Indoor Air Quality Certification

For Furniture and Building Materials

What is Indoor Air Quality Certification?

Certify your interior products for low VOC emissions with the most transparent indoor air quality (IAQ) standard for furniture and building materials. The Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold standard aligns with both ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and X7.1, and CA 01350. It is recognized by the EPA and GSA, and qualifies for many building rating systems, including LEED v4.1, BREEAM, WELL Building, and Living Building Challenge.

Why Choose SCS?

SCS Indoor Advantage testing is done through independent laboratory partners that are accredited to the highest quality standards available, ISO 17065 and ISO 17025 respectively. Our program leverages thousands of material and furniture test results and a decade of experience in the industry to reduce unnecessary laboratory testing.

Qualifies as an EQ credit for low-emitting material under USGBC LEED, WELL Building, Living Building Challenge, CHPS, BREEAM, Green Globes, IgCC, ASHRAE 189.1, NAHB National Green Building Standard, Green Star, Estidama Pearl Rating System, and other green building rating systems and programs.


  • Process
  • Benefits
  • FAQs
  • Program Documents
  1. Apply for Certification
    • SCS scopes the project and prepares a proposal and work order with a timeline and quote.
    • Upon client approval and signing of the work order, an SCS auditor is assigned to guide client through the certification process.
  2. Data Collection and Review
    • An SCS auditor will work with client to collect product data, corporate quality documentation, manufacturing process, product formulation, previous product testing, etc.
    • Once sufficient data is collected, the SCS auditor evaluates your product(s) and determines a sample plan.
  3. Product Testing
    • A product is submitted to an SCS-approved lab for testing to ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and/or CDPH Standard Method V1.2 2017 (California Section 01350).
  4. Corrective Actions
    • The SCS auditor issues a summary report for any conformance issues found.
    • Client responds with corrective actions, and may also comment and respond to the information contained in the report and auditor’s conclusions.
  5. Reporting
    • Auditor prepares a draft Assessment Report detailing the audit findings, including data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement.
  6. Certification Decision
    • An SCS reviewer conducts a final review of the Assessment Report and makes the certification decision.
    • If certification is granted, SCS issues to the client the certificate and final report.
    • Client is listed in the SCS Green Products Guide, and is granted the right to use the approved Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold logo, consistent with SCS guidelines.
    • SCS can also provide client marketing support.
  7. Certification Maintenance and Renewal
    • Annual desk reviews of the quality system and product performance are required and are conducted to maintain certification.
    • Any renewal testing required will be confirmed by the auditor during the evaluation process.
  • Qualify for: BREEAM International, BREEAM UK, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Green Globes, Green Guide for Health Care 2.2, LEED v4.1, WELL Building Standard, and more.
  • Recognized by the GSA and EPA
  • Streamlined and responsive service from an experienced certification team
  • No license and administration fees
  • Flexibility in categorizing products
  • Risk-based testing methods used to identify the worst case product category formulation or material assembly
  • Independent laboratories eliminate potential conflict of interest and unnecessary testing
  • Multiple approved laboratories located worldwide for manufacturers’ convenience
  • Provide options to customers to promote healthier work, school, hospital, and home environments by conforming to California Section 01350

What types of products are eligible for certification?

SCS Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold – Furniture

  • Includes all types of interior office, healthcare, and classroom furniture

SCS Indoor Advantage Gold - Building Materials

  • Includes interior building materials such as architectural coatings, paints, sealants, adhesives, wall coverings, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, and wall paneling used in public and commercial office buildings, schools, medical buildings, single-family residences, and other building types.

What does it take to get certified?

Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold products must undergo an evaluation process, which includes a review of the product’s formulation and the manufacturing site’s document control system, and product’s emissions testing.

What VOCs are tested for the Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold emissions test?

Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold tests for 35 individual Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) specified by the California Standard Method for VOC Emissions Testing and Evaluation (Standard Method V1.2), otherwise known CA Section 01350.

In addition, furniture products are also assessed for compliance according to the ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standard, Credits (7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3), which is a similar list to the CA Section 01350, with additional compounds such as 1-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidinone.

What is the difference between the CARB and Indoor Advantage certifications?

The regulatory formaldehyde emissions requirements per the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM 93120) and the EPA Formaldehyde Rule applies solely to formaldehyde emissions from composite wood panel products (e.g. MDF, particleboard, hardwood plywood (veneer or composite core).

The voluntary green building indoor air quality certification of Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage Gold applies to finished furniture products and building materials tested for 35 individual VOC emissions (including formaldehyde).

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

The US EPA defines VOCs as “any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions." VOC gases are emitted from certain solids or liquids, and include a variety of organic chemicals, some of which may have short-term and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.

Do you test for phthalates?

The Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold standard is a VOC emission based standard for indoor air quality and does not include phthalates within its scope because it is not considered an emission source when manufactured in products like furniture. Primary exposure concerns for phthalates occur through ingestion, such as with toys or plastic bottles. Manufacturers may choose to have products tested for phthalate content at a qualified lab.

Can SCS tell me a product’s VOC emissions profile that I plan to purchase?

A client’s emissions results for products are confidential. SCS’ may not disclose or distribute confidential data on the client’s behalf. For specific emissions data requests, you may contact the manufacturer directly.

Where can I find certified Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold products?

The SCS Green Products Guide has a complete and searchable list of all Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certified products.

How much does Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification cost?

The cost of Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification is determined by the specific scope of products and operations to be assessed.

Does SCS provide private label Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification for distributors?

Yes, SCS will work with the distributors and the Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certified manufacturers to undergo private label certification. 

I use an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to manufacture my products. Can I still qualify for Indoor Advantage/Indoor Advantage Gold certification?

  1. Encourage your manufacturer to become Indoor Advantage certified and then apply for a private label certification.
  2. Pursue certification and use the OEM as your product manufacturing site.

Does SCS provide certification support?

SCS provides on-going program support, including staff assistance, marketing and promotional support, and information about new or revised requirements. Certified clients will receive information about the logo use guidelines for both packaging and marketing purposes.

Does SCS provide marketing support?

As part of the certification package, our team provides marketing support and education to your sales team to help promote your successful certification.

Why is third-party certification important?

Third-party certification assures customers that a product’s environmental claims have been validated by a qualified, independent, and objective organization. All products are measured against the same criteria, making product comparisons possible. Third-party certification encourages transparency and builds trust among consumers.

Can I keep my lab report?

Yes. All results reported by the lab for certification are distributed to both SCS and the client.

What is the relationship between SCS Global Services and its scientific partners?

SCS is a third-party certification body who partners with experts in the field of indoor air quality. As a chartered Benefit Corporation, SCS reflects its corporate commitment to creating a material positive impact on society and the environment, and takes into account the impact of its efforts on workers, the community, the environment, and shareholders.

SCS has formed relationships with its approved laboratories who are leaders in indoor air quality and product testing. Our laboratory partners include: Berkeley Analytical Associates, MAS, TUV Rheinland – Hong Kong, Eurofins, and Eco-INSTITUT.

SCS has strong industry networks with leading green building experts, such as BIFMA, RFCI, ILFI, Well Building Institute, and CHPS, who have provided feedback and review of SCS standards.

File Name Document
BIFMA e.3-2019e Standard Visit Site
BIFMA M7.1 Standard Visit Site
BIFMA X7.1 Standard Visit Site
California Department of Public Health Indoor Air Quality Program Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers Version 1.2 (2017) Visit Site
CDPH Standard Visit Site
Indoor Advantage Brochure English
LEED Green Building Rating Systems Visit Site

Apply Now

Ready to start the process? Complete an Application.

Timothy Whatley