Hamad International Airport in Doha

Airport Flooring Shines with ‘Green’ Credentials

The challenge of installing one of the largest expanses of flooring in a single project.

The challenge of installing one of the largest expanses of flooring in a single project – and one of the most complex – faced the hub where east meets west at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.

The volume of epoxy terrazzo flooring supplied by Sherwin-Williams - 140,000 sq metres of pigmented epoxy resin - involved the shipping of pre-mixed marble aggregates from Italy to complete the design for the main floor areas consisting of three colours, primarily dark grey with pure black or white epoxy terrazzo.

The epoxy terrazzo was poured in situ as the 16,000 workers from various countries navigated their way around the 5,500-acre site and ground and polished the flooring to a high finish, bringing with it major environmental benefits. Thin set epoxy conforms to the EU’s solvents and Volatile Organic Compounds Emissions Directive.

The installation process itself also meant there was very little waste – the terrazzo prepared for installation was measured accurately to allow as much or as little to be used in application.

Now, almost 10 years later, the epoxy terrazzo flooring is still shining brightly providing a dazzling welcome to visitors to the airport, described as ‘the gateway to Qatar’ and the hub for its world-class airline Qatar Airways with the capacity to serve 8,700 passengers per hour and 30 million every year.

Vik Vithlani of Sherwin-Williams, said: “This was quite a challenge and proved the aesthetic and environmental value of terrazzo. This demonstrated how we can meet the demands of architects and specifiers with longer-lasting products with ever-greater green credentials.

"We can create truly bespoke options in terms of both colour and aggregates such as glass, marble, granite and mother of pearl.

"Terrazzo has its roots in technology hundreds of years old, but for those looking to specify correctly from the outset, with longevity in mind as well as return on investment and aesthetics, it remains a thoroughly modern choice."

Terrazzo flooring is a composite – a mix of resin with aggregates which give the product such variety in its design. Intended to be a durable, hard wearing and highly decorative flooring solution, the resin is mixed with coloured marble, granite chips or other approved aggregates such as glass.

Sherwin-Williams has successfully supplied terrazzo flooring to a number of major projects including the Greenwich Visitor Centre at the Old Royal Naval College in London, Salford Royal NHS Trust and Central Library, Manchester.

In the US, terrazzo flooring systems are commonly utilised, and the large, high specification developments of the Middle East can commonly be found featuring bespoke terrazzo systems.

With simple re-polishing or re-sealing using water based products a typical terrazzo flooring can last up to 40 years. However, vinyl floor sheets would require replacing typically every 12 years or less.

Sherwin-Williams’ high performance flooring systems are used in diverse industries including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, industrial, retail, commercial and aerospace offering benefits of non-taint, hard- wearing, decorative, impact resistance, slip-resistance, abrasion resistant, chemical protection and thermal shock resistance.

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