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Everything’s Going to be Okay

MichelleLEED v4 Materials Credits Without Their Scary Masks.
Blog article by Michelle Bombeck, Materials Expert Extraordinaire

Say what now?

If your job is anything like mine, you may have considered grabbing your Go Bag and making  for the nearest escape hatch when you read the new LEED v4 BD+C or ID+C materials credit descriptions.  Credits that historically took documenters, such as myself, hours upon hours (not to mention grey hairs) to compile supporting documentation on recycled and rapidly renewable content, regional sourcing, reuse, and FSC certifcation for all previous versions of LEED, have all collapsed uapologetically into one credit – WORTH ONE STINKING POINT?! And that’s not even the half of it!  So many changes, so many new requirements, so many tears of anguish!

I promptly held an emotionally charged memorial service, lamenting all those never to be points, all those lovely, helpful, finally somewhat easily attained boosts to my project scores. Then I took a deep breath, paid a heartfelt goodbye to the comfortable world of LEED v2009 materials documentation, and dove head first into a whole new world of vague credit requirements and strict documentation rules to find out what was really possible in LEED v4.

“Oh la la!”, I exclaimed upon immersing myself.  Requiring manufacturers to hang their ‘unmentionables’ out to dry for everyone to see? Environmental prLEEDv4actices accountability?   That’s what I like to hear!  Turns out, if LEED projects want that approving nod, that warm and fuzzy hug from the LEED materials credits gatekeeper; projects teams will need to select, specify, and purchase products based on holistic criteria like reduced life cycle impacts, product transparency, and corporate sustainability reporting and owners and contractors will need to raise the bar on recycling and reuse.

If history is a guide, these changes in LEED should lead to important market transformations.  In the meantime, I discovered that, under their masks, there is much good, some ugly, and very little bad in the implementation and documentation of LEEDv4 materials credits.

To get the whole good, bad and ugly story (and a list of helpful resources), click here to download the entire article.

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