b'ARCHITECTURAL SHEET METALprocess, so they certainly offer a lower initial purchase priceSpecification Tipsthan their three-coat competitors. Admittedly, part of the higherWhen the goal is simply to gain access to a full standard cost is due to raw material costs for the third coating layer. Butcolor offering, including metallics, a three-coat system isnt what many people dont realize is that the larger cost increasenecessary.Instead, using the phrase manufacturers full stems from the fact that the entire coil needs to go through thestandard colors including metallics in the project specifications coating line a second time. At first blush, that may not seemprovides the architect with the protection to avoid post bid cost-prohibitive, yet due to increased mill time, higher rejectupcharges without adding the unnecessary cost of a three-rates for three coat systems, and the extensive line clean-upcoat system to the project. required after clear coat applications, the additional cost can be 300-400 percent.It is important to note that most manufacturers offer at least Consequently, the increased project cost is a given whenone standard red color; however, purples and oranges are specifying a three-coat system, so the decision shouldnt berare to find on manufacturers standard color offerings.taken lightly. Consequently, if these colors are desired, its best to indicate custom color 3-coat system in the specifications to ensure Performance accurate project bidding.To address performance, lets start by looking at warranties.When there is serious interest in a three-coat system from a Three-coat systems dont offer a longer or better warranty,performance standpoint for corrosive environments, another which would indicate that their expected performance is similarspecification tip is to write the base bid as a two-coat system to a two-coat system.After all, if its truly a better product,with an alternate add for the three-coat system. This approach one would expect a better guarantee from the manufacturer.ensures the true cost upcharge for the three-coat system is In chatting with a technical representative from Sherwinrealized. Williams recently, he summarized it like this: clear coats areFacedwithrealnumbersandlimitedtonon-existent like a light switch. They either provide a notable improvementperformance gains, few architects chose to move forward in a coatings performance, or they make little to no differencewith a three-coat system. But if they do, at least its with a in the performance of the coating. So, the good news is thatfull realization of cost vs. potential benefit. Given this same were getting closer to that black and white decision. scenario, some specifications use the three-coat system as In cases of the saturated colors mentioned earlier, three-coatthe base bid and request a deduction for going to the industry systems can certainly provide a benefit. Still, for earth tonestandard two-coat system.colors, which represent the majority of projects, three-coatAs might be expected, the total cost savings are rarely achieved systems tend to be unnecessary and drive project cost andby approaching from a deduct perspective.lead-time up. SummaryWith that said, it is possible that projects located in highly corrosive environments may experience a slight benefit simplyIn summary, the first consideration for a two-coat vs. three-coat due to coating thickness. Its not that three-coat systemssystem should center around the intended colors. Certainly, necessarily perform better in these harsh environments.for projects involving saturated color families like purples Rather, the overall coating is thicker so the theory is that itand oranges, it may be prudent to have a three-coat system can take a bit longer for mother nature to break the coatingspecified as the base bid.down to the point of failure.Outside of saturated color families and bright silver metallics, Its important to note, however, that there isnt empirical datamost would agree that while a three-coat system might perform to support this concept. Consequently, instead of black andincrementally better than a two-coat, the differences are white, the potential gain is gray at best. While a three-coatminimal and rarely (if ever) offset the additional project costs system might outperform a two-coat system in these harshand lead-time.environments, it still doesnt mean they are the optimum choice.Considering the intended color, project budget, construction Color Selection schedule,desiredperformance,andharshnessofthe environmentshouldallbeconsideredinthedecision-In talking with Architects, weve learned that one of the primarymaking process. Will these considerations make the decision reasons they specify three-coat systems has nothing to do withmiraculously black and white? Likely not. But hopefully, with performance.Instead, they simply want to ensure that theira bit more knowledge about two-coat vs. three-coat systems, building owners are able to pick from a full-color selection,the decision is at least a little less gray.including micas and metallics.About Mcelroy MetalSince many manufacturers (McElroy included) offer theirThe family-owned components manufacturer is headquartered metallics in a two-coat system, requiring a three-coat simplyin Bossier City, La., and has 13 manufacturing facilities across to gain access to the metallic families represents an entirelythe United States.More information can be found at unnecessary cost increase.www.mcelroymetal.com.www.mrca.orgMidwest Roofer 11'