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Tue, Jan

Embrace installs UK’s first PVC-free printed scaffold wrap

Embrace Building Wraps has installed the UK’s first PVC-free printed scaffold wrap. The job was at Newson’s Yard in London’s Belgravia for client Grosvenor Estate. 

The company digitally printed and then installed the first of two scaffold banners at the refurbishment site using Kavalan Sunlight Weldable PVC-free banner - available exclusively from CMYUK. Measuring 26m x 4.5m, the wrap features an image of a Robanna print on cotton supplied by Fermoie, a local creator of original fabrics. The second banner will be installed later this month.

“Embrace Building Wraps has been working extremely hard to find an effective and durable PVC-free solution for clients,” said MD, Greg Forster.  “I’ve been looking for a credible environmental alternative since we started in 2006 but there’s never been anything suitable. At the end of the day, what we deal in is scale, and when you start putting these wraps together, they act like giant sails, so we need a material that is able to withstand everything that Mother Nature throws at it.”

With the look and feel of traditional PVC, Kavalan is up to 50% lighter. Embrace undertook in-house testing of the medium before making it one of its approved products. First it was tested alongside the company’s current solid PVC product - both were printed with the same test image and placed side by side. Next, Kavalan Sunlight underwent rigorous heat and vibration welding testing, which was followed by a comparative pull test.

“We were pleasantly surprised. The lads on the site found it easier to lift these banners into place in comparison to our usual material,” said Forster. “If you look at our whole Kavalan testing process, as far as we’re concerned, we’ve ticked every single box.”

Embrace has long been upcycling spent printed PVC into second-life applications through its Banner Karma scheme, and has an agreement with the National Farmers Union to provide used PVC banner for agricultural usage - free of charge.

Kavalan is an end-of-life responsible material, designed for waste-to-energy processes as it can be incinerated without any harmful emissions to health or the environment. It too, can also be incorporated into the Banner Karma initiative, but with its final end being clean energy rather than landfill.

Grosvenor Estate has now been joined by Allum and Sidaway, a jewellers and bridal boutique in Salisbury, which has the distinction of being the first business outside London to use Kavalan Sunlight for a three-sided, single piece digitally printed scaffold wrap.

“Sustainability is a really important part of our business as a collective responsibility for our staff, our supply chain and also for our clients. PVC-free ticks all the boxes,” said Forster.

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