Question: Catherine asks: Anyone know what the threshold is for exceeding MR2 (Construction Waste Management) to qualify for an innovation point? If you go strictly by the “next threshold” wording, it would seem to have to be 100% (since the increments go from 50% to 75%) is 90% good enough to qualify?
Catherine, as you know the intent of LEED Materials and Resources (MR) credit 2, Construction Waste Management, is to divert construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills or incineration facilities. The credit also directs the project team to divert materials back to the manufacturing process, where applicable, and reusable materials to appropriate sites.
Projects may choose to sort recyclable materials at the construction site, or utilize commingled construction waste sorted at an off-site facility. This should be determined early in the project and included in the construction waste management plan, which should be submitted as part of the credit documentation and include (at a minimum) identify diversion goals, relevant waste, implementation strategies and persons responsible for implementation of the plan.)
Calculations for overall percentage of material diverted may be based on either weight or volume. Therefore it’s important for the general contractor (or whomever the project’s LEED consultant designates) to keep a detailed record of all construction waste generated by type, quantities of each type that were diverted, and the total percentage of waste diverted.
As you mentioned, this credit is worth up to two points, one for 50% diverted material and one for 75%. (Note that this is referencing the LEED Green Building Design & Construction Reference Guide). Project teams may earn an Innovation in Design Credit for exemplary performance by diverting 95% or more of total construction waste, so 90% is therefore not enough to qualify.
But luckily, this credit is relatively easy to implement in or near urban areas, where recycling resources are frequently more developed. And of course to implement the most sustainable design possible overall, if your project is in a more remote location, it’s always important to analyze the environmental benefit of recycling compared to the energy used to transport waste long distances to recycling centers.