Posts Tagged ‘indoor air quality’

AirRenew VOC “eating” Gypsum Board Improves Indoor Air Quality

January 31st, 2012

AirRenew is a really neat new product developed by CertainTeed that actually works to reduce the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an indoor space.  AirRenew cleans indoor air by metabolizing the aldehyde family of volatile organic compounds, making them inert and storing the compounds in its material for up to 75 years. It also incorporates CertainTeed’s M2Tech technology that inhibits mould and mildew growth on drywall.

AirRenew is perfect for a variety of places including schools, hospitals and new homes where the indoor air quality can be less than stellar thanks to the volatile organic compounds off-gassed into the air from glues, adhesives, primers and paints, not to mention any new furniture and carpets. It’s a great product for people with asthma, multiple chemical sensitivities and for children.

When AirRenew is installed according to specifications, it will absorb up to 70% of all aldehydes in the air in the room. Note that an entire room must be covered with the gypsum board in order for it to work to its maximum level of efficiency. For more information on the specifications, read the AirRenew FAQ sheet.

AirRenew gypsum board cuts and installs like standard drywall and can be painted with most water-based acrylic paints, and will maintain its effectiveness even through several coats of breathable paint. It can also be covered with breathable wallpaper. At end-of-life it can be recycled with standard drywall products. The gypsum board is available in standard 4 foot widths, and 8, 10, 12 foot lengths with thickness of either 1/2″ or 5/8″.

From CertainTeed website: a measure of chemicals indoors

Indoor air quality has been in the news for the past several years as it’s now understood that the air inside your home is actually more toxic than outdoor air. Given that Canadians can spend up to 90% of their time indoors, we could be breathing in a potential toxic soup of materials — particularly in newer homes where glues, adhesives and particle board are more prevalent. Pollution Probe has done some excellent awareness-raising campaigns on indoor air quality. In order to improve indoor air quality, there are several steps you can take, for example,  limiting the kinds of products you buy that contain volatile organic compounds from furniture and carpets to household cleaners. It’s also important to maintain a certain amount of ventilation allowing fresh air into your home. As building envelopes become tighter, the build-up of chemicals inside the home can become more of an issue. Heat and energy recovery ventilators and air exchangers are important pieces of HVAC equipment that allow for fresh air into a home while preserving indoor temperature.

AirRenew is available across Canada at select retailers. To find a dealer near you, use CertainTeed’s contact  information form.


LePage’s Green Series of Adhesives and Sealants — Ultra Low VOC

April 21st, 2011

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).

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