Haflan ... green focus.

JOTUN Paints, a leading global producer and distributor of paints and powder coatings, has been protecting some of the UAE’s major landmarks with Jotun Steelmaster, a fireproof intumescent coating that protects steel structure against cellulosic fire.

Jotun Steelmaster 60WB is a specially-formulated, water-based, full EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)-compliant and advanced technology thin-film intumescent coating. It has been designed for use as a reactive mid-coat in a full passive fire protection system for steel structures in commercial buildings, airports, shopping malls, public buildings and warehouses.

Major UAE landmarks protected by the product include Dubai Metro stations, the Meydan Race Course, the General Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) new navigation centre and the Abu Dhabi Marina Mall expansion.

Jotun is seeing a growing demand for protective coatings that assist architects, developers and consultants to adopt and implement better health, safety and environment (HSE) standards in current projects.

“We are seeing an influx of construction projects worldwide, and in the Middle East the key countries are the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Along with this increase comes the growing concern for higher HSE standards that can assure the safety and security of workers on site,” says John Warner, category manager, intumescent coatings, Jotun Coatings.
“With the vibrancy of the construction segment, developers have placed a high premium on the delivery and completion of projects without sacrificing on quality and services. We see this as the perfect opportunity to leverage our protective coatings across a high potential audience like consultants, architects and HSE experts,” says Warner.

Safety experts indicate that in an outbreak of fire, unprotected steelwork can easily reach a temperature of 550 deg C in a matter of minutes. At this temperature, the steelwork can lose its load-bearing capacity and cause the supporting structure to collapse. In a fire, Steelmaster expands into a char-like insulating layer and greatly extends the time needed for the steelwork to be weakened by rising temperatures, says Warner.

“Steelmaster protects steel structure against cellulosic fire for periods of 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes, allowing more time for safe evacuation and for bringing the fire under control, he continues.

Jotun highlighted the technology used for this breakthrough fireproof coating at the recent Middle East FireSafe 2011, held from September 26 to 28 in Dubai, UAE.

The company offers a comprehensive range of products including decorative, protective, marine, floor/concrete protection, powder coatings and intumescent coatings, bearing a solid testament to the company’s reputation of being truly a single-source solution for clients, consultants and contractors.

Jotun is currently exerting major efforts to increase awareness about the company’s diverse paint range across the Middle East’s construction industry, reinforcing its position as the number one paint brand. It also showcased another type of product – its Woodshield range – at the Abu Dhabi WoodShow 2011 last month (October 18 to 20).

At the inaugural event, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) in Abu Dhabi, the paints and coatings major promoted ‘True Wood Protection’ as its new wood coating brand promise. This latest line of stains and varnishes are the result of its extensive research and development efforts to utilise the latest technology in developing an innovative wood coating product.

Woodshield stains and varnishes, which are suitable for interiors and exteriors, have been specifically formulated to decorate and protect wood outdoors.

“The range has twice the power of regular UV (ultraviolet) protection and twice the performance, because of the advanced UV absorbers and hindered amine light stabilisers (HALS) in the formula,” says Sverre Knudsen, general manager – Abu Dhabi, Jotun Paints.

Woodshield Interior is formulated for indoor wooden items and offers advantages such as being easy to clean, since the film formed is hydrophobic in nature and its fast-drying abilities, thanks to the use of a special quick-drying resin. Both Woodshield Interior and Woodshield Exterior emit low odour, which is the result of using a low odour binder and low odour solvents; have good water resistance; have good flexibility and are free from heavy metals, he says.

“Our new Woodshield range is the first of its kind in the Middle East market and offers users immense advantages and benefits like strong UV protection, high water resistance and strategic flexibility. This new range of wood coatings not only complements our move to strengthen our market share in the region but also reaffirms our commitment to provide our customers with a world-class range of products that not only speaks of durability but also adds high aesthetic value to the projects they are used in,” Knudsen adds.

Jotun is also calling on the Middle East’s construction industry to adopt “green” building policies. It recently joined hands with the Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) to host a networking event on ‘Paints and Building Sustainibility’ in Dubai.

The networking event drew in the participation of key stakeholders in the construction industry like consultants, developers, architects, interior designers and contractors. It also featured a special panel discussion with resource speakers and senior officials from the Emirates GBC and Jotun including Bent Haflan, group vice-president R&D – decorative, Jotun and others.

Haflan spoke on ‘Paint’s contribution to sustainability’, and Jotun’s latest line of eco-friendly paints, Jotashield Extreme. The new product line addresses the growing need for heat-reflective and eco-friendly paints in the Middle East region.
The panel discussions also touched on key topics like ‘Is being green a trend or a response to a true awakening in the Middle East?’, ‘Are the terms ‘Green Building’ and ‘Green Construction’ misused?’, ‘The growing concern towards Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect’ and ‘The challenges of building sustainability in the Middle East’.

Founded in 1926 in Norway, Jotun established its presence in the Middle East in 1974, with Jotun UAE. Since then, it has expanded dramatically throughout the region and claims to be the first paint manufacturer to be awarded the ISO 9001 certification. Jotun has consistently invested in state-of-the-art factories including the plant in the Al Quoz area of Dubai – the biggest worldwide for Jotun.