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A couple weeks ago, I wrote about one of my favorite green building design traits, living walls, and today, I’m writing about another favorite green building design trait of mine, concrete structure-as-finish floors. For one, concrete structure-as-finish floors have high reflectivity, which can aid in reducing lighting requirements, and in turn, save energy costs. Also, applying cosmetic layers, such as carpet, stone, or wood products, to structural concrete floors can significantly increase environmental and financial costs over the lifespan of your building. So how do you get from a structural concrete floor to a concrete structure-as-finish floor? One, unprefered method of achieving a concrete structure-as-finish floor is to repeatedly apply coatings, such as epoxy or wax, laden with VOCs and detrimental to indoor air quality. The preferable method of achieving concrete structure-as-finish floors is by means of grinding and polishing with diamond stone-polishing technology and a densifier (i.e. silicate chemical treatment), which is exactly what Questmark Flooring offers in their DiamondQuest Concrete Polishing System. According to GreenSpec, Questmark’s “multistep process of progressively finer grinding …using the company’s zero-VOC densifier, with dust controls that allow continued operation of the facility” results in a floor that “is resistant to water and other contaminants and requires minimal maintenance.” This significantly better alternative to film and wax coatings was pioneered in the 1990s in Sweden and is among the least expensive flooring options available.
To learn about today’s Greenovation, visit www.questmarkflooring.com.
Written by Rob Stanfield – The Green Register