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ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 - 2011(R2016) FES Test Method

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Description

This standard test method is intended for determining volatile organic compound (VOCs including aldehydes) emissions from office furniture and seating under environmental and product usage conditions that are typical of those found in office buildings.

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Scope and Limitations

1.1   This standard Test Method is intended for determining volatile organic compound (VOCs including aldehydes) emissions from office furniture and seating under environmental and product usage conditions that are typical of those found in buildings.

1.2   This standard Test Method is capable of identifying VOCs emitted and determining the emission rates for individual compounds and total VOCs that may be selected for the purpose of product certification, rating, or determination of workstation system, component, or material emission characteristics.  This method contains two separate pathways for determining conformance to acceptance criteria; the concentration approach and the emission factor approach.  The concentration approach uses product emissions data to model and predict the emission related concentration levels within one or more of three standardized office environments.  The emission factor approach uses product emissions data to determine an emission factor for a product that can be compared to conformance criteria that are based on emission factors which may be defined based on standard environments. The test method also defines three standard environments; open plan, private office and office seating (See Section 11.3.).

1.3   This standard Test Method defines standard workstation systems and their components, and describes specific procedures for specimen collection and preparation, pre-conditioning, environmental chamber testing, air sampling and analysis, data interpretation, estimation of the impact of the emissions on the VOC concentrations in a defined standard office environment, and the required contents of the laboratory report. 

1.4   This standard Test Method covers testing of complete workstation systems, individual pieces of furniture (workstation components or seating), and individual material components of furniture or partitions (fabrics, desktops, panels, etc.).  The method describes the use of emission factors determined from these items under specified environmental chamber test conditions in order to estimate the impact of VOC emissions from these items on airborne VOC concentrations in a standard office environment.

1.5   This standard Test Method does not specify or recommend limits of emission rates or concentrations in building environments, however the data obtained by using this standard Test Method can be used to determine if the furniture or seating tested meet any applicable acceptance criteria for VOC emissions established elsewhere (some example rating systems and guides for VOC acceptance criteria are listed in Appendix 1).  The standard Test Method may be used as part of a certification program(s) and/or claim verification program(s) by manufacturers or third parties.

1.6   While this standard Test Method is focused on the office environment, the principles for chamber testing can be applied to furniture used in other environments such as home offices and schools.  For some of these applications, a procedure remains to be developed for using the emission data generated to estimate the impact of the furniture on the VOC concentrations in these environments, considering the specific nature of furniture plan, occupant density, room size and ventilation conditions typically encountered in these environments. (See Section 2.3 California 2010 for an example of ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 used for school environments).

1.7   This standard test method includes a variety of optional methodologies for determining compliance such as direct scaling, use of a “power law” analytical approach, component screening, etc.  Each of these options has its own unique set of advantages and limitations (e.g., Sections 11.2 “Power Law Model”, 11.6 “Direct Scaling”, and informative Appendix 5). Users of this standard are encouraged to review each of these options and understand their use and restrictions to assure proper application of the methods contained herein.

1.8   This standard Test Method does not purport to address the safety problems associated with its use.  It is the responsibility of the user of this standard Test Method to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. This standard Test Method does not address the assessment of potential odors produced by workstation systems or their components.

1.9   Materials presented in the appendices are for information only, and are not part of this standard Test Method unless specifically referenced in the main body of this standard Test Method.  Note that some of the appendices are listed as Informative.

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