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Ready for Takeoff? Powder Coatings Put to Test at New Terminal

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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The new Terminal B concourse at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, a LEED Silver-certified project designed by Fentress Architects, is the first “monumental” architectural project constructed with DURANAR® powder coatings, reports PPG Industries Inc., the manufacturer of the coatings.

PPG says the powder coatings are formulated to provide the same long-term durability as Duranar fluoropolymer liquid coatings, but in an environmentally advanced, ultra-low-VOC powder. The coatings are based on the same polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) technology as liquid Duranar coatings, which have been applied to buildings for more than 40 years.

Duranar Regal White powder coatings were applied to a series of curved, perforated metal panels that arc over the main Terminal B structure. The coating was specified by Fentress Architects, based in Denver. Overly Manufacturing, Greensburg, Pa., was the metal-panel manufacturer, and Spectrum Metal Finishing, Youngstown, Ohio, was the PPG-certified coating applicator.

Terminal B covers more than 160,000 square feet and is designed to accommodate up to 8.5 million passengers a year. The project earned LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in September 2010.

Powder coatings—factory-applied finishes that start out in powder form, then are melted and cured on metal surfaces in high-temperature “bake” processes—have long been considered a “green” technology due to the absence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).



 © MikkiPiperImaging

Duranar powder coatings were applied to the curved, perforated metal panels that arc over the main Terminal B structure at San Jose airport.

But in North America, the technology has made only modest inroads in the high-profile, exterior architectural-metal marketplace—in the types of “monumental” applications that meet the performance standard AAMA 2605 of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. The standard sets rigorous performance requirements for chalk and fade resistance and color and gloss retention.

PPG “is trying to change all that,” reported a 2009 article in Journal of Architectural Coatings (now Durability + Design). The article, Taking Powder to the Next Level, reviews PPG's ambitious product-development and marketing programs for high-performance architectural powder coatings.

In the article, PPG’s Henry Lowman and Steven Sternberger said the small-batch and custom-color capabilities of the Duranar powder coatings are designed to meet the requirements of architects and specifiers who insist on the color flexibility and range offered by conventional liquid coatings, but would give powder consideration due to its “green” profile—zero VOC emissions during manufacturing or application.


 Ken Paul

 © Ken Paul

San Jose Airport Terminal B, in a nighttime photo.

More information about Duranar powder coatings:

Focal Point of Modernization Program

Fentress Architects said its “bold architectural design” for Terminal B “expresses the innovative spirit of the SIlcon Valley region.” The 140,000-square-foot, $115 million terminal serves as the “major focal point” of the airport’s comprehensive, $1.3 billion modernization program, now substantially completed, the firm said in a February announcement on the LEED certification.

Fentress Architects partnered with Hensel Phelps Construction Company, principal design/build contractor, on the airport-terminal project. Curtis Fentress, principal in charge of design, said the terminal “sets the standard in sustainable design for all airports throughout the United States.”

Fentress Architects said the design’s sustainability features include the following.

• Extensive use of natural light with extensive windows and skylights that take advantage of the region’s sunny climate. The outer layer of the building’s exterior acts as a shading device that protects the inner core of the building, maximizing energy efficiency.

• Energy-efficiency technologies that include occupancy sensors for lighting; a programmable lighting-control system; programmable “smart” heating and cooling system; and energy-conserving windows.

• A low-energy, high-efficiency ventilation system with “air chairs” specifically designed for the airport.

• The use of recycled materials in construction, with nearly 13.5% of total building material content produced using recycled materials.

• Diversion of nearly 921 tons of construction debris, representing more than 90% of jobsite waste, was diverted from landfill disposal through recycling or reusing scrap drywall, metal, plywood, carpet, and other materials.

More information:


Tagged categories: Airports; Architects; Color + Design; Fentress Architects; LEED; Powder coatings; PPG

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