Certify that your products support a healthy indoor environment by meeting the strict indoor air quality (IAQ) chemical emission limits of SCS' Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold programs. Manufacturers of certified furniture, finishes and interior building materials enjoy a distinct advantage in the marketplace, backed by independent scientific analysis. SCS also certifies hard surface flooring and flooring adhesives for the RFCI FloorScore® program.
Certification helps you build brand loyalty, demonstrating that you are providing a safer, healthier indoor environment for your customers. It also qualifies for LEED low-emitting materials credits, complies with ANSI/BIFMA X7.1/M7.1, meets CA 01350, and sets you up to achieve the highest possible PHAROS score under the Healthy Building Network.
SCS indoor air quality certification programs are compliant to CA 01350 and ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 test methods. These test methods adhere to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Practice D5116 for small-scale chamber product testing and ASTM Practice D6670 for full-scale chamber testing. The test methods determine individual volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions based on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's (OEHHA) Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs), ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 and ANSI/BIFMA e.3 VOCs of concern.
Product compliance is determined by using the reported emission factors calculated during laboratory testing and applying standard modeling parameters for office, classroom, and/or residential environments. In addition to testing, audits of quality management procedures and facility sites are required to complete the assessment process.
Annual product testing is required, as well as verification of continued compliance of a manufacturer's quality management system with SCS Indoor Air Quality Performance Standard, EC10.2-2007.
In addition to certification under the SCS Recycled Content program, SCS provides Responsible Source certification for carpet (NSF 140) and furniture (BIFMA level®). SCS is also an accredited certifier under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for forest products derived from responsibly harvested forests.
Apply for Certification
Complete and submit an SCS Application Form. SCS scopes the project based on information provided in the application and prepares a proposal for your approval with a suggested timeline and quote. Once you approve the proposal, you sign a Work Order. An SCS account manager is be assigned to guide you through the certification process.
An SCS technical coordinator helps you assemble preliminary data that will be submitted to SCS. SCS reviews the product data, corporate documentation, manufacturing process, product formulation, testing, etc., and assesses your readiness for an audit. Once sufficient data is collected, an auditor is assigned.
The auditor conducts an on-site audit to evaluate your data. The auditor interacts with your technical staff to clarify and obtain any additional information that might prove essential to reaching an accurate supportable evaluation.
Draft Assessment Report
The auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, which includes data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement.
Internal peer review
A qualified SCS representative reviews the report, making any necessary corrections or changes before the report is sent to the client.
You respond to any non-conformities with a Corrective Action Plan. You may also make comments and responses to the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.
SCS conducts a final technical review of the assessment report and makes the final certification decision. If certification is granted, SCS issues the certificate and final report to your facility or operation. Once certified, your company is listed in the Green Products Certificate Database on the SCS website.
Certification Maintenance and Renewal
Periodic audits as required under the standard are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.
Depending on your product category, you may qualify for:
USGBC LEED 2009 credits for NC, EB, CI, CS, Healthcare, Schools, Homes:
EPA Tools for Schools Program
SCS indoor air quality certifications provide scientific proof that your product adheres to strict emission limit requirements, with the following potential benefits:
The basis of all SCS Indoor Air Quality claims is the California Standard Method for VOC Emissions Testing and Evaluation (Standard Method V1.1), otherwise known as CA Section 01350.
VOC (volatile organic compound) reporting usually refers to emission levels of individual VOCs. TVOCs refers to total VOC emissions. It is possible for a TVOC number to mask an individual VOC emission that exceeds its safe limit.
VOCs are an expansive and ubiquitous class of chemicals that are transmitted through air. VOCs are both man-made and naturally occurring. The California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) maintains an active list of VOCs. The California chemicals of concern are the approximately 3000 chemicals covered by a regulation under development by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. The regulation is not yet in effect.
Yes, a TVOC measurement can provide a valuable indication that there may be an excessive level of VOC emissions present. However, it does not reveal individual VOC levels that may be individually excessive, despite an acceptable TVOC test result.
Yes, although SCS indoor air quality standards do not include phthalates, SCS affiliated labs have the capacity to test for phthalates.
A CREL is a Chronic Reference Exposure Level for volatile organic compounds, as established by the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OHHEA).
SCS provides ongoing program support, including on-going staff assistance, marketing and promotional support, and information about new or revised requirements. Certified clients will receive information about the logo approval system and use of SCS trademarks for both on-product and off-product promotions.
SCS guidance for becoming IAQ certified
SCS Indoor Advantage + Formaldehyde Free
SCS EC10.2-2007 Indoor Air Quality Performance
ANSI/BIFMA M7.1- 2011 Test Method
ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 - 2011 Furniture Emissions Standard
LEED Green Building Rating Systems
Standard Method V1.1 (CA 01350)
SCS EC10.2-2007 Indoor Air Quality Performance, Addendum