The Responsibility of Paint and Coatings in a Green Building

September 8, 2011

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Despite the current economic crisis that plunges the construction business ever downhill, the green building trend is taking off. Still while original building projects are in a decline, there is increasing curiosity in green building methods and materials. Facility owners want to save on building and post-building costs and have become increasingly conscious that when the facility is operational, tremendous cost-savings will come in the form of smaller utility charges and up-keep costs. Because of this mindset, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) estimates an average return on investment of 20% on green structures.

For building proprietors and occupants, cost isn’t the only advantage of a green building. Increased health and safety can also be a major benefit. The decrease of natural resources consumption needed to operate the building, as well as the smaller amount of polluting of the environment that the building is giving off, are also essential elements in sustainability.

For commercial painting contractors, the demand for greener structures cascades right down to the interest in greener paints and coatings, raising the necessity for paint and coating products that are not only providing beauty and protection, but in addition assist create an environmentally- safe atmosphere.

In response on the growing demand for environmentally-secure facility products, paint producers are redesigning their existing paint formulations and developing new paints which are eco-friendly and in compliance to environment standards and rules. Still raw material companies have been teaming up with paint makers to further advance the “green” paint technology.

A Forest of Green Paints

One product of the green trend is a latex paint reformulation to remove contaminated solvents in the manufacturing process, releasing zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxins on the environment. Another improvement in paint is known as a water-repellent external coating that prevents dirt particles from adhering on the painted surface, making cleansing and re-coating projects a lot easier and much more economical.

Raw material paint suppliers have also joined the green initiative by enhancing the properties of emulsion polymers to permit the production of low-VOC, low-odor, APE-free, UV-resistant paints without the necessity for destructive coalescent agents. Another breakthrough in coating enhancement speeds up paint application time and reduces wastage, thus lessening serious health risks to commercial painting contractors. Yet another is the development of IR reflective pigments that decrease heat transfer in surfaces, resulting in heating and cooling cost reductions.

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