18-0409 v3.1/Salvaged Materials Count Considerations 3.x


Can large quantities of one material count as multiple salvaged materials? 


The intent of using salvaged products is to reduce or eliminate both waste and the associated impacts of creating new products, as well as to demonstrate how used products can be re-purposed. To recognize that different product types achieve these intents to different extents, the Institute has created the following guidance on counting the number of salvaged products in a project.

Variables to consider when counting salvaged materials include*: 

  • sourcing (was each a separate sourcing effort?),
  • number of discrete products,
  • the volume of the salvaged product, and
  • ways the product is re-used in the project.

Typically, salvaged products are counted  by discrete products (one door, one sink, one fixture, etc.). However, if the products are repetitive and purchased as a package from one source, they should not be counted separately (e.g. 10 identical door knobs from one supplier would be considered one salvaged product). On the other hand, to acknowledge that some of those salvaged "packages" have a significant impact, non-discrete, high-volume products such as flooring and siding may count as multiple salvaged products for the purpose of the Living Building Challenge. Such products may count as one salvaged product for every room or every 50 square meters of installed product, or for each distinct type of re-use (e.g. if salvaged flooring was used on both the floors and the walls, that would be two uses). 

*The number of product categories is relevant to some exceptions.

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