LEED v5 Open for Comment–CDRA Responds

Construction material recycling has been an intrinsic part of green building since the concept was established 30 years ago. As a reflection of that, recycling credits have been a part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program since its start. However, there has been controversy around the credits since almost the beginning. To support the USGBC in ensuring the credits are properly awarded, for the past 15 years, the CDRA has engaged the organization’s Materials & Resources Technical Assistance Group (M&R TAG) to provide insight into the realities of C&D recycling.

Why? Many C&D recyclers are involved (sometimes whether they want to or not) in the program because many of their customers need to know how much of the material generated on their construction or demolition project has been recycled to get LEED credits for their project.

Now, USGBC has released its long-awaited LEEDv5 for comment, and the CDRA has assembled a taskforce to develop an informed response to the program's latest version. Included in this task force is CDRA Executive Committee member Brock Hill, Premier Recycle, San Jose, CA, who has made a tremendous effort serving on the M&R TAG for the past few years to provide clarity on the realities of recycling construction materials. CDRA thanks you, Brock, for encouraging transparency and accountability when assigning recycling credits, including reducing the recovery rate to discourage fraud, and incentivizing the use of legitimate recycling-rate-certified facilities.

While the proposed version of LEED may not go as far as it could as far as preserving the integrity of the recycling credits, it is a step toward that goal of ensuring that material claimed to be recycled is actually recycled. The ongoing operations credits for LEED will be examined and commented on by the task force.The task force will also share suggested talking points for member companies to submit their own comments.

Other members of the task force include John Thomas, Mount Materials; William Cooper and Morgan Cassidy, Cooper Recycling; Richard Ludt, C&D Recycling; Stephen Bantillo, Recycling Certification Institute; Amanda Kaminsky, Lendlease; and Terri Ward and William Turley, CDRA.

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