I went to Aurora yesterday to have a look at Eco Building Resource, a green building supplies store that carries a unique assortment of building materials. I’d been curious about this place ever since I met Kevin Royce a year ago and he gave me a little sample of fluffy insulation made from denim. I wondered what other cool products he carried.
He specializes in products which are good for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), a disorder that can cause symptoms such as skin rashes, respiratory problems and migraines. Many of the products selected are solvent-free, natural and non-toxic. When possible, preference is also given to products that are manufactured close to home. Below is a very brief description of some of the product lines the store carries:
Ultra Touch Natural Fiber Insulation (pictured above) is made from 85% off-cuttings of denim that would otherwise end up in landfill. The last 15% comes from off-cuts from towel and sheet manufacturing and a few denim drives for old jeans. It has an R-value of 3.7/inch, and comes in batts just like fiberglass. It’s pest resistant and fire retardant. (Approximate Cost: $.85-$.90/square foot for R-13 batts).
Reflectix reflective panel insulation. Reflectix is a radiant barrier and acts to keep heat in by repelling it when it hits the barrier. Combined with Ultra touch R13 batts it can increase your building envelope’s R value to R22. It’s great for insulating hot water heaters as well.
Durafoam: a low-expansion insulator to be used to filled holes left after window and door installation, or wherever there are any cracks or small openings. This is a zero-VOC product. (Cost: $13.95/spray can).
Sealants and Adhesives:
Adbond is an all-purpose adhesive and sealer that lets you caulk, seal and bond with one product. It has received Canada’s environmental choice logo and is made in Quebec. ($7/310ml tube).
Safecoat sealers: Safecoat is a unique company that develops products that are non-toxic and low or zero-VOC.
Safe Seal is used to seal porous surfaces such as particleboard and plywood, thereby preventing off-gassing of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde ($70/gallon).
Hard Seal: is used to seal both porous and non-porous products, but it has a gloss finish to it, so it adds a sheen that Safe Seal doesn’t.
Seal Once Waterproofer: This is a great product to seal outdoor decking and it’s perfect for cottage docks because it is completely non-toxic and won’t harm watershed systems. On vertical fencing it has a lifespan of 10 years, and on horizontal areas it has a lifespan of 6 years. (Cost: starts at $52/gallon. Tinting, extra).
Ozone Paints by Totem Coatings: This is a new line of paints that are produced just north of Toronto. The line is zero-VOC, including the tints. It is a soy-based product, (which is also grown in Ontario), so this is a very local product. This paint is medical grade (which means it can be used to paint the interior of medical facilities), and comes in interior and exterior versions, in all finishes (gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat and primer). Cost: $45/gallon.
Murco M100 Hypo-allergenic drywall mud: hypo-allergenic dry wall mud appeals to people with MCS. This is an all-natural product with zero-VOC off-gassing. ($50/25lb bag).
Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Company: Furniture makers and cabinet makers alike swear that this is the best quality tung oil on the market. It is a natural method for finishing or restoring floors, wood furniture and cabinetry (Cost: $60/gallon).
Log’s End pine flooring: Log’s End recovers old pine logs from the riverbed of the Ottawa River. These are trees that never made it down the river for milling, but instead have sunk and remained on the river floor until now. (Cost depends on plank width but starts at around $5/square foot)
Cork Flooring by Jelinek: Cork is a renewable resource as it is only the bark that is harvested off the trees once every nine years. Cork is quiet and soft, water resistant, anti-static and is a great option for kitchens and playrooms. Eco Building Resouce carries the “click” line of cork flooring which can be used over top of concrete. Cork expands and contracts when concrete heaves with temperature changes so there are no gaps (Cost: starting at $4.50/square foot).
Eco Building Resource:
136 Wellington Street East
Aurora, ON L4G 1J1