News Brief

Green Seal’s LEED-Compliant GS-11 Paint Standard is Back

Green Seal’s GS-11 Paint certification has been updated and can now be used to earn points in LEED v4.1.

At Greenbuild, Green Seal announced that its current paint standard, GS-11 Version 4.0 for Paints, Coatings, Stains, and Sealers, now meets LEED v4.1 low-emitting materials credit requirements, as well as those for WELL v.1 and Fitwel.

In the early days of LEED, paint only had to comply with South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) rule 1113 for VOC content (the grams per liter found on paint cans), and Green Seal GS-11 was the certification often used to show compliance.

The LEED v4.0 (launched in 2013) low-emitting materials credit requires that paints and other coatings have to meet criteria for VOC emissions as well as content (LEED v4.1 requirements are the same). Because the early versions of GS-11 did not include emission requirements, it was not a viable LEED v4.0/v4.1-compliant certification for paints, and fewer and fewer products were certified to GS-11. With no all-in-one emissions/content certifications, design teams searching for low-emitting paints had to go to the companies or other websites to find out which products met LEED criteria.

The release of GS-11 Version 4.0 means there will be a one-stop website for finding LEED-compliant paints. And the new GS-11 goes even further by adding performance metrics for various coatings and restricting the use of certain chemicals, including “carcinogens, reproductive toxins, hazardous air pollutants, preservatives that emit formaldehyde, heavy metals, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and a host of other harmful chemicals…,” according to the organization.

Currently, there are only a handful of products listed on the GS-11 website, but with clearer product guidance and a greater emphasis on performance and chemicals of concern, GS-11 might just find its way back to being the default standard for LEED-compliant paints.

Published November 1, 2021

Ehrlich, B. (2021, October 21). Green Seal’s LEED-Compliant GS-11 Paint Standard is Back. Retrieved from

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November 1, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Thank you Green Seal for pulling this current - will make so many lives easier on LEED projects!