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Green Seal Weighs New Coating Standard

Thursday, August 14, 2014

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Concrete and masonry sealers, intumescents and other high-performance coatings may have their shot at green certification under expanded standards now being drafted by Green Seal.

The non-profit certifying organization is seeking public input until Aug. 21 on whether and how to modify, expand or combine its GS-11 standard for paints and coatings and its GS-47 standards for stains and finishes.

Current Standards

GS-11 establishes product performance and health and environmental requirements for paints and coatings. The standard includes wall, anti-corrosive, reflective coatings, floor paints and primers and undercoats.


Green Seal could include terrazzo in its possible new permanent floor coverings category. The company is taking input until Aug. 21.

The standard does not include stains, clear finishes, recycled (consolidated or reprocessed) latex paint, specialty (industrial, marine or automotive) coatings, or paint sold in aerosol cans.

GS-11, first published in 1993, was last revised (to Edition 3.1) in July 2013. The third edition encompasses GreenSeal's GC-3 criteria for Anti-Corrosive Paints.

GS-47 is intended for products generally applied to metal and wood substrates and includes sealers but does not include paints, floor polishes, specialty (industrial, marine, or automotive) coatings, or products sold in aerosol cans.

What Might Change

Green Seal is currently considering the following product categories for inclusion in the scope, for both interior and exterior use:

  • Permanent floor coatings (for example, coatings for tile, stone, terrazzo, and vinyl floors);
  • Concrete sealers (non-breathable);
  • Concrete guards (breathable);
  • Clear wall coatings (anti-graffiti, for example);
  • Masonry sealers; and
  • Coatings intended for fire resistance (intumescent paints).

The organization’s current review has focused primarily on identifying product categories that could be added to the scope of the standards—mainly those used for similar purposes or with similar chemistry.

Global Good Group

Anti-graffiti coatings could be included in Green Seal's new categories.

The GS-11 criteria exclude clear, tinted, and transparent architectural coatings; and floor coatings other than latex paint. These products are not included in GS-47, which includes only products intended for use on wood or metal surfaces.

Public Input Invited

Members of the public may email GreenSeal with suggestions for additions to the standards. Submissions may include:

  • Description and use(s) of the coating (e.g., clear/opaque, interior/exterior, recommended surfaces for application);
  • Suggested performance criteria, to demonstrate that the coating performs as well as conventional products; and
  • Chemistry considerations, including health or environmental criteria, or common functional ingredients that may require specific consideration.

For more information, email Cassie Johnson, P.E., or call (202) 872-6400.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Certifications and standards; Coating chemistry; Concrete coatings and treatments; Floor coatings; Green Seal; Masonry coatings; Metal coatings; Sealers; Stains; Wood coatings

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