Testing Services for Furniture
Berkeley Analytical tests office furniture products to demonstrate compliance to ANSI/BIFMA furniture VOC emission and sustainability standards and for regulatory requirements:
- Testing of seating, workstations, collaborative furniture and components by ANSI/BIFMA M7.1, Standard Test Method for Determining VOC Emissions from Office Furniture Systems, Components and Seating using small-scale and mid-scale chambers
- Assessment of VOC emissions according to:
- ANSI/BIFMA X7.1, Standard for Formaldehyde and TVOC Emissions of Low-emitting Office Furniture and Seating
- ANSI/BIFMA e3, Furniture Sustainability Standard, Sections 7.6.1, 7.6.2 and 7.6.3
- Quality control and odor evaluation testing by ASTM D5116 and ASTM D6670
- Small-scale chamber testing of composite woods for formaldehyde emissions by ASTM D6007 and EN 16516
- Testing furniture and components for content of phthalate esters and Tris flame retardants for:
- Compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for children’s products
- Assessment of labeling requirements for California Proposition 65
- ANSI/BIFMA e3, Section 7.5, Reduction/Elimination of Chemicals of Concern
USGBC LEED v4 EQ Credit: Low-Emitting Materials
Compliance to LEED v4 EQ Credit: Low-Emitting Materials for furniture is determined based on Sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2 of ANSI/BIFMA e3. Section 7.6.1 is identical to the requirements in the X7.1 standard. Section 7.6.2 has acceptance criteria for individual VOCs that mostly follow the criteria in CDPH Standard Method V1.2.
For LEED v4, Option 1 Product Category Calculations, 90% or more by cost of all furniture in the project must be compliant to earn credit for the furniture category. For Option 2, Budget Calculation Method, furniture contributes to the total percent of interior products that are compliant. In both options, the percentage of compliant furniture is equal to the sum of 0.5 times the cost compliant with Section 7.6.1 and the cost compliant with Section 7.6.2, and this sum is divided by the total cost with the result expressed as a percentage. The sum is truncated not to exceed 100%.
For LEED v4.1, 75% of all furniture in the project by cost must meet ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 plus ANSI/BIFMA e3 Section 7.6.2 to receive full credit. If 75% or more by cost is only compliant with the basic criteria in Section 7.6.1, one-half credit is earned.
View our product sampling guide for furniture that summarizes the requirements for samples to be tested for VOC emissions.
BIFMA level™ Certification
BIFMA operates the level™ certification program based on the ANSI/BIFMA e3, Furniture Sustainability Standard. Manufacturers can earn valuable product related points by testing their products for VOC emissions by M7.1 and demonstrating compliance to e3 Sections 7.6.1, 7.6.2 and 7.6.3. BIFMA authorizes third-party certifiers (TPCs) for level™. Berkeley Analytical provides testing services for manufacturers seeking level™ certification with the SCS Global Services TPC program.
Formaldehyde Emission Regulations
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) composite wood ATCM establishes mandatory formaldehyde emission limits and labeling requirements for composite wood products sold, supplied, or used in California. The U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI regulation extends the same formaldehyde emission limits to the entire U.S. market. These regulations apply to furniture goods containing hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. Every member of the supply chain is legally accountable.
BkA assists furniture manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers with concerns about compliance with the CARB ATCM Phase 2 and U.S. EPA TSCA Title VI limits for formaldehyde emissions. Guidance for creating cost-effective quality control testing programs is provided. Chamber tests are conducted using the CARB-designated secondary method, ASTM D6007. Finished goods are deconstructed using the CARB SOP to evaluate compliance of core materials.
BkA also helps the furniture industry address the new formaldehyde emission regulation recently established by Germany. These new requirements are based on testing following EN 16516 and apply broadly to unfinished composite wood, wood veneer products, and finished goods. The emission limit is numerically the same as was previously in force for formaldehyde emission class E1 at 0.1 parts-per-million (i.e., 100 parts-per-billion which is equivalent to 120ug/m3 at typical indoor conditions). However, in EN 16516, the chamber is operated at 0.5 air changes per hour and a high loading of 1.8 square meters of exposed material surface per cubic meter of chamber volume is specified for regulatory testing. A chamber concentration of 120 ug/m3 at these conditions is equivalent to an area-specific emission rate of only 33 ug/m2-h.