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Materials and Resources 3.1 – Material Reuse – 5% Reused Items

Same as credit MR 3.2 , except for percentage of total construction material is reused items (10% in Materials and Resources 3.2)

5% of Total Construction Material is from reused items


  • Reduce waste
  • Reduce processing of virgin resources and materials


  • Definition of Reuse: bring back to original capacity & reduce use of original sources
  • Excludes:
    • recycled items
    • MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing)
    • Elevator equipment
  • Includes:
    • salvaged items
      • beams, floors, posts, paneling, doors and frames, cabinetry,brick and decorative items
      • furniture may also be included only is it is included consistently through credits MR 3.1 through MR 7
    • Reused items
    • Refurbished items
  • Calculation:
    • Based on COST $$$
      • replacement value vs. total cost of construction
        • Total Materials Cost —> 2 options
          1. 45% construction cost (total construction cost of entire project multiplied by 0.45) OR
          2. actual materials cost
            • benefit of using actual material cost rather than default 45% is that projects with < 45% actual materials cost would find it easier to achieve to 5% and 10% (MR3-2) thresholds sinde equation of percent reuse = cost or reuse divided by total material cost.
      • FIXED items are not used for calculation (door becomes a door)
      • FINISH items are not (door becomes a table)

Codes/Standards Applied:

  1. none

Extra Credit:

  • 1 5% (instead of 5% or 10% as in MR3.2) reused items

Submittal Phase:

  • Construction (tip: all Materials and Resources credits are submitted in the construction phase except MR P1)

Links from Reference Guide:

  1. Guide to Resource-Efficient Building Elements
  2. Industrial Materials Exchange – Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, OR
  3. Reuse Development Organization
  4. Salvaged Building Materials Exchange – Green Building Resource Guide
  5. Building Materials Reuse Association
  6. Used Building Materials Exchange

Other Materials & Resources Credits


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35 Comments On This Post

  1. Hi Pat, in MR1.3 you had
    * fixed items are things like walls and doors found on-site count toward this credit IF they are used for the same purpose they were intentionally built for, i.e. a door is reused as a door.
    * if these items are reused for something else, i.e. a door becomes a table, they are NOT a part of this calculation
    o they can contribute to credits MR 3.1 & MR 3.2
    and here in MR3.1 you wrote
    # FIXED items are not used for calculation (door becomes a door)
    # FINISH items are not (door becomes a table)

    I think Finished items are counted towards MR3.1

  2. Actually, FIXED components are included in the calculation, as long as they are serve a different function from which they were previously intended (door becomes a table). FINISH material is included as well, these are items that can serve their original function but have to be refurbished to function.

  3. Can the same reused material be applied to satsify multiple credits, say MR1.1, MR.2.1 and MR 3.1?

  4. Dear Mr.Pat,

    Thank you very much for providing me the very helpful information on preparation of LEED Exam. I have passed the exam with 189/200 in June in my first attempt. intheleed was a great tool during my studies.

    I have a question:

    In a new building construction if the major part is core ‘n shell and only the corridor & lift lobbies are fully fitted out, which type of LEED to be followed ( LEED – NC or LEED – CS ? )

    Please keep up the good work.

    Thanks & Regards


  5. Question: If material is salvaged free of charge (onsite or from another location) and reused, how is the material cost derived? Thanks.

  6. the reference guide states (p. 265, 2.2, 3rd edition):

    When the actual cost paid for the reused
    or salvaged material is below the cost of
    an equivalent new item, use the higher
    value (or replacement cost) in the calcula-
    tions. When the cost to reclaim an item
    found on-site is less than the cost of an
    equivalent new item, use the cost of the
    new item (or replacement cost) in the

    so, if material is donated, you would have to establish the replacement cost (market cost) of this material and this is the cost that you use in the calculation.

    a question around salvaged items also comes up in the greenexamprep tests, and their answer reads as follows:

    The materials cost will either be the greater of the actual cost or the replacement cost for off-site materials

    hope this makes sense!

  7. Does this credit allow that the materials resource re-used come from the site itself?

    And more generally do the materials credits 2,3,4,5 allow for obvious synergy??
    Cr2-on site materials re-used are diverted materials from landfill
    Cr3-same materials are a resource re-use by material cost
    Cr4-and has recycled content processed on site
    Cr5-and also is obtained locally (within 500miles by truck etc..)

    eg. backfill made up of excavated on-site soil used for landscaping.

  8. Pat it appears that you may have answered my question on the ARE Forum website: I post it below so it may be of use.

    1. If you qualify for MRc1.1, you CANNOT apply the materials for credit MRc2.1 or MRc2.2. However, if you do NOT qualify for MRc1.1 or 1.2 because an addition to the existing building would be more than twice the size of the original, then all of the reused material that would normally qualify for MRc1.1, MRc1.2 & MRc1.3 could actually be used in the calculation for MRc2.1 & MRc2.2. This is because, in essence, the “waste” has been diverted from the landfill.

    Regarding MRc5, it’s my belief that materials count toward this credit regardless of their relationship with any of the other credits. Therefore, if a material was “recovered” (a word mentioned in the reference guide for MRc5) to me can also describe a materials that is “reused,” as in MRc1. Also, a recycled material (MR4.1 & MR4.2) for example, can also be extracted, processed and manufactured regionally.

    2. See previous answer.

    3. Where did your salvaged materials come from? To me, there are two types of “salvaged materials.” The first is salvaged material from construction/demolition. This type of salvaged material can be used for MRc2, obviously. The other type of salvaged is material that comes from OFF-site. This type can be used for MRc3 – Material Reuse. I remember seeing somewhere specifically that only materials that have been purchased from salvaged, refurbished, or reused materials retailers qualify for this credit (i.e. materials that have salvaged on-site DO NOT QUALIFY for MRc3)

    Also note that additionally, there are some synergies between MR6 (rapidly renewable materials) and MR4 (recycled).

    Also, MR7 (certified wood) and EQ4.4. Just food for thought.

    Lastly, remember that furniture can be used as long as they are included in each of the calculations consistently for MRc3 thru MRc7

    Phew that was long. I hope that makes sense and I didn’t confuse anyone. If anyone has something to add or change, please do.

    Hope all is well, it’s nice to see the forum again…hehe!

    -Pat from<&gt;

  9. Dear pat,
    I am just in a process to prepare my self for exam on 18th & I am bit confused while anylaising the MR Section, My questions is that:
    If furniture is procured from a renovation site within 100 mile & reused in a new construction project, It will count towards Material reuse & Regional material for sure, but can we also count this towards the recycled content?

  10. Hi Pat,

    MR credits 1-4 are so similar that it becomes confusing to understand the synergies. I’ve been told there are many questions on the exam that test your knowledge of the differences and synergies of these credits. It would be very helpful if there was a separate section on your web site that addressed the differences and synergies of these four credits as they are the most confusing of all the nc credits.

    Just an idea for the future.

  11. Hey all –

    This is a great forum and I’m kicking myself for not finding it earlier.

    We recently used a resource called PlanetReuse. This group worked at no cost to architects and they found the reclaimed materials we needed for the project and documented the reclaimed materials.

    Quick google search pulls them up. They helped us out on a LEED Platinum job and found structural steel that go us to 10% reclaimed weight.

    Hope it helps…

  12. To answer a lot of these questions… “Materials contributing to MRc3 cannot be counted toward MR credits 1,2,4,6,7”

    So a door salvaged from a site 100 miles away that is used as a table is counted under MRc3 and MRc5 ONLY. 1) If it were to be used as a door again, it would not count toward MRc3 (it would still be serving its original function) and would not count toward MRc1.3 (it would not be found on-site). The credits it would count for if used as a door again would be MRc2/MRc5. 2) If the door was found on site and used as a door again it could count toward MRc1.3/MRc2/MRc5

    The only synergy that is possible regarding MRc3 is with MRc5.


  13. If Excavated soil and land-clearing debrit can’t count toward MR 2.1,2.2 Construction Waste Management,can it be used for MR3.1 ?

  14. Hey,

    A agree, we need a breakdown of the synergies. Correct me if I’m missing something.

    door to a door (onsite) – MRc1.3, MRc2, MRc5
    door to a door (off site within 500 miles)- MRc2 and MRc5
    door to a table (onsite) – MRc1.3, MRc2
    door to a table (off site within 500 miles) – MRc3 and MRc5

    Therefore, I can reuse something ONSITE and it counts for both MRc1 and MRc2, because I’m reusing it and from reusing it I’m diverting it from a landfill. It I get it online, yes it’s within 500 miles so that makes MRc5 applicable? please let me know if i’m missing something.

  15. I’m having some difficulty with determining the difference between MRc2 and MRc3. Is the main difference that materials counted towars MRc2 are found on-site and materials counted towars MRc3 are found off-site? But then materials counted towards MRc3 can be “fixed” or “finished” which are materials found on the project site.

    I’m very confused…

  16. Kim,

    Materials found on site and not counted in MRc1 can be used for MRc3, (if an addition is 2x the size of existing) but I take it that most material comes from off site reused or refurbished.

    Just think as MRc2 as removing waste from a landfill, and MRc3 as reusing materials from the building in a different way, a majority coming from off site, this is where the replacement value for the material comes from.

  17. Pete,

    I don’t think “door to a table (onsite)” is eligible for MRc1.3. An element taken from the existing building MUST be used in same purpose/function it was intended for, meaning a door must be used as door to qualify for MRc1.3. I believe “door to a table” can contribute to MRc3’s. Take a look at MRc1.3 entry on this blog for more info 🙂

  18. Dear Pat,
    I am preparing to take LEED CI exam next week & have questions related to MR credit.

    1. Building reuse- MRc 1.1 & 1.2 is for the items that can be retained on-site meaning not demo’d or to remain as is. So, a door to door case will not come into picture at all since in order to qualify for this credit, that door shall not be removed from its original location, right?

    2. While Resource reuse (material reuse for LEED NC) MRc3.1 &3.2
    is for both on-site & off-site materials where on site fixed items like doors can be used for purposes other than the original (e.g door to table top), however off-site “fixed” materials can be used for the original function (e.g. door can be used as door). While on site & off site non fixed items like door hardware or fixtures can be used for both original and different purposes. Right?

    3. What category does a demountable partition come under? The reference guide doesn’t include these for on-site application, just like MEP items. However off-site applications is valid for same or different purpose.

    Thank you so much for your blog, there is abundant of information here.


  19. Dear Pat,
    I have one more question related to MR credit 3.1&3.2 & 5.1.

    I have worked on projects where materials have been reused from one floor (area not included in project scope) to the other (area under project scope)in the same building.
    Would such materials be eligibale as off-site for Credit MRC3.1&3.2?
    Also, would they be considered as regionally manufactured for MRc5.1?

  20. Anyone agree/disagree that USGBC made a mistake when they included Chain of Custody in the definitions list for this credit? COC is only for FSC certified wood, correct? If not, what doe sit have to do with this credit?

  21. Wes
    I think the chain of custody definition at the end of credit MR 3.1 makes the reader take into account the life cycle of a product- which is the basis of MR3.
    It might not be required but is worth thinking about.

  22. So are “fixed components” and “finish” materials used in this credit. I understand that if they’re used in this credit, they aren’t allowed to be used in credits 1,2,4,6,7. But, I’m getting conflicting information from the summary and book. I don’t read anywhere in the manual that says you can’t used “fixed” or “finished” items in your calculation. I’m completely confused on whats valid to use and whats not.

  23. Can “fixed” and “finished” materials found onsite be used in the calculation? I’m getting conflicting info from this website and the manual.

  24. Yes, and they can come from off-site provided they have been previously used; they just can’t be used in any other credit calculation except for MRc5.

  25. Sample ques.(A good one for LEED takers)
    architects are working on a master plan for a large CCRC. On the site there exists a large masonry building in relatively good repair with narrow floor plates and large window openings on all sides. They anticipate re-using the exterior walls, floors, and foundations of the structure and replacing the roof with a
    Mission style gabled roof with reclaimed trestle timbers and cedar-look shakes made from recycled postconsumer tires. The local consultant has ruled out the viability of a storm water cistern for landscape irrigation
    but has suggested using waterless urinals and dual flush toilets, and water from bathing and showers be used for a drip irrigation system. What 5 credits are they most likely to achieve, assuming all necessary pre-requisites can be
    A. SS5.2 Maximize Open Space
    B. SS6.1 Storm water Quantity Control
    C. WE2 Innovative Wastewater Technologies
    D. WE3.1 Water Use Reduction 20%
    E. MR4.1 Recycled Content 10%
    F. MR1.1 Building Reuse – 75% of Existing Walls, Floors, and
    G. MR2.1 Construction Waste Management – Divert 50% from
    H. MR3.2 Materials Reuse 10%
    Answer not given. Acc to me it should be CDEFH. Correct me if I am wrong.

  26. Pete and all
    re- fixed and finished. The book says ‘fixed’items have to be removed, refurbished and re-used as a new use OR in a new location. It seems to me a door could be re-used as a door, but just in a new part of the building, and satisfy credit 3.(however that would exclude it from counting for credit 1 or 2) Could that same door, in a new position, count for credit 1 and 2? Any thoughts? Of course it is also MR5 in either case.

  27. Mamz

    I agree with CDEFH, that would be my pick too

  28. JESSIe:

    1:Doors used as doors would not count for MRC3 because they are being used for their original function. Only finish items like the door hardware could count as MRC3 but it would have to be refurbished in order to function to qualify.

    2:If a material is used in MRC3, then it cannot be used in calculations for any other MR credit except for MRC5.

  29. Parker-
    I understand what you have just said- but when I re-read the guide, it said “fixed items could be removed, refurbished and used in a new way OR in a new location.” Why does it even mention the potential for a new location, if you are not allowed to re-use fixed items unless in a new way? that’s where I am uncertain.

  30. Clarification needed re: using furniture for MR3.

    I understand you need to use furniture consistently from MR3-MR7, but I want to clarfiy you are not required to attain credits MR3-MR7 if using furniture. For instance, I could use furniture for MR3,6,7 as long as it is consistent.

  31. 39. The materials cost of a building renovation is $5 million. What cost of reused building materials would you
    need to have spent to achieve 3 points for MR Credit 3 Materials Reuse?
    A. $750,000
    B. $500,000
    C. $100,000
    D. $250,000

    Correct answer is A ( my answer was B) Can someone explain?

  32. To get 3 points you need the EP point.

    5 mil * .15 = 750,000

  33. I passed the LEED exam, but still have questions. Am writing this to the forum as I wait (20 minutes so far) for tech. support from USGBC. Two questions. A perimeter fence that is to be removed and reused on the site in a different place. They will salvage the fencing that isn’t used. Any credit other than MR-5 here? Primary question, any official documentation of what divisions are applicable to the M&R category? Used to be 2-10, but since the divisions have changed, I assume we now say 3-10 and include 32 and maybe even 11 or 13 (based on a CIR I read). Anybody know where I can look for good solid direction on this? Thanks.

  34. The LEED 2.2 Ref guide has a chart on 235 which notes that plumbing CAN be used towards credits 3-7 if used consistently for all credits (same rules as furniture).

    However, when I get to teh credit descriptions, I found no mention of this.

    Is this a typo?

  35. for MAMZ question… I would pick:


    Does anyone know the right answer?


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