Architectural coatings

A new strategy for health—the COVID-19 impact on the sustainable mindset

Sustainability is an emerging need in the building and construction industry. An Eastman survey found close to half of U.S. consumers (45%) have become more interested in paint made from sustainable or natural ingredients since the COVID-19 pandemic began. But their understanding of sustainability in paint is in its infancy, with 55% of respondents not knowing what would make interior paint more sustainable or environmentally friendly.

Those who had an answer gave materials or ingredients as a top response (31%), followed by nontoxic paint that doesn’t release VOCs (23%), and paint made with fewer chemicals (16%).

Since consumers haven’t settled on a definition of sustainability, brands have a unique opportunity to define sustainability for their customers and position themselves as sustainability leaders for decades to come.

In addition, increasing investor and consumer interest is driving the need for carbon reduction, sustainably sourced materials, and “safer” material alternatives. Interest in biobased paint components is rising, spurring the development of both biobased alternatives and attention to compatibility with bio-based products among conventional additives.

A roundtable of industry stakeholders held by the American Coatings Association included these insights:

In North America, improved aesthetics paired with durability are dominant trends, along with the need for environmentally friendly, low-odor, and ultralow-VOC architectural paints that can match the properties of higher-VOC paints.In North America and Europe, the need for more environmentally compatible paints and coatings is driven by green construction technologies and environmental regulations. As a result, the need for biobased, sustainable raw materials in formulations has increased and continues to evolve.
During the last five years, The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) established stricter disinfection protocols for healthcare facilities. These guidelines specify a more limited array of more aggressive disinfection chemicals prescribed at higher concentrations and used more frequently. This created a strong, unmet need for architectural wall coatings with order-of-magnitude improvements in chemical, scrub, and stain resistance.Specifiers and owners want to extend the recoat cycle and reduce disruptions in the commercial spaces and prefer architectural coatings with a better price/performance ratio and better longevity.

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