Big Benefits to Brownfield Properties from GEI’s Green Coatings Encasement

One of the people I have great respect for is Mavis Nye, the founder of Mavis Nye Foundation. She does wonderful work with her foundation and speaking engagements. With boundless energy, she has a strong commitment to educate others on the dangers of asbestos exposure. She is also a tireless advocate for Mesothelioma patients and works with associated support groups.

Mavis recently asked me, “Would GLOBAL Encasement, Inc.’s green coatings be of benefit on Brownfield properties?”

My answer: YES! Absolutely. GLOBAL Encasement, Inc.’s (GEI) Green Coatings Encasement has a worldwide proven track record for this and continues to be of benefit to all buildings, especially environmentally distressed ones.

Brownfields, Greyfields and other environmentally troubled properties are usually large commercial, industrial and government structures and lands that are teaming with hazardous materials. It is estimated that there are over 450,000 Brownfield properties alone in the United States. This number of problematic real estate skyrockets into the millions when adding Greyfield and other environmentally distressed buildings throughout the world. 

Brownfield Properties
American Can Company Building transformed into soho style apartments

Company downsizing and factory shutdowns have left tens of thousands of underused and abandoned buildings that are contaminated with Asbestos Containing Materials, Lead-Based Paint and other toxins like solid PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). Many of these deserted properties also come with end-of-life roofing liabilities. Further, these distressed buildings have challenges with moisture intrusion and leaks, which cause energy loss, mold and mildew growth, and overall deterioration. Dilapidated buildings are also often under-insulated and inefficient in energy use. They absorb heat through walls, especially through inefficient, obsolete roofing.

The longer these buildings are left vacant, the more they are dominated with rapid deterioration and the greater risk of exposure to people and the environment from the existing hazardous materials. The green, sustainable approach is to rehabilitate, restore and reuse such buildings instead of demolition followed by expensive new building construction.

The expansion, redevelopment or reuse of these buildings is complicated by the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants and overall dilapidation. Mitigation of the contaminants to the degree required by law protects the environment, reduces urban blight, and restores buildings for continued service life. In-place management with GEI coatings, however, has been proven to be the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to address solid hazardous materials in buildings and in most situations can be safely applied with minimal preparation. These coatings can seal the exterior envelope of buildings to make them water/weather tight and solar reflective. This is especially pertinent for roofs where the standard practice is to remove, dispose and replace old roofing.

Repurposing these properties also offers an attractive return on investment. Generally, market value of distressed property containing hazardous materials and roof replacement liabilities are 40-50% below Fair Market Value. The cost to remediate any combination of these liabilities using GEI’s Green Coatings Encasement, which provide regulatory-compliant in-place management of specific contaminants, can be up to 90% less expensive than full removal, replacement and disposal. Accordingly, an increase of about 50% over purchase price can be expected after rehabilitation. The distressed buildings with diminished market value that benefit the most from GEI’s Green Coatings Encasement usually contain some combination of Asbestos-Containing Materials, Lead-Based Paint, solid PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls), Roof replacement issues, or Waterproofing deficiencies causing mold and mildew.

Old Cottonmill Building Conservation and preservation 

These results reinforce what those in the green building industry already know: green buildings are better for the environment, better for business and better for the people living and working in them. Accordingly, the demand for green buildings that are non-toxic, sustainable and renewable is constantly growing.

Rehabilitation of environmentally distressed buildings with diminished market value by turning them green with GEI’s green coatings is the best of all worlds.

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