Phenol-Formaldehyde: Go Ahead and Use It

I recently received a question about whether phenol-formaldehydes would void our attempt at achieving EQc4.4, Low-Emitting Materials, Composite Wood & Agrifiber Products.

LEED allows the use of phenol-formaldehydes!

Go ahead and use as much as you like. Technically, your composite products can have urea-formaldehydes too, as long as they occur naturally and aren't added.

Mark Piepkorn of BuildingGreen had the following (must be a member to access) to say on the subject:

While... phenolic-resin panels are made with binders that contain formaldehyde, they do not release as much of the toxic compound as panels made with urea-formaldehyde binders, and they qualify for use in the LEED Rating System's composite wood credit.


Chi said...

Hi, I am a LEED AP practicing in Taiwan. We could not find any no added urea-formaldehyde products help us achieve EQ C4.4. We might need to ask our contractor to import it from US. Does any one know the manufactures? Thanks a lot.


joelmckellar said...


Not sure about the availability in Taiwan, but the GreenSpec directory (read my review here) lists 17 different products under the EQc4 credit for fiberboard and particle board.

I'm not sure exactly what product you're looking for, but I'll list a few millwork substrate product names and manufacturers for you:

PanelSource International
Columbia Forest Products
Vesta Particleboard
Timber Products Company

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on Phenol Formaldehyde in batt insulation? Again, the confusing LEED for Schools referenced standard for EQc4 is the Would you think it safe to assume that if it is OK under the LEEDv2.2 standards for composite products that it would also meet the requirements of this ultimately confusing standard for insulation?

Charles said...

Dear Chi
I was looking for information about LEED in Taiwan and I saw this blog, I have no comments but a question about LEED exam and where to take it. Im also architect practicing green building design and I have interest on knowing more about the field here in Taipei

Unknown said...

Is melamine formaldehyde permissible as well?