Tuesday, May 1, 2012

no new house smell

Our painter primed the interior partitions today (the exterior walls are prefinished, and won't be painted), which leads to two thoughts: one, the house is wonderfully bright in all types of sunlight, and two, sustainable paints have no odor.

Regarding the light, the weather changed rapidly and repeatedly today, with intense showers interspersed with strong sunlight. The white primer on the interior walls reflects the light - which is mostly indirect light from the north or from our well-shaded east- and west- facing windows and doors - throughout the house. The result is a diffuse light which reflects off the galvanized surfaces of the roof decking and the light gray concrete floor. The mood of the house changes quickly with the quality of the light outside.

But it was the complete lack of odor today that really impressed us.

We've specified materials with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in tin box. Like our obsessive elimination of formaldehyde-containing materials (plywood and other engineered lumbers), our move away from VOC-containing paints and sealants is consistent with LEED standards and intended to make a healthier living environment within the house. We're using the Sherwin-Williams Harmony series of no-VOC primer and paints, one of numerous good sustainable paints now available. The amazing thing was walking into a house filled with wet paint - and with no windows open - and not being able to smell it.

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