Low-Emitting Materials

To reduce concentrations of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment.

Supportive of strategy goals.

Note: ranges of LEED credit points include all specialties (New Construction, etc.) within a given rating system (BDCv3, etc.); highest point total may only apply to certain specialties.

CGreen 5.504
CHPS EQ7.0 Prereq.: 2 pts.;
EQ7.1: 6 pts.
BDCv3 IEQc4.1: 1 pt.; IEQc4.2: 1 pt.
BDCv4 IEQ Low-emitting materials: up to 3 pts.
Products /
  • Concrete unit masonry

The technical structure of the LEED v3 criteria are specific to stated materials – adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings – and do not explicitly account for the absence of their use. Concrete masonry can provide indoor surfaces that do not necessarily need painting, thus no VOCs are introduced.

Under LEED v4 Emission and Content Requirements, concrete is specifically listed among products that are inherently nonemitting, and therefore are considered fully compliant without testing, if it does not include integral organic-based surface coatings or sealers.

Glazed and burnished units manufactured by Trenwyth Industries and distributed by Angelus Block are popular choices for indoor masonry surfaces. Glazed units are factory finished and are VOC-free. Trenwyth burnished units (Trendstone®, Trendstone Plus®) have a factory applied sealant with low or no VOCs.

Other precision and burnished units in high-traffic areas may benefit from a surface sealer to minimize soiling. Many water-based, low VOC products are available.

Low-Emitting Materials