In 2014, Weingarten Realty completed its first National Exterior Paint Rollout. As part of the property management department’s plans to keep attractive, well-maintained properties, it is required that all assets are painted every five to seven years depending on the environmental conditions of the area the properties are located. In an effort to be economical, we sought out to find a single contractor to paint all the properties budgeted for 2014. In the end, Schaper Construction was selected to complete the process of painting the exteriors of 23 shopping centers nationwide.
This project proved to highly successful on several levels. The selection of one contractor enabled Weingarten Realty to maximize economies of scale for execution and realize greater rebates from using one paint manufacturer. Weingarten Realty was also able to achieve an objective of the Company’s sustainable GreenForward program. In coordination with the bidding process, we sought a contractor that would use environmentally-friendly low VOC paint.
VOCs are volatile organic compounds commonly found in paint and were once thought to be an essential part of the paint’s composition in order to dry faster. However, the currently used water-based paints do not require VOCs. Common products found in VOCs include ethylene glycol (also found in antifreeze), formaldehyde and benzene.
The benefits of using low or no VOC paint are numerous and can improve many ecological elements including reducing air pollution, ozone depleting chemicals, landfills and groundwater pollution. There are also several health risks associated with VOCs, especially to those who have allergies or asthma. VOC have additionally been linked to persistent headaches, respiratory disease, kidney and liver damage and even cancer.
A current misunderstanding about low VOC paint is that it is more expensive than it’s less environmentally–friendly counterpart. In fact, low VOC paint is comparable in price to any other paint option offering the same coverage.
The National Exterior Paint Rollout demonstrated a great achievement in finding a more economical and environmentally conscious solution to painting our retail portfolio.