As technology advances in the world of Green Building, many products that used to be cost prohibitive have suddenly become affordable alternatives. Low and zero VOC, (volatile organic compound), paints are now a standard feature in my projects as the quality and affordability are par with conventional paints and finishes.
A little about Volatile Organic Compounds.
VOC’s are commonly used in the manufacturing of construction products and can off gas for long after they are applied in the home. Formaldehyde is just one example of a commonly used VOC and can be found in adhesives made to manufacture carpets and underlayment, vinyl flooring, cabinets, trim, and some engineered lumber products.
The 2 most common forms of formaldehyde are Urea formaldehyde which is the less preferable in regards to indoor air quality. And Phenol Formaldehyde which is roughly 4-10% as volatile as Urea Formaldehyde and is most often found in exterior products.
Formaldehyde is a potent mucous membrane irritant and is listed as a known human carcinogen.
Did You Know That
Installing flooring materials like hardwood and tile can slightly reduce energy consumption by absorbing the radiant heat from the sun and helping to heat the home. The same can be said about countertops made of stone or tile especially if they have exposure to south facing windows. “Eat as low on the energy food chain as possible” by using what energy is available like sun, wind, and temperature. This minimizes the need for concentrated energy like gas, electricity and oil.
Keep checking back as I will continue to talk about the principles and practices of Green Building and feel free to add your comments below that might benefit interested readers.