This post is part of the Green Materials Report series. GBE is providing information on various building materials and what makes them green. Each post focuses on one material. We will be looking at the ingredients in the material, how it is used, what makes it green, and any green product certifications that it has earned. We hope to develop a database of information to help consumers make informed choices about what goes in their buildings. Enjoy the series!
CertainTeed has developed a product that claims to clean indoor air by trapping the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) within a sheet of drywall. AirRenew gypsum board captures VOCs in the air and turns them into inert chemicals within the board. It works even when covered with up to 25 coats of paint and air permeable wall coverings. The product is also moisture and mold resistant.
The exact science of how this is done is not revealed on the CertainTeed AirRenew web site. However, tests show that it begins reducing the level of VOCs immediately upon installation and can last up to 75 years.
The aldehydes, including formaldehyde, that are commonly found in indoor air and are cleaned by the AirRenew product, can come from standard building materials, chemicals, and cleaning products. The concentration of these VOCs will be highest after a new construction or renovation project. They contribute to the “new building smell” that is very similar to “new car smell” – both are caused by the off-gasing of chemicals.
What Makes It Green
The ability to clean the air of VOCs is certainly reason enough to label this product as green. It also has a high level of recycled content, as well as being resistant to mold and mildew.
Green Product Certifications
GreenGuard – Indoor air quality (IAQ) is closely tied to health, and is therefore recognized as an important concern in homes, schools, healthcare environments and commercial spaces. Volatile organic compound emissions from building materials and furnishings is a major source of indoor air pollution. GreenGuard Certification has been widely adopted as a trusted standard for low-emitting products.
Claims of moisture resistance, VOC capture capability, and recycled content have also been independently corroborated.
An Environmental Product Declaration was not found for this product.
Health Product Declaration
No Health Product Declaration was found for this product.
Photo: Professional Remodeler