• Cafe Style Area
  • Test Methods

  • Environmental Chamber Testing

    All products for indoor air quality (IAQ) performance are tested in dynamic environmental chambers following defined methods developed for specific product types. Other specific GREENGUARD test methods are available for electronic equipment and cleaning products and systems. These methods, and others used by the GREENGUARD Certification programs, follow guidance of ASTM Standards D5116 and D6670, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) testing protocol for furniture, the state of Washington's protocol for interior furnishings and construction materials, Germany's Blue Angel programs, California’s Department of Public Health Services (CDPH) Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 and the ISO 16000 environmental testing series.

    Products are tested in dynamic environmental chambers where air flow is modeled to simulate actual product use. Measurements for chemical and particle emissions are taken at intervals during testing. Most building materials and furnishings are required to meet allowable emission levels within 7 to 14 days of installation. Other products and processes, including operating electronics and cleaning systems, must meet allowable levels during actual use or the application process.

    Microbial resistance testing of products follows a specific static chamber test where products are challenged with environmental mold and the rate of growth is measured and quantified.

    Exposure Modeling

    Measured emission levels are converted by calculation to air concentrations representing what a person will actually breathe. These concentrations are determined based on expected use of the product, amount of product, its application process and the indoor building conditions, including building volume and fresh air exchange rate. Air concentrations are based on the product being used in a single occupancy room with outdoor air ventilation based on ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, or the USEPA’s recommended exposure factors for residential applications. Maximum allowable emission levels in air concentrations are consistent with those required by the state of Washington's indoor air quality program for new construction, the USEPA's procurement specifications, the recommendations from the World Health Organization, Germany's Blue Angel Program, LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) and LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). Office furniture products meeting these allowable emission levels automatically meet the requirements of LEED-CI - credit 4.5 and the ANSI/BIFMA X7.1-2007 industry conformance standard. When multiple emission levels are recommended for products, the lesser, or more stringent, is used as the acceptable emission value for GREENGUARD Certification. The specific room model for this program is presented as a “Single Room Exposure Model.”


    All test methods are publicly available. These include the following:

    GREENGUARD Certification Program Method For Measuring Microbial Resistance From Various Sources Using Static Environmental Chambers

    GREENGUARD Certification Program Method For Measuring And Evaluating Chemical Emissions From Cleaners And Cleaning Maintenance Systems Using Dynamic Environmental Chambers

    GREENGUARD Certification Program Method for Measuring and Evaluating Chemical and Particle Emissions From Electronic Equipment Using Dynamic Environmental Chambers

    GREENGUARD Certification Program Method for Measuring and Evaluating Chemical Emissions From Building Materials, Finishes and Furnishings