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Friday, June 11, 2010

What is LEED?

According to Wikipedia:

"Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED addresses both commercial and residential building types. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves."

According to the Glass Informational Bulletin from the Glass Association of Northern America, LEED® enables “Credit Points” to be earned in seven (7) categories. One of these categories,“Materials and Resources,” enables points to be earned for “Recycled Content.”


Recycled content is defined, under the International Organization of Standardization Standard 14021 - Environmental labels and declarations - Self declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling), as the proportion, by mass, of post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled material in a product.

Assembly recycled content is the percentage of material in a product that is either postconsumer or pre-consumer recycled content.

Post-consumer recycled content is the percentage of material in a product that is consumer waste. The recycle content was generated by household, commercial, industrial, or institutional end-users and can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

Pre-consumer recycled content is the percentage of material in a product that is recycled from the manufacturing waste stream. Excluded are scrap materials capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it.

Implications of LEED® Recycled Content Claims for Glass

Glass cullet, generated in a float glass manufacturing plant, when reintroduced into the original process, does not qualify as pre-consumer recycled content for LEED-certification.

Glass cut-offs, purchased from a glass fabricator/distributor, and then reused by the float glass manufacturing plant that generated it, does qualify as pre-consumer recycled content for LEED certification.

Given that most float glass manufacturing plants primarily combine the glass cullet they generate with virgin materials for use in further production, the percentage of pre-consumer recycled content that would normally qualify for LEED-certification will be, zero."

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