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LEED v4 low VOC - Content requirements

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VOC content criteria

  • While VOC emissions limits shall protect building occupants against long-term exposures, VOC content limits shall protect those applying these products, and they shall limit early exposure of occupants shortly after painting, sealing or gluing.
  • Products that are wet applied on-site (paints, adhesives, sealants) have to show compliance both with VOC emissions requirements (90% by volume of all applied products), and with VOC content limits (100% of all applied products):
    • The VOC content related limit values and testing methods are taken from Californian authorities (CARB/SCM, SCAQMD). But only the versions that are cited in the LEED credit documents shall be applied for this purpose.
    • As LEED 2009 refers to earlier versions of the original documents, the limits have changed which means here, they are lower now than in LEED 2009 version.
      • As these regulations do not include so-called exempt compounds (that are assumed not to contribute to urban smog formation), the addition of exempt compounds to LEED compliant products is further limited:
        • Intentional addition of more than 1% weight by mass of total exempt compounds shall be disclosed; but there is no cut-off limit except this one:
        • Methylene chloride and perchloroethylene must not be added intentionally.
    • For some building types (hospitals, schools) this applies also to exterior coatings.
    • For LEED projects outside the USA, local VOC content regulations are accepted as alternative proof, such as European Decopaint regulation, or regulations in Canada and in Hong Kong.
    • Alternative testing methods (e.g. ISO 11890) are accepted if the Californian testing protocols are not reasonably applicable.

Between one and three points can be earned if the specifications on low VOC are fulfilled partly or completely. For details please see the credit documents

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. One example is the Eurofins Pan-European test package.

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.