Low-Emitting Materials Self-Certification

For the last three years, CHPS has been working to improve the functionality and usability of the CHPS high performance products database. The database is a key component of our ongoing effort to create a viable market for products that help schools create healthy, environmentally-friendly learning spaces, and we are committed to its growth and value to our community.

New Self-Certified Low-Emitting Materials Attribute

The Indoor Environmental Quality and CHPS Database subcommittees from the CHPS National Technical Committee have developed a new approach to self-certified low-emitting materials products by issuing a new CHPS Criteria Interpretation (CCI) on low-emitting materials and credits. The new CCI lays out a process that allows for companies to “self-certify” products which have not been tested but for which a representative product has been tested, using the framework developed by the California Department of Public Health. These products would then be recognized as achieving the standard set out by the low-emitting materials prerequisites and credits in the CHPS Criteria.

The standard that CHPS uses to determine which products are approved for low-emitting prerequisites and credits in the CHPS Criteria is the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers, Version 1.1-2010 (also known as Section 01350). When this standard was revised in February 2010, it included a new section – Section 8 – with guidance on using the standard method as the basis for a product claim. The new section built the framework for how to best select representative products from a product group so that similar products that are expected to perform similarly might not each need to be tested.

The committees developed a CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Self-Certification Form based on that framework, that manufacturers will fill out, sign and upload to the high performance product database for each self-certified product. The form requires that the manufacturing companies certify that the product, which may differ from the tested product in color, text or component parts, for example, is compliant with Section 01350. The process also requires that manufacturers submit to periodic audits of self-certified products to ensure compliance.

Users may then download the completed form to include with their CHPS project documentation if they wish to use that product for the low-emitting material prerequisite and/or credit.

Products Approved for Use in Low-Emitting Materials CHPS Prerequisites and Credits

Based on the July 2012 CHPS Criteria Interpretation from the CHPS Technical Committee, the following scenarios are acceptable for meeting the low-emitting materials credit EQ2.2 in CA-CHPS, the CA-CHPS 2011 Addendum for Cal Green prerequisite EQ2.0D, and low-emitting materials credits and prerequisites from other CHPS Criteria:
  • A product that is physically tested by an approved third-party, accredited Laboratory.
  • A product that is third-party certified by an approved third-party, accredited Certification Body.
  • A product that is not physically tested but is self-certified as compliant by the manufacturer based on third-party testing of a related, representative or worst-case product and for which the manufacturer has made a written emissions declaration using the CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Self-Certification form and signed by an authorized senior manager (e.g., environmental, quality, or operations manager).
The following scenario is NOT acceptable for meeting the aforementioned criteria and requirements:
  • A product that is self-declared with no third-party testing or certification referenced at all or is self-declared as compliant based on third-party testing of another product but for which there is no documentation and signed declaration regarding the extension of the claim to the product that are consistent with Sections 8.1, 8.3.1, and 8.7 of the Guidelines (shown below), and for which there is no signed CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Self-Certification form.
Self-declared products can be listed in the CHPS High Performance Product Database; however, they will be flagged with a caution flag indicating that they are not approved for use in CHPS low-emitting materials prequisites and credits.

Related Materials

Helpful How-To's

Click to download

CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Self-Certification Form (for Manufacturers)

CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Approved for Use Chart

Procedures and Standards for Product Inclusion
Version 2.0

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