Go Green with Sandman Floors

Going green? Go Basic®. GO SANDMAN FLOORS!  We use primarily Basic Coatings for all your flooring needs! 

Basic Coatings committed to improving our environment has made us one of the leading providers of Low VOC, NMP-free and low impact green products for hardwood floors.  The green technology utilized in Basic Coatings water-based wood floor finishes allows you to create beautiful wood floors with supreme durability. 



The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices. Developed by USGBC, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. 

The LEED section which applies to wood floor coatings is (EQ Credit 4.2: Low-Emitting Materials: Paints & Coatings)

The intent is to reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

  • LEED Criteria NC 2.2 = 350 g/Liter VOC
  • LEED Criteria NC 2.3 = 275 g/Liter VOC

Click here for the LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations Documentation

Under NC 2.2 if the building uses a wood floor finish of 350 g/Liter VOC or less they will be eligible to receive 1 point under EQ Credit 4.2. The building must also be in compliance of the other EQ Credit 4.2 requirements as well.

The information included in this section is a general overview of LEED requirements for wood floor coatings and is subject to change. It is best to consult a LEED certified professional atwww.usgbc.org



VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. These gases can have adverse health effects. They also combine with other elements in the presence of sunlight to form smog, a major air pollutant. Thus the government has begun restricting the amount of VOC’s that can be included in certain products. Our products are typically classified as architectural coatings (clear wood coatings or varnishes). These categories include water-based products as well as oil-modified urethanes and apply most directly to the wood floor professional. 

National VOC Emission Standards For Consumer and Commercial Products

The U.S. federal rule that applies to all states that don’t have stricter provisions, has a Varnish VOC limit of 450 grams per liter, has a quart exemption, and doesn’t apply to persons finishing a floor, only to manufacturers and importers.

Varnishes = 450 g/Liter

The OTC and LADCO Architectural Coating model rules have been adopted by many eastern states as well as Illinois and Ohio.  Under these rules, Varnish must not exceed 350 grams per liter VOC, there is a quart exemption, and it applies to manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and applicators of the finish.

Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) 

  • Ozone Transport Commission
  • Varnishes and Sanding Sealers = 350 g/Liter
  • State individual regulations may vary from the OTC model
  • VT and the majority of VA are not yet covered under a coatings VOC rule.
  • The Varnish limit for Maine will become 350 g/Liter on January 1, 2011.

Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) 

  • Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium
  • MI, OH, IN, IL, WI
  • Varnishes and Sanding Sealers = 350 g/Liter
  • Ohio has approved a standard, effective January 1, 2009.
  • Illinois standard was effective July 1, 2009.
  • Indiana will vote on their standard April 13, 2010.
  • MI and WI haven’t proposed regulations yet.

Maricopa County Air pollution Control (Rule 335)

  • Maricopa County Air Quality Department
  • Greater Metro area of Phoenix, Arizona
  • Varnish = 2.9 pounds/gallon ( less than 350 g/Liter)
  • Quart exemption.

California Air Resources Board (CARB)

  • California Air Resources Board
  • Does not regulate architectural coatings directly.  Has passed a model rule for use by the air quality control districts of California.
  • The current standard replaces old category names with  Wood Coatings
  • Wood Coatings = 275 g/Liter VOC or less

New Developments:  There are 35 air districts in California.  4 have adopted the newest CARB model rule with a Wood Coating category of 275 g/Liter, effective January 1, 2011.  7 more have the adoption of the new model rule on their calendar for consideration.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District has its own rule and is stricter than the new CARB model rule.  10 other districts have adopted the previous rule with a Varnish VOC limit of 350 g/Liter.  13 do not have an architectural coatings rule.  They are still covered by the national VOC rule of 450 g/Liter for Varnish. 

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113

New York City has a purchasing preference requirement that is stricter than the N. Y. state Architectural VOC rule.  If a coating is purchased with funds from the city or by any Agency, group, or person which receives certain funding levels from the city, the coating must follow tighter guide lines.  The VOC limit on Varnish is 275 g/Liter.  They have some exemptions which are worth investigating.

Canada has recently passed an Architectural Coatings Rule similar to OTC/LADCO.  It has a Varnish VOC limit of 350 g/Liter, has a quart exemption, and applies only to manufacturers and importers effective September, 2010.  In two years, the regulation will also apply to sellers, distributors, and applicators.

The U.S. EPA is working on a revision to the national rule.  Based on activity in the states and in Canada, a revision seems likely.  We expect the new Varnish or Wood Coating limit will be 350 grams per liter VOC.  We haven’t seen the proposed standard yet but hopefully the effective date will be extended so we all can make adjustments.

This section gives a general overview of VOC requirements and regulations. The information above is subject to change.  Please email our Regulatory Affairs Department for further information. regulatory@basiccoatings.com

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