• Green Sports Alliance

Climate Change Plan

 Pope Francis suggested a revolution was necessary to combat climate change, President Obama took the front lines in August with a bold, ambitious plan. According to the EPA, the $8.4 billion plan will result in $34 billion to $54 billion in benefits. Its highlights include:

  • States must meet specific carbon emission reduction based on their individual energy consumption.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions will be limited in power plants nationwide.
  • A cap-and-trade policy will be instituted to allow lower-energy users to sell credits to higher-level polluters to extend their limit.
  • Standards of performance will be established.

When the world’s premier sustainable builders gather in Washington D.C. November 18-19 for Greenbuild 2015, they’ll be seeking out companies and partners whose green products truly fit the ‘sustainable’ bill while also pointing the way forward.

What about combatting any wood-based building’s greatest nightmare — water? Given the current state of the water sealant and transparent stain market, sustainable builders and architects can be excused if they give the product category a pass. After all, stains are toxic and use bee’s wax to create the spectacular ‘dancing water’ effect we see in TV commercials and in magazine ads.

“If you have a new house, or old house, you probably have some transparent stain on there; there’s probably 40 or 50 [stains] on the market with well-known names,” said Hank Croteau of Seal-Once. “The tech in how those products are made is very similar. Anybody can make them. They’re using COCs and toxic chemicals, and no matter which one you use, it’s high maintenance; you have to apply it every year or two.”

The problem, Croteau says, is that the products aren’t waterproof at all. Once they break down, and their water-repellent qualities evaporate, the wood absorbs water, “which is the killer of everything. If you don’t address it, you have rotten wood. What’s changed in the last 40 years in formulation is better marketing. If anything, the formula-tions have gotten worse.”

With Seal-Once, Croteau has transformed the playing field. Unlike the others, Seal-Once is a non-toxic, fully waterproof product with no VOC’s (even the Marine product is fish-friendly) that not only protects wood, but strengthens its own defenses against water absorption. “If you put this product on wood, by itself, without color on it. The nano particles in Seal-Once are the size of an atom. Water is the carrier. You brush or spray; you can’t roll it.”

There are two principal secrets to the process, one of which Croteau revealed. “When you put it on wood – any kind of wood, including iron wood such as IPW, composite wood and concrete/masonry – the water will evaporate and bring the particles inside the wood,” he said. “It actually forms a clear, flexible polymer that becomes 100 percent waterproof. When it rains outside, your deck will get wet, but it will never absorb water.”

And for the other? It boils down to a version of reverse engineering that millions of frustrated homeowners wish they could use to reverse their own experience with stains. “You can put it on an existing piece of wood that has absorbed water before, and has mildew stain or mold, and our product works in reverse — but I can’t tell you how,” Croteau said coyly.

“I think when we look at diversity in education, it really is about accessibility” 

Warren Barkley, former
educator and current CTO
of SMART Technologies

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