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Saint Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime

Saint Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime, or NHL, is a 100% natural product that has been in production since 1851… Read more
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  • These products are environmentally attractive because they need to be replaced less frequently or their maintenance has very low impact, both of which can reduce costs as well as environmental impact.
    Robust answers on typical service life of products can be hard to come by, however. In GreenSpec we reserve this criterion for products where the material is clearly more durable than alternatives, such as an exceptionally traffic-resistant polyurethane floor finish. We refer to standardized tests for durability when they are available and appropriate.
    We also consider “appropriate durability”: long life is more important in a building envelope than in interior finish materials that will be replaced for aesthetic reasons. Here, reduced maintenance can be particularly important. An example is resilient flooring that doesn’t require regular waxing: an unnecessary use of resources and a health hazard.

  • 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.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

Saint Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime, or NHL, is a 100% natural product that has been in production since 1851. Saint Astier NHL Mortar is widely used in the restoration of old buildings. This natural hydraulic lime mortar imported from France allows stone to "breathe" naturally. Used in construction as plaster, stucco, mortar, and paint, its high level of vapor exchange and mineral composition can help reduce the risk of mold development and dry rot. NHL products are highly permeable, elastic, low shrinking, zero VOC, self-healing, and recyclable. Transmineral USA also offers Le Decor Selection, a line of high-end, all-natural interior/exterior limestone finishes which require trained installers and crushed limestone aggregate imported from France instead of the domestically available aggregate used for the Saint Astier NHL products.

Lime plasters can have slightly lower embodied energy than portland-cement-based plasters, and they don't include petroleum-based ingredients, as acrylic plasters do. Integral natural pigments obviate the need for painting.

Products listed here include natural lime plasters and wall coatings made from ingredients such as clay, sand, and cellulose.

Repairing old plaster is preferable to material-intensive replacement, so some plaster repair systems are also included.

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