How can resin countertops help you earn LEED credits?

Increasingly local and state governments are passing regulations that require newly

constructed public buildings, such as schools, hospitals and government services

facilities, to demonstrate measurable contributions toward energy conservation and

sustainability. The non-profit U.S. Green Building Council, best known for its

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, plays a central

role in establishing energy conservation guidelines through its suite of LEED

certification standards.

These LEED standards, first introduced in 1993, have gone through three major

revisions. They have also expanded into different market sectors. For example, in

the public building sector, U.S. Green Building Council has set comprehensive

standards for schools and universities (LEED for Schools) and for public health

hospitals and other related facilities (LEED for Healthcare). There are LEED rating

systems for new commercial construction, for home residential design and

construction as well as for existing buildings (LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations

& Maintenance).

Once you have determined which LEED standard will govern your project, you will

soon become very familiar with the 100 possible points, or credits, that can be

awarded to your project. Highly coveted Platinum level LEED-certified projects have

garnered at least 80 points, while the lower level Gold and Silver awards require

fewer points.

Achieving LEED certification is a complex project management task. An entire

consulting industry has arisen to support architects, planners, engineers and

construction companies navigate the very precise (some might say arcane) LEED

compliance standards. In fact, you may wish to turn to a LEED Accredited

Professional to help guide projects planning and decision-making in order to qualify

for as many as LEED credits as you can achieve.


Choosing Blackland resin countertops can help you obtain

LEED-certified status for your building project.

Sustainability is a key concept in the LEED certification process, so it’s very

important to perform very exact calculations on the percentage of recycled pre- and

post-consumer waste used in your project.

Blackland epoxy resin countertops are made with 10% recycled material content.

Thus specifying Blackland resin countertops in your construction plans can help you

achieve one LEED point (plus a possible second point for Exemplary Performance)

when calculating the MRc4 Recycled Content credit, which is offered in LEED for

New Construction, LEED for Core and Shell, LEED for commercial Interiors and LEED

for Schools.

Blackland Epoxy Resin countertops qualify for MRc5 Regional

Materials credits for much of the central U.S.

Just as those advocates of the slow food movement advocate buying products from

local farmers to support local agriculture while reducing the environmental impact of

expending energy on long distance transportation, the LEED certification process

has a similar incentive: the MRc5 Regional Materials credit, which is worth an

additional 1 point (with the potential for additional points awarded for Exemplary


The MRc5 Regional Materials credit was originally awarded to materials sourced

within 500 miles. And thanks to Blackland Manufacturing’s central Texas location,

this credit could be awarded to projects across Texas, Oklahoma and as far east as

New Orleans.

In 2012, an alternate pro-rated "Option 2" calculation became available that

extended this distance to 1,500 miles if shipment is made by rail. This broadens the

opportunity for projects located across much of the central United States.

Phenolic Compact Countertops from Blackland Manufacturing

use raw materials from natural resources that renew rapidly

(within 10 years).

The LEED certification process also takes a look at the impact of raw material

sources on the planet's environment. The MRc6 credit, which applies to LEED for

New Construction, LEED for Commercial Interiors and LEED for Schools among

others, encourages selection of raw materials from natural sources that can be

renewed within a 10 year life cycle. Phenolic Compact countertops from Blackland

Manufacturing are made of rapidly renewable resources, which can help you achieve

this important MRc6 credit.

Blackland Manufacturing's Science Tables utilize wood certified

by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Sustainable forestry management is another important goal of the LEED certification

process. Projects that use wood products in their construction can achieve one

credit in the MRc7 Certified Wood category if at least 50% of the wood is qualified

under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) threshold. A second additional point for

exemplary performance can be awarded if the percentage exceeds 95%.

All wood science tables offered by Blackland Manufacturing utilize FSC Certified

Wood, so specifying Blackland science tables for your project can help contribute

toward the achievement of the MRc7 credit.

Blackland products are Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified,

which can help you achieve LEED IEQc4.5 credits.

Many LEED guidelines go far beyond a building's initial construction. For example,

the IEQc4.5 requirements cover the choice of furniture and furnishings. In this case,

the underlying purpose of this LEED credit is to improve indoor air quality by

reducing chemical contaminants introduced by materials in the buildings furniture

and furnishings. There are two options for achieving the IEQc4.5 credit for low

emitting materials in furniture and seating systems. The first choice is to select

furniture and seating that is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified.

This is the route we recommend you take, because when you choose Blackland

Manufacturing's epoxy resin countertops (or any of our other Blackland line of

products) they have already been Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified.

The second route for achieving IEQc4.5 credits is to enlist an independent third-

party air-quality testing laboratory that can certify that the emissions from your

furniture do not exceed the prescribed LEED emission limits.

Want to learn more about how Blackland epoxy resin

countertops can help you obtain LEED credits?

It's easy. You can contact us by telephone at (512) 366-8139 or drop us a note on

our contact form. Our consultants have over 20 years of experience and will be

happy to answer any questions you have about your project's requirements.

Or if you already have a specific project in mind, use our online quote request tool.

Either way we look forward to answering your questions and providing you with the

highest quality laboratory work surface products available.