Eco-Friendly Construction

January 1, 2011

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The construction industry joins the green building trend, urged by many factors and reasons. Foremost of these reasons is the compliance requirement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. The EPA requires builders to attain resource efficiency in construction. Painters are urged to use green coatings that reduce waste and do not release harmful pollutants into the environment.

Another reason for going green is for business improvement. Many clients are demanding green coatings and materials in construction. Furthermore, green practices within the organization accrues less operational costs — such as using less materials at work, recycling wastes, or reusing materials instead of buying new ones.

Green businesses are also good for the health of workers and customers, with less danger of inhaling toxic VOCs. Lastly, going green is very easy and requires only small steps, such as using recycled office paper, or shifting to low-VOC green coatings and finishes, or avoiding the use of plastic, and the like.

Green Coatings Preparation

Surface preparation and cleanup need to be green to start the shift towards green coatings applications. In surface cleaning, full concentrate cleaners and grease removers should be used instead of harmful trisodium phosphate-based products. Eco-friendly concentrates mix small portions with more water, using fewer chemicals as a result.

Many green coatings with low- to zero-VOC formulations can be effectively used for patching, or sealing damaged surfaces. Using good-quality tools for sanding or scraping gets the job done, and these tools last longer than ordinary tools.

Eco-Friendly Painting Application

A successful coating application is based on the correct selection of green coatings to use. The main criterion in the selection is to avoid any VOC-based formulations. Green coatings stand out in the market because of their green certifications from environmental standards certification-giving agencies. They bear the mark of Green Seal, GreenGuard, among others.

Using only the correct amount of green coatings needed by the project lessens the cost of painting. There are also less leftover paints, and less waste materials going into the community landfills.

In handling paint, a simple but green practice will be to cover the can to avoid chemicals from spreading into the area. Keeping the area clean, you shouldn’t be surprised to know, is also a green practice!

Tidying up is Greening Up

Green coatings applications observe green methods of sustainability even in the simple act of post-application cleanups. Reduction of VOCs emission in the work area occurs when, in cleaning tools and equipments, the use of cleaning solvents is avoided. Alternative cleaning methods like scraping paint off tools and immersing them in soapy water does the cleanup with less harmful effects.

There is less waste products to dispose of when using quality tools that last longer and can be reused in future projects. Any extra green coatings can also be reused for future projects, or donated to schools and the community.

Furthermore, compliance with local building code guidelines on waste classification and disposal is also a good green practice. Any waste should be sent to recycling facilities to be turned into useful products.

Going green is a wise decision for any construction business. It not only benefits the environment, but it also ensures the business’ continued survival.

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