Recycled Content

To get this credit, a percentage of the materials (10% for 1 point, 20% for 2 points) in your project has to have recycled content. 
Below are the issues that the Contractor needs to focus on for this credit.
Calculating Total Material Costs
The first step is to calculate the total material costs.  You have the option of doing this one of two ways.
    1. Take the project costs of Divisions 2 - 10 and multiply by 45% to get the estimated material costs.  Material costs for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and other specialty items such as elevators cannot be counted in your total material costs.
    2. Actually add up the cost of each piece of material in Divisions 2 - 10 that went into your project.
The first method is easier to derive because you as the GC know the contract amount for each of the subcontractors providing materials for Divisions 2 - 10.  You can simply multiply the sum of these contracts by 45%.  Example: for a project that cost 1 million dollars, the estimated material cost that went into that project was $450,000.  If you were going for 1 point on this credit, that would mean you would have to spend at least $45,000 ($450,000 x 10%) on recycled materials.
The second method is more difficult to derive, but it will most likely give you a better shot at having a higher percentage of recycled material in your project.  You have to get invoices for every bit a material (for Div. 2 - 10) that went into your project and add them all up.  All the material costs will most likely add up to far less than 45% of the total project cost (for Div. 2 - 10). 
To continue with our previous example, say the actual material costs were only $330,000.  That would mean you would only have to spend $33,000 on recycled material to get the 1 point for this credit.
Materials That Make a Difference to Your Recycled Percentage
It's difficult to mandate that subcontractors provide materials that have a certain recycled content.  Fortunately many expensive building materials already have a high recycled content which greatly helps your percentage.  For example, structural steel is expensive and has a very high recycled content, anywhere from 50% - 85%.  Rebar is also expensive and is 99% recycled.  Steel has a default recycled content value of 25%, so even if your subcontractor can't tell you the recycled content of some steel material he is installing on your site, plug in 25%.
Products that will have the greatest positive impact on your project because they are expensive and have a high recycled content are:
    -anything metal
    -composite woods (particle board, OSB, ect)
Don't waste your time beating up a subcontractor to try get him to provide a carpet that has 10% recycled content.  Carpet is cheep and 10% is low.  That type of material will have a negligible impact on your overall recycled content percentage.  Focus on getting high dollar value items that have a recycled content, these will move your percentages.
(**All dollar values in this example have been changed from actual amounts)