Search form

Indoor Air Quality Certification

SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold

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.

CONTACT US

Stanley Mathuram, P.E.
Managing Director, Environmental Certification Services

616.299.1073
Email Stanley

Stephanie Blazek
Account Executive

510.452.6394
Email Stephanie

Request Information

Briefing

IAQ Transparency Increases in LEED v4

 

Program Details

Indoor Air Quality Certifications Offered by SCS

 

  • SCS Indoor Advantage - Office Furniture
  • SCS Indoor Advantage Gold - Office Furniture
  • SCS Indoor Advantage Gold - Building Materials
    Includes paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, insulation, wall coverings, furnishings and other interior products
  • FloorScore® - hard-surface flooring and flooring adhesives (a program of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute)
  • CARB Formaldehyde Compliance - composite wood products (compliance with ATCM 93120)
 
Testing and Compliance

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.

Certification Maintenance

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.

Complementary Services

In addition to certification under the SCS Indoor Air Quality 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.

Process

  1. 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.

  2. Data Collection

    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.

  3. On-site Audit

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Internal peer review

    A qualified SCS representative reviews the report, making any necessary corrections or changes before the report is sent to the client.

  6. Corrective Actions

    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.

  7. Certification Decision

    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.

  8. Certification Maintenance and Renewal

    Periodic audits as required under the standard are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.

Qualify For Credits

Depending on your product category, you may qualify for:

  • USGBC LEED 2009 credits for NC, EB, CI, CS, Healthcare, Schools, Homes:

    • EQ4.1 (adhesives and sealants)
    • EQ4.2 (paints and coatings)
    • EQ4.3 (carpet systems, flooring)
    • EQ4.5 (systems furniture, seating)
  • Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) X7.1 (low-emitting office furniture and seating)
  • Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) level® Furniture Sustainability Standard, Credits 7.6.1 and 7.6.2
  • Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) (low-emitting products)
  • California 01350 Special Environmental Requirements
  • Green Guide for Health Care
  • ANSI/GBI 01-2010 Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings
  • ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings
  • NAHB ANSI National Green Building Standard
  • HBN Pharos Project
  • State-Specific Environmental Rating Systems
  • EPA Tools for Schools Program

Benefits

SCS indoor air quality certifications provide scientific proof that your product adheres to strict emission limit requirements, with the following potential benefits:

  • Provide safer, healthier indoor environments
  • Differentiate your products
  • Qualify for leading green building credits (e.g., LEED, BIFMA, CHPS, ASHRAE, NAHB)
  • Identify continuous improvement opportunities
  • Drive supply chain innovation
  • Build market share and customer loyalty
  • Sell your products to selective markets (e.g., schools and health care facilities)

FAQs

What is the testing basis for certification?

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.

What is the difference between VOCs and TVOCs?

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.

What is the difference between VOCs and the list of California chemicals of concern?

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.

Is measuring TVOCs important?

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.

Do you test for phthalates?

Yes, although SCS indoor air quality standards do not include phthalates, SCS affiliated labs have the capacity to test for phthalates.

What is a CREL?

A CREL is a Chronic Reference Exposure Level for volatile organic compounds, as established by the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OHHEA).

Does SCS provide certification support?

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.

Certification Requirements

SCS Indoor Advantage + Formaldehyde Free

Standard

SCS EC10.3-2014 Indoor Air Quality Product Performance Standard for Building Interiors

Standard

ANSI/BIFMA M7.1- 2011 Test Method

Standard

ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 - 2011 Furniture Emissions Standard

USGBC LEED

Guidance to LEED Green Building Rating Systems

Standard

Standard Method V1.1 (CA 01350)

Indoor Advantage BrochureBrochure: IAQ Services

Learn more about our full line of IAQ certification services

Request Information