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  MR Credit 4: Recycled Content

Many tile and tile installation products are made from wide varieties of both pre- and post-consumer recycled content. This recycled content can have a direct contribution towards the summation of a building's total recycled content. To satisfy LEED® MR Credit 4, products with recycled content must account for 10% (1 point) or 20% (2 points) of all building products, based on cost. Note that credit is only given for the percentage of raw materials in each product that are recycled, and ½ - credit is given for pre-consumer recycled content. This can get confusing, so a theoretical example for how tile products may contribute is as follows:

Total cost of materials in Project A: $2,000,000
Recycled content goal for 1 point in MR Credit 4: $200,000
Recycled content goal for 2 points in MR Credit 4: $400,000

Tile X Used on Project A: 15,000 sq. ft.
Tile X Recycled Content: 20% pre-consumer, 10% post-consumer
Tile X Cost: $3.50 per square foot
Tile X Recycled Content Contribution per sq. ft. = ½ (0.2 x $3.50) + (0.1 x $3.50) = $0.70
Tile X Recycled Content Contribution to Building A = $0.70 x 15,000 = $10,500

In the above example, the tile alone (not including substrates or installation materials) contributes $10,500 to the overall goal of $200,000 for 1 point and $400,000 for 2 points. While this may seem like a small number, it is a lot when considering that tile is a surface covering, not a major building component. Additionally, the above example involves the use of a moderately priced tile with modest recycled content quantities, and substrates and installation materials are not accounted for. The overall recycled content contribution from general use of tile can increase greatly when all of these factors are taken into consideration.

 

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