Building products can release both gaseous and water-soluble substances, especially if they are in contact with rainwater. While gaseous substances primarily affect the well-being of people indoors, the release of water-soluble substances mainly affects the durability of building products and can have a negative impact on the environment. The European Construction Products Regulation governs the release of substances into indoor air as well as into soil and groundwater.
Gaseous emissions from building products are classified as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). In order to protect consumers from health hazards, proof of suitability must be supplied for certain building products intended for indoor use (Draft Model Administrative Rules – Technical Building Regulations, Annex 8). Low-emission building products also bear further eco-labels:
Fraunhofer IBP is an accredited testing laboratory according to DIN EN ISO 17025. It is also an approved test center in compliance with Art. 43 of the Construction Products Regulation for determining emissions into indoor air according to DIN EN 16516, as well as for measuring emissions and analyzing odors.
When in contact with water, substances can be released from built-up areas, e.g. from plaster, mortar, roofing membranes, etc., and discharged into the soil, groundwater and surface water. For many of these substances, such as e.g. biocides and heavy metals, concentration limits are stated in legal regulations or guidelines. The nature and quantity of the released substances can be determined either in field tests under real weather conditions or under standardized laboratory conditions. The weathering process of materials can also be accelerated if required. The environmental compatibility of building products is tested exclusively in the laboratory. These results are then fed into calculation models. If desired, analysis methods can also be adapted in order to meet specific customer demands.