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LEED v4 material ingredients market opportunities

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We're investigating the best ways to increase the production and demand of products with publicly disclosed ingredient profiles and demonstrated track records of product improvement to insure our project teams are prepared for LEED v4. Our goal is to make MR Credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients a “gimme” by the end of 2014. 

In order to map the current landscape of products available that can be used to earn this credit and learn where to target our efforts, we engaged McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to create a market analysis earlier this year, “Market Opportunities for the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program.” MBDC used CSI MasterFormat divisions as an organization scheme.  They first selected twelve product divisions for prioritization. Next, they selected five product categories (or subdivisions) from each of the twelve product divisions. For each of these product categories, currently available Cradle to Cradle Certified products were identified by MBDC, and products with the following attributes were given priority: 

  • Lack of available Cradle to Cradle Certified products in the division
  • Products with simple material compositions that use materials with little to no toxicity
  • High potential for quickly increasing number of certified products 

The report lists the top 50 product categories and approximate costs to certify a typical product. Tier I products have the highest priority because they are subdivisions with no certified products. The next tier includes products with one or two certified products. The lowest tier includes the categories that already have three or more certified products available.

Additionally, MBDC identified ten priority materials--those commonly used ingredients found in more complex building products that have exhibited toxicity to humans and/or the environment. These materials are both the barrier and the key to making certification possible for a wide range of more complex building products. If industry responds and creates alternative priority materials optimized for safety to human and environmental health, ease of and costs for certification would drop dramatically. The priority materials identified in this market analysis are prioritized into three tiers based on:

  • Degree of toxicity to human and environmental health
  • Prevalence of the material in the priority product categories
  • Availability of safe and healthy options in that material category

Product manufacturers, please take a look at the report.  Do you make a product that is on our list? Are you already committed to optimizing your product lines for material health?  If so, please let us know what you’re doing by completing this brief survey.

Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more about any of the programs referenced in the Material Ingredients credit.

 


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    Sara Cederberg made 8 contributions in the last 6 months

Sara Cederberg

Technical Director U.S. Green Building Council

1 commentLeave a comment

Director of Sustainable Education, GreenCE, Inc.
Bold prediction for the LEED credit being a "gimmie" in just a year, although the roadmap provided by MBDC does make it seem plausible. Regardless, 2014 promises to be a year of transition, with leading manufacturers seeing this as an opportunity to grow their business by bringing compliant products to market.

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