In LEED-2009, Materials and Resources Credits MRc3 through MRc7 calculate the costs and contributions of materials normally specified in Divisions 03 through 10 of CSI MasterFormat 2004 and in a few sections in Divisions 31 and 32.

The Earthship post describes rammed earth construction, which MasterFormat 2004 does not address anywhere. Newer versions of MasterFormat (LEEDv4 uses 2012) classify Rammed Earth in Division 13 Special Construction, which lies outside of the Scope of the MR credits.

While at Greenbuild, I had an opportunity to sit down with a LEED Reviewer the GBCI Certification Work Zone. He noted that using old tires in rammed earth walls seemed entirely within the intent of the MR credits, but that, since MasterFormat does not address this construction type in the appropriate Divisions, project teams should request a formal interpretation from USGBC before attempting to include such materials in MR Credit calculations.

The same would go for other alternative technologies addressed outside the prescribed MasterFormat Sections, such as straw-bale construction, tensile structures, and modular prefabrication.

The earlier post describes a system with two major components: old tires and earth brought together through hand labor.

As noted previously, the onsite labor of assembling the walls and compacting the earth into the tires is excluded from the calculation. Earth gathered onsite has no cost, so it does not figure into the MR credits. All that remains are the tires.

It appears that the tires would be purchased, gathered, or donated and incorporated into the construction without any kind of alteration or remanufacture. Such materials do not meet the MRc4 definition of recycled materials. Instead, they might qualify as reused or salvaged material under Material Reuse Credit MRc3. For guidance on determining the cost of such materials, see

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