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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the Job:

Adding Up the Real Benefits at a Big Hospital Project

We all know that going green is good for the environment. But sometimes the higher price can cause customers to pause. In such cases it helps to weigh in the many other benefits of low- and zero-VOC paints. Nowadays, with Aura and Natura paints, you can have better indoor air quality and plenty of color choices plus superior performance and durability. Long-term, this can add up to real savings. For homeowners, for government and private sector agencies, architects, designers and painters alike, these benefits are good things, of course, because green paint is here to stay. In cases where the client is a health care facility, its customers especially benefit by the incorporation of green products.

In early 2009, the University of Virginia Hospital, was planning a large renovation project that needed to follow green guidelines. Naturally, cost, durability, deadlines, color selection and the need for continual service had to be factored into its choice of finishes. Everything (except the higher price tag) led to the selection of Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. But that looming dollar sign was overcome when Moore's regional representative, Bill Farmer promised "two coats, any surface, any color"--which meant no money spent on primer or on numerous applications (even over new drywall). The savings in time, labor and materials significantly lowered the overall cost.

Did you catch that? The part about any color? That's ANY color. And there were at least six of them, many pretty intense, including Mystic Gold (HC 37), November Skies (2128-50), Manchester Tan (HC 81) and a few custom colors. Thanks to Moore's zero-VOC Gennex colorant system, a gallon of any color--regardless of intensity--has less than 50 grams per liter of VOCs. (For comparison, Moore's Regal Pearl has 150 grams per liter without colorants. The addition of the traditional universal tints will bump the numbers higher.)

Considering a two-coat application, one-hour drying time and low odor, the painting phase of the 1,000-plus-gallon job was done with little disruption to the hospital and its patients. Clearly, Aura was the right choice for this customer. Of course, it helped that the folks at the Blue Ridge Building Supply store followed the number one rule of customer service: take time to determine the customer's unique needs and priorities. Number one: a hospital needs to be dark green--meaning products must be healthy for the environment and for the people it serves. Add in the scrubability and durability needed in this setting and Aura became a perfect fit. The finish's immediate functioning as well as its longevity will help the hospital to save money in the long run, despite a higher price tag. When it came to choosing this green paint, the decision was pretty black and white.


For home owners, government and private industry companies, developers, developers and artists as well, these benefits are good stuff, of course because green color is here to stay.

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