ID#1733 made on
EQc4.3 - Low-emitting materials - carpet
LEED BD+C: New Construction, LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors, LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, LEED BD+C: Schools
In designing a project for LEED certification, we are planning to specify a hard surface, resilient flooring in areas of the building. We are requesting that a credit be awarded to this project under...
In designing a project for LEED certification, we are planning to specify a hard surface, resilient flooring in areas of the building. We are requesting that a credit be awarded to this project under LEED NC EQc4.3 as the flooring will meet VOC emissions requirements of the GREENGUARD certification programs GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD Children & Schools) which has more stringent requirements than those required to receive a credit under the CRI Green Label or Green Label Plus programs. We believe that all flooring materials in a building, not just carpet, should have an opportunity to receive credit for meeting stringent VOC emissions requirements. The GREENGUARD Certification Program is an industry independent, third-party testing program for low-emitting products and materials. The program uses a small -scale chamber test protocol and incorporates VOC emissions criteria developed by the California Department of Health Services, which are widely known as Section 1350. The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification Programs. As an ANSI Authorized Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments and buildings. The GREENGUARD Children & Schools incorporates California Section 1350 procedures and requirements and adapts them to the certification of flooring products for use in typical buildings. As part of certification, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (1) works with the manufacturer to identify the appropriate samples for testing; (2) reviews VOC emission test reports generated by independent testing laboratories for individual candidate products; (3) determines if the test results meet the GREENGUARD requirements for individual VOCs of concern; (4) inspects manufacturing plants to review product formulas, processing, and quality control, and (5) ensures continuous compliance to the standard with quarterly and annual testing. All products are tested in dynamic environmental chambers following ASTM standards D-5116-97 and D- 6670-01, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's testing protocol for furniture and the State of Washington's protocol for interior furnishings and construction materials. Products are measured for emission levels, which must meet the following indoor air concentrations within 5 days of unpacking. Air concentrations are based on the product being in a room 32 m3 in volume with an outdoor air concentration of 0.72 air changes per hour (ACH). Maximum allowable emission levels are those required by the state of Washington's indoor air quality program for new construction, the US Environmental Protection Agency's procurements specifications, the recommendations from the World Health Organization, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Germany's Blue Angel Program. When multiple emission values are recommended, the lesser or more stringent is used as the acceptable emission value for GREENGUARD certification. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has an active program to develop chronic toxicity guidelines for air pollutants. To date, the program has developed Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELS) for 78 chemical substances. The CRELS are concentrations that assume long-term exposures and include a number of uncertainty factors. These guidelines provide a strong scientific basis for the GREENGUARD Certification Programs and are consistent with the intent of EQ 4.3 to "reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, potentially irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants." The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute has certified over 130,000 products from over 80 manufacturers.
The project is inquiring if it is possible to achieve EQc4.3 through the use of low-emitting hard surface, resilient floors that are Greenguard-certified. As indicated in CIR Ruling 10/16/2006, projects that use non-carpet flooring materials that are FloorScore-certified are eligible to achieve EQc4.3 via a formal alternative compliance path process distinct from a CIR. This process will be initiated for this Greenguard product. This ruling will be updated as necessary when this process is complete. -------------------- CIR UPDATE - 10/19/2009 Flooring products certified under the GREENGUARD Children and Schools Program are approved as an alternate compliance path to Low-Emitting Materials credits related to flooring in LEED rating systems. Compliant products must have achieved GGC&S certification since January 1, 2008. Additional GREENGUARD criteria including total particles, phthalates, and 1/100 TVL, as they are outside the scope of the existing LEED low-emitting flooring credits, are outside the scope of this approval. Applicable Internationally.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)