In April 2017, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) will open its doors to the public. Large-scale healthcare projects like SCUH bring forth a whole host of challenges for building professionals, from budget constraints to facilitating developments in the health care sector.
In projects like SCUH, it is vital that the product specified meets warranty requirements. While warranties are important in all developments, they are particularly so in a health care facility where the building needs to perform at a high level for as long as possible. Often clients want to compromise the performance level of a product to achieve a certain colour or aesthetic. As Interpon has the ability to develop custom, commercial warranty-grade colours, they were able to provide the contractors at SCUH with their preferred colours – including Eastern Gold Satin and Surfmist Satin.
Interpon provided powder coatings for the sunhoods, aluminium extrusions and brackets of SCUH. Gareth Connell, Regional Specification Manager at Interpon, shares his experience of the more challenging aspects of working on hospitals and other government projects: ‘More often than not, building professionals are 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.’
This challenge is reflective of widespread misconceptions associated with durability and the ensuing misspecification of powder coating in the building industry. According to Connell: ‘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.’
These assumptions aren’t helped by the Australian Standard for Metal Finishing (AS3715) which is still perceived to be the performance benchmark for architectural metal finishing when really it isn’t applicable for a lot of projects.
AS3715 is not suitable for commercial applications and it is not always sufficient for harsh conditions. It is advisable, therefore, to play by the rules of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) which are much more comprehensive. This is because 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.
A healthcare building, SCUH is considered a Class 9a building by the BCA. For this reason, Interpon provided D2105 Ultriva™, which has been designed 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.
In order to ensure that products meet the warranty requirements for projects like SCUH, it is essential that they be applied by Interpon Approved Applicators. If elements like grades of substrate and coating specifications are not tightly controlled, and process parameters are not recorded, it increases the element of risk for all involved.
‘All Interpon Approved Applicators must meet stringent quality control and record keeping procedures as stipulated by Interpon Powder Coatings Australia,’ explains Connell. ‘Every project that is coated in Interpon warranty grade products is given a unique project identity and can trace the project, fabricator, products specified and even batch numbers of the powders used so complete transparency in the system processing needs to be adhered to.