Architectural 111 views Jul 06, 2018
What are the advances into colour technology

Thanks to innovation in external paints and renders, a building’s façade can be as attractive as it is well protected. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit; the leading building manufacturer of EWI paints and products, considers how the work of researchers and designers has improved colour technology to such an extent exteriors have become not only functional but reflective of the personality of the building.

Imagine if we lived in a world where different coloured high-rises dominated the globe’s cityscapes. Or in rural areas where green buildings complement the scenery, intensifying the landscape. Instead of greys and whites, there might be deep turquoises or rich browns and oranges.

These striking images seem more suited to a cartoon rather than any real environment. Try and tell a business to paint their building in a forest green and they might not take you as seriously as originally hoped. Unless their business or trade is within the realms of sustainability, horticulture or renewable energy, they might see colour as a way of compromising, rather than enhancing, their business. And this mentality really needs to change, particularly in light of new colour technology.

Making colour last

Prior to the advent of new colour technologies, colour experts were tasked with the complex process of improving how colour is perceived, especially in terms of longevity. Arguably, some building owners, or businesses who inhabit buildings, hesitate from painting their facades as they believe the colour will fade when exposed to adverse weather conditions and the like. No business wants a drab or tired-looking exterior after six months. Maybe the world would have more faith in colour, if the technology could ensure coloured facades were a sustainable and plausible investment.

Luckily enough, the introduction of new colour technology means coloured facades will not be a thing of the future for much longer. Colour technology has developed further than dyes and inks, and now encompasses rigorous testing and measuring of colour quality. These processes evaluate colour quality to make the overall applications long-lasting, high-tech and sophisticated.  

There are now products on the market which have been engineered to such a high standard that a red, yellow or green façade will not lose its intensity when exposed to sunlight. This kind of advanced technology will revolutionise the way we paint our buildings, where these new mechanisms will give businesses more confidence in colour choice as they know colour will last.

Practicality and performance

Colour isn’t simply about aesthetics. Whilst it is important for the new technologies to eliminate colour-fade and ensure colours keep their lustre, colour must also protect and optimise the performance of a building’s façade.

Colour technology can now improve a building’s long-term performance without compromising on the colour’s intensity. Highly-engineered acrylic façade paints guarantee excellent coverage without having mucilaginous or sticky consistencies. These specific kinds of paints can be based on mineral binders to increase a wall’s breathability. Furthermore, there are paints designed to reduce water absorption. These paints contain a silicone resin binder, which repels water from the surface. Finally, there are also paints which contain UV resistance properties, acting as a protective barrier to shield a façade from intense sunrays and potential sun damage.

If these technologies didn’t seem inventive enough, façade paints are also available in a whole host of colours and effects, including metallic or glitter veneers. When exposed to sunlight these layers illuminate a building, protecting it from the sun in the process. With the assistance of colour technology, colour façades are gaining in momentum, delivering on both aesthetics and performance.  

Human factors

It is a very well-known fact across the globe that colour has an intrinsic ability to positively affect people’s state of mind. Through colour association, we align blue notes with feelings of tranquillity and yellow shades with optimism and health. Different colours take on different meanings across various cultures; whilst red might mean thrill in more western cultures, it is the sign of death in Africa.

Colour is evocative and stimulating, so why aren’t we seeing more colours on our streets when it is scientifically proven to improve our wellbeing?  

Colours possess a certain dynamism which, when utilised effectively, emphasise a building’s personality. Drawing on the psychological properties of colour, business owners might paint their façades in a soft-bluey grey to reinforce coolness or intelligence, for instance. Conversely, colours can be combined to create brilliant exteriors which complement a company’s multidimensionality. Duck-egg blue fits perfectly with a bright orange, juxtaposing calmness with a splash of fun and originality.

Not only does colour inject vibrancy into a façade, it improves the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Colours make people smile, meaning workers enter their places of work in more productive and happier moods. New colour technology has drawn on the psychological benefits of colour to create exteriors which stimulate the minds of a building’s inhabitants, actively improving employee health wellbeing. Although some might believe colour is more important in interiors rather than exteriors; think on this. Isn’t a building’s exterior the first thing we see? Can exteriors be the first point to create an affect in the beholder?

With the assistance of colour technology, exteriors have become just as important as interiors. Colour specialists have created new technologies which ensure colour is both aesthetically-stimulating and practically-efficient. This balance, functionality and appearance, is crucial. Suddenly colour never looked so attractive.

Visit: https://www.baumit.co.uk