Painting contractors know that paint and coatings play a crucial role in the green building trend sweeping the nation today. Because of the decline in construction brought about by the financial crisis, the green building idea is taking root and getting wider attention from construction stakeholders who not only appreciate a non-polluting and environment-friendly method of construction, but also welcome the significant cost reductions to construction projects.
The construction industry’s interest in green building projects challenges paint manufacturers and their raw material suppliers to ingeniously produce environment-friendly paint products and materials that comply with environment standards without sacrificing quality performance. The products are now populating the market, ready to be used by painting contractors in many facility projects.
Environment-Friendly Paints and Coatings
The result of paint manufacturers’ paint reformulation efforts is apparent in the wide array of green paints that painting contractors can chose from. One product is a result of many years of polymer research leading to a new and improved latex paint that eliminates the use of toxic solvents. Without the inclusion of such harmful solvents, air quality is maintained during and after painting application projects, protecting painting contractors and building tenants at the same time.
The presence of VOCs or volatile organic compounds is also a major environmental problem in regular paints. VOCs are harmful materials to the environment, polluting the air and causing health risks to humans. To address this problem, paint manufacturers make it one of their stringent goals to develop new products that contain little to zero VOCs.
Another coating innovation is the infusion of water-repellent characteristics to external coatings, resulting in a “self-cleaning” feature wherein dirt and water particles simply slide off the painted surfaces, leaving the building surface clean and impervious to soiling and the effects of the weather. The building surface remains dry and maintains its color over longer periods of time.
Green Raw Materials
Raw material suppliers have also been busy researching and formulating green materials. A new line of emulsion polymers, for instance, help paint manufacturers develop low-VOC and low-odor paints without the aid of detrimental coalescents.
As with paint manufacturers, raw material suppliers are determined to lower VOC in paints, hence a wide variation of low-VOC raw materials have emerged, from zero-formaldehyde solutions and neutral-PH wet-state preservatives, to multi-purpose additives and dry films that meet the standards for green paints.
Suppliers take VOC compliance to innovative levels with green ingredients designed for all types of coating applications, as well as shorten the application and drying time of paints, to the benefit of painting contractors and building residents. Biocidal products that contain almost zero organic solvents are also another area of enhancement, allowing paint to be manufactured more safely and easier to apply by painting contractors.
Green Building from Green Paint
Almost-zero VOC solutions that are less-harmful during paint manufacturing, application, and post-application are of paramount importance not only to paint manufacturers and raw material suppliers, but also to painting contractors, building owners and tenants. Even minute traces of VOCs must have no place in paint solutions to comply with green standards and ensure the building’s viability and sustainability.
The demand for green buildings is driving painting contractors to use only green paints and coatings. In response, paint manufacturers and their suppliers develop eco-friendly paints made out of environmentally-safe materials. These layered responses allow for a successful implementation of the green building trend to most commercial and residential facilities in the country.