The topic of materials is one that spans every phase of a building’s life cycle. It includes considerations about construction waste, specifying materials for the building’s structure in the design and construction phase, making green cleaning choices while the building is in use and determining what happens to the building in the demolition phase.
Quick facts about construction waste:
- Construction and demolition waste constitutes about 40 percent of the total solid waste stream in the United States and about 25 percent of the total waste stream in the European Union.
- In aggregate, LEED projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, and this volume is expected to grow to 540 million tons by 2030.
Materials decisions are impacted by an array of stakeholders who work with the built environment and those who support it, as well as by those who work, learn, live and play within those buildings.
What LEED does with materials
Since its initial launch, LEED has always addressed materials, and the newest version of the rating system is no different. LEED v4 brings a shift that goes beyond materials decisions focusing on single attributes and moves the market toward conversations about optimizing environmental, social and health impacts and gaining a better understanding of the trade-offs.
The LEED Building Design and Construction materials credits and prerequisites include:
- Prerequisite: Storage and Collection of Recyclables
- Prerequisite: Construction and Demolition Waste Management Planning
- Prerequisite: PBT Source Reduction—Mercury
- Credit (5–6 points): Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction
- Credit (2 points): Building Product Disclosure and Optimization—Environmental Product Declarations
- Credit (2 points): Building Product Disclosure and Optimization—Sourcing of Raw Materials
- Credit (2 points): Building Product Disclosure and Optimization—Material Ingredients
- Credit (1 point): PBT Source Reduction—Mercury
- Credit (2 points): PBT Source Reduction—Lead, Cadmium and Copper
- Credit (2 points): Furniture and Medical Furnishings
- Credit (1 point): Design for Flexibility
- Credit (2 points): Construction and Demolition Waste Management
The LEED Operations and Maintenance materials credits and prerequisites include:
- Prerequisite: Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy
- Prerequisite: Facility Maintenance and Renovation Policy
- Credit (1 point): Purchasing—Ongoing
- Credit (1 point): Purchasing—Lamps
- Credit (2 points): Purchasing—Facility Management and Renovation
- Credit (2 points): Solid Waste Management—Ongoing
- Credit (2 points): Solid Waste Management—Facility Maintenance and Renovation
Join USGBC at Greenbuild 2017 in Boston, India and China, to learn more about LEED and materials. In addition to educations sessions, Greenbuild in Boston and India will feature expo halls where attendees can interact with the newest and most innovative products the market has to offer.
The Boston Greenbuild event will also include a special session on LEED v4 and its materials and resources section:
Thurs., November 9 from 5–6 p.m.
During this session, attendees will get an overview of the LEED v4 materials section, learning what has changed, what’s been added and how to implement key strategies, including reading and comparing EPDs.