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Low-Emitting

Materials used in buildings often contain compounds that have a negative effect on indoor air quality (IAQ) and the earth’s atmosphere. These compounds can be present in adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring, carpets, composite wood and agrifiber products, furnishings, and in ceiling and wall systems. Low-emitting materials release only small amounts of these compounds into the surrounding air over time. Strategies for selecting low-emitting options include ensuring material compliance with the ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 standard for furniture emissions. Non-profit certification programs that verify conformance with the standard including but not limited to SCS Indoor Advantagenon government site opens in new window, Certified Green, Greenguard, and any other program that uses the open ANSI standard.

BIFMA.org | BIFMA Standards Overviewnon government site opens in new window

South Coast Air Quality Management District | Rule 1168: Adhesive and Sealant Applicationsopens in new window

GreenSeal.org | Green Seal Standards - Construction Materials & Building Equipmentnon government site opens in new window

The Carpet and Rug Institutenon government site opens in new window

Whole Building Systems

Materials

  • Seating

    Seating is a critical component of the furnishings. High quality ergonomically flexible seating options are paramount in supporting a high quality ...
  • Paints and Coatings

    Paints and coatings provide an aesthetically appealing atmosphere for a commercial setting. Paints and coatings should contain low or no VOCs to m...
  • Fabrics / Upholstery

    Use durable and cleanable upholstery for soft-sided furniture, especially in rooms where coffee, drinks, or food may be present. Select upholst...
  • Systems Furniture

    Systems furniture is frequently used in open office areas because of its flexibility in being reconfigured and rearranged. It is generally comprised...
  • Task Seating

    Task seating is exceptionally important in open offices because of the amount of time employees spend here. It should hold a third party certificati...
  • Desk

    Desk selection should be driven by sustainable materials. Refer to the compare section for guidance. Using casters will support the flexibility ...
  • Casework / Millwork

    Select casework and millwork that have sustainable attributes such as rapidly renewable, recycled content and sustainably managed forest materia...
  • Composite Wood Furniture

    Engineered wood, also known as composite wood, is man-made and includes a range of wood products that are bound together by adhesives. Plywood, pa...
  • Metal Furniture

    Metal options include steel and aluminum. Durability of items selected may be important depending on the application. Also treatment of the metal ...
  • Glass - Low Emissivity

    A Low-E coating is a microscopic thin layer of metal or metal oxide deposited on window glass to prevent heat and ultra-violet (UV) rays from passin...
  • Low-Flow Faucet

    Low-flow faucets are based upon the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) and use aerators to restrict the flow of water to 2.2 gallons of wate...
  • Low-Flow Shower

    Low-Flow showerheads are based upon the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) and use 2.5 gallons of water per minute gpm. Relative to earlier ...