PermaCrete's LEED Qualities
Quality Systems, Inc. (QSI) is the manufacturer of PermaCrete products, and is an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit organization established in 1993 that awards highly-coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building ratings as buildings have become a focus of efforts to cut energy use. Buildings that have earned LEED certification achieved an average 25% to 30% reduction in energy use, and save 40% in water use, 39% in carbon dioxide emissions, 50-75% of construction and demolition waste going to landfills, $58 billion of sick time from work annually, and add, $180 billion in increased worker productivity annually.
PermaCrete Green Products
Against this background, and especially from a PermaCrete Dealer's perspective, the question arises: Are PermaCrete products green, and, if so, what makes them green? Product ingredients, uses, and finished applications of PermaCrete all contribute to the green characteristics of PermaCrete products, and will now be individually analyzed.
One of the most critical standards in determining whether PermaCrete products are green, is the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) "toxic off-gassing" emitted by the products as they're installed, as well as the amount of time needed for the installed products to finish any continued off-gassing. Simply meeting the maximum U.S. standard for VOC emissions is no longer sufficient for products to gain green status, despite many companies' claims otherwise.
VOCs in paints and coatings have been regulated variously in different parts of the U.S. for more than 20 years. In 1998, the EPA established a national VOC limit of 450 g/l (grams per liter) for architectural and industrial maintenance coatings; this limit will soon be lowered. However, the national limit can be, and has been, superseded by stricter rules within the states, a trend expected to continue. For example, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) provides model rules and suggested control measures (SCM) as guidance for California's air quality districts. CARB's current SCM is 250 g/l and, this year, CARB is reconsidering its SCM at 100 g/l. Other groups around the nation are considering, or have already adopted, CARB's model rule.
Because of the rapidly changing national and individual state VOC standards, PermaCrete reformulated its primer, epoxy and urethane products in 2007, that previously had higher but allowable VOCs, with recently developed and much stronger ingredients that provide better performance while emitting near zero VOCs. PermaCrete products are all waterbase products, and over 90% of them now have VOC ratings well under 100 g/l which, as a result, qualify them as green simply because of their extremely low, environmentally-safe VOC content. Importantly, one hundred percent of all out-gassing in PermaCrete products occurs in less than seven days, regardless of the type of application.
- Matrix Mixes - 0 g/l
- Bonding Additive - 0 g/l
- Orange Power Degreaser - 0 g/l
- Blue Nitro Cleaner - 4 g/l
- PermaThane CRU-750 - 7 g/l
- PermaPoxy Enamel - 8 g/l
- PermaCaulk Sealant - 11 g/l
- PermaPrime E-Coat - 12 g/l
- PermaBond Crack Repair - 22 g/l
- PermaSeal Clear - 66 g/l*
- PermaSeal Stain - 78 g/l*
- Matrix Colorant - 3 g/l
Other characteristics of PermaCrete products and finished applications also contribute to making PermaCrete green and, when used in conjunction with new building construction or refurbishing projects, can contribute LEED points to the overall building/project plan.
- Reducing urban heat island on parking lots and roofs. For instance, light colors will reflect heat on roofs, reducing a home's air-conditioning needs, as well as provide fewer roof repairs or replacements. This is because heat absorbed by dark roofs makes shingles expand and contract, and ultimately break.
- Using materials made from within the region additionally qualifies for LEED points, depending upon the proximity of the manufacturing facility to the active LEED project, thereby reducing transportation costs and fuel energy consumed.
- Achieving sustainability. Sustainability is often defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. PermaCrete's inherent properties make it a natural choice for achieving sustainability with today's new buildings.
- Refurbishing old or damaged floors, or adding dimension to new ones. Also, low maintenance and treatment to protect floors, as well as providing color concrete surfaces to add a further decorative element, qualify and contribute to making a product(s) green.
- The PermaCrete vertical surface system will improve indoor air quality because the products used significantly reduce air infiltration and therefore minimize the amount of moist air entering through walls. With the implementation of new energy codes, such as the new Massachusetts Energy Code, code bodies are recognizing the importance of addressing the issue of air and vapor movement through wall assemblies.
- PermaCrete?s vertical surface system with its seamless surface also contributes to the energy efficiency of a building by minimizing thermal breaks and improving the efficiency of the wall cavity insulation.
- Longevity, cost, low maintenance without harsh chemicals, and easy repair that does not require extensive demolition all qualify as green under the Projected Life Cycle Costs classification.
Matrix Mix/Bonding Additive:
There are seven (7) different types of PermaCrete Matrix Mixes, all available in white or thirty (30) different pre-colored bag mixes. All Matrix types have essentially the same cement/aggregate formulation, but each are distinguished by certain chemical additives that produce different set times or different application finishes, e.g., PolarSet Matrix sets rapidly in sub-freezing temperatures, TropicSet Matrix sets slowly in tropical temperatures, PermaGrit Matrix contains a much larger aggregate and provides a different-type surface finish, and so on.
Widely used as a protective or decorative coating over installed concrete in all types of horizontal and vertical surfaces, including highway bridges and airport runways, PermaCrete facilitates and extends the life of concrete and continues to promulgate the continued use of concrete installations and structures everywhere. This is important because concrete contains fly ash, a by product of coal-fired power plants that is difficult to use because of inconsistencies in grind and weight, and because it contains some radioactivity; massive stockpiles of fly ash are unused and go to landfills for disposal. However, when added to concrete as a substitute for sand, fly ash makes concrete easier to work, stronger and more durable.
Fly ash also enhances the environmental performance of concrete. Mining and manufacturing of natural raw materials can be reduced along with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, using a ton of fly ash can save almost a ton of carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from being introduced into the atmosphere and, therefore, to global warming.
Matrix Mixes have zero VOCs and, when mixed with the acrylic polymer Bonding Additive, which also has zero VOCs, the applied mixture (without liquid Colorant) still has zero VOCs. Score green for Matrix Mix for zero VOCs as well as many other classifications.
Pre-colored Matrix Mixes were introduced in January 2007, and have become a runaway hit as more and more Dealers switched from white Matrix, that requires the use of liquid Matrix Colorant, to pre-colored Matrix that requires no Colorant. Over 26% of pre-colored Matrixes (8 out of 30 colors) use dry pigments recovered from iron oxide run-off from coal mines, the largest single source of water pollution in the United States. The iron oxide pigment products used by PermaCrete in its pre-colored Matrix Mixes were selected as one of the top 10 Green Building Products at the second annual Greenbuild conference in Pittsburgh last fall. Score green for pre-colored Matrix Mixes that use iron oxide removed from abandoned mine drainage, resulting in clean water for streams, rivers, and lakes.
Over 1,000 colors are available in the acrylic PermaSeal Sealers which complete the third and final part of PermaCrete's three-part surface system for both vertical and horizontal installations, and which provide a non-porous surface finish that protects and enhances the finished application. All PermaSeal Sealers have low VOCs, well under 100 g/l (see NOTE earlier), and, when used solely as a one-coat sealer application over existing floors and walls, provide a restorative application that contributes to less maintenance and less repair. All of these characteristics qualify PermaSeal Sealers as green.
PermaPrime E-Coat is a waterbase, two-component epoxy primer with just 12 VOCs qualifying it as a green product, and it?s used as a premium primer over concrete, steel, masonry or wood surfaces before an epoxy or urethane application. The 100% solids PermaPoxy Enamal waterborne epoxy, and the chemical resistant PermaThane CRU-750 waterbase urethane, products are available in twelve standard colors, as well as most custom colors. Used as architectural surface coatings over many different types of surfaces, even including underwater applications, both high performance products are frequently applied as the final sealer application over a Matrix Mix installation. PermaPoxy and PermaThane products each have less than 10 VOCs; both are easily applied; both have virtually no maintenance requirements; and, both easily qualify as green products.
Orange Power Degreaser:
This biodegradable, highly effective degreaser has 0 VOCs, and its primary ingredient is d-limonine, a terpene extracted from citrus peel oils which is an Agricultural Waste Product, and which also is a Rapidly Renewable Product, both categories being clear qualifications for status as a green product.
Blue Nitro Cleaner:
This biodegradable, industrial cleaner contains only 4 VOCs making it environmentally safe and green, and is additionally qualified by providing easy maintenance without the use of harsh chemicals. It delivers effective removal of all commonly encountered oils, greases and other contaminants found on concrete, wood, asphalt and metallic surfaces, and is used exclusively by PermaCrete Dealers to clean virtually any surface prior to an installation.
A one-part, elastomeric acrylic caulk composed primarily of natural ingredients such as calcium carbonate, potassium and sand, with only 11 VOCs, making it also environmentally safe and green. In addition to its use in concrete slab expansion joints and masonry perimeters, it's extremely effective for sealing around doors and windows in all types of buildings making them more energy efficient for heating and cooling therefore requiring less electricity or fossil fuel.
PermaBond Crack Repair:
A 100% solids, two-component epoxy resin containing no solvents, and used to fill surface cracks in structural concrete and masonry; five times stronger than concrete. PermaBond has just 22 VOCs and is an environmentally-safe, green product.