An extensive research and development process by BlueScope has resulted in the addition of six highly resilient and contemporary colours to the COLORBOND® steel range.
In the first colour refresh since 2008, four new shades of grey – Basalt™, Wallaby™, Gully™ and Cove™ – a eucalypt green called Mangrove™ and a rich red called Terrain® have been added to the COLORBOND® steel range.
With the reintroduction of a previous colour (Night Sky®) and the retirement of five older colours, the 2013 refresh represents the biggest update of the COLORBOND® steel colour palette in more than two decades, which has increased from 20 to 22 colours.
According to leading colour expert Harley Anstee of Nexus Designs, the new colours were selected through wide consultation with building industry professionals with the aim of providing specifiers with a new palette relevant to current and future needs.
"The colours were extensively researched across Australia and our process included seeking the opinions of more than 170 professionals, including architects, roll-formers, developers and project home builders," Mr Anstee said.
"It was clear from our research that there was a real yearning for a change to the COLORBOND® steel colour palette, driven in particular by recent developments in residential and commercial architectural trends."
As part of the research process, Nexus Designs performed a colour audit which showed all respondents the new and existing colours. It ranked all the colours based on respondent feedback and then averaged the results.
"Of the 30 colours we included in the audit, all six of the new COLORBOND® steel colours were among the most popular," Mr Anstee said.
"BlueScope made some bold colour choices and we are pleased that these were vindicated by preferences in the colour audit."
Founding partner at O'Connor and Houle Architecture in Melbourne, Stephen O'Connor, said he can see all the new colours - which are based on the traditional hues of the Australian outdoors - being suitable for projects of varying sizes.
"These are earthy and neutral tones and that's pretty attractive. I can see them being used on big warehouses and also small residential extensions," he said.
The new colours have been subject to careful refinement of pigments and resin technology to enhance colour durability compared with the predecessor product.
BlueScope product development portfolio leader, Detlev Mueller, said the new colours have undergone the most rigorous R&D process in COLORBOND® steel history.
"We spent more time optimising the new colour palette than ever before, including four years of outdoor exposure testing of each shade," Mr Mueller said.
"It was essential that the final colours not only matched the vision of our consultants but also demonstrated an even stronger ability to resist colour fade compared with its predecessor product."
Arriving at paint colours that were both aesthetically pleasing and technically suitable was a painstaking process.
"Nexus initially recommended 16 new colours which were then given to our three main paint suppliers. For every new colour, each paint supplier provided multiple, very closely matched paint shades using subtly different approaches in pigmentation," Mr Mueller said.
"In some cases the colour differences between the paint samples were undetectable to the naked eye, but each was tested with the intention that the particular formulation would keep looking good for as long as BlueScope and its customers expect."
Development also involved formulation changes in order to optimise the thermal properties of the new colours in line with more stringent building codes.
Each of the six new colours was formulated with Thermatech® technology to optimise their solar reflectance.
Thermatech® technology remains a key feature of the 15 colours that are carried over into this new range.*
Mr Anstee predicts the new colours in the range will be adopted by allied products manufacturers, such as paint, window and garage door manufacturers.
"COLORBOND® steel is regarded as the colour leader in the Australian building products market and the six new shades they've introduced will lead the way for others in the industry to follow," he said.
The new COLORBOND® steel colours are:
- Basalt™ – a deep neutral cool grey
- Wallaby™ – a mid neutral cool grey with a warm tone
- Gully™ – a warm neutral mid grey/green colour
- Cove™ – a warm mid grey with a golden overtone
- Mangrove™ – a new direction in green with an olive/grey/eucalypt tone
Terrain® – a rich, earthy, red/brown inspired by inland Australia
Thermatech® technology is not available in the colour Night Sky®.