Skip to Content

Cooltown Beta Posts

Eco Friendly Lawn at the Office

January 13, 2015 • Josephine

The Cooltown Beta office is always undergoing some kind of work, it’s an ongoing joke around these parts.

Recently we had a little courtyard makeover, when we were designing the space, we knew we wanted some green up there amongst the pavers and benches, but we weren’t sure we wanted a living breathing lawn, it wouldn’t really be practical, especially having to mow it in summer.

So we opted for some very real looking Matte synthetic grass. I say matte, because it is the shine on normal synthetic grass that gives it that real plastic-fake look.

Here’s a picture of the finished product – installed by Ez Synthetic Turf in Perth and supplied the fellows at Grassman, a leading fake lawn manufacturer.


The reaction to the new courtyard has been awesome and in particular the ever-green lawn, that doesn’t require mowing, weeding or watering.

Eco-Friendly Paint Choices

September 29, 2014 • Josephine

The Many Choices Available In Eco-Friendly Paint

These days you can go green and still use high quality paint in fabulous colors.

Today’s eco-friendly paints are just as durable, last just as long and provide coverage just as well as standard paints. They come in vibrant colors, but they do not contain added solvents and chemicals. Furthermore, they don’t give off harmful odors. One thing you should keep in mind when looking for eco-friendly paint is that it should be low-VOC or no-VOC. This should apply to both the colorant and the paint, itself. The painters choice should always be influenced by the job details and the budget of the job as well.

It’s easy to test these paints on your application because most offer generously sized color cards as well as small samples of the paint.

Paint by Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball has offered water based paint for a number of years. This innovation results in a significant reduction in the amount of solvents used. This means these products have little or no VOC impact. The colors of these paints are naturally derived. They are made using linseed oil, lime putty, china clay and natural pigments. Additionally, the company foregos the use of formaldehyde, ammonia and other harmful ingredients. A gallon of paint from F&B costs about $95.



Paint from Marston & Langinger

Marston & Langinger is a company based in the United Kingdom. This company specializes in garden rooms and greenhouses and needed a type of paint that was not toxic for use with delicate plants. They developed their eco-friendly paints in 72 shades with both matte and eggshell finishes. Interior paints come in both finishes. Exterior paints come in eggshell only. The cost is about $75 for five liters. These paints are non-toxic, water-based and non-flammable. They are practically odor free after drying. They pose no threat to children and pets.

Paint From C2 LoVo

C2 LoVo offers a non-toxic, premium paint that is low-VOC. It comes in a vast array of colors. This company boasts the only pigment system using European Colorants in the US. It is possible to customize this paint to any shade or color. The pain is available in all of Philip’s Perfect Colors. You can view these by looking at Paints & Palette. Just search Philip’s Perfect Colors. The most recent addition to this line is C2 Studio. This is a value priced paint that is low in VOC content and can be had in nearly 500 of the C2 colors. You can get both of these types of paint at G&R Paints.

Eco-Paint From Yolo Colorhouse

Based in Portland OR, the Yolo Colorhouse provides eco-friendly paints for both indoor and outdoor use. Their paints are premium quality and boast a color palette that is user friendly. You can get this great value in paint at Home Depot for only $35 a gallon in Semi-Gloss.

Collagen Paint From Ecotrend

Ecotrend Collagen Paint uses old fashioned paint production methods to create odorless, no-VOC paint that contains no petrochemicals. Instead, it uses collagen as the binder for the paint. This collagen is sourced from the lining of eggshells discarded by bakeries. This paint has remarkably high coverage ability.

MilK Paint Is Eco-Friendly The Old Fashioned Way

The company bearing the name Old Fashioned Milk Paint produces a product called SafePaint. This paint is made using a historic formula that makes use of milk protein (casein) as a binder. This wall paint is biodegradable and organic. It also contains no VOCs. When you apply milk paint, you will smell milk a bit. The paint is completely non-toxic and safe for the environment. It is also nicely priced at $45.95 a gallon.

Interior Paint From Natura Zero-VOC

Benjamin Moore makes an eco-friendly line of paint called Natura. It is almost completely free of VOCs, and it is eco-friendly and non-toxic. This water based paint can be had in every color Benjamin Moore offers for the modest price of $56.99 a gallon.

Non-Toxic Paint From Mythic

Mythic Paint produces a low odor paint that is durable, provides great coverage and is non-toxic. It is a premium quality paint that contains no toxins or VOCs. It is well known that standard paints release these elements into the air for many years following application. Mythic is produced by a German company called Auro, which recently began US distribution. A gallon of Mythic Flat Paint costs $43.99.

British Designer, David Oliver from Paint & Paper Library, created the colors available in Stark Paint.This water based paint contains no VOCs in either colorants or the paint, itself. All of the colors can be had in three different finishes. They are lacquer gloss, porcelain shell and velvet emulsion. You can get a sample pot of this fine paint for $9.75.

British Designer is one that this house painter Perth has used extensively with great success. We particularly love the egg shell color.

Artist, Gretchen Schauffler founded the Devine Color paint company in Oregon. Paints from this company are held to strict green standards. They are low odor and provide great coverage with a single coat. The finish is luminous. The best palette offered, in our humble opinion, is the one inspired by the colors of the Northwest. You can get a gallon of Devine Color Delicate Wall Finish for only $59.95.

Got a Building from the 70s/80s – Read This!

September 12, 2014 • Josephine

If you are involved in the renovation, demolition or even inhabitance of a building that was built in the 70s or 80s in Australia, then you may well have asbestos containing materials in that building.

Every workplace having identified asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) is required by law to have a written plan for its maintenance in such a way that there is no release of asbestos fibres. Written specific to a portion of the facility or the entire facility, the asbestos management plan (AMP) should also contain response procedures for any possible episodes of asbestos fibre release. Details of materials assumed to contain asbestos by the asbestos assessor are also to be included in the plan, unless they have been tested and proven to be safe. An asbestos management plan is not required for domestic premises.

Everyone in the building must be aware of the presence of asbestos which must be clearly labelled and signs posted. They should also know the consequences of asbestos exposure and appropriate control measures required.

Aim of the plan: To prevent exposure of staff and site visitors to airborne asbestos fibres. To achieve this, it should contain information on what will be done – when and how the asbestos is going to be managed. The plan must be updated regularly to keep the information current. The plan should be maintained by a person who has management and control of the workplace.

What it must contain?

There are clear guidelines as to what is contained in an asbestos management plan. The law specifies that an AMP must contain:

  • The workplace’s asbestos register. This document records each and every occurrence of asbestos or ACM throughout the building.
  • Details on any maintenance or service work done. This includes details on what was done, who did the work, when it was done and any necessary clearance certificates.
  • Safe work procedures, control measures and procedure for handling accidents or emergencies involving asbestos.
  • Information and training arrangements for workers and contractors who carry out work involving ACM.
  • Clear-cut division of responsibilities for each person included in the asbestos management.
  • Air monitoring procedure, if required.
  • An action time table which includes priorities and risk assessment review dates.
  • Any special circumstance which might affect the time table.
  • Procedure and time table for review and update of the management plan as well as the asbestos register.

Review of AMP

The AMP must be reviewed and revised at least once in five years or when:

  • There is a control measure or a review of the asbestos register.
  • There is any disturbance, asbestos removals, sealing or enclosing of asbestos at the workplace.
  • The plan proves to be inadequate for asbestos management at a future date.
  • A review is requested by a health and safety representative if they feel that the health and safety of any member of the work force is affected or that the AMP was not reviewed adequately.


Access to the AMP

The person responsible for maintaining the AMP must ensure that it is kept at the workplace and is easily accessible to:

  • Any worker, who has worked, is working or intends to work at the facility.
  • All health and safety representatives who represent those workers.
  • A person conducting a business who might work at the workplace or require work to be carried out at the workplace.

For more information or for a consultation please feel free to contact the guys at Asbestos Clear for inspection and testing services in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.