Construction chemicals a necessity, says BASF
Longer design life of projects a boon for construction chemicals
With the longer design life specified on many major projects, the use of construction chemicals has become a necessity, says BASF GM John Sarkis.
“The additional cost of specialist admixtures that produce self-compacting concrete is tiny when looked at as part of the total placement and lifecycle cost of a concrete structure,” says Sarkis.
Sarkis says the BASF business development team discusses the technical needs of consultants and architects on a daily basis.
“Much of our efforts in the industry are aimed at informing key decision makers of the benefits of our products.
“Without a strong technical support team training applicators and contractors on correct use, specifiers would rapidly lose faith in us. However tough times are, training and site support will never be compromised.”
Sarkis says that, as a supplier to the construction industry in the UAE, “business is challenging. Liquidity continues to be a problem, with banks reluctant to support cash-strapped contractors and readymix companies.
“Undoubtedly the Qatar market has a positive feel, and though there continures to be a limited number of project awards, it is clear that, with a deadline to meet, the government there will get projects up and running quite quickly,” says Sarkis.
In terms of the latest sustainability trend, Sarkis says: “As buildings are built to become more energy efficient and sustainable, we have moved away from using solvented products or raw materials based on coal tar.”
As for standardisation, Sarkis says BASF has found “that the demands of public financed infrastructure works are often more stringent when it comes to selecting high-end waterproofing or concrete protection systems.
“You just need to look at Abu Dhabi, where the government is building museums, universities and hospitals to the highest standards.”
Sarkis adds that BASF is “particularly proud of our association with Masdar City, with whom we have worked closely to select a range of products with minimum environmental impact.”
In terms of latest developments, Sarkis says the company is in the process “of adopting eco-efficiency analysis methods for some of our products, developed by BASF in Germany.”