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Education establishments need to be reflective of the academic excellence and world-class research they present. They also need to be able to deal withstand significant footfall, and meet the practical demands of different faculties. Carefully chosen colour schemes and durable products are therefore important considerations when renovating or maintaining these spaces. Smith Painters had this in mind when they decorated The Spine building in Liverpool. It was this impressive work that secured their victory as Education Category winners at this year’s Johnstone’s Trade Painter of the Year awards.

Situated in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, The Spine is the brand-new flagship building for the city’s Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and their first physical presence in the North. The centre will be used for leading improvement of patient care and public health with world-class learning and assessment opportunities, quality improvement and research for doctors and healthcare professionals.

Environment first

Carrying out the project was no easy task, with the new building measuring 160,000 square feet and towering over 14 storeys. The team at Smith Painters used Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Durable Eggshell and Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Durable Matt throughout.

The flagship building was also designed to achieve a WELL Standard Certification, which would make it one of the best environments for mental health and physical wellbeing in the area. Therefore, when it came to specifying the coatings, it was also essential that the products used by Smith Painters supported the achievement of this high standard.

The team opted to use Johnstone’s Trade Air Pure throughout the building in Brilliant White for a crisp, clean finish. Johnstone’s Trade Air Pure is an innovative bio-based flat matt wall and ceiling paint, which helps to improve indoor air quality in line with ISO16000-23.

Commenting on the project and the end result, James Beech, at Smith Painters, explained: “The scale of the project was definitely a challenge, but one that we looked forward to taking on! It required careful planning, and despite the delays that were caused by labour and product shortages due to Covid, we still managed to complete the works on time and to a very high finish.

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