Materials and Waste Guidelines

M.1 Life Cycle Assessment of Materials Required Required if Exterior Envelope is in Scope
M.2 Environmentally Preferable Materials Required Required
M.3 Waste Reduction and Management Required Required
M.99 General Project Data Recommended Recommended


Related Forms

B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool


Appendix M-0 Suggested Implementation for All Material and Waste Guidelines
Appendix M-3a Example Specification for Construction Waste Management
Appendix M-3b Construction Waste Recycling Economics Worksheet
Appendix M-3c Packaging Waste Recycling Economics Worksheet



Selection and use of materials and resources for more sustainable building has been an evolving process since the first recycled content products hit the market in the early 1970s. Costs related to increased waste from construction, depletion of non-renewable resources, and air and water pollution from production and distribution are becoming increasing drains on the State‚Äôs economy. Because the building industry consumes over three billion tons of raw materials annually—around 40 percent of the total material flow in the global economy—the need to reduce the effects of building material extraction, processing, delivery, use, and disposal has become imperative to improving the health of the economy and the environment. To this end, guidelines and rating systems have sought to guide practitioners toward choices that reduce waste and the negative environmental impacts associated with materials through prescriptive requirements for salvaged materials, recycled content, locally produced or assembled products, and renewable materials. The State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3 Guidelines) are moving away from prescriptive requirements toward material selection based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which will provide a better connection to real effects and costs. However, until there is more complete data available, the B3 Guidelines will also utilize some prescriptive strategies to effect change. This section focuses on the selection of building assemblies and materials as well as reduction of waste. Guideline P.2 Planning for Conservation addresses designing for reduced construction through shared use of spaces, building reuse, and design for flexibility and adaptability.


To produce projects with the lowest reasonable life cycle environmental impact at the lowest first cost based on material resource use and waste management.


  • Set a modest benchmark for building assemblies to optimize their total life cycle performance based on the Athena Eco-Calculator.
  • Include some material alternatives to improve their total life cycle performance based on material properties such as: recycled, salvaged, renewable, bio-based, and durability-appropriate to service life. Additionally recommend consideration of locally/regionally produced, and ability to be reused, recycled, or biodegraded at the end of their life in the project.
  • Reduce, recycle and manage wastes generated during the construction process and occupancy.