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LEED Certification

New for 2006, LEED-NC® - v. 2.2

LEED-NC® has been upgraded to version 2.2. As of January 1, 2006, all projects must register under this new version. As the first green building rating system in the United States, (LEED-NC®) has grown remarkably since its release in 2000. The following summarizes major technical changes that affect wood doors.

  1. MR 4.1 – 10% Recycled Content
  2. MR 4.2 – 20% Recycled Content
  3. MR 5.1 – 10% Regional Materials
  4. MR 5.2 – 20% Regional Materials
  5. EQ 4.4 - Low Emitting Materials

The new categories are explained below:

MR Credit 4.1: Recycled Content: 10% (post-consumer + ½ pre-consumer)

Intent: Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

Requirements: Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% (based on cost) of the total value of the materials in the project. The recycled content value of a material assembly shall be determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.

MR Credit 4.2: Recycled Content: 20% (post-consumer + ½ pre-consumer)

Intent: Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing the impacts resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.

Requirements: Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes an additional 10% beyond MR Credit 4.1 (total of 20%, based on cost) of the total value of the materials in the project. The recycled content value of a material assembly shall be determined by weight. The recycled fraction of the assembly is then multiplied by the cost of assembly to determine the recycled content value.

MR Credit 5.1: Regional Materials: 10% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Regionally

Intent: Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

Requirements: Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site for a minimum of 10% (based on cost) of the total materials value. If only a fraction of a product or material is extracted/harvested/recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) shall contribute to the regional value.

MR Credit 5.2: Regional Materials: 20% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Regionally

Intent: Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.

Requirements: Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site for an additional 10% beyond MR Credit 5.1 (total of 20%, based on cost) of the total materials value. If only a fraction of a product or material is extracted/harvested/ recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) shall contribute to the regional value.

EQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials: Composite Wood & Agrifiber Products

Intent: Reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

Requirements: Composite wood and agrifiber products used on the interior of the building (defined as inside of the weatherproofing system) shall contain no added urea-formaldehyde resins. Laminating adhesives used to fabricate on-site and shop-applied composite wood and agrifiber assemblies shall contain no added urea-formaldehyde resins.

Composite wood and agrifiber products are defined as: particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheatboard, strawboard, panel substrates and door cores. Materials considered fit-out, furniture and equipment (FF&E) are not considered base building elements and are not included.

2.2 removed credit opportunities

The credit opportunities removed from the new version that apply to architectural wood doors were: EQ 4.1- Low-Emitting Materials: Adhesives and Sealants, and EQ 4.2 – Low-Emitting Materials: Paints and Coatings. Neither of these two credits now applies to wood doors manufactured and/or finished in a factory. Specifications run the gambit from outstanding to less than understandable when it comes to environmental specification. Most major wood door manufacturers have specifications written for their products and literature available on their Web sites detailing what they can provide. A simple rule to follow that will get you in the ballpark is to remember that wood doors can assist the building with earning LEED® points in multiple ways. This chart will help simplify the choices.

Point Category

FSC Certified
Recycled Content
Rapidly Renewable
LEED®Version
NC 2.1
NC 2.2
NC 2.1
NC 2.2
NC 2.1
NC 2.2
Potential Points Wood Doors Can Assist with
6
4
6
4
6
6

There are a number of variables that will affect the points assistance wood doors can bring to a building. Manufacturing capability, approvals achieved, distance from the job etc. All of these may affect the total but none should preclude a manufacturer from being able to do the job. For instance, if a manufacturer does not meet the criteria for manufacturing within 500 miles of the job, this does not mean the manufacturer’s product can not be used. It simply means the product will not assist the building in achieving the points for products manufactured within 500 miles. Hopefully the building will still be able to achieve those points by using other wood products that are sourced locally.

Also keep in mind there is a distinct price difference between the various core materials. Recycled content which utilizes particleboard (the standard in the industry) can be 30 - 40% less expensive than FSC Certified (Green stave core) or Rapidly Renewable (Agrifiber core). This price discrepancy often times is the deciding factor as to what product is used on a job. On many jobs it really boils down to how much are those 2 extra points worth? Can they achieve the level of certification they desire on the building while saving money on the doors?

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