NC-v4 EQc2: Low emitting materials

  • Let's break down this bundle of requirements

    LEED v4 has bundled what had previously been several separate low-emitting materials credit into one exceedingly complicated credit. On an individual materials basis, most of the updates to thresholds and standards are fairly minor, but taken as a whole, and combined with the complexity of some of the referenced standards, it's a lot to wrap you head around.

    We'll break things down category by category, and then answer some FAQs. If your question isn't answered here, please review the forum below and then post any additional questions there.

    Requirement for: Inherently nonemitting sources

    What this covers: Stone, ceramic, powder-coated metals, plated or anodized metal, glass, concrete, clay brick, unfinished or untreated solid wood flooring

    Testing methods used: No VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emissions testing necessary if products do not include integral organic-based surface coatings, binders, or sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid.

    Requirements for: General Emissions Evaluation

    What this covers: Interior paints and coatings applied on site; interior adhesives and sealants applied on site (including flooring  adhesive); flooring; and ceilings, walls, thermal, and acoustic insulation

    Testing methods used: CDPH Standard Method V1.1-2010, applicable exposure scenario. The default scenario is the private office scenario. 

    Special notes: Manufacturer's or third-party certification must state the exposure scenario used to determine compliance, and must also state the range of total VOCs after 14 days (336 hours), measured as specified in the CDPH Standard Method V1.1. Claims of compliance for wet-applied products must state the amount applied in mass per surface area.

    Requirements for: Interior paints and coatings applied on site

    Testing methods used: Applicable VOC limits of the California Air Resources Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) 2007, Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings, or the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.) Rule 1113, effective June 3, 2011

    Special notes: If the applicable regulation requires subtraction of exempt compounds, any content of intentionally added exempt compounds larger than 1% weight by mass (total exempt compounds) must be disclosed. If a product cannot be reasonable tested as specifed, testing of VOC content must comply with ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services D2369-10; ISO 11890, part 1; ASTM D6886-03; or ISO 11890-2. For projects in North America, methylene chloride and perchloroethylene may not be intentionally added in paints or coatings.

    Requirements for: Interior adhesives and sealants applied on site (including flooring  adhesive)

    Testing methods used: Applicable chemical content requirements of SCAQMD Rule 1168, July 1, 2005, Adhesive and Sealant Applications, as analyzed by the methods specified in Rule 1168.

    Special notes: If the applicable regulation requires subtraction of exempt compounds, any content of intentionally added exempt compounds larger than 1% weight by mass (total exempt compounds) must be disclosed. If a product cannot be reasonable tested as specifed, testing of VOC content must comply with ASTM D2369-10; ISO 11890, part 1; ASTM D6886-03; or ISO 11890-2. For projects in North America, methylene chloride and perchloroethylene may not be intentionally added in adhesives or sealants.

    Requirements for: Composite wood

    Testing methods used: Must be documented to have low formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. emissions that meet the California Air Resources Board ATCM for formaldehyde requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEE) resins or no added formaldehyde resins.

    Special notes: Salvaged and reused architectural millwork more than one year old at the time of occupancy is considered compliant, provided it meets the requirements for any site-applied paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.

    Requirements for: Furniture

    Testing methods used: Must be tested in accordance with ANSI/BIFMA Standard Method M7.1-2011; comply with ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 Furniture Sustainability Standard, Sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2, using either the concentration modeling approach or the emissions factor approach; and model the test results using the open plan, private office, or seating scenario in ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, as appropriate.

    Special notes: USGBC-approved equivalent testing methodologies and contaminant thresholds are also acceptable. For classroom furniture, use the standard school classroom model in CDPH Standard Method V1.1. Documentation submitted for furniture must indicate the modeling scenario used to determine compliance. Salvaged and reused furniture more than one year old at the time of occupancy is considered compliant, provided it meets the requirements for any site-applied paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.

    Requirements for: Exterior applied products for (Healthcare and School Projects only)

    Testing methods used: Adhesives, sealants, coatings, roofing, and waterproofing materials applied on site must meet the VOC limits of California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2007 Suggested control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings, and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168, effective July 1, 2005.

    Understanding the key CA emissions rulesSpecial notes: Small containers of adhesives and sealants subject to state or federal consumer product VOC regulations are exempt. Two materials are prohibited and do not count toward total percentage compliance: hot-mopped asphalt for roofing, and coal tar sealants for parking lots and other paved surfaces.

    FAQs for Low-Emitting Materials

    I'm looking for a certification that tells me if a given product will meet the LEED v4 requirements, but I don't see one in a given product area. Am I missing something?

    Unfortunately, third-party certifications are not available in all cases. Some certifications that have been allowed in previous LEED versions may not be allowed in LEED v4. Keep reading here for more detail. We expect that new certifications will become available, existing certifications will become updated, and that USGBC may approve of new certifications. We will keep this page updated as those developments occur.

    When products claim that they meet California Section 01350, does the product also meet LEED v4 requirements for low-emitting materials?

    Not necessarily.

    In order to meet LEED v4 requirements for low-emitting materials, a product must be tested and determined compliant in accordance with CDPH Standard Method V1.1-2010.

    There are many products that were certified in accordance with previous California Section 01350 methodologies. Those products may have met Section 01350 in the past, but don’t comply with the latest testing methodology that is referenced by LEED v4. It is important to check which method they comply with.

    And that’s not all.

    Additional requirements must be met for LEED, depending on the type of product. Wet-applied products must meet additional VOC content requirements; composite wood products must also be documented to have low formaldehyde emissions that meet the California Air Resources Board ATCM for formaldehyde requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins or no added formaldehyde resins; and new furniture and furnishing items must be tested in accordance with ANSI/BIFMA Standard Method M7.1–2011 and comply with ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 Furniture Sustainability Standard, Sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2.

    How do I know if a product complies with LEED v4 or if it was tested under an older non-compliant standard?

    Where LEED requires CDPH Standard Method compliance, it is easiest to rely on third-party certifications. Check product literature to determine whether the current version of the testing method (Standard Method v1-2010) was used to test the product. Don’t rely on the year the product was tested—check for the method.

    In the case of VOC emissions from wet-applied products, self-declared compliance to the relevant standard, such as South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, is widespread and considered sufficient.

    In past versions of LEED, it was easy to specify VOC limits. Is the specification process the same for LEED v4?

    Rather than specifying specific VOC limits such as 50 g/L for flat paints, most project teams will specify either “LEED v4 compliant” or “tested against Standard Method v1.1-2010”, or another specific referenced standard. Specifying a product that is “CDHP 01350” is insufficient for reasons discussed earlier.

    Is there a VOC budget method for this credit?

    Yes. However, the VOC budget method can be laborious to document, so if you have just one non-compliant product, there is a shortcut: you can balance it out with just one really good, low-VOC product, as long as all your other products meet the requirement.

    What are the limits on the VOC budget method?

    At least 50% of an assembly must be compliant to contribute to credit compliance: if less than 50% of the assembly is compliant, it counts as 0%; if 90% of the assembly meets the criteria, it counts as 100% compliant. 

    Do products applied to the weather barrier need to comply with VOC thresholds? 

    Products applied to the building exterior need to comply with VOC thresholds (at least 90%, by volume) only if the building is a healthcare facility or school.

    What are the adhesives and sealants to be included in the documentation?

    All adhesives and sealants used on site within the weather barrier (including flooring adhesive) need to be included. 

    If one part of my multicomponent wall system is not compliant, can I still get full credit?

    No. If the wall system is comprised of more than one component, all components identified in the spreadsheet matrix must be compliant for the system to qualify for full credit. Examples of multicomponent wall systems are drywall panel and acoustic panel applied with adhesive, drywall panel with primer and finish paint coats, and movable wall system with wood frame, wood door, and fabric-covered acoustic panels.

    However, you may be able to do a VOC budget for partial credit.

    Our building is atypical, and the walls and ceilings are not clearly defined. How should we classify these components? 

    When it is unclear what is wall versus ceiling, project teams may classify elements either way, as they deem appropriate.

    Are throw rugs subject to the credit requirements?

    While low-emitting throw rugs are a good idea, they would not be considered permanently installed and so would not be subject to credit requirements.

    If a ceramic tile receives a top coat after it is manufactured, is it exempt from the credit requirements?

    While products that are inherently non-emitting sources of VOCs (stone, ceramic, powder-coated metals, plated or anodized metal, glass, concrete, clay brick, and unfinished or untreated solid wood flooring) are considered fully compliant without any VOC emissions testing, a tile or similar product that is coated after being manufactured must meet the credit requirements for flooring product certification.

    The credit requirements are allowed to exempt unfinished wood flooring, but wood flooring is almost always finished. This is confusing!

    Yes, it is odd. All the same, unfinished flooring is exempt and considered fully compliant because it is an inherently non-emitting source of VOCs, while finished flooring, whether the finished is applied onsite or off-site, must meet relevant requirements.

     
  • EQ Credit 2: Low-emitting materials

    Intent

    To reduce concentrations of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment.

    Requirements

    This credit includes requirements for product manufacturing as well as project teams. It covers volatile organic compound (VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.) emissions in the indoor air and the VOC content of materials, as well as the testing methods by which indoor VOC emissions are determined. Different materials must meet different requirements to be considered compliant for this credit. The building interior and exterior are organized in seven categories, each with different thresholds of compliance. The building interior is defined as everything within the waterproofing membrane. The building exterior is defined as everything outside and inclusive of the primary and secondary weatherproofing system, such as waterproofing membranes and air- and water-resistive barrier materials.

    Option 1. Product Category Calculations

    Achieve the threshold level of compliance with emissions and content standards for the number of product categories listed in Table 2.

    Table 1. Thresholds of compliance with emissions and content standards for 7 categories of materials

    Category Threshold Emissions and content  requirements
    Interior paints and coatings applied on site At least 90%, by volume, for emissions; 100% for VOC content
    • General Emissions Evaluation for paints and coatings applied to walls, floors, and ceilings
    • VOC content requirements for wet applied products
    Interior adhesives and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. applied on site (including flooring adhesive) At least 90%, by volume, for emissions; 100% for VOC content
    • General Emissions Evaluation
    • VOC content requirements for wet applied products
    Flooring 100% General Emissions Evaluation
    Composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. 100% not covered by other categories Composite Wood Evaluation
    Ceilings, walls, thermal, and acoustic insulation 100%
    • General Emissions Evaluation
    • Healthcare, Schools only

      Additional insulation requirements
    Furniture (include in calculations if part of scope of work) At least 90%, by cost Furniture Evaluation
    Healthcare and Schools Projects only: Exterior applied products At least 90%, by volume Exterior Applied Products



    Table 2. Points for number of compliant categories of products

    Compliant categories Points
    NC, CS, NC Retail, DC, WDC, NC Hos projects without furniture
    2 1
    4 2
    5 3
    NC, CS, NC Retail, DC, WDC, NC Hos projects with furniture, CI, CI Retail, CI Hos
    3 1
    5 2
    6 3
    Schools, HC without furniture
    3 1  
    5 2
    6 3
    Schools, HC with furniture
    4 1
    6 2
    7 3



    Option 2. Budget Calculation Method

    If some products in a category do not meet the criteria, project teams may use the budget calculation method (Table 3).

    Table 3. Points for percentage compliance, under budget calculation method

    Percentage of total Points
    ≥ 50% and < 70% 1
    ≥ 70% and < 90% 2
    ≥ 90% 3



    The budget method organizes the building interior into five assemblies:

    • flooring;
    • ceilings;
    • walls;
    • thermal and acoustic insulation;
    • furniture

    Include furniture in the calculations if it is part of the scope of work. Walls, ceilings, and flooring are defined as building interior products; each layer of the assembly, including paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants, must be evaluated for compliance. Insulation is tracked separately.

    Determine the total percentage of compliant materials according to Equation 1.

    Equation 1. Total percentage compliance

    Total % compliant for projects without furniture = (% compliant walls + % compliant ceilings + % compliant flooring + % compliant insulation)
    4
    Total % compliant for projects with furniture = (% compliant walls + % compliant ceilings + % compliant flooring + % compliant insulation) + (% compliant furniture)
    5



    Equation 2. System percentage compliant

    Flooring, walls, ceilings, insulation % compliant = (compliant surface area of layer 1 + compliant surface area of layer 2 + compliant surface area of layer 3 + …) X 100
    total surface area of layer 1 + total surface area of layer 2 + total surface area of layer 3 + …)



    Equation 3. Furniture systems compliant, using ANSI/BIFMA evaluation


    % compliant for furniture = 0.5 x cost compliant with §7.6.1 of ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 + cost compliant with §7.6.2 of ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 X 100
    total furniture cost



    Calculate surface area of assembly layers based on the manufacturer’s documentation for application.

    If 90% of an assembly meets the criteria, the system counts as 100% compliant. If less than 50% of an assembly meets the criteria, the assembly counts as 0% compliant.

    Manufacturers’ claims. Both first-party and third-party statements of product compliance must follow the guidelines in CDPH SM V1.1–2010, Section 8. Organizations that certify manufacturers’ claims must be accredited under ISO Guide 65.

    Laboratory requirements. Laboratories that conduct the tests specified in this credit must be accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 for the test methods they use.

    Emissions and Content Requirements

    To demonstrate compliance, a product or layer must meet all of the following requirements, as applicable.

    Inherently nonemitting sources. Products that are inherently nonemitting sources of VOCs (stone, ceramic, powder-coated metals, plated or anodized metal, glass, concrete, clay brick, and unfinished or untreated solid wood flooring) are considered fully compliant without any VOC emissions testing if they do not include integral organic-based surface coatings, binders, or sealants.

    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.

    Manufacturers’ claims of compliance with the above requirements must also state the range of total VOCs after 14 days (336 hours), measured as specified in the CDPH Standard Method v1.1:

    • 0.5 mg/m3 or less;
    • between 0.5 and 5.0 mg/m3; or
    • 5.0 mg/m3 or more.

    Projects outside the U.S. may use products tested and deemed compliant in accordance with either (1) the CDPH standard method (2010) or (2) the German AgBB Testing and Evaluation Scheme (2010). Test products either with (1) the CDPH Standard Method (2010), (2) the German AgBB Testing and Evaluation Scheme (2010), (3) ISO 16000-3: 2010, ISO 16000-6: 2011, ISO 16000-9: 2006, ISO 16000-11:2006 either in conjunction with AgBB, or with French legislation on VOC emission class labeling, or (4) the DIBt testing method (2010). If the applied testing method does not specify testing details for a product group for which the CDPH standard method does provide details, use the specifications in the CDPH standard method. U.S. projects must follow the CDPH standard method.

    Additional VOC content requirements for wet-applied products. In addition to meeting the general requirements for VOC emissions (above), on-site wet-applied products must not contain excessive levels of VOCs, for the health of the installers and other tradesworkers who are exposed to these products. To demonstrate compliance, a product or layer must meet the following requirements, as applicable. Disclosure of VOC content must be made by the manufacturer. Any testing must follow the test method specified in the applicable regulation.

    • All paints and coatings wet-applied on site must meet the applicable VOC limits of the California Air Resources Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) 2007, Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings, or the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.) Rule 1113, effective June 3, 2011.
    • All adhesives and sealants wet-applied on site must meet the applicable chemical content requirements of SCAQMD Rule 1168, July 1, 2005, Adhesive and Sealant Applications, as analyzed by the methods specified in Rule 1168. The provisions of SCAQMD Rule 1168 do not apply to adhesives and sealants subject to state or federal consumer product VOC regulations.
    • For projects outside the U.S., all paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants wet-applied on site must either meet the technical requirements of the above regulations, or comply with applicable national VOC control regulations, such as the European Decopaint Directive (2004/42/EC), the Canadian VOC Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings, or the Hong Kong Air Pollution Control (VOC) Regulation.
    • If the applicable regulation requires subtraction of exempt compounds, any content of intentionally added exempt compounds larger than 1% weight by mass (total exempt compounds) must be disclosed.
    • If a product cannot reasonably be tested as specified above, testing of VOC content must comply with ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services D2369-10; ISO 11890, part 1; ASTM D6886-03; or ISO 11890-2.
    • For projects in North America, methylene chloride and perchloroethylene may not be intentionally added in paints, coatings, adhesives, or sealants.

    Composite Wood Evaluation. Composite wood, as defined by the California Air Resources Board, Airborne Toxic Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulation, must be documented to have low formaldehyde emissions that meet the California Air Resources Board ATCM for formaldehyde requirements for ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins or no added formaldehyde resins. For projects outside the U.S., composite wood must be documented not to exceed a concentration limit of 0.05 ppmParts per million. of formaldehyde (0.06 mg/m2-h when expressed as emission rate) as tested following either EN-717-1:2004, following ISO 16000-3: 2010, ISO 16000-6: 2011, ISO 16000-9: 2006, ISO 16000-11:2006, or following CEN/TS 16516: 2013 either in conjunction with AgBB or with Belgian or French legislation on VOC emission class labeling.

    Salvaged and reused architectural millwork more than one year old at the time of occupancy is considered compliant, provided it meets the requirements for any site-applied paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.

    Furniture evaluation. New furniture and furnishing items must be tested in accordance with ANSI/BIFMA Standard Method M7.1–2011. Comply with ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 Furniture Sustainability Standard, Sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2, using either the concentration modeling approach or the emissions factor approach. Model the test results using the open plan, private office, or seating scenario in ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, as appropriate. USGBC-approved equivalent testing methodologies and contaminant thresholds are also acceptable. For classroom furniture, use the standard school classroom model in CDPH Standard Method v1.1. Documentation submitted for furniture must indicate the modeling scenario used to determine compliance.

    Salvaged and reused furniture more than one year old at the time of use is considered compliant, provided it meets the requirements for any site-applied paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

283 Comments

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager Atkins North America
Feb 17 2017
LEEDuser Member
864 Thumbs Up

Maximum threshold for General VOC emissions compliance?

Project Location: United States

Hi,

I am not finding any info to suggest a maximum VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. limit allowable under the General Emissions. Does "5.0 mg/m3 or more" really include everything greater than 5.0mg? I am finding some fire sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. are notably above this, but have the CPHv1.1-2010 test results so does that suffice?

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Feb 17 2017 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

From what I have researched and understand, the actual value does not matter, what matters is that the test was done and the results available for project teams to review. Hopefully someone who has submitted a project or CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide can speak up, but that is what I was able to find when I had a similar question earlier this year.

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Björn Schön DAW SE Feb 17 2017 Guest

That's also my understanding. The products have to be tested according to CPHv1.1-2010 and have to fulfill the requirements of the included list of certain VOCs. But the total VOC is not limited in the emission requirement. But you still have to fulfill the additional VOC content requirements for wet-applied products (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it., SCM, SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. etc.)

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager, Atkins North America Feb 17 2017 LEEDuser Member 864 Thumbs Up

Leanne & Bjorn- Thanks for the quick feedback - good to know I wasn't missing anything.

So, wet (g/L) VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. limits are enforced/clearly stipulated and CPHv1.1-2010 general emissions (ug/m3) are more about product transparency - at least as far as LEEDv4 is currently concerned!

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 18 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

Caution, please. Maybe this is about wording ... but it was made clear by US GBC that for wet applied products, both VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content limits (in the product) and CDPH VOC emissions limits (in the air after application) will apply. This is valid for LEED v4, not for earlier versions. Total VOC (TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions.) is another term which shall characterize the sum of all emitted VOC (in the air). Total VOC must not be mixed up with VOC content, even though this also is sort of all (or you could say total) VOC - but in the product, not all VOC or TVOC emitted into air.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Feb 19 2017 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

To put it all together, there are 3 different requirements for wet applied materials:
1. Meet the general emissions requirements (CDPH standard method 2010)
2. Report the range of TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. (for transparency only)
3. Meet the g/L content requirements.

Items 1 and 2 are true for all products eligible for this credit. Item 3 is unique to wet-applied materials.

Post a Reply
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Björn Schön DAW SE
Feb 17 2017
Guest

Clear definition for interior/exterior needed

Project Location: Germany

The Definition of interior/exterior in the LOW-EMITTING MATERIALS credit is a bit confusing for me. What is exaclty defined as a waterproofing membrane or air- and water-resistive barrier materials?

In Europe we usually have walls made of bricks or concrete, where an insulation system is applied on top (outdoor). What kind of products should I count as exterior and interior? Is the brick/concrete wall itself the air- and water -resistive barrier, so everything that is applied on top of the wall is a exterior product, and everything that is faced indoors is considered as a indoor product?

We just need to know this because we have to decide for which of our products we have to make emission test.

Thank you.

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Joanna Switzer Sustainability Project Manager, Atkins North America Feb 17 2017 LEEDuser Member 864 Thumbs Up

In my past experience, based on LEEDv3 &v2 protocol, the exterior weatherproofing membrane includes all products that are critical to keeping moisture from entering the building or damaging interior wall and floor substrates. Therefore, in addition to the structural and exterior finish materials (brick/concrete), this COULD include waterproofing coatings or plastic sheeting ("vapor barrier") & associated sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid./caulks applied inside the exterior wall cavity to serve as an additional precaution. This may not be as common in mass/solid wall construction - more common in layered/ framed assemblies.

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 18 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

I remember from my time with EQ TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. at US GBC that we used the terms weatherproofing system or waterproofing membrane to identify the limit between the inside and the outside, where we believed that some materials would not influence the emissions into indoor air (such as facades or within-facade thermal insulation), as just described by Joanna. If you have another building structure than you may consider another layer in the wall as the barrier between materials with or without impact on indoor air. Waterproofing membranes used in the inside, in kitchens or in bathrooms etc., surely are considered interior materials.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Feb 19 2017 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

There are several wall section drawings in the reference guide to help with the distinction. The image for a masonry wall shows the dividing line between the sheathing and the interior batt insulation.

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Björn Schön DAW SE
Feb 15 2017
Guest

Emission tests for 2-component epoxy flooring systems

Project Location: Germany

According to the LEED v.4 credits, it is possible to use different emission tests outside the US to comply with the requirements.

AgBB and DiBt testing method (2010) are mentioned there.
But according to DiBt testing, it is also possible to test flooring systems with multiple layers (different 2-component epoxy products) as a system. So in the end not every single layer is tested seperately, but the whole system is tested at once to comply with the DiBt requirements.

Question: Is it accepted that we use this system emission test to comply with the LEED requirements in this credit? In this case we would use the emission test for the System, and on top of that the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.-Limits for the individual products in the system.

Thank you

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Feb 15 2017 LEEDuser Expert 4262 Thumbs Up

This seems like a logical path.

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 15 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

This issue not regulated anywhere within US GBC. But the proposed procedure is meaningful. Just give some explanation of what you did when you announce compliance with this credit.

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Björn Schön DAW SE Feb 17 2017 Guest

Thank you both for your help!

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Tommy Linstroth CEO Green Badger
Jan 31 2017
LEEDuser Member
573 Thumbs Up

TVOC range for flooring?

I'm trying to figure out where you get the TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. range for anything for flooring, namely Floorscore or CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus? Every single data sheet (or SCS certificate) just says it has the certification. Only products with Greenguard Gold list the actual ranges, as far as I can tell. What do you enter into the materials calculator, since you have to show which range it falls under? And how do you substantiate it, or are review teams just letting it go if it has the certification?

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 01 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

You will need to request evidence from the supplier, or from the certification organism and its testing lab. They should have that information and are the only sources whom you can ask. Hopefully the certificates will include the TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. range information in the future, but it is not within the original certification program itself.

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Rick Farrell Architect & Design Consultant Woodwright Hardwood Floor Company
Jan 31 2017
LEEDuser Member
71 Thumbs Up

FloorScore credit on wall applications

Project Location: United States

If a FloorScore certified product, specifically a pre-finished engineered wood floor, is applied to a wall or ceiling application does the product contribute to the EQc2 credit in LEED v.4?

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 01 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

For ceilings: It is compatible and can work. For walls: Not so easy. The difference is: The emission rate (per hour and surface area) will lead to higher emission concentration because the surface area of walls relative to room air volume is higher than for floors. You will need to request evidence of compliance from the supplier, or from the certification organism and its testing lab. They should have that information and are the only sources whom you can ask.

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Rick Farrell Architect & Design Consultant, Woodwright Hardwood Floor Company Feb 01 2017 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

Thanks Reinhard, Actually we are the manufacturer/supplier and just received our renewed FloorScore Certificate. I have the testing lab data and everything is LEED v.4 compliant on our custom made engineered flooring.
We have several large projects with our product specified on walls (not all the walls, just accent walls) and want to be sure we can offer the FloorScore attribute as a benefit to the project in that application. I think many designers feel its meant for floors only.

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 01 2017 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

Sounds good. In that case, please look at the test report data. Emissions data for flooring has to be multiplied with a factor of 2.5 to get the data for walls - if it is all the walls. For accent walls, if the typical surface area in a typical room is below or equal 0.4 m2/m3 (or in US units), then the FloorScore data are valid as such because these use that so-called loading factor of 0.4. If this loading factor is higher, then multiply the emissions data with the corresponding ratio. If it still complies with all limits of California CDPH v.1.1 protocol, then you are fine.
You just might want to issue an explanatory statement for designers. Or, if you prefer a third-party statement, then just ask the lab for such a document.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Feb 01 2017 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Thanks Reinhard. I agree. Good advice as usual

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Erin Holdenried Sustainable Design Manager AECOM
Dec 22 2016
LEEDuser Member
397 Thumbs Up

Greenguard Gold, SCS Indoor Advantage Gold?

Project Location: United States

Do these certifications meet the requirements for furniture?

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Jan 17 2017 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Yes, but download the most recent (August 2016) Low Emitting Third Party Certification Table from the USGBC site to see specifically which certifications and versions meet the ANSI/BIFMA referenced standard.

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Erin Holdenried Sustainable Design Manager AECOM
Dec 22 2016
LEEDuser Member
397 Thumbs Up

VOC limits?

Project Location: United States

Where is the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. limit table for wet-applied products? I can't find any tables or mention of the referenced standards for VOC limits in the Reference Guide . . .

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Dec 22 2016 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

Erin, Best place I've found is in the LEQ calculator.

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Ana García Architectural Green Method Dec 23 2016 LEEDuser Member 17 Thumbs Up

Hi Erin!
Reference Standars regarding Additional VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content requirements for wet-applied products are mentioned in credit language.
In Low-Emitting Materials Calculator you can find, in instructions tab, VOCs limits for compliant standards.

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability Manens-Tifs s.p.a.
Dec 13 2016
LEEDuser Member
1355 Thumbs Up

French VOC emission labeling

Project Location: Italy

Hi all
Could you confirm that for General Emission Evalutation, French VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emission labeling is accepted even if in the document http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/Low%20Emitting%20Third%20Party%... it is mentioned only for composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. evaluation?
Thanks

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Dec 13 2016 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

French VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emission label A+ (only !) is accepted for composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard., because LEED has no VOC emissions requirements on those products, only formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. is limited. All other concerned products than composite wood need to show compliance with the General Emissions Criteria, including VOC emissions (CDPH, or AgBB plus low formaldehyde emissions, or programs that include one of these, see the above referenced table of Low-Emitting Materials Third Party Certification programs. French VOC emission labeling does not cover these additional requirements and therefore is not good enough for LEED compliance.

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability, Manens-Tifs s.p.a. Dec 15 2016 LEEDuser Member 1355 Thumbs Up

Thank you, my question is whether the following language from the reference guide is still valid:
"ISO 16000-3: 2010, ISO 16000-6: 2011, ISO 16000-9: 2006, ISO 16000-11:2006 either in conjunction with AgBB, or with French legislation on VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emission class labeling,"
So for General Emission Evaluation the French legislation cannot be used on its own, it must be used together with the ISO standard.
Could you confirm that what I've copied above is still valid for project outside US?
thanks!

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Dec 15 2016 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

Yes, correct. Just the reading is not made too simple. Please note that the ISO standards describe the testing and nothing else. The AgBB sets the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. limits except of formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings.. The French legislation sets the formaldehyde limits, but (other than AgBB) it contains different levels / classes. In the LEED criteria, it is specified that French A+ class is required for formaldehyde. And as you can see from the table of Low-Emitting Materials Third Party Certification programs, this is still valid for projects outside the US.

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Dec 15 2016 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

One more thing. The AgBB also sets a limit for formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings.. But LEED does not except this limit. It is considered not stringent enough. French A+ class also sets a limit for VOCs. But LEED does not except the French limits for individual VOCs. These are considered not stringent enough. This is why that combination of AgBB (except formaldehyde) and French A+ class (for formaldehyde) is used as requirement outside the US.

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Elodie DUMAS ALTO Ingénierie Dec 15 2016 LEEDuser Member 1032 Thumbs Up

Reinhard,
In august 2014, we've asked USGBC if French A+ alone was sufficient and have received a positive answer. Here is an extract of their answer :
"Yes, A+ labelling done by an ISO 17025 accredited lab following the ISO 16000 test methods is acceptable. I agree, we could be clearer on that point.".
Since this USGBC answer, I was surprised that it doesn't appear in the "Low-Emitting Materials Third Party Certification programs". But the feedback of USGBC by e-mail was pretty clear. What do you think about that ?

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Reinhard Oppl Independent consultant on VOC issues, formerly with Eurofins Product Testing A/S Dec 15 2016 Guest 2573 Thumbs Up

Elodie,
I agree that there is a lot of confusion about this matter, sometimes even with some US GBC staff members. Earlier tracks within this forum already dealt with that issue. In the end, the cited reply is correct only for composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard., because LEED limits only formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. for that product group. It does not correctly cover other products, where not only formaldehyde but also VOCs are restricted. In the end, the referenced table is issued by the responsible task force within US GBC, the EQ TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system., as the official interpretation.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Dec 15 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Thank you Reinhard once again for sharing your expertise. You understand the non-U.S. requirements better than anyone else.

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Charline Seytier CEO, Co-owner. LEED AP BD+C ThemaVerde, France
Dec 12 2016
LEEDuser Member
1089 Thumbs Up

Concrete admixtures

Our question concerns the credit compliance for wet applied products.

Although Rule 1113 references concrete admixtures such as concrete curing compounds, concrete surface retarders and form release compounds, are these products supposed to meet the requirements of that standard for VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content? What about VOC emissions?

I note that concrete is excluded from credit scope as non emitting material...

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Dec 12 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

In order to decide whether you meet the intent of the credit by excluding the concrete as inherently non-emitting, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is the product inside the weather-proofing of the project, assuming it's not healthcare or schools?
2. Is the concrete still inherently non-emitting with the additives?
3. Is there a sealant or coating applied over the concrete?
4. Does your choice protect the health of occupants and installers?

Any sealant or coating must meet both wet-applied content requirements and general emissions evaluation.

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Ana García Architectural Green Method
Dec 02 2016
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

VOCs content requirements (exterior / wet applied products)

Hi!
I have a question regarding the documentation justifying compliance with VOCs content requirements for:

- Wet applied products
- Exterior applied products (Healthcare and School).

In these cases, I understand it would be valid a self-declared compliance to the relevant standard. Would it be enough a statement indicating the following?:

- VOCs content
- Compliance to the relevant standard (SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. Rule 1113/ SCAQMD Rule 1168, etc)
- Product tipe (according to applicable standard)

Thank you very much!!

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Dec 02 2016 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

Ana,

For the V4 version, you must also report testing according to CDPH Standard Method v1.1. I don't see that included in your list of self-declared items. This tests the emissions of the product. Your list only accounts for content. Yes this is new for this LEED version and many suppliers/vendors have not caught up and completed the CDPH testing.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Dec 02 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

The USGBC has posted a chart that shows which certifications and programs meet the emissions testing requirement of CDPH Standard Method v1.1. The chart can be found here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/low-emitting-materials-third-party-certif...

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Ana García Architectural Green Method Dec 02 2016 LEEDuser Member 17 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your quick answer!!
I know the new requirements for general emmissions. I doubted if there are also new requirements for vocA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. contents compliance (required in exterior applied products and wet applied products).

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Dec 02 2016 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

Nope, those haven't changed. When in doubt I turn to the calculator, it has a table for what is applicable and under what standard.

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Michael Munn Assistant Project Manager, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP The Green Engineer, Inc.
Nov 09 2016
LEEDuser Member
45 Thumbs Up

Intumescent Paint and General Emission Evaluation requirements

Do the General Emissions criteria for Paints and Coatings apply to intumescent flame retardants for structural elements? We've had difficulty finding products that meet (or report) compliance. Thanks in advance.

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Nov 10 2016 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

My interpretation is that there is no exemptions to the interior applied products VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. requirements. A question regarding anti-corrosion paint was brought up earlier and the answer was no, it must also comply. Intumescent paint would be in the same category as anti-corrosion paint with regards to structural members and therefore I would draw the conclusion that it also must comply.

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator, Maple Reinders Constructors Dec 06 2016 Guest 49 Thumbs Up

Michael, Were you able to find a product which met the requirements? I am now looking for the same and am not finding a product with CDPH testing. I'd like to hear what you were able to use. Thanks.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer The Green Engineer
Nov 08 2016
LEEDuser Member
134 Thumbs Up

Exterior Applied Products: paving and athletic surfaces

Project Location: United States

How should exterior paving and play surfaces be addressed in the Low-Emitting credit, Exterior Applied Products product category? We are including paints and coatings for the parking striping and sports striping. My question refers to the actual surface products.

In general, for Exterior Applied Products, my understanding is the category refers to site-applied adhesives, sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., paints and coatings, so I would not include the bituminous concrete paving and playcourt and playground surfaces (bituminous or reused rubber) themselves, just the paints and coatings in this case.

Is this a correct assumption or does bituminous concrete paving, and playcourt and playground surfaces (bituminous or reused rubber) need to be included? If so, how?

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

The credit applies to the physical building. Site products are not addressed in the this credit.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

Thank you for the clarification.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 11 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

An update: I sent this question to the USGBC to have written documentation of the requirements for my project, and they provided a different answer:

"Your question is whether all exterior applied materials must comply with this credit or just those applied to the exterior of the building. For LEED-HC and LEED-Schools projects, all exterior products within the LEED Project Boundary must be included in the credit calculations if this category is pursued. Page 659 of the LEED v4 Reference Guide provides the following guidance:

"Exterior applied products. Adhesives, sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., coatings, roofing, and waterproofing materials applied on site must meet the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. limits of California Air Resources Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) 2007 Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings, and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.), Rule 1168, effective July 1, 2005. Small containers of adhesives and sealants subject to state or federal consumer product VOC regulations are exempt…. Two materials are prohibited and do not count toward total percentage compliance: hot-mopped asphalt for roofing, and coal tar sealants for parking lots and other paved surfaces."

I am going to write back for confirmation and, if this is correct for sitework materials, for an explanation on how to include other paved surfaces.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Thanks for sharing. I was unaware of the "project boundary" stipulation. It makes sense. I'll do some digging as well.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 11 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

Thanks. And the gist of what I have figured out upon further research:

I partially answered my original question myself: I assume projects only need to include products listed in CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. 2007, SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. 1113 and 1168 which means only site-applied adhesives, sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., paints and coatings, not the parking and playground materials themselves. I still think that could get a little tricky on site materials (sealants in sidewalks? asphalt sealersSealers are coatings applied to either block materials from penetrating into or leaching out of a substrate, to prevent subsequent coatings from being absorbed by the substrate, or to prevent harm to subsequent coatings by materials in the substrate./coatings which definitely off-gas when first applied?).

That aside, there seems to be conflicting definitions in the reference guide, one listed above on RG page 659, and one on RG page 676: "Building Exterior: a structure’s primary and secondary weatherproofing system, including waterproofing membranes and air- and water-resistant barrier materials, and all building elements outside that system.” The definition on page 676 clearly refers to building elements not site elements. I'll let you know what the USGBC says.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 11 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

What you've outlined here was my interpretation before you previous post.

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 17 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

The GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). response is as follows: For v4 LEED-HC and LEED-School, the exterior applied products is applicable beyond the building and into the site. Only materials that fall within the paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. categories of SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. are applicable. As to whether the specific products you are using fall within those categories, this would be reviewed during the project's full review, or a Credit Interpretation Ruling.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 18 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Great. Thanks for sharing Allison.

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Leanne Conrad Project Coordinator Maple Reinders Constructors
Nov 07 2016
Guest
49 Thumbs Up

Primer for Waterproofing membrane

Project Location: Canada

In the requirements for this credit, the building exterior is defined as "everything outside and inclusive of the primary and secondary
weatherproofing system, such as waterproofing membranes and air- and water-resistive barrier materials".

My question is this: Is the primer for the waterproofing membrane included in this definition and therefore I can use a product that does not meet the VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emissions guidelines?

Case example: Blueskin on Concrete faced wall. The blueskin is considered the waterproofing membrane but it requires a primer to be applied to the concrete before application. Would this primer be considered 'inclusive' of the waterproofing membrane?

Thanks!

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 07 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

I would consider this primer to be part of the exterior and part of the waterproofing membrane system.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Nov 07 2016
LEEDuser Member
8857 Thumbs Up

NAUF in Low Emitting Calculator for Comp Wood

Given all the discussion and confusion about composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. certification issues, why does the version 3 Low Emitting Materials Calculator include NAUF in the pull down for compliant composite wood products?

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 07 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

For v3, NAUF is the requirement. For v4, NAUF is one of the options in the CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. referenced standard.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Nov 07 2016 LEEDuser Member 8857 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle,
My confusion continues. NAUF is not a certification of any kind. It's simply a statement that no urea formaldehydeUrea formaldehyde is a combination of urea and formaldehyde used in some glues and adhesives, particularly in composite wood products. At room temperature, ureaformaldehyde emits formaldehyde, a toxic and possibly carcinogenic gas. was added to the manufacturing process. NAUF is not commensurate with NAF or ULEF. How can NAUF be a v4 compliant option against general emissions requirements? If somehow it is, please confirm what backup documentation is required to demonstrate NAUF compliance for LEED v4.

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Jason Grant Principal, Jason Grant Consulting Nov 07 2016 Guest 2055 Thumbs Up

Michelle R. is right, NAUF is not referenced in the CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. standard. CARB provides special provisions for manufacturers of composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. products that use no-added formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. (NAF) or ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF) resins. NAF-based resins are resins formulated with no added formaldehyde as part of the resin cross-linking structure. ULEF resins are formaldehyde-containing resins formulated such that the formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products are consistently below applicable Phase 2 emission standards.

Manufacturers who demonstrate the use of NAF resins can receive an exemption from CARB formaldehyde testing and other requirements, and such manufacturers are “CARB exempt.” Manufacturers who use ULEF resins can apply for approval to have their products tested less frequently or for an exemption.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 07 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Thanks Jason.

I see my second response didn't post. For your reading pleasure:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2007/compwood07/fro-final.pdf

Paula Melton's excellent Oct 2016 EBN VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. issue https://www.buildinggreen.com/downloads

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

For clarification, it would seem from Michelle Halle Stern's comments above (and the USGBC calculator) that either NAUF or ULEF/NAF (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) products are acceptable for LEEDv4. Is this correct? That means v3 compliant composite materials (NAUF) are also acceptable in v4? That was not my original understanding. Am I missing something? Thanks.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Not exactly. The v3 requirement is NAUF (urea-formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings.). The v4 option is NAF (no added formaldehyde of any type).

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

That would mean not all NAUF products necessarily meet NAF requirements (if the NAUF products have other types of formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings.)? If so, the NAUF option on the USGBC calculator is confusing.
Upon further research, it would appear the not all NAUF products will meet CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it./ULEF requirements either.
From the Building Green Website: "No-added-urea-formaldehyde (NAUF) products that meet testing requirements are now designated ultra-low-emitting (ULEF) by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) if they have emissions of 0.05 parts per million or lower."

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Allison Zuchman The Green Engineer, The Green Engineer Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 134 Thumbs Up

And for clarity, the options for composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. evaluation on the USGBC calculator are ULEF, NAUF, salvaged or reused, or does not meet criteria. The first three all comply. Is that a typo? Should NAUF be NAF?

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Dawn Garcia Sustainability Specialist, Roseburg Forest Products Nov 08 2016 Guest 40 Thumbs Up

Commenting on Michelle Halle Stern's Nov. 8 note...for composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. (particleboard, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder. or hardwood plywood) to meet the LEED v4 Low-Emitting Materials requirements, the products must be documented to meet the CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. ATCM for ULEF resins OR NAF resins. LEED v4 does not require all products to be no added formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings..
A list of approved manufacturers is available on CARB's website at https://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/naf_ulef/listofnaf_ulef.htm

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Thanks. Dawn is correct. I didn't intend to imply that NAF was the only option.

I reviewed the calculator, the reference guide, and the CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. reference standard. First, keep in mind that the composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. evaluation is only for products that do not fit into the other categories (floors, walls, ceilings, etc.)

In my opinion the calculator drop down should be changed to read NAF rather than NAUF.

I concur with you Allison, that v3 NAUF products should not be assumed to comply with v4.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 8857 Thumbs Up

Thanks all in the thread. So this is where I'm left. Composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. products as defined by LEED v4 are only those products that CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it. actually regulates. That means only the ones that Dawn has listed above - particleboard, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder. and hardwood plywood. Other formerly composite wood items like softwood plywood, OSBOriented-strand board (OSB). Consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, wheatboard, oriented-strand board, and strawboard., LVLs, engineered flooring, engineered wall panels, etc. that was previously included in this category in v3 with the NAUF requirement is now exempt from this requirement entirely. This is analogous to unfinished solid wood flooring being exempt from the previous EQ4.3 Flooring System credit in v3.

So we will only pursue low emitting compliance for v4 with those three composite wood products and assume that means compliance with the composite wood category in the Low Emitting credit.

Further the requirement is that this subset of composite wood meet ULEF (which just happens to be confirmed by the testing protocol that is also used for NAF though NAF is not required.)

And finally I can only assume the NAUF that's in the current version of the v4 calculator is an error. That the intent was actually NAF which though not required might also demonstrate compliance with the appropriate emissions protocol.

Hopefully, we'll see some clarification on this from the USGBC soon.

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Craig Graber Sr. Environmental Designer, Atelier Ten Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 82 Thumbs Up

Oh and one more thing... off site laminating adhesives used with composite woodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. assemblies are no longer covered either under v4.

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Michelle Halle Stern LEED Fellow, The Green Facilitator Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Expert 1468 Thumbs Up

Other products are not exempt. The only things that are exempt are inherently non-emitting materials (i.e. untreated wood flooring) and items outside the weatherproofing of the building.

Most wood products need to follow the General Emissions Evaluation because they fall into the Category: Flooring, Ceilings/Walls/Thermal and Acoustic Insulation, or Furniture. In your example engineered flooring is Flooring, engineered wall panels are Walls. LVLs beams are ceilings.

The Composite WoodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. Evaluation is designed to cover HW plywood, MDFMedium-density fiberboard (MDF): Panel product used in cabinets and furniture; generally made from wood fiber glued together with binder; similar to particleboard, but with finer texture, offering more precise finishing. Most MDF is made with formaldehyde-emitting urea-formaldehyde binder., and particle board that don't fall under other categories. Products that don't fit into one of these buckets are simply non-compliant.

True, offsite adhesives are not covered independently. However any product that needs to undergo the General Emissions Evaluation tests the product as a whole, thus covering whatever adhesives are embedded.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Nov 08 2016 LEEDuser Member 8857 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle,
I understand your comment, thanks. But please note I am referring specifically to compliance with the Composite WoodComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. category of the Low Emitting credit. If as a strategy, we are not pursuing compliance in the Flooring or Ceilings/Walls/Insulation categories, then we don't need to comply with the General Emissions requirements for the engineered flooring or the engineered wall panels to comply with the Composite Wood category.

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