German AgBB / DIBt regulation
AgBB specification and DIBt regulation
Germany published restrictions of VOC emissions from construction products.
The background to this is the EU Construction Products Regulation, requiring that no construction product should cause any harm to the occupants of a building. As the EU did not specifically detail this requirement, national regulations may interpret this differently. A German task force of public health authorities, the AgBB, presented an approach for implementing this part of the EU directive. The AgBB used and updated an earlier project on assessment of emissions from carpets (ECA no. 18), for producing its AgBB specifications.
German DIBt institute in Berlin, a public agency for construction products, used this approach for requiring low VOC emissions for CE marked floorings that are used in Germany. Now all floorings sold in Europe have to carry a CE mark in showing compliance with EN 14041. But for being installed in German buildings, these have to be approved by DIBt after fulfilling the supplementary DIBt requirements on emissions and carry the Ü mark.
Please find here latest notified version of DIBt regulation.
This regulation is valid also for parquet floorings (EN 14342), parquet coatings, other flooring adhesives, some other products, such as resin floorings, wall coverings, sports floors, and some more. External certification is not be required for coatings and adhesives. Instead, re-testing every five years will do.
The German AgBB paper does not include any limitations on formaldehyde. The reason is that formaldehyde emissions are regulated to 120 µg/m³ by law in Germany. The regulation issued by DIBt therefore requires compliance with that level of formaldehyde emissions, on top of the original AgBB paper.
New since 2014: Wall coverings
Wall coverings are included since 01. January 2014. This includes products as specified in EN 15102:
- All wallpapers not made entirely of paper; this means vinyl, textile, cork products etc.
- Wallpapers made entirely of paper are included only if they are made as a photoprint.
Barrier to trade?
The European Commission requests Germany "to remove barriers to trade" and "to change current rules and practices (Bauregellisten) concerning construction products which today impose additional requirements for products covered by European harmonised standards, and bearing the CE marking. Such additional requirements are in breach of EU Single Market rules." Please see here more details. But as long as the EU did not yet win a cause at European Court, this national legislation is mandatory for th econcerned products.
Most recent list of NIK / LCI values
AgBB published the 2012 list of its NIK (LCI) values that can be downloaded from German EPA (UBA) in German.
A publication on EU-wide harmonized LCI values, awaited since a long time, now is available. LCI values are limit values for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), to be applied on VOC emissions test results after 28 days. The planned Belgian regulation intends to incorporate that list into its requirements. You can download the publication from here.
But it is open whether and when the harmonized limit values are adopted by the German regulation.
The requirements comprise limitations to emissions after a test piece was stored in a test chamber for 3 days and 28 days. The 3 days test is representative of a building renovation case with early re-occupancy and prohibits excessively high initial VOC emissions and the presence of carcinogens. The 28 days test is representative of long-term emissions.The AgBB approach sets limits for:
- Carcinogens after 3 and 28 days
- Total VOC after 3 and 28 days
- Total SVOC after 28 days
- Single VOC compounds with "LCl" limit values (NIK
in German ) after 28 days.
(More than 170 NIK values have been published)
- Single VOC compounds without such limit values after 28 days.
When approaching a registration by DIBt the manufacturer must provide several documents, among that test results for VOC emissions. Test reports only from laboratories approved by DIBt are accepted, such as Eurofins Product Testing A/S. Afterwards an auditing and certification contract with a "ÜZ" body is required, with at least annual audit on-site and re-testing. Then the German Ü mark may be used for labelling. Ü stands for "Übereinstimmung" (compliance). Eurofins offers also these DIBt services as ÜZ body.
Eurofins is both approved test house and approved ÜZ certification body. AgBB / DIBt testing can be easily combined with tests for other labels such as French VOC regulations, French AFSSET guideline, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations are saving money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes. If a resistance to fire test is needed for CE marking then Eurofins cooperates with a German partner, the MPA in Erwitte.
Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with above specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent testing, certification ("ÜZ body"), and auditing for the Ü mark if required.
Eurofins also offers consulting services for helping companiesin communication with DIBt agency for clear understanding of DIBt requirements.
Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories
Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing
laboratories in Europe, USA and China: