Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) consist of a broad range of carbon-based chemicals that vaporize at room temperature and, when in air, predominantly exist in the vapor phase. VOCs contained in products tend to diffuse to the surface and are emitted into the air over time. When these emissions occur indoors, building occupants are exposed via inhalation. VOCs of potential concern include:
Berkeley Analytical (BkA) specializes in VOC emission testing of building products and VOC emission testing of furniture using small-and large-scale environmental chambers. We are committed to meeting customers’ needs and can support your manufacturing operations with VOC testing programs for product development, quality control, supply chain management, and trouble-shooting such as odor investigations.
Our VOC emission testing services to standards such as, CDPH Standard Method V1.1, widely known as CA Section 01350, and to ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, provide the foundation for manufacturers’ self-declared claims and third-party certified claims for low-emitting building products and furnishings. These claims are used to earn credits in LEED, CHPS, and other building rating systems. Green building codes such as CALGreen, ASHRAE Standard 189.1, and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) require the same standards and claims to define acceptable products for new construction and renovation. Additionally, BkA provides a variety of other VOC testing services. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and objectives for VOC emissions testing.
CDPH Standard Method V1.1 (CA Section 01350) is the most widely used standard in North America for VOC testing and for evaluating VOC emissions from building products including flooring, suspended ceilings, insulation, wall panels, paints and coatings, and wall coverings. This standard is referenced in many green building rating systems and green construction codes. The standard requires:
BkA has been involved with CA Section 01350 from its inception and can answer your questions about this standard, as well as guide you through the requirements of other programs referencing the standard. For example, the test method used by a well-known Greenguard indoor air quality certification standard combines the same acceptance criteria with other guidance derived from industrial hygiene threshold limit values.
The ANSI/BIFMA Standard Method M7.1 is the predominant North American method used for testing commercial furniture for VOC emissions. This standard is referenced in LEED and and ASHRAE Standard 189.1, and is incorporated into CDPH Standard Method V1.1 for the testing of classroom and office furnishings. Our furniture testing services using M7.1 support the ANSI/BIFMA e3 sustainability standard and BIFMA’s level™ sustainability certification program. Seating, workstation components (work surface, storage, and panels), tables, and other furniture items are tested using our mid-scale chambers. Conformity assessment is conducted relative to ANSI/BIFMA X7.1; ANSI/BIFMA e3 Sections 7.6.1, 7.6.2, & 7.6.3; and the guidelines in CDPH Standard Method V1.1.
BkA is highly engaged with the furniture industry. We serve on BIFMA’s FES Subcommittee, are official observers on the BIFMA furniture sustainability standard, and participated with Syracuse University on BIFMA sponsored research in support of Standard M7.1. We can answer your technical questions and are well positioned to address all of your needs for furniture VOC emissions testing.
BkA also works with manufacturers to create specialized VOC testing programs that address other objectives, such as: