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  1. New buildings 089

New buildings 089

The product group includes offices, educational buildings (schools, kindergartens and day-cares) and residential buildings such as small houses, apartments, town houses, student housing and homes for the elderly or for persons with disabilities.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is a strong tool for constructing buildings that are better choices for the environment, the climate, and the occupants. The requirements promote resource efficiency, reduced climate impact, a non-toxic circular economy and conservation of biodiversity. They also promote buildings with a good indoor climate and of a high quality.

The requirements include, among others:

  • Low energy demand (use stage) of minimum 10 % better than NZEB (near zero energy buildings).
  • Moisture control, daylight requirements and minimised exposure to harmful substances.
  • Environmental properties and health properties of chemicals used in both construction materials and chemical building products.
  • A material logbook to ensure traceability of the building components.
  • Measures to preserve and improve biodiversity at the building site.
  • Control of construction process.

Important information:

The product group New buildings (generation 4) was previously named Small houses, apartment buildings and pre-school buildings (generation 3).

    1. Start your application process by reading the criteria document and find out if your product can obtain the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. 
    2. Read your Application Guide: "New application or change" or ""Renewal" (see below)
    3. Request login credentials.
    4. Now you are ready to enter the Nordic Ecolabelling Portal.


    Please note that you may have to contact your suppliers and ask them to declare items that are included in your product. Supply them with your Application ID in the Nordic Ecolabelling Portal and direct them to the "For suppliers" tab down below. 


    Portal sign in                                             Get login credentials


    Should you wish to transfer your licence, please use this form

  • Please contact one of our national Nordic organisation offices for information about fees for this product group:

  • In the criteria document, you can read about how to document and verify compliance for each requirement. You can also find other application documents here.

  • Thank you for helping your customers finding your items, in connection with an application to obtain a Nordic Swan Ecolabel licence.

    Item is a general term for various goods and materials. For example chemicals, laminates, glass and fabrics.

    Rules for communicating declared items

    Please, declare your items in the Supply Chain Declaration Portal.

    To the Declaration Portal


    Suppliers wishing to declare items for generation 3, "Small houses, apartment buildings and buildings for schools and pre-schools" (expiration date 30 September 2024), please, follow this link to the Building Products Portal.

  • Information on the latest version of the criteria for New buildings

    (previously Small houses, apartment buildings and buildings for schools and pre-school buildings)

    4.1 ⇛ 4.2: Adjustment of criteria

    On the 27th of June 2023 the Nordic Criteria Management group decided to introduce an exemption in O35 regarding rooms for temporary group working in educational buildings.

    The 12th of September 2023 the Nordic Criteria Management group accepted a new point option for preschools in P11. The exemption in O14 and O15 for use of PU foam in Finland was extended to include balcony doors and flame-retardant PU foam. Appendix 6 has been updated accordingly.

    On the 14th of September 2023, a time limited exemption in O5 was accepted by the Process Owner Forum.

    Editorial changes and clarifications have been made in the table interpreting EU Taxonomy alignment in Chapter 2 ( and, P1, P2, P15, O21, O22, O24 and P20.

    4.0 ⇛ 4.1: Adjustment of criteria

    Adjustments have been made in the following requirements: O4, O7, O10, O12, O14, O15, O18, O19, O22, O35 and Annexes 3, 4, 6, 8,10 and 12.

    The new criteria version is called 4.1.

    4.0: New criteria generation

    Nordic Ecolabelling decided on 15 February, 2023 to adopt a new criteria generation for product group 089 New buildings (formerly Small houses, apartment buildings and buildings for schools and preschools). Version 4.0 of the criteria is valid until May 15, 2026.

    3.15 ⇛ 3.16: Adjustment of criteria and prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    On November 1st 2022 the Nordic criteria managers group decided to adjust the allowed amount of preservatives in indoor paint, requirement O18, following an adjustment in the criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolabelled indoor paint and varnish due to new classifications under REACH.
    A time-limited exemption for sebacate compounds in sealants, joints and adhesives for outdoor use was introduced in requirement O17.

    December 7th 2022 the Nordic criteria managers group decided on exemptions in requirements O16 and O17 to allow certain uses of polyurethane foam in cold weather in Finland. The allowed area of use was extended by a decision on June 6th 2023.

    On June 6th 2023 the Nordic criteria managers group decided to accept exemptions in O24 in order to harmonise the requirement with criteria generation 4.

    November 7th 2023 the Nordic criteria managersgroup decided to clarify that cultivation boxes are subject to requirement O29.

    In addition Appendix 7 is also updated.

    3.14 ⇛ 3.15: Adjustment of criteria and prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    Adjustments of the following requirements have been included in the criteria:

    • A time-limited exemption for zinc pyrithione in requirement O17
    • An extension of the time-limited exemption of the dispersant trimethylolpropane in requirement O17
    • Limit values were decided for the Faroe Islands in requirement O4, concerning the building's energy consumption 

    The validity of the criteria has also been extended by 12 months up to and including 30 September 2024.

    The new version is called 3.15.

    3.13 ⇛ 3.14: Adjustment of criteria and prolongation of the validity of the criteria

    Adjustment of requirements O12, O16, O27, O28, O29 and extension of the validity period of the criteria by 9 months up to and including 30 September 2023. The new criteria version is called 3.14.

    3.12 ⇛ 3.13: Adjustment of criteria

    Adjustment of requirements O6 and P4 of better energy class based on the Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 for combined refrigerator and freezer. The new version of the criteria is called 3.13.

    3.11 ⇛ 3.12: Adjustment of criteria

    Adjustments to the following requirements have been included in the criteria:

    • Requirement O6 Energy-efficient white goods and P4 White goods of the best energy class have been updated on the basis of the Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 for relevant products.
    • Requirement O13 Daylight: The quantity / concept Daylight supply in parallel with Daylight factor (DF) has been introduced as an alternative way of verifying the requirement.
    • Requirement O24 Surface condition on floors, ceilings and walls: Exceptions for PVC as moldings for sauna doors have been introduced.

    The adjustments are published in criteria version 3.12.

    3.10 ⇛ 3.11: Adjustment of criteria

    Adjustments to the following requirements have been included in the criteria:

    • Requirement O17: Exemption for TiO2 and TMP has been decided on due to new classification.

    The adjustments are published in criteria version 3.11.

    3.9 ⇛ 3.10: Adjustment of criteria

    Adjustments to the following requirements have been included in the criteria:

    • Requirement O4: Energy consumption of the building. The requirements for Sweden are maintained as new national energy requirements come into force.
    • Requirement O16: Classification of chemical products has been updated.

    The adjustments are published in criteria version 3.10.

    3.8 ⇛ 3.9: Adjustment of criteria

    Some adjustments have been included in the criteria:

    • Requirement O23: Kitchen-sinks have been included in the requirement.
    • Requirement O13 on daylight has been updated with the method for calculating overtemperature.
    • Furthermore, the introduction of an optional point requirement for CO2 calculation on houses in Finland.

    The adjustments are published in criteria version 3.9.

    3.7 ⇛ 3.8: Adjusting the criteria

    Some adjustments have been included in the criteria:

    • Requirements O20: D4, D5 and D6 were excluded as residues from the production of silicone polymers of 1 000 ppm each.
    • Requirement O4 has been updated for Denmark with references to the new BR18.
    • In addition, an exception specifically for Finland due to differences in fire protection rules and classification of exterior doors resistant to fire has been introduced according to EN 16034. Instead of meeting the emission limit values in the table, apartment doors erected in Finland can show that the door meets class M1.
    • A national adjustment for Norway has been introduced: Schools must comply with Sound Class C for reverberation time.

    The adjustments are published in criteria version 3.8.

    3.6 ⇛ 3.7: Adjustment and prolongation of the criteria

    Some adjustments have been included in the criteria:

    • O4: The percentages for energy consumption of the buildning for Sweden have been raised. At the same time, the two exceptions are removed for detached houses under 130 square meters and multi-family houses in southern Sweden.
    • O20: The phthalate DIUP was added to the exceptions formotion joints outdoors.
    • Appendix 7 has been updated.
    • Appendix 8 has been updated.

    Furthermore, the criteria have been prolonged with 21 months. The new versionen is 3.7 and is valid until 2022-12-31.

    3.5 ⇛ 3.6: Adjustment of the criteria

    Some adjustments and clarifications have been included in the criteria:

    • The definition of "homes for the elderly" has been clarified under "What can carry the Nordic Swan Ecolabel?".
    • O6: Product category "kitchen fan" has been removed. 
    • O6: Product category "fridges in prefabricated mini kitchens/kitchenettes" has been adopted.
    • Appendix 8 has been clarified regarding the term "power cables".
    • Appendix 9 has been updated.

    The new versionen is 3.6 and is valid until 2021-03-31.

    3.4 ⇛ 3.5: Adjustment and prolongation of the criteria

    A majority of adjustments and clarifications have been included in the criteria:

    • O24: Clarification regarding the ban on PVC inner surfaces has been clarified, including internal surface products such as moldings, doors, skirtings and interior doors.
    • Exceptions for 2-component products in operating spaces, see the definition at the end of section 4.2 "Built-in-place versus prefabricated".
    • Radon requirement O9 was clarified but the level of requirements is unchanged.
    • Daylight Requirements O13 and Appendix 5 were clarified to show how the maximum daylight factor and the risk of over-temperature must be verified.
    • In requirement O16 Classification of chemical products, exceptions were introduced so that it is possible to use acrylic flooring as compound flooring in commercial kitchens.
    • Two new point opptions were added and one point option was removed from the P10 point-score requirement. At the same time, the name of the claim changed to "Conscious Product Choice".
    • Two new appendices were introduced: Appendix 12b, which is a guide on reporting the propotion of certified wood, and Appendix 14, which provides a more detailed description of Green initiatives.
    • Requirements O16O17 and O20 have been adjusted to enable the use of naphtha-based primers for close-up assembly (low-ceilinged ceilings, green ceilings, courtyards / courtyards, terraces and the like) for motion joints outdoors and to ceiling glue.
    • Requirements O22 has been adjusted so that electrical cable conduits may contain a certain concentration of brominated flame retardents. The threshold limit values ​​are specified in the requirement and the content must be verified using ion chromatography.
    • Permenent exception for the specified brominated copolymer of butadiene and styrene in cellular insulation foam, under the conditions stated in requirement O22.
    • Requirements O25 "Windows and exterior doors of non-renewable materials" has been adjusted relating to aluminum. The definition of what is considered to be pre-consumer recycled material has been adjusted and the percentage has been changed from 30% to 40%.
    • Finland's energy requirement has been adjusted because a new regulation from the Ministry of the Environment on the energy performance of buildings came into force. And the energy requirement for Sweden as well as new energy rules came into force in BBR 25.

    In addition to the above-mentioned adjustments to the criteria, there has been a prolongation by 12 months to March 31, 2021. The new version is called 3.5.

    3.3 ⇛ 3.4: Alteration of criteria

    On 9 October 2017, the Nordic Critera Management Group decided on the following minor adjustments in the criteria:

      • O17: An exeption regarding the substance glyoxal (Cas-no 107-22-2) up to maximum 100 ppm in the final product if the pH-value exceeds pH8 in the final product.
      • O20: Primers to expansion joints outwardly on the building may contain up to 15% by weight of volatile aromatic compounds. The exeptions for tin organic catalysts in the requirement are adjusted to bebased on the content in the hardener system. Two different levels are determined. A lower (0.2%) in polyurethane based products and a higher (0.5%) in products of silicone, MS-polymer, and epoxy polymer.
      • O26: The requirement is completed with an exemption for copper in domestic waterpipes in service areas such as substations, machine rooms, electricity centresand similar areas.
      • O28: The requirement is completed with curtain walls and underlay on roofs to the bullet list of wooden construction parts to be in certified wood raw materialfrom Chain of Custody certifed suppliers.
        • O3: The point sum to be achieved was loweered for all building types, but only for Finland. The reason is that Ecolabelled construction products are available to a lower extent in Finland, which makes it more difficult to achieve points.
        • O4 and Appedix 4: Completed with the regulation BEN 1 from the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.
        • O10: Some clarifications are made in requirement O10 Moisture prevention.
        • O15: Text in italics is removed  since it has been experienced as confusing.
        • O22: Jointing strips, tape and similar sealing products have been subject to our requriement and are used in a pretty large extent. Thus the bullet under Triviality limit and Appendix 8 are adjusted.
        • P5: 1 point for thermostatic mixers with shower in energy class B is introduced.
        • P11: The envelope text is removed and the envelope refers to requirement O28 instead.
        • O12 Noise Environment (solely applies to pre-school and school buildings)To compensate for differences in the noise standards the requirement is adjusted for Denmark, Norway and Finland in the following way:  reverberation and one additional parameter must fulfill noise class B. All other parameters shall fulfill noise class C. At the same time, the reference for Denmark is changed to "Trafik- og Byggestyrelsens vejledning  om lydbestemmelser (Akustisk Indeklima)".
        • O22 Excluded substances in construction products, construction goods and materials: Due to residual momomer levels in raw matrerial and also in final product (insulation material) an exception to the general  rule that impurities are not allowed to exceed 100 ppm is necessary. I In EPS and XPS insulation material manufactured by polystyrene, residues of styrene monomer are allowed in maximum l000 ppm in the  polystyrene (i.e in the raw material).
        • O28: An exception to the general rule that suppliers shall be Chain of Custody Certified has been introduced in requirement O28. A non Chain of Custody certified supplier can be approved, provided that the supplier can garantee that the wood raw material is purchased from a Chain of Custodu certified wood raw material  supplier which can prove that the wood raw mateiral fulfills the Nordic Ecolabelling requirements.
        • O13 Daylight: Pre-schools situated on the ground floor in apartment buildings where the daylight is restricted by the surrounding, can as an alternative fulfill the daylight factor requirement in the relevant country's building code.
        • The new version is called 3.2 and is valid until 2020-03-31.
        • O16 Classification of chemical products: The exception makes it possible to use chemical anchors  classified H400, in installation of reinforcing bars in concrete constructions in apartment buildings.
        • O 22 Excluded substances in construction products, construction goods and materials: The exception makes it possible to use foam insulation protected with the flame retardant butadien styrene brominated copolymer, if certain conditions are fulfilled. The excetion is limited to 31 December 2017.
        • The energy requirement O4 has been completed with an alternative way to fulfil the requirement. The applicant can either relate the energy use of the building to the earlier building regulation or to the new regulation which has come  into force in Denmark and Sweden. Due to this, requirement O8, O42 and P1 are also adjusted.
        • CLP classification rules in requirement O15, O16 and O20 and Appendix 5 are introduced.
        • The restriction on antimony trioxide to apply to concentrations of antimony trioxide exceeding 1 weight percent in the building products has been adjusted.
        • A clarification regarding boron compounds in requirement O17, O21, appendix 5 and appendix 6 was introduced.
        • An exemption for driers (less than 0.3 %) in paints that contain alkyd based binders was also made.
        • A clarification has been made stating that the ban on chromium only regards chromium (VI). Requirements O17 and O21 are now harmonized.
        • O27: The formaldehyde criterium has been harmonized with the Nordic Ecolabel criteria for Panels for the building, decorating and furniture industry and also for furniture. This means that the highest allowed value will be 0, 124 mg formaldehyde/m3 air for MDF boards.
        • The more stringent level will come into force on July 1st, 2014.
        • O8: O8, "Individual measurement of energy", is complemented by the following exception: An exemption is made for hot water consumption in extensions to existing buildings, where it is not technically feasible to install a system for individual measurement due to existing pipes. The qualification for the exemption is that one of the measurements described in P2 are installed and that an energy saving of 25% or more, based on the hot water consumption is achieved. 1 point will then be reduced from P2.

    At the same time the text in requirement O2O14 and P11 were clearified. The introductory texts in sections 4.2 Chemical product and "The following is valid forconcrete and cement" were also clearified. The clearification of text implies no change in requirement level but only to increase the clarity.

    Appendices 6, 7 and 9 have been corrected accordingly.

    In addition to the above-mentioned adjustments to the criteria, they have been extended by 12 months to March 31, 2021. The new version is called 3.5.

    3.3 ⇛ 3.4: Alteration of criteria

    The new version is called 3.4 and is valid until 2020-03-31.

    3.2 ⇛ 3.3: Alteration of criteria

    The new version is called 3.3 and is valid until 2020-03-31.

    3.1⇛ 3.2: Alteration of criteria

    3.0⇛ 3.1: Alteration of criteria

    Two adjustments were introduced:

    3.0: New criteria generation

    Version 3.0 of Nordic Ecolabel's criteria for small houses, apartment buildings and pre-school buildings were decided on March 9th, 2016. Version 3.0 of the criteria is valid until March 30th, 2020.

  • In the background document below you will find reasoning and facts behind the specific requirements in the criteria document.

    Here you can also read the comments, requirement for requirement, from the public hearing.

    If the documents are in a Nordic language, you can get help in understanding the sections you need by contacting the product specialist in your chosen country below.

  • The previous criteria generation 3, "Small houses, apartment buildings and buildings for schools and pre-schools", will expire on the 30 of September 2024.

    More information can be found at our national Nordic organisations websites: