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Community college gets vibant new look, reduces maintenance costs in restoring building façade with high-performance coating

Ultra-durable Kynar Aquatec®-based coating proves instrumental in achieving facility management’s goals for long service life, color stability and building lifecycle savings.

Solano Community College is a two-year institution of higher learning headquartered in Fairfield, Solano County, California, with two satellite campuses in Vacaville and in Vallejo. Established in 1945, the college is part of the California Community Colleges System and offers more than 80 academic degrees designed to help students complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree before transferring to a four-year university. With a current student population of 11,000, Solano College campuses are alive at all hours offering academic study and occupational training to area residents.

Solano Community College’s Vallejo Center campus is located on the San Pablo Bay, northeast of San Francisco, an area known for ocean-driven fog, wind and moisture, along with sunny, hot and windy afternoons. The extreme weather conditions caused the building’s exterior—originally painted with a premium latex paint—to fade from a bright, “Solano Safety Blue” to a tired, battleship grey in just five years. Even a light touch of the walls left a chalky residue on the hands.

Wanted professional-grade durability

Faced with the prospect of having to repaint a relatively new, but severely faded building three times over a 15-year period, Solano Community College wanted a long-term coating solution for restoring and maintaining the building’s appearance. “We didn’t relish the thought—or the expense—of having to repaint the building every five years,” said James Buchanan, the director of facilities at the college.

When it came to the evaluation of new coating systems for the restoration, the primary goal was to achieve a long service life with minimal maintenance. The durability of protective coatings in challenging weather environments is an important factor in extending or maximizing the color retention and fade resistance of a building’s façade. By specifying the use of a high-performance coating system that offers long-term durability protection, building owners can reduce the number of repainting cycles and avoid spending precious maintenance dollars on their building envelope.

Chosen as the coating for restoring Solano Community College’s building façade was NeverFade® from APV Engineered Coatings, a water-based, low-VOC exterior coating that provides excellent color retention and a 15-year warranty against fading. “When we learned about the 15-year paint-and-labor guarantee on NeverFade, it was an easy choice,” said Buchanan.

Available in eggshell and semi-gloss sheens plus custom-color matching, NeverFade® paint is based on Kynar Aquatec®, an innovative platform of emulsions that are used to make premium water-based architectural coatings. Coatings formulated with these emulsions provide the same long-lasting durability, extreme weatherability and color-retention properties as Kynar 500® resin-based coatings for keeping painted building facades looking vibrant and appealing. They also resist fading, dirt, staining, algae, mold, fungal growth and corrosion and can be applied to a variety of substrates.

A smart, cost-effective decision

For Solano Community College’s Vallejo Center, costs were estimated to be $16,000 to $18,000 per paint job—a significant expense if the building needed to be repainted every five years. Not included in that expense are the “soft costs” associated with the building’s appearance.

By taking advantage of APV Engineered Coatings’ 15-year warranty behind the Kynar Aquatec-based NeverFade® paint, the college not only achieved their goals for a building that will retain its vibrant good looks well into the future but also yielded a dramatic cost savings of more than $48,000.


“We want to make our campus attractive to students and the community so it’s a good learning environment and a place people want to be,” said Buchanan. “Now, thanks to the NeverFade paint job, the Vallejo Center looks fabulous. Everyone is impressed with the striking color.”

Kynar Aquatec® and Kynar 500® are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.
NeverFade® is a registered trademark of APV Engineered Coating.
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