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.
Tierrafino® is a 100% natural clay interior finish made from colored sands and clays mined from European quarries. Imported by Hopper and available by mail order directly from the company, this product contains no pigment or chemical additives. Mother of pearl or straw can be mixed in to add interest. Because Tierrafino sets mechanically and not chemically, it may be reworked over and over again and the surface refreshed by wiping down with a wet sponge and rubbing with a soft brush. Tierrafino is available in several colors, which can be changed after installation by applying fresh Tierrafino powder with a wet sponge. The manufacturer claims the finish is suitable for areas of high humidity, though use should be avoided where it can come in contact with streams of water or excessively wet walls, such as in cellars.
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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