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Colorfast chosen for Kingspan’s highly sustainable new Asian factory

More than 120,000 Colorfast self-drilling fasteners have helped Kingspan to create a thermally superior, visually-appealing building envelope for its first purpose-built manufacturing plant in South East Asia.

The 16,000 sq. m factory at Phu My Town in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Vietnam, will enable Kingspan to grow its presence in the wider Asian region by providing a state-of-the-art plant to manufacture its market-leading Quadcore and mineral fibre insulated panels. It marks a strategically important step in the development of the Kingspan Group, helping it to unlock the potential of a new and expanding market with a total investment of more than £21 million, and this is reflected in the building’s very high specification.

As a ‘greenfield manufacturing facility’, which means it was created on a site where minimal or no existing infrastructure was present, architects IntES and Kingspan were able to take advantage of a ‘blank canvas’ to design and build a facility with exceptional eco-credentials. This included adopting LEED Platinum Version 4, one of the world’s most demanding green building standards, which will support Kingspan’s goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions during the plant’s operation in line with its 10-year global sustainability programme, Planet Passionate.

How Colorfast supports zero carbon goals

Installed by main contractor TUAN LE Construction, the building envelope features a total roof area of 14,500 sq. m, formed using Kingspan Quadcore KS1000RW insulated panels and KS1000DLTR (Day-Lite Trapezoidal Rooflight) polycarbonate rooflights.

All of the 120,000+ fasteners used to create the envelope were EJOT fasteners, mainly Colorfast (CF19 JT3 D6H) which feature a 19mm aluminium/EPDM vulcanised sealing washer and utilise EJOT’s JT3 bi-metallic self-drilling screw. These were coloured in White for the main roof fix and Poppy Red with storm washers for the rooflight detail. EJOfast fasteners with a 15mm washer (CF15 JF3 2 5.5 x 25) were used for the side and end laps, while CF19 JT6 2H 6.3 x 30/10 secured the rooflight laps.

The reasons for their specification, however, went far beyond the simple functional objective to attach the roof to a structure. Colorfast was able to make a positive contribution to the long term performance of the building envelope and, hence, the sustainability of the factory as a whole.

As an FM Approved fastener, Colorfast has been independently assessed and its performance verified under a globally-recognised certification scheme. The stringent testing undertaken by FM Approvals considers fasteners within a complete assembly, rather than in isolation, which was extremely important to the architects on this project. They sought assurance that the products would deliver on their promise to comfortably match the design life of the envelope’s panels and minimise thermal transfer once the building was operational.

Key to Colorfast’s performance is its ability to provide a consistent seal above the sheet, maximising insulation and air-tightness as well as reducing the risk of water ingress. The fastener’s head is formed by over-moulding a nylon compound which is precisely formulated to offer reliable UV stability for lasting visual aesthetics. The head can be matched to around 400 colours in line with recognised colour matching system such as RAL, NCS and Pantone, as well as the British Standards (BS) colour palette – the colour system on which Colorfast was first developed.

Thermal insulation optimised

The JT3 Colorfast fasteners were specified in bi-metallic stainless steel as this material is more suitable for the hot, humid Vietnamese climate than carbon steel fasteners. Stainless steel has the obvious longevity benefit in that it is more resistant to corrosion, but this material choice also offers lower thermal transmission values, meaning heat transfer from the outside to in and vice versa is reduced.

Colorfast’s nylon moulded head provides further resistance to thermal transmission, which would not have been the case if powder coated or painted screws were used. The small gains achieved at individual fixing locations added up to a significant benefit over the thousands of penetrations across the roof’s surface.

The end result was the creation of a building which will benefit from a stable internal environment with the lowest levels of energy consumption. This is not only important to the Vietnamese government, which has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but also to Kingspan as it creates the infrastructure and production facilities required to meet its Planet Passionate goals.

This programme aims to have a positive impact on three big global challenges, climate change, circularity and protection of the natural world, and will support Kingspan to achieve its own net zero carbon deadline of 2030.

In addition to strategies for reducing water consumption, cutting landfill waste and utilising only renewable energy to power its operations, the specification of Kingspan’s existing facilities and new buildings will be enhanced. One of the ways this will be achieved is through the use of advanced building materials and components as the new Phu My Town factory demonstrates.

Supporting the expanding SE Asian market

The Colorfast and Kingspan combination used here has enormous potential to be applied in other industrial and commercial projects across South East Asia to support governments and businesses to achieve their sustainable building goals. It is particularly suitable for cold storage facilities and data centres where the internal climate is critical to the efficient running of the building, two sectors that are fuelling a rapidly growing construction industry.

Vietnam is the best performing construction market in the Asia Pacific region with a growth rate of 5.59% according to figures from the first half of 2022. The country is actively encouraging inward investment through an ongoing programme to study and develop the necessary mechanisms, policies and solutions aimed at encouraging and attracting foreign investment into its real estate market.

EJOT Group is one of the European companies responding to serve this growing market, not only in Vietnam but across South East Asia. The Group has already recently invested in opening an office in Singapore and it will shortly be creating a presence in Vietnam to offer local support backed with global technical expertise.

This model has been instrumental in Colorfast’s evolution from its initial purpose as a UK market-focused product when it launched over 30 years ago, into a fastener with appeal in construction markets around the world. One of the reasons for this is the increased adoption of European building performance standards, which have traditionally been regarded as the world’s most demanding, in other continents, particularly Australasia.

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More than 120,000 Colorfast self-drilling fasteners were used in the development of Kingspan's new manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

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The 16,000 sq. m factory required an investment in excess of £21 million, and this is reflected in the building’s very high specification.

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Bi-metallic stainless steel fasteners were chosen as they are more suitable for the hot, humid Vietnamese climate than carbon steel fasteners. Stainless steel has the benefit of longevity as it is more resistant to corrosion, but it also offers lower thermal transmission values.

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Colorfast’s nylon over moulded head provides further reduction to thermal transmission, a benefit that isn’t present with powder coated or painted fasteners. A small gain at the individual level, it adds up to a significant benefit over thousands of penetrations across the roof’s surface.

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