The Natural Materials range of plasters and paints from Rockcote Enterprises is helping promote wellbeing in residential and commercial developments by eliminating the ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. ROCKCOTE’s new Australian manufactured natural plasters and paints are helping health professionals nurture a healing environment in their clinics while homeowners concerned about their health and wellbeing are adopting the range in their homes.

Featured regularly on the nationwide TV reality show, The Block, ROCKCOTE’s Natural Materials range has also been used extensively in residential and commercial projects including the multi-award winning Canberra Hotel building.

Made from natural ingredients including clay and lime and renewables such as straw, hemp, bamboo, wheat and even volcanic ash, the Natural Materials range of paints, finishes and renders is completely free of chemicals, produces no odour or residual off-gassing, and is durable and natural.

Queensland (Noosa Heads) chiropractor and postural correction professional Dr Jake Currie recently opened a new clinic, Posture HQ, featuring an unconventional decor that incorporates rough and smooth textured walls coated in natural, breathable paints and plasters. When he started to see clients “hugging and stroking the walls” in the reception of his newly opened clinic he knew he’d created the ultimate healing environment using ROCKCOTE’s natural plasters and paints.

Happy that his clients, who come to his clinic for healing, are interacting with the space, he explained that the natural textures and colours seem to incite a primal reaction with people wanting to touch and explore the ROCKCOTE surfaces, and in the process, calm themselves.

ROCKCOTE’s Natural Materials range helps create a relaxing and beautiful space, different from conventional white-walled chiropractors’ clinics, and alleviates the symptoms of the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).

Though ROCKCOTE has been manufacturing environment-friendly paints and renders for over 25 years, the Natural Materials range is gaining acceptance only now with greater understanding of the need to create non-toxic environments to promote wellbeing and counteract SBS effects.

ROCKCOTE company director, Chris (Christine) Cameron is surprised that many places of health and wellbeing such as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices and gymnasiums continue to be coated in toxic, off-gassing paints and finishes when there are so many quality alternatives available to create healthier spaces.

She described the response of clients at Dr Currie’s clinic as ‘biophilia’, a term widely used by Harvard University myrmecologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson to describe the way in which humans are hard-wired to connect with nature and how that relationship can influence an individual’s wellbeing, productivity and creativity.

Several studies have been conducted in recent years on the indoor air quality of homes, offices, classrooms, schools, hospitals and various other environments.

A 1998 CSIRO report stated that the adverse impacts on human health and the economy due to poor indoor air quality may be as high as $12 billion per year (Brown, 1998). In the U.S, indoor air pollution has been consistently ranked as one of the top five environmental risks to public health (US EPA, 1993).

Chris explains that the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome caused by exposure to poor indoor air quality can include eye, nose or throat irritation, mental fatigue, headaches, nausea, itching, dizziness and other potentially serious side effects. With homes and workplaces better sealed from the external world, the internal pollutant levels are rising and making buildings and the people who inhabit them sick. Pollutants are not only limited to paints or carpets but also include dust mites, fungi and microbes.

The Natural Materials range helps create spaces that counteract these polluting influences, resulting in healthier and more comfortable environments. Natural materials are also sustainable with low embodied energy and full recyclability. Additionally, clay and lime finishes can also have a positive impact on psychological wellbeing as they are inherently sensuous, helping occupants connect better with the natural world.

The Natural Materials products can be applied on a wide variety of traditional wall surfaces including plasterboard and concrete as well as eco-surfaces such as cob, straw bale and stone. The natural paints, plasters and renders can be used in their natural state or tinted to a wide range of colours using natural oxides.