LEED Product Guide

LEED Product Guide

The General Contractors Guide to Environmental Product Declarations, Option 1 & Material Ingredient Reporting, Option 1

About this guide:

This guide is a framework of the product categories that we at Green Badger see the broadest number of manufacturers and product lines with EPDs, HPDs, Cradle to Cradle certifications, Declare labels and anything else you need to earn those two credits. 

Introduction to the LEED Product Guide

It wouldn’t be a day ending in “Y” if someone at Green Badger didn’t have a conversation with a project team that resulted in the exasperated question of “What the F@%K do I need to do to earn this credit?” 

We do our best to help them figure it out by consistently engaging with teams across the country, diligently reviewing quarterly updates/addendums/CIRs (because what’s the point of creating a set of rules/standards if you’re not going to change them every three months), and venting/raging/problem-solving with peer groups who feel the same frustrations as the rest of us. 

While we could rant daily with the many “fun challenges” that come with earning LEED certification (I think Dante wrote about dealing with LEED review comments at some point), we’re taking the high road. We strive to be solution providers, and firmly believe in our motto of “Sustainability Simplified”. 

We believe that people want to do the right thing – they just want to know what it is, without having to slog through and figure out what to do. While this might be an overly general statement for everything in life, it tends to hold true in LEED. 

Don’t make me guess what paint/drywall/pipe complies. Just tell me which ones to use that earn the credit! And I think USGBC hears that. Their effort to pre-approve products to let teams know they are compliant may help (and I know manufacturers have been begging to pay for yet another certification!). And if so, hopefully it comes sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we’ve created a guide to help teams plan a strategy to earn two of the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits for v4 and v4.1 – Environmental Product Declarations and Material Ingredient Reporting. 

These two credits are chased on nearly every project we see (and we work with many hundreds of project teams), yet they quite often pose a challenge to earn. 

We’re excluding the other credits from this guide. EPD Option 2 and MIR Option 2, and Sourcing of Raw Materials. Options 2 of EPD and MIR are still quite difficult to earn. We’ve seen two products that have EPD Option 2 documentation, and while there are more choices for MIR Option 2, the rigmarole manufacturers and teams have to go through to demonstrate compliance makes it unpopular (at least among Green Badger users!) 

Sourcing of Raw materials really comes down to recycled content and FSC wood, and, especially with the updates for v4.1) is pretty straightforward. But EPDs and MIR? We see too much finger pointing. The general contractor gets a generic spec that says “Obtain EPDs where available,” but no strategy/guidance of where to look, or a spec that calls for a product with an HPD but it costs 20% more. 

That’s where this guide comes in. It’s a starting point for where to most easily and readily find products that meet the requirements for EPDs and MIR. 

This is NOT a comprehensive list of every single product that has LEED compliant documentation. Go spend a few hundred hours going product by product through all the various databases out there if you want that.

Finding EPDs

Everything you need to know about Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to qualify for LEED v4 and LEED 4.1.

Finding HPDs

One way to earn the Material Ingredient reporting credit in LEED versions 4 and 4.1 by using products with Health Product Declarations (HPDs).

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