Paint it green

Bahrain-based Balmoral Services will launch a new range of environmentally friendly paint at Bahrain City Centre on July 14, which they claim contains no VOCs and is "truly revolutionary." General manger Kaye Mclone talks to Construction Week about her high hopes for the Mythic paint range.


Bahrain-based Balmoral Services will launch a new range of environmentally friendly paint at Bahrain City Centre on July 14, which they claim contains no VOCs and is "truly revolutionary." General manger Kaye Mclone talks to Construction Week about her high hopes for the Mythic paint range.

What are VOCs?

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are gases or vapours emitted by various solids or liquids, many of which have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are emitted by all kinds of household products such as glues, adhesives, building materials and, of course, paint.

Aren't there already similar products on the market that don't contain VOCs?

There is no other product in the world like this paint. There are a lot of VOC friendly or low VOC paints but no other paint of this quality with no VOCs. Mythic paint has absolutely nothing harmful in it, no toxins, no VOCs. We're shipping it in from the US via airfreight and it doesn't even need Hazmat or warning labels.

What's the difference between Mythic and other non-VOC paints available?

The difference is quality. The quality of other non-VOC paints is terrible, they're quite chalky and you could wipe it off with a cloth. Mythic paint is latex-based, which is what makes it so durable. We have done durability studies on our product against a lot of top brands in the US and it surpasses many of the major labels.

What are the environmental benefits?

Any non-toxic product has environmental benefits. In the case of small spills, you can simply wash our product down the sink and it will have no harmful effects on the environment.

Can the paint earn Leed points?

Yes, it qualifies for the maximum number of Leed points in the US. This is also true for the Gulf with one exception, because the product and raw ingredients are sourced from the US, which is more than 500 miles away, the customers can't claim that point. As a side note, the founder of Leed and the World Green Building Council, David Gottfried, chose to use our product over all other manufacturers. He did his own research and bought our product.

How does it compare price wise?

Price wise it's more expensive than your typical paints but it's difficult to compare prices because there's nothing else like it in the market.

If I was to choose between your paint and a good quality regular brand, what kind of difference are we talking about?

A significant difference. For larger projects, obviously it depends on quantities, but if you're selling at retail, then you're looking at US $58 (BHD22) a gallon. You can pick up regular toxic paint for about $15 a gallon, but you also have to consider the quality aspect and the fact that you would need twice the amount of paint to do the job.

What are the negatives of this product, I've heard some VOC friendly paints can't go into dark colours?

Cost is the biggest negative, but besides that there is nothing. We have over 1200 colours and we can mix any colour required.

What body or organisation certified this paint as no VOC?

The product was developed by researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi and has since been tested and certified as a "Green Wise" product by Coatings Research Group, Incorporated. We can also make available the product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which is prepared by an independent organisation according to US national standards and clearly supports everything we claim about the paint.

How do you expect it to be received in the market?

I think people are becoming more environmentally aware in this region, and what's put people off in the past has been the quality of products available. The Mythic paint does extremely well in the US and that's why we're introducing it to the UK as well as the Middle East. With the amount of projects here, I can see a massive market for it, if people can just get over the initial cost and take into account the durability, coverage of the product and long term savings.

BioIn 2004 Kaye Mclone set up a London-based engineering firm to install and service emission reduction equipment on heavy vehicles following the introduction of Low Emission Zones throughout the UK and Europe.

The operation was bought by the main manufacturer of emission reduction equipment in 2008. In 2009 she joined Balmoral Services, a bespoke joinery firm, to establish its trading division.

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