Case Study

Providing 120 Minutes Fire Protection to Milan's Trendy New Office Tower

New Generation Intumescent Fire Protection for Iconic Milan Tower

The UnipolSai Tower in Milan

The UnipolSai Tower in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy, is an elliptical office building with an outer exoskeleton of structural steel, which gives it a very striking appearance.  The iconic 23 storey, 120 metre high tower will be the headquarters of the Unipol Group, an Italian financial services holding company, and will contain commercial spaces, an auditorium, offices, and a panoramic roof garden where public cultural events can be held.  Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects, the building is LEED Platinum certified, the highest category of a building’s “green” features, which considers, design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, and cost-effective buildings. 

Passive fire protection experts from Sherwin-Williams worked the steel fabricator MAEG and their consultants to ensure the structure steel was protected against fire for the designed 90 and 120 minutes, and since the exoskeleton will be exposed to the atmosphere, the aesthetic topcoat needed to be weather resistant.  The need for fast application times and damage free on-site installation of the steelwork, was also a requirement.


The solution to provide the required damage resistant PFP coating involved the latest product from the Sherwin-Williams Firetex® range of intumescent coatings, Firetex FX6002.   The specification called for Firetex ®C69 primer, Firetex® FX 6002 methacrylate intumescent coating and Acrolon® 7300 topcoat.  The epoxy blast primer is ideal for shop application and the acrylic urethane topcoat has good damage resistance and excellent colour retention and will maintain the tower’s aesthetic appearance.  This system has been tested to provide up to 2 hours fire protection over an extended period.


According to MAEG, thanks to the super-fast drying new generation intumescent coating which was easy to apply, allowed for a high speed of production, and damage free on-site installation of the steelwork, helping the building to achieve its high LEED classification.  The durable topcoat also helped to maintain the building’s good visual appearance.

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