The 10% point threshold is easy to achieve for this credit, especially if your project has a lot of concrete or steel. There is also an increasing number of products on the market that have recycled content, making the 20% threshold achievable for some projects. Concentrate on buying “big ticket” items with high recycled content levels. Depending on the building construction, you will generally get more (due to a higher cost) out of tracking the recycled content of concrete and steel over lower cost items like tile.
Analyze your budget early in design to help inform which materials are more important to specify as having recycled content, this is dependent on your project construction type. Doing your homework early can prevent costly change orders during construction. Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates.
Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as 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."), or 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.. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%.
DPost-consumer plastic being collected for recycling.on’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. (See the Recycled Content Assembly Calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.)
People sometimes confuse recycled content material with material reuse and with construction waste management, but they are different:
Recycled Content material, covered in MRc4, has reused content as a result of the industrial process of making the product—for example, recycled-content carpet may be made of recycled plastic bottles.
Material Reuse, covered in MRc3, is the use or repurposing of material from a previous place or role—for example, buying antique wood doors salvaged from an old church.
At this Denver building under construction, the raised floor panels being installed have recycled steel. Photo – YRG SustainabilityConstruction Waste Management, covered in MRc2, is the act of diverting materials from the landfill during the construction process by sending to a place where the material can be repurposed, such as a salvage yard or recycling plant.
Documenting this credit can take time, since cost and exact percentages of post- and pre-consumer materials must be collected for each recycled item used.
LEED requires the base materials budget to be consistent across all MR credits. The LEED Online credit forms help provide consistency across MR credits by applying the same data to multiple credits. Materials used to earn this credit cannot also be counted for MRc3: Materials Reuse, nor for MRc7: 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 they can contribute to MRc5: Regional Materials and MRc6: 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.
Try getting clarification from the manufacturer. If you can’t get any further information, you should take a conservative approach and assume that it is pre-consumer.
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.
Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.
No. Per 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. #10246, recycled content claims must be specific to installed product. Average regional and national claims do not meet the credit requirements.
This Interpretation has been misinterpreted, however, to mean that recycled content figures must come from specific plants. That is not what USGBC intended. It is allowable to use a company- and product-specific national average, as long as the company has performed the necessary tracking to assure that that average is accurate at the product SKU level.
Yes. LEED Interpretation #10246 does not apply to steel and teams may still use the default value of 25% post-consumer recycled content. Many steel products have higher levels of recycled content, however, so it may be advantageous to track down product-specific recycled content information.
Site materials (31.60.00 Foundations, 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting) that are permanently installed can be included in the MR credits. Just be sure that your material budget assumptions and material costs are consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7.
Based on review comments that LEED users have reported, LEED reviewers are on the lookout for inaccurate recycled content claims in cases where a manufacturer is claiming pre-consumer recycled content for scrap material that comes off the end of a product line, and is put back in to the same line. According to common definitions, this should not be considered recycled content. This practice is common with certain kinds of glass, and metals like aluminum. Keep an eye on your documentation and do your best to make sure it is valid. If you are asked to justify a specific claim, you could get more documentation from the manufacturer, or plan on having a cushion in your credit threshold.
No. MRc7 counts only new wood, and MRc4 counts recycled content, so there is no overlap in the credits. You must choose one credit, and not double-dip.
Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.
Look at opportunities to use recycled content materials for the project’s potential “big ticket” items.
Big-ticket products that often have recycled content include: steel, drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, concrete, VCT, commercial carpet, and composite substrates. There are more and more products in nearly every category that use recycled content as a way to help LEED projects earn this credit.
The decision to use recycled content material can help guide design decisions, such as using recycled-content steel framing instead of wood framing. However, only letting recycled content drive basic design decisions may be shortsighted and lead to tradeoffs with other credits, not to mention other environmental impact areas. Look for materials that contribute to multiple LEED credits.
This credit can often be achieved at no added cost, as there are many products with recycled content that building projects already use.
Use LEED point calculators built into online product catalogs such as those powered by ecoScorecard to streamline data collection and generate submittal documents:
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.
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.
How do you decide whether to use the actual material cost or the default budget as your baseline? Try estimating how your actual material costs compare to the 45% default. The lower you can get the baseline, the easier it is to purchase enough recycled material to reach the credit threshold. For example, a project that is renovating an existing building may have low material and high labor costs, so it might be better to use the actual budget instead of the default approach.
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.
Include in your materials baseline budget, the material cost (excluding labor) of all items that apply under CSI MasterFormat 2004:
Even if you are using the default budget method, you still have to break out the actual cost (cost excluding labor) of the specific items that you are tracking to contribute toward LEED MR credits.
How do you know what amount of recycled content material you need to incorporate in your project? Look at the baseline materials budget. Determine how much you need to spend on recycled content materials to reach the credit thresholds. To earn one point, allocate 10% of your material budget; for two points, allocate 20%. Go through your project’s preliminary budget and identify which items could be purchased with recycled content, and what percentages of recycled content they can contribute. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?
Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Don’t fail to earn this credit because you waited until all the materials were purchased before calculating whether you used enough materials with recycled content to gain the LEED credit.
Research products by looking at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to see if a product contains recycled content. Often a product will appear to meet the credit requirements, but you'll need to ask for more specific information from the manufacturer—see the Documentation Toolkit for examples of this.
A single product or material can contribute to multiple LEED credits. For example, a chair made locally, with urea-formaldehyde-free, recycled, composite wood contributes to MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and IEQc4.4. Not all credits allow this double-counting. Materials counted here cannot also count towards MRc3 nor MRc7—although separate components within a product can. If a product has both certified wood and recycled content steel, for example, each component can contribute to earning the appropriate credit. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes also can limit the overall number of items that must be tracked.
Don’t assume that because an item has recycled content you can count the whole cost of that item towards the credit—the value contributing to the credit equals the percentage of recycled content times the value of the material. Recycled content can be pre-consumer (also known as post-industrial) or post-consumer recycled content. These are valued differently in LEED calculations. Pre-consumer content is worth 50% of its cost value, while post-consumer is worth 100%. See the Documentation Toolkit for a Recycled Content Assembly Calculator. For example, if a piece of plywood costs $100, it has 40% pre- and 15% post-consumer content. How much of the total cost can be counted towards this credit?
Steel is a special case—all steel is made from recycled materials, and it is the only material for which LEED allows you to claim a default recycled content value (25% post-consumer) without providing any documentation. Some steel has 90% or more recycled content, however, so you’re better off documenting the actual amount if you can try to get documentation from your suppliers showing their post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content.
Drywall can be specified with synthetic gypsum, which is a byproduct or removing sulfur from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, and counts as pre-consumer recycled content. Before using it, however, check to see if it made in your region because the environmental impact of trucking it long distances is likely far greater than any benefit of using it instead of natural gypsum. Either way, the paper facing on drywall is almost always entirely post-consumer recycled.
When a product is made of multiple components that have different recycling rates, note the following special considerations.
The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by separating each component as a percentage of the total by weight, while accounting for the value of pre- and post-consumer recycled content. See the assembly example below, and a calculator in the Documentation Toolkit.
Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight.
Using the project’s estimated budget early on to integrate materials with recycled content in the design and specs can help prevent costly change orders during construction.
Instead of tracking recycled content in everything, focus first on “big ticket” items, materials like concrete, structural steel, masonry products and gypsum board to see if you get enough value from them to earn the credit. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If big-ticket items are not enough, target a medium-priced item next, and so on, until you reach your goal.
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.
Research specific products. Incorporate recycled content product requirements into individual construction specification sections.
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 on the drawings as well as in 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 those specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not filling out forms for materials that are not recycled, 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 sources you have verified as suppliers of recycled content items. This will help save research time for the contractors and ensure credit compliance.
Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include copies of any submittal documents that the subcontractors and general contractor may need to fill out.
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.
Before construction begins, research additional recycled product material availability, not already researched during the design phase to ensure that the project earns this credit. 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.
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 Material 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, recycled content information for MRc4, and information about adhesives installed onsite for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. See the Documentation Toolkit for spreadsheets you can work with.
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 Online submittal form.
You will want to keep all product cut sheets or letters from manufacturer detailing recycled content on file. There is a chance that the LEED reviewer will require you to provide back-up documentation.
Keep a list of sustainable materials used on the project so that operations staff can use these products for future renovations.
Develop recycled content material procurement recommendations into a purchasing policy. If pursuing LEED-EBOM certification, that would fall under MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2
Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.
Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of 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 content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% (based on cost) of the total value of the materials in the project.
The recycled content value of a material assembly shall be determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and specialty items such as elevators 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.
Recycled content shall be defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document, ISO 14021—Environmental labels and declarations—Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).
Post-consumer material is defined as waste material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
Pre-consumer material is defined as material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it.
Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of 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 content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes an additional 10% beyond MR Credit 4.1 (total of 20%, based on cost) of the total value of the materials in the project.
Establish a project goal for recycled content materials and identify material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified recycled content materials are installed. Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.
Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.
The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.
MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
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.
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 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.
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.
Use this spreadsheet to determine the value that a given material or assembly contributes to the recycled content calculations for this credit, based on the type of recycled content in the material or assembly, and the percentage by weight of the assembly that contains recycled content.
Look to product cut sheets like these for recycled-content information on products you're specifying or considering specifying. Note that while all three of these examples appear to contribute to MRc4, in all cases more information is needed from the manufacturer (see PDF annotations).
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
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.
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
How much recycled content should you look for in key building products? What other sustainability criteria apply? This sample sheet from a project shows how one team set guidelines for different product areas.
Can wire mesh and flat ties be used to contrubute to the recycle credit for a project.
Yes, they should be specified in Div 3 which qualifies it for inclusion. You can also apply the default 25% recycled content which is explained above.
Can asphalt be considered recycled content under MRc4 if a percentage of the mix is from recycled materials? This asphalt is being used as pavement for the parking lot and not part of the building structure.
Robert - The MR credits (3-6) are based on the qualifying materials as a percentage of overall costs for Construction Specification Institute (CSI) MasterFormat™ Divisions 03–10, 31 (Section 31.60.00 Foundations) and 32 (Sections 32.10.00 Paving, 32.30.00 Site Improvements, and 32.90.00 Planting). I’d think that asphalt paving would be specified under 31.10.00). So, yes - you can count the recycled materials in your parking lot’s pavement.
Nawkaw Corp. has developed stains for concrete and masonry that are low VOC and contain 20% recycled content. We even have a Lithium based stain that reflects ultra violet light, which can reduce the amount of heat transferred into a building by keeping it cooler--saving energy costs. How can we get these products LEED certified?
Bruce, buildings are LEED certified, people are LEED accredited, and products are neither. You can provide documentation to LEED project teams demonstrating that your products comply with LEED requirements for relevant credits that they might be pursuing. If you look at documentation your competitors might be providing you'll get the idea.
Bruce - I was writing this response when Tristan chimed in. Materials and products are not LEED certified. Materials and products, however, do contribute to helping teams achieve various LEED credits in the MR and IEQ categories. Your company’s literature needs to reflect the LEED attributes (low VOC, recycled content) of your materials so specifiers and contractors have the information. Check out http://new.usgbc.org/help/can-i-get-my-product-or-service-leed-certified for additional information. I have a couple of other resources I can share with you. Can I reach you at email@example.com?
I am using LEED NC 2.2 and am wondering what or how much documentation is required to prove recycled content. Do I simply need to fill out the template or do I have to provide cutsheets/submittals/etc for each piece of material I am claiming and upload them. It does not say upload is required just says 'other documentation'.
Jon - My philosophy is never to give reviewers more than is asked for in the credit's documentation. While I was in DC last week, I confirmed your question with GBCI. This version of MRc4 does not require any uploads; however, the reviewer may ask for some verification as part of a clarification request - especially if s/he see information that does not jive with what s/he is used to seeing for a material or product but wait until it is requested.
LEED NCv2.2 Reference Guide Third Edition October 2007 (including errata sheets)
On Page 271 under Calculations, it has been stated that "LEED requires that the information be from a reliable, verifiable source.
What is considered as reliable, verifiable source?
For e.g. LEED information in the form of declaration letters from manufacturer's / supplier's, printed LEED information, Published Product Literature...
Or it is all together a different perspective asking for the origin of information. For e.g. manufacturer / supplier.
Typically the source is the manufacturer, in the form of a letter, cut sheet, literature, PDF, etc.
As the LEED Coordinator for a Structural Steel Fabricator, I always supply actual material cost for all steel fabricated for a project and i've never had any problems with my submittals. One of my GC's is now telling me that i need to include the cost of shop labor, delivery, detailing, OH&P, etc. in the cost of the material supplied so that the dollar figure i provide on the Sustainable Product Data Sheet matches our PO amount. Is this correct?
Typically you would provide the cost of the products "as delivered" to the project which, I understand, includes any materials, shop labor (anything not performed on-site), etc. All that "value-added" is relevant to the project cost.
does anyone have a sample letter template to send to subcontrctors notifying them of the LEED requirements for the project?
Kelly, we have a sample in the LEEDuser Doc Toolkit—shown above.
Thank you -- I knew there was one but just not clear on where it was located.
What is/are acceptable documentation for justifying EP for Recycled Content>30% and Regional Material>40%? I plan to just upload my excel spreadsheet that I used to keep track of all the material, which shows the post-/pre- recycled content and regional information. Thank you
Joe, use the same documentation you would use for regular credit documentation.
I understand the 45% rule is designed to easily factor out the labor to install the products. We have vendors that supply material only (rebar, metal building, doors & frames, etc) and we contract or use in-house labor to install. Do we use the full (actual) cost of the material only, while using the 45% rule for those products supplied and installed by a subcontractor.
The 45% value is an option that you can use for the entire materials baseline, but you can't use it selectively. In calculating the denominator for the materials credits, you have to either itemize the cost (materials only) for all materials, or use the 45% value and not itemize any materials. (Of course, you would still itemize the cost of any materials that contribute to the calculation for use in the numerator.) If you sign up as a member of LEEDuser you can download a calculator that lays all this out for you.
I am looking for opinions on or experience with reporting metal laboratory casework in an NC project.
After confirming that it is industry standard to specify this product as manufactured casework in division 12, I think we are on track to exclude it as we have excluded all the furniture in division 12. However, we have some concerns that the permanent installation may bring this item into question. The pieces are installed in very much the same manner as the wood/plam casework; however those items are specified in division 6 and are included in the LEED reporting.
The dollar value of the casework is large enough that it will impact our materials credits, so we want to confirm the correct way to report before submitting for review.
I wouldn't worry about being challenged on something like that. If your project team has specified those items in Division 12, then the reviewers have no basis on which to say that you have to include them.
Can fire damper include in LEED material calculation?
I found only a fireplace damper in CSI MASTERFORMAT DIV.10.
Yes, if you specified it in Division 10.
I was wondering if Precast Manholes, Site Water distribution items, storm drainage and Sanitary sewer components - mostly steel and brass fittings and valves can be included in MR-C4. I understand that plumbing items cannot be included for this credit. However, these items fall under civil Engineer spec Division 2 - Site Construction. My version 2.2 reference guide tell me that "This credit applies primarily to CSI MasterFormat 1995 divisions 2–10". Any thoughts?
If you're specifying them in Division 2 then you can include them, as long as you include everything that is specified in those MF sections (you can't selectively just include the items that help you earn the credits).
Can imported items such as fill material, select fill, road base, capillary water base, landscaping bolders qualify as recycled content.
As long as the items you're importing onto the site meet the requirements of recycled content (they have to actually be waste from some process that would otherwise have been disposed of), then you can count them.
We have a hotel project which is looking at purchasing green mattresses, so we would like to include those in our MR credits 3-7. But the remaining furniture will be standard hospitality furniture with few or none of the MR credit 3-7 attributes. Can I just line item the mattresses or do I have to include all of the project's furniture?
Tim, if you include one piece of furniture you need to include them all in your calculations. LEED doesn't want you cherry-picking furniture with green attributes to beef up your calculations.
Can I exclude the weight of the water in the concrete calculations for recycled content since it evaporates from the end product and it totals anywhere from 9-10% of the total weight of the Mix design? Water weight is only diminishing the percentages of the actual recycled content which ends up in the building.
We break out the individual components in a concrete mix and know that others do as well.
Nicholas, LEED NCV2.2 allows a project team to calculate the recycled materials in Concrete one of two ways:
1: the same as other materials using all ingredients in the calculation.
2: Using only the Cementitious Materials Content and the % of Supplementary Cementitious materials used. This second method has a ptential to return higher % and $ value, and encourages the Reduction of Portland Cement, and Increased use of recycled cementitious materials like Fly-ash and slag, keeping these materials out of landfills, and greatly reducing the amount of CO2Carbon dioxide produced for Portland Cement production.
We are a distributor of doors, frames and door hardware. 2009 LEED Reference Guide states not to include electrical components in MR LEED calculations. Would electrical door hardware (ex. locks, exit devices & door closers) fall under this? There are some door hardware vendors that provide recycled content and manufacturer locations for electrical door hardware on their LEED statement amongst all their other products. I usually will leave it out of the LEED submittal, but sometimes the contractor will reject the LEED submittal if I do not provide this electrical door hardware information on their forms. Should I be sending this out? Should these door hardware vendors take this information off their LEED statements? I know that door hardware is not a big ticket item in regards to contributing to LEED credits, but sometimes the contractors really want this information. Thoughts?
I don't know about other project teams but door hardware in general is such a small contributor to the LEED calculations that we do not normally even track it. The only time it is, is if the contractor gets all the information from the supplier and we're going for Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements.. It does not occur often. Because I'm so used to not including electrical components, I would not include electrical door hardware components in the credit calculations.
Regarding precast concrete mix design. The manufacturer said for the hallow core slaps ,they are using micro silica instead of GGBS for the concrete mix design. My question is micro silica has recycled content ? same like GGBS.
Can we consider recycled content credit including micro silica in the precast concrete mix design ?
Based on what I know about micro silica (which is not much, but this Wikipedia entry helps), I'm not sure micro silica is recycled. It sounds more like a normal product of mining/extraction operations.
I believer silica fume used for concrete is an industrial by-product much like fly ash and slag. "Silica fume, also known as microsilica, is a byproduct of the reduction of high-purity quartz with coal in electric furnaces in the production of silicon and ferrosilicon alloys." http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/materialsgrp/silica.htm
I haven't seen it included in the contractor MRc4 submittals but I had assumed this was because it is not used in significant proportion -- it is much more expensive than fly ash and slag -- and concrete is usually treated as an assembly where % mass is used for recycled content value of the assembly.
I would very much like to know if USGBC sees silica fume otherwise, however, so I don't try to include it if the contractor provides its proportion on future projects.
Based on descriptions I'm finding on BuildingGreen.com and elsewhere, I don't see any reason that silica fume wouldn't be considered a preconsumer recycled material. I think you're safe there.
And it can count for more than you may realize--in concrete you're allowed to calculate the amount of cement substitutes as a fraction by mass of just the cementitious ingredients in the mix--in effect, treating them as if the cemetitious parts are a separate product from the aggregates (this is explained in the Reference Guide in more detail).
Thanks Nadav! I'm assuming the aggregates still need to be included as separate line items? Even so, that does help. But how about the admixtures? After to the cementitious materials, I've been told the admixtures are next most expensive. And acheiving high cement replacement is nearly impossible without the admixtures. However, the quantity used is so small, it isn't usually included in the concrete mix breakdown by mass. But I would understand if allowing us to exclude admixtures (and aggregate?) is meant to encourage greater use of SCM's.
Hi Frances, I'm not sure what "line items" you're referring to. In a typical spreadsheet there is a line item for the overall product or material (in this case, concrete), and then a way show the % of that material that is 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., pre-consumer, regional, etc.
In the case of concrete, you can create a separate line item for "cementitious materials" and show the dollar cost and % recycled just of those.
You can, if you like, also create another line item for the concrete minus those materials, and show any fraction of the aggregates that are regional and/or recycled.
Does that help?
Yes Nadav. I'm sorry, I was thinking in terms of the Actual Cost option and wasn't making that clear. Not sure we will go this route, but we are exploring it in parallel for a particular project. Thanks again, I'm clear now!
I handling G+70 storey building in Abu Dhabi ,which is going to achieve LEED Gold rating from USGBC. In line the contractor is using precast concrete in some areas. The precast concrete supplier clearly said not using GGBS for the considering pre consumer recycled content and also they asked what is the alternative raw material instead of GGBS(Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag ). Can any one help me to guide the contractor and precast supplier to achieve MRc4-Recycled Content credit
Mohamed, I would like to offer advice here, but your question seems to hinge on detailed knowledge of concrete, and I can't offer that. Unless perhaps I'm not understanding the question...?
There are various options for replacing the usuall ingredients in concrete with recycled-content alternatives, but in a 70-story building the engineers will be very cautious about doing anything to the mix that could introduce uncertainty about strength and curing time.
If you have a subscription to Environmental Building News (or want to try one for a month) you can read our recent article: "Reducing Environmental Impacts of Cement and Concrete" that describes many of the options.
Please check the following link & see the section MRc4.
IT says "Supplementary cementitious materials, such as fly ash, silica fume, and slag cement are considered pre-consumer".
Per your comment "in the case of concrete, you can create a separate line item for "cementitious materials" and show the dollar cost and % recycled just of those.
You can, if you like, also create another line item for the concrete minus those materials, and show any fraction of the aggregates that are regional and/or recycled. " I would love to see an example spreadsheet showing how you tracked this in the Documentation Toolkit on LEEDuser. Also, does it matter if the concrete is pre-mixed or mixed onsite when determining when to use option 1 or option 2 (SCMs only) when calculating recycled content in concrete.
Karen - SCM tracking spreadsheet - I too would like to see a spreadsheet showing how to track this as you have mentioned above. Can someone point us in the right direction?
Concrete SCM Tracking Assitance
I did not get a reply to the SCM tracking spreadsheet request from earlier, so I took another look at it and thought I would post this to see if I can get confirmation that I am looking at this correctly.
Concrete Mix A has 117 lbs of recycled SCM's and the total mass of the cementitious materials is 585 lbs. Therefore the SCMs as a % of the total cementitious materials would be 20%. If the cost of all cemetitious materials is $26.90, then the recycled content value per yard would be $2.69 - Correct?
Now, if that is right, I guess I would need to get from the contractor the total number of yards of concrete from that mix design that had been utilized on the project and mulitply it by $2.69 to figure out the recycled content of that mixes concrete. Am I looking at this right?
I have the same question. Did you ever get a confirmation that your calculations were correct?
Yes, Tim's calculations are right.
Nadav - thanks for the confirmation. I appreciate it.
Hi Tim or Nadav,
After you work through the calculations that Tim laid out above and find the "total number of yards of concrete from that mix design that had been utilized on the project and multiply it by $2.69 to figure out the recycled content of that mixes concrete" - then what? Do you enter as one line item on the MR tracking sheet or breakout as two separate - concrete and SCM? If its the former, then how do you breakout the % recycled and cost? For some reason i find concrete and assemblies the hardest to document! thanks!
Hi Courtney, for exactly the reason you describe, it's best to put the cementitious materials and the rest of the concrete mix on two separate lines in the MR tracking sheet. Even though in practice they are ingredients going into the same end product, in this case LEED allows you to pretend that they are separate products, and that makes the calculation work.
Am using NC2.2, for MRc4, after completing the template what other documents i need to upload?....Do i need to upload invoices or a letter from subcontractor stating materials cost is sufficient?
Meloy, you need to show on the template what the source of information is, but you aren't required to upload invoices, etc.
For NCv2.2, do not upload invoices if you are using the 45% default. Your honesty in enough for now until unless you get a clarification or an audit. For MRc4, if you are using the actual material cost, you should have invoices ready to shipped when asked. To avoid doubts during review, upload a spreadsheet with your material list & cost that (I guess) you already have.
For the NCv2.2-MRc4 LEED submittal, if you are considering the actual material cost ,here below is supporting documents ,which we need to upload according to my knowledge.
1. Total material cost( In BOQ, consider only Division 2 to 10)
2. Provide the cost details which are the materials you have considered for the credit.
3. provide the material technical specification showing the pre and post consumer recycled content value. For example 1- concrete,provide the concrete mix design
example 2- Steel provide the manufacture pre and post consumer recycled content value or default valu of steel.
I have found that a lot of material companies will calc the recycled content as material costs times (post-cons % + 1/2 pre-cons %), but this doesn't seem correct if the material contains less then 100% recycled content.
I believe it should be the total recycled content % times the cost, then factor in the post- & pre- %'s.
Example: $10,000 spent on rebar that is only 90% recycled (10% virgin materials).
Therefore, I believe that the correct equation would be $9,000 times (post-cons % -1/2 pre-cons %).
And shouldn't the post- and pre-cons percentages add up to the total %? I'm finding in some cases the numbers are off slightly.
Are my thoughts correct? Anyone have thoughts on this. Thanks.
No, that's not how it works. For the purposes of the calculation, it doesn't matter that the total recycled content is 90%, what matters is what the post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. and pre-consumer recycled content are.
For example, if the rebar is 20% post consumer and 70% preconsumer recycled, the calculation would be ($10,000 x 20%) + ($10,000 x 70% x 0.5) = $5,500 in recycled content value.
so let me make sure I'm understanding this correctly.
If the rebar is used by itself (i.e. not a component of something else) then the pre- and 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. %'s can be calculated from 100% of the cost of the rebar?
If the rebar is a component of something then the pre- and post- %'s can only be calculated as that portion of the component that is rebar?
Ignoring the fact that in both cases the rebar is not 100% recycled material?
Hi Katie, the description of the recycled content of the rebar is important.
Nadev is correct, and if you add up the dollar value of his examples; post ($2,000) and pre ($7,000) that equals $9,000. So the $1,000 or 10% or virgin material has been accounted for and is not included as recycled content.
But in some cases the manufacturer will describe the recycled content as follows.
1.) The total recycled content of x-product is 50% by weight
2.) Of that recycled content 40% is pre-consumer and 60% is 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..
In this case, you should take 50% of the dollar value before running the rest of the standard calculation.
So if the product cost is still $10,000 then the recycled content value would be:
($5,000*40%*0.5 +$5,000*60%) = $4,000
Or another way
($10,000 *20%*.5 +$10,000*30%) = $4,000
i am about to wrap up a LEED v 2.1 NC project. Under MR C4, the threshold is 5% and 10% for 2 points. Do any one know whats the exemplary peformance threshold, is is 15% or 20%. Please let me know ASAP. Thank you
Under version 2.2, the threshold for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for MRc4 is 30%, but under NC version 2.1 it was 15%.
I have a question about how to correctly fill in the LEED 2.2 materials calculator. Is it correct that if I fill in either the Default or Actual Materials Value at the top of the template, then that should automatically be used as the denominator in the final percentage calculation? And then I should only have to list those material line items that contain recycled content, rather than listing every single material used on the job, correct? Because the calculator should not be using the value of those line items added up as the denominator, correct? That is the logic I used to fill in the template (mostly because I don't have enough lines in the template for every material on the job), but the resulting recycled content percentage is significantly different than the one I got using my own Excel spreadsheet. So there appears to be a problem with the template calculator. Anyone have this issue as well? I can always just attach my Excel spreadsheet instead, but I would like to understand how the LEED template does the calculation if anyone knows.
Michelle, Read the Calculations section again in the Reference Guide. You use the 45% default only if you are not using the actual materials costs for Div 2 through 10. Your project has a choice. Once you choose, that number becomes the denominator. So if you have a project that costs 1 million dollars and want the default total then you use 450,000 dollars in the denominator. The numerator is the total recycled content value. So only materials that have recycled content are used. There is no reason to track every materials on a project.
Susan is right on. Michelle, since you're a LEEDuser member I also want to mention that you can click on the Checklists tab above and get a walk-through on the steps to document this credit.
There is a bit of confusion on our project regarding this. The LEED for Schools 2007 Version Reference Guide we are using says:
"Total Material Cost may be derived by multiplying the total construction cost (hard costs for CSI MasterFormat 1995 Divisions 2-10 only) by 0.45. Alternately, the Total Materials Cost may be a tally of the actual materials cost (CSI MasterFormat 1995 Divisions 2-10 only) from the project Schedule of Values or similar document."
Our question is on the first part of this description. If we use the total construction cost/ default construction cost method, are we to use only CSI MasterFormat 1995 Divisions 2-10 but include labor as the associated parenthetical could suggest or are we to use the total project cost for all divisions including labor when multiplying by .45?
Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide.
If you wish to use the default value, you take the total costs for Division 2 - 10 that the contractor provides through the schedule of values. It should be an all inclusive number. That figure is the one you multiply by .45. It will have the general contractor's mark up as well as the sub contractors labor and material costs in there as well.
Can more lines be added to the leed template or should I attach a spreadsheet for additional documentation only summarizing spec sections on the template.
LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, Managing Principal
Earthly Ideas LLC
This credit uses the same baseline material budget.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is recycled can also be regional.
This credit uses the same baseline material budget. Material that is rapidly renewable can also contain recycled content, for example cotton insulation made from recycled denim.
Certified wood calculations only consider ‘new’ wood only. Recycled content in composite wood products should be included in MRc4 calculations, but not in MRc7, even if it is FSC-certified.
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