Norlite, LLC
628 S. Saratoga Street Cohoes, NY 12047
(518) 235-0030 (phone) (518) 235-0233 (fax)

LEED & Sustainability

Structural Concrete & LEED

Norlite Structural Concrete contributes to sustainable development by conserving energy, lowering transportation requirements, maximizing structural efficiency and increasing concrete service life. In addition, using Norlite lowers the overall energy consumption of structures thereby reducing the associated life cycle costs throughout the structure's useful life.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system was designed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the influence of building design and construction on the environment.

The use of Norlite in building designs contributes toward LEED Green Building certification credits.

The LEED rating system has six areas of concentration; Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process. Projects obtain credits in these areas to achieve certification. A building becomes certified after receiving a minimum of 26 credits from the USGBC.

The varied applications of Norlite lightweight aggregate apply to diverse areas of the LEED System. The following LEED credits are areas where Norlite can contribute to achieving LEED credits.

Category Available
Points Where Norlite
Can Contribute
Sustainable Sites 14 1
Water Efficiency 5 0
Energy & Atmosphere 17 1+ **
Materials & Resources 13 7
Indoor Environmental Quality 15 1
Innovation & Design 5 1
Total Possible Points 69 11+

Note: 1-10 points can be awarded for energy cost savings of 15%-60% for new buildings and 5%-50% for existing buildings. Norlite will improve the thermal performance of building materials and contribute toward obtaining these credits.

Norlite LEED Credits

Sustainable Site | Energy & Atmosphere | Materials & Resources | Indoor Environmental Quality | Innovation & Design

Sustainable Site Credit 6.1
Stormwater Management: Rate and Quantity
Limit disruption and pollution of natural water flows by managing stormwater runoff.

Norlite can be used in pervious concrete to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff. The use of Norlite in pervious concrete applications will allow access by heavy emergency vehicles while still allowing for free drainage of stormwater.

Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite 2
Minimum Energy Performance
Establish the minimum level of energy efficiency for the base building and systems.

The thermal efficiency of concrete manufactured with Norlite can maximize the energy performance of the building by decreasing u-values of structural concrete. This improvement in thermal performance will help the building design to meet the ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1- 1999 requirements.

Energy & Atmosphere Credit 1
Optimize Energy Performance

Achieve increasing levels of energy performance above the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental impacts associated with excessive energy use.

1-10 points can be awarded for energy cost savings of 15%-60% for new buildings and 5%-50% for existing buildings. Norlite will improve the thermal performance of concrete and contribute toward obtaining these credits.

Lightweight structural concrete provides higher insulating values while still having the benefits of a thermal mass. Norlite concrete optimize the combination of R-values, thermal mass, and low thermal bridging. The higher thermal resistance provided by substituting Norlite in place of normal weight aggregates will improve the insulating capabilities of structural concrete by decreasing the density of the concrete. The optimized density will provide a structural thermally efficient wall that helps to shift the peak cooling and heating loads to off-peak times.

Materials & Resources Credits 1.1, 1.2, & 1.3
Building Reuse:
Credit 1.1 - Maintain 75% of Existing Walls, Floors and Roof
Credit 1.2 - Maintain 100% of Existing Walls, Floors and Roof
Credit 1.3 - Maintain 100% of Shell/Structure and 50% of Non-shell/Non-Structure

Extend the life cycle of existing building stock, conserve resources, retain cultural resources, reduce waste and reduce environmental impacts of new buildings as they relate to materials manufacturing and transport.

Norlite concrete has been utilized in the reuse of numerous buildings. Norlite concrete has lighter weight while still being structural. These lightweight components allow buildings to be redesigned while still using existing foundations and structural members.

Materials & Resources Credit 4.1 & 4.2
Recycled Content:
Credit 4.1 - 5% (Post-Consumer + Post-Industrial)
Credit 4.2 - 10% (Post-Consumer + Post-Industrial)

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

Norlite is manufactured with two raw materials, heat and shale. The heat source is provided with recycled fuels that come from both post-consumer and post-industrial sources. Norlite has also received a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Materials & Resources Credit 5.1
Regional Materials: 20%
Manufactured Regionally

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.

Lightweight concrete manufactured with Norlite is manufactured at numerous facilities in close proximity to almost every building site. These ready mix and precast producers are close to most jobsites.

Materials & Resources Credit 5.2
Regional Materials: 50% Extracted Regionally

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.

Norlite is manufactured in Cohoes, New York. The 500-mile radius from our manufacturing location encompasses most major markets along the East Coast of the United States.

Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 7.1
Thermal Comfort: Compliance with ASHRAE 55-1992

Provide a thermally comfortable environment that supports the productivity and well being of building occupants.

Improving the thermal performance of the concrete used to construct a structure will help to contribute to a comfortable environment to live and work in.

Innovation & Design Process Credit 1
Innovation in Design

To provide design teams and projects the opportunity to be awarded points for exceptional performance above the requirements set by the LEED Green Building Rating System and/or innovative performance in Green Building categories not specifically addressed by the LEED Green Building Rating System.

The use of lightweight concrete manufactured with Norlite will allow more building products to be carried on the same truck when compared to heavy building products. The increased load volumes will decrease the number of trips that a truck will have to make to deliver the same amount of product. This will reduce the air pollutants emitted, reduce the noise pollution, and reduce traffic congestion associated with the transportation of goods to the construction site.

Life Cycle Cost Performance

The long-term value of any building material is predicated on a combination of cost, durability, functionality, and aesthetics. Life cycle costing is the only way to evaluate the performance and long-term sustainability of a material or building project. Any increased up-front cost of lightweight concrete manufactured with Norlite is more than offset by the cost savings in the following areas: labor, lower dead loads, better fire resistance resulting in reduced concrete thickness, less reinforcing required in building frames, girders, piers, and footings. Long-term heating and cooling costs are reduced due to the higher insulating properties and overall superior thermal performance of the building.

Energy Performance

The embodied energy to make Norlite includes mining, manufacturing, and transporting the material to the jobsite or building product manufacturer. The cost of this embodied energy is often paid back in a very short period of time, because of the increased thermal performance and lower transportation and labor cost associated with the building elements. Life cycle energy savings realized from using Norlite will help to conserve valuable natural resources for future generations.