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BioGuard Form Release Agent

Atlas Bio-Guard is a water-borne, zero-VOC, biodegradable, soy-derived form-release agent that can be used on many types of concrete forms and liners, including plywood, steel, aluminum, polystyrene, fiberglass, etc… Read more
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  • Growing and harvesting our building materials would be a great way to move toward a closed-loop system rather than a linear path from extraction to disposal. Doing so holds the promise of true sustainability and regeneration of ecosystems instead of damage to them.

    Unfortunately, biobased materials today can be at least as problematic as any other material. Intensive land use, chemical use, fuel use, nutrient runoff, and other pollution are among the impacts of agriculture; add to that competition between food crops and those used for building materials or fuel. We would like to see sustainable use of biobased materials, but improving practices and figuring out how to assess and document more sustainable practices will take a long time. There is no ready equivalent to FSC for biobased materials that aren’t wood, although certification to “organic” standards or other sustainable agriculture standards can provide guidance in some cases.

    At the same time, we don’t want to exclude biobased products that are typically responsibly sourced just because they don’t have a certification—particularly where they replace more problematic materials. GreenSpec continues to give preference to rapidly renewable alternatives to materials that present greater concerns. Examples of rapidly renewable materials in GreenSpec include linoleum, cork, and textiles such as wool, sisal, and organic cotton.

  • Just how low the VOC level needs to be for a given product to qualify for inclusion in GreenSpec depends on the product category. For most products, we require certification to California’s health-based emissions standard, CDPH Std Method v1.1 standard (also referred to as California Section 01350), which tests a product’s resultant VOC concentrations in the space after a given period of time. For wet-applied products like paints, caulks, and adhesives, we still also look for VOC content instead of, or in addition to, verified low emissions; this is because emissions testing doesn’t adequately test initial offgassing, and VOC content is currently the only widely available proxy.

  • Included here are various erosion-control products, foundation products that eliminate the need for excavation, and exterior stains that result in lower VOC emissions into the atmosphere. Fluorescent lamp and ballast recyclers and low-mercury fluorescent lamps reduce environmental impacts during maintenance and disposal of luminaires.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

Atlas Bio-Guard is a water-borne, zero-VOC, biodegradable, soy-derived form-release agent that can be used on many types of concrete forms and liners, including plywood, steel, aluminum, polystyrene, fiberglass, etc. It is available in ready-to-use 5-, 55-, and 275-gallon containers. Atlas offers 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

Conventional form-release oils can be a major source of VOCs, soil contamination, and human health risks. Increasingly, biodegradable, nonpetroleum alternatives are available.

These products contain just a fraction of the federally permitted VOC limit for concrete form-release agents. Many of these products produce a smoother finished surface with fewer "bug holes."

Products listed here are made with agricultural crops, are typically water-based and biodegradable, and have less than 60 grams per liter VOC.

LEED Credits

EQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints&Coatings

IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings

MRc6: Rapidly Renewable Materials

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