Rapidly Renewable Materials (LEED MR Credit 6): What are they?

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Question:

What are rapidly renewable materials?

Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Answer:

Rapidly renewable materials are natural, non-petroleum-based building materials (petroleum based materials are non-renewable) that have harvest cycles under 10 years. Such materials include bamboo, straw, cork, natural linoleum products (such as Marmoleum), wool, wheatboard, strawboard, etc. In the LEED green building rating system, LEED MR Credit 6.0 states that rapidly renewable materials must be equal to no less than 2.5% of the cost of a building project in terms of value. Additional LEED MR Credits may be earned for using specific percentages of recycled content, regional materials or a combination.

Some green building materials products are comprised of a composite of rapidly renewable materials and recycled content such as newsprint, cotton, soy-based materials, seed husks, etc. Environ Biocompositescreates a line of rapidly renewable composite materials for various LEED Materials and Resources credits including: MR Credit 4.1, MR Credit 4.2, MR Credit 5.1, MR Credit 5.2 and MR Credit 6.0.

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