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LEED - new version now approved

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Membership of US Green Building approved the next version of the program for sustainable building, LEED. The new version 4 brings substantial changes and improvements. It can be applied after official launch later this year.

During a period of some years, building projects still can run with the present LEED version, LEED 2009. In that period, manufacturers of products will face requests whether their products comply with LEED both with respect to the old and the new version.

Regarding low VOC emitting products, private labels (Greenguard etc.) no longer are promoted by LEED v4. The criteria for low emitting products are based on California CDPH method in general, and on BIFMA requirements for office furniture. LEED projects outside North America may also select products that showed LEED compliance by conforming with German AgBB testing and limit values. As AgBB does not contain any limitation of formaldehyde, the 10 µg/m³ formaldehyde limit in French A+ class must be respected in addition to AgBB. This wording on formaldehyde is not in the new LEED version in the web (by error), but it is intended to have this supplement in the finally published version.

The requirements on low emissions now is valid also for most paints, coatings and sealants. Until now these products were faced with VOC content limit values only.

Regarding low VOC content requirements, South California limit values are the benchmark. But compliance with national legislation such as European Decopaint Directive is accepted as alterantive pathway in the respective countries. Where such legislation does not exist, the number of accepted test methods now is expanded. Not only the sometimes unfunctional US testing methods are accepted in the future, but also ISO 11890 testing can be used. All this will facilitate finding compliant low VOC products for LEED projects outside the USA, where the US testing methods had not been used too much earlier.

A more detailed description of the changes will be found on our dedicated website,, in August 2013.