Material ingredient optimization | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes | v3 - LEED 2008

Material ingredient optimization

MRpc77 | Possible 1 point


This is a pilot credit. To use any pilot credit on your LEED project, be sure to register here. Documentation requirements and additional questions are listed below.

To encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. To reward project teams for selecting products for which the chemical ingredients in the product are inventoried using an accepted methodology and for selecting products verified to minimize the use and generation of harmful substances. To reward raw material manufacturers who produce products verified to have improved life-cycle impacts.


Material ingredient optimization

Use products that document their material ingredient optimization using the paths below for at least 25%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed products in the project.

  • USGBC approved program. Products that comply with building product optimization criteria approved by USGBC.

  • GreenScreen v1.2 Benchmark. Products that have fully inventoried chemical ingredients to 100 ppm that have no Benchmark 1 hazards:
    • If any ingredients are assessed with the GreenScreen List Translator, value these products at 100% of cost.
    • If all ingredients are have undergone a full GreenScreen Assessment, value these products at 150% of cost.
  • Cradle to Cradle v2 Certified. End use products are certified Cradle to Cradle. Products will be valued as follows:
    • Cradle to Cradle Gold: 100% of cost
    • Cradle to Cradle Platinum: 150% of cost
  • Cradle to Cradle v3 Certified. End use products are certified Cradle to Cradle. Products will be valued as follows:
    • Cradle to Cradle Silver: 100% of cost
    • Cradle to Cradle Gold or Platinum: 150% of cost
  • International Alternative Compliance Path – REACH Optimization. End use products and materials that do not contain substances that meet REACH criteria for substances of very high concern. If the product contains no ingredients listed on the REACH Authorization1 or Candidate2 list, value at 100% of cost.

For credit achievement calculation, products sourced (extracted, manufactured, and purchased) within 100 miles (160 km) of the project site are valued at 200% of their base contributing cost. For credit achievement calculation, the base contributing cost of individual products compliant with multiple responsible extraction criteria is not permitted to exceed 100% its total actual cost (before regional multipliers) and double counting of single product components compliant with multiple responsible extraction criteria is not permitted and in no case is a product permitted to contribute more than 200% of its total actual cost.

Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products. Projects with significant amounts of structural and enclosure materials may exceed the 30% limit by calculating an alternative structure and enclosure limit (See Calculations under Further Explanation).

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

Additional questions
  1. Did your project use the actual or default materials cost to determine the total materials cost?
  2. How did your team determine or estimate the actual materials cost? What method was used?
  3. Where there any challenges in determining the total materials cost? What were they?
  4. If applicable, how would using the actual materials cost verses the default materials cost have effected credit achievement?
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