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Testing of Construction Products for VOC Emissions and Contaminants

Contaminant and VOC emission testing of construction products | TÜV Rheinland

Evaluation of contaminants and VOC emissions with regard to construction materials testing

People around the world spend a considerable amount of time each day indoors. Especially, in Germany the mean indoor residence time is around 20 hours a day. Construction products and materials are often the main source of poor ambient air quality in closed spaces. Because not every volatile substance is odorous, many emissions may go unnoticed at first. Longer-term indoor air pollution, however, can lead to health problems and even disease.

Legislatures establish regulatory requirements for buildings in terms of preventive health protection. To ensure your compliance, we offer you a wide range of different tests for your construction products from point of a single service provider. Our experts reliably test your products for pollutants, emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and normatively defined quality characteristics.

As a notified and accredited test lab, we support you in providing evidence of compliance with the statutory product requirements. Our testing services are established to ensure the consistent quality of your product. With our voluntary test certificates, you can bridge gaps in normative health protection requirements to provide health- and environmentally-conscious construction workers a valuable orientation tool when choosing products for building or renovation.

Would you like to learn more about our comprehensive one-stop-shop tests for construction products?

Strengthen confidence in your construction products

Advantages of our VOC testing for your building products | TÜV Rheinland

With our independent testing services, you can provide proof of compliance with the national and European requirements applicable to your construction products with regard to pollutants and emissions of volatile compounds. Strengthen the confidence of both customers and partners in the quality, legal conformity and safety of your construction products.

You can also gain significant competitive advantages through our neutral test mark offering your customers an important decision-making tool in their product selection.

Our tests for construction products at a glance

Our experts test your construction products from the perspective of product-specific chemical exposure. The focus is on compliance and conformity of product characteristics with the requirements of construction product law at national (MVVTB, Model Administrative Construction Regulations on Technical Rules) and European (Construction Products Regulation, CPR) levels with regard to health protection. Requirements specific to construction products – including permissible threshold concentration limits of pollutants and emissions – are defined in European harmonized standards (hEN). If required, your construction product will also be evaluated according to legal regulations of the chemicals law (REACH, CLP, Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance, POP, Biocide Regulation).

Construction products that are manufactured using chemicals and/or materials relevant to emissions must be examined for the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and their material loads must be precisely assessed.

We carry out the following tests for you:

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Support in the evaluation of construction products and construction materials

  • Wood-based panels for construction and interior finishing (EN 13986)
  • Floor coverings of solid wood and wood-based materials (EN 14041; EN 14342)
  • Flexible / resilient floor coverings (EN 14041), sports floors, (EN 14904), artificial stone tiles (EN 15285)
  • Ceiling and interior wall cladding of solid wood and wood-based materials (EN 13986)
  • Impact sound insulation ("Ü-Mark", national requirements)
  • Decorative wall coverings (EN 15102)
  • Interior doors (EN 14351)
  • Water-based coating materials (EN 13300) and coating systems
  • Reactive fire protection coatings (EN 13381-8; EN 13501-2)
  • Liquid applicable parquet lacquers ("Ü-Mark", national requirements)
  • Liquid applicable one-component (1C) and two-components (2C) floor coatings (reaction resins, EN1504-2)
  • Joint sealants and sealing compounds (EN 15651-1,2,3)
  • Assembly adhesives (EN 17333-1,2,3,4,5)
  • Filling, levelling and jointing compounds (EN 12004-1,2; EN 998-1,2; EN 13813, EN 13888, EN 14891)
  • Structural timber, refined sawn timber (EN 1995-1,2; EN 14080, EN 14081-1,2,3; EN 14250; EN 15228)
  • Plasterboard (EN 520; EN 14190; EN 15283-1,2; EN 18168-1; EN 18180; EN 18181; EN 18183-1) and gypsum plasterboards (EN 13915; EN 13950)
  • Mortar and interior plasters (EN 998-1,2; EN 15824; DIN 18947)
  • Prefabricated lightweight concrete elements (EN 13224; EN 13225; EN 13693; EN 13747; EN 14843; EN 14844; EN 15037-1,2,4; EN 15258; EN 15498)
  • Mobile partition walls for changing the floor plan of interiors
  • Thermal insulation materials (EN 13162-13171; EN 14063-1,2; EN 14064-1,2; EN 14315-1,2; EN 14316-1,2; EN 14317-1,2; EN 14318-1,2; EN 15101-1,2; EN 16069; EN 16809-1,2; DIN 4108-10)
  • Construction material composite systems (combination of different construction products)

Evaluations on statutory and voluntary levels

  • Test chamber tests (EN ISO16000-9; EN 16516) for the release of:
    • Very volatile (VVOC), volatile (VOC) and semi-volatile (SVOC) organic compounds (ISO 16000-6)
    • Volatile aldehydes (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, higher aldehydes) (DIN EN 717-1, ISO 16000-3)
    • Volatile inorganic substances (ammonia, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides)
    • Toxicologically relevant substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic for reproduction, acutely toxic, sensitizing substances)
    • Odor-relevant substances
  • Test chamber-based odor assessments to qualify odor intensity, acceptance and hedonics (ISO 16000-28)
  • Material analyses to determine the concentration of:
    • Heavy metals,
    • Biocides,
    • Plasticizers (phthalates, chlorinated paraffins, etc.),
    • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH),
    • Wood preservatives (PCP, lindane, tri-, tetra-chlorophenols),
    • Waste-disposal/landfill-relevant materials

Test chamber investigations for evaluation systems and test mark awards

  • TÜV Rheinland test specifications for the award of the TÜV Rheinland test mark "TÜV Rheinland certified", keywords: "Low VOC emissions", "Tested for harmful substances", "Regular product surveillance", "Factory inspected”
  • Determination of formaldehyde according to the specifications of the Chemical Prohibition Ordinance according to DIN EN 717-1, EN 16516 (E1-/E2-classification of wood-based materials)
  • AgBB (committee for health-related evaluation of construction products)
  • AFFSET test protocol
  • Test Specification Model Administrative Regulations for Technical Building Rules (MVVTB) - Annex 8
  • Finnish M1/M2 classification
  • GEV-EMICODE (GEV-Association of emission-controlled flooring installation materials e.V.)
  • Award principles of the "Blue Angel" (DE-UZ 12a, DE-UZ 102, DE-UZ 113, DE-UZ 115, DE-UZ 120, DE-UZ 128, DE-UZ 132, DE-UZ 140, DE-UZ 156, DE-UZ 176, DE-UZ 198)
  • Austrian eco-label (IP 01, IP 07, IP 17, IP 42, IP 43, IP 45, IP 56)
  • "French Regulation - Grenelle" (classification of construction products and decorative objects for interior use, Décret No 2011-321)
  • Belgian State Decree No 349
  • Lithuanian draft regulation on hygiene standard HN 105/2004
  • Nordic eco-labeling (Swan)
  • Emission assessment criteria for obtaining BREEAM points (BREEAM, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)
  • California Specification 01350 (CDPH = California Department of Public Health)

Our one-stop testing strategy – from construction product testing to building certification systems

If required and requested, we can carry out specific assessments of different evaluation schemes on basis of a performed emission test. Our "one-stop testing strategy" approach saves time and money. VOC emission evaluations of construction products can also be used to bridge the requirements set within the framework of building certification systems:

  • BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology)
  • WELL Building Standard
  • DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council)
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Interior Architecture + Construction)

Furthermore, we can offer the following services for construction products:

  • Appraisal of the surface condition of floor coverings (abrasion resistance, electrical conductivity)
  • Assessment of sustainability aspects (CO2 carbon footprint, life cycle assessment)
  • Evaluation of hygiene properties (e.g. mold infestation)
  • Determination of the radioactivity index of construction products in relation to ionizing radiation

Safe construction products – tested by experts

With our independent tests for construction products and materials, you will receive comprehensive support based on the extensive knowledge of a notified and accredited testing institute. Our test mark is a globally recognized label of safety and quality. You can rely on us as an experienced partner at your side and set yourself apart from the competition in the markets of your choice.

Learn more about our tests for construction products from a single source. Speak with a representative today!

Get more information

pdf Construction Products Legislation: Legal Basics 1 MB Download
pdf Guideline Information: Wood-Based Panels 1 MB Download

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