During Predesign and early design, identify all applicable product types to be used in the project. All interior materials on interior assemblies must be included (though some materials in these may be subject to the listed exclusions). For exterior assemblies this is done by determining which continuously sealed material or set of materials is least vapor-permeable and including all materials interior of that boundary. Note that there may be materials (such as metal cladding) that are the least vapor-permeable layer but which are not continually sealed, and should not be considered as the boundary of interior materials.
The recommended method for tracking this guideline is for an assigned team member or members to keep a running list of products and their VOC content compliance information, complete with manufacturer’s documentation. If a product category has been identified but a complaint product has not yet been selected, products may be found in the list of approved databases in the guideline requirements. Communication with manufacturers and product representatives may aid in the discovery of compliant products.
Through the design process, compile required documentation and maintain and update the list of materials. Review project documents to identify all applicable products and specify them as low- or non-emitting. Track and report all interior materials in the B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool, even those that are excluded from VOC content requirements.
For bid and construction documents preparation, verify continued selection of compliant interior materials and products to reflect guideline requirements. Provide contractor with detailed specifications to ensure that the team has the information needed to meet the B3 Guideline requirements. The design team should specifically call out compliant products and only specify allowable substitutions that also meet the guideline requirements.
Input compliant products into the B3 Tracking Tool by uploading a list of all interior materials used in the product and their method of achieving compliance or qualifying for an exemption. Note that compliance with I.2B may be documented through a Certificate of CARB Compliance from the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association or the Composite Panel Association. The absence of added methylene chloride and perchloroethylene may be determined from the MSDS for a material.
Coordinate reviews of the construction submittals to ensure that selected products meet the guideline requirements and do not exceed the allocated VOC emissions limits. All review submittals, substitution requests and changes to the construction contract should be carefully reviewed by the design team and contractor for compliance with guideline requirements.
Because meeting these guideline requirements is not typical for all construction teams and suppliers, conducting a B3 Guideline-specific preconstruction meeting to review the requirements in detail and stress their importance will aid in successful product procurement.
A Note for Suppliers, Contractors, and Subcontractors:
During construction, interior paints and coatings applied onsite represent the largest source of VOC emissions. Awareness of VOC levels in paints and coatings is a key step in ensuring the building project is sustainable, and selecting an approved paint, primer or stain is as easy as finding a compliant certification mark as listed in the guideline text. Similarly, awareness of interior adhesives and sealants applied onsite (including flooring adhesives) is also a key factor in compliance.
Carpet installation requires that the carpet, carpet cushion, and carpet adhesive all be compliant with this guideline. Installation of other floorings such as tile, masonry, cut stone, concrete, and wood require that any the flooring product and any finishes or sealers meet the same requirements as paints.
During closeout, monitor submittals and construction site to ensure that materials, products, and systems are being correctly installed to preserve project goals and objectives. Review substitutions based on performance criteria to ensure consistency and compliance with goals as represented in the drawings and specifications.
Document changes to requirements for construction that occur that may impact the provision or installation of materials, products, or components that were intended to ensure indoor air quality standards are achieved.
It is also recommended to use low- or noVOC emitting materials for products including cleaning supplies, pest management applications, minor remodeling, and maintenance associated with “churn” or standard product replacement of furnishings and finishes and to see the full benefit of lowered VOC emissions.
Retain final product compliance documentation as part of the B3 records.