Green Technology in Construction Waterproofing

Better living through green chemistry has been integrated into every aspect of Andek Corporation’s approach to problem-solving, material selection, product design, and distribution operations since the 1970’s. The principle of using low toxicity materials began when most waterproof coatings manufacturers were using asbestos, lead, mercury, and many toxic chemicals as ingredients. Andek Corporation implemented “green chemistry” guidelines in formulation design as part of a corporate culture to integrate sustainable technology with environmental responsibility.

Waterproof coatings in their earliest forms had very high volatile organic compound (V.O.C.) contents. This often consisted of the majority of the volume of the product and was essential to get the coating to a viscosity low enough for application. Andek Corporation realized that incorporating vast quantities of ingredients designed to be released into the air was not just unhealthy but was wasteful. The goal of formulating high solids, low emission products was tied to the concept that, just as trees emit turpentine, isoprene, and other volatile organic compounds into the air, a waterproof coating should emit no more V.O.C.s than a tree during its lifetime.

Durability is, of course, one of the most important ingredients of sustainability. This is central to the core of green chemistry. Andek Corporation has utilized polymeric technology that incorporates hydrophobic molecular design into a stable geometry that anchors into a substrate through crosslinking. This is the process that was first discovered by adding sulfur to natural rubber latex to make very effective waterproof clothing. This essential durability  prevents waste by increasing the lifespan of the product to extend the period of protection of the substrate.

Energy conservation is an important function of any construction material. Every effort has been made by Andek Corporation to formulate products that control energy transmission through the building envelope. Some of these products reflect heat by either reflection or reduce thermal shock by endothermic reaction. Also important is the use of low energy demand manufacturing processes to reduce the carbon footprint of production.

Efficient distribution of material using local sources of supply is essential to maintain the sustainability of any operation. Knowledge of local building styles and codes, together with climatic and environmental considerations, is extremely important. Andek Corporation has built a network of technical field representatives that can offer specialized advice through their extensive knowledge of both their area of expertise and familiarity with specifications for the use of Andek products. Many people rely on the insight and innovation of this team to provide durable, long-lasting waterproofing products using sensible green technology. Andek Corporation is fully committed to incorporating green chemistry into all research and development, creating breakthrough products of the future for construction waterproofing and building preservation.

Neil Shearer
Chief Chemist
Andek Corporation