LEED® by USGBC and selection of low VOC products
LEED®, the US originated rating system for sustainable buildings, is requested by more and more building planners in the USA, Europe and the Gulf.
Copies and modified versions of that rating system can be found in the Gulf region, in Italy, in Australia, and in some Asian regions. Slightly different approaches are in use in Europe, see also here. A study of RICS showed the use of certified buildings programs in Europe 2012.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that developed and administers the LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. Projects are certified by GBCI Green Building Certification Institute, founded by US GBC.
Why use LEED?
Motivation for having LEED®certification of a building is to achieve higher value of a building in balance, or better sales or better rental price with sustainability as additional argument, or to promote public perception of the company operating a LEED® certified building, or to promote environment and health. Procedure is to collect points by fulfilling "credits" for proper consideration of environmental aspects (e.g. saving of energy and of resources, recyclability, indoor air quality and more).
A study of RICS showed the economic trade-off of green buildings.
LEED and products
Products cannot be LEED certified. Only buildings can.
Use of low emitting materials is helping to achieve points for improving indoor air quality. Motivation of product manufacturers to show that their product can support collecting LEED® points ("LEED®compliance") is that they can sell their products to those who want to achieve LEED® certification of their building. But USGBC does not foresee any type of "LEED® compliance" attestation of a product.
Eurofins Product Testing NA has become member of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for better being able to serve industry clients, both with consulting and with testing for showing such compliance with LEED® specifications.
In Italy there was founded Green Building Council Italia, using the US specifications with modifications.
Building owners and planners
Eurofins can make contact with LEED® Professionals that help building owners and planners through LEED® certification process.
- Updated October 2012:
- Updated July 2012:
Eurofins can help manufacturers to deliver appropriate documentation for showing LEED® compliance of their products.
The basic procedure is:
- Manufacturer supplies documentation on LEED® relevant product properties to its client.
- Building planner presents all documentation (including material documentation) to Green Building Certification Institute GBCI.
- There final acceptance is given and respective point is awarded within process of certification of the building project.
It is important to understand that no product can be LEED®approved, but the manufacturer can produce documentation showing that the product can help achieving LEED®points. If a product carries the logo of USGBC then this indicates nothing more than that the manufacturer is member of U.S. Green Building Council.
The indoor air quality related product specifications are summarized here for these involved product groups:
- Adhesives and Sealants
- Paints and Coatings
- Textile Flooring Systems
- Non-Textile Flooring Systems
- Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products
- LEED for Furniture and Seatings
- LEED for Ceiling and Wall Systems
Eurofins Product Testing A/S offers testing for showing compliance of a product with LEED® specifications. The qualification as test lab has been demonstrated for the USA by the fact that Eurofins Product Testing A/S is approved by SCS for BIFMA, FloorScore and "CDPH Section 1350" VOC emission testing.
It is important to understand that no testing laboratory can be LEED® approved. If a laboratory (such as Eurofins) shows the logo of USGBC then this indicates nothing more than that the laboratory is member of U.S. Green Building Council.
If a manufacturer needs VOC emission testing for markets on both sides of the Atlantic, then Eurofins can help saving money by combining all required testing into one test setup. This service is unique in whole world. No single other testing laboratory is approved for VOC emission chamber testing by so many organizations both for US purposes and for European labels such as Blue Angel, EMICODE and M1, combining this with a world-wide valid ISO 17025 accreditation.
Please see our flyer on LEED®issues in English or in French, or contact our specialists for using Eurofins expertise that may help to show compliance of your products with LEED low emitting interiors credit.
More information on this website is touching LEED in general and for several product groups, low VOC ecolabels and regulations, and VOC testing as such. You may also look for LEED related seminars and webinars.
Further information regarding LEED:
- USGBC Contact page
- USGBC Customer Service page
- LEED FAQ
- LEED User with tips, help and discussion forum
- LEED Rating systems
- LEED Addenda with updates and clarifications
- GBC Italia Contact page
There is a special webpage with all certified and all registered LEED projects.
And there is a European database with products showing compliance with LEED or DGNB criteria. This database is not comprehensive but it can show you a selection of relevant products.
Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories
Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing
laboratories in Europe, USA and China:
Note: "U.S. Green Building Council", "USGBC", "LEED" and related logos are trademarks owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and used by permission.