The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System to provide general guidance for the design construction and operation of high-performing green buildings.
There are specific ratings for different types of buildings and development, including new construction, existing builds, commercial interiors, core and shell, schools, retail, health care, homes and neighborhood development. . This article focuses on the use of bamboo to help you achieve one point for the MRc6 credit (Rapidly Renewable Resources) for your LEED for New Construction project.
Certification of a project is based upon the number of points that a building achieves. The levels include Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified. In the New Construction, Commercial Interiors and School ratings, there is a one point available for the use of rapidly renewable materials.
LEED defines a rapidly renewable resource as one that has a harvest cycle of ten years or less. Products that fit into this category include agrifiber, bamboo, cork, corn, cotton, linoleum, natural rubber, soy and wool. Bamboo, which can have a harvest cycles of six to eight years, depending on the species. Bamboo has many applications in a new construction setting, including millwork, cabinetry flooring and veneers.
The use of bamboo cabinetry in a commercial new construction setting has many applications. Let these recommended uses get your mind thinking about how the use of bamboo can add to your calculation of the MRc6 credit for your LEED for New Construction project.
Employee Kitchen and Break rooms – Employee areas, like kitchens and break rooms, are a natural place to employ bamboo cabinetry. Not only is it beautiful and durable, but it can help keep a space looking neat and tidy. Future tenants of a green building are likely to invest in durable utensils and dishes for their employees to use to cut down on disposables and trash generation. With bamboo cabinets being available in a variety of finishes and sizes, the employee kitchen is a great place to use these materials.
Conference Rooms – Bamboo cabinetry in a conference room setting is a great way to hide audio visual equipment and meeting room supplies. It can also hide drink and coffee station areas when not in use. Because bamboo is so beautiful, it can easily tie into a variety of design themes for the most casual or formal conference room.
Reception Desk and Copy Rooms – Reception areas are high-visibility areas for clients and customers. Bamboo cabinetry is a beautiful way to conceal needed reception supplies. Copy and supply room storage can also be achieved with the use of bamboo cabinets.
The MRc6 credit is calculated as a percentage of your overall building material and product budget. To achieve one point for MRc6 (Rapidly Renewable Materials), 2.5% of your total building materials budget must be from rapidly renewable resources. Bamboo cabinets, alone, will not get you this credit, but they to contribute to the bottom line as you calculate the value of rapidly renewable materials in your new construction project. Additionally, if you can achieve 5% total value with rapidly renewable resources, and extra point can be achieved. Architects and designers are appreciating the value and beauty of bamboo cabinetry as they design their LEED for New Construction project.