The Effect of LEED

October 2005

We posed this month’s question to the U.S.-based wallboard manufacturer members of the Gypsum Association. Here are the answers of those who responded.

What effect will LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) have on drywall contractors, and what is your company doing to help contractors who want to do work that earns rating points in LEED?

Construction documents created for the improvement of sustainable design and LEED certification will require contractors to become more knowledgeable about the products they install (i.e., recycled content, embodied energy, production distance, recyclability, reuses, VOCs, etc.). Documentation and land fill avoidance of all C&D waste will follow.

Manufacturers must provide technical assistance. Un-needed packaging will be eliminated. New re-uses of construction waste will surface (visit: http://www.gypsumrecycling.org/, an EPA resource for drywall reuse/recycling).  Interest on Indoor quality and life safety will grow and improve future materials. For information on these issues and USG products, please visit www.usg.com.

—Richard C. (Rik) Master, AIA, CSI, ALA
Manager, Architectural Systems
USG Corporation
Chicago, Illinois

The evolution of sustainable construction practice has reached the drywall contractors at a variety of levels throughout the country. Many of the federal, state and local municipalities as well as private owners are requiring buildings to be LEED certified. National Gypsum has developed LEED sheets specifically identifying the sustainable features of each manufacturing facility. National Gypsum also provides other related sustainable information on www.nationalgypsum.com. To obtain gypsum LEED sheets and assist you with other sustainable questions, please contact 1-800-National.

—Scott M. Carlsen, CSI
Manager, Technical Marketing
National Gypsum Company
Charlotte, North Carolina

Other than adding one more step into the process, I’m not sure the LEED program will have a great impact on contractors once they are aware of how and what they need to submit to their design professional or building owner. American Gypsum has prepared a LEED report for each of our plants that identifies the following:

-Percentage of total recycled content.
-Percentage of post consumer content.
-Percentage of post industrial content.

—Robert Ek Technical Services Manager
American Gypsum
Albuquerque, New Mexico