BlueScope Steel has recently added six highly resilient and contemporary colours to the COLORBOND steel range. The new COLORBOND colours are based on an extensive research and development process including wide consultation with the building industry.

In the first colour refresh since 2008, four new shades of grey – Basalt, Wallaby, Gully and Cove, as well as an eucalypt green called Mangrove, and a rich red named Terrain have been added to the COLORBOND steel range. 

The COLORBOND steel colour palette has also been refreshed with the reintroduction of a previous colour (Night Sky) and the retirement of five older colours. The latest update – the biggest in more than two decades – has increased the palette from 20 to 22 colours. 

Leading colour expert Harley Anstee of Nexus Designs said the new colours were selected through wide consultation with building industry professionals with the aim of providing specifiers a new palette relevant to current and future needs. The process included seeking the opinions of more than 170 professionals across Australia, including architects, roll-formers, developers and project home builders.

As part of the research process, Nexus Designs performed a colour audit, which showed all respondents the new and existing colours. It ranked all the colours based on respondent feedback and then averaged the results. Of the 30 colours included in the audit, all six of the new COLORBOND steel colours were among the most popular, vindicating BlueScope’s bold colour choices. 

Founding partner at O’Connor and Houle Architecture in Melbourne, Stephen O’Connor says he can see all the new colours, which are based on the traditional hues of the Australian outdoors, being suitable for projects of varying sizes from big warehouses to small residential extensions. 

The new colours have been subject to careful refinement of pigments and resin technology to enhance colour durability compared with its predecessor product. 

BlueScope product development portfolio leader, Detlev Mueller explains the new colours have undergone the most rigorous R&D process in COLORBOND steel history, including four years of outdoor exposure testing of each shade. 

According to Mr Mueller, it was essential that the final colours not only matched the vision of their consultants but also demonstrated an even stronger ability to resist colour fade compared with their predecessor products. 

Arriving at paint colours that were both aesthetically pleasing and technically suitable was a painstaking process. Nexus initially recommended 16 new colours, which were then given to BlueScope’s three main paint suppliers. For every new colour, each paint supplier provided multiple, very closely matched paint shades using subtly different approaches in pigmentation. 

In some cases the colour differences between the paint samples were undetectable to the naked eye, but each was tested with the intention that the particular formulation would keep looking good for as long as BlueScope and its customers expect. 

Development also involved formulation changes in order to optimise the thermal properties of the new colours in line with more stringent building codes. 

Each of the six new colours was formulated with Thermatech technology to optimise their solar reflectance. Thermatech technology remains a key feature of the 15 colours that are carried over into this new range. 

Mr Anstee predicts the new colours in the range will be adopted by allied products manufacturers, such as paint, window and garage door manufacturers. 

The new COLORBOND steel colours are Basalt, a deep neutral cool grey; Wallaby, a mid-neutral cool grey with a warm tone; Gully, a warm neutral mid grey/green colour; Cove, a warm mid grey with a golden overtone; Mangrove, a new direction in green with an olive/grey/eucalypt tone; and Terrain, a rich, earthy, red/brown inspired by inland Australia.