EQ Credit: Low Emitting Materials

The LEED v4 credit for Indoor Air Quality provides guidance about the types of tests acceptable for compliance under this credit for dry or wet-applied products. It defines the following:

General emissions evaluation. Building products must be tested and determined compliant in accordance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method v1.1–2010, using the applicable exposure scenario. The default scenario is the private office scenario. The manufacturer’s or third-party certification must state the exposure scenario used to determine compliance. Claims of compliance for wet-applied products must state the amount applied in mass per surface area.

Product emissions limits are measured by lab testing of a representative sample for the products (under a “worst-case scenario” risk-based analysis), in order to achieve the approved volatile organic compounds (VOC) test results, emissions testing must be conducted at an approved laboratory. Testing is conducted in a small-scale test chamber per the requirements of California Specification 01350 (Standard Method v1.1 – February 2010). This is the most widely used standard in North America for VOC testing and for evaluating VOC emissions from building products including flooring, suspended ceilings, insulation, wall panels, paints and coatings, and wall coverings. This standard is referenced in USGBC LEED v4 and in many other green building rating systems and green construction codes. The standard requires: 

  • Conditioning of test specimens for 10 days at 23±2oC and 50±10% RH immediately followed by a 96-hour small-scale chamber test at 23±1oC and 50±5% RH
  • Air sample collection for VOCs and aldehydes at 24, 48 and 96 hr during chamber test
  • Identification and quantitative analysis of VOCs emitted to air by the product with emphasis on VOCs of concern
  • Modeling of VOC analysis results to predict concentrations in standard building scenarios (office, school classroom and optional single family residence)
  • Assessment of modeled concentrations relative to chronic health guidelines (Berkeley Analytical)

 VOC testing can be used to enhance your product’s transparency and become LEED v4 credit compliant. To learn more about the process and how this can help your product, contact us to get started.