Please note that as of April 6, 2016, the website for Lepage Green Series has been taken down. I have contacted Lepage to ask about why and if these products still exist but have not received a response.
Indoor air quality has become an important issue in the last few years. One of the culprits identified as causing poor indoor air quality is the amount of off-gassing of chemicals used in the construction of new homes. I spoke with Marcelo Orchon, the Senior Brand Manager for LePage’s and he told me that in a newly constructed 2100 square foot home which uses traditional adhesives and sealants, the air can be filled with 110 pounds or more of VOCs. LePage has developed a series of sealants and adhesives which are ultra low VOC. The “Green Series” line of sealants produces less than 2 pounds of VOCs within the same sized home.
That’s a pretty significant difference. I asked Marcelo what the performance of the products is like. He said that they performed as well, if not better, than their traditional counterparts. It really makes you wonder why you’d want to stick with the traditional products.
Availability: LePage’s green series of sealants and adhesives are available at some hardware and building stores across Canada. Their availability depends on demand. To find out if the products are carried in a store near you, see this page.
LePage’s Ultra Low VOC Products:
LePage Green Series PL400 SubFloor and Deck Adhesive: Use for installing subflooring, decks, as well as panelling and moulding.
LePage Green Series Draft and Sound Interior Sealant: Use sealant around wall perimeters to decrease noise transfer and drafts.
LePage Green Series PL200 Drywall Construction Adhesive: Use adhesive to bond drywall to wood, good for attaching paneling to drywall, drywall to wood or metal.
Recently, LePage conducted a survey of Canadians and discovered that while the desire to build and renovate using greener building materials is high across the country, the percentage of Canadians who actually do so is low. In fact there is a disconnect between wanting to build with greener materials and doing it.
Across Canada, LePage’s survey found that:
- An overwhelming majority of Canadian homeowners view home air quality (98%) and using sustainable and green building products (75%) as important. Women (76%) and those aged 55+ (82%) find home air quality very important.
- Regardless of importance, only half (49%) of Canadian homeowners are aware of products to improve home air.
- One in five Canadian homeowners use sustainable and green renovation / building products. British Columbian homeowners (27%) are the most likely to use sustainable and green renovation / building products and those in Alberta (15%) the least likely.
- Nearly all Canadian homeowners that look for sustainable / green products view performance (99%), price (97%), and product (92%) as important.
- Despite the perceived importance of sustainable and green building products, nearly two thirds (65%) of Canadian homeowners who have used professional help have not asked them to use sustainable and green building products in home renovation projects. One third (33%) have never asked for professional help for their home – of which the majority (54%) are not sure if they would ask a professional to use these products.
Follow Sustainable Practices in Home:
- 20% using sustainable and green renovation, building products (27% BC, 15% AB, 20% Ontario, 19% Quebec)
- 96% recycle (99% BC, 86% AB, 99% Ontario, 97% Quebec) Condo owners less likely at 93%
- 46% composting (50% BC, 33% AB, 54% Ontario, 31% Quebec) Condo owners less likely at 16%
- 69% energy efficient appliances (74% BC, 72% AB, 85% Ontario, 38% Quebec)
- 36% organic, local food (48% BC, 28% AB, 37% Ontario, 31% Quebec)
If you take a look at the “using sustainable and green renovation building products” statistic, note how low the usage amongst consumers is. This shouldn’t come as surprise to any of us who are actively involved in the building sector. Finding green building materials is difficult, even in a city the size of Toronto and with a local population that professes to have an awareness of environmental issues. When I go in search of green building materials, I usually have to drive a fair distance to find a store that carries what I’m looking for. How much CO2 am I putting in the air in order to “build green?” There has to be some sort of contradiction in there.
If you’re hiring a contractor to do the work, convincing him to use low-VOC products can be even trickier. As the survey notes over half of respondents said they would not ask a contractor to use green building materials. Getting contractors to try new products is not an easy task — believe me, I’ve tried. There are, however, legitimate reasons for their resistance (and you can read about how to talk to your contractor about using green building materials here).