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Building Products January 2018

SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS PAINTING THE WAY TO SUSTAINABILITY With such a variety of paints available that claim sustainable benefits, it can be difficult to specify an appropriate solution. Here, Duncan Lochhead, commercial sustainability manager at Dulux Trade, discusses the key factors to take into account to ensure an excellent standard of finish without compromising on environmental credentials. To minimise the environmental impact of a project, it has long been considered best practice to specify paint products that have lower Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and embodied carbon levels – such as water based paints. Higher VOC solvent based products, such as traditional gloss, can negatively affect indoor air quality, which can have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Lower VOC products are better for indoor air quality and reduce odour, which can be incredibly important when helping spaces to be occupied and decorated faster. For a long time, water based paints have been used for walls and ceilings but recently, high performing water based gloss and satin finishes for woodwork and metal have been introduced into the market. Specifiers should particularly look to use these new products on projects that need to comply 62 BUILDING PRODUCTS | JANUARY 2018 with market leading environmental assessment methods such as: • BREEAM: The most widely used environmental assessment method in the UK • SKA Rating: Provides environmental assessment – particularly for the Fit Out sector • WELL Building Standard: Assesses how buildings perform from a perspective of the occupants’ health and wellbeing. Reputable manufacturers should also be able to demonstrate a robust approach to responsible sourcing. The BES 6001 accreditation, developed by the BRE and audited through third party assessment, helps specifiers to identify construction products that have been made with constituent materials that are ethically and responsibly sourced. Furthermore, specifiers can determine the detailed sustainable credentials of a paint product by reviewing its Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certificate. These documents provide comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products and can help attract additional credits in environmental standards. Choose the right product When developing a paint scheme, specifiers should be aware that the formulation and performance abilities of a paint product will greatly affect the sustainability of a project. As such, careful attention should be paid to both the formulation and finishes of products. Paint products that require fewer coats or have a greater spreading rate, without compromising the opacity, are ideal. This not only helps to reduce the amount of paint used but can also help to reduce labour costs. However, when specifying the type of paint, particular attention should be paid to the fundamental requirements of a project. For


Building Products January 2018
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