Home to several high-profile tenants since its construction in the early 1970s, the 1 Rockwood office building now occupied by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently underwent a complete restoration of its façade using NeverFade® exterior restoration coatings with Kynar Aquatec® from APV Engineered Coatings. The restoration project will help the building resist exterior fading and degradation for at least 20 years.


Preparing the Surface

Stuart Dean Company, a national Certified Applicator of NeverFade coating systems, conducted the five-month restoration of 40,000 square feet of exterior aluminum panels. According to Chris Incorvaia, National Manager of Façade Restoration, Stuart Dean Company, the 20-technician crew started by preparing the surface for coating application.

"The aluminum panels had been previously field-painted with an acrylic polyurethane," he said. "That previous coating had degraded significantly due to UV exposure and weathering."

NeverFade coatings were an ideal choice for the project, he said, because they can be used on previously painted surfaces. The coatings contain Kynar Aquatec, a water-based PVDF resin that does not need to be baked, making it ideal for air-dry, field-applied coatings.

"NeverFade is a premium, weather-resistant coating that can be easily applied to a variety of substrates," Incorvaia added, noting that the coating system meets the same requirements of factory coatings using American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Publication No. AAMA 2605-13.

Proper surface conditions are crucial to achieving good coating adhesion and long life, so the Stuart Dean team was careful to fully prepare the surface. They started by removing sealants from all joints: metal to metal, metal to glass, and along window perimeters. These sealants were replaced 72 hours after the final topcoat. Next, they washed all surfaces to remove environmental contaminants such as chlorides and nitrates. Finally, they prepared the surface for the new coating by scuffing and sanding it to achieve a 1.0-1.5-mil anchor profile in accordance with NACE surface preparation guidelines.


Smooth Application

Before applying the coating system, the Stuart Dean crew masked windows and adjacent surfaces to protect them. Then, they began the coating application, starting with one coat and 1.00-1.25 mils DFT of APV's W-1650 Bonding Primer, which was roll-applied. W-1650 Bonding Primer is a unique chemistry designed to adhere directly to metal and to tough coated surfaces, such as Kynar 500®, siliconized polyester and powder coatings.

"The advanced, water-based and low-VOC chemistry provides early water resistance, protects against corrosion and applies with a smooth, uniform finish, delivering optimum aesthetics to the coating system," said Erin Neff, Director of Marketing and Business Development, APV Engineered Coatings.

The primer was followed by two coats and 2.00 mils DFT of the NeverFade Metal Restoration Topcoat, also applied by roller. NeverFade provides a superior, factory-like finish in a field-applied coating. Its advanced formulation is engineered for extreme UV protection, as well as resistance to algae, fungal growth, abrasion, dirt pickup and stains. APV offered a 15-year, transferrable product-and-labor warranty to the building owner. The warranty covers color fading and chalking, guaranteeing that NeverFade will dramatically outperform other field-applied, high-performance coatings, even in extreme environments

As it does with all NeverFade projects, APV custom matched the topcoat in a color selected by the building owner — in this case colonial white.

"A high-performance coating is critical for white exterior surfaces, especially in damp environments like this building," Neff explained. "When traditional latexes and urethanes break down under harsh UV rays, the paint film degrades, turning chalky, and eventually erodes away. That chalkiness is not always noticeable up against the white surface, but paint is losing its protective qualities. A chalked surface also becomes a food source for mold and mildew growth, and makes conditions ripe for dirt collection."

Throughout the entire coating process, the Stuart Dean crew paid special attention to ambient environmental conditions. "The building is located on wetlands and is subjected to a high concentration of moisture and precipitation," Incorvaia said. "To maintain quality control and ensure the long-term performance of the coating system, we diligently measured air temperature, surface temperature, relative humidity and dew point. Coatings were only applied when those conditions fell within APV's approved parameters."

The coating crew also operated under strict safety protocols, which were detailed after conducting a job hazard analysis and developing a site-specific safety plan. Crew members were certified in the use of the stationary scaffold and boom lifts from which they accessed the panels. They wore full body harnesses with lanyards fastened to anchor points.

"We had a supervisor onsite during the entire project to ensure all processes and procedures were being followed," Incorvaia said. "We also inspected all access equipment and personal fall protection gear before each use. Plus, we installed barriers around the work area for pedestrian flow control and 2safety."

"Along with quality, Stuart Dean's attention to safety is one of the reasons we have designated them as a NeverFade National Certified Applicator," Neff said. "Only approved or certified status applicators can purchase and install NeverFade to comply with our warranty program."


Extended Building Life with Minimal Disruption

The exterior restoration was completed within five months, and the building remained fully occupied during the entire project. Tenant disruption and risk were kept to a minimum, thanks to Stuart Dean's strict safety protocols and the low-odor, low-VOC NeverFade coating system.

The protective coating system extended the service life of the aluminum panel system by 20+ years and prevented the panels from having to be replaced, a time-consuming process whose cost was estimated at four to five times the cost of the restoration conducted.

"The 1 Rockwood project is another example of building owners and project specifiers trusting the value, quality and cost-efficient investment of NeverFade coatings to sustainably extend the life of their valuable real estate with minimal disruption," Neff concluded.

A video of the project can be viewed here.

For more information, visit www.apvcoatings.com or www.neverfadecoatings.com.