What is USGBC’s Mission?
To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.
What is LEED?
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
Categories of LEED Ratings:
LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC)
LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB)
LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI)
LEED for Core & Shell (LEED-CS)
LEED for Schools
LEED for Retail
LEED for Healthcare
LEED for Homes
LEED for Neighborhood Development
We are going to look specifically at one rating system – LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations, as it is most applicable to indoor mats and wall pads.
LEED-NC addresses the following areas:
Category 1 Sustainable Sites (SS)
Category 2 Water Efficiency (WE)
Category 3 Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
Category 4 Materials and Resources
Category 5 Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)
Category 6 Innovation and Design Process (ID)
For more information on each category, refer to the LEEDNC Reference Guide (available for order at www.usgbc.org). The LEED-NC Reference Guide is a supporting document to the LEED-NC Green Building Rating System. The Guide is intended to assist project teams in understanding LEED-NC criteria and the benefits of complying with each criterion.
Each LEED-NC category is defined by a checklist of prerequisites and credits. Fulfilling items on the checklist earns points towards LEED certifications. The Materials and Resources category contains one prerequisite and 14 credits. One of these credits focuses on recycled content:
Materials and Resources, Credit 4: Recycled Content.
What is the intent of this credit?
According to the LEED-NC Version 2.0 Reference Guide, it is to “increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.”
What are the requirements?
“Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of the post-consumer recycled content plus ½ of the preconsumer content constitutes at least 10% or 20%, based on cost, of the total value of the materials in the project.”
One LEED credit can be earned if the recycled content value is 10%. Two LEED credits can be earned if the recycled content value is 20%. “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 the assembly to determine the recycled content value.”
Definition of Post-consumer material = “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.”
Definition of Pre-consumer material = “material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being
reclaimed within the same process that generated it”.
What submittals are required?
A LEED-NC letter template must be completed and signed by the architect, interior designer, owner or other responsible party, for submission to the USGBC. USGBC provides forms for documentation that can be downloaded and completed (see template). For more information,
visit the USGBC website at www.usgbc.org.
How to pursue MR Credit 4.1 and 4.2:
- A client approaches you to incorporate recycled content materials for a LEED project.
- Calculate the percentage of recycled content that is part of your project. Include only materials that are permanently installed. Exclude mechanical, electrical and plumbing components and specialty items such as elevators.