Pilot-Credits PC20: Recycled Content

  • Revised to challenge the market

    Note: This pilot credit was closed for new registrations as of August 15, 2011.

    This credit has been achieved at high frequency due to the availability of recycled content in structural materials like steel and concrete. To continue to challenge the market structural materials have been removed from credit calculations in both the numerator and denominator.

    The goal of this change is to incentivize manufactures of non-structural products to incorporate recycled content into their products and make the associated information available to project teams. Furthermore, the added incentive to purchase products from manufacturers with take back programs is aimed to support market transformation in closed loop recycling, and will ultimately reduce the amount of waste produced by a building in its lifetime.

    Additional Questions

    1. What was the level of additional effort needed to separate the total materials cost of structural materials and non-structural materials?
    2. With the removal of structural materials from the credit, do you think the point thresh-olds are appropriate? Why or why not?
    3. What do you think is the best way to define non-structural materials? CSI divisions? Material category? Other?
    4. To encourage recycling through manufacture take back programs at the end of a products useful life, do you think an operations manual of some kind is necessary to inform future building operators?

    Credit Submittals

    General

    1. Register for Pilot Credit(s) here.
    2. Register a username at LEEDuser.com, and participate in online forum
    3. Submit feedback survey; supply PDF of your survey/confirmation of completion with credit documentation

    Credit Specific

    All Options

    1. Submit a table showing the cost of each product, the percentage recycled content of each product, the value of the recycled content by weight for each product, and the total credit calculation percentage. The total credit calculation percentage will be the total value of recycled content cost by weight divided by the total material cost of all non-structural products included in the project.
    2. Submit manufacturer’s information sheets (also known as cutsheets) for 20% of products purchased supporting recycled content claims.

    Option 2

    1. Indicate which materials purchased came from manufacturers with closed loop recy-cling and take-back programs.
    2. Submit a description of the manufacturer’s take back program. Description should include evidence that the program covers the project site’s location and product se-lection, as well as the procedure for contacting the manufacturer for participation in the program in the future.
  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    Pilot Credit 20: Recycled Content for Non-Structural Materials

    Intent

    To reduce the impacts resulting from extracting and processing virgin materials by in-creasing demand for building products that incorporate recycled content.

    Requirements

     Use building products that contain the minimum percentages of
    recycled material specified below.

    The recycled content value of a
    material assembly is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the
    assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the
    recycled content value.

    Include only materials permanently
    installed in the project. Furniture may be included if it is included
    consistently in relevant Materials and Resources credits. Exclude
    mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components and specialty items,
    such as elevators.


    Option 1: Non-Structural Materials


    Use non-structural materials with recycled content such that the sum of postcon-sumer  recycled content plus one-half of the preconsumer  (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.") recycled content constitutes minimum percentages, based on cost, of the total value of the non-structural materials in the project. Points are awarded according to Table 1.

    Table 1. Points for percentage of recycled content, non-structural

    [Editor's note: Points are not set for the pilot version of this credit. One point is awarded for attempting the credit, and no more.]

    OR


    Option 2 – Closed Loop manufacturing


    Meet the requirements of Option 1 and demonstrate that at least 5% of the materials qualifying for MR Credit 4: Recycled Content for Non-Structural Materials are purchased from a manufacturer that has a closed-loop product recycling and take-back program.

    1. Recycled content is defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document, ISO 14021 — Environmental labels and declarations — Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).
    2. Postconsumer 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.
    3. Pre-consumer (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.") material is defined as material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Reutilization of materials (i.e. rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it) is excluded.

    For Core and Shell


    Use building products that contain the minimum percentages of recycled material specified below.

    The recycled content value of a material assembly is determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.

    Include only materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included if it is included consistently in relevant Materials and Resources credits. Exclude mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components and specialty items, such as elevators.


    Option 1 - Nonstructural Materials


    Use non-structural materials with recycled content  such that the sum of the postconsumer recycled content plus one half of the preconsumer (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.") recycled con-tent constitutes minimum percentages, based on cost, of the total value of the non-structural materials. Points are awarded according to Table 2.

    Table 2. Points for percentage of recycled content, non-structural

    [Editor's note: Points are not set for the pilot version of this credit.
    One point is awarded for attempting the credit, and no more.]

    OR


    Option 2 – Closed Loop Manufacturing


    Meet the requirements of Option 1 and demonstrate that at least 5% of the materi-als qualifying for MR Credit 4: Recycled Content for Non-Structural Materials are purchased from a manufacturer that has a closed loop product recycling and take-back program.

Organizations

LEED Pilot Credit Library

The homepage for the LEED Pilot Credit Library. The LEED Pilot Credit Library is intended to facilitate the introduction of new prerequisites and credits to LEED. This process will allow USGBC to test and refine credits through LEED 2009 project evaluations before they are sent through the balloting process for introduction into LEED.

Articles

Foundations of LEED

Background for the LEED Pilot Credit Library is provided in this foundational document.

11 Comments

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Amy Van Dam Sustainable Design Coordinator Boulder Associates Architects
Mar 13 2014
Guest
489 Thumbs Up

Insulating Concrete Forms

Our project is using insulating concrete forms (ICFs) for the wall assembly. Since this credit is designed to exclude the structural materials, should we only exclude the steel reinforcement & concrete but include the insulating forms in the calculations or do we exclude the whole ICF wall assembly?

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Batya Metalitz Technical Director, LEED USGBC
Jun 02 2011
LEEDuser Expert
4047 Thumbs Up

Credit Closing in July

This credit will be closing in July 2011, with the launch of the LEED 2012 2nd Public Comment period. The credit will be replaced with a new materials related credit that will be added to the Pilot Credit Library and also open for comment.

What this means for you:
• If you have already registered for this credit, please save a copy of the current version for your records, you do not need to take any other action and may continue to use the credit on your current project.
• If you would like to use the credit on your project(s) but have not yet registered, please do so before July to ensure that the project is eligible to earn credit.

Here's the list of credits that will be closing or modified in July: http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=9455

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Keith Lindemulder Environmental Business Development- LEED AP BD&C, Nucor Jun 16 2011 Guest 1815 Thumbs Up

Is the new language for the modified or replaced pilot credits available at this time?

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Batya Metalitz Technical Director, LEED, USGBC Jun 16 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4047 Thumbs Up

Keith, this particular pilot credit will be closed and replaced with a different MR credit that has not yet been tested in the pilot credit library. The proposed language for those new credits is currently under review by the LEED Steering Committee, but we expect it will come out (as a pilot credit and as part of 2nd Public Comment) in early July.

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Habitech Distretto Tecnologico Trentino LEED Services in Europe - Founding Member of GBC Italia Habitech-Distretto Tecnologico Trentino
Apr 14 2011
Guest
1155 Thumbs Up

What about for an initial interior fit-out?

Hello all.
I am working on a LEED-CI project.
The situation is an initial interior fit-out (build-out of areas where there are no existing interior walls, finishes, etc.) and the tenant's scope of work is only to work on interior not alterating structural elements.

In a case like this, it seems that the requirements of the Pilot Credit are equal to the MR4-Recycled Content, where here I consider only the cost of the materials used for the initial fit-out. Or am I missing something?
Moreover, which is the minimum percentages we have to achieve? 10%?

Thank you in advance!

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

The threshold is the easy answer here—10% minimum.

It seems like you are eligible for the credit, even if it seems kind of redundant. You could email USGBC to check with them.

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Habitech Distretto Tecnologico Trentino LEED Services in Europe - Founding Member of GBC Italia, Habitech-Distretto Tecnologico Trentino Apr 26 2011 Guest 1155 Thumbs Up

Thank you.
I wrote to USGBC, see below for their answer.

"Hi!
It is acceptable to earn both Pilot Credit 20 and MR Credit 4, even though the requirements are very similar.
For the pilot credit, for a CI project, the minimum threshold in 10%"

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Sarah Buffaloe Specialist, LEED, US Green Building Council Apr 27 2011 LEEDuser Member 548 Thumbs Up

Hello Everyone, I'm Sarah Buffaloe and I staff the MR TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. that wrote this pilot credit. I wanted to make it clear that there is no minimum percentage requirement for recycled content Defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document ISO 14021 D Environmental labels and declarations D Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).(like there previously was), the cost value that goes toward credit threshold (numerator) is the % of the product that is recycled content by weight. So for example, a product that costs $100 and is 7% recycled content-- $7 goes toward the numerator.
The 10% threshold in the credit is the ratio of the total numerator to the total denominator.

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Juan Ramos Project Manager, Boulder Associates Nov 08 2011 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

I have a similar situation where the tenant improvement has very little revisions or additions the structural components in the building. It would seem that CI projects are already well suited to get this credit based on the results of MR 4. I think the greater challenge would be to remove the steel studs and framing members contribution to the recycled content and maintain the threshold OR remove the casework substrates and their contribution to the recycled content maintain the credit threshold.

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Joseph Chambliss Trespa North America
Jan 05 2011
Guest
38 Thumbs Up

Closed-loop Recycling and Take-back Program Definition

How will the USGBC define the term "closed-loop recycling"? Businessdictionary.com defines closed-loop recycling as a "Production system in which the waste or byproduct of one process or product is used in making another product." The example provided is recycling waste newspaper to make paper-board or other types of paper. Would this be considered accurate? If so, does this include a product that is considered to be at the end of it's useful life (as mentioned in question 4 above)? And to what extent? In other words, will there be a minimum amount of recycled content derived from the closed-loop process? Also, because my company produces a panel product that cannot be recycled, could a take-back program be a scenario where "drop" material (or material leftover after sheets are fabricated into panels) is reclaimed and cut into small samples qualify? The same question can be posed to end-of-life material (or material pulled from an existing building).

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Batya Metalitz Technical Director, LEED, USGBC Jan 05 2011 LEEDuser Expert 4047 Thumbs Up

This question evoked some good comments from the Materials & Resources Technical Advisory Group. Here are a few of their insights:

The behavior we are trying to incent is to have manufacturers demonstrate an “Extended Producer Responsibility” by developing an infrastructure and the technology to take back and reuse/recycle their products (and competitor products in the category). The objective is to reduce the use of virgin material in the initial manufacture process. The cost to develop the take back infrastructure and to effectively develop technical recovery processes must be incented and rewarded so that those manufacturers truly change their process and show leadership in “mining the urban environment” This language is designed to provide the marketplace pull for these leadership behaviors.

The intent of the credit is to encourage 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. recycling, that is, recycling after the use phase. Over the public comment periods, the credit language would will be refined to make that intent more clear.

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