Crown Paints has been chosen by Cardiff University as a key partner in its planned maintenance programme. Under the partnership, Crown Paints will offer ongoing specification support and advice on using the company’s Sandtex Trade and Crown Trade range of coatings to help maintain the highest possible standard of student accommodation.

One project recently completed in conjunction with Crown Paints was the exterior decoration of Cardiff University’s Tal-y-Bont South halls of residence, which comprise 27 blocks of three and four storey student accommodation. A key requirement for the project was the creation of a fresh and vibrant living environment for building residents. The university was also seeking to give each block a sense of individuality through clever use of colour.

Paul Roberts, projects officer for Cardiff University’s estates team, explained: “From the outset, our aim was to provide students with the highest standard of accommodation, but also to bring some colour on to the campus. To achieve this, we asked Crown Paints’ Colour Service to develop a number of different external colour schemes from which the relevant manager could select their preferred choice.”

Following a site visit to the Tal-y-Bont South halls of residence, the Colour Service created six individual exterior colour schemes, which utilised the wide palette of colours available within the Sandtex Trade range. Crown Paints’ expert specification team then carried out a detailed analysis of the accommodation’s substrates, including examination of existing coatings used, building orientation, climatic factors and overall condition, and selected Sandtex Trade 365 All Weather Masonry as the most appropriate finish for the project.

A solvent based formulation that is rain resistant within 30 minutes, even when applied at very low temperatures, Sandtex Trade 365 All Weather was an ideal choice for Tal-y-Bont South, as it meant the entire project could be completed within the specified timescales with fewer weather restrictions. Furthermore, as Sandtex Trade 365 All Weather provides a highly durable coating that is BBA-approved for up to 15 years, the university will benefit from prolonged maintenance cycles.

As well as transforming the exterior of the Tal-y-Bont South halls of residence, Crown Paints was also tasked with creating an internal paint specification and colour scheme for other student accommodation across campus. Identifying the day-to-day demands placed on these environments and the high turnover of residents, Crown Paints’ specification advisors recommended Crown Trade Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt for the bedrooms. Developed to offer exceptional durability, dirt resistance and cleanability, Clean Extreme enables most marks to be easily wiped away with water alone and retains a newly applied appearance even with repeated scrubbing.

A further consideration in the internal refurbishment programme was the need to fulfil obligatory fire safety legislation and duty of care requirements. Paul added: “Ensuring we provide a safe living environment for students is paramount to the university. Using their knowledge and understanding of current legislation, Crown Paints were able to develop a detailed specification that would achieve fire protection levels. After completing microscopic tests, which looked at the number of layers and the nature of previously applied paints, Crown Paints developed this specification.”

As potential escape routes, high traffic areas such as corridors, stairways and communal areas within all the university’s halls of residence, are required to comply with Class 0 (as defined in Section B2 of Approved Document B of the UK Building Regulations). To achieve this, Crown Paints’ specification advisors selected a number of coatings from the Crown Trade Timonox range of flame retardant coatings, including Timonox Anti-Graffiti Flame Retardant Glaze.

Paul concluded: “By working with Crown Paints, we have exceeded our expectations for this project. Tal-y-Bont’s bright, colourful exterior has become a landmark and is affectionately known across campus. Going forward, we will be working with Crown Paints on a number of high profile projects across the university.”