With sustainable design becoming synonymous with human health and performance, it shouldn’t have to be the purview of an architect to scrutinize every ingredient of every material for consistency with sustainability goals. With a Cradle to Cradle Certified™ mark and scorecard, architects and specifiers can know at-a-glance whether:
- A product’s recyclability and safety for human and environmental health have been externally verified
- An assessment of toxicity hazards of all product ingredients throughout the supply chain has been made down to 100 ppm
- A continuous improvement path has been defined for optimizing product design and manufacturing processes
With the launch of the new LEED v4, Cradle to Cradle Certified products are written into LEED. Choosing certified products can earn project teams up to two points for Materials & Resources Credit 4, Building Disclosure and Optimization—Material Ingredients. The purpose? Encourage project teams to choose products whose chemical ingredients are inventoried using an accepted methodology and to select products verified to minimize the use and generation of harmful substances.
+1 Point: Option 1, Material Ingredient Reporting
The Bottom Line: At least 20 permanently installed products must be Cradle to Cradle Certified v2 BASIC or higher or Cradle to Cradle Certified v3 Bronze or higher. Find products that qualify here.
The Intent: Option 1 rewards project teams for selecting products whose chemical ingredients are inventoried using an accepted methodology. Understanding a product’s chemical composition down to the 100 ppm is a necessary first step in working toward chemical optimization. Surprisingly, many manufacturers—due to complicated supply chain issues—are not fully aware of all of the chemicals in their products. This credit will provide encouragement for manufacturers to engage in the process.
+1 Point: Option 2, Material Ingredient Optimization
The Bottom Line: At least 25% of permanently installed products (by cost) must be either:
- Cradle to Cradle Certified v3 SILVER, GOLD, or PLATINUM for material health. GOLD- and PLATINUM-certified products are valued at 150% of cost.
- Cradle to Cradle Certified v2 GOLD or PLATINUM for material health. PLATINUM-certified products are valued at 150% of cost
The Intent: Option 2 goes beyond knowledge of ingredients and rewards project teams for selecting products verified to minimize the use and generation of harmful substances. This point encourages use of products whose chemical composition has been both assessed and optimized.
Focus on Material Health
While Cradle to Cradle Certified is a multi-attribute assessment, these credits focus on the material health aspect of the program. For this reason, LEED will accept products that have achieved the material health achievement level outlined above but that may have a lower overall certification level. For example, when looking at a certification scorecard, if the Material Health score is GOLD but the Renewable Energy score is BRONZE, the overall product would be rated Bronze. However, based on the Material Health score, the product would be eligible to contribute to both points outlined above and would be valued at 150% of cost in Option 2.