Interview with David Pont, Technical Manager of Tecnopol
David Pont has been a technical architect since 1997, year in which he graduated and started his profession, as a project manager and facultative direction of different projects. Since 2011 he brings his experience to Tecnopol, being his technical director and the maximum responsible of a vital department for the evolution and the daily activity of the benchmark company in the manufacture of Polyurea in Europe, with an important presence worldwide, and which also stands out as a producer of other products, like Polyurethane and Industrial Pavements.
How is Tecnopol’s technical service structured?
It is proposed as a consultation service to architects, applicators and in general, to any agent involved in the process of design, planification and execution of construction projects,
who would be interested in the systems and products that we develop and manufacture.
Our main objective is to support the prescriber in all phases, from our laboratory, in the office and on site.
Thanks to my previous experience, I try to visualize and involve myself in each project globally and not only in the aspects related to waterproofing: the key is to always seek to help the prescriber in the sustainability of the project.
The technical service gets involved from the initial phase of the projects?
Yes, whenever they require our collaboration. The appearance of the Tecnopol brand in the project specifications is an added guarantee for all those who are part of the evolution of the project and its subsequent maintenance. This has allowed us to be present in important private projects in countries such as Chile, Argentina or the Dominican Republic, as well as in other public projects in India (Metropolitan train project in Delhi, civil infrastructure works in Vietnam, Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar...).Providing knowledge of the properties and application of our liquid waterproofing systems and, at the same time, give solutions to different finishing possibilities and aesthetic definitions, are key elements for achieving an optimum final result and optimising costs, correctly applying the appropriate quantities of each product.
The choice of construction solutions is normally defined in the consulting phase during the design of the project and from the R+D department, we always try to give the appropriate answer to each request made to us.
Training for Applicators is also an important issue. Is it difficult to apply Tecnopol products?
They're not difficult to apply at all. It is simply necessary to understand simple chemical processes and at the same time, be careful with the maintenance of the different application equipment. It is essential to provide, for our entire team, initial and ongoing training in the application processes of our solutions and the products that make them up. All of this complemented by the service to all kinds of specific queries that reach us from anywhere in the globe thanks to the Internet and messaging systems.
Your systems and products are used in all kind of building and projects. Is it different the advice requested if it comes from an architect, engineer or applicator?
It is clear that each agent involved in the construction process has different visions, needs and interests regarding the same concept, and in this field of waterproofing is no different. Doubts that may arise in the project phase don’t need to be the same as during the implementation phase. In this sense, all the technical department team know how to proceed in each case.
Standards and certifications change, depending on the country. How do you cope with the dispersal of requirements?
Important question. Globalization has allowed us to have presence very fast in international markets, and as there is no other way, constructive tradition, meteorology or simply each country’s culture makes the national and local building regulation different. This is why, in many countries the certifications or tests carried out can be analogous to those of other countries of different continents.
Therefore, we have more than 100 certifications, tests or approvals worldwide (ETE, BBA, AVIS TECHNIQUE, ASTM, Green Label ...). All of this added to our territorial implantation in more than 50 countries all over the world gives us the capacity to cover the needs of local homologation and in this way, to be able to access the public and private tenders of projects in competition. Specifically, and in order to offer some data that may be representative of this, we are a reference company with homologated waterproofing and thermal insulation systems in public tenders in some Middle East countries or in important oil corporations in the global area.
In the case of Europe, a great deal of harmonization has been done since the creation of the "EOTA" organization, institution creator of the standards that affect construction at a European level, and the CE marking standard. Even so, there are local certifications that are restrictive to the standards issued by EOTA.
In addition, the territories affected by earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and more recently by the effects of climate change, force to take more and more factors into account. How does all this affect their work?
Climate change has a clear reflection, without going any further, in the Mediterranean area where we are located, it has affected meteorology with the appearance of precipitations of less predictable rains, more intense and located in a shorter temporal space. Consequently, waterproofing has to be optimised taking these new factors into consideration. In other areas of the globe, effects such as El Niño or La Niña (I am thinking about the American continent), represent important tests for our systems, which demonstrate day by day, and in front of each new challenge their effectiveness and watertightness.
Does your work have a direct impact on the economic and environmental sustainability of the projects in which you collaborate?
Taking into account the properties of some of our systems, especially in the field of thermal insulation, yes. Continuous systems with these types of properties have a direct impact on the daily energy consumption of industrial, commercial or residential buildings. The use on the other hand of materials (such as Tecnofoam polyurethanes) without fluorinated gas content, a source of the greenhouse effect and the effect on the ozone layer, are an important asset and their choice is an important criterion when prescribing a thermal insulation system.
How do you imagine the future of construction?
No doubt, the inclusion of the concept of "environmental sustainability" is going to influence the appearance of new products and therefore in the way and manner of building, in fact, it is already doing so: the way they are manufactured, how they positively affect the reduction of energy consumption of buildings, and the affectation or necessary recycling processes at the time of being withdrawn are parameters that are going to affect the way of understanding the construction, its execution and its particular use.
It is necessary to be able to offer the public and final user of buildings, a product where the relationship between "cost, quality and sustainability" is optimal, due to the impact that the processes of implementation, use and after-sales can have on the climate change of the planet. Consequently, all of us will have to adapt and be able to offer products under new and different standards from those learned in universities or already applied and prescribed according to our previous experience.