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Sustainable or Green Buildings and VOC emissions

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Green or Sustainable Buildings is an important movement in a number of countries across the world.

Sustainable building means that energy consumption, use of resources, impact on environment and on human health are considered and optimised during planning, construction, use and demolition - throughout the whole lifecycle of the building. This is also called sustainable building.

More and more public buildings and large office buildings are built green, but also some residential complexes, schools and hospitals are following the movement of sustainability. Motivation is either to raise the quality and the sustainability of a building in general and to support environmental protection, or to contribute to Corporate Social Responsibility, or to facilitate marketing of the building with green performance.

Programs

There are no uniform criteria for what is considered to be "Green" or sustainable. The best known approach is

Other criteria have been published by

and more. International initiatives can be monitored on websites of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (IISBE)World Green Building Council, and in Wikipedia. The SB Alliance is trying to harmonise the Green Building criteria Europe-wide.

A large number of private initiatives can be found, such as

Typically each rating system will have a list of criteria, and in the end there is either a judgement "in compliance" or "no compliance", or there are several performance levels such as "silver", "gold", and "platinum", depending on the degree of compliance with the rating system.

A general comparison between LEED, BREEAM and HQE is available in French language.

Sustainable buildings and construction products

Most sustainable building certification programs are certifiying only buildings, not construction products. But they have a number of requirements on the used construction products, related to energy consumption, waste, recycling, chemical ingredients and human health. Fulfilment of these requirements helps earning more points (or credits) for the final sustainability assessment.

An overview of how products can show compliance with LEED and BREEAM was presented at the Greenbuild Europe / Mediterannean conference in October 2015, see the presentation.

Eurofins supports manufacturers of construction and decorative products used indoors to achieve compliance. As regards selection of complying constructions products, interior finishing and furniture, the Eurofins operated Indoor Air Comfort product certification and similar rating systems may be helpful to show compliance with several of these requirements.

Indoor Air Monitoring

Eurofins also offers post-construction Indoor Air Monitoring services for LEED, BREEAM and DGNB projects.

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan:
www.eurofins.com/voc-contacts.