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BREEAM Norway and products

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BREEAM Norway is a national modification of the British BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method). This is an approach for promoting and certifying sustainable buildings.

Motivation for having BREEAM certification of a building is to achieve higher value of a building in balance, or better sales price or better rental price with sustainability as additional argument, or to promote public perception of the company operating a BREEAM certified building, or to promote environment and health. 

Credits are awarded in ten categories according to performance. These credits are then added together to produce a single overall score on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

Launch of BREEAM NOR, version 2016

Launch of BREEAM NOR 2016 was announced for 31 August 2016. Meet us here later for relevant changes. And/or follow our VOC blog.

BREEAM and products

Products cannot be BREEAM certified. Only buildings can.

You can see a guidance on selection of Sustainable materials, issued by the Nordic Green Building Councils, on the NGBC website.

Use of low emitting materials is helping to achieve points to improve indoor air quality. Motivation of product manufacturers to show that their product can support collecting BREEAM points ("BREEAM compliance") is that they can sell their products to those who want to achieve BREEAM certification of their building. But BREEAM does not foresee any type of "BREEAM compliance" attestation of a product.

Regarding indoor air qualityuse of low emitting products inside the building will be helpful to achieve a point if the following specifications have been proved by testing. These specifications have been modified for Norway, compared to the original UK version.

The original Norwegian specifications have been modified significantly in official interpretations, making testing much more practical, as outlined in the table under Hea 9:

  • Wooden products and any floorings:
    • E1 formaldehyde testing (EN 717-1) and compliance.
      • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see the table under Hea 9):
        • If the product does not contain formaldehyde, then no EN 717-1 test is required, only a written documentation on absence of formaldehyde is needed.
        • This can apply to e.g. vinyl floorings, or to wooden plates with a formaldehyde-free binder.
    • No regulated wood preservatives are used.
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.
      • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see item 2):
        • Ammonia test can be skipped if an ammonia test is not relevant; this means if no ammonia is traceable in the product, and if there are no ingredients that can generate and release ammonia. This will be the case for the very most products but must be decided and justified by the manufacturer.
  • Suspended ceiling tiles:
    • E1 formaldehyde testing (EN 717-1) and compliance.
      An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see the table under Hea 9, himlingsplater):
      If the product does not contain formaldehyde, then no EN 717-1 test is required, only a written documentation on absence of formaldehyde is needed.
    • No asbestos is used.
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.
      • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see item 2):
        • Ammonia test can be skipped if an ammonia test is not relevant; this means if no ammonia is traceable in the product, and if there are no ingredients that can generate and release ammonia. This will be the case for the very most products but must be decided and justified by the manufacturer.
  • Flooring adhesives:
    • No carcinogens and no sensitizers as defined in Annex of EN 13999-1 are emitted. This will require testing in a ventilated test chamber after 1 day as specified in EN 13999 parts 2, 3, and 4, including determination of carcinogenic volatile compounds, volatile aldehydes, and volatile diisocyanates.
      • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see item 2):
        • NGBC says that an emissions test is not required for a compound that is not contained in the product - the manufacturer just has to declare this fact. This can be translated such that if the adhesive does not contain any isocyanates then no isoycanate test (EN 13999-4) is necessary.
        • Ammonia test can be skipped if an ammonia test is not relevant; this means if no ammonia is traceable in the product, and if there are no ingredients that can generate and release ammonia. This will be the case for the very most products but must be decided and justified by the manufacturer.
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.
    • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see the table under Hea 9, gulvlim):
      • If all VOC and formaldehyde test results of the EN 13999 test after 1 day comply with the limit values as listed in Annex C of EN 15251, then no additional EN 13999 test at a later point of time is needed.
      • EMICODE EC1 or EC1PLUS is regarded equivalent and can replace the M1-like VOC test - but not the EN 13999 test after 24h.
  • Sealants:
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.
    • An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see the table under Hea 9, fugemasse):
      • EMICODE EC1PLUS is regarded equivalent and can replace the M1-like VOC test - EMICODE EC1 will not do.
  • Wall coverings:
    • Low content of releasable formaldehyde and of vinyl chloride monomer, complying with standards EN 233, EN 234, EN 259, EN 266.
    • Migration of heavy metals and other toxic substances comply with above mentioned standards.
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.
  • Decorative paints and varnishes (wall and ceiling paints)
    • VOC content as specified for phase 2 of EU Decopaint Directive. Shall be fungal and algal resistant. An interpretation in the FAQ on the website of NGBC adds to this (see item 5):
      • This requirement is not relevant in rooms without increased humidity load (meaning e.g. neither kitchens nor bathrooms).
    • VOC emissions comply with the values listed in Annex C of EN 15251 (2007 version), which is similar to Finnish M1 testing.

There had been some discussion about the original and the modified specifications in Norway. You can see the story in our VOC blog.

Further product rating

Products may qualify for good environmental rating in general with an Environmental Profile including a  Life Cycle Assessment. Such rating can lead to listing of a product in a database of BREEAM qualified products.

Eurofins does not offer support with LCA and suggests talking with Thinkstep or Five Winds, but there are also other qualified opportunities in the market.

Indoor Air Monitoring

Eurofins also offers post-construction Indoor Air Monitoring services for BREEAM projects.

Eurofins VOC related services

Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with the specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent and ISO 17025 accredited testing, and if relevant also with external surveillance (inspections, re-testing), and certification, e.g. in combination with the Eurofins operated certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products.

Eurofins operates both an accredited and notified test house and an approved ÜZ certification body. VOC emissions testing for any program or regulation can be easily combined with tests for other regulations or labels such as Belgian VOC regulationFrench VOC regulationsGerman VOC regulationsEMICODE, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations allow to save money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes.

Certification and testing services for Ü markCE mark and the Eurofins certification program Indoor Air Comfort - certified products can be ordered in parallel for use on different market segments - there will be significant costs saving when compared to ordering these services separately.

Contact to surveillance and testing services

  • Surveillance and Certification body:
    (also DIBt approved surveillance and certification body)
Eurofins Consumer Product Testing GmbH
Am Neuländer Gewerbepark 4
21079 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 40 492 94 6815
Email UZ-certification@eurofins.com
.
  • Testing lab:
    (also DIBt approved testing body, and accredited as well as notified testing lab)
Eurofins Product Testing A/S
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276
Email voc@eurofins.com

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.