A Sustainable Approach to Specifications 20th November 2023 | IN COLOUR | BY SBID

With environmental concerns becoming increasingly important within specifications, designers need to make sure that every aspect of a building is carefully considered and adheres to a project’s sustainability goals. Dulux Decorator Centre is committed to upholding sustainable standards and supporting its partners to reduce environmental impact. In this article, its commercial sustainability manager, Duncan Lochhead, discusses how sustainability can be achieved with the right paints and coatings.

The built environment is responsible for more than a quarter of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and this must be reduced if the UK is to reach net zero by 2050. To do this, low-carbon building materials must be selected across every aspect of a building, right down to the paint used on the walls.

What does sustainable paint look like?

One of the biggest environmental concerns in the paint industry is the use of solvents and the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemical vapours that are greenhouse gases – and therefore contribute to global warming, as well as impacting ground level pollution.

While emissions from VOCs in decorative paint represents a small percentage of the UK’s overall pollutants (1% in the UK), they still increase environmental impact and negatively affect indoor air quality. To avoid this, it is recommended that water-based paints and coatings are used- such as the beautifully aesthetic Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood for wood and metal surfaces and ultra-low VOC content paint for walls and ceilings – to achieve a professional finish and improve sustainability.

Recent innovations like the reformulated Dulux Trade Diamond Matt are a perfect example. This product provides the industry with a durable solution that is also 99.9% VOC free (based on in-can VOC content, measured in accordance with ISO 11890-2:2013). It therefore has lower impact on indoor air quality and the overall carbon footprint of a project when compared with the previous formulation. For added reassurance that it delivers sustainability benefits, Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is compliant with green building accreditations BREEAM and LEED.

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Dulux Trade

Reducing environmental impact over a building’s lifetime

Paints and coatings play a vital role in cutting carbon emissions over a building’s lifetime thanks to their ability to preserve buildings and prevent the need for regular redecoration work. Opting for durable products like Dulux Trade Diamond Matt and Dulux Trade Scuffshield Matt will therefore extend maintenance cycles thanks to their ability to withstand daily wear and tear.

Dulux Trade Scuffshield Matt is a tough, water-based matt emulsion paint that contains ultimate scuff resistant technology. It is perfect for use in high traffic areas such as corridors, stairwells and hallways, and busy commercial spaces and is designed to protect walls against scuff marks left behind from items such as shoes and bags, to help keep surfaces looking good for longer. It is also cleanable and offers good stain resistance.

In addition, Dulux Trade Diamond Matt is compliant with BS EN ISO 11998 Class 1 and BS 7719 Class C and can withstand 10,000 scrubs (the equivalent of five hours non-stop scrubbing). It also resists water-based stains like red wine and coffee, as well as oil-based stains such as food or cosmetics. It can be repeatedly cleaned and scrubbed, ensuring that unwanted stains can be easily removed without damaging the paint film on the wall, making the professional finish last even longer.

Products like Dulux Trade Evolve Matt that are made using recycled content are also worth considering. Dulux Trade Evolve Matt contains 35% recycled content and does not compromise on coverage or finish. It is available in white, making it the ideal choice for ceilings or to create neutral backdrops.

Choosing the right supplier

In addition to product, designers should also think about the additional benefits offered by a supplier. Partnering with Dulux Decorator Centre, for example, will ensure a dedicated team is assigned to provide expert advice from the specification stage. They are also able to look at the carbon footprint of a painting project or programme over its lifecycle and provide insight on alternative options to support more sustainable decisions. In addition, the Dulux Decorator Centre team will work closely with the Dulux Trade Colour Consultants who can provide bespoke palettes that meet the needs of building occupants.

To help with the sustainable disposal of empty paint cans at the end of a project, Dulux Decorator Centre offers a can recycling scheme. It can also help to facilitate the donation of leftover paint to good causes like Community RePaint, so nothing goes to waste.

To find out more about how Dulux Decorator Centre can support on your next project, click here.

About Dulux Trade

Dulux is the UK’s leading paint brand, with a wealth of products and services designed to help you find the colours that will suit your project, and give you the expert knowledge you’ll need to achieve great results.

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