Regional materials are those that are extracted, harvested, and manufactured within a certain distance of your project site.
How far, exactly? Historically LEED has used a 500-mile radius to define regional products, but that made it difficult or impossible for coastal or remote regions to pursue this credit. A July 2012 LEED addendum added a more flexible approach, and now MRc5 offers two options to LEED 2009 projects:
The Option 2 credit calculation is much more complicated, and finding the necessary information could be a lot of work. It will be a most effective option for projects that really need to earn the credit, and can ideally focus their calculations on a handful "big ticket" items—see below. However, projects can choose either option on a per-product basis, so they don't need to commit to just one or the other.
Begin researching products early—this will help ensure that there are sufficient regional materials available to specify. If you delay your research, you run the risk that non-regional materials may be specified and purchased before you find a regional alternative. Use the estimated project budget to keep tabs on your performance against the credit threshold.
Many projects fail to earn this credit because they wait until all the materials are purchased before doing the credit calculations.
The 500-mile radius is big enough to cover a lot of ground, but depending on your location, can be tough to work with. Seeing the radius on a map can help quickly assess the product areas where you might have better luck.
If there are enough materials available in your region, this credit can be very easy to achieve. Focusing on a few more expensive items that can be sourced regionally—like structural steel or concrete, for example—may represent enough value to earn the credit. If you combine these big-ticket items with the requirements of other MR credits, you can earn multiple points for a relatively small number of product selections. This strategy has the benefit of reducing the number of items you need to track and document.
Often, product manufacturers will get their materials from a wide variety of sources, making extraction location trickier to determine. It can also be challenging to understand how LEED determines the manufacturing locations for materials that are salvaged onsite or reused, those that contain recycled content, or are part of assemblies. Use the chart below to clarify how you should document the manufacturing and extraction location for these materials.
You can claim recycled content as a regional material, and you don't have to trace it back to its original extraction location. According to the LEED Reference Guide, the extraction point for recycled materials is the location of the raw material prior to the manufacturing of the final building product. That might be the recycling facility, scrapyard, depository, stockpile, or another location where the material was collected and packaged for market purchase before manufacturing. It is not necessary to track the raw material back to its original point of extraction.
For a product with multiple points of manufacture, the point of manufacture should be listed as the location farthest from the site.
Look for unique regional resources to help earn this credit, like this wood flooring salvaged from beetle-killed pine, which would help earn this credit in the Colorado region.Early on, research the availability of materials harvested or extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Consider resources such as stone quarries, timber resources, agricultural resources, and manufacturing centers.
The 500-mile radius around a site (Denver shown here), is measured as the crow flies—not the distance that products may actually travel.The 500-mile requirement is measured as a radius around the site “as the crow flies.” In other words, the actual miles and path traveled by the product or material is not as relevant for the calculation.
Include in your new wood materials baseline budget the material cost (excluding labor) of all new wood items that apply under CSI Master Spec 1995 Format Divisions 2–10. Division 12 Furniture is optional. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded. (See Resources for Master Spec information.)
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.
Include in your new wood materials baseline budget the material cost (excluding labor) of all new wood items that apply under CSI Master Spec 2004 Format Divisions 3–10, 31.60 Foundations, 32.10 Paving, 32.30 Site Improvements, and 32.90 Planting. Division 12 Furniture is optional. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded. (See Resources for Master Spec information.)
Adding Division 12 Furniture to your baseline materials budget for this credit is optional, but must be applied consistently across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. Analyze the baseline material budget to see if adding Division 12 furniture works to the project’s advantage. Generally, if the furniture helps contribute to the above MR credits it is in a project’s interest to take credit for it—however, it may help with some while making others more difficult.
Choose one of two options in creating a baseline budget—the default budget, or the actual budget (excluding labor). The default budget method gives you a baseline materials budget as 45% of your total budget, while the actual budget gives you a baseline based on what you actually spend.
A default budget is useful if you don’t want to break out the cost of materials and labor separately. You can take the total cost (material plus labor) of all items in the applicable CSI divisions and assume that cost of materials is 45% and labor cost is 55%.
The default budget is less time-consuming because the contractor does not have to break out the material and labor costs of items that are not being tracked for LEED credits, allowing the project to focus on tracking only the materials that contribute to LEED credits. You can take the total cost (material plus labor) of all items in the applicable CSI divisions and assume that cost of materials is 45% and labor cost is 55%. However, this option may put the project at a disadvantage in terms of getting full credit for the actual value of materials.
You can alternatively use the actual materials budget (excluding labor) of all materials purchased in the applicable CSI categories.
How do you decide whether to use the actual material budget or the default budget as your baseline? The lower you can get the baseline, the easier it is to purchase enough regional material to reach the credit threshold. For example, a project that is renovating an existing building will have low material costs and high labor costs. It might be better for this project to use the actual budget as the 45% default may bring the baseline too high.
How do you know how many regional materials you need to incorporate into your project? Look at the baseline material budget. Determine how much you want to spend on regional materials. Ten percent of the budget cost will give the project one point and 20% will give the project two points. Go through the project’s preliminary budget and identify specific items that are manufactured and harvested/extracted locally. Do these items add up to the amount needed to get one or two points?
Include a cushion for this credit, in case of changes in design and purchasing. For example, if you are counting on points for using 20% regional materials, plan for 30% of your budget to be spent on regional materials to avoid coming up short.
Using the estimated budget to integrate regional materials into the design and specs early on can help prevent costly change orders during construction.
Use your estimated budget as a guide throughout the project. Many projects fail to earn this credit because they wait until all the materials are purchased before doing the credit calculations.
Focus on “big ticket” items when seeking materials to meet regional purchasing requirements. If you can find regional materials like structural steel and concrete, these more expensive materials will go a long way toward meeting the required percentage of your materials budget. This approach allows you to Iimit the overall number of items you need to track and document, reducing contractor headaches. If these big-ticket items do not get you to the threshold you’re trying to meet, target medium-priced items next until you reach your goal.
A single product or material can contribute to multiple credits. For example, a chair made both locally and with recycled materials contributes to MRc5 as well as MRc4. Focusing on products and materials with multiple environmental attributes can also limit the overall number of items that must be tracked.
Product manufacturers may not have extraction information readily available. Allow for time in your process to research this information.
The location of final assembly is considered the “manufacturing location.” Extraction locations are determined by the location from which the raw material was sourced.
Products salvaged on site can count the site as the manufacturing and extraction location.
Look at product cut sheets and manufacturing data to determine whether a product contains regional materials.
When a product is made of multiple materials that are manufactured and extracted in different locations, or only part of the product can count as regional, use these special considerations.
The cost value for the LEED calculation is determined by weight as a percentage of the total. For example, a $100 piece of casework assembled locally contains 20% wood, and 80% marble, by weight, but only the wood was harvested and manufactured locally. Even though the piece of casework was manufactured and assembled locally, only $20 of the casework would contribute to this credit as being both manufactured and harvested locally.
Request that manufacturers provide assembly information broken down by weight.
Follow special considerations for products that are salvaged or reused or have recycled content.
Use the vendor or salvage location in place of the manufacturing location for salvaged, reused, or refurbished materials. Use the location from which the vendor salvaged the material in place of extraction location.
If a material is salvaged onsite and reused again onsite, you can count the site as both the manufacturing and extraction location. For example, parking lot concrete might be ground up and reused as infill on the same site.
Use replacement costs of salvaged materials (rather than actual costs) for all LEED materials calculations. For example, if you received free filing cabinets from a local office rehab you would use the cost of what you might spend on a filing cabinet if you had to replace the free one. This can work to your advantage, since the cost of used cabinets would probably be lower.
The actual budget method can be more time-consuming for the contractor because it requires tracking the actual costs of all materials purchased, even those in the applicable CSI divisions that do not necessarily contribute to LEED credits.
Revisit your baseline materials budget as the design evolves to make sure the numbers remain accurate and that you remain on track to achieve your goal for the credit.
Incorporate regional product requirements into individual construction specifications.
For guidance and sample specification language for incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents, see MasterSpec, or the Whole Building Design Guide. (See Resources.)
Incorporating the LEED requirements directly into the drawings as well as into the specs is a good way to remind the contractor and subcontractors of the requirements.
Analyze the initial cost budget to know what materials the project can target and incorporate LEED requirement language accordingly into construction specs for the specific materials. The contractor will appreciate not having to fill out forms for materials that are not local, or that have so little cost value that it is a waste of time.
Whenever possible, designate in the construction specifications that contractors use specific product manufacturers that you have verified as producers of locally manufactured and extracted items. This will help save research time for the contractors.
Include submittal requirements within each targeted construction spec section and add general requirements to the Division 1 bid package. Include a copy of any submittal documents that the contractor may need to fill out.
Carefully review manufacturer data. Don’t pay attention to vague claims such as “Our product will give you a regional LEED point” when in truth it will only contribute to the credit. No matter what the manufacturer claims, you’ll still need to ask for manufacturing and extraction locations.
The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED construction-related issues, such as IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental materials tracking tools, and construction waste management.
LEED documentation and materials tracking are usually the GC’s responsibility even though specific materials selection may have been already determined by the architect or designer.
The GC should hold an orientation meeting with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.
Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)
Enabling coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.
For any materials not yet specified, research the availability of additional regional materials before construction begins to ensure that the project earns this credit. If product decisions are made after construction begins, there may be less time to review data sheets carefully and much greater risk of using a noncompliant product.
The contractor starts gathering and environmental data and cut sheets from subcontractors for approval.
The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product submittals and tracking forms.
Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.
Streamline documentation and research by taking data gathered from subs via the Environmental Materials Reporting Form and transfer it into a master spreadsheet for all the items being tracked for each product across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the millworker for regional information for MRc5, certified wood information for MRc7, and information about adhesives installed on site for IEQc4.1. If one spreadsheet collects all the data, it can streamline your documentation, associated research, and help with quality control. Use the Materials Calculator spreadsheet in the Documentation Toolkit.
A master spreadsheet facilitates information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.
Assign a responsible party to input the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the Materials Calculator (see Documentation Toolkit). A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role.
Breaking out specific materials costs (excluding labor) for construction materials that contribute to LEED credits is a requirement for LEED MR credits. Some subcontractors prefer not to do this because there are always hidden markups in the materials that subcontractors purchase at wholesale. However, you can simply include the product markup when breaking out a product’s material cost from installation and labor costs.
Even if you use the default budget method for your baseline material budget, you have to break out the actual cost of materials you are tracking for LEED.
Transfer all the data collected in the Materials Calculator spreadsheet (see Documentation Toolkit) to the LEED Online submittal form.
You will want to keep all product cut sheets or letters from manufacturer detailing extraction/harvest and manufacture location 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 regional procurement recommendations and incorporate the recommendations into a purchasing policy. This will contribute to EBOM MRp1: Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2
Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.
Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site for a minimum of 10% (based on cost) of the total materials value. If only a fraction of a product or material is extracted/harvested/recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) shall contribute to the regional value.
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.
Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site for an additional 10% beyond MR Credit 5.1 (total of 20%, based on cost) of the total materials value. If only a fraction of the material is extracted/harvested/recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) shall contribute to the regional value.
Establish a project goal for locally sourced materials and identify materials and material suppliers that can achieve this goal. During construction, ensure that the specified local materials are installed. Consider a range of envi- ronmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials.
This free online tool allows you to draw a 500-mile radius around a point on a map, which can help visualize the Regional Materials boundaries for your project location, and help you look for sources within those boundaries.
PlanetReuse is a nationwide reclaimed construction material broker and consultant company. At no cost to the design team, they match materials with designers, builders and owners to serve LEED efforts, save money, and sustain the planet. They make it easier to use a wide variety of reclaimed materials in new projects as well as help find new projects for building materials being deconstructed, guiding clients through every step of the process.
Architectural Computer Services, Inc. (ARCOM) offers a free downloadable PDF of the Master Spec divisions. Check this to verify which materials are included in this and other MR credits.
This book and CD-ROM from Master Spec offers useful guidance and sample specification language for incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents. (Requires purchase.)
Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.
Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.
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.
Many products contain materials with different extraction or harvest locations. Use this spreadsheet to determine how much of the assembly you can count toward the Regional Materials credit. Includes sample calculation.
Manufacturers often highlight regional manufacturing and extraction information in cut sheets and letters, as shown here. In some cases information may be misleading or incomplete, and you'll need to follow up (see annotations on the PDF).
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
Hi Leed Folks!
We are working on a project in American Samoa. The product in question says that all of its materials are extracted within the manufacturing site (San Jose CA). Using the sea routs calculator, sea miles will translate to 272 miles from facility that makes it via port of Oakland. Do I need to make sure the extraction site is within 228 miles of the manufacturing facility, or is that separate since it is in the 500 mile bubble as the crow flies.
Thanks in advance and happy new year!
Amy, the credit requires that the product be manufactured AND extracted with the radius of the project site. So the extraction site is not a radius from the manufacturing facility—it's also in relation to the project site.
I'm happy for you that you're making progress on this credit, but it can be a very very challenging one for remote islands!
Thanks so much, Tristan! So, just to be clear, its 500 miles total, so I need to make sure the extraction site in land miles + the sea miles is 500 or less.
Thanks again for your help!
Amy—This is the LEED-NCv2.2 forum. Is your project v2.2, or is it LEED-2009?
I ask because I don’t think that the LEED-2009 Option 2 “sea miles” approach is applicable in v2.2. Rating System Correction LI#100001265 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=100001265) introduced Option 2 into LEED-2009 in 2012, but that correction did not apply to LEEDv2.2. Likewise, I don’t think that the Global ACPs apply to LEEDv2.2.
In 2008, LI#2036 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=2036) specifically ruled out this approach (which originated in LEED-Canada) for NC-v2.2.
I hope that I am wrong, but if your project is v2.2, you may wish to submit an inquiry to USGBC to determine whether LI#2036 is still valid and whether you can use Option 2 for LEEDv2.2.
Amy—If your project is LEED-2009, it’s probably best to address this question in the appropriate LEED-2009 Forum. Try re-posting to the NC-2009 forum, http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc5.
I am fairly new to LEED so please bare with me on this one. We are a manufacturer and sell assembled products to the customer. Thus, when we sell the assembled product, it is our understanding that we would be the manufacturer.
However, we have had some issues with what our harvest location would be. We purchase the parts (typically wood based products) from local distributors. Would the harvest location that we report be our distributors facility, or do we have to dig deeper and find out where they got their raw materials from?
One problem we continually run into is distributors telling us that the wood used came from multiple forests, or they provide me with an approximate location (i.e. Eastern Tennessee).
Our lives would be much easier if the distributors facility is deemed as the location of recovery of raw materials.
Can anyone provide me with information on this?
Are we talking about new wood (lumber, veneers, veneer plywood, etc.) or composites made from recycled wood scraps (MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder., particleboard, etc.)?
The answer may also depend on which version of LEED a project is using. You have posted this question on the webpage for LEED-Version-2.2 for New Construction. As a “newbie,” you couldn’t have known that v2.2 is old and expires in just a few weeks. Your question can probably get the attention it deserves if you post it in a forum for a more current version of LEED.
If your product is furniture (tables, chairs, retail fittings, etc.), you should probably repost you question to the LEED-2009 Commercial Interiors page (http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CI-2009/MRc5). If your product is casework (modular or built-in) or some other permanently installed building component, try reposting to the LEED-2009 New Construction page (http://www.leeduser.com/credit/NC-2009/MRc5).
In any case, clarify what types of wood products you use.
I wanted to clarify if items such as fixtures, hardware and accessories, and fire extinguishers should be included in the total materials cost. It is a bit confusing since they do fall under CSI Divisions 03-10 but are not necessarily permanently installed in the project.
Erika—MasterFormat has evolved over the past 50 years, but CSI never intended its Division designations to distinguish permanently installed items from temporary construction or moveable fittings. Therefore, when USGBC chose to use CSI Divisions for this purpose, the fit was far from perfect. There are several non-permanent items in the early Divisions that you may exclude:
. . Division 03: Concrete Formwork.
. . Division 10: Cubicle Curtains; Demountable/Portable Partitions, Fire Extinguishers, Shelving, Coat Racks, Flags.
Beyond this, Division 12 Furnishings includes items that are often permanent: Built-In Window Blind Systems, Manufactured Casework, Specialty Caseworks, Entry Mat Systems, Fixed Seating. (MasterFormat 2004, used by LEEDv3-2009, even puts Countertops in Division 12.)
There are numerous other items in various Divisions that could go either way depending on how they are being purchased and installed on your particular project. See this LEEDv3-2009 Ruling: http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10294
For what it’s worth, fire extinguishers are NOT permanently installed, but they are usually mounted in cabinets or on wall hooks that ARE. You could try to get your contractors to break out the costs of the mounting devices from the extinguishers, but truth be told, the extinguisher cost will be infinitesimal compared to the rest of the building. I would just ask for a lump sum for extinguishers and accessories and call it a day. Tracking down the regional & recycled data for a few hooks and cabinets wouldn’t be worth the time.
Hi, I'd like to know if in a project outside the US, can we apply for the option two for regional materials even with V2.2, or it's only for projects under V2009 registered?
Diana, it's just for v2009.
A question has come up as to whether terrazzo can be considered a 0 distance manufactured product or not. It differs slightly from concrete or EIFS wherein it truly is assembled on-site and installed, and therefore, manufactured on site. However, when I read the definition of a Regionally Manufactured Material in the reference guide, it clearly says "assembly does not include on-site assembly, erection or installation of finished components." Just wonder what others have done with this product. Count the manufacture point as the site?
"Manufacture" & "fabrication" generally occur off-Site. Work that occurs on-Site is "installation" or "execution". Since terrazzo consists primarily of two components--aggregate & matrix (concrete or resinous)--that do not come together until they are installed on-Site you would look at the costs & points of manufacture of each component separately. However, if you were using precast terrazzo or terrazzo tiles, the point of manufacture would be the factory where the tiles or precast units were made.
As far as I am aware, one can legitimately claim on-Site manufacture only when the material has been extracted on-Site (example: bricks made from clay excavated on-Site). There may be some other rare instances of "on-Site manufacture", but generally, on-Site work is considered "Installation".
I'm obviously missing something, well, obvious here. I can't seem to find anything on the internet or leeduser so please, be patient with me ;-).
This is the first time I've had to document credits that are typically completed by a contractor so I'm a bit confused.
In the Materials Calculator, they ask for "Manufacturing Location" then "Source of Location" and "Extraction Location" then "Source of Location." What exactly do they mean by "Source of Location?" Do they mean, "where did you get your information from?"
Thank you for your help!
Caroline, it is asking for the source of information, e.g., a manufacturer cut sheet.
That's what I thought, but wanted to make sure. Thank you :-).
I have the blanket Manufacturers LEED documentation showing recycled content numbers from my steel sub. There are multiple plant locations for each item. For example: we are located in Orlando. The documentation says that there is mill in Arkansas and one in South Carolina. One is within 500 miles the other is not. I have asked my sub which area they get the product from and they say they get it from a supplier who they think gets it from SC but would need to dig deeper to find out for sure. Do I need to get him to find out and have it documented?
Jamie: Do not rely solely on the blanket statement.
Typically, steel fabricators obtain steel from multiple mills based on availability and the types of steel required. Some mills specialize in plates & bars, others focus on tubes & pipe steel, while some make only structural shapes. Some heavy structural members are only made at specific mills. Since most steel assemblies comprise various types of components, your steel probably comes from multiple sources. Your fabricator probably cannot tell you in advance exactly how they are sourcing raw steel for your project. However, once the steel has been purchased & fabricated, they can be more specific.
Most fabricators are required to obtain mill certificates identifying the sources of the steel components that make up their fabrications. By cross-referencing against a bill of materials, the fabricator should be able to provide a breakdown of the tonnages sourced from each mill. (This same breakdown can be used to calculate recycled content for MRc4.)
This kind of tracking can be laborious, but worthwhile, since the value of steel fabrications can make up such a large percentage of a project’s total material cost.
Just be sure to value steel fabrications at their full cost, “as delivered” to the project. This value can be significantly higher than the amount paid to the steel mill for the raw steel. Under MRc4, see Keith Lindemulder’s response to Brandi Frederickson’s November 20, 2012, post.
Good luck! Since steel is heavy and costly to ship, your fabricator has probably sourced their steel from the closest available sources.
Remember that the steel fabricator's shop is the manufacturing location (site of final assembly). The steel mill that furnished the steel counts as the extraction site, but only for the recycled portion.
Example: If the fabricator & the steel mill are both within 500 miles, and the mill reports 60% 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. & 38% pre-consumer recycled, then 98% of the steel from that mill is regionally extracted.
The remaining 2% is virgin ore, which is usually impossible to trace back to a specific mine (extraction location).
When you combine the high dollar value of steel fabrications, the high recycled content of steel, and regional sourcing, steel can deliver a 1-2 punch for both MRc4 & MRc5. This makes all the number crunching worthwhile.
It is my understanding that the site of manufacture and the job site distance calcuation is not "miles traveled" but just simply within a 500 mile radius? We have been using driving directions under mapquest but can anyone share how to view a map with a 500 mile radius of a specific point? We are just a few miles over using driving directions..
You are correct, it's a straight-line or "as the crow flies" distance, not miles traveled. There are a number of ways to get the straight-line distance, I'll share two.
This website (and there are many many websites that do the same thing, I'm not particularly endorsing this one but it does seem easy enough to use) will tell you the distance if you put in two addresses:
Both Google Earth and web-based Google Maps have ruler tools you can use to measure a straight-line distance. In Google Earth the ruler tool can be found in the bar of tools at the top of the window. In Google Maps, the ruler is a "lab" feature, so you have to turn it on in your Labs Settings... to do that you can follow these directions:
Hope that helps.
Perfect - thank you Emily. I appreciate the help!
Probably the easiest way is the "great circle" distance between two zip codes. Use this website and simply enter the zip code of the project in on box and the zip of the fabricator (or harvest/extraction/recovery) location in the other - http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/zipdistance.asp The distance returned is how the crow flies.
This gets a bit more complicated if there are several "recovery locations" for items that contain recycled content. Some steel producers can provide a percentage of steel recovered within the 500 mile radius of the project site by request.
As a supplier of a paint product, I am being asked to provide information to support this credit. They are looking for a "List of Material Components of Product Assembly". This product is a two part system which needs to be mixed at the jobsite before it can be installed. Each of these items is a paint comprised of MANY ingredients each.
Both parts of the product are manufactured safely within the 500 mile radius, and the supplier of the primary ingredient which is engineered into the product we sell is also within that 500 miles.
Is it safe to assume that the components they are asking me to list could be as simple as Part 1 and Part 2, or do we need to identify each and every ingredient and location of origin of those two parts?
Giselle, I think you've been invited on a wild goose chase. Technically you'll need to track down the extraction location, not just the manufacturing location, of the raw materials of the paint. For a product with significant petrochemical inputs, this might be not only difficult, but likely to result in finding that those inputs come from outside the 500-mile radius.
If I were involved on the LEED project team, I would focus my effort on bigger-ticket items with greater likelihood of sucess—per our advice above.
Thank you Tristan. I thought as much, but was really hoping to help them out with their request.
You have saved me much work!
I recently saw a submittal from a manufacturer that interested me. It showed a 500 mile radius from its manufacturing facility, and showed extraction points within that 500 mile radius. Basically, it was saying that if extraction to manufacture is 500 miles, and manufacture to construction is 500 miles, then extraction to construction could be 1000 miles and still be compliant. Is this true? It seems to meet the intent of reducing embodied energy1. Embodied energy is the energy used during the entire life cycle of a product, including its manufacture, transportation, and disposal, as well as the inherent energy captured within the product itself.
2. The energy expended in the process of creating a product, often including the fuel value of its constituent parts as well as transportation to its point of use., but it does less to help local economies.
Sarah, there is some logic to this linked approach in terms of reduced transportation, but it is definitely not allowed under the LEED requirements (see above).
How strict is USGBC in regards to the 500 mile limit? I have portions of products that are located at at just over 'crow fly' miles (according to google maps). I'm talking between 15 to 50 miles over 500 mile. I'm working with the manufacturer to break down the weight of the components but seems a little ridiculous when part of a product is extracted on the other side of town and I have to discount it.
They are strict. They have to draw the line somewhere.
I recently received a preliminary review on a construction application in which many of the materials listed in our table were questioned. Our contractor on the project incorrectly entered the manufacturing location as both the extraction and assembly site. Is it sufficient that I provide a narrative stating the confusion and revise all the non-compliant materials in the table?
Or is the admission of the error problematic, because the review team may question the validity of all the contributing materials?
I was considering hunting down back-up documentation for the major contributing materials to substantiate at least up to the 10% threshold, but I worry that may be another can of worms.
Please advise on the most sensible course of action to support our claim of credit.
In this situation, I think your plan sounds reasonable. Admitting the mistake is surely the way to go, and I'm sure your team isn't the first. I would recommend trying to hunt down the back up documentation to get you to the 10% as just changing numbers will raise a flag for sure. Keep in mind you should start with the biggest ticket items first (then you'll have to track down fewer pieces of documenation). I did this for a 2.2 project a few months ago and, you're right, it was a headache, but we did achieve the points.
Anybody have any insight on the additional Alternative Compliance Path langauge apparently added to LEED v2.2 MR5? [Full text here - http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=10560 - check out page 81-82]
Specifically Option 2 of the Alt Comp Path includes multipliers for transportation methods such as rail, inland waterways and sea. Depending on the transportation method this can dramatically increase the size of the 'project circle'! In fact, the real miles traveled in the example published is 3,220 and it complies.
What's the rationale for this being acceptable ONLY for projects outside the US?
As a follow up, does that mean that all the manufacturing locations must now be inside this extended circle too!?
Do any one have any insight about what the credit change refers to regarding transport distance by rail/ship for Option 2 ? Option 1 clearly refers to radial miles. However, it is not that clear for Option 2. Does it means rail/ship mileages or shortest length between the ports/stations?
I just noticed this problem on the credit form--watch out that it doesn't trip you up!
Both the "Harvest Distance" and the "Manufacture Distance" columns in the table have double asterisks (**) after them. Below the table you see that this ** refers to a note, which reads:
"** An alternative to providing actual mileage is to provide a statement on manufacturer's letterhead indicates the point of manufacture is within 500 miles of the LEED project site. If this submittal path is pursued, please enter "1" as mileage in the associated mileage columns and upload the statement:
I have provided a statement on manufacturer's letterhead to support the extraction/harvest/recovery distances reported above. (Optional)"
This is a nice gesture on GBCI's part to simplify a tricky documentation situation. The problem is that it just refers to the "point of manufacture" and ignores the the location of harvest/extraction. I just reviewed documentation from a well-meaning architect to did exactly what this note asks for, and now they have a bunch of useless letters, and a LOT of frustration.
The statement on manufacturer's letter must, of course, address both the location of manufacture AND the location of harvest/extraction.
I don't see any discussion on landscape, all of the plant material for our project is nursery grown or field harvested (trees & grass) within 200 miles of the project. Even the pvc pipe for irrigation is manufactured locally with the raw pvc pellets manufactured within 500 miles. I know this is a small ticket item but if included puts us over the 20% threshold for an additional point. Since the credit language makes no specific reference to landscape am I safe to assume it can be included as any other material used in the project?
Any thoughts will be appreciated.
We have always included landscape and site materials as they apply to the 310000 and 320000 sections of the specifications and have had success. I would encourage you to ensure that your items do fit within the specification sections allowed in the LEED Ref. Guide. Other than that - Good Luck and remember that every item counts!
Two questions here:
1. Our project is a historic renovation. We didn't salvage/refurbish enough materials to get MR3, but the value of on-site refurbished materials will help us achieve MR5. We did not pay for these materials - their value has been estimated based on the market rate. Our total materials cost has been calculated (not estimated at 45%). When listing the refurbished materials in MR5, I should add their value to the compliant product value but NOT the total materials cost, correct? This is my instinct because (1) we didn't pay for the materials, and (2) total materials cost is supposed to be consistent across all credits, and these salvaged materials will not be counted in MR4. Just looking for verification.
2. I've read through everything on LEEDUser about "recovery location" of recycled materials, but I still don't feel completely clear. Just to check, here's an example of information I have received:
Some aluminum door frames in the project are 25% 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 50% pre-consumer recycled. The supplier writes in an email, "[Manufacturer] uses a Long Beach, CA manufacturing facility. They informed us that they purchase their aluminum extrusions from a company that manufactures the product in Ontario, CA."
Clearly we don't know where the 25% virgin materials came from. But Long Beach and Ontario are both less than 500 miles from the project site. Can we claim that the recycled materials were "recovered" in Ontario, and so report 75% regional materials? Or, because they didn't explicitly say Ontario was the collection point of the scrap material, does this backup not provide enough information?
Thanks so much.
Good, clear questions here.
1. If you are going to count those on-site refurbished materials towards your MRc5 credit, then you DO have to include them in the total materials cost at the same value, and for all the relevant MR credits. You are not allowed to factor in these materials to help earn the point but then not include them everywhere else.
2. No, I'm afraid that you can't count that Ontario, CA mfgring location as your "recovery location". For that you would have to find out where that Ontario plant procures it's raw materials, and see if there is a consistent or documentable collection site that most of that recovered materials comes in through.
Thanks for the clarification!
The v2.2 Reference Guide (and i have checked the errate as well) does not say that you must attach documentation in the form of receipts, letters, etc. explaining the distance between the project and manufacturer. And I have seen LEED AP's state that it is not required, but I want to be certain. We are not trying to play games, but we lack some documentation now and will have to do some serious digging to obtain it. Thanks.
Dave, it's my understanding that it's enough to give the distances—you don't need to upload documentation of that.
I have recently supplied a large amount of aluminum for a sports arena and was wondering if anodizing of the material would be considered the last point of manufacture for the product.
The raw mateiral was harvested and produced outside of the 500 mile radius from the site. We processed the raw material into aluminum mesh outside of the 500 mile radius as well.
The last process was anodizing the material which occoured very close to the site. Can I say the product was manufactured within the 500 mile radius?
Phillip, this is a bit of a gray area, in my opinion, because while LEED does break down products into ingredients as far as extraction, I have seen less guidance on how it handles multiple points of manufacturing for one product.
However, I would fall back on a common-sense understanding here, and say that the clear answer is that the product was largely manufactured outside the radius and should not be counted.
LEED consists of a lot of very specific rules, but when those rules are unclear we have to keep the intent in mind.
Keep in mind that LEED defines “manufacturing location” as “the point of FINAL ASSEMBLY.”
So the structural steel fabricators are within 500 miles of the project site. Their suppliers are within 500 miles of the project site as well. The problem lies in where the suppliers get their raw materials. A percentage of the raw materials comes from recycled material and a percentage of the raw material are extracted from all over the world. Does the steel qualify for regional content then? Am I correct when I state the fabricators as the point of manufacture and the suppliers as the point of extraction?
Kelvin, the raw material would not qualify, but for the recycled material you could arguably count the supplier as the extraction location, according to LEED. There is more detail on this latter issue in the Bird's Eye View tab above.
I have two issues that need clarification. Perhaps someone can help... These relate to reporting and the valuation of materials within a casework assembly.
1. True? When considering an assembly using other manufactured assemblies (ex. a cabinet with hinges) the final manufacturing location (point of sale) is the "extraction" point. Does this hold true for casework with buyout solid surfacing or trim/hardwood?
2. In a project containing casework with solid surfacing: how would the overall weight/material ratio be calculated? Total project solid surfacing against total casework materials? What if you have several vanities and a reception desk? The solid surfacing would massively scew the weight ratio.
Elizabeth, I have never heard that the manufacturing location for anything, assembly or not, can be called the extraction location, except in some cases when you're talking about recycled content.
I'm not totally understanding your question #2. What you want to do is divide the assembly up by weight and count each material individually as far as regionality, etc. goes.
Yes, I see.
I simply don't understand where you draw the line in itemizing materials. I wouldn't be able to disclose the "extraction point" of the components of a hinge, for example. So its manufacturing location has to be its extraction point.
This leads me to ask, is the assembled value of the casework irrelevant?
There is a lot more guidance on these issues in the content area of the website--available to premium members. It might be worth investing the $9.95 for a month's access to check that out.
To address your question, generally, project teams try to achieve this credit using bulk materials: aggregate, structural steel, etc. It's often not feasible, as you point out, to figure out extraction points for more complex, manufactured materials.
If you do know the extraction point for your wood, however, but not for the other materials in the product, you can separate those on a mass basis.
I hope this helps! Nadav
We just received our first review and need to clarify on some credits. I noticed we received (1) point for MRc5.1 but we did not receive MRc5.2. Our data template shows that our project had 41% of its materials extracted/manufactured within 500 miles of the site. That is more than enough for MRc5.2. It shows no clarification needed for the credit. How do we go about clearing up this discrepancy? It doesn't make sense for us to have to pay for an appeal, when it appears to be a mistake on their part.
You can respond directly via email to the LEED review team assigned to your project if you have previous correspondence with them and have their email.
You can also use this link:
Forgot the rest of my response.... my review team accidentally denied a credit even though we met all criteria and documentation. I just politely emailed them and asked them to change the status on the credit because it appeared to be incorrect. They did it quickly once they realized their mistake. If you have the review team email addy, it is faster to take care of it that way than through the link above. Good luck.
Where do i find online distance calculators for recycling credits? If the land distance between manufacturer and project site is more than 500 miles but air miles is close to 300 miles. Can we consider air miles?
LEED uses radial miles and not road miles for the credit. There are a number of online distance calculators you can use. I believe that there is a thread on one of the 2009 forums. Personally, I've used a variety of resource including Google maps. For quick and easy answers, I use Free Map Tools but it has a few quirks.
We allso have some useful calculators posted above in the Resources tab.
Trees and plantings fall under CSI division 2, so I assume I can use them towards my regional credits since its cost is counting against us in the MR recycled and regional credits. We have plantings that were grown in our regional area, so am I right in assuming I can count it towards a regional item?
I am doing the same thing on my current project. So I agree with your logic. Can anyone confirm this is acceptable?
Yes, this is corect. It's al by CSI divisions.
It should be noted that LEED, maybe not clearly stating in the reference manual, is using MasterFormat Post 2004 Divisions (00-50). From what you are indicating, your project is using the Pre-2004 specification division numbering system (01-16). Just something to be aware of moving forward. It would be great if LEED 2012 could make this more clear!
I often get get Google maps or Mapquest including driving directions as a form of regional back up from my contractors. I do not feel that this is sufficient back up as it can be easily fabricated, does not determine distance "in a straight line" and does not come from the manufacturer. But they respond saying it has been sufficient for other LEED projects. As anyone else submitted these maps to USGBC and had them accepted?
I have had projects in which we submit the mapquest maps and/or just documentation from the manufacturer stating the mileage to the project site and they have passed. I have recently learned that for version 2.2 you don't even need to provide cut sheets to back up your data because they don't specifically request it in the manual....that may be something to consider as well. I think if you have the back up data in case they do audit the credit, the maps should suffice.
We are using LEED-CI EQc4.5 - low emitting furniture as an ID credit for a university dorm project. Do we need to include that furniture in all the materials credit tallies as well?
First I thought we would, which could make us lose the regional credit 2nd point (not much furniture produced w/in 500 miles of here) but then again, EQ is a completely different category.......
Susan, I recall hearing recently from a project team that was told by GBCI that they had to include furniture throughout, in a situation like this. It seems like the most consistent, thorough method.
I am actually submitting a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide on this today because we were denied this credit. The IEQ credits and the MR credits have nothing to do with each other. In CI, nowhere in IEQc4.5 does it say that if you are going after this credit do you need also go after the MR credits, and vice versa. Yes, it does seem consistent that if you use the furniture for one MR credit, that it must be applied to all in NC. That, to me, is a different scenario.
The idea of submitting an ID credit on a CI credit for an NC project is that you are going above and beyond and complying with credit requirements that you do not necessarily need to be. The IEQ credit for furniture is a stand alone credit and furniture should not be have to included in the MR credits to achieve.
Do we count the 500th mile?
I just submitted our documentation on a project as we usually do, and the LEED coordinator on this project was confused on the items that we marked as >500 miles. We were instructed that only if items were >501 miles that we did not need to provide a map showing extraction / manufacturing. So it seems that they are counting that 500th mile.
I have flipped through the reference manual, and also looked at the CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide's and only find that it repeatedly stated up to 500 miles. This would seem to me to mean that if a product is 500.75 miles from the project, that is does not positively contribute to this credit.
Am I off here?
I may have just answered my own question.
I grabbed the LEED online template. If you fill it out with any quantity over 500 miles IE 500.01 or greater- than the material does not contribute to the credit.
Does anyone know of any written documentation that states that the 500th mile is out.
Kevin, I'm not sure I understand the question. The credit language (see above) requires materials to be within a 500-mile radius. A distance of 500.1, 500.2 miles, etc., is greater than 500, and doesn't qualify. If you think "499th, 500th, etc." it gets confusing. Just look at it numerically and it's pretty straightforward—as far as I can tell.
I agree Tristan, that's why this threw me for a loop. The LEED Coordinator on this project is pretty sure of themselves that they get to count the 500th mile. This goes against everything I've learned about this credit. I figured I'd put this out here to see if others have had this same experience.
Since 0 to 1 miles is the 1st mile, the 500th mile is the mile between 499 and 500. So the coordinator is right, but it doesn't change the result.
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