The GREENGUARD Certification Program (formerly known as GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification) gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors. Achieving GREENGUARD Certification gives credence to manufacturers’ sustainability claims, backing them with empirical scientific data from an unbiased, third-party organization.
Products certified under this program bear the GREENGUARD Certification mark:
GREENGUARD Certification Standards for Low-Emitting Products
GREENGUARD Certification standards have established performance-based standards to define products and processes with low chemical and particle emissions for use indoors. The standards are primarily for building materials, finishes, interior furnishings, furniture, cleaning products and electronic equipment. The standards establish certification procedures including test methods, allowable emission levels, product sample collection and handling, testing type and frequency as well as program application processes, toxicity limits and acceptance.
Allowable Emission Levels
All products are tested in dynamic environmental chambers following appropriate test methods as posted on this web site. The primary test method for most building materials, furniture and finishes is the, “Standard Method for Measuring and Evaluating Chemical Emissions from Building Materials, Finishes and Furnishings Using Dynamic Environmental Chambers.” Other specific GREENGUARD test methods are available for electronic equipment and cleaning products. These methods, and others utilized by the GREENGUARD Certification programs, follow guidance of ASTM Standards D-5116 and D-6670, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) testing protocol for furniture, the state of Washington’s protocol for interior furnishings and construction materials, Germany’s Blue Angel Program, California’s Department of Public Health Services (CDPH) Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 and the ISO 16000 environmental testing series. Products are measured for chemical and particle emissions, as they are tested to simulate actual product use. Most building materials and furnishings are required to meet allowable emission levels within 7 to 14 days of installation. Other products and processes, including operating electronics and cleaning systems, must meet allowable levels during actual use or the application process.
Measured emission levels are converted by calculation to air concentrations representing what a person will actually breathe. These concentrations are determined based on expected use of the product, amount of product, application process and the indoor building conditions, including building volume and fresh air exchange rate. They are also based on the product being used in a single occupancy room with outdoor air ventilation based on ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality or the USEPA’s recommended exposure factors for residential applications. Maximum allowable emission levels in air concentrations are those required by the state of Washington’s indoor air quality program for new construction, the USEPA’s procurements specifications, the recommendations from the World Health Organization, Germany’s Blue Angel Program, LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) and LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). Office furniture products meeting these allowable emission levels automatically meet the requirements of LEED 2009 – CI – credit 4.5 and the BIFMA X7.1 industry conformance standard. When multiple emission levels are recommended for products, the lesser, or more stringent, is used as the acceptable emission value for GREENGUARD Certification. The specific room model for this program is presented as a “Single Room Exposure Model.”