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David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1615
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 04:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am currently working on a LEED project in Southern California. The LEED consultant has directed me to include the 500 mile radius for certain products.

Should it be the specifier's responsibility to look up manufacturers to see if their factories are within the 500 mile radius? Should it be the LEED consultant's responsibility? Contractor? Subcontractor? Supplier?
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
Jeffrey Wilson CSI CCS SCIP
Senior Member
Username: wilsonconsulting

Post Number: 230
Registered: 03-2006

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 05:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In my experience, the designer retains responsibility for identifying products that comply w/ the LEED credits being sought, frequently w/ guidance from the LEED consultant.

As the spec consultant, my agreements explicitly exclude product selection related to LEED. So unless product selection is part of your service, I would expect your LEED responsibilities to be limited to specifying the credits & product attributes based on advice from the designer.
Jeffrey Wilson CCS CSI SCIP
Wilson Consulting Inc
Ardmore PA
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1616
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 05:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am leaning towards not naming products/manufacturers and just specifying characteristics/performance. I will include the requirement about 500 miles but will let someone else decide if the product is compliant.
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
Colin Gilboy
Senior Member
Username: colin

Post Number: 438
Registered: 09-2005

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 05:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

On the bottom of each product section is a green button - show these listings in zip code order. This is a start to see where companies are located. Doing a 500 mile radius from the project is too complex for my programming skills.

Give this to the project architect to give them some help.
Colin Gilboy
Publisher, 4specs.com
435.654.5775 - Utah
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 07:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I never specify regional, recycled, or renewable criteria for specific materials and products! My reasoning is 1) these criteria depend on a minimum percentage of entire project, and 2) that Contractor should be the entity to selectively decide which specific "mix" of materials and products count towards each credit. Besides what happens (i.e., responsibility) if "you" do specify specific materials and products to be regional, but in the final accounting project is 1% short of it's minimum goal? Or do "you", specify more regional materials and products than anticipated will be needed to meet minimum percentage; if so, that might be inefficient at the least and costly at the worst?
I contractually exclude any material selection and research related to complying with LEED requirements.
Otherwise, you'd be specifying the specific (means and) method of achieving a final project/result (the minimum percentage)?
Has LEED consultant done a cost/quantity analysis to know which materials and products to target?
If you are already committed to doing this "research", I would first document with LEED consultant that by doing so, s/he is taking on the responsibility of meeting the minimum percentage goal(s) by doing so....and copy the architect. I think that might "change" his/her mind?
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: michael_chusid

Post Number: 327
Registered: 10-2003

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 07:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Colin: I had not seen the zip code sorter before. It will be helpful.

Regarding programming, Google Maps can take an address database and map it. See
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS
www.chusid.com www.buildingproduct.guru 818-219-4937
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 992
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017 - 08:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have included the 500-mile radius on LEED projects before. There are enough products qualifying in a 500-mile radius around our area so this is usually not a problem. Naturally there are some products that do not qualify. The Contractor might get sloppy in his purchasing so including this as a contractual requirement puts more responsibility on him.

In my experiecne, most LEED consultants simply don't have the understanding of specifications as contract requirement. They seem to believe that the specs are suggestions and that they may be ignored. They also seem to not understand that there may be impossible requirements if the designer selects a product that is not manufactured within a 500-mile radius.

I recently had a LEED consultant request that I modify sections to include VOC requirements for touch-up paints. The problem was that the most of the sections listed were for clear anodized aluminum. I didn't pay much attention to that consultant after that.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 826
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 09:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The problem with not verifying products meet the 500 mile criteria is that there may not be sufficient products to meet the LEED criteria. If you knew this during design you likely could have adopted other strategies which may not be available at the end of the project.
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 326
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 09:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For LEED v2009 and prior, it was easy enough to list the 500 mile regional requirement for concrete, masonry, steel, and GWB. That usually fulfilled the requirements. It's easy, common sense, but I did occasionally remind the design Architect to think about where the brick was manufactured.

For LEED v4, the 100 mile limit is very challenging, especially for those of us in New England (or any coast). In this case, the Architect or LEED consultant needs to make a list and run calculations for each project. When our basis of design is a local manufacturer, I usually list the city and state. I hope it helps everyone who reads the specifications to buy local, for this and future projects, where appropriate.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP, EDAC
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 609
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Friday, October 06, 2017 - 04:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Virtually all of our projects are LEED now.

I include the 500 mile rule for LEED if it is achievable and the product in question constitutes a relevant percentage of the project budget. The Zip code tool at 4specs that Colin referenced is my go to tool for checking locations.

Also, for any project, even if LEED is not required, I really push on the designers to find CMU that is manufactured within 500 miles. The thought of loads of CMU crossing the country just because of which website a designer happened across drives me nuts.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1429
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 06:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

there are two issues here: LEED (the old LEED) required 500 miles; any new project is 100 miles. But, CalGreen requires "state of California", which could be 800 miles from end to end.
The contractor has full control over where he gets his stuff. And, most contractors I've worked with in California are pretty savvy about this stuff. They are responsible for meeting the credit.

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