Green building certification standards

Various global and regional green building standards are currently in use. The most widely-recognized standards internationally are BREEAM, LEED and WELL, due to their long track records in the industry. In this section, you’ll find more details and learn how our products can contribute. 

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a third party certification which assesses a project’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance. 

Measured using standards developed by BRE (Building Research Establishment), a BREEAM development is a sustainable environment that helps to protect natural resources and improves the well-being of the people using it.

For paints and coatings, BREEAM focuses on indoor air quality through specification of products with low VOC content and emissions, and products with an environmental product declaration (EPD).

Paints and coatings play a role in the following BREEAM sections:


1)    BREEAM section: HEA Indoor Air Quality

Choose paints and coatings with low VOC content and emissions. Details about the VOC level can be found in the TDS of products that have been tested under the BREEAM standard. For certain products, we’ve created low emission certificates with the help of an external lab.

2)   BREEAM Section: Mat 02 - Environmental impact of construction products

Specify products with an environmental product declaration. Third party certified declarations showcase the product’s environmental performance.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system which provides a framework for efficient and cost-saving green buildings that create a healthy environment. 

LEED credits are achieved by earning points for indoor environmental quality, requiring paints to meet VOC content and emissions limits. Points are also available for products with EPDs (environmental product declarations) and products that help heat island reduction.

Paints and coatings play a role in the following LEED sections:


1)    LEED section: Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

Low-emitting materials requires paints and coatings to meet specific limits for VOC content. For projects outside of the US, the EU directive 2004/42/EC on emissions for paints can be used.

2)    LEED section: Materials and Resources (MR)

Credits are available for products with environmental product declarations. Third party certified declarations showcase the product’s environmental performance.

3)    LEED section: Sustainable Sites (SS)

Credits can be obtained when using paints and coatings with a certain solar reflectance index value for roofs, thereby supporting any heat island reduction objectives.

As the newest green building rating system to be adopted by the construction industry, the WELL Building Standard concerns the health and well-being aspects of a living and working environment. 

Operating a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of a building that can impact human health, WELL’s paints and coatings criteria relate to interior air quality, material safety and surface reflectivity.

Paints and coatings play a role in the following WELL sections:


1)    WELL section Air 04. Air Quality Part 1: Interior paint

For projects in Europe, products complying with the EU directive 2004/42/EC on emissions for paints and coatings are accepted as an alternative to the Air 04 Part 1 requirements for paint in Europe.

2)    WELL section Air 11. Basic Material Safety Part 1: Asbestos and lead restriction

Paints and coatings should be lead-free.

3)    WELL section Light 59. Surface Design Part 1: Work and learning area

Reflectivity of the surface. Ceilings should have an average LRV of 0.8 (80%) above for at least 80% of the surface. Walls must have an average LRV of 0.7 (70%) above for a minimum of 50% of the surface directly visible from regularly occupied spaces.

4)    WELL section Fitness 64. Interior Fitness Circulation Part 3: Facilitating aesthetics

WELL recognizes the value of good aesthetics and attractive use of color in places where people live and work via artworks and decorative paintwork.

Contact our businesses

For any questions you have or support you would like to receive on green building, please contact our representatives in your country

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