Paints & Coatings Resource Center

PCRC’s Green Building Resources

As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new field called green building is arising to reduce that impact at the source.  Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition.  This section of PCRC provides links to green building activities and related documents.

LEED Green Building Rating System™

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the U.S. Green Building Council representing all segments of the building industry developed LEED and continue to contribute to its evolution. LEED standards are currently available for:

  • New construction and major renovation projects
  • Existing building operations
  • Commercial interiors projects

LEED™ was created to:

  • define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
  • promote integrated, whole-building design practices
  • recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
  • stimulate green competition
  • raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
  • transform the building market

LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.

Green Seal

Green Seal is a non-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting, product certification, and public education. Green Seal’s mission is to work towards environmental sustainability by identifying and promoting environmentally responsible products, purchasing, and production. 

Green Seal offers certification to all products covered by its Standards. Manufacturers may submit their products for evaluation by Green Seal. Those which comply with Green Seal’s requirements may be authorized to use the Green Seal Certification Mark on products and in product advertising. Manufacturers authorized to use the Green Seal Certification Mark on their product are subject to an ongoing program of testing, inspection, and enforcement.

The following provide information the Green Seal process for paints and a link to certified paints.

  • Green Seal Standards and Certification GS-11.  This standard establishes environmental requirements for paints intended for on-site application to interior or exterior surfaces of residential, commercial, institutional or industrial buildings.  The standard does not include stains, clear finishes, or paints sold in aerosol cans.
  • Green Seal's GS-11. leadership standard means a paint, coating, stain, or sealer is verified as safer for human health and the environment compared to similar products while delivering uncompromising performance. The standard covers wall and ceiling coatings, anti-corrosive coatings (previously GC-03 for Anticorrosive Paints), floor paints, primers, stains, finishes, and sealers intended for application to wallboard, tile, metal, wood, composite wood, concrete, stone, masonry, and terrazzo substrates, as well as other architectural substrates.
  • Certified Green Seal Paints.  This is a list of Green Seal Certified paints, list by manufacturer.

Green Building Locator

The Construction Industry Compliance Assistance (CICA) Center provides compliance assistance information related to land development and construction for architects, builders, and homeowners. CICA developed the Green Building State Locator that provides state-specific Green Building information.

EPA - Identifying Greener Paints and Coatings

EPA recommends that certain private sector standards/ecolabels be used when purchasing interior latex paint or any services that involve the use of interior latex paint.

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