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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Auro 524 - what's the fuss?

Auro has been busy developing a new paint range that has been based on their new binder - REPLEBIN®. This new biogenic binder (made of plant alcohol ester with organic acids) manages to hold the paint together better than any of its forebears. This means that it has excellent abrasion characteristics. The new paint passes the Class 1 high abrasion resistance test.

The binder also helps the paint cover a variety of surfaces. The new 524 is able to cover a wide range of existing types of finish. This means that you may well need one less coat of paint. This can save a lot of time and resources and this leads to a saving in cost. 524 is suited for all indoor surfaces, it adheres to old and new plaster including lime plaster, dry lining boards, previously painted surfaces even on latex (vinyl) paints and other 'difficult' substrates. Note that it is suitable for lime. Most emulsions are not suitable for lime plasters due to the need for the plaster to breathe. With 524 it has an SD value of 0.05, so it is an open pored product.

The use of natural ingredients (in line with Auro's philosophy) means that the paint is low odour and also classed as VOC free. The ingredients are also vegan.

This binder is holding together improved ingredients that create a paint that is very opaque. This is important as it means that it can obliterate variations in the existing wall finishes. This means that even dark or patterned surfaces can be covered white quick and easy: It is classed as a top opacity product with a rating of 99.5 % (Opacity Class 1).

As far as application is concerned the paint dries quicker than its predecessors and can be easily applied by brush, roller or with spraying equipment. It has little to no dripping and splashing, thus making painting more pleasurable.

The paint is more expensive per litre than other natural paints, but it is cheaper than many of the 'designer' paints. So if you are looking for the highest quality paint, with the best environmental credentials then look no further than the 524.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

New Solid Wall Insulation Guide

Bristol City Council came to the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (the STBA) to address the issues associated with the Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) works that they were doing. The video and associated tools (that can be found at have been developed to help locals find out about solid wall insulation (SWI) and the issues associated with it.

As you will know we are board members of the STBA and so have a keen understanding of the issues around SWI. So we recommend that anyone thinking about SWI should have a look at the video made for the Bristol as certainly many areas of Wales are in a similar climate / weather pattern to those living over the channel.

Getting the balance right is really, really important and the whole house approach is one that we have been delivering on for many years. With Bristol taking the lead we hope that many councils in Wales will learn from this ground breaking work and adopt a similar approach.

We really need Building Control, Planners as well as Architects and Builders to get onboard with this knowledge and concept. Without their buy-in it is difficult for owners of houses to enact on the best advice. Our focus on energy only is ruining houses and homes and we need to stop, take a breath and really look at each house individually.

Assessing the structure, materials, occupation, context and character of a building is MORE important that just looking at how much energy it is predicted to use (by using inaccurate EPCs). We need to ensure that the integrity of the house is improved by addressing ventilation, material compatibility etc otherwise we will end up damaging the health of the structure and its occupants. That is a waste of resources, money and ultimately will not address the underpinning threat of climate change.

So if you are thinking about refurbishing your home and want an independent assessment of what to do, what the risks are, what materials will minimise impacts on your health etc etc then give us a call at the Eco Home Centre.