Schools-2009 MRc4: Recycled Content

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  • Allow time for documentation

    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. 

  • Most projects easily earn both points

    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.

    Learn the lingo

    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%.

    DRecycled  bottlesPost-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. 

    Flooring panelAt 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.

  • FAQs for MRc4

    I have recycled content information for a product, but it doesn’t specify whether it is pre-consumer or post-consumer. What should I do?

    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.

    Why can’t I include mechanical, electrical and plumbing components in this credit? What if I consistently include MEP materials in the calculations for all of the MR credits I’m attempting?

    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.

    The recycled content percentage on the product data sheet is given as a range. What should I do?

    Unless the manufacturer can provide more specific information, teams must use the lower recycled content value in the given range.

    The manufacturer can't give me product-specific recycled content data, but they say that they fall within the national industry average. Can I use that?

    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.

    Is the default average recycled content value of 25% for steel still allowed?

    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.

    Can site materials, such as soil, be included in the MR credit calculations?

    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.

    Are there recycled content claims that I should be wary of?

    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.

    Can I count FSC-certified MDF toward both MRc4 and MRc7?

    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. For products with FSC Mix and recycled content claims—including many MDF products and complex assemblies that include MDF—LEED Interpretation #10372 clarifies that project teams have to choose which "environmental attribute" they will use to classify the product, and it (and its dollar value) will either go into an FSC "bucket" or into a recycled-content "bucket." 

    If I have one cut sheet that meets the LEED 2009 requirement to upload 20% of cut sheets by cost, for this credit, is that acceptable?

    Yes, subject to any questions that may come up during a normal LEED review process.

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  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Schematic Design

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  • 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. 

Design Development

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  • Begin by creating a baseline materials budget. This is the total amount of money that will be spent on building materials. Use the Materials Calculator from the Documentation Toolkit to compile the baseline material list in a way that facilitates adding information on environmental attributes.


  • Your material budget assumptions and material costs should be consistent across MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7. The LEED Online credit form helps ensure this automatically. 


  • 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.


  • 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:

    • Divisions 3–10 
    • Section 31.60: Foundations
    • Section 32.10: Paving 
    • Section 32.30: Site Improvements
    • Section 32.90: Planting
    • Division 12: Furnishings is optional
    • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and equipment costs are excluded.

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Assemblies


  • 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.

Construction Documents

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  • 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.

Construction

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  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


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


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


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


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

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

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


  • Before construction begins, research 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.


  • During Construction


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


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


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


  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • 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 form and upload the product cut sheets. 


  • Only a random 20% sampling of product cut sheets need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • 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.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations

    MR Credit 4: Recycled content

    1–2 Points

    Intent

    To increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

    Requirements

    Use materials with recycled content1 such that the sum of postconsumer2 recycled content plus 1/2 of the preconsumer3 content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project. The minimum percentage materials recycled for each point threshold is as follows:

     

    Recycled Content Points
    10% 1
    20% 2
     
     

    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.

    Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components, and specialty items such as elevators and equipment cannot be included in all calculations. Include only materials permanently installed in the project. Furniture may be included if it is included consistently in MR Credit 3: Materials Reuse through MR Credit 7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System..

    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 Preconsumer 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.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    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.

Web Tools

BuildingGreen.com

Lists of green, recycled content materials organized by LEED credit and CSI section.

Organizations

Steel Recycling Institute

The Steel Recycling Institute provides defaults for recycled content of steel based on furnace type.


MasterSpec

MasterSpec offers guidance on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications.


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

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

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

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

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

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

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

Recycled Content Calculator

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.

Recycled Content – Product Cut Sheets

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).

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across applicable MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

Concrete Tracking

Use this form to track your concrete mixes and their recycled content and distance to the manufacturing and extraction sites.

LEED Online Forms: Schools-2009 MR

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each Schools-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Construction Submittal

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

Recycled Content Specifications

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.

25 Comments

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Todd Bundren Associate Lawrence Group
Apr 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
978 Thumbs Up

Credit Pending due to type of Manufactures documentation

The manufactures that supplied the steel for my job all have some form of the following line in their support documentation for the recycled content:
The Manufacture...utilizes the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) process to manufacture a variety of steel products. Based on studies conducted by the Steel Recycling Institute (www.recycle-steel.org) and supported by...the Manufacture's... internal operating data, the steel products manufactured with BOF technology in the United States in 2009, which is the most recent data available, consume approximately 34.9% recycled scrap with 24.3% 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. scrap, 9.4% pre-consumer scrap and 1.2% in-house scrap.

The reviewer has said this type of documentation is not allowed as it references national or industry averages. Should the manufactures not reference the Steel recycling institute in there supporting documentation? Do we need a letter that just states "the steel used on your project has x% recycled content"? I am just a bit confused on what is acceptable for documenting the manufactures recycled content claims. Thanks!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4552 Thumbs Up

Todd - This can be confusing. Please see "The manufacturer can't give me product-specific recycled content data, but they say that they fall within the national industry average. Can I use that?" FAQ above for background information including the actual LI - http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10246.

To answer your questions, referencing the Steel Recycling Institute is not useful for supporting documentation because it is not specific to the manufacturer. Basically, yes, you do need specific information from your manufacturer, which could be a letter from the manufacturer stating the amount of recycled content. If you can’t provide specific information, you can fall back to the default 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. waste value without any additional backup. See “Is the default average recycled content value of 25% for steel still allowed?” still allowed.

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Nader NAKIB
Feb 16 2014
LEEDuser Member
66 Thumbs Up

Donnations in the Materials Credits calculation

We are working on a project for an NGO that is seeking a LEED-NC certification for their new office building. The NGO will be receiving many donations from local suppliers and businesses as well. Does anyone know how will the donated materials be calculated in the Regional and Recycled credits. It shall be noted that the material may be a big ticket items and is all new.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Feb 17 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4552 Thumbs Up

Nadar - I don't have any experience with this. I hope other LEEDusers will chime in including someone from USGBC who was involved in their corporate HQ LEED certification. I know that they had this situation of donated materials and earned both MRc4 and MRc5 - http://www.usgbc.org/projects/usgbc-headquarters.

In my mind, the problem is that these donated materials are not part of the overall job cost because they were donated. Hence they are not really part of the denominator of the calculations for MRc3-6.

Consider reading this post for additional information while you wait for other assistance: http://www.leeduser.com/credit/CS-2009/MRc2#comment-12094.

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Ameet AA
Mar 19 2013
LEEDuser Member
1109 Thumbs Up

Play ground equipment

Is it prudent to include the Play ground equipments into the following LEED credit calculations?could anyone please share their experience in dealing with playground equipments for LEED compliants?

1.MR Credit 4: Recycled Content
2.MR Credit 5: Regional Materials
3.MR Credit 7: Certified WoodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System.
Thank you

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 19 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Ameet, inclusion of anything in this credit and other MR credits is based on what Masterformat divisions it falls into, as discussed in the Reference Guide and other places. I'm guessing playground equipment falls into those divisions.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Mar 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4552 Thumbs Up

Looking at my MasterFormat 2004 Edition Numbers & Titles document, playground equipment is part of 11 68 00 - Play Field Equipment and Structures. Based on the MasterFormat Divisions and Sections included in the MR credits in LEED v2009, I would say you should not include this equipment in your MR calculations (Division 11 is not included). I do not, however, have any direct experience with this situation.

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Ameet AA Apr 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 1109 Thumbs Up

Thank you Tristan and Michelle.
Masterformat 2004 is useful to US projects?
All my projects are outside US. Any other alternatives?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 17 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4552 Thumbs Up

I currently don’t have any experience with specifying international projects. Do you have a local Green Building Council or professional association (architectural or construction)? I would consider starting there. Consider checking out the LEED International Roundtable - http://www.usgbc.org/about/committees/international and contacting international@usgbc.org.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 17 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Ameet, is your question is about whether you can use a different system to document your LEED credits, I don't know the answer. But I am pretty sure that you will have to use MasterFormat for deciding what materials do and don't apply to LEED requirements.

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Eri Spaulding Ashley McGraw Architects
Feb 21 2013
Guest
813 Thumbs Up

misc. accessories & appliances

How about misc. items such as fire extinguisher cabinets, interior signage & toilet accessories? These are not technically MEP, but by using the same reasoning they are very expensive in relation to their weight and can skew calculations dangerously. Should we count these anyway?

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Feb 23 2013 LEEDuser Expert 4552 Thumbs Up

Eri - All the items that you are referencing are typically specified in CSI MasterFormat 2004 Division 10, so yes they have to be included in the overall cost for MRc3-6. I'm not sure what you mean by expensive in terms of their weight but if you have recycled content information for some items and need to get to the 10 or 20% threshold you should include them in the recycled content. However, typically I try to focus on the larger cost items to achieve the credit versus spending too much time chasing the cost of smaller dollar items.

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder www.BCdesignbuild.com
Jan 17 2013
LEEDuser Member
810 Thumbs Up

Concrete Recycled Content Value Calculation Assistance Request:

Can you tell me if I am looking at this correctly if I choose to treat the entire concrete assembly as one entity and do not separate out the SCMs?
I have $647,167.33 in total material cost for the concrete.
19% of this by weight is Fly Ash that has 100% pre-consumer recycled content. Another 9% by weight is Portland cement that has 8.5% pre-consumer recycled content. The rest is made up of components that do not have any recycled content.
To determine the concrete’s pre-consumer recycled content do I add the following numbers:
$122,961.79 (this is 19% of the total concrete material cost, 100% of which is pre-consumer Fly Ash)
$4,950.83 (this is 9% of the total, or $58,245.06 and then 8.5% of that number which is pre-consumer Portland cement)
So the total pre-consumer content value of the concrete assembly is $127,912.62 – right?

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 17 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, that looks right. Of course, you then have to divide that final number by 2 to get the contribution of the pre-consumer recycled content to the total recycled content. 

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Tim Crowley LEED AP / Founder, www.BCdesignbuild.com Jan 17 2013 LEEDuser Member 810 Thumbs Up

Nadav - Thanks for the assistance. It is greatly appreciated as always.

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Kasey Corbet
Jun 07 2012
LEEDuser Member
37 Thumbs Up

Does packaging count?

I recently recieved recycled content information for a products packaging, caulking tubes, paint pails, etc. I also recieved a letter from one manufacturer that states these are inherent to the material and are considered part of the product and are recognized by LEED, referencing a document called "LEED for Product Manufacturers" and the Recycled Content credit section of the reference guide as support. I cannot find this in the reference guide or locate the product manufactuers document. So...does packaging count for these type items? And if so, can someone please point me to where this is explained in the context of LEED?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Kasey, see the credit language above. You can only count materials "permanently installed" on a project. This would not include packaging. Product packaging is covered under MRc2—making it recyclable may be more important in some ways than whether it is recycled.

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Nell Achtmeyer
Feb 01 2012
Guest
153 Thumbs Up

Rebar

I have a question about tracking the recycled content for rebar. Considering the various metal components included in rebar, can you include letters from all relevant manufacturers with their percentages of recycled content and then use the lowest percentage for the line item for the formula? I know there is the default percentages, however, on average the various percentages are in the 90s. Thanks for any advice.

Nell

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 17 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Nell, I am a little confused on whether you are talking about rebar from different suppliers, or different metals included in rebar. If the latter, it seems more complicated to me, more math involved--if the former, your approach sounds reasonable.

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Nell Achtmeyer Feb 21 2012 Guest 153 Thumbs Up

Hi Tristan,

Thanks for following up. It's one manufacturer, but the steel mill source includes two different companies with different recycled content values for the steel. Would it still be reasonable and acceptable for LEED for this credit to take the lower of the two? Thanks so much,

Nell

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Nell Achtmeyer
Jan 03 2012
Guest
153 Thumbs Up

Back up documentation

When this credit is audited and the total back-up documentation is requested, what does LEED require aside from the cut-sheets/MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products/letter from manufacturer that specifically identifies the % and type of recycled content? Sorry if I missed where that information was listed within the resources/checklist page...

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 03 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Nothing else. Just the things you've mentioned--any official documentation from the supplier verifying the information you've provided in the credit form.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 04 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Nell, also to clarify, auditing is not something that is happening any more. You just need to supply the requested documetnation up-front for the regular review.

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Mike Kros Architect DLR Group
Dec 14 2011
LEEDuser Member
257 Thumbs Up

Cost per Item/Number of Items Purchased Inquiry

This question pertains to all of the following credits: MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, MRc7, and IEQc4.

In order to document each of these credits, the forms on LEED Online asks you to indicate a cost per item and number of items purchased, which then calculates sustainable criteria percentages based on those numbers. Our contractor only provided the total material cost for each product, and does not have that separated into the two categories (cost per item and number of items purchased) that LEED requests. Would it be possible to enter the total material cost under the cost per item and 1 under the number of items purchased? You will arrive at the same number whether the cost is broken down or not. When the credits are submitted, will the reviewing board accept or reject this approach to documentation?

Thanks!

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 17 2011 LEEDuser Moderator

This is an interesting predicament. It really shows how much easier this whole thing is if the process is set up well--ideally the contractor would have the credit calculator from the beginning of construction (perhaps even be responsible for filling it out), and would have been collecting the data in the way you need from day one. It always causes problems when you don't start documenting something until after it's done.

Getting off my soapbox now... I can only say that what you're proposing might be accepted, but it's also likely to lead a reviewer to wonder whether the data you've entered is reliable, and trigger a request to see back-up documentation. So you can go ahead and enter it that way now, but be prepared to go back to your contractor for more details (and perhaps even documents validating those details), if the reviewers ask for it. 

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