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Safe and hygienic spaces: How paint and coatings choices can improve cleanliness

In Dulux Decorator Centre’s fourth Industry Insights webinar, we welcomed a team of experts to discuss how the correct design and decorating choices can help to create safe, clean, hygienic spaces.

Chaired by Sales Director Oliver Partington, the webinar features discussions with Rosemary Jenssen - Director of Jenssen Architecture, Gary Jefferson - R&D specialist at AkzoNobel and Duncan Lochhead from Dulux Decorator Centre 360.


How does our industry need to adapt to meet the challenges of 2020?

We’re all playing a role to rebuild confidence.”

As people return to work, leisure, retail and education spaces with changes to Covid-19 restrictions, the general public is looking for reassurance. Reassurance that the hotels they stay in, the shops that they visit, and the schools their children attend are safe.

And for many, safety equates directly to hygiene. Providing reassurance that people are learning, socialising and working in clean, safe environments is now a vital consideration for building owners, facilities managers, contractors and architects alike.

Helping to rebuild confidence is key, and as our guests explain, this requires innovation in both building design and the materials used by contractors.

How is the healthcare sector leading the way?

It’s amazing the difference that a splash of colour can make.”

Unsurprisingly, the healthcare sector is at the forefront of safety innovations during a global pandemic, and the webinar’s first guest speaker Rosemary Jenssen is a specialist in architectural design for healthcare organisations. She’s designed multiple hospitals and healthcare centres around the UK over the past 25 years.

Rosemary explains how smarter healthcare design makes use of techniques including intuitive colour palettes to transform environments and create positive, reassured mindsets. She outlines seven key challenges faced by the industry:

    1. The environmental emergency the world faces is a health emergency

    2. Maintaining access to healthcare during the pandemic

    3. There’s been the largest ever investment in healthcare to develop at pace

    4. The sector needs time to reflect and think strategically

    5. Healthcare design needs to be outcomes focussed - what is the patient, staff and service impact?

    6. There’s a role of technology and digital health that needs to be considered more

    7. And finally, we need to think about physical not social distancing: protecting mental health

Rosemary then explains how ‘exemplar design choices’ can meet these challenges and create safer, more reassuring environments.

These include taking greater environmental responsibility with the paints and coatings architects and contractors choose, creating colour-coded zones to improve flow through hospitals, and choosing innovative coating technologies to allow for simple, thorough cleaning.

Rosemary also touches on how interior colour choices and well-appointed outdoor space can be used to protect mental health and wellbeing at a time of physical distancing.

How is new paint technology creating cleaner environments?

75% of the webinar’s attendees stated that hygiene is a key consideration when they make product choices.

As an R&D specialist for AkzoNobel, Gary Jefferson has been involved with the development of specialist hygiene coatings. Paints like Dulux Trade Sterishield Diamond - a range which Duncan Lochhead describes as one of Dulux Trade’s “best-kept secrets”.

With up to 80% of visible surfaces in any building either painted or coated, choosing an easy-to-clean, anti-bacterial paint can help contribute to maintaining the highest standards of hygiene.

Dulux Trade Sterishield Diamond paint acts in three key ways outlined by Duncan:

    1. They reduce the number of bacteria on surfaces

    2. They are robust enough to withstand regular deep cleaning

    3. They give the same great finish

With innovative technology that can inhibit bacterial growth within just two hours of application, Dulux Trade Sterishield Diamond can provide an additional physical benefit which builds upon the behavioural benefits outlined by Rosemary’s design ideas.

Expanding on Duncan’s points, Gary explains how the Dulux Trade Sterishield Diamond range, and other coatings provided by AkzoNobel including Biodex and Interpon, have been designed to improve cleanability and provide active protection, demonstrating how the product choices you make will combine with design to create safe, clean, hygienic spaces.

For more information on the products to use watch the full webinar for yourself here.