TI109 - Eco Labels – Respect for the Environment with IGP Powder Coatings


The definition of sustainability in construction has produced an important certification and building labelling system. By taking social, economic and ecological aspects into consideration (three pillar principle for «sustainable» development), balanced sustainability is ensured. In some cases, the emphasis placed on the requirements within these three pillars varies greatly. This TI illustrates the relationship between powder coatings and Green Building Labels and should aid the decision-making process.

Green Building Labels such as MINERGIE-ECO, LEED, BREEAM or DGNB are object labels with exclusion criteria in terms of the level of compliance with construction-related ecological and health-relevant standards in the material groups listed below:

  • VOC (volatile organic compound), products containing solvents
  • Heavy metals such as lead, zinc or com pounds with heavy metal content
  • Emission of hazardous substances (indoor toxins) such as formaldehyde, biocide

Therefore, in order to meet the above requirements, such substances must also not be contained in substance preparations for coatings.

In the cross-linked state (powder coating film), IGP coating systems do not emit any detectable toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic substances. IGP powder coatings are solvent-free. IGP powder coatings are free from heavy metals. In addition, the paint-stripping sludges which are produced when metals are recycled are free of volatile or toxic substances or those which are hazardous to the aquatic environment.

IGP Pulvertechnik AG is aware of the extraction conditions and rarity of the raw materials it procures, and as far as possible procures raw materials from manufacturers in regions with efficient transport conditions.

IGP Pulvertechnik recommends the following powder coating systems for coating building components made of aluminum and steel which comply with the requirements of green building labels and also meet the requirements of the Qualicoat and GSB certification bodies for the coating of aluminum components:

IGP-HWFsuperior – Coating product made of modified polyester, highly weather-resistant+

IGP-HWFclassic – Coating product made of modified polyester, highly weather-resistant

IGP- DURA®face – Coating product made of polyester, weather-resistant

IGP- DURA®xal – An ecologically attractive substitute for anodized surfaces.

Conversion layers are created by chemical reaction of the metal surface with the treatment solution, which leads to an inseparable, usually inorganic layer.

Below, you can find two examples of how IGP powder coatings can help you meet the green-building-label criteria:

Example BREEAM

BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. It provides information about the overall sustainability of a building from planning to construction to use. Overall sustainability is described in the following categories:

  • Management: aspects of general procedures
  • Health and wellbeing: interior and exterior aspects
  • Energy: operating energy and carbon2
  • Water: consumption and loss aspects
  • Materials: ecological impacts of the materials used
  • Land use and ecology: aspects relating to the ecological value of the land
  • Pollution: air and water pollution

Contribution of powder coating

Powder coatings can contribute to sustainability mainly in the “Materials” category. The main issue here is the use of hazardous substances.

IGP powder coatings are solvent-free and as a rule free of pollutants, therefore they can support a positive assessment in this category.

Example DGNB

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German Sustainable Building Council) applies classifications that not only consider sustainability, but also increasingly economic and socio-cultural aspects. DGNB certifications take account of all three pillars of sustainability. The evaluation categories are:

  • Ecology
  • Economy
  • Social and functional aspects
  • Technology
  • Processes
  • Location

Weaknesses in one of these categories cannot be balanced out by strengths in another category. Depending on the degree to which a building meets these criteria, it is awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating.

Contribution of IGP powder coatings

In an economic evaluation, powder coatings can achieve a higher degree of compliance with this category due to improved lifecycle costs (e.g., IGP-HWF products) and/or optimized upkeep costs (e.g., longer façade cleaning intervals).

Solvent-free formulas and harmful-substance-free formulas also boost sustainability. Included in this category is also the environmental impact of dismantling.

With regard to environmental impact, powder coatings have a positive effect due to their optimized reactivity (powders with low curing temperatures).