Euramax – Applies the power of color in metal cladding
Interior of Abu Dhabi Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Euramax Coated Products is an international coil coating specialist that supplies pre-coated aluminium to roof and façade manufacturers worldwide. Euramax, with plants in Roermond (the Netherlands) and Corby (UK), works with many well-known manufacturers of façade systems, such as Hunter Douglas, Kingspan, Rigidal, Kalzip, Tiger, Interfalz, Euroclad and Aluform. Jorrit Scheepers, architectural support coordinator within the Euramax team, is the liaison between the architect and the paint plant. ‘In 2005, we had an interesting conversation with Benoy architects during the Leading European Architects Forum (LEAF) in London. In a later meeting at their London office, we got in contact with Mike Lewis, associate director at Benoy Middle East and head designer of the Ferrari World project in Abu Dhabi. Initially, Mike had a fabric in mind for the enormous roof construction. During the meeting, we suggested the option of using a standing-seam type of product for the roof. This would allow him to opt for a finish in high-gloss Ferrari Red.’
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari WorldAbu Dhabi / UAE
Benoy Architects designed the Ferrari World roof inspired by the classic body shell of the Ferrari GT. The curved roof and its high-gloss red finish are unique style elements that relate to the iconic Ferrari brand. ‘After some extensive sampling Euramax came up with the right colours and paint configuration,’ says Scheepers. ‘Our colours got specified and we were finally granted the order in 2008. First we supplied the aluminium for the 202,000-m² roof (standing seam in 1.00 mm from the Interfalz company); at a later stage, we were awarded the order for the complete façade as well (2.00-mm cassettes by Six Construct). In total, we supplied the staggering amount of 359,000 m² of pre-painted aluminium through different customers. All this aluminium came with the same warranty, and even more importantly with a uniform colour for all the roof and façade elements of this skyline landmark, which opened its doors in November 2010.’
Beyond its striking colour, it is important not to underestimate the qualitative aspects of a coating system. ‘In case of the Ferrari World project, we advised a four-layer PVDF (polyvinyl difluoride) with a special Lumiflon clear coat,’ says Scheepers. ‘Not only is high-gloss Ferrari Red a very difficult colour, the project’s specific circumstances are among the most challenging one can think of. Sea, sand and intense solar radiation demand the maximum out of this coating. Choosing the right paint configuration is of vital importance.’
In addition to the uni- and metallic colours that were used for Ferrari World, Euramax also offers a wide range of specialty coatings. The AluNatur range, for example, highlights the natural beauty of aluminium using a series of transparent and semi-transparent clear coats. EuraDesign, on the other hand, features precoated designs that may vary from Corten Steel, Patina Copper and Weathered Zinc to Wood Grain and various other finishes. ‘Just recently we painted a Green Grass design, but a moon landscape in PVDF could also be an option.’ Another interesting product is the EuraMica range, which is tailored to attract attention. Mica pigments reflect their own colour or that of the base coat. This reflection and refraction causes fascinating colour variations that change depending on the viewing angle and incidence of light. Colour affects range from soft to very strong. Ultimately a project-specific coating or design is not all that much more expensive than a standard colour. Especially not if seen in terms of the whole façade system, when you are often talking about 10% or less. And why would you want to save on something that is so clearly visible, something that really makes a difference?
Euramax offers more when it comes to colour. For instance, for a minimum order of 1500 m² of façade panels, we can develop any new colour you wish. For a minimum order of 500 m², we can suggest any of the thousands of colours and designs in our current archive. Originally, we are a supplier of pre-coated aluminium to the caravan and motor-home markets, which means small quantities, special requests and a high level of service. These values are ingrained in our company’s DNA. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Euramax distinguishes itself in the architecture world. Every request, from 500 m² and up, is regarded as a challenge at Euramax!
Four Euramax Projects
KLIA International Airport, Kuala Lumpur / Malaysia EuraDesign Cherry Wood
Fuelled by economic growth and national pride, Malaysia has made its largest airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), one of the top three international hubs in Asia. Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa’s vision for the airport’s form and materials incorporated influences from the surrounding cultural and natural environment. KLIA’s design represents an example of this concept of ‘symbiosis’ which Kurokawa has described as an ‘airport in the forest’.The architect incorporated elements from Malaysia’s forest environment into his design. Aluminium strip ceilings in wood design from Hunter Douglas are installed throughout the 121,000-m2 building, supported by what Architectural Record calls ‘a grid of trunk-like columns that evokes a Malaysian oil palm plantation.’ The ceilings connect visitors to their surroundings with scattered integrated downlights that resemble a starlit sky.Kurokawa told a local newspaper that the design of KLIA represents a ‘fusion between nature and high technology’. He illustrated this by siting the state-of-the- art airport in the middle of a tropical garden, creating a contrast between the modern steel structure and the surrounding lush growth.
World Expo 2010 Culture Centre, Shanghai / China, EuraMica Pearl White
The Culture Centre is one of four permanent pavilions for Expo 2010. Its oval shape resembles a flying saucer that seems to have landed from outer space. Viewed from a boat on Shanghai’s Huangpu River, it hovers over the water’s edge like a seashell. The Expo Culture Centre, designed by Shanghai architect Wang Xiao’an, won first prize in the Shanghai category of the 2010 Far Eastern Architectural Design Award, a Taipei-based architecture prize honouring innovation in Shanghai and Taiwan. ‘China has huge opportunities for architects but many works are designed in foreign collaboration,’ said judge Zheng Shiling, director of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Space at Shanghai’s Tongji University and a consultant to the World Expo. According to Zheng the building has a ‘stunningly complicated structure’. The Culture Centre’s cladding consists of nearly 30,000 triangular-shaped honeycomb panels in XXL size. This extraordinary size could only be achieved using wide-coil aluminium, 2,000 mm in width. The pearlescent, high-gloss, EuraMica finish gives the building a crisp, fresh exterior. At night, especially, the light reflection makes the Culture Centre a mystifying landmark.
Retail Park, Roermond / Netherlands, EuraMica Purple Blue
Architect Maurice Nio chose a high-contrast EuraMica shade of purple/blue. The Roermond Retail Park is situated along one of the main roads to the city centre. Its special colour attracts a lot of attention. Whether one likes it or not, the colour formula is a successful one. Meanwhile lots of curious visitors have ensured a third expansion of the Park. Again the choice of the architect fell on EuraMica.
Maastoren, Rotterdam / Netherlands, EuraBild Gray to White
Its 21 colours allow the Maastoren in Rotterdam, the tallest building in the Netherlands, to blend into its surroundings. A good example of a project in which colour played a significant role in the conception of the aluminium façade. Diederik Dam, the project’s architect, wanted to make the Maastoren mesh with its setting by using a gradual progression of colour for the building. ‘Whereas the base is made of anthracite-coloured natural stone that connects well with the Maas river, the aluminium façade cladding rising above it had to blend into the sky,’ he says. The initial proposal included 64 colours, from which the architect ultimately selected 21. The result is impressive and the architect is pleased with it: this is not a skyscraper, says Dam, but a sky-caresser.
Facts about Sustainability
Aluminium is 100% recyclable with no loss of quality
Recycling aluminium requires only 5 percent of the energy it takes to produce aluminium from primary sources
Due to the low melting point and resulting modest energy requirements Aluminium is a true ‘energy bank’
Every kilogram of aluminium added to the recycling process makes aluminium stronger; this is the main reason aluminium has a great future.
Aluminium has a high residual value, which stimulates collection and recycling.
The average aluminium recycling rate in construction, manufacturing and transport is 94% (in the Netherlands).
Aluminium is relatively simple to mould and process, requiring minimal energy.
Shipping aluminium goods costs relatively little energy due to its favourable volume-to-weight ratio.
Coil coating at Euramax takes place in a strictly controlled process.
Cleaning, pre-treating and paint application are fully optimized.
Euramax’s production is chrome-free and our paints contain no heavy metals.
The paint is applied with roll coaters – there is no overspray or other spillage.
Solvents released during painting are captured and combusted; the energy released in this process is recycled in our ovens.
Euramax has its own water-treatment plant; the waste water quality is therefore high enough that a standard sewer connection is sufficient.
By investing in high-tech facilities, Euramax is years ahead of EU emission standards.
The painting lines are fully computer-controlled, keeping waste to a minimum.
Our products have a long service life, which results in significant environmental savings.