LEED® Certification for New Construction – Materials and Resources

The Materials and Resources area of LEED® certification carries a hefty thirteen available points and one requirement.  The purpose of the materials and resources section is to make the green building as environmentally suitable as possible.  The steps begin with providing storage and collection for recyclables.Storage and CollectionThe storage and collection of recyclables is required in all new buildings applying for LEED® certification.  These storage areas should be located on site, to reduce waste from the building’s occupants and waste going to landfills.  The methods of approach for this include separation, collection and storage through the use of recycle chutes, collection bins, can crushers and cardboard balers.  In addition, it’s necessary for the occupants to be instructed on how to use the collection sources.Building Reuse (3 pts)Additional points in this area can be achieved by having higher percentages or performance than original set out by LEED®.  For one point, you can reuse 75% of an existing building structure and shell, excluding windows, doors, elevator equipment and hazardous materials.  For another point, reuse 100%.A third credit that falls under this category, where the builder uses 50% or more of the non-structural elements such as doors, ceilings, partitions and floor covering.  To calculate your percentage, use square footage for measurement.Construction Waste Management (2 pts)This category deals with construction and demolition debris being diverted from landfills and incinerators, which further pollute the earth.  In addition, redirection of recyclables and reusable materials to their appropriate sites is expected.  One point is achieved through a 50% diversion, with an extra point for a 75% diversion.Reusing existing materials, recycling content and use of local materials also go into Materials and Resources.To find out more information about the Materials and Resources category, including an in depth look at some of the recyclables and existing materials that can be used, visit here.

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