The ability to develop custom commercial warranty-grade colours helped Interpon Powder Coatings meet project specifications at the recently opened Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) in Queensland.

Large-scale healthcare projects such as the SCUH often present a whole host of challenges for building professionals, from budget constraints to material specifications and warranty requirements. While warranties are important in all developments, they are particularly crucial in healthcare facilities where the building needs to perform at a high level for as long as possible. However, there have been instances when the performance level of a product has been compromised to achieve a certain colour or aesthetic.

Interpon’s ability to develop custom colours allowed them to provide the contractors at SCUH with their preferred colours including Eastern Gold Satin and Surfmist Satin. Interpon provided these powder coatings for the sunhoods, aluminium extrusions and brackets at the hospital.

Sharing his experience of the more challenging aspects of working on hospitals and other government projects, Gareth Connell, Regional Specification Manager at Interpon, says building professionals are mostly looking for long-term durability and aesthetic performance. The biggest challenge is balancing the product performance requirements and ensuring the specifications aren’t downgraded for lesser grade products.

Widespread misconceptions associated with durability in the building industry leads to misspecification of powder coatings. Connell observes that finish performance has been assumed rather than properly understood and products have often been specified based on colour rather than understanding the preparation, application and performance qualities of an architectural grade powder coat system.

It doesn’t help that the Australian Standard for Metal Finishing (AS3715), which is still perceived to be the performance benchmark for architectural metal finishing, isn’t applicable for a lot of projects. This standard is not suitable for commercial applications and is not always sufficient for harsh conditions.

Interpon advises building professionals to follow the rules of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), which are much more comprehensive as they are based on exterior exposure in South Florida (USA) as well as Allunga (Australia), which means the products are tested and proven under harsh Australian conditions.

Being a healthcare project, SCUH is considered a Class 9a building by the BCA. Interpon has, therefore, provided D2105 Ultriva, a powder-coating product formulated to provide long-term performance warranties for all projects in all building classes and all locations. It offers a film integrity warranty of 20 years and a colour retention warranty of 15 years.

To ensure that products meet the warranty requirements for projects such as SCUH, it is essential that they be applied by Interpon Approved Applicators. Connell explains that all Interpon Approved Applicators are required to meet stringent quality control and record keeping procedures as stipulated by Interpon Powder Coatings Australia. Every project that is coated in Interpon warranty grade products is given a unique project identity, allowing the project, fabricator, products specified and even batch numbers of the powders to be traced at any point.