Changes Outside, Results Inside

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  

Building envelopes play a central role in enhancing the appearance and performance of institutional and commercial facilities. So exterior maintenance remains a top priority to ensure facilities look their best, perform as designed, and protect interior operations and assets. Several recent developments offer managers even greater opportunities to meet these goals.


New 100 percent acrylic exterior latex paints offer increased ability to eliminate bleed-through and provide excellent coverage against the elements. Offering better flow and leveling — as well as 50 grams per liter of volatile organic compounds to meet the federal government’s GS-11 environmental standards — they are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Workers also can apply them over many different substrates in a wider temperature range.

New application tools also are available. Pressure pumps allow a continuous flow of paint into the roller, eliminating the need to stop for refills and much of the cleanup. As a result, managers get more bang for the paint buck, very good coverage in less time, improved environmental benefits, and significantly lower application costs.

Rooftops and Energy

California has begun an initiative to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. In the next five years, Southern California Edison plans to install solar panels on 65 million square feet of commercial rooftops, with a goal of generating 250 megawatts.

The insulating effect will extend the roof's life cycle. So managers win the rooftop trifecta — lower air conditioning and other electric bills, improved roof insulation, and extended life for roofing systems.

Temporary Classrooms

High levels of formaldehyde in travel trailers supplied to Gulf Coast hurricane victims have been the catalyst for more awareness in all types of facilities, as well as for new formaldehyde standards. While plenty of testing standards existed prior to the discovery, no maximum permissible levels existed for formaldehyde.

A combination of factors — high levels of formaldehyde, hot and humid weather, and longer-than normal periods of occupation — caused many illness claims. Now, other users of temporary housing, including schools, offices and construction sites, are taking notice. California has enacted the formaldehyde standards for hardwood, plywood and pressboard used in manufacturing.

The publicity from this situation has created greater awareness of related issues, such as proper cleaning and ventilation, to eliminate off-gassing accumulation to enhance occupant health and safety.

— Thomas A. Westerkamp



Contractors & Distributors

Associated General Contractors of America

Brick Industry Association

Insulation Contractors Association of America

Mason Contractors Association of America

The Metal Initiative

National Insulation Association

National Roofing Contractors Association

Painting and Decorating Contractors Association

Roof Consultants Institute


Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association

American Architectural Manufacturers Association

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association

Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association

Chemical Fabrics and Film Association

Composite Lumber Manufacturers Association

Cool Metal Roofing Association

Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association International

Door and Hardware Institute

EPDM Roofing Association

Glass Association of North America

International Sign Association

International Window Film Association

Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association

Metal Building Manufacturers Association

Metal Construction Association

National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association

National Concrete Masonry Association

National Paints and Coatings Association

North American Insulation Manufacturers Association

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association

Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association

Single Ply Roofing Industry

White Coatings Council

Window & Door Manufacturers Association


Codes, Regulations & Standards

ASTM International

California Energy Commission

Cool Roof Rating Council

Energy Star

International Code Council

International Organization for Standardization

Green Seal

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Building Sciences

National Roofing Contractors Association

Underwriters Laboratories



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  posted on 5/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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