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LEED 2009 for Textile Flooring Systems - EQ credit 4.3

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There are VOC requirements for textile floorings in the LEED 2009 specifications.

There are these ways to show compliance:

Option 1a:

All carpet and all carpet cushion must meet the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus program.

Option 1b:

Maximum VOC concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the CDPH California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. The additional VOC concentration limits listed in Section 9.1a must also be met.

This can be shown either by CRI Green Label Plus certification, or by emission chamber testing in a qualified independent laboratory, such as Eurofins Product Testing A/S or Eurofins Product Testing NA - without CRI certification, and without the expensive testing laboratory used by CRI.

US Green Building Council clearly states that certification by CRI is not necessary, it is just one option. CRI certification must not be required by LEED reviewers as the only option.

Option 2:

All flooring products must meet the testing and product requirements of the CDPH California Department of Public Health Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda - also called Section 01350 specification. This is shown by emission chamber testing in an independent laboratory, such as Eurofins Product Testing A/S - without CRI certification, and without using the expensive testing laboratory used by CRI.

Earlier LEED versions (before 2009) had the same requirement, but only for carpets and not for other types of flooring.

Additionally, all carpet adhesive must have less than 50 g/L VOC, determined as specified in LEED credit EQ 4.1, adhesives and sealants (SCAQMD rule #1168).

Other points may be achieved for recyclable and for recycled content.

US GBC: Carpets do not need CRI certification for LEED 2009 compliance

The EQ Technical Advisory Group (TAG) discussed some misunderstanding occurring in the field. In its call minutes of January 11, 2011, it was stated under item 4.a.:

The TAG discussed a question regarding the documentation section of EQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials- Flooring Systems as it pertains to carpets. Project teams have sometimes interpreted this credit to read that carpets must have Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus (GLP) certification to capture the credit. The TAG confirmed that all carpet installed in the building interior must meet the testing and product requirements of the program, however, this does not preclude products that meet these requirements but are tested by a means other than GLP.

A comparison between limit values of AgBB, GUT, Blue Angel and CDPH Section 01350 was made available by GUT both in English and in German. It clearly shows that requirements of CRI are much weaker than European requirements.

Please note:

US GBC declared in October 2014 that projects that run under LEED 2009 may decide to apply the low VOC credit of LEED v4.

Documentation

US GBC operates a list of common low VOC rating systems that allow showing product compliance. Some of them are directly compliant, such as the Indoor Air Comfort GOLD program; other ones are compliant only if the test report shows low formaldehyde emissions of max. 10 µg/m³ after 28 days the reference room, in line with the French A+ class. The French A+ class alone is sufficient only for Composite Wood products, not in general. The list of compliant rating systems can be seen on the US GBC website.

Further Information

Further information regarding LEED:

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 VOC Testing Laboratories

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