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BREEAM UK & International - emissions from products - 2014 version

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More recent BREEAM version:

BREEAM 2016 version is in force. The methodology for assessing emissions from products has undergone a basic revision, see "Hea 02".

2014 regulation

Here we summarize the requirements of 2014 BREEAM versions regarding emissions from products, that need to be fulfilled if this property shall qualify for earning credits within a BREEAM certification of a building.

Examples of the 2014 BREEAM emissions requirements can be found here:
(you can access that page only after registration to BREEAM webpages, which is free of charge)

  • Typically, the new requirements will apply if they are specified in the "Hea 02" criterion.
    The old version applies when it is in the "Hea 09" criterion.
    Some intermediate versions can be e.g. in the "Hea 03" criterion.

Please note that BREEAM Norway adds additional requirements on VOC emissions, see

Indoor Air Quality specifications

Regarding indoor air qualityuse of low emitting products inside the building will be helpful for achieving a point if the following specifications have been proved by testing:

  • Paints and varnishes
    • VOC content as specified for phase 2 of EU Decopaint Directive (test method: ISO 11890-2).
    • Shall be fungal and algal resistant when used in wet rooms.
    • This means no change against former versions of BREEAM.
  • Wooden products, any sort of floorings, and suspended ceiling tiles:
    • Option 1:
      E1 formaldehyde class applies as specified in
      • EN 13986 for wood panels,
      • EN 14080 for timber structures,
      • EN 14342 for wood flooring, e.g. parquet,
      • EN 14041 for resilient, textile and laminate floor coverings,
      • EN 13964 for suspended ceiling tiles.
        • All these formaldehyde specifications are based on the EN 717-1 testing standard.
    • Option 2:
      Formaldehyde below 0.1 mg/m³ (100 µg/m³) when tested with either ISO 16000-6 or CDPH test method, and calculated to a concentration in a theoretical model room (as specified in ISO 16000-9 or in CDPH standard).test reports performed under ISO 16000 or CDPH standards as alternative proof of compliance instead of EN 717-1, as long as the E1 limit value is respected.
    • With both options: No prohibited wood preservatives are used in the case of wood panels.
  • Flooring adhesives:
    • Carcinogenic or sensitising volatile substances shall be "substantially absent".
    • Proof by testing in a ventilated test chamber after 3 days as specified in EN 13999 (2013 version), parts 1 to 4.
    • This allows using 3 days test results obtained for other purposes (e.g. EMICODE, AgBB, Indoor Air Comfort) for VOCs and aldehydes. These just are screened for carcinogenic and sensitising substances.
    • But in that case, the volatile isocyanates test data have not yet been produced and might need additional testing - at least for PUR based adhesives. For other adhesives, the isocyanates test can be omitted, as explained at the end of this page.
    • But it looks like that BREEAM NL just accepts the EMICODE as proof.
  • Wall coverings:
    • Low content of formaldehyde,
    • low content of vinyl chloride monomer, and
    • migration of heavy metals
    • comply with the standards EN 233, EN 234, EN 259-1 when tested with EN 12149.
    • This means only minor change against former versions of BREEAM.

Use of other European or International testing standards and evaluation schemes

Since late August 2015, BREEAM International and BREEAM UK recognize Indoor Air Comfort, EMICODE and more VOC rating schemes as proof of BREEAM compliance. Separate documentation for BREEAM is needed no longer if compliance with Indoor Air Comfort or any other one of the referenced rating schemes was show.

This will ease the identification of compliant materials for BREEAM certified construction projects, and it will support manufacturers in demonstrating BREEAM compliance of their products. For more details, please see our VOC Blog and a common press release.

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
  • 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

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan: