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BREEAM UK & International - emissions from products - 2016 version

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The BREEAM International New Construction 2016 document is available since March 2016. The methodology for assessing emissions from products has undergone a basic revision, see "Hea 02". It can be downloaded from the BREEAM website after registration to BREEAM webpages, which is free of charge.

Here we summarize the requirements of the 2016 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.

Please note that BREEAM Norway added additional requirements on VOC emissions to earlier BREEAM versions, see

Indoor Air Quality specifications

The criteria for low emitting products are not compulsory; you can raise a BREEAM certified building without low-emitting products. But you can earn one or two additional points for your building project by using low-emitting products.

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, or if the product fulfils the specifications of any recognised schemes and programs (differentiated in one list for compliance with the recent BREEAM standards and one list for compliance with the BREEAM standards from 2016 onwards). This document is not yet available for direct download from the BREEAM webpages, except from BREEAM Sweden. BREEAM Norway goes a separate way and did not yet publish that document.

Criteria valid for

  • Interior paints and coatings
  • Flooring materials (incl. floor levelling compounds and resin floorings)
  • Ceiling, wall, and acoustic and thermal insulation materials
  • Interior adhesives and sealants (including flooring adhesives)

specify for low-emitting products:

  • Formaldehyde - max. 0,06 mg/m³
  • TVOC - max. 1,0 mg/m³
  • Category 1A and 1B carcinogens - max. 0,001 mg/m³

and for exemplary/outstanding products:

  • Formaldehyde - max. 0,01 mg/m³
  • TVOC - max. 0,3 mg/m³
  • TSVOC - max. 0,1 mg/m³
  • Category 1A and 1B carcinogens - max. 0,001 mg/m³

Criteria for Wood-based products:

  • Non-MDF: As above.
  • MDF: Formaldehyde max. 0,08 mg/m³ for low-emitting products, else as above.

Additional criteria for Interior paints and coatings:

  • For low-emitting products: Paints used in wet areas (e.g. bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms) should protect against mould growth.
  • For exemplary/outstanding products: Meet VOC content limits as listed in Criterion Hea 02 Indoor air quality 2016.

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.

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
  • 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: