Credit Spotlight: Formaldehyde Minimisation
Sick Building Syndrome emerged in the 1970s, and by the early 1990s, formaldehyde was recognised as one of the primary culprits.
A colourless, pungent gas, formaldehyde can cause watery eyes, a burning throat, rashes, headaches, nausea and breathing difficulties. In 2011, the US National Toxicology Program upgraded formaldehyde from a ‘probable’ to a ‘known’ human carcinogen.
When Green Star shot onto the market in 2003, only a limited range of products satisfied the ‘Formaldehyde Minimisation’ (IEQ-12) credit. As a result, complying with the credit incurred a significant cost premium.
IEQ-12 rewards tenancy fitouts that reduce the use of high formaldehyde emission composite wood products.
- 1 point is awarded when low formaldehyde emission (E1 limit under EN 13986:2004 OR no greater than 0.05ppm after 28 days under EN 717-1:2004) composite wood products are used
- 2 points are awarded when low formaldehyde emission (F4Star under JIS A 5905:2003) OR no composite wood products are used.
As the industry’s pursuit of Green Star benchmarks gathered pace, product manufacturers recognised the growing need for low-formaldehyde materials, and today, pursuing the IEQ-12 credit is cost neutral.
Last year, the Laminex Group chose to transition all of its raw and decorated MDF (Medium Density Fireboard) products from E1 to the even lower formaldehyde E0 as standard.
Proving that sustainability does not have to compromise design choice, this initiative has been rolled out to all Laminex Lamiwood, Decorwood, Formica Decorated Board, Trade Essentials White MDF and Craftwood.
The Laminex Group’s Marketing Manager, George Bej, has said that the transition from E1 to E0 shows the organisation’s ongoing commitment to push boundaries, challenge best practice and give building and design professionals more choice when sourcing and specifying sustainable building products.
“The implications for our customers are huge, as Green Star-rated projects deliver significant commercial and environmental benefits. We work closely with the Green Building Council of Australia to understand what is required of the products we provide to maximise Green Star credits,” he said.
In This Section
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