Coastal Custom Products

Understanding CARB Certification in Building Materials

Welcome to Coastal Custom Products (CCP), where innovation and eco-friendliness meet quality in the realm of building materials.
In today’s blog post, we’re diving into an essential topic that concerns our valued target audience – building materials suppliers, architects, designers, and builders. Understanding CARB (California Air Resources Board) certification is crucial for anyone in the construction industry, and we’re here to shed light on this important aspect.

What is CARB Certification?

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is a regulatory agency that focuses on air quality and environmental protection.
In the construction industry, CARB certification primarily pertains to controlling formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products used in various applications, such as plywood, particleboard, and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard).

Why is CARB Certification so important?

Health and Safety

CARB-certified products are tested to ensure they meet strict emission standards. This is crucial for indoor air quality, as high formaldehyde emissions can have adverse effects on health, leading to respiratory problems and other ailments. Architects, designers, and builders all share a responsibility to create safe and healthy living and working environments, and CARB certification plays a significant role in achieving this.

Compliance with Regulations

Many regions, not just California, have adopted CARB-like regulations to control formaldehyde emissions. Understanding CARB certification ensures that you stay compliant with these regulations, helping you avoid legal complications and penalties.


For those who value eco-friendly construction, CARB certification is a green choice. Low-emission building materials are better for the environment, and this aspect is of growing importance to architects, designers, and builders who want to create sustainable structures.

CARB Certification Steps Overview

Manufacturers wishing to certify for the first time must register with CARB and must submit any changes to registration items thereafter. Registration requirements are outlined in the New Manufacturers Checklist.
Each registered manufacturer is assigned a staff engineer to coordinate with in regards to certification, including applications, meetings, and questions. CARB is available for in-person meetings, teleconferences, and webcast meetings.

Application Steps

Certification Fees

The certification fee invoice must be submitted with the application before the application review process can begin. Please review the details on the certification fee webpage. .

Submission of Applications

All applications must be submitted to the eFILE and the E-Cert Certification System (E-Cert), once operational. Information submitted via other means is viewed as informal only.

Carryover Applications

Carryover applications are reviewed normally, except that Full and Partial Carryovers are processed in an expedited manner. For more information, see the Streamlined Carryover Template.

Preliminary Staff Review

Within 30 days of submission, CARB will notify the manufacturer that the application has been received and whether the information submitted is sufficient to proceed to a full, detailed review.

Full Staff Review

When CARB determines that an application is sufficiently complete, the manufacturer will be notified that the application is “Accepted for Filing”, and a detailed review will be initiated.
Manufacturers may update applications during this review and must do so if any changes occur to the design or production process.

Peer and Management Review

If the full review completes successfully, the application will be marked as “Reviewed” and will then be reviewed by another staff engineer and by management.
This review will verify the determination of the assigned staff engineer, and usually completes in a short time; though, it is impossible to predict how long in advance.

Final Decision

When all review is complete, a final decision will be made – to approve or disapprove. Approvals may be issued an Executive Order, as needed.

How to Identify CARB-Certified Materials

Look for the Label

CARB-certified products are usually labeled as such. When sourcing building materials, suppliers should make sure to provide labeled materials to architects, designers, and builders. These labels specify the product’s compliance with CARB regulations.

Verify with the Supplier

When dealing with building materials suppliers, don’t hesitate to ask for documentation or proof of CARB certification. A reputable supplier like CCP will readily provide this information to ensure transparency and trust.

The Benefits of CARB Certification

Enhanced Indoor Air Quality

Architects and designers can create healthier indoor spaces by choosing CARB-certified materials.

Legal Compliance

Builders can avoid legal issues by using compliant materials, while suppliers ensure their offerings meet regulations.


CARB certification aligns with eco-friendly construction practices, making it a key factor for environmentally conscious professionals.


In the construction industry, understanding CARB certification is vital for building materials suppliers, architects, designers, and builders. It ensures the health and safety of occupants, compliance with regulations, and the promotion of sustainability. As you embark on your construction projects, remember to choose CARB-certified materials, as they represent the future of responsible and eco-friendly building practices.
At Coastal Custom Products (CCP), we take pride in offering a wide range of CARB-certified building materials to cater to your needs. Contact us to explore our selection of innovative, eco-friendly, and high-quality materials that can elevate your construction projects to new heights. Your success is our priority, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Check out CARB Certified Companies

Braspan Brazilian company specializing in the production and distribution of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) products. They are one of the leading company in the MDF industry, offering a range of products such as raw MDF boards, laminated MDF boards, and specialty MDF products.
Florian a diversified company operating in various sectors, including real estate, finance, hospitality, and technology. They focus on creating value through strategic investments, development projects, and innovative solutions across their portfolio of businesses.
The Composite Panel Association (CPA) an organization representing manufacturers of composite wood panels in North America. They advocate for the industry’s interests, provide technical resources, promote sustainability, and offer educational programs related to composite panel products.
Benchmark International a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm specializing in helping business owners with the sale, acquisition, or valuation of their companies. They provide personalized services to clients worldwide, facilitating successful transactions across various industries.
PFS TECO a leading provider of testing, inspection, certification, and consulting services primarily serving the wood products industry. They offer expertise in structural engineering, product testing, quality assurance, and code compliance for manufacturers, builders, and regulatory agencies.

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