Log in
LEED v4
Retail – Commercial Interiors
Materials and Resources

Building product disclosure and optimization - environmental product declarations

LEED CREDIT

Retail-CI-v4 MRc3: Building product disclosure and optimization - environmental product declarations 1-2 points

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Frank advice from LEED experts

LEED is changing all the time, and every project is unique. Even seasoned professionals can miss a critical detail and lose a credit or even a prerequisite at the last minute. Our expert advice guides our LEEDuser Premium members and saves you valuable time.

Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. To reward project teams for selecting products from manufacturers who have verified improved environmental life-cycle impacts.

Requirements

Achieve one or more of the options below, for a maximum of 2 points.

Option 1. environmental product declaration (EPD) (1 point)
Use at least 20 different permanently installed products sourced from at least five different manufacturers that meet one of the disclosure criteria below.
  • Product-specific declaration.
    • Products with a publicly available, critically reviewed life-cycle assessment conforming to ISO 14044 that have at least a cradle to gate scope are valued as one quarter (1/4) of a product for the purposes of credit achievement calculation.
  • Environmental product declarations which conform to ISO 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 and have at least a cradle to gate scope.
    • Industry-wide (generic) EPD -- Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification, in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as a participant by the program operator are valued as one half (1/2) of a product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.
    • Product-specific Type III EPD -- Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as the participant by the program operator are valued as one whole product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.
  • USGBC approved program – Products that comply with other USGBC approved environmental product declaration frameworks.

AND/OR

Option 2. Multi-attribute optimization (1 point)
Use products that comply with one of the criteria below for 50%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed products in the project. Products will be valued as below.
  • Third party certified products that demonstrate impact reduction below industry average in at least three of the following categories are valued at 100% of their cost for credit achievement calculations.
    • global warming potential (greenhouse gases), in CO2e;
    • depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, in kg CFC-11;
    • acidification of land and water sources, in moles H+ or kg SO2;
    • eutrophication, in kg nitrogen or kg phosphate;
    • formation of tropospheric ozone, in kg NOx, kg O3 eq, or kg ethene; and
    • depletion of nonrenewable energy resources, in MJ.
  • USGBC approved program -- Products that comply with other USGBC approved multi-attribute frameworks.
For credit achievement calculation, products sourced (extracted, manufactured, purchased) within 100 miles (160 km) of the project site are valued at 200% of their base contributing cost.

Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products. Projects with significant amounts of structural and enclosure materials may exceed the 30% limit by calculating an alternative structure and enclosure limit (See Calculations under Further Explanation).

Meet the requirements of the credit above and include furniture and furnishings within the project’s scope of work. See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

For the twenty products with EPDs, can I count multiple products from the same manufacturer? 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If I include a product with an EPD in Option 1, do I have to also include it in the scope of products that are part of the Option 2 calculation?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If I include a product in the BPDO EPDs credit, do I also have to include it in the BPDO Material Ingredients credit? 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Do I have to submit the full EPD with my documentation for Option 1?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Where can I find a list of products with EPDs?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

How do you recognize each type of EPD?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If a company provides an EPD but it does not mention on it that it meets the ISO standards required, can we still submit it for LEED or do we need to have that verification?

 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

7/2/2018Updated: 7/6/2018
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Replace second bullet with the following:

"Environmental product declarations which conform to ISO 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 and have at least a cradle to gate scope."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/8/2017Updated: 7/28/2017
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
At the end of the “Requirements” section in each of the BPDO credits, change text to the following:
“Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products. Projects with significant amounts of structural and enclosure materials may exceed the 30% limit by calculating an alternative structure and enclosure limit (See Equation 3 under Further Explanation).”

Furthermore, add the following new section in every BPDO credit under “Further Explanation - CALCULATIONS”:
“Equation 3: Alternative Structure & Enclosure Percentage Limit for Option 2
For projects with significant amounts of structure and enclosure materials, the following calculation can be made to determine an alternative limit for the percentage of value that structure and enclosure materials can contribute to credit achievement. Note: this option is only available for projects that use the actual materials cost method (not the default cost method) to determine total project material costs.
Equation 3: Alternative Structure and Enclosure limit
Alternative Structure and Enclosure limit = (value $ of total building materials that are structural or enclosure) [divided by] (total actual materials value $)
Use the results of equation 3 to replace the 30% contribution factor limit in determining compliance with the credit.”
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In Table 1. Example Calculation for $500 office chair, the row “Wheels” in the column “Percentage of component meeting sustainability criteria” replace "5% with "10%" so the cell reads “10% postconsumer recycled content”
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Definition of "product (permanently installed building product" revise the last sentence to say " In addition, similar products within a specification can each contribute as separate products."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the 3rd paragraph for BD+C and 2nd paragraph for ID+C replace the 4th-7th sentences with the following: "If optional products or materials are included in cost-based credit calculations, such as Option 2 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they must be included consistently across all cost-based credit calculations. Additionally, if optional products and materials are included in product based calculations, such as Option 1 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they are not required to be included in cost-based credit calculations. However, unlike furniture, if some of these products are included in credit calculations, not all products of that type must be included."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/5/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are a manufacturer working with a program operator in Europe to develop environmental product declarations. We are looking for clarification on applicability of Option 1: Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that requires approved products to be third party verified (Type III) with external verification in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as the participant by the program operator. The EPDs that we have developed for our products with the program operator meet all LEED criteria for Type III product specific EPDs as defined by ISO standards ISO 14025, 14040 and 14044 and are consistent with PCR standard EN 15804 with the exception of being covered by a third party verification that includes external verification. Per ISO 14025 or EN 15804, there is no requirement for the product declarations to be ‘externally verified’. Our EPDs follow an independent review process per Section 8: Verification of ISO 14025 standard and includes verification of conformance to ISO 14025, 14040 and 14044 as well as PCR standards. We are looking for published clarification on eligibility of independently reviewed product-specific EPDs in LEED v4.

Ruling:

Type of Reporting Format
Tier

ISO 14044 compliant product-specific life cycle assessments
1

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant generic EPDs
2

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant internally verified product-specific EPDs
3

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant 3rd party verified product-specific EPDs
4

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can equipment and machinery in CSI divisions 11, 21-28 and other specialty divisions, including special equipment such as elevators, escalators, process equipment, and fire suppression systems contribute towards the 20 minimum number of products required in Option 1 of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations, Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, and of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients?

Ruling:

Yes, these products may contribute towards Option 1 of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations, Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, and of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients. Note that if these products are included in Option 1 of a credit, they are not required to be included in Option 2.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

How many times can a single industry-wide (generic) EPD contribute to Option 1, Environmental Product Declarations?

Ruling:

A single industry-wide (generic) EPD can be used for up to 10 products listed within the industry-wide EPD, provided that each application has separately reported impacts within the EPD.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

How can products contribute to earning Option 2 of the LEED v4 MR credit BPDO – Environmental Product Declarations?

Ruling:

In addition to the option outlined in the credit language, products that meet any of the following requirements can also contribute towards Option 2:
1. Demonstrate reduced impact with a product-specific EPD against an industry-wide generic EPD, provided the manufacturer was part of the study and the two conform to the same PCR.
2. Demonstrate reduced impact of the same product, over time, with two product-specific EPDs.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

LEEDuser expert

Tommy Linstroth

Green Badger
CEO

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. To reward project teams for selecting products from manufacturers who have verified improved environmental life-cycle impacts.

Requirements

Achieve one or more of the options below, for a maximum of 2 points.

Option 1. environmental product declaration (EPD) (1 point)
Use at least 20 different permanently installed products sourced from at least five different manufacturers that meet one of the disclosure criteria below.
  • Product-specific declaration.
    • Products with a publicly available, critically reviewed life-cycle assessment conforming to ISO 14044 that have at least a cradle to gate scope are valued as one quarter (1/4) of a product for the purposes of credit achievement calculation.
  • Environmental product declarations which conform to ISO 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 and have at least a cradle to gate scope.
    • Industry-wide (generic) EPD -- Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification, in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as a participant by the program operator are valued as one half (1/2) of a product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.
    • Product-specific Type III EPD -- Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as the participant by the program operator are valued as one whole product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.
  • USGBC approved program – Products that comply with other USGBC approved environmental product declaration frameworks.

AND/OR

Option 2. Multi-attribute optimization (1 point)
Use products that comply with one of the criteria below for 50%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed products in the project. Products will be valued as below.
  • Third party certified products that demonstrate impact reduction below industry average in at least three of the following categories are valued at 100% of their cost for credit achievement calculations.
    • global warming potential (greenhouse gases), in CO2e;
    • depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, in kg CFC-11;
    • acidification of land and water sources, in moles H+ or kg SO2;
    • eutrophication, in kg nitrogen or kg phosphate;
    • formation of tropospheric ozone, in kg NOx, kg O3 eq, or kg ethene; and
    • depletion of nonrenewable energy resources, in MJ.
  • USGBC approved program -- Products that comply with other USGBC approved multi-attribute frameworks.
For credit achievement calculation, products sourced (extracted, manufactured, purchased) within 100 miles (160 km) of the project site are valued at 200% of their base contributing cost.

Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products. Projects with significant amounts of structural and enclosure materials may exceed the 30% limit by calculating an alternative structure and enclosure limit (See Calculations under Further Explanation).

Meet the requirements of the credit above and include furniture and furnishings within the project’s scope of work.

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

For the twenty products with EPDs, can I count multiple products from the same manufacturer? 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If I include a product with an EPD in Option 1, do I have to also include it in the scope of products that are part of the Option 2 calculation?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If I include a product in the BPDO EPDs credit, do I also have to include it in the BPDO Material Ingredients credit? 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Do I have to submit the full EPD with my documentation for Option 1?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Where can I find a list of products with EPDs?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

How do you recognize each type of EPD?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

If a company provides an EPD but it does not mention on it that it meets the ISO standards required, can we still submit it for LEED or do we need to have that verification?

 

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

7/2/2018Updated: 7/6/2018
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Replace second bullet with the following:

"Environmental product declarations which conform to ISO 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 and have at least a cradle to gate scope."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/8/2017Updated: 7/28/2017
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
At the end of the “Requirements” section in each of the BPDO credits, change text to the following:
“Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products. Projects with significant amounts of structural and enclosure materials may exceed the 30% limit by calculating an alternative structure and enclosure limit (See Equation 3 under Further Explanation).”

Furthermore, add the following new section in every BPDO credit under “Further Explanation - CALCULATIONS”:
“Equation 3: Alternative Structure & Enclosure Percentage Limit for Option 2
For projects with significant amounts of structure and enclosure materials, the following calculation can be made to determine an alternative limit for the percentage of value that structure and enclosure materials can contribute to credit achievement. Note: this option is only available for projects that use the actual materials cost method (not the default cost method) to determine total project material costs.
Equation 3: Alternative Structure and Enclosure limit
Alternative Structure and Enclosure limit = (value $ of total building materials that are structural or enclosure) [divided by] (total actual materials value $)
Use the results of equation 3 to replace the 30% contribution factor limit in determining compliance with the credit.”
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In Table 1. Example Calculation for $500 office chair, the row “Wheels” in the column “Percentage of component meeting sustainability criteria” replace "5% with "10%" so the cell reads “10% postconsumer recycled content”
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Definition of "product (permanently installed building product" revise the last sentence to say " In addition, similar products within a specification can each contribute as separate products."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the 3rd paragraph for BD+C and 2nd paragraph for ID+C replace the 4th-7th sentences with the following: "If optional products or materials are included in cost-based credit calculations, such as Option 2 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they must be included consistently across all cost-based credit calculations. Additionally, if optional products and materials are included in product based calculations, such as Option 1 under each Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits, they are not required to be included in cost-based credit calculations. However, unlike furniture, if some of these products are included in credit calculations, not all products of that type must be included."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/5/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We are a manufacturer working with a program operator in Europe to develop environmental product declarations. We are looking for clarification on applicability of Option 1: Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that requires approved products to be third party verified (Type III) with external verification in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as the participant by the program operator. The EPDs that we have developed for our products with the program operator meet all LEED criteria for Type III product specific EPDs as defined by ISO standards ISO 14025, 14040 and 14044 and are consistent with PCR standard EN 15804 with the exception of being covered by a third party verification that includes external verification. Per ISO 14025 or EN 15804, there is no requirement for the product declarations to be ‘externally verified’. Our EPDs follow an independent review process per Section 8: Verification of ISO 14025 standard and includes verification of conformance to ISO 14025, 14040 and 14044 as well as PCR standards. We are looking for published clarification on eligibility of independently reviewed product-specific EPDs in LEED v4.

Ruling:

Type of Reporting Format
Tier

ISO 14044 compliant product-specific life cycle assessments
1

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant generic EPDs
2

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant internally verified product-specific EPDs
3

ISO 14025 and EN 15804/ISO 21930 compliant 3rd party verified product-specific EPDs
4

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can equipment and machinery in CSI divisions 11, 21-28 and other specialty divisions, including special equipment such as elevators, escalators, process equipment, and fire suppression systems contribute towards the 20 minimum number of products required in Option 1 of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations, Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, and of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients?

Ruling:

Yes, these products may contribute towards Option 1 of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations, Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, and of Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients. Note that if these products are included in Option 1 of a credit, they are not required to be included in Option 2.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

How many times can a single industry-wide (generic) EPD contribute to Option 1, Environmental Product Declarations?

Ruling:

A single industry-wide (generic) EPD can be used for up to 10 products listed within the industry-wide EPD, provided that each application has separately reported impacts within the EPD.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

How can products contribute to earning Option 2 of the LEED v4 MR credit BPDO – Environmental Product Declarations?

Ruling:

In addition to the option outlined in the credit language, products that meet any of the following requirements can also contribute towards Option 2:
1. Demonstrate reduced impact with a product-specific EPD against an industry-wide generic EPD, provided the manufacturer was part of the study and the two conform to the same PCR.
2. Demonstrate reduced impact of the same product, over time, with two product-specific EPDs.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Tommy Linstroth

Green Badger
CEO

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Retail-CI-v4 MRc3 View the LEED v4.1 version of this credit