BREEAM International, the UK originated and globally used sustainable buildings certification system, not only published new criteria in March 2016, see an earlier blog. Now the list of recognised emissions rating schemes was updated, to reflect the recent changes.
Please note: The criteria for low emitting products are not compulsory; you can raise a BREEAM certified building without low-emitting products. But you can earn additional points for your building project by using low-emitting products.
Regarding indoor air quality, use of low emitting products inside the building can be helpful to achieve one or two points if the BREEAM specifications have been proved by testing, or if the product fulfils the specifications of any recognised schemes and programs (differentiated in one list for compliance with the recent BREEAM standards and one list for compliance with the BREEAM standards from 2016 onwards). This document is not yet available for direct download from the BREEAM webpages, except from BREEAM Sweden.
Eurofins labels Indoor Air Comfort and Indoor Air Comfort Gold are on that list. Indoor Air Comfort Gold will be accepted now both for BREEAM and for LEED, see an earlier blog.
That list makes it easy to identify BREEAM compatible low emitting products on the market.
BREEAM Norway goes a separate way and did not yet publish that document.
BREEAM International, the UK originated and globally used sustainable buildings certification system, published new criteria in March 2016.
These criteria include a basic change of its criteria for low-emitting interior products. Now the BREEAM criteria for low-emitting interior products are the same, or at least similar, for all products. They include limit values for formaldehyde, TVOC, TSVOC and carcinogens.
The new criteria, while being more stringent than before, allow to use existing standard testing for other purposes also to show compliance with the new BREEAM criteria.
To read more: www.eurofins.com/breeam-uk-emissions-2016.
Italy issued a decree on Green Public Procurement of construction works on 21 January 2016.
It defines minimum criteria for the case that Italian public authorities invite tenders for construction works, with focus on energy consumption and other sustainability issues.
Chapter 184.108.40.206 contains minimum requirements on VOC emissions that correspond to the French VOC class A.
- In contrast to VOC regulations in other countries, this regulation is NOT binding for all constrction works and construction products. It is relevant only for public sustainable building projects.
- Testing shall follow CEN/TS 16516 or ISO 16000-9 or equivalent standards.
- The Eurofins operated labels Indoor Air Comfort and Indoor Air Comfort GOLD include this requirement and may therefore serve as proof of compliance.
Please find more details and the original document on our webpage www.eurofins.com/voc-italy.
Approval of low emitting construction products before entry into German market will stop for products that can be CE marked on 15 October 2016. We explained this in a number of recent Blog entries, and on our homepage (see www.eurofins.com/voc-germany).
Now these explanations are available in German language as well:
The same is available in French language as well:
Please follow this VOC Blog for further updates.
German DIBt agency told us that they will no longer accept any applications for new abZ approvals, or for a change of an existing approval, for products that can be CE marked. This holds true since 31 January. You can try to send an application a little bit later, but there is no guarantee that it will be registered. Any applications having reached DIBt before that deadline will need to be decided until 15 October 2016.
As to handle the new situation on the German market, Eurofins supplied you with three explanatory webpages.
Please do not hesitate to contact the staff of our certification body by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for any support or requests.
For further information, please see our homepage, e.g. www.eurofins.com/voc-germany, and follow this VOC Blog for any updates.
DIBt published a draft of the German requirements on low emitting construction products on 6 January 2016 in German language. Comments can be sent in until 28 January 2016.
The essentials of the draft are:
- It is a general document that will be detailed for specific products groups in a later step.
- It describes the requirements for healthy buildings that German authorities can require.
- Hazardous ingredients shall be avoided. Carcinogens of EU classes C1A and C1B are restricted except if they do not cause any risk to the users of the building. Therefore their emissions are limited with very sharp limit values.
- Requirements regarding contaminated waste are supplemented.
- The emissions requirements of AgBB 2015 are included, and supplemented by requirements on emissions of ammonia and nitrosamines, if relevant.
For the AgBB 2015 requirements, see a table here: www.eurofins.com/agbb2015-limits.
- Limits for content of PAH (5 mg/kg BaP), nitrosamines (11 µg/kg), and PCP (5 mg/kg) are listed.
- In this document, there are no requirements on how the respect of these requirements shall be documented and prooved. This may follow.
For further information, please see our homepage, e.g. www.eurofins.com/agbb, and follow this VOC Blog for any updates.
The German DIBt system of approval of construction products before entry into market will have to change, to comply with European law, see our recent Blog entry.
DIBt issued a supplemental press release (in German) on 17 December 2015, describing the recent state of planning to revise the German regulation on low emitting construction products, to implement the decision of the European Court, see www.eurofins.com/dibt-barrier.
- The time schedule of the earlier announced changes was confirmed, see our recent Blog entry.
- It was confirmed that after 15 October 2016, the Ü mark must not be affixed to any CE marked product.
- German legislation is in planning that will specify which product properties must be fulfilled if authorities require use of low emitting products in certain buildings.
- DIBt declares that approvals (abZ) and certificates can be used to show compliance with these specifications also after 15 October 2016, until the end of their validity period.
- DIBt strongly recommends that the owners of the approvals continue to use the approvals (abZ) and the certificates for that purpose during the validity period. An extension of the validity until maximum April 2020 must be applied for before end of January 2016.
This deadline is relevant for sending the application to DIBt; any necessary documents can be sent later. You will find the application documents on the webpage of DIBt under the headline “Forms”.
- DIBt recommends to continue the external surveillance (audits, retesting) during that time as specified in the respective approval abZ document.
The certification body of Eurofins Product Testing A/S is about to prepare a pragmatic and cost-efficient approach that allows certification of low emitting products for the future German regulations and in parallel for the other VOC regulations across Europe. Last modifications of this approach may occur after the final German regulation is published. For more details, please contact our certification body with its newly appointed manager, Thomas Neuhaus, by email to email@example.com.