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6

MATERIALS

6:MATERIALS

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6.1

Optional | 8 points maximum

Ingredient Transparency for Material Health

RATIONALE

As occupants of buildings, we all are exposed to the chemicals that make up the built environment. People who build, and residents of communities where building products are manufactured, can be exposed at higher rates. We all are better served by knowing what chemicals we are exposed to and what health hazards may be associated with those chemicals. In particular, people responsible for the design, construction, and operation of buildings are in a position to act upon this information and avoid known and potential hazards. Public ingredient disclosure for building materials allows project teams to make more-informed choices.

Full disclosure of content and known hazards for products is the first step toward optimizing buildings, enabling us to avoid construction of homes with hazardous chemicals. Once full content information is publicly disclosed, staff can work to assess the chemicals and work toward supplying, manufacturing, and specifying products where all chemicals are assessed to be of relatively low hazard. Until then, regrettable substitutions—replacing a well-studied hazardous chemical with a less studied chemical whose hazards are not yet known, if that chemical is later found to be equally or more hazardous than the targeted chemical—are likely. Full disclosure enables high-priority chemical avoidance and moves the needle toward project optimization.

Declare labels and Health Product Declarations (HPDs) are standardized formats for a product manufacturer to disclose a product’s chemical content; third-party–verified HPDs and Declare labels have had those chemical inventories reviewed by an additional party that has been approved by the program implementers for HPD and Declare. HPDs and Declare labels that are third-party verified are indicated as such on the declaration or label. Third-party verifications provide an additional level of confidence in the completeness of the inventory provided.

REQUIREMENTS

Specify and install products that have inventories that have been publicly disclosed where content is characterized and screened using health hazard lists or restricted substances lists to 1,000 ppm or better. Note that “better than” 1,000 ppm is a number lower than 1,000 ppm (e.g., screening to 100 ppm is better than to 1,000 ppm).

There are several ways of accruing points within this criterion. They’re listed in order of increasing rigor below. Any combination of the below point pathways may be used for a project, if several of the project’s products are compliant. However, a product may be counted for points only once within this criterion.

  • 1 point per 5 installed Declare or HPD products from at least three different product categories
  • 1 point per 2 installed Declare or HPD products in any of these high-priority product categories: adhesives, sealants, windows

  • 1 point per each product with third-party verified HPD or third-party verified Declare label

  • 2 points per each product with third-party verified HPD or third-party verified Declare label in any of these high-priority product categories: adhesives, sealants, windows

We use the terms “category” and “product category” to mean the general category for a product, such as building insulation or multipurpose sealant. We use the terms “product type” and “type of product” to refer to a subgroup within the category that is more general than a specific product. For example, a type of multipurpose sealant would be an acrylic latex sealant, and a type of building insulation would be expanded cork board insulation. A specific product would be a specific brand of a product type.

For the first point pathway above, for instance, three compliant flooring products, one insulation product and one drywall product could achieve a total of 1 point—but four flooring products and one insulation product would not achieve any.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The number and variety of products with public ingredient disclosure is growing. Ask your suppliers to commit to transparency throughout their supply chain.

RESOURCES

  • The Health Product Declaration (HPD) is a standardized format for manufacturer disclosure of product content, emissions and health hazards associated with the content. Manufacturers voluntarily use the format and may distribute it as they do Safety Data Sheets or Technical Data Sheets. The Health Product Declaration Collaborative maintains the HPD Open Standard and a list of tool providers who offer databases of HPDs: http://hpdcollaborative.org/. Find publicly available HPDs in the HPD Public Repository here: https://hpdrepository.hpd-collaborative.org/Pages/Results.aspx . Find information about third-party verified HPDs here: www.hpd-collaborative.org/tpv-program/

  • Declare is a transparency platform and product database for the materials marketplace. Find Declare labels in the Declare Database: https://living-future.org/declare/ .  Find information about third-party verified Declare labels here: https://living-future.org/declare/declare-about/#third-party-verification

  • The mission of the Healthy Building Network (HBN) is to advance human and environmental health by improving hazardous chemical transparency and inspiring product innovation. HomeFree is HBN’s national initiative supporting affordable housing leaders who are improving human health by using less toxic building materials. The HomeFree website provides healthy building material recommendations and resources for understanding and requesting public ingredient disclosure. https://homefree.healthybuilding.net/transparency

  • Building Clean, an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, has various resources created for the affordable housing community. The Certified Products Database is a consolidated database of more than 15,000 building products. Search for products with any combination of chemical hazard optimization, low-VOC certifications and/or ingredient disclosures, including Red List-free, Cradle to Cradle (C2C), Living Building Challenge (LBC) Compliant, FloorScore, GREENGUARD, Green Label Plus, Indoor Advantage, Green Seal, Living Product Certification, HPD, Product Lens, and Declare. Certified Products Database. https://buildingclean.org/building/products/flooring

6.2

Optional | 3 points maximum

Recycled Content and Ingredient Transparency

RATIONALE

Use of building products with recycled content reduces the negative environmental impact resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials. However, reuse of materials should be done with care to minimize negative health implications.

The need for content disclosure applies not just to virgin materials, but also to recycled content, which can contain legacy contaminants. This hazardous content can be unintentionally incorporated into new products, further exposing people through both the recycling process and during the product’s use. Removing hazardous materials from products also increases their future value as recycled content,

improving the potential for circular manufacturing. Sometimes a complete understanding of the chemical makeup of recycled content is difficult to achieve. The first step toward ensuring safe recycled content is an understanding of the source of the recycled content. This allows for consideration of what hazardous chemicals are likely to be present and prioritized screening to avoid those hazardous chemicals.

REQUIREMENTS

Use building products that feature recycled content and disclosure about that recycled content.

The building product must make up 75% (by weight or cost) of a product category for the project and must be composed of at least 25% post-consumer recycled content to be eligible for this criterion.

For each building product, provide a public disclosure of the origin of the post-consumer recycled content (e.g., PVC wire and cable scrap; cathode ray tubes; vehicle tires) and if/how the recycled content has been screened for or avoids sources of heavy metals. For this criterion, heavy metals are defined as compounds containing arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, or mercury.

The following table provides a sample of product categories and example product types that a team can incorporate for optional points. Each building product that meets the requirements of this criterion is worth 1 point.

We use the terms “category” and “product category” to mean the general category for a product, such as building insulation or multipurpose sealant. We use the terms “product type” and “type of product” to refer to a subgroup within the category that is more general than a specific product. For example, a type of multipurpose sealant would be an acrylic latex sealant and a type of building insulation would be expanded cork board insulation. A specific product would be a specific brand of a product type.

PRODUCT CATEGORY

PRODUCT TYPE EXAMPLES

Framing

Wood, concrete, steel, aluminum

Siding or masonry

Wood, metal, masonry

Flooring (non-structural)

Linoleum, cork, bamboo, reclaimed wood, sealed concrete, carpet

Paving

Cement slab (Urbanite)

Roofing

Wood shingles, asphalt shingles, tile, metal, roofing membranes

Insulation

Fiberglass batt, cellulose, rigid panel

Sheathing

Plywood, OSB

Note: The list above is a partial list and does not include all possible building product types; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components cannot be included in this calculation.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Consider the incorporation of recycled-content building materials from the early stages of project design.

RESOURCES

  • SCS Global Services Recycled Content Certification evaluates products made from pre-consumer or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream. Certification measures the percentage of recycled content for the purpose of making an accurate claim in the marketplace. www.scsglobalservices.com/services/recycled-content-certification
  • The mission of the Healthy Building Network (HBN) is to advance human and environmental health by improving hazardous chemical transparency and inspiring product innovation. HBN provides in-depth research reports on various common recycled feedstocks used in building materials and potential hazardous content therein. https://healthybuilding.net/reports/category/1-optimized-recycling

6.3

Optional | 8 points maximum

Chemical Hazard Optimization

RATIONALE

While public ingredient disclosure, incentivized through Criteria 6.1 and 6.2, allows project teams to make more informed choices, Criterion 6.3 rewards project teams for choosing products that minimize human and environmental health hazards.

REQUIREMENTS

Install products that have third-party verification of optimization to 100 ppm or better.

There are several ways of accruing points within this criterion. Any combination of the point pathways below may be used for a project. However, a product may be counted only once within this criterion. Projects are permitted to acquire points for a given product in both Criteria 6.1 and 6.2 and in Criterion 6.3. There are multiple levels on the path toward full assessment and optimization. Each successive level below provides progress toward a fully optimized product. Not all of the certifications/declarations/ labels within a given optimization level below are equivalent, but within a level they provide a relatively similar degree of rigor and assurance about the health hazards associated with the product contents.

1 point per three installed products with screening level optimization for 100% of content to 100ppm, verified by a third party

  • Third-party verified Declare Red List-free

  • Third-party verified Declare Living Building Challenge (LBC) Compliant (if the only exemption is the proprietary ingredient exemption)

  • Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Basic or Bronze; C2C Material Health Certificate Basic or Bronze

  • GreenScreen Certified Bronze-100

  • Third-party verified HPD with no LT-1s or publicly available BM-1

1 point per two installed products with assessment level optimization for 95% of content to 100ppm, verified by a third party

  • GreenScreen Certified Silver-95

  • C2C Silver

  • Living Product Challenge with Transparent Materials Health, to 95%

1 point per one installed product with assessment level optimization for 100% of content to 100ppm, verified by a third party

  • Living Product Challenge with Transparent Material Health, to 100%

  • C2C Gold or Platinum C2C Material Health Certificate Gold or Platinum or C2C Material Health Certificate Silver showing 100% assessed

  • GreenScreen Certified Silver-100 or Gold

  • Third-party verified HPD where each chemical in the product is assessed and the product is free of GreenScreen BM-1 chemicals

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • All products, and product labels, are not equal. Be aware that when selecting products in order to avoid a given characteristic, there is a chance of selecting an alternate product with an equally poor chemical inventory that has not yet been characterized or has not been fully assessed—leading to

    a regrettable substitution. To minimize the likelihood of this, consider choosing products that have been fully characterized and assessed for human health hazards.

  • Refer to dynamic lists of products whenever possible. The sector does not yet use standard naming conventions, and product specifiers, manufacturers, and suppliers are all simultaneously revealing more information about product content and impact.

RESOURCES

  • Cradle to Cradle (C2C), Certified Products and Material Health Certificate products. www.c2ccertified.org

  • GreenScreen is a universally recognized tool that identifies hazardous chemicals and safer alternatives. www.greenscreenchemicals.org

  • The HPD is a standardized format for manufacturer disclosure of product content, and emissions and health hazards associated with the content. Manufacturers voluntarily use the format and may distribute it as they do Material Safety Data Sheets or Technical Data Sheets. The HPD Collaborative maintains the HPD Standard and a list of tool providers who offer databases of HPDs. http://hpdcollaborative.org
  • Building Clean, an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, has various resources created for the affordable housing community. The Certified Products Database is a consolidated database of more than 15,000 building products. Search for products with any combination of chemical hazard optimization, low-VOC certifications and/or ingredient disclosures, including Red List-free, C2C, LBC Compliant, FloorScore, GREENGUARD, Green Label Plus, Indoor Advantage, Green Seal, Living Product Certification, HPD, Product Lens, and Declare. https://buildingclean.org/building/products/flooring

6.4

Mandatory and Optional | 15 points maximum

Healthier Material Selection

RATIONALE

On the path from disclosure to fully optimized products, an intermediate step is avoiding key chemicals of concern. These can come in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and also less volatile chemicals that escape from products over longer periods of time. Paints, coatings, primers, adhesives, and sealants may release VOCs, particularly when newly applied or when wet. Similarly, new carpets, padding, and flooring adhesives also release VOCs that may pose health hazards to residents and installers. Exposure to individual VOCs and mixtures of VOCs can cause or aggravate health conditions, including allergies, asthma, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and airways. Some VOCs, like formaldehyde, are associated with health impacts like cancer. However, no health-based standards for indoor non- occupational exposure have been set. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) thresholds below ensure that products have limited VOC content, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) emission standard (formerly called California 01350) ensures that products are verified to have limited VOC emissions, for the specific VOCs tested. Use of products meeting these SCAQMD and CDPH requirements in interior applications is a critical step to reduce VOC exposure and health harm.

Beyond VOCs, building products may contain other chemicals of concern that can be avoided, for instance:

  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) are chemicals of concern for their endocrine-disrupting properties. APEs are common in paints, although a phase-out is underway in the U.S. and many products without APEs are available.

  • Isocyanates are asthmagens used in SPF, fluid applied floors, and polyurethane high-performance coatings.

  • Phthalates are used to make PVC/vinyl flexible. They have been largely phased out in vinyl flooring in the U.S., and safer alternatives are widely available. They are also found in some sealants, where the transition to safer alternatives is still underway.

  • Many hazardous chemicals, including bisphenol A, go into making epoxy materials such as fluid applied floors and epoxy high-performance paints and other epoxy coatings applied on-site.

  • Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, is used in binders for some high-density fiberglass insulation, most mineral wool insulation, and in plywood, particleboard, and other composite woods.

REQUIREMENTS

Use products that comply with the specifications below.

PRODUCT CATEGORY

MANDATORY

OPTIONAL

RECOMMENDATIONS

All interior paints, coatings, primers and wallpaper

VOC content less than or equal to the thresholds provided by the most recent version of SCAQMD 1113 available at time of product specification for all interior paints, coatings and primers.

VOC emissions verified as compliant with CDPH Standard Method for all wall finish paints.

All wallpaper, phthalate free

1 point per APE-free paint, coating and/or primer

1 point per CDPH-compliant coating and/or primer (excluding wall finish paints)

[2 points maximum]

See Appendix for table of SCAQMD 1113 VOC limits

For wall finish paints compliant with the mandatory CDPH specification, seek those certified to Master Painters Institute (MPI) X-Green, Green Wise Gold, GREENGUARD Gold, SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, and

Berkeley Analytical ClearChem. GS-11 paints comply with the optional APE-free criterion, as do Red List–free products.

All interior adhesives and sealants

VOC content less than or equal to the thresholds provided by the most recent version of SCAQMD 1168 available at time of product specification for all interior adhesives and sealants.

Use of sealants that do not

contain orthophthalate plasticizers. Use of adhesives that are CDPH compliant.

[1 point per compliant product, 2 points maximum]

See Appendix for table of SCAQMD 1168 VOC limits

Orthophthalate plasticizers are common in polyurethane and modified polymer sealants. While not common, they may also be found in some acrylic latex or siliconized acrylic sealants. Verify that specified sealants are phthalate-free.

Minimize the need for adhesives when possible. For instance, finger-joints and mechanical fasteners do not contain chemicals of concern.

Flooring

All flooring products (whether carpet or hard surface) must comply with CDPH emission requirements.

No flexible PVC with phthalates may be installed, whether the phthalates were intentionally added or added via recycled content.

No carpet in the project may be installed in building entryways, laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens/kitchenettes, or utility rooms.

Fluid applied finish floors may only be installed in non-occupied spaces, such as mechanical rooms.

The project complies with one of the following options:

[3 points]

If using carpet, specify those that do not use a fluorinated (PFAS) stain repellant. [1 point]

Common flooring product labels that meet or exceed the mandatory CDPH emission requirement include FloorScore, GREEN- GUARD Gold, SCS Indoor Advantage Gold, Berkeley Analytical ClearChem, and Carpet Rug Institute Green Label Plus (CRI+).

In place of vinyl or other PVC-based resilient flooring, consider salvaged hardwoods, natural linoleum, rubber, cork, other PVC-free resilient flooring, ceramic or stone tile, sealed concrete, or pre-finished solid wood flooring. Pre-finished products, compared to those finished on site, keep potential exposures lower through a more controlled environment during finishing.

If possible, use a floor system that can feature mechanical attachments (e.g., nails, floating wood flooring) instead of glues.

This approach makes flooring easier to recycle in the future.

Insulation

If fiberglass or mineral wool batts are used, these must be formaldehyde-free.

The project does not include any two-part spray polyurethane foam. [2 points]

The project uses board insulation that does not contain halogenated flame retardants. [3 points]

Alternative insulation products include recycled cotton, cellulose, wool, and blown fiberglass. All major U.S. manufacturers of residential fiberglass batt insulation have transitioned to formaldehyde-free products. Some formaldehyde-free mineral wool batts are also available.

PRODUCT CATEGORY

MANDATORY

OPTIONAL

RECOMMENDATIONS

Composite wood

Formaldehyde emissions less than or equal to the thresholds provided by CARB Phase 2 and/or TSCA Title IV for plywood, particleboard, MDF, and these materials within other products like cabinets and doors. For any other composite wood products not covered by CARB/TSCA requirements, but used in interior spaces, these must at minimum be NAUF (have no added urea formaldehyde).

Use of composite woods that are certified ultra-low emitting formaldehyde (ULEF).

1 point per product.

[2 points maximum]

While finish products (including plywood, MDF, particleboard, and cabinet and door components) comply by law with this mandatory requirement, ensure that all products installed in the project that are exposed to the conditioned space meet these standards or at a minimum do not include added urea formaldehyde.

No-added formaldehyde (NAF) products qualify as ULEF and will be eligible for optional points. However, be aware that the alternative binders utilized in these products may include regrettable substitutions. For instance, the most common alternative binder for composite wood is PMDI, which is made with isocyanates. PMDI is expected to be a lower hazard during use than formaldehyde, but more information is needed. Preferable alternatives would be more than half bio-based (e.g., binders that are at least 50% soy) with full content disclosure, so they can be vetted for health hazards.

RECOMMENDATIONS

All products, and product labels, are not equal. Be aware that when selecting products in order to avoid a given characteristic, there is a chance of selecting an alternate product with an equally poor chemical inventory that has not yet been characterized or assessed—leading to a regrettable substitution. To minimize the likelihood of this, consider avoiding products that contain certain classes of chemicals rather than specific (studied) chemicals. Definitions of chemicals that fall into the chemical classes outlined above can be found in Pharos. See below to links for specific chemical classes.

For all material installation, be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many products require increased ventilation during installation and curing and should be applied/installed only when wearing appropriate safety gear, including, but not limited to, eye protection, respirators, gloves, and skin protection. If residents are in place while potentially hazardous materials are being used, take extra precautions. Residents should be moved out of the building during the product application and for the duration of the curing period noted by the manufacturer.

 

RESOURCES

Product Selection Resources

  • Green Wise Gold products have been tested and certified to pass the indoor air quality requirements of the California 01350 Small Chamber Emissions Test, and to contain less than 5 grams VOC 

    per liter, even after tinting with specified colorants. Green Wise Gold certified products meet the same performance and durability standards as the original Green Wise certified products. www.greenwisepaint.com/green-wise-gold

  • HomeFree. The Healthy Building Network’s national initiative supporting affordable housing leaders who are improving human health by using less toxic building materials. Provides healthy building material recommendations and education. https://homefree.healthybuilding.net/

  • Product Guides. BuildingGreen’s independent team of editors has compiled guides to more than 100 product categories to help you learn what to look for when selecting green products that avoid negative health impacts. www.buildinggreen.com/product-guidance

  • Building Clean, an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, has various resources created for the affordable housing community. The Certified Products Database is a consolidated database of more than 15,000 building products. Search for products with any combination of chemical hazard optimization, low-VOC certifications and/or ingredient disclosures, including Red List-free, C2C, LBC Compliant, FloorScore, GREENGUARD, Green Label Plus, Indoor Advantage, Green Seal, Living Product Certification, HPD, Product Lens and Declare. https://buildingclean.org/building/products/flooring

Guidance Resources

  • Pharos provides open access to a wealth of information to support chemical hazard assessment, alternatives assessment, and informed substitution. This includes hazard data for more than 140,000 chemicals; data on chemical function, use, and exposure; and a forum for discussions about critical hazard assessment issues. It also contains profiles of common content and associated hazards for many types of building products, through Common Product profiles. Pharos is developed and managed by the Healthy Building Network. www.pharosproject.net
  • Six Classes, a project of the Green Science Policy Institute that frames a Six Classes approach to reducing chemical harm. www.sixclasses.org

  • SCAQMD, Rules 1113 and 1168 limiting VOC content. www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/rules

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Frequent Questions for Consumers about the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act. www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-01/documents/frequent_questions_...

  • The California EPA Air Resources Board, FAQ on Composite Wood Products. www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/consumer_faq.pdf

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified phthalates, a chemical used to make sheet vinyl pliable, as a “chemical of concern” on December 30, 2009. www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/phthalates

  • Healthy Building Network, Full Disclosure Required: A Strategy to Prevent Asthma through Building Product Selection. A report identifying asthmagens that are included as contents in building materials and making recommendations for product improvement.

NYC Overlay: 

Projects are encouraged to comply with the first component of this criterion [Select concrete, steel, or insulation with a publicly disclosed EPD (3 points)] 

Projects are encouraged to comply with the second component of this criterion [Install a green or cool roof (3 points)].  However, points are only available for the green roof aspect, not the cool roof aspect.  Note that projects complying with this option will be eligible to waive the solar requirement of the NYC Overlay requiring solar installation– see Criterion 5.3b.

Projects are encouraged to comply with the third component of this criterion [Use reflective paving (3 points)].  

Points are also available for the fourth component of this criterion [FSC certified wood installation (3 points)].

6.5

Optional | 12 points maximum

Environmentally Responsible Material Selection

RATIONALE

Product selection has environmental implications, both in production and throughout operations. Just as with toxicity of building material content, transparency regarding embodied greenhouse gas emissions of materials is a critical first step in identifying optimum product selection. The embodied carbon associated with the products that are specified for a building determine that building’s climate

impact before anyone turns on a light. While the overall climate impact of a property will be determined by the sum of its embodied emissions and operations emissions, a high-performance building (with low emissions due to operations) built from materials with high embodied energy will release more total emissions than a code-compliant building (from an operating energy perspective) built with materials with moderate embodied emissions. A first step in determining the embodied emissions of building materials is to evaluate the Global Warming Potential of each product through an Environmental Product Disclosure (EPD). Note that many building materials with low embodied emissions also have lower human health hazards.

In addition to evaluating embodied emissions of a project’s materials, the characteristics of timber and the reduction of urban heat islands can be impacted through material specification:

Less than 10% of the old growth forest remains in the United States. The use of salvaged wood and engineered wood products throughout your building for major structural components reduces the need to use old-growth lumber. Forest Stewardship Council certified wood encourages forestry practices that are environmentally responsible, including protecting plant and animal species, the rights of indigenous people, and forest worker safety, and preserving valuable and free ecosystem services such as recreation and filtering water and air. Intact and sustainably managed forests and soils also store the excess greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Urban heat islands increase local air temperatures due to the absorption of solar energy by the built environment. Reducing the heat-island effect through thoughtful roofing and paving product selection decreases energy consumption by decreasing loads on cooling systems, and it enhances resilience by reducing overheating of buildings in the event of power outages when air conditioning cannot operate.

REQUIREMENTS

Use products that comply with the below.

PRODUCT CATEGORY

OPTIONAL

RECOMMENDATIONS

Concrete, steel, insulation

Submit a publicly disclosed EPD for 90% by volume for all (concrete/steel/insulation) used in the project. Clearly indicate the total Global Warming Potential (GWP).

1 point available for compliance with each of the three materials (concrete, steel, insulation). Only new products should be counted; existing/reused/salvaged products are exempt.

Compare the GWP of your specified concrete product to the industry average for your region (see NRMCA resource below).

EPDs from different sources should not be used comparatively, as there are likely different assumptions underlying their creation.

Consider prioritizing products with low Global Warming Potential for those materials that make up the larger volumes of the building.

Roofing

Install a combination of the following to cover at least 90% of the roofing area:

A “green” (vegetated) roof

For roofs with slopes less than or equal to 2:12, roofing materials that have an SRI of at least 0.65 (initial) or at least 0.50 (3-year aged)

For roofs with slopes greater than 2:12, install roofing materials that have an SRI of at least 0.25 (initial) or at least 0.15 (3-year aged).

[3 points]

EPA will sunset its labeling of ENERGY STAR roof products by June 1, 2022, as many states and municipalities have adopted codes that include standards for roof products on commercial buildings that are stricter than the ENERGY STAR Roof Products Version 3 specification in the climate zones where reflective roofs are most beneficial (Zones 1–3). Properties are instead encouraged to implement guidance from EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program.

PVC roofing membranes include phthalates. Consider using thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) based roofing instead.

Paving

Use light-colored, high-albedo materials with an initial minimum solar reflectance of 0.33 and/or an open-grid pavement system over at least 50% of the site’s hardscaped area. [3 points]

If a roof space is designed and installed in such a way that intends regular resident access and use, that space would be considered a hardscaped area and subject to the paving requirement.

Consider using paving materials that both reduce urban heat-island effect and that are water permeable.

Wood,

non-composite

Use FSC certified wood or salvaged wood for at least 50% by cost for all structural, framing, sheathing, deckling, subfloor, and finish applications. [3 points]

 

RESOURCES

  • Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life cycle environmental impact of products. As a voluntary declaration of the life cycle environmental impact, having an EPD for a product does not imply that the declared product is environmentally superior to alternatives. www.environdec.com/What-is-an-EPD/
  • Roadmap to Reducing Building Life Cycle Impacts. This timeline, part of the Practice Guide linked below, contains suggested milestones and actions for reducing building life cycle impacts. http://carbonleadershipforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019.05.23-L...

  • The Embodied Carbon NetworkTM is a collective group of individuals within focus groups committed to designing embodied and operational carbon out of new and renovated buildings to achieve a carbon-neutral built environment by 2050. http://embodiedcarbonnetwork.org/

  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA). Practice Guide provides guidance on how to conduct an LCA of a building and provides key resources. www.carbonleadershipforum.org/lca-practice-guide/

  • Carbon Smart Materials Palette. A project of Architecture 2030, this Palette is an attribute-based design and material specification guide. https://materialspalette.org/about/

  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) sustainability resources, which include industry benchmarks for Global Warming Potential of products with varying strengths for different applications and exposure conditions. Use these regional benchmarks to compare the GWP of your specified concrete product to the industry average for your region. www.nrmca.org/sustainability/EPDProgram/Index.asp#IndustryBaselines

  • Athena Institute. A nonprofit, Athena’s development of its LCA design tools, the Impact Estimator for Buildings and Pavement LCA, may be used free of charge by design teams to evaluate the relative climate impacts of material selections in their properties. www.athenasmi.org/our-software-data/overview/

  • Tally. A Revit® software plug-in that calculates environmental impact of building materials for whole building analysis as well as comparative analysis of design options. https://choosetally.com/

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Heat Island Effect. This site contains information about heat- island effect, its social and environmental costs, and strategies to minimize its prevalence, including shading, cool roofs, green roofs, and coloration of hardscapes. www.epa.gov/heatislands

  • Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), Directory of Rated Products. CRRC maintains a third-party rating system of radiative properties of roof surfacing materials. http://coolroofs.org/products/results

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Heat Island Group. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducts research to find, analyze and implement solutions to minimizing heat-island effects; its current efforts focus on the study and development of more-reflective surfaces for roadways and buildings. https://heatisland.lbl.gov/

  • Building Materials Reuse Association. https://bmra.org/

6.6

Mandatory

Bath, Kitchen, Laundry Surfaces

Mandatory for New Construction and Substantial Rehab. Moderate Rehabs that do not include work in the shower and tub areas are exempt from the shower and tub enclosure requirement

RATIONALE

The use of durable, cleanable, moisture-resistant materials in wet areas reduces the potential for damage due to moisture and the potential for indoor mold growth that may yield odors and pose health hazards to residents and staff. These materials and proper moisture detailing reduce long-term maintenance costs as well.

REQUIREMENTS

Use materials that have durable, cleanable surfaces throughout bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Materials installed in these rooms should not be prone to deterioration due to moisture intrusion or encourage the growth of mold.

Use moisture-resistant backing materials such as cement board, fiber cement board, or equivalent per ASTM #D 6329 or ASTM #D 3273 behind tub/shower enclosures. Projects using a one-piece fiberglass tub/shower enclosure are exempt from this requirement.

RECOMMENDATIONS

When possible, avoid using materials such as unsealed grout, which traps and holds moisture and can facilitate mold growth.

RESOURCES

  • Product Guides. BuildingGreen’s independent team of editors has compiled guides to more than 100 product categories to help you learn what to look for when selecting green products that avoid negative health impacts. www.buildinggreen.com/product-guidance

6.7

Optional | 4 points maximum

Regional Materials

RATIONALE

Building materials that are extracted, processed, and manufactured locally to the project site minimize the energy embedded in their transportation and contribute to the local economy. Use of local materials can also reflect local identity, history, or context, increasing sense of connection to place.

REQUIREMENTS

Use products that were extracted, processed, and manufactured within 500 miles of the project for a minimum of 90%, based on weight or on cost, of the amount of the product category installed in the project.

Building product categories that can qualify for these points include the following (every two compliant products can qualify for 1 point):

  • Framing materials
  • Exterior materials (e.g., siding, masonry, roofing)

  • Flooring materials

  • Concrete/cement and aggregate material

  • Drywall/interior sheathing materials

Note: Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components cannot be included in this calculation.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Natural building materials that are approved by HUD or USDA can qualify for points under this measure.

RESOURCES

  • Building Green, Product Guides. BuildingGreen’s independent team of editors has compiled guides to more than 100 product categories to help you learn what to look for when selecting green products that avoid negative health impacts. www.buildinggreen.com/product-guidance

  • Building Clean has various resources created for the affordable housing community. The American- Made Products Database is a database of building products manufactured throughout the United States. Search for products manufactured near your project site with its Search by ZIP Code Tool: https://buildingclean.org/building/zipcode-search. The more than 4,500 American manufacturing sites within the database can also be searched by CSI code and/or product material. American-Made Products Database: https://buildingclean.org/building/advanced-search

6.8

Mandatory

Managing Moisture: Foundations

For all New Construction projects and for all Rehab projects with either basement and/or crawl space foundations

RATIONALE

Moisture can move through building structures in four ways: as bulk water, through capillary action, through air transport, and through vapor diffusion. The dominant type of moisture movement control sought in a given scenario will dictate the type of materials that should be installed, and how those materials should be installed, to either allow or suppress that moisture movement.

Ideally, a property will be designed and constructed with four continuous control layers, listed here in priority in order: 1) continuous water control layer via a weather resistant barrier that includes flashing and sealed penetrations that manages bulk and capillary moisture movement away from the structure, 2) continuous air control layer enclosing the conditioned space, 3) continuous vapor control layer, 4) continuous thermal control layer (insulation).

Specifying these four continuous control layers is simple upon first glance, but, depending on the property’s climate zone, assembly type, and site, complex hygrothermal configuration issues arise very quickly that require careful detailing and material specification. And as we construct buildings that perform well in terms of energy efficiency, our burden to carefully detail moisture control strategies increases.

Consider your property’s foundation. Moisture can migrate through concrete and most other masonry materials. Proper installation of foundation drainage, vapor retarders, and waterproofing materials can greatly reduce the migration of moisture that can occur even in non-saturated soils. While installation of the four continuous control layers in accordance with the unique hygrothermal needs of a property should always be front of mind, the basic prescriptive strategies below will solve for egregious moisture movement across the foundation assembly.

REQUIREMENTS

Beneath Concrete Slabs (including those in basements and crawl spaces; Rehabs are exempt)

  • Install a capillary break as follows: 4-inch layer of ½-inch diameter or greater clean aggregate.
    OR
    Install a 4-inch uniform layer of sand, overlain with a layer or strips of geotextile drainage matting installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Immediately above the capillary break, install insulation as necessary, and, above that, at least 6-mil polyethylene sheeting overlapped at least 6 inches at the seams to serve as a vapor retarder in direct contact with the slab above.

 

Beneath Crawl Spaces without Slabs (projects on raised pier foundations with no foundation walls are exempt)

  • Install at least 8-mil cross-laminated polyethylene on the crawl floor, extended up at least 12 inches on piers and foundation walls, and with joints overlapping at least 12 inches. The 8-mil and the cross-lamination ensure longevity of the poly.

  • Line the likely “high-traffic” areas of the crawl space with foam board, so the polyethylene beneath will not be disturbed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Where a high water table is anticipated or observed or has been documented in the soil boring report, or where specifically recommended by the geotechnical engineer, provide subsurface drain tile or other drainage system in strict accordance with the geotechnical engineer’s or other qualified professional’s recommendations to divert underground water away from the structure.

  • Ensure that subsequent trades’ work does not puncture the vapor retarder.

RESOURCES

6.9

Mandatory

Managing Moisture: Roofing and Wall Systems

Mandatory for all Rehab projects that include deficiencies in or include replacing particular assemblies called out below.
New Construction projects are considered compliant by way of the required ENERGY STAR Water Management System Checklist.

 

RATIONALE

Moisture can move through building structures in four ways: as bulk water, through capillary action, through air transport, and through vapor diffusion. The dominant type of moisture movement control sought in a given scenario will dictate the type of materials that should be installed, and how those materials should be installed, to either allow or suppress that moisture movement.

Ideally, a property will be designed and constructed with four continuous control layers, listed here in priority in order: 1) continuous water control layer via a weather resistant barrier that includes flashing and sealed penetrations that manages bulk and capillary moisture movement away from the structure, 2) continuous air control layer enclosing the conditioned space, 3) continuous vapor control layer, 4) continuous thermal control layer (insulation).

Specifying these four continuous control layers is simple upon first glance, but, depending on the property’s climate zone, assembly type, and site, complex hygrothermal configuration issues arise very quickly that require careful detailing and material specification. And as we construct buildings that perform well in terms of energy efficiency, our burden to carefully detail moisture control strategies increases.

Consider your property’s wall systems. Diverting water from the project prevents bulk water entry into wall systems, which can contribute to moisture-related problems such as mold and the deterioration of wood and other building materials. Properly installed weather barriers, including flashing and drainage planes, help direct water away from wall cavities. While installation of the four continuous control layers in accordance with the unique hygrothermal needs of a property should always be front of mind, the basic prescriptive strategies below will solve for egregious moisture movement across the foundation assembly.

REQUIREMENTS

Provide water drainage away from walls, windows, and roofs by implementing the following techniques:

Water Management: Wall Systems

  • Provide a continuous housewrap /weather-resistive barrier with sheets lapped shingle-style to prevent bulk water that penetrates the finished exterior cladding system from entering the wall assembly or being introduced through window or door openings or through other penetrations. Alternatively, install a fluid applied weather-resistive barrier in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Taped systems such as Zip, Force Field, and others are acceptable.

  • Flashings at roof /wall intersections and wall penetrations (i.e., plumbing, electrical, vents, HVAC refrigerant lines and the like in addition to windows and doors) must be integrated with the weather- resistive barrier and drainage plane prior to any exterior finish being installed to prevent bulk water from entering the exterior wall assembly. This includes kick-out flashing where a sloped roof eave terminates in a wall with siding, stucco, or other applied finish apart from brick veneer.

  • Flashing installed at bottom of exterior walls with weep holes included for masonry veneer and weep screed for stucco cladding systems or equivalent drainage system.

Water Management: Roof Systems

  • Install drip edge at entire perimeter of roof.

  • At wall /roof intersections, maintain ≥2" clearance (or others recommended by manufacturer) between wall cladding and roofing materials, install flashing along the intersection, and use kick-out flashing as noted above.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Many of the strategies required through this criterion are also required by code. The importance of proper installation of these materials is critical and will impact the building throughout its time in service.

  • Ensure that a vapor retarder with an appropriate permeability rating is installed on the correct side of the wall assembly, based on climate considerations and drying potential.

RESOURCES

NYC Overlay: 

Projects are encouraged to utilize the Department of Sanitation’s donateNYC website to post donations of unwanted but usable building materials and to donate materials to donateNYC partners such as BIGReuse and  Rebuilding Together NYC.  Also refer to these resources for waste salvage: https://www.bigreuse.org/ and https://rebuildingtogethernyc.org/.

6.10

Mandatory and Optional | 6 points maximum

Construction Waste Management

RATIONALE

Diverting construction debris, and recycling and reusing materials whenever possible, reduces waste and disposal costs. In addition, construction waste management reduces the project’s impact on landfills.

REQUIREMENTS

Develop and implement a waste management plan that reduces non-hazardous construction and demolition waste through recycling, salvaging, or diversion strategies; maintain documentation on diversion rate for each selected strategy.

Mandatory: All projects must select either one pathway in Option 1 (a or b), two pathways in Option 2 (c – j), or one pathway in Option 3 (k or l). No points are accrued for compliance with this mandatory requirement.

Optional: Projects may select additional pathways to accrue optional points. These pathways may be from within a different Option from what the project chose to comply with as Mandatory. Not to exceed 6 optional points.

Option 1: Measured by Percentage

  1. Provide a waste plan that diverts 75% of the construction waste from the landfill [1 point]
  2. Provide a waste plan that diverts 95% of the construction waste from the landfill [1 point]

Option 2: Material Specific

  1. Recycle all cardboard [1 point]

  2. Recycle all wood [1 point]

  3. Recycle all drywall [1 point]

  4. Recycle all metals. [1 point]

  5. Recycle all concrete, brick, and asphalt [1 point]

  6. Recycle all insulation, foam, and plastics [1 point]

  7. Recycle all carpet [1 point]

  8. Develop and implement a comprehensive efficient framing plan that minimizes all waste by design [1 point]

Option 3: Minimizing Construction Waste—New Construction Only

  1. Total construction waste to landfill or incinerator SF of building [2 points]

  2. Total construction waste to landfill or incinerator SF of building [3 points]

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Consider creating a feedback loop on waste generation from the site to the person responsible for material purchasing and/or paying disposal costs. The feedback loop could be as simple as a photo record of the dumpster after each major stage of construction, shared back with the materials purchaser and/or whom tracks waste disposal costs. Use this information to hone purchasing and minimize materials waste.
  • Avoid disposal of materials by instead donating them to nonprofit organizations or through manufacturer take-back programs.

  • On-site separation of materials should be practiced to the greatest extent feasible as this ensures a higher quality product for recycling (e.g., gypsum wallboard).

  • In the project documentation (construction specification Division 1 Section 01 74 19), identify the construction waste management expectations for the project.

  • Investigate and document local options for recycling or reusing all anticipated major constituents of the project waste stream, including cardboard packaging and “household” recyclables (e.g., beverage containers).

  • Create detailed framing plans or scopes of work and accompanying architectural details for use on the job site to proactively reduce waste. Create a detailed cut list and lumber order prior to construction.

  • For projects with limited access to recycling centers, consider waste diversion strategies such as using panelized walls and roof trusses to minimize total materials.

  • Consider recycling carpet for rehab projects when carpeting is being removed. The specification language below may be customized and included to determine whether carpet recycling is feasible and cost-effective in your locale.

    • Vendor shall supply a price quote to recycle carpet and carpet components at 100%, 50%, and 30% of product tonnage.
    • Property manager shall identify the carpet product and polymer, nylon, polypropylene (which is documented on carpet specification). This will enable the carpet vendor to ascertain the recyclability of the product.
  • Some manufacturers of drywall and certain types of ceiling tiles will accept the return of old materials for re-processing.

RESOURCES

  • Waste Management and Recovery, A Field Guide for Residential Remodelers. https://p2infohouse.org/ref/45/44120.pdf

  • NAHB Research Center, Best Practices for Construction Waste Management. This site includes frequently asked questions, case studies, reports, and various links. It includes A Builder’s Field Guide, which includes guidance for creating a step-by-step construction waste management and recovery plan. www.wbdg.org/resources/construction-waste-management

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WasteWise Program. This site has information about the WasteWise Building Challenge program, including articles, publications, and various links and resources for more information. www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Construction and Demolition Debris. This site includes basic information on construction and demolition debris disposal practices, regional and state programs, publications, and links. www.epa.gov/smm/sustainable-management-construction-and-demolition-mater...

  • Construction & Demolition Recycling Association. This site includes links to websites on recycling concrete, asphalt roof shingles and drywall, as well as a state-by-state listing of construction waste reusers and recyclers. www.cdrecycling.org
NYC Overlay: 

Projects are REQUIRED to comply with this criterion and must also either allocate space for collection of organics or allocate additional space for the collection of cardboard or allocate space for at least one future recycling stream in all waste collection areas.  This allocation of extra space must be clearly marked on plans and may either be in each dwelling unit, in each trash room, or outdoors.

Projects are encouraged to refer to the Zero Waste Design Guidelines for best design practices: https://www.zerowastedesign.org/

New Construction projects are encouraged to consult with the Department of Sanitation on space allocation for waste management. DSNY recommends a waste management plan for buildings with over 150 units and containerized waste collection for buildings with over 300 units.

6.11

Optional | 2 points

Mandatory

Recycling Storage

RATIONALE

Recycling prevents usable materials from entering the waste stream. Providing bins within the living space for the separation of recyclables from trash encourages higher rates of recycling.

REQUIREMENTS

For projects in locations with municipal recycling infrastructure and/or recycling haulers, provide separate bins for the collection of trash and recycling for each dwelling unit and all shared community rooms.

For projects in locations without municipal recycling infrastructure or recycling haulers, advocate to the local waste hauler or municipality for regular collection of recyclables. Commit to providing recycling bins if service becomes available.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Ensure that the recycling program has management support and include your procedures in the project maintenance manual (Criterion 8.1) and Resident Manual (Criterion 8.3).

  • Ensure that signage and bin colors are consistent across the project, and with local community norms where applicable. Consider the opportunity for functional artwork through creative/artistic recycling containers. www.thesteelyard.org/publicprojects/aboutpp

  • Designate an area for recyclable collection and storage that is appropriately sized and located in a convenient area.

  • Consider adding an additional paper recycling bin in a location where residents routinely check their mail.

  • Identify local waste handlers and buyers for glass, plastic, metals, office paper, newspaper, cardboard, and organic wastes. This may include artists or public art organizations seeking to divert solid waste by creating art using recycled materials.

  • In multifamily buildings, instruct occupants on recycling procedures through clear and visible signs that include pictures and that are translated into a variety of languages spoken by residents.

RESOURCES

  • NYC’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines offer recommendations for designers on reducing waste. www.zerowastedesign.org

 

 

“This building has become a family.”
Resident of Enterprise Green Communities property

INTRODUCTION

CRITERIA CHECKLIST

      • INTEGRATIVE DESIGN

      • LOCATION +

        NEIGHBORHOOD FABRIC

      • SITE IMPROVEMENT

      • WATER

      • OPERATING ENERGY

      • MATERIALS

      • HEALTHY LIVING ENVIRONMENT

      • OPERATIONS,

        MAINTENANCE +

        RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT APPENDICES

        GLOSSARY