LEED v4 material ingredients credit: Serving up a new recipe | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED v4 material ingredients credit: Serving up a new recipe

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 Products, products everywhere but which ones score me points?

As in the early days of LEED, finding all the products you need for the new building product disclosure and optimization - material ingredients credit can be tricky—but one day you’ll find them faster than you can say the name of the credit, like you can now with no-VOC paints. Hopefully as time goes on these credits will help make the new norm building products and materials that are trusted to be safe, healthy, and innovative through use of programs like GreenScreen, Cradle to Cradle, and the Health Product Declaration (HPD).

Thankfully, some websites and manufacturers have already stepped up to point you in the right product selection direction. If you’re looking for disclosure points, you’re just clicks away from finding those 20+ products from 5+ manufacturers that have reported their contents to meet option 1 of the material ingredients credit.

  • The Health Product Declaration Collaborative’s website has a whole “transparency community” that helps consumers find products that have HPDs… it’s a library of libraries!
  • You should also Check out GIGA, which has a product database that will let you sort for things like HPDs and Cradle to Cradle certification.
  • Green Circle Certified’s Certified Product Database will soon include verified manufacturer inventories.
  • BuildingGreen’s GreenSpec product directory and UL Environment’s Sustainable Product Guide have an awesome feature to search products that help qualify for specific LEED credits, but they haven’t been updated to include the material ingredients credit for LEED v4 just yet.

As for ingredient optimization (option 2), one path to compliance is Cradle to Cradle certification. The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has a free, snazzy certified products registry with over 2,000 products.

GreenWizard provides software that can help you search through over 150,000 products from over 1,300 different manufacturers. The database is free for the public to search and allows you to filter for LEED v4 MR option 1 and 2 requirements, as well as by EPDs, Cradle to Cradle, and more. Also, with a paid subscription the software offers the ability to manage building product information in a firm specific digital library and track materials in the context of a specific project. There is also functionality available to sync a project’s product information directly into LEED Online.

The Pharos Project, an offering of the Healthy Building Network, is a comprehensive database for identifying health hazards associated with building products (over 1,600 and counting). The ingredients of 380 products are completely disclosed by 59 manufacturers, and this database is used by companies like Google and Perkins+Will to guide their building product selections. While a subscription will cost you, they offer a 14 day trial so you can take it for a test drive.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Be sure to check your favorite manufacturer’s website. Companies are starting to update their literature to include information on which of their products qualify for these credits. Handy! If you need more inspiration, here are some companies who have committed to greater transparency.  

Looking to do some homework on your own? Clean Production Action, creators of GreenScreen, have a store on their website where you can look up GreenScreen assessments for individual chemicals.

These are just a few places to begin with your building material selections. Shedding light on manufacturing practices leads to better, healthier products, and rewards companies that are innovating and making these products readily available. What are your favorite go-to resources? List them in the comments! Also, if you’re not ready to take the v4 plunge, test out the new MR credits on your LEED 2009 project with this credit substitution path.

Stay tuned for more posts on who is making these products, how they are using new technology, where these products are made, and more. Also, for more information you can check out this webcast from the folks over at LEED User on finding products for the LEED v4 MR credits.

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    Fleming Roberts made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Fleming Roberts

External Relations Specialist
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