LI 10466 LEM composite wood LI | U.S. Green Building Council
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Created on October 2, 2017

LEED Interpretation

ID# 10466

Rating System

LEED BD+C: New Construction, LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, LEED BD+C: Schools, LEED BD+C: Retail, LEED BD+C: Healthcare, LEED BD+C: Data Centers, LEED BD+C: Hospitality, LEED BD+C: Warehouses and Distribution Centers, LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors, LEED ID+C: Retail, LEED ID+C: Hospitality

Rating System Version

v4 - LEED v4


We are looking for clarification on the applicability of structural engineered wood products in the LEED v4 Low-emitting materials credit. As currently written, the credit leaves LEED users wondering how to qualify engineered wood products/assemblies.

For general emissions evaluation, the scope of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard v1.1 clearly states the standard does not apply to structural products. Therefore, it is not an appropriate test for structural wood products. Specifically, Section 1.1.4 of CDPH v1.11 reads:
“1.1.4 The Standard does not apply to structural building products, janitorial products, air fresheners, electronic air cleaners, and other electronic equipment.”

Additionally, for the composite wood evaluation, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) exempts structural wood products from their regulation. Therefore, there is no way to have documentation for these products to meet CARB ATCM for formaldehyde for ultra-low emitting formaldehyde or no added formaldehyde resins.

Please clarify how to address these products in the credit.


Due to the complexity of applying the VOC emissions testing per CDPH v1.1 Standard Method to structural wood products, these products are not required to meet the general emissions evaluation. Structural wood products include: structural plywood, oriented strand board, structural composite lumber, glued laminated timber, I-joists, cross-laminated timber, and finger-jointed lumber.

Structural wood products are considered compliant if they are made with moisture resistant adhesives meeting ASTM 2559, have no surface treatments with added urea-formaldehyde resins or coatings, and if they are certified according to one of the following industry standards:

Plywood: compliant in accordance with Voluntary Product Standard ‐ Structural Plywood (PS 1‐09), Voluntary Product Standard – Performance Standard for Wood‐Based Structural‐Use Panels (PS 2‐10), or one of the standards considered by CARB to be equivalent to PS 1 or PS 2: (AS/NZS 2269, EN 636 3S (including CE label), Canadian Standards Association CSA O121 for Douglas fir plywood, CSA O151 for Canadian softwood plywood, for CSA O153 Poplar plywood, or CSAO325 for Construction sheathing)
Oriented strand board: specified with the Exposure 1 or Exterior bond classification in accordance with Voluntary Product Standard – Performance Standard for Wood‐Based Structural‐Use Panels (PS 2‐10)
Structural composite lumber: compliant in accordance with Standard Specification for Evaluation of Structural Composite Lumber Products (ASTM D 5456‐13)
Glued laminated timber: compliant in accordance with Structural Glued Laminated Timber (ANSI A190.1‐2012)
I‐joists: compliant in accordance with Standard Specification for Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I‐Joists (ASTM D 5055‐13)
Cross‐laminated timber: compliant in accordance with Standard for Performance‐Rated Cross‐Laminated Timber (PRG 320‐15)
Finger‐jointed lumber: labeled “Heat Resistant Adhesive (HRA)” in accordance with the American Softwood Lumber Standard (DOC PS‐20 2015)

Applicable Credits

Name : Low-emitting materials
Rating system : Commercial Interiors,Retail - Commercial Interiors,Hospitality - Commercial Interiors,
Rating system version : v4

Name : Low emitting materials
Rating system : Schools - New Construction,Healthcare,
Rating system version : v4

Name : Low-emitting materials
Rating system : New Construction,Core and Shell,Retail - New Construction,Data centers - New Construction,Hospitality - New Construction,Warehouse and distribution centers - New Construction,
Rating system version : v4

Credit Name Low-emitting materials
Credit Category Indoor environmental quality
International Applicable Not internationally applicable
Campus Applicable Not campus applicable