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Paints and coatings: The latest trends in sustainability

This free AIA/CES course from BD+C University is worth 1.0 AIA LU/HSW.

May 14, 2013 |

When it comes to durability, a 50-year building design ideally should include 50-year coatings. Many building products consume substantial amounts of energy, water, and petrochemicals during manufacture, but they can make up for it in the operations phase. The same should be expected from architectural coatings.

This course provides useful advice to design and construction professionals on how the best paints and coatings protect building components long enough to produce a net-positive savings. In addition, buildings should have a beneficial effect on human health, so if coatings release harmful chemicals those exposures should be minimal as compared to the salutary effects on occupants and neighbors over years of facility use.

This course will discuss how to assess the sustainability value of architectural coatings relative to their performance value to end-users.

After reading this article, you should be able to:

  • List the sustainability and performance benefits of architectural coatings in general and for specific types of coating products.
  • Discuss green standards, labeling programs, and statutory VOC requirements for coatings used in the United States.
  • Describe the variables of paint and coating selection that impact sustainability and occupant health, safety, and welfare, including productivity and psychological benefits.
  • Explain the impact of sustainability improvements on paint and coating selection.


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