Product Rating Schemes - Green Star and Others

Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star

A range of Green Star tools have a credit in the Indoor Environment Quality category called Indoor Pollutants or Reduced Exposure to Pollutants.  These credit encourages product suppliers, designers and specifiers to use low-VOC emitting materials. This is achieved by awarding Green Star credits (one point each) to either not using or using low-VOC for:

  • Paints
  • Carpets (or other flooring materials)
  • Adhesives and sealants

GBCA Green Star - Flooring Materials

The GBCA Green Star credit sets out limits which have been adopted from the USA Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).  The standard requires that the chemical emission of the carpet/flooring material has to meet the following limits, based on a 24 hour emission period in accordance with ASTM D5116:

  • Total VOC < 0.5 mg/m2/hr
  • 4-Phenylcyclohexene < 0.05 mg/m2/hr

< means less than  

GBCA - Green Star Paints, Adhesives and Sealants

The GBCA Green Star IEQ credit requires adhesives, sealants and paints to be tested according South Coast Air Quality Management District (California) (SCAQMD) Rule 1168. The  products must meet the following limits:

Product Type   Max TVOC Content
(g/L of ready-to-use product)
General purposes adhesives and sealants 50
Interior wall and ceiling paint, all sheen levels 16
Trim, varnishes and wood stains 75
Primers, sealers and prep coats 65
One and two pack performance coatings for floors 140
Acoustic sealants, architectural sealants, waterproofing membranes and sealants, fire retardant sealants and adhesives 250
Structural glazing adhesive, wood flooring and laminate adhesives and sealants 100

GBCA - Engineered wood products

Under GBCA Green Star requirements furnishings such as chairs, partitions and workstations should be tested as the whole item for chemical emissions at seven days. However, access to testing facilities to conduct such large scale emission testing is very limited. 

Components of the furnishing item can instead be tested individually and then the emission rate of the whole item can be calculated based on the surface area of the whole item. An advantage to this approach is that it enables you to quickly identify any component or supplier that has an unacceptable emission rate being used in the construction of your product.


The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) - Green Label Plus program

This program is currently the highest standard for indoor air quality that can be achieved for carpet product. The Green Label Plus program has been established to meet the growing demand to make indoor environments as healthy and “green-friendly” as possible. The rigorous testing of the Green Label Plus program involves stringent criteria for low chemical emissions from a carpet product. Compliance to the program requires a 24 hour or fourteen-day testing period that measures carpet emissions for a range of chemicals:

  • Total VOC < 0.5 mg/m2/hr
  • Identification and quantitation of “chemicals of concern” such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, caprolactam, 2-ethylhexanoic acid, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone, naphthalene, nonanal, octanal, 4-phenylcyclohexene, styrene, toluene and vinyl acetate.

 

The Carpet Institute of Australia

The Carpet Institute of Australia has also developed a VOC emission criteria for its Environmental Certification Scheme. Testing is done in accordance with ISO 10580. Chemical emissions are evaluated at 24 hours for:

  • Total VOC < 0.5 mg/m2/hr
  • Identification and quantitation of “chemicals of concern” such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, caprolactam, 2-ethylhexanoic acid, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone, naphthalene, nonanal, octanal, 4-phenylcyclohexene, styrene, toluene, xylenes, vinyl acetate, hydrocarbons (C10-C14) and vinyl cyclohexene.

Other flooring materials can be assessed by a 24 hour emission test and the determination of total VOCs emitted.

 

 

Product Submission

You can now submit your product for testing online

VOC Emissions

VOC Content

 

To learn more about CETEC's VOC Emissions and VOC Content testing services

To learn more about CETEC's range of Green Star services


Other voluntary rating product schemes operating in Australia include:

  • Good Environmental Choice Australia, (GECA)
  • Ecospecifier's GreenTag program
  • Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI).

CETEC also provides test certificates to comply with international product schemes including those that apply in New Zealand, USA and South Africa. However for these schemes, we recommend you discuss your requirements with one of our consultants prior to commissioning testing.