Sustainable Design Information

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system has emerged as an important force in today’s building industry, serving as a touchstone for those seeking to build high performance, more sustainable buildings. We have outlined and illustrated how our products contribute to the achievement of certain LEED credits.

U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the nation’s foremost nonprofit coalition of over 6,000 companies and organizations from across the building industry promoting high-performance green buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. The USGBC developed LEED as a voluntary, consensus-based national standard to support and validate successful green building design, construction, and operations. Natures Composites is a current member of USGBC through the Wyoming chapter.

LEED Rating System

The USGBC LEED program offers third-party certification of qualifying buildings and interiors, high- performance design guidelines, and professional training and accreditation services. LEED was created to:

  • define “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement
  • promote integrated, whole-building design practices
  • recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
  • stimulate green competition
  • raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
  • transform the building market

The LEED Rating System evaluates projects over 5 core and 1 bonus credit categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Bonus Credits for Process and Design Innovation

LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. Additionally, 10 bonus credits are available, four of which address regionally specific environmental issues. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be certified.

Projects can result in one of four levels of certification through achieving Core Credit Points:

LEED Certified achieve 40% or more of the Core Credits

LEED Silver achieve 50% or more of the Core Credits

LEED Gold achieve 60% or more of the Core Credits

LEED Platinum achieve 80% or more of the Core Credits

How Natures Composites Products Can Contribute Points

Although LEED is comprised of five core and one bonus category, Natures Composites Products play a role in one core credit category: Materials & Resources. It may also contribute in the Innovative Design credit based on the product use. This document will further explain the requirements of the impacted credits and provide a description of how Natures Composites Products may contribute to these credits. The Materials and Resource Credits are mainly based on the cost of the material and the relative percentages that those materials contribute to the overall budget of the project. Note that generally no single product can, by itself, obtain a LEED Credit. Products can, in aggregate, contribute to attaining credits.

LEED-NC Materials & Resources Credits

Recycled Content

Credit 4.1 Recycled Content: 10% (post-consumer + 1/2 pre-consumer) (1 Point)

Credit 4.2 Recycled Content: 20% (post-consumer + 1/2 pre-consumer) (1 Point in addition to 4.1)

Note: pre-consumer recycled content has the same meaning as post-industrial.

Increase demand for building products that incorporate recycled content materials, thereby reducing impact resulting from extraction and processing of new virgin materials.

Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% or 20% of the total value of the materials in the project.

The value of the recycled content portion of a material or furnishing shall be determined by dividing the weight of recycled content in the item by the total weight of all material in the item, then multiplying the resulting percentage by the total value of the item. Recycled content shall be defined in accordance with the International Organization of Standards document, ISO 14021 — Environmental labels and declarations—Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labeling).

Natures Composites Product Credit Contribution

Natures Composites Products has a variety of recycled content products that can contribute to this credit calculation. Terra fence is made from both annually renewable material – wheat straw and reclaimed material -Recycled plastic.

Terra Fence and Terra Deck contains on average 40% post consumer content (Recycled plastic)

Terra Fence and Terra Deck do not contain any pre-consumer recycle content

Two simple generic calculation examples are noted below.

Equation 1:

Recycled [$] Content Value = Material or [$] Product Cost x Recycled [%] Content

Equation 2:

Recycled [%] Content Rate = (Post-consumer RCV [$] + 1/2 Pre-consumer RCV [$])/

Total Materials Cost [$]

Note: RCV = Recycled Content Value

Note: Terra Fence and Terra Deck contribute toward 10% (1 pt.) or 20% (2 pt.) minimum requirement of total materials cost of the LEED project.

Regional Materials

Credit 5.1 Regional Materials: 10% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Regionally (1 Point)

Credit 5.2 Regional Materials: 20% Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Regionally (1 Point in addition to 5.1)


Increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured within the region, thereby supporting the regional economy and reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation.


Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site for a minimum of 10% or 20% (based on cost) of the total materials value. If only a fraction of a product or material is extracted/harvested/recovered and manufactured locally, then only that percentage (by weight) shall contribute to the regional value

Natures Composites Product Credit Contribution

Terra Fence and Terra Deck are made from wheat straw which is annually renewable material. More than 50% of the material used in the manufacture of these products is annually renewable material. Regional materials contribution must be calculated for every project location. Natures Composites are manufactured in 1320 Industrial Park Drive, Torrington WY 82240. Exact aerial distance between project site and the manufacturing location should be calculated using map tools available online. Projects located within the 500 mile circle illustrated below can claim 100% of the value of the Terra Fence and Terra Deck for the MR 5.1 Credit for regional materials.

Equation 1:

Regional [%] Materials Rate =    Regionally Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Materials Cost [$]/

Total Materials Cost [$]

ID Credits 1-4: Innovative Design

Terra Fence and Terra Deck’s Potential Contributions

Designing assemblies from Natures Composites -Terra Fence and Terra Deck’s materials can help reduce waste by custom sizing . The durable Natures Composites  material also provides great opportunity for modular designs that can easily be deconstructed and relocated and reused specially for temporary facilities.

Resource Credits
Natures Composites products are warranted for 20 years on residential and 10 years for commercial installation and most installations last well beyond the warranty. Because of the exceptional life cycle of these products, many installations can be removed and reshaped for new locations. This creates the possibility for Materials Reuse credits noted below.

MR Credit 3.1 – NC– Versions 2.1 & 2.2: Materials Reuse – 5% (1 Point)

Reuse building materials and products in order to reduce demand for virgin materials and to reduce waste, thereby reducing impacts associated with the extraction and processing of virgin resources.

Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials such that the sum of these materials constitutes at least 5% based on cost, of the total value of materials on the project.

MR Credit 3.2 NC Versions 2.1 & 2.2: Materials Reuse – 10%

(1 Point – in addition to MR 3.1)

Reuse building materials and products in order to reduce demand for virgin materials and to reduce waste, thereby reducing impacts associated with the extraction and processing of virgin resources.

Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials for an additional 5% beyond MR Credit 3.1

(10% total, based on cost)

At Natures Composites, we are committed to being a part of the sustainable design community. We recognize that the LEED rating system is evolving, maturing in the context of new markets and project types. As new LEED Rating Systems are released and new LEED Application guides developed, Natures Composites Surfaces will continue to be a trusted resource to our customers and their projects.