On-site salvage and reuse of materials The most resource efficient practice a development team can implement on an existing building renovation is to reuse as much of the building as possible, preserving its embodied energy and avoiding the environmental impact of hauling off demolition debris and bring in additional materials. This practice is rewarded by up to three points in MR Credit 1 - Building Reuse. Unfortunately, existing buildings often require significant modifications to accommodate structural/seismic and accessibility upgrades and improvements to allow the old building to function optimally for new uses. If such modifications must be made, the next best thing to leaving building components in place is the salvage and reuse of materials on-site. This practice reduces construction waste, eliminates the transportation impacts of hauling waste and bringing in new materials (MR Credit 5 - zero environmental impact from transportation) and it reduces the demand for new resources. This practice does require extra effort by the development team to assess potential salvage resources, plan for their reintegration, implement non-destructive demolition and finally to store, refurbish and reinstall the salvaged items. You have stated in your review that we may not take credit for on-site salvage and reuse of materials in the MR Credit 2 - Construction Waste Management calculations and in MR Credit 3 - Resource Reuse. We feel that this interpretation is off-base and does not adequately reflect the multiple environmental benefits and the development teams effort to achieve them. By the LEED rules, the General Contractor could salvage materials from the building, haul them to a salvage material broker and include the weight of these materials in the construction waste management calculator. He could then purchase these same materials from the broker, haul them back to the site and include the material value in the resource reuse calculator. This of course would be absurd, adding cost to the project and carbon to the atmosphere. The salvage and reuse of materials on the project site take a lot of special effort, but has many environmental benefits. This practice produces significantly less impact than hauling away debris and bringing in other salvaged, recycled content or virgin materials, which are the more common practices in building renovation projects. This practice should be rewarded by allowing the project to take credit for these materials in MR Credits 2, 3 and 5. Anything less is a disincentive.
The point you have made is very good, but the Ruling Committee can not support it with corresponding guidance at this time. Instead, the guidance in the June 2001 Reference Guide is upheld. The developers of LEED sometimes had difficult choices to make when it came to balance and compromise between related credits, as highlighted by this example. Your comments will be recorded for consideration in developing the next version of LEED. Version 2.0 is written such that there are credits that reward efforts to reuse building materials from on site and from off site. MR credit 1 (Building Reuse) and MR credit 2 (Construction Waste Management) both reward reuse from on site. MR credit 1 is aimed at reusing old buildings to accommodate a new building program for which a LEED rating is being pursued. MR credit 2 is aimed at diverting construction waste from landfills. Using materials that were existing on site may be applied towards achieving MR credit 1 and MR credit 2. MR credit 3 rewards reuse of materials from off site. It is important to make a distinction between salvaged building materials and building reuse. The goal of MR credit 3 is to reduce energy and resource impacts associated with production of new building materials, AND also to encourage the development of a market in salvaged building materials. Per the CIR on MR credit 3.2 dated 10/11/02, some materials that are existing on site that are removed and/or REPROCESSED may apply towards MR credit 3. Refer to that CIR for more detail. Materials which are simply reused on site, for the same purpose, such as reusing an existing door as a door in the new building, would not apply to MR credit 3, but may be applied toward MR credits 1 and 2. The Reference Guide is specific about relationships between MR credits. Refer to pages 176, 182, 187, 193, 198, 205, and 211 to cross reference these relationships. Applicable internationally.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)