused materials to avoid coming up short.


  • Using an estimated budget to integrate reused or salvaged 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. You don’t want to fail to earn this credit because you waited until after purchasing materials before calculating whether you have enough reused and salvaged materials to gain the LEED credit. 


  • Focus on “big ticket” items when seeking reused materials for the LEED credit. Materials like wood flooring or structural lumber that meet the reuse requirement may represent enough value to earn the credit. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, which greatly reduces contractor headaches. If big-ticket items are not enough, target a medium-priced item next, and so on, until you reach your goal.


  • A single product or material can contribute to multiple credits. For example, wood flooring salvaged locally contributes to MRc3: Material Reuse as well as MRc5: Regional Material. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes also can limit the overall number of items that you need to track. 


  • Research the availability of salvaged items to serve the project’s needs. 


  • Don’t confuse “recycled content material” with “material reuse”; the two terms have very different meanings:

    • Recycled Content is material containing recycled content as a result of the industrial process of making the product—for example; recycled-content carpet may be made of post consumer recycled plastic bottles. 
    • Material Reuse is the use or repurposing of material from a previous place or role—for example, buying antique wood doors salvaged from an old church. 

    MRc3: Material Reuse and MRc1: Building Reuse are often confused when salvaged materials are recovered from the demolition of a project site. 

    • MRc3: Material Reuse can involve material that is salvaged onsite and used again onsite for another purpose or in another location. The onsite salvaged material will count towards both MRc3: Material Reuse. For example, if a project demolishes a building and saves all the wood doors, then turns the salvaged doors into countertops for the new construction, the salvaged doors count toward MRc3: Material Reuse.  
    • MRc1: Building Reuse can involve preserving part of a building or a material onsite and reusing it for its original purpose, or leaving it in its original location. The preserved portion of the building, or the material, only counts toward MRc1: Building Reuse (but not toward MRc3: Material Reuse or MRc2: Construction Waste Management). For example, if a project demolishes part of an existing building, leaving all interior walls with the existing doors intact to be used for the new building, the doors count only as building reuse.

     


  • Salvaged items may not come with product warranties.


  • If using salvaged materials, make sure the durability of the product has not been compromised and material contains no harmful contaminants, or you may have to replace the salvaged item with a new product all too soon.


  • Assemblies


  • When a product is made of multiple components that may or may not be all reused, use the following special considerations.


  • The cost value for LEED calculation is determined by separating each component by weight as a percentage of the total. For example, if a $100 piece of built-in casework contains 80% (by weight) salvaged wood and 20% (by weight) new marble, $80 worth (80%) of casework would contribute to this credit, because that is the only component part that is reused. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a reuse assembly calculator.)


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

Construction Documents

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


  • Research specific products. Incorporate reused materials requirements into individual construction specifications.


  • MasterSpec and the federal Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources) offer guidance and sample specification language on how to incorporate LEED specifications in construction documents.


  • Incorporating the LEED requirements directly into the drawings and specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements. 


  • Whenever possible, designate in the construction specifications that contractors use specific sources you have verified as suppliers of reused 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.


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

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


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


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


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


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

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

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


  • Before construction begins, research the availability of any additional reused and salvage materials that you may not have found during the design phase. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to carefully review data sheets and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product.


  • During Construction


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


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


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


  • Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Materials Reporting Form and transfer it into a master spreadsheet for all the items being tracked for each product across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, certified wood information for MRc7, and information about adhesives installed on site for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. Use the Materials Calculator spreadsheet in the Documentation Toolkit.


  • A master spreadsheet facilitates information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.  


  • Assign a responsible party to input the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the Materials Calculator (see Documentation Toolkit). A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role.


  • Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials that contribute to LEED credits is a requirement for LEED MR credits. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because there are always hidden markups in the materials that subcontractors purchase at wholesale. However, you can simply include the product markup when breaking out a product’s material cost from installation and labor costs.


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


  • All material cut sheets should be saved as backup data and may be requested of the project during the USGBC’s credit reviews.


  • Maintain a project log to input all the monthly reports in one place. This will track project waste recycling rates and provide an alert if the average is lower than the target of 50% or 75%. Address these shortfalls early in the process to ensure that final diversion rates can be met.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Keep a list of reused and salvaged materials so that O&M staff can use these products and supply sources for future renovations.


  • Develop salvaged material procurement recommendations into a purchasing policy.  If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification, this will contribute to MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    MR Credit 3: Materials Reuse

    2 Points

    Intent

    Reuse building materials and products in order to reduce demand for virgin materials and to reduce waste, thereby reducing impacts associated with the extraction and processing of virgin resources.

    Requirements

    Credit 3.1
    1 Point

    Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials such that the sum of these materials constitutes at least 5%, based on cost, of the total value of materials on the project. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and specialty items such as elevators and equipment shall not be included in this calculation. Only include materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included, providing it is included consistently in MR Credits 3–7.


    Credit 3.2
    1 Point

     

    Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials for an additional 5% beyond MR Credit 3.1 (10% total, based on cost).

    Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and specialty items such as elevators and equipment shall not be included in this calculation. Only include materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included, providing it is included consistently in MR Credits 3–7.

     

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Identify opportunities to incorporate salvaged materials into building design and research potential material suppliers. Consider salvaged materials such as beams and posts, flooring, paneling, doors and frames, cabinetry and furniture, brick and decorative items.

Organizations

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

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 


CSI Divisions

This is a detailed list of the types of items that fall under the various CSI divisions.

Web Tools

NY Waste Match

Think online dating, but for waste materials.  This is a New York City source for individuals to post waste they have that others may want.


Deconstruction Institute

This is a resource database of contractors proficient with deconstruction and recipients seeking material.


Reclaimed Material Consultant/Broker

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

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and EQ 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.

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

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

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. Use it specifically for earning IEQc4 credits, but in conjunction with documentation for for MR credits.

Materials Reuse Assembly Calculator

If reused materials are part of an assembly but not the whole thing, use this calculator to determine the cost value of the assembly that can count toward MRc3.

LEED Online Sample Template – MRc3

This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.

USGBC

Official LEED Online Forms

Construction Submittal

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

37 Comments

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Michael Johnson Architect Chenevert Architects
Feb 13 2014
LEEDuser Member
609 Thumbs Up

salvaged floor - value question

building has wood flooring that was from a salvage company. the floors were previously installed in an old building in same city that was torn down.

my question: owner purchased the flooring for one price, but the floor was in disrepair. it required additional money to provide the labor not to install the floor but to have the floor repaired and refurbished.

can the cost of that work (not including installation) be counted in the value?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

It would be a cleaner situation if the labor was provided by a vendor, especially if it were the vendor whom the flooring was purchased from. If it was provided onsite by the contractor, I don't think you can include it.

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Alison Keay Project Coordinator The Jordan Institute
Aug 19 2013
LEEDuser Member
78 Thumbs Up

Can plants be counted in Materials Re-use, MRc3??

I have not found in the Reference guide if plants that will remain or be transplanted can count in Material Reuse Credit MR3. Can they? or is it strictly building materials?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Alison, these requirements are based on MasterFormat division. I am not sure what division live plantings fall under (I do know they exist) but I would look that up.

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Robert Korp Manager of Projects, Barry Isett & Associates Nov 04 2013 LEEDuser Member 72 Thumbs Up

Plantings are Division-32

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Muscoe Martin Principal M2 Architecture
Nov 12 2012
LEEDuser Member
119 Thumbs Up

Addition is too big for MRc1.1

Our project is attached to an existing greenhouse. The "addition" is much larger than the greenhouse, so MRc1.1 does not apply. We went to some trouble in the design and siting to avoid demolishing or relocating the greenhouse and there is new construction inside the greenhouse as part of the project. Since this cannot be used for MRc1.1 can we include the greenhouse as Material Reuse in MRc3?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Muscoe, the diagram at the top of the page sums it up pretty well, at least as far as applicability of your structure to MRc3. Since the material is being used in the same site for the same purpose, it doesn't qualify here. However, there is a way to count this material: as stuff you didn't throw away under MRc2!

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John Casciato
Oct 25 2012
Guest
390 Thumbs Up

Barn Wood Clarification

I will try to keep this simple...I hope. I am also posting this question on the MRc4 & MRc7 forum pages as well.

We are doing a job that is looking for MRc4, MRc5 & MRc7. I have 2 flavors of wood, Old Growth Rustic Walnut & Old Growth Rustic Oak.

The vendor is telling me the Oak is 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. 100% recycled.
How does solid wood become recycled?
How can barn wood be FSC tracked?

The Walnut is available sustainable harvested.

What category do I classify this material under?

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Oct 25 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

I'm not sure I have enough info to answer your question(s)...
I don't know how it is possible for the oak to be 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. and 100% recycled if it is virgin material. Solid wood isn't 100% recycled or any %.

If the wood is recovered from a barn or other use then you can include it toward compliance with MRc3 as it is reused. If it is recovered wood then it is likely not FSC, unless he has the documentation to prove it, but likely not. In this case the material would count for MRc3 and possibly MRc5 depending on where it was recovered.

The walnut ... not sure what to say here. Sustainable harvested and FSC could be very different things. You will have to get 'proof' via chain of custody info to verify that it is FSC. If is it, then it applies to MRc7 and possibly MRc5 depending on location of harvest.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Oct 25 2012 LEEDuser Member 446 Thumbs Up

Hi John,
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. does offer a "Recycled" label as one of their certifications. They certify a product as coming from recycled or reclaimed lumber that has not been newly harvested. From what I have seen, the label is being used for both reclaimed wood that is sold as solid timber and for wood that is processed into other materials. For LEED, the former (reclaimed) would go under this credit and the later would go under MRc4. Neither could be used under MRc7 for FSC. http://us.fsc.org/frequently-asked-questions.296.htm

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Diane Panaritis Interior Designer Mitchell Associates
Mar 09 2012
Guest
179 Thumbs Up

Demountable partitons & workstation panels

Our project is incorporating furniture into MR3-MR7. There are demountable partitions and workstation panels that are part of the existing space that will be reconfigured & reused in the renovated space (same site). Both items will be serving the same function as they did before, but will undergo the following:
1. Existing solid demountable partitions will have a stack glass panel removed from the top. A new, taller glass stack panel will be added to the existing solid panel to accomodate the new ceiling heights in the project. The panel will be reused in the same area, but not necessarily in the same spot. Can the existing product count towards this credit?
2. Exisitng glass demountable partitions will be rebuilt on site to extend the panel in order to accomodate a taller ceiling height. Existing veritcal frames & top glass panels will be removed & replaced with taller vertical frames & a talller glass panel at the top. The rebuilt panel will be reused in the same area, but not necessarily in the same spot. Can the existing product count towards this credit?
3. Existing workstation frames will be reused. Old panels will be removed & new panels will be installed. The refurbished frame will be reconfigured into a new workstation layout. Some of the refurbished panels will land in the same spot & some will not. Can all of the refurbished panels be used towards this point, regardless if they land in the same spot or not? Or do only the refurbished panels that do not land in the same spot count toward the credit?

Are workstations & demountable partitions considered 'fixed' items? If so, are they ineligible towards this credit because they continue to serve their original function? Are they considered a 'finish' material that is refurbished & used as their original function?

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Apr 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

My instinct says that the project would not be able to count the partitions or workstations for this credit. They are from the same site, being used in the same capacity in essentially the same location.

If they came from another site I think they would count, hands down.

I think the demountable partitions are seen more as 'fixed' while the workstations would be seen more as furniture.

It seems they could all be included in MRc5.

I would be interested to see if others have a different opinion or experience.

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Robert Korp Manager of Projects Barry Isett & Associates
Dec 08 2011
LEEDuser Member
72 Thumbs Up

Re-using wood doors

If wood doors from the original interior walls are removed, refinished and re-used in the new (relocated) interior walls, may we apply the value to MRc3?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 18 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Robert, you may, because the location is different. Changing the use would also work.

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Heather DeGrella Sustainability Coordinator, Opsis Architecture Apr 11 2012 LEEDuser Member 446 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan - The existing door from onsite is the example that is always used to demonstrate the differences between MRc1.2 and MRc3. However, the Reference Guide does not follow the example through thoroughly when it comes to the above example. In the BD+C 2009 Edition, it does state under the Calculations for MRc1.2 "Include items that have been saved but may have been relocated, such as full-height demountable walls and doors that were rehung. Items counted for this credit cannot be included in MR Credit 3." This indicates to me the relocated door should count towards MRc1.2. Also MRc3 states that items "must no longer serve their original function AND then be installed for a different use or in a different location." The "AND" is a bit confusing when it comes to the doors - to me the original function is being a door regardless of its location. What is the experience with this - can a project choose between MRc1.2 and MRc3 when an on-site fixed item is relocated but is NOT being repurposed?

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Jason Stegner
Apr 07 2011
Guest
32 Thumbs Up

Calculating material resource credits

In calculating the material resource credits, I have come to understand that you can do this one of two ways. 1st way is to use actual costs from each material used on the site. The denominator then becomes the total material budget and the numerator is the percentages of recycled content for each material used. The other more common way to do this is the use the 45% rule. Take the total budget for materials 3-10 x .45 to get the total material budget. This becomes the denominator. My question is how do you get the the numerator in this approach. I see 2 options. Use actual material costs or use 45% of each subs total budget or use actual costs. For example. Cost of divisions 3-10 is 1,000,000. Material budget is then 450,000. Steel costs 100,000 for labor and material. Actual material cost is 33,000. Do you use 45% of 100,000 = 45,000 or 33,000???

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 23 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

Jason, the 45% rule works only for the total materials budget. To calculate credit compliance you then need to find actual material costs for each material being applied. Hopefully you can get a cost for the steel that does not include labor. The 45% rule is not meant to apply to finding that.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Dec 05 2011 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

Tristan, I thought the 45% rule for determining the total materials budget made it so you did not have to find actual material costs for each material being applied to obtain credit compliance. Is that correct?

Also, for the projects in which I am the Construction LEED Coordinator I have asked the contractors at the beginning of the project to break down their schedule of values to show the applicable spec sections seperate from the others, then I use the 45% rule. Now that the first of these projects is wrapping up and I need to figure out the process of obtaining credit compliance through LEED online uploads, I am wondering the following: Should I ask the contractors to give me a final schedule of values for those applicable spec sections that is update to include all change orders and then use those figures to determine a project close out total materials costs (again using the 45
% default budget process)?

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Dec 05 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Tim - The 45% rule is to determine the default materials cost for the entire project. You will have to obtain the actual material cost for each material/product which contributes to the credit. For the contributing material it is based on the actual cost of that material. You are still saving a ton of time b/c you don't have to obtain actual materials cost for every material/product on the job - only those that contribute to the credit.

Yes, you must absolutely get the updated costs.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Dec 05 2011 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

Susie - Sorry for the brain freeze. I have been collecting actual costs for the applicable materials and putting them into the spreadsheet. I did however have a supplier note that following: "How do I list a “cost” before I have made any material purchases for the job??" I think the reason they are asking is that they are being asked to provide the material costs with their submittals to the architect. But I would think their submittals are basically saying, if you approve the use of this product, I will be supplying it - and if that is the case, they should already know the cost of that material, right?

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Dec 05 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

You can collect the cost after the purchase so long as the purchased materials are approved and meet credit requirements. I usually have the subs give me the cost after I have approved the materials.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Dec 05 2011 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

My only concern with this approach is that I have lost some of my teeth after the materials are approved and I find it harder to get responses. If I do not approve the submittals until they give me the LEED information including the material costs, I find it easier to get the info I need. Does this make sense?

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John Drigot Design/LEED Specialist, The Neenan Company Dec 20 2011 Guest 1753 Thumbs Up

We are a Design/Build firm and take a multi-faceted approach to obtaining the necessary LEED information. We start by including a document titled Subcontractor Submittal Requirements and Documentation for LEED in our bid pack. This covers our LEED project goals for MRc2, MRc4, MRc5, MRc7 and IEQc4. Once we have awarded the job and have completed construction documents we ask the sub-contractor to list the product/material and manufacturer/vendor for each of the products included in their work (LEED Materials Submittal Form Part A - Material Summary. We ask for specific information regarding recycled, regional, 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. and VOC content. At one time we asked for costs at this stage but then found it was too hard for the sub-contractor to provide this information so early in the project. The final document that we ask the sub-contractor for, and it is usually after they have completed their work is theLEED Materials Submittal Form Part B - Material Costs. This is where they provide the materials costs for all materials that they submitted in the Part A form. As with any new process we found that on the initial LEED project this information was difficult to collect. Our solution was to withhold final payment until Part B has been submitted. After 4-5 projects I would have to say the entire process is much smoother. Hope this helps.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Mar 22 2012 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

Default Materials Cost Question
When going onto LEEDonline to enter my Recycled Content and Regional Materials information I am asked if I want to do the Actual materials cost or the Default materials cost. When I note I want to use the Default materials cost I am then asked to enter the “Total construction costs for the LEED project:” I think this is incorrectly worded. On LEEDuser when I go to NC 2009, MRc4: Recycled Content, Checklists, under Design Development I find the following information:
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%.
From what LEEDUser is saying, I should be taking 45% of the material plus labor for only the applicable CSI divisions, while LEEDonline seems to be asking me for the Total construction costs for the LEED project and then takes 45% of that. These two numbers are worlds apart.
If we have a $1,000,000 project and only $400,000 of that (material plus labor) is in the applicable CSI divisions. The default budget should be 45% of that $400,000 number, right? Then the default budget would be $400,000 x .45 = $180,000
Again, this is worlds apart from 45% of the “Total construction costs for the LEED project” which would be $1,000,000 x .45 = $450,000.
Please tell me that I am right in saying the $180,000 figure is the one I should be working with.
Lastly, if that is correct, do I simply put in $400,000 for my “Total construction costs for the LEED project” even though the project is really a $1,000,000 project?

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Mar 28 2012 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

Default Material Costs Question
Sorry to repost, but I am uploading files tomorrow or Friday and was hoping for someone to provide clarification to the questions I asked above about Default Material Costs. I hope I am looking at this correctly.
Thanks

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Mar 28 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Tim,
For default materials cost you will use the "total construction cost" for the applicable spec sections. We used to refer to the Divisions 2-10 and now refer to this As CSI Masterformat 2004 Divisions 3-10, 31.60.00, 32.10.00, 32.30.00, and 32.90.00. Essentially you are leaving out MEP b/c they are not included in the MR credits. The default is 45% of this hard cost number for those divisions.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Mar 28 2012 LEEDuser Member 816 Thumbs Up

Susie,
Thanks for the reply. So I would be correct to use the $180,000 figure in my example above, right?

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Gary Ashford Architect Duket Architects Planners
Oct 26 2010
LEEDuser Member
1340 Thumbs Up

material cost basis

Back again. We're salvaging brick taken from one part of a building and reusing it for repairs at new masonry openings, areas exposed by demolition, etc. Is this eligible for MRc3 or do we just consider that repair work? If it is an eligible item, do I have to add the equivalent cost for new brick to our material costs? Seems like that diminishes the value of using reclaimed materials somewhat as you add labor expense for removal, stocking, cleaning and prep.

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Oct 28 2010 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Gary - My gut reaction is that since you are using the salvaged brick in a new location you can count it under MRc3. You will definitely have to include the cost of the brick in the materials cost but you can decide to use an actual cost or the replacement cost depending on which betters serves you meeting the threshold.

Don't forget to include this in MRc5.

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Gary Ashford Architect Duket Architects Planners
Sep 23 2010
LEEDuser Member
1340 Thumbs Up

Sitework and FF&E

Our project has a walking path that is paved with a combination of gravel and asphalt millings from our Sitework package. We are also combining new and existing furnishings into our LEED credits. If I understand the MR3.1 credit intent, we base the value of reused materials on their replacement cost, for the total Material cost to the Project, do we use $0 for the reused materials? I also assume these would qulaify for Regional aterial credit using the same logic.

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Sep 23 2010 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Gary - If I understand your question correctly you will use the same replacement cost as the reused furniture value and in the total materials cost. Essentially, the same number is added to the numerator and the denominator.

Keep in mind that in LEED NC you can choose to exclude the furniture as long as you do it consistently for across all MR credits.

Yes, they will also qualify for regional materials.

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Gary Ashford Architect, Duket Architects Planners Sep 23 2010 LEEDuser Member 1340 Thumbs Up

Thanks Susie. 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. is slightly under 50% w/o FF&E so we need to include the furniture to achieve that credit. The client is reusing a substantial quantity of their existing office furnishings, so we are considering valuation of this toward the MRc3.1 as reused materials if that is accepted. The sitework materials are diverted from construction waste and will also apply. Together, these should achieve the MR credit, just checking the logic against total material cost.

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Sep 23 2010 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

It is definitely accepted to count reused furniture toward MRc3.

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Tysa Tenebro
Jul 22 2010
Guest
580 Thumbs Up

Chipped Woods, New Construction Material Left-overs

Hi,

I would like to know if chipped woods and material left-overs comply with this credit. The removed trees were turned into chipped woods and were spread to the underbrushed areas. The left-overs, for example, cracked concrete were used as a permeable paved areas. Please advise if these materials comply with MRc3. Thank you.

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Jul 29 2010 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Tysa - You can use these materials to comply with MRc3. Since you are reusing them, be sure to include them in your MRc2 and MRc5 calculations also!

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Stephen Rao
Jul 21 2010
Guest
40 Thumbs Up

MRc3 Materials Reuse

Our project has salvaged many valuable trees and cacti from the excavated site. We could have just bladed the site and thrown away the native plant material, but instead we maintained them in an on-site nursery during construction and planted them in new locations on the site. If the cacti were purchased new they would total in excess of 20% of the project cost.

Do you think USGBC will accept this argument for MRc3 Materials Reuse? We are submitting under NC v 2.2.

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Susie Spivey-Tilson Project Management Sustainability Services, CBRE Jul 29 2010 LEEDuser Expert 1400 Thumbs Up

Tricky situation...
The reference guide states that reused materials found on site that are 'fixed' must no longer be able to serve their original function and must be reconditioned and installed for a different use or in a different location. All examples refer to materials inside the building, however landscaped materials fall within Div 2-10. Your materials were removed from the site in order to preserve them, but reused albeit in different locations.

It seems to me that you are meeting the intent of the credit and you have likely gone to great lengths to protect and care for the plants, but it doesn't seem likely they will accept the argument for this credit based on previous CIRs.

Landscape materials also don't appear to have a place in MRc1 for building reuse.

In this case I would roll the dice and apply for MRc3 based on meeting the intent of the credit. If you do, I would not include the materials in MRc2 for construction waste, but do include them in MRc5. If you are denied MRc3, you can add the material to MRc2 if it helps you reach the next credit threshold.

I recommend sending a 'Technical Inquiry" to USGBC at leedinfo@usgbc.org to garner further clarification if you're not interested in the 'roll the dice' approach above. Let us know how it turns out.

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